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Posted by Ukrap on

Влада розповіла про евакуйованих до Запоріжжя маріупольців

20 березня спрацювали чотири гуманітарних коридори із семи, всього евакуювали за сьогодні 7295 людей – Ірина Верещук

Posted by Ukrap on

За день гуманітарними коридорами вдалося евакуювати понад 7 тисяч людей – Верещук

Ірина Верещук зазначила, що із оголошених семи коридорів спрацювало чотири

Posted by Ukrap on

У МЗС порівняли вивезення російською армією людей з Маріуполя з діями нацистів у часи Другої світової війни

Речник МЗС України Олег Ніколенко прокоментував вивезення російськими військовими мешканців Маріуполя

Posted by Worldkrap on

Across Europe, Ukrainian Exiles Pray for Peace Back Home

Alona Fartukhova has been coming to Berlin’s Ukrainian Orthodox Christian community every day since she arrived in Germany five days ago from war-torn Kyiv. The 20-year-old refugee has been attending daily prayers for peace and helped organize donations for her compatriots back home.

On Sunday, Fartukhova joined dozens of other Ukrainian worshippers at a red brick stone church in the German capital who sang together, lit candles, and received blessings from the head of the community, Father Oleh Polianko. Later they put medical crutches, sleeping bags, diapers, big boxes of gummi bears and countless jars of pickles — which were piling up everywhere inside the church — into big cardboard boxes to be sent to Ukraine.

“It’s some help for our army, and it is … a lot of things for children” said the university student, who fled by herself and is now living at a hotel in Berlin, as she stacked boxes onto the church pews. “It is so good that a lot of people support us, we really appreciate it.”

Across Europe, Ukrainians gathered for church services Sunday to pray for peace in their war-torn country. Newly arrived refugees mingled with longtime members of Europe’s 1.5 million-strong Ukrainian diaspora at houses of worship all over the continent from Germany to Romania to Moldova.

Since Russia attacked Ukraine more than three weeks ago, over 3.38 million people have fled the country, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Altogether, 10 million people have fled their homes — more than 6 million of them have been displaced internally, the UNHCR said Sunday.

Most have escaped to neighboring Poland, Romania or Moldova, but as the war continues many are moving farther west.

Germany has registered more than 200,000 Ukrainian refugees but the real numbers are expected to be much higher as Ukrainians don’t need a visa to come to Germany, and federal police only register refugees entering Germany by train or bus. Ukrainians coming to Germany from Poland by car are normally not registered.

Members of Germany’s Ukrainian immigrant community, which counts around 300,000 people, have not only been raising money and collecting donations, but also driven the goods to the border and beyond and on their way back to Germany have taken along refugees. Families already living in Germany have squeezed together to accommodate refugees and are helping them find jobs and get their kids into schools.

The diaspora Ukrainians’ religious communities — mostly Christian Orthodox, but also some Catholic and Jewish communities — have been leading refugee initiatives and have also become an anchor for those worrying about their families back in the war.

Polianko, who heads the 500-member-strong Orthodox Christian community in Berlin, held some one-on-one prayers on Sunday with worshippers who were especially distressed. He then gave blessings “for the souls of our soldiers who are fighting in Ukraine, and also for the souls of our soldiers who have died in Ukraine.”

Because the Berlin community has been so overwhelmed by donations, they temporarily moved from their small church building in the city’s Hermsdorf neighborhood to the bigger church of the Lutheran Philippus Nathanael community in Berlin-Friedenau. Here, they have plenty of space to organize donation drives and a wide driveway for trucks picking up the boxes, says Andriy Ilin, the deputy head of the community.

The Lutherans are currently holding their own services in a nearby community center.

“Initially, they offered us the church for March, now they’ve extended it to April, and they kindly let us know that if we need it beyond that, they will allow that too.” Ilin said.Elsewhere in Europe, local worshippers also opened their churches to welcome Ukrainians.

In Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, locals and refugees alike assembled for an Orthodox prayer service on Sunday.

Angelica Gretsai, a refugee from the northern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, lit candles just before the religious service in Russian began at a small Sfintul Gheorghe church.

“(I pray) for peace of course, for peace in Ukraine, for these two peoples (Russians and Ukrainians ) to make up, for this war to be no more,” Gretsai said adding that she was yearning to go back home and be with friends and family.

