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Police Clash with Opponents of Serbian Church in Montenegro

Arriving in a military helicopter, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro was inaugurated in the state’s old capital on Sunday amid clashes between police and protesters who oppose continued Serb influence in the tiny Balkan nation.Hospital officials in the city of Cetinje said at least 60 people were injured, including 30 police officers, in clashes that saw police launch tear gas against the demonstrators, who hurled rocks and bottles at them and fired gunshots into the air. At least 15 people were arrested.Sunday’s inauguration ceremony angered opponents of the Serbian church in Montenegro, which declared independence from neighboring Serbia in 2006. Since Montenegro split from Serbia, pro-independence Montenegrins have advocated for a recognized Orthodox Christian church that is separate from the Serbian one.Evading road blockades set up by the demonstrators, the new head of the Serbian church in Montenegro, Metropolitan Joanikije, arrived in Cetinje by a helicopter along with the Serbian Patriarch Porfirije. TV footage showed the priests being led into the Cetinje monastery by heavily armed riot police holding a bulletproof blanket to shield them.Patriarch Porfirije later wrote on Instagram that he was happy that the inauguration was held but added that he was “horrified by the fact” that someone near the monastery wanted to prevent the ceremony “with a sniper rifle.” The claim could not be immediately independently verified.The demonstrators set up barriers with trash bins, tires and large rocks to try to prevent church and state dignitaries from coming to the inauguration. Chanting, “This is Not Serbia!” and “This is Montenegro!,” many of the protesters spent the night at the barriers amid reports that police were sending reinforcements to break through the blockade. Tires at one blockade were set on fire.Montenegrins remain deeply divided over their country’s ties with neighboring Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church, which is the nation’s dominant religious institution. Around 30% of Montenegro’s 620,000 people consider themselves Serb.Metropolitan Joanikije said after the ceremony that “the divisions have been artificially created and we have done all in our power to help remove them, but that will take a lot of time.”In a clear demonstration of the sharp political divide in Montenegro, President Milo Djukanovic, the architect of the state’s independence from Serbia, visited Cetinje while the current pro-Serb Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic went to Podgorica to welcome the Serbian patriarch.While Krivokapic branded the protests as “an attempted terrorist act,” Djukanovic said the protesters in Cetinje were guarding national interests against the alleged bid by the much larger Serbia to impose its influence in Montenegro through the church.Djukanovic accused the current Montenegrin government of “ruthlessly serving imperial interests of (Serbia) and the Serbian Orthodox Church, which is a striking fist of Serbian nationalism, all against Montenegro.”Montenegro’s previous authorities led the country to independence from Serbia and defied Russia to join NATO in 2017. Montenegro also is seeking to become a European Union member.In Serbia, President Aleksandar Vucic, who has been accused by the opposition in Montenegro of meddling in its internal affairs in conjunction with Russia, congratulated Joanikije on his inauguration and praised the government for going ahead with the ceremony despite the clashes.”Cetinje is a town where some 90% of the people are against the Serbian Orthodox Church, where there is hate towards everyone who is not Montenegrin,” Vucic said in Belgrade. “This is not a real hate, it’s hate that is induced by certain politicians in Montenegro, so it was quite logical to expect what happened there.”The U.S. government urged all sides “to urgently de-escalate the situation.”  “Religious freedom and the freedom of expression, including to peacefully assemble, must be respected,” the U.S. embassy said.Joanikije’s predecessor as church leader in Montenegro, Amfilohije, died in October after contracting COVID-19.