“I’m basically alone here, it’s the first time I came to Moldova,” she said, adding that she was staying with some distant relatives she had never met before. Moldova has welcomed more than 360,000 refugees since Russia invaded Ukraine.

In Suceava, Romania, south of the Ukrainian border, locals and new arrivals from Ukraine held a service together at St. John’s church. Romania has welcomed more than half a million refugees from Ukraine since the beginning of the war and several of them found their way to the church service.

Ariadna Belciug, a local resident at the service, said she was praying “especially for the children, because no one deserves to go through these times.”

“I pray for them to be all right, to be safe and for better days for them to come,” Belciug added.

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Moscow TV War Protester Urges Other Russians to Speak Up

The Russian editor who protested Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine during a state TV news broadcast called Sunday for other Russians to speak out against the “gruesome war.”

While working for Channel One television in Moscow, Marina Ovsyannikova barged onto the set of an evening newscast Monday, holding a poster reading “No War.”

She was subsequently detained, fined 30,000 rubles ($280), and then freed pending possible further prosecution, but has turned down a French offer of asylum.

On Sunday she described to US media her decision to protest as “spontaneous,” but said a sense of deep dissatisfaction with her government had been building for years — a feeling she said many of her colleagues shared.

“The propaganda on our state channels was becoming more and more distorted, and the pressure that has been applied in Russian politics could not leave us indifferent,” she told ABC News program “This Week.”

“When I spoke to my friends and colleagues, everyone until the last moment could not believe that such a thing could happen — that this gruesome war could take place,” she said from Moscow, speaking through an interpreter.

“As soon as the war began, I could not sleep, I could not eat. I came to work, and after a week of coverage of this situation, the atmosphere on [Channel One] was so unpleasant that I realized I could not go back there.”

Ovsyannikova said she considered joining a protest in a public square, but saw that protesters were being arrested and faced jail time.

“I decided that maybe I could do something else, something more meaningful… and I could show to the rest of the world that Russians are against the war, and I could show to the Russian people that this is just propaganda.”

She said she hoped to “maybe stimulate some people to speak up against the war.”

The sign she held up behind a news reader said: “Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. They are lying to you here.”

Ovsyannikova, who has resigned her job, told France 24 television on Thursday that her protest had “broken the life of our family,” with her young son particularly anxious.

“But we need to put an end to this fratricidal war.”

Posted by Ukrap on

Кличко показав наслідки падіння снаряда в Києві 20 березня

Українська влада неодноразово заявляла, що Київ для російських військ є однією з найбільших мішеней

Posted by Ukrap on

Німеччина підписала енергетичну угоду з Катаром на тлі прагнень зменшити залежність від російських поставок

«Хоча нам ще може знадобитися російський газ цього року, в майбутньому цього більше не буде. І це лише початок», – заявив міністр економіки Німеччини

Posted by Ukrap on

МОЗ: в Україні від початку війни провели 5 трансплантацій

Операції провели лікарі Першого територіального медичного об’єднання Львова

Posted by Worldkrap on

Amid Western Sanctions, India Explores Rupee-Ruble Mechanism for Trade with Russia  

India is considering establishing a payment mechanism in local currencies to allow it to continue trade with Russia, which has been hit with Western sanctions in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

New Delhi is proceeding with purchases of Russian crude at discounted prices despite pressure from the United States.

The state-run Indian Oil Corp. has concluded a deal to buy 3 million barrels of Russian crude, according to local media reports.

Although it has not officially confirmed the deal, India has defended the country’s decision to look at purchasing Russian oil.

“A number of countries are importing energy from Russia, especially in Europe,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters earlier this week. He said India, which imports most of its oil, is “always exploring all possibilities in global energy markets.”

While the United States has banned Russian oil imports, several European countries, such as Germany, which are dependent on Russian imports of energy, continue to buy it. India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, imports only about 3% of its crude from Russia, but cheap Russian oil could help cushion its economy from spiraling international crude prices.

India will study the impact of Western sanctions against Russia while devising a payment mechanism to settle its trade with Moscow officials say.

“We will await details to examine the impact on our economic exchanges with Russia,” according to Bagchi.

As sanctions limit Russia’s ability to do business in major currencies such as the dollar or the euro, an Indian business body has asked the government to set up a rupee-ruble mechanism to facilitate trade.

“We have proposed that local currency trading may be explored in the given situation. It is one of the plausible options that are on the table,” according to Ajay Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations. Indian exporters say payments of about $500 million are stuck because Russian buyers cannot pay in foreign exchange.

Work was ongoing to set up a rupee-ruble trade mechanism to be used to pay for oil and other goods, an Indian official, who refused to be identified, has told Reuters.

The trade in local currencies could take place between Russian banks and companies with accounts in Indian state-run banks.

This is not the first time that such a mechanism is being considered — India and the former Soviet Union had a rupee-ruble exchange plan in place during the Cold War to bypass the U.S. dollar.

India has also used a similar program with Iran, under Western sanctions for its nuclear weapons program.

New Delhi has taken a neutral stance on the Russian invasion, calling for a cease-fire and diplomacy to resolve the crisis, but abstaining from condemning Moscow, with which it has longstanding ties.

It has been under pressure from Washington, which has been urging India to the U.S. and other countries’ tough stand on the invasion.

When asked if the U.S. plans to reach out to India for curbs on oil purchases from Russia, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that Washington has been in touch with Indian leaders but added that countries have different “economic reasoning,” including some in Europe.

“But what we would project or convey to any leader around the world is that the world — the rest of the world is watching where you’re going to stand as it relates to this conflict, whether its support for Russia in any form as they are illegally invading Ukraine,” she told reporters.

New Delhi however has shown no indication that it will weaken trade or strategic ties to Russia — Moscow supplies India with more than 70% of its weapons, which are critical for New Delhi as it faces Chinese troops all along its Himalayan border. During a visit three months ago by Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi, both countries pledged to increase trade in the defense and energy sectors.

Analysts in New Delhi are optimistic that differences over Russia will not harm ties with Washington, which have grown in recent years as both India and the United States look at how to contain a more assertive China.

“It is not as if U.S. and India are on the same page on every issue,” said Sreeram Chaulia, dean of the Jindal School of International Affairs at O.P. Jindal University. Pointing out that India’s focus is primarily Asia and Indo-Pacific region, he said, “We are really fearful of what China could do along our borders and that remains our primary concern. And New Delhi feels that whether or not we take a joint position on Ukraine with the U.S., the Europeans and others, they will still partner with us to counterbalance China.”

That is why India believes that it can navigate its partnerships with both Russia and the United States for the time being, analysts such as Chaulia say.

However, if the war in Ukraine does not wind down and the crisis drags on, he said “then we will have to readjust our position.”

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Climate-Driven Water Woes Spark Colorado Rush to Conserve

In a rooftop greenhouse near downtown Denver, cash crops are thriving on hydroponic life support. Arugula. Chard. Escarole. Cabbage.

“And basil,” said Altius Farms CEO Sally Herbert, plucking a bright leaf. “Which you really should taste. Because it’s magnificent.”

The vertical farm is one of many Colorado models for coping with increasing water scarcity in the Western United States, as climate change makes droughts more frequent and more severe.

Other projects have Coloradans testing water recycling and building barriers against the wildfire runoff that can taint supplies.

Colorado is hardly alone. A major U.N. climate report published recently notes that half of the world’s population is seeing severe water scarcity for at least some part of the year. In the U.S. West, drought and earlier runoff from an increasingly diminished snowpack will make water scarcer during the summer, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said.

While Colorado so far has met the water needs of its 6 million residents, it could face a roughly 30% shortfall by 2050 as the population grows while climate impacts escalate, according to one likely scenario experts prepared for the state’s official Water Plan.

Already, the region’s worst drought in more than a century has left water levels starkly low in the Lake Mead reservoir supplying Colorado River water to neighboring states.

“It’s mind-blowing,” Herbert said.

Farming upward

No one fix will ensure future water quality, quantity and affordability. Approaches such as water recycling have faced regulatory gaps and public resistance.

Vertical farming, meanwhile, won’t work at the scale needed for staple crops like corn or wheat. And while Altius uses mostly natural light to grow 11,300 kilograms of produce each year on its 7,000-square-foot rooftop, others rely on lamps and electricity. That can make the produce pricier.