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«Захист слабких – справа сильних!» – українці в Києві й Антарктиді провели марші за права тварин

Окрім Києва, такі ж марші відбулися у Харкові, Миколаєві, Херсоні, Рівному і ще більш ніж у 20 інших українських містах

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Затримання в Криму: адвокат заявляє про катування Джеляла, в МЗС повідомляють подробиці

«Причетних» чомусь знайшли саме після повернення Нарімана Джеляла з Києва, де він брав участь в інавгураційному саміті «Кримської платформи» – Джеппар

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США нагадали Росії про необхідність виконати свої «мінські» зобов’язання щодо Донбасу

5 вересня 2014 року в Мінську була підписана перша з трьох мінських домовленостей, відома як Мінський протокол

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Protests as Montenegro’s New Orthodox Head Inaugurated 

The new head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro was inaugurated on Sunday, arriving by helicopter under the protection of police who dispersed protesters with tear gas. The decision to anoint Bishop Joanikije as the new Metropolitan of Montenegro at the historic monastery of Cetinje has aggravated ethnic tension in the tiny Balkan state. Protesters had blocked roads since Saturday in a bid to prevent access to the small town, both the headquarters of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) and a symbol of sovereignty for some Montenegrins. Montenegro broke away from Serbia in 2006, but a third of its 620,000 inhabitants identify as Serbs and some deny Montenegro should be a separate entity. The SPC is the dominant religion in the small state but its opponents accuse it of serving Belgrade’s interests. And the government that assumed power at the end of 2020 is accused by its opponents of being too close to the church. According to images released by the SPC, Joanikije and Patriarch Porfirije were dropped off by helicopter on the monastery’s lawn and rushed in under the sound of bells. ‘Defending our dignit’ 
A security perimeter had been set up by police around the 15th century building to protect the brief enthronement ceremony. Police fired tear gas and sound bombs to clear the protesters from the monastery. On Saturday, thousands of protesters used cars or piled up rocks to block roads, with many spending the night huddled around fires set to keep warm, an AFP correspondent said. “I am here to show my love for the country,” said one protester, Saska Brajovic, 50. “We are not asking for anything from anyone else, but we are dismissed by the occupying Serbian Church. We are here defending our dignity.” The protesters are backed by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of President Milo Djukanovic. Serbian Orthodox Church’s patriarch Porfirije (R) and bishop Joanikije walk through the crowd in front of the Orthodox cathedral in Podgorica, Sept. 4, 2021, to celebrate and show support for enthronement of new bishop of Serbian Orthodox Church.The president accused neighboring Serbia and the SPC of “dismissing Montenegro and Montenegrins, as well as the integrity” of his country. Djukanovic had been eager to curb the SPC’s clout in Montenegro and build up an independent Orthodox church. ‘Benefits and privileges’  
But in August 2020 elections the DPS lost — for the first time in three decades — to an opposition bloc led by SPC allies. Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic, who is close to the Serbian Orthodox Church, has accused Djukanovic of having deliberately stoked the recent tensions for political purposes. Krivokapic called on Montenegrins “not to give in to the manipulation” of those willing to risk conflict “in order to keep their benefits and privileges.”The monastery, where Montenegrin leaders sat for centuries until the end of World War I, is considered by SPC opponents the property of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, which remains a small minority and is not recognized by the Orthodox world. Metropolitan Joanikije was named to his new post in May, after the death of his predecessor Metropolitan Amfilohije from COVID-19. The protesters abandoned the blockades as the enthronement ceremony began. 

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Boosted by Surge in Polls, Germany’s Scholz Bets on Coalition with the Greens