Still, vertical farms use 95% less water than traditional farming. Other benefits can include reduced transportation costs, with produce grown closer to where consumers live. And foods that can be grown indoors can be a boon outside of temperate regions, said Michael Dent, an agriculture and food technology analyst at the IDTechEx market research group.

Such benefits are luring investment: Georgia-based multinational Kalera is now repurposing a warehouse near Denver’s airport, close to highways and supermarket distribution centers. The company, founded in 2010, grows produce in the Middle East, Asia and Europe, with plans to expand further.

Retail giant Walmart in January joined a $400 million funding round by the San Francisco vertical startup Plenty, a deal still subject to regulatory approval.

And last year, New York-based vertical startup Bowery Farming raised $300 million in a funding round.

It can be tough to assess a vertical farm’s overall environmental footprint. A farm run on wind power will have fewer polluting carbon emissions than one run on fossil fuels, for example.

Kalera Chief Commercial Officer Henner Schwarz said there’s “frankly speaking, a lot of smoke and mirrors. Everybody has the ‘most sustainable technology’ and lots of blah, blah.”

“But when it comes to water savings, I’m actually very confident in saying that we use only 3% of the water traditional agriculture would use,” Schwarz said.

‘Liquid gold’

At a home construction site, a plumbing crew huddled around a black, refrigerator-size piece of technology.

Once hooked up, the system would siphon off and filter shower and bath water, removing skin cells, soap and hair before sending the water back to the toilets for flushing.

“This is the first one that has taken the filtration to this level,” said Todd Moritzky, the plumbing company’s owner.

His crew was working on a house being built by Lennar in Castle Rock, south of Denver. Lennar said using the filtration system, made by the Canadian company Greyter, in earlier builds had cut home water use by up to 25%.

“Water is liquid gold here,” said Eric Feder, Lennar’s Colorado-based director of national efforts to embrace homebuilding innovations. The company would like to make Greyter systems the standard in its homes, he said.

But in Colorado, Castle Rock along with Denver and Pitkin County are the only three communities that allow in-home water recycling.

“Plumbing codes, ordinances, local regulations are just catching up to that technology availability,” said Pat Sinicropi, head of the WateReuse trade association.

Castle Rock gets less than 38 centimeters of precipitation a year. The town, with a population of 70,000, is projected to grow to 100,000 by 2060. It is aiming to reduce its daily water consumption from about 435 liters per person to fewer than 378 liters within a decade.

“We fully intend to achieve it,” said Mark Marlowe, director of Castle Rock Water. The utility now offers home developers fee discounts if they install systems such as Greyter’s.

Safe to drink

Just south of Castle Rock in Colorado Springs, Tzahi Cath has been working with the local utility to demonstrate that recycled wastewater can be used not just to flush toilets, but also for drinking.

The Colorado School of Mines engineering professor and his students in Golden built a portable water treatment laboratory to further process the utility’s partly treated wastewater so that it’s safe for consumption.

The idea isn’t new. Singapore has been treating sewage and recycling the water back into its reservoirs since 2003. San Diego, California, is building sewage recycling infrastructure. And Cath’s desert homeland of Israel is a world leader in desalinating seawater for drinking and treating wastewater for irrigation use.

Cath produced a nearly 2 million liters of potable water from June through December, serving nearly 1,000 people who visited his lab. Most of those taste testers deemed the water good.

“The state needs to start investing and utilities need to start building the infrastructure” to allow utilities to clean and deliver reclaimed wastewater for drinking, Cath said.

State officials are urging residents to conserve water, while they also look to boost funding for infrastructure.

The state needs at least 10 times the $25 million currently allotted in its annual budget for the Department of Natural Resources, which funds water projects, according to the state’s official Water Plan.

Fire taint

Apart from concerns about having enough water, Colorado is facing an increasing threat of wildfires sullying the supplies it does have.

Last summer, Fort Collins had to let some Cache la Poudre River water flow away after it was contaminated with ash and debris from a forest fire the year before.

Wildfires wipe out vegetation that would normally soak up some rainwater, leading to erosion and contaminated runoff for years. A study published in this month’s journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences warned of an increase in hazards such as flooding and landslides in burned areas of the U.S. West.

Fort Collins also has a water reservoir, so losing some from the Poudre supply wasn’t an immediate crisis.

Workers have been building permanent structures, at a cost of some $300,000, to block fire debris from getting into the water treatment plant, said Mark Kempton, Fort Collins Utilities’ interim deputy director for Water Resources & Treatment.

It is expected to take years to clear debris from a massive 2020 fire, and wildfires are growing more frequent and destructive amid climate change.

In the future, Kempton said, we could see “fire response becoming part of regular water rate increases.” 

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How Native American Tribal Papers Are Forging a Path to Press Freedom

“John,” the editor of a small Native American tribal newspaper, asked that VOA protect his identity. His paper, like an estimated 72% of media outlets in Indian Country, is owned and funded by the tribal government. And because the government controls the purse strings, leaders say they have the right to control what gets printed.

“That’s why my paper is kind of tame,” he said.

He writes about community events, school sports, births and deaths, national news that affects the tribe, but said he never reports on tribal affairs —unless, that is, it is something that makes the leadership look good.

“I wrote something [negative] a few years back and almost lost my paper,” he said. Had the tribal government cut funds as they’d threatened, he would have had to shut down operations.

Native media today

Because they have long been overlooked by mainstream media, citizens of the 574 federally recognized Native American tribes in the U.S. have always relied on their tribes for news and information that affect their daily lives.

The 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) made it illegal for tribal governments “to make or enforce any law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Many tribes have laws protecting First Amendment rights, but enforcement may be lax, and because tribes are sovereign, federal courts don’t have jurisdiction over civil rights violations.

In a 1998 article, “Protecting the First Amendment in Indian Country,” the late Yakama journalist Richard LaCourse described a number “interfering actions” tribal governments may take to stifle press freedom: hiring unqualified reporters on the basis of blood relation or political unity; firing staff; cutting funds; censoring stories before publication; blocking access to tribal government records and proceedings.

In 2018, the Native American Journalists Association, or NAJA, launched its Red Press Initiative, reaching out to members and asking them about the state of press freedom in their communities.

Only 65 media directors and producers responded, along with nearly 400 consumers. While not an exhaustive survey, it demonstrates that press freedom in Indian Country is inconsistent.

About half of the respondents said they faced censorship; a third said they were “sometimes or always” required to get tribal leadership’s approval before publishing stories; nearly a quarter said tribal government records and financial information were “probably” not open to journalists; and nearly half said they had faced intimidation or harassment by tribal officials or community members.

Today, NAJA says that a handful of tribal newspapers have managed to overcome these challenges and can serve as models for other tribes.

Rocky road to independence

The Navajo Times, based in Window Rock, Arizona, is one of a handful of Native newspapers to have achieved full editorial independence, but it was decades in coming.

The paper began as a monthly newsletter in late 1959 to keep off-reservation boarding school students up to date on happenings back home. Over the next two decades, editors came and went, and relations with the tribal government were uneven.

In 1982, Peterson Zah was elected Navajo chief, replacing Peter MacDonald, who had held a stranglehold on the office since 1971. MacDonald was, according to one Navajo Times reporter, a man who didn’t like to “work openly and honestly with the press.”

But Zah felt differently and pledged to restore honesty and accountability to the tribal government, along with press freedom, which he said was “absolutely necessary in a true democracy.”

Zah lived up to his promises, supporting the paper even when it was critical of his policies.

“We were completely independent, if not downright ornery,” former editor Mark Trahant would later tell the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

But Zah lasted only one term. MacDonald was reelected chairman in 1986 and shortly afterward closed down the Times—which had publicly endorsed his opponent—firing most of its staff. It relaunched four months later as a weekly paper.

Turning point

In 1989, a Senate Indian Affairs committee investigating corruption in Indian Country heard testimony that MacDonald was siphoning tribal money to fund his expensive lifestyle.

“It was a time of great turmoil and political divisiveness,” said Navajo Times CEO and publisher Tom Arviso, Jr., who had come to the paper as a sports writer in 1983 and by 1989 had been promoted to editor. “We just tried to tell the story of what was going on with the leadership and let readers decide for themselves.”

The Navajo Times covered it all, said Arviso, provoking anger among MacDonald’s supporters.

“People threatened me and some of the reporters with physical harm,” Arviso said. “A group of them actually marched to our office, telling me to come out and face them.”