Germany’s center-left chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz wants to lead Europe’s largest economy in a coalition government with the left-leaning Greens, though polls suggest he will need support of a third party to reach a stable majority in parliament.Scholz and his Social Democrats (SPD) have opened up a five-point lead over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives ahead of a Sept. 26 national election that promises multiple coalition options and unusually complicated negotiations.”I would like to govern together with the Greens,” Scholz told Tagesspiegel newspaper on Sunday, adding that the policy proposals of both parties had a lot of overlaps.The SPD and the Greens both want to hike the national minimum wage to 12 euros per hour from 9.60 euros, increase taxes for the super rich and accelerate the shift towards renewable energy to meet climate goals. Both also favor closer European integration.With Merkel planning to stand down after the election, the slide of her conservative bloc under their top candidate Armin Laschet marks a remarkable fall after 16 years in office and four straight national election victories. In an effort to reboot his flagging campaign, Laschet on Friday presented a diverse “team of the future” and attacked Scholz for not ruling out a coalition with the far-left Linke party. Conservatives say such a red-green-red coalition would mean a big lurch away from Germany’s centrist mainstream. Scholz dismissed the accusations and distanced himself from the Linke which he called not fit for government as long as the party did not clearly commit itself to the NATO military alliance, the transatlantic partnership with the United States and solid public finances.”These requirements are non-negotiable,” Scholz said.The latest Insa poll for Bild am Sonntag put Scholz’ SPD at 25% and Laschet’s CDU/CSU bloc at 20%. The Greens stood at 16, the business-friendly FDP at 13%, the far-right AfD at 12% and the Linke at 7%.This means that Scholz’s favored coalition with the Greens would not get enough votes and need support of the CDU/CSU, the FDP or the Linke. All parties are ruling out a coalition with the far-right AfD. 

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White House Again Pledges to Get Americans Out of Afghanistan  

A top White House official pledged Sunday that the United States would find a way to get the remaining Americans out of Afghanistan if they want to leave, but a key Republican foreign affairs lawmaker said Taliban insurgents are blocking easy passage out of the Kabul airport. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told CNN’s “State of the Union” show that U.S. officials believe “around 100” Americans remain in Afghanistan nearly a week since the U.S. military pulled its last troops out of the country after a nearly two-decade war against al-Qaida terrorists and the Taliban. FILE – White House chief of staff Ron Klain attends a weekly economic briefing in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, April 9, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)“We’re going to find ways to get them out if they want to leave,” Klain said, likely through the resumption of flights to Qatar. In addition, he said the U.S. would continue to try to help Afghans who assisted U.S. troops over the years to escape the country and life under Taliban rule. FILE – Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, center, speaks on the close of the war in Afghanistan, at the Capitol in Washington, Aug. 31, 2021.But a key opposition lawmaker, Congressman Michael McCaul, the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the “Fox News Sunday” show that based on U.S. intelligence briefings he believes “hundreds of Americans” were left behind as the last U.S. military flights left Kabul last Monday. He said no U.S. citizens have gotten out of Afghanistan since then. “The Taliban have been making demands, not clearing airplanes to leave,” McCaul said. He said the Taliban “want something in exchange,” full U.S. recognition of its control of the Afghan government.   “This is not a new and improved Taliban,” McCaul said, compared to the group’s conduct in 2001 when the U.S. overthrew it in an invasion targeting al-Qaida terrorists harbored by the Taliban as they planned the September 11 attacks on the U.S. that killed nearly 3,000 people. He said that some Afghan interpreters who assisted U.S. troops over the years and are looking to leave their homeland have been turned back from the Kabul airport and forced to return to their homes to watch as their family members have been executed, including some beheaded, before the interpreters themselves are killed. He did not say how many had been killed by the Taliban. “I’ve said all along [President Joe Biden] has blood on his hands,” McCaul said. After the U.S. pulled its last troops out of Afghanistan last week, Biden forcefully defended his withdrawal in getting 98% of Americans out of the country as an “extraordinary success.” FILE – Hundreds of people gather, some holding documents, on Aug. 26, 2021, near an evacuation control checkpoint on the perimeter of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan.Biden often has said he would not continue the American presence in Afghanistan as a “forever war.” National polls in the U.S. show that Americans support Biden’s decision to leave the country but not the chaotic end to operations there. In the waning days of the U.S. presence, 13 U.S. troops were killed in a suicide bomb attack at the airport that Islamic State Khorasan, an Afghan offshoot of the terrorist group, claimed. 

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Чубаров про затримання кримських татар: «показові помста і розправа»

За його словами, ці обшуки і затримання «російські окупанти вирішили закамуфлювати під диверсію, нібито здійснену групою кримських татар»