On July 20, 1989, MacDonald announced he was taking back power. With his encouragement, several hundred of his supporters, armed with baseball bats and wooden clubs, stormed tribal offices in Window Rock. In the riot that followed, two people died and 11 were injured, including several police officers.

MacDonald was subsequently convicted on federal fraud, racketeering and conspiracy charges including inciting the riot. He was sent to prison.

Cutting purse strings

In 2000, Arviso was selected for a John S. Knight Fellowship in Journalism at Stanford University, where he studied newspaper publishing and business management.

“And that’s how we came up with the plan to incorporate the Navajo Times, break away from the government and organize [it] as a for-profit corporation,” he said. “The bylaws state that the actual owners of the newspaper are the Navajo people themselves.”

The tribal council approved the plan in October 2003, and on January 1, 2004, the Times began operating officially as a publishing company.

“The tribe has asked that we make a return on the investment that the government has made,” he said. “But we don’t just write a check and say, ‘Here’s $50,000.’ We give it back in services to our people.”

Today, the Times serves 23,000 paying subscribers and generates substantial advertising income. But what about smaller tribes, which could never hope to generate that kind of revenue?


Legislative route

When former newspaper reporter and publisher James Roan Gray was elected chief of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma in 2002, he was determined to shake things up. A century earlier, the U.S. government had passed a law restructuring the tribe’s government and membership qualifications.

“We were stuck in an old tribal council structure that really didn’t give us much self-determination at all,” he said. “The BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] agreed with us.”

Gray envisioned an overhaul of the Osage government, and in 2003 took his case to Washington. H.R.2912, a bill to reaffirm the inherent sovereign rights of the Osage Tribe, passed and was signed as Public Law No: 108-431 in 2004.

“The law allowed us to reorganize our government, determine citizenship and chart a future of our own design,” Gray said.

After extensive consultation with tribe members, the Osage Nation drafted and approved its first constitution in almost a century. It contains language barring tribal government from making or enforcing any laws restricting a free press.

The tribe passed an independent press act, naming the Osage News as its official newspaper.

Gray also issued an executive order tasking the newspaper to report “without bias the activities of the government and the news of interest to foster a more informed Osage citizenry and protect individual Osage citizens’ right to freedom of speech or the press.”

He didn’t get everything he wanted: Gray had hoped that the executive branch would have sole control in naming the three-man editorial board. The tribe’s supreme court, however, ruled that tribal legislators would have equal say in the matter.

“We’ve all learned to live with that structure,” he said.

Since then, the tribe has amended the law to protect journalists from being forced to reveal their sources and prohibit leadership from defunding the newspaper.

Raising trust

Bryan Pollard, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, piloted the 2018 Red Press Initiative during his tenure as NAJA president. He cautions against making assumptions.

“It’s not always because there’s an authoritarian regime that wants to control the message, although that exists in some cases. Sometimes, it’s simply because a tribe doesn’t have the capacity to develop the structures and institutions necessary for press freedom,” Pollard said.

Today, NAJA works with tribes and Native journalists to educate them on methods of achieving press freedom, and the ways in which it benefits both the tribal leaders and citizens.

“Society is better if it is informed,” said Gray. “Press freedom benefits the tribe if the tribal leadership values the trust of the people.”

Some tribal leaders don’t trust their own citizens, he added, so they tell them what they think they want to hear “in hopes that it will get them reelected.”

“And if folks don’t trust the contents of the tribal newspaper, then no matter what you put out, they’re not going to believe you—or at the very least, they’ll be skeptical,” Gray said.

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One Of Europe’s Biggest Steel Works Damaged in Ukraine’s Mariupol

One of Europe’s biggest iron and steel works, Azovstal, has been badly damaged as Russian forces lay siege to the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, officials said Sunday.

“One of the biggest metallurgic plants in #Europe destroyed. The economic losses for #Ukraine are huge. The environment is devastated,” tweeted Ukrainian lawmaker Lesia Vasylenko.

Vasylenko posted a video of explosions on an industrial site, with thick columns of grey and black smoke rising from the buildings. 

One of her colleagues, Serhiy Taruta, wrote on Facebook that Russian forces “had practically destroyed the factory.”

“We will return to the city, rebuild the enterprise and revive it,” Azovstal’s director general, Enver Tskitishvili, wrote on messaging app Telegram, without specifying the extent of the damage.

He said that when the invasion began on Feb. 24, the factory had taken measures to reduce the environmental damage in the event of being hit.

“Coke oven batteries no longer pose a danger to the lives of residents,” he wrote. “We have also stopped the blast furnaces correctly.”

Azovstal is part of the Metinvest group, which is controlled by Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov.

Considered pro-Moscow before the war began, Akhmetov has since accused Russian troops of committing “crimes against humanity against Ukrainians.”

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Посол РФ в Боснії і Герцеговині Ігор Калабухов пригрозив європейським країнам «планами проти НАТО»

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У Києві відновлюють роботу ринки та ярмарки – КМДА

У столиці працюють продовольчі та зоомагазини, аптеки, банки, заправки, автосервіси

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Зеленський «розколов суспільство» – голова Держдуми Росії про зупинення діяльності ОПЗЖ та ще 10 партій

Раніше цього тижня кілька впливових депутатів українського парламенту заявили про вихід із фракції «Опозиційної платформи – За життя»

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Microsoft Faces Anti-Competition Complaint in Europe

Three companies have lodged a complaint with the European Commission against Microsoft, accusing the U.S. technology giant of anti-competitive practices in its cloud services, sources told AFP on Saturday, confirming media reports.

Microsoft is “undermining fair competition and limiting the choice of consumers” in the computing cloud services market, said one of the three, French company OVHcloud, in a statement to AFP.

The companies complain that under certain clauses in Microsoft’s licensing contracts for Office 365 services, tariffs are higher when the software is not run on Azure cloud infrastructure, which is owned by the U.S. group.

They also say the user experience is worse and that there are incompatibilities with certain other Microsoft products when not running on Azure. 

In a statement to AFP, Microsoft said, “European cloud service providers have built successful business models on Microsoft software and services” and had many options on how to use that software.

“We continually evaluate how best to support all of our partners and make Microsoft software available to all customers in all environments, including those with other cloud service providers,” it continued.

The complaint, first reported this week by The Wall Street Journal, was lodged last summer with the EU Commission’s competition authority.

Microsoft is also the subject of an earlier 2021 complaint to the European Commission by a different set of companies led by the German Nextcloud.

It denounced the “ever-stronger integration” of Microsoft’s cloud services, which it said complicated the development of competing offers.

Microsoft has already been heavily fined multiple times by Brussels for anti-competitive practices regarding its Internet Explorer browser, Windows operating system and software licensing rules. 

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Британський прем’єр застеріг від спроб нормалізувати відносини з Путіним

«Намагатися після цього нормалізувати відносини з Путіним, як ми зробили в 2014 році, означало б знову зробити ту саму помилку, і саме тому Путін повинен зазнати невдачі»

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Військовий літак США розбився в Норвегії, четверо військових загинули

Рятувальні вертольоти не змогли приземлитися в районі катастрофи через погані погодні умови

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У Генштабі ЗСУ підбили підсумки 24-го дня війни РФ проти України

«Угруповання українських сил оборони продовжує оборонну операцію на Східному, Південно-Східному та Північно-Східному напрямках»

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Russian Cosmonauts: Suits Not Inspired by Ukrainian Flag

When three Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station wearing yellow flight suits with blue accents, some saw a message in them wearing the colors of the Ukrainian flag. They shot that down on Saturday.

Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev said each crew picks the color of the flight suits about six months before launch because they need to be individually sewn. And since all three of them were graduates of Bauman Moscow State Technical University, they chose the colors of their prestigious alma mater.

“There is no need to look for any hidden signs or symbols in our uniform,” Artemyev said in a statement on the Russian space agency’s Telegram channel. “A color is simply a color. It is not in any way connected to Ukraine. Otherwise, we would have to recognize its rights to the yellow sun in the blue sky.

“These days, even though we are in space, we are together with our president and our people!”

Since Russia invaded Ukraine a little over three weeks ago, many people have used the Ukrainian flag and its colors to show solidarity with the country.

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the space agency Roscosmos, reiterated Artemyev’s point in a tweet, posting a picture of the university’s blue and gold coat of arms.

Shortly after their arrival at the orbiting station on Friday, Artemyev was asked about the flight suits. He said there was a lot of the yellow material in storage and “that’s why we had to wear yellow.”