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Biden Supreme Court Nominee Advances to Full Senate Vote Later This Week

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson advanced one step closer to serving on the U.S. Supreme Court with a key U.S. Senate committee Monday advancing her nomination for a full floor vote later this week. 

U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve on the highest court in the country is expected to pass the narrowly-Democratic-controlled Senate, making her the first African American female Supreme Court justice in U.S. history. 

Senate Democrats praised Jackson’s breadth of experience ahead of the vote on her nomination, calling her one of the most qualified nominees in the history of the Supreme Court. 

“Justice Jackson will bring to the Supreme Court, the highest level of skill, integrity, civility and grace,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin said Monday. “She has impeccable qualifications. We don’t agree on much in the Senate but not one senator on this committee has questioned that she is well qualified.” 

The 51-year-old Jackson served as a judge for almost a decade and has experience clerking at every level of the federal system, including in the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Stephen Breyer, whom she is nominated to replace. Jackson would be the first justice to have experience as a federal public defender. 

“These critical experiences bring a missing perspective to the court,” Durbin noted. “It is truly unfortunate that some are trying to use them as reasons to vote against her. These baseless attacks are belied by the broad support for Judge Jackson’s nomination from across the political spectrum. Law enforcement, former federal prosecutors, Republican-appointed judges, and even more have vouched for her intellect, her intelligence, her ability to build consensus and her evenhandedness.” 

Jackson garnered no Republican votes in an 11-11 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. But Democrats were still able to advance her vote to the floor using Senate procedures. 

There was widespread Republican criticism of Jackson for her past sentencing of child pornographers. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who has previously voted for Biden judicial nominees, said Monday, “I’m inclined to vote for judges of the other side, but this choice of Judge Jackson was really embraced by the most radical people in the Democratic movement to the exclusion of everybody else.” 

Other Senate Republicans have argued Jackson did not adequately define her judicial philosophy. 

Senator Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the committee, said Monday, “She and I have fundamental, different views on the role of judges and the role that they should play in our system of government. Because of those disagreements, I can’t support her nomination.” 

The Senate is expected to begin debate and to hold a final vote on her nomination before leaving for the Easter holiday recess later this week. 


Posted by Ukrap on

Зеленський затвердив склад делегації для переговорів із Росією про «гарантії безпеки України»

Делегація з 10 людей має вести переговори з Росією щодо «підготовки та узгодження проекту договору про гарантії безпеки України»

Posted by Ukrap on

Президент Німеччини вперше визнав помилкою свою політику щодо Росії – медіа

«Моя відданість газопроводу «Північний потік-2» була явною помилкою. Ми трималися за мости, в які Росія більше не вірила», визнав Штайнмаєр

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Arrest Made in Connection With US Mass Shooting

Police in Sacramento, California, announced an arrest Monday connected with the shooting that killed six people and wounded a dozen others in the heart of California’s capital city as at least two shooters fired more than 100 rounds and people ran for their lives. 

Police said they booked Dandre Martin, 26, as a “related suspect” on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and being a convict carrying a loaded gun. Detectives and SWAT team members found one handgun during searches of three homes in the area. 

The arrest came as the six victims killed were identified in the shooting that occurred Sunday at about 2 a.m. as bars were closing and patrons filled the streets near the state Capitol. 

The Sacramento County coroner identified the three women killed as Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; and Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21. The three men killed were Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; and Devazia Turner, 29. 

The burst of rapid-fire gunshots sent people running in terror in the neighborhood just a few blocks from Golden One Arena, where the NBA’s Sacramento Kings held a moment of silence for the victims before their game Sunday night. 

Detectives were trying to determine if a stolen handgun found at the crime scene was connected to the shooting, Police Chief Kathy Lester said. She pleaded with the public to share videos and other evidence that could lead to the killers. 

“The scale of violence that just happened in our city is unprecedented during my 27 years here,” Lester told reporters during a news conference at police headquarters. “We are shocked and heartbroken by this tragedy.” 

Martin was held without bail and was scheduled to appear in Sacramento Superior Court on Tuesday, according to jail records. His criminal record was not disclosed but records showed he was also wanted on a misdemeanor warrant by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in Southern California. 

It was not immediately clear whether Martin had an attorney who could speak on his behalf. 

Of the 12 wounded, at least four suffered critical injuries, the Sacramento Fire Department said. At least seven of the victims had been released from hospitals by Monday. 

At the scene where the chaos erupted, streets were reopened Monday and police tape had been removed. 

On sidewalks where video had shown victims writhing in pain, memorials began to grow with candles, balloons, flowers and stuffed animals paying tribute to the lives lost. One balloon had a message on it saying in part: “You will forever be in our hearts and thoughts. Nothing will ever be the same.” 

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and other city officials decried escalating violence in the city while also urging people to keep coming downtown for events like NBA games and performances of the Broadway musical “Wicked.” 

“We can never accept it as normal and we never will,” Steinberg said of the shooting. “But we also have to live our lives.” 

The gunfire erupted just after a fight broke out on a street lined with an upscale hotel, nightclubs and bars and police said they were investigating whether the altercation was connected to the shooting. Video from witnesses posted on social media showed rapid gunfire for at least 45 seconds as people screamed and ran for cover. 

The gunfire startled sleeping guests at the Citizen Hotel, which included a wedding party and fans of the rapper Tyler the Creator, who performed at a concert hours earlier. 

From her window on the fourth floor of the hotel, 18-year-old Kelsey Schar said she saw a man running while firing a gun. She could see flashes from the weapon in the darkness as people ran for cover. 

Schar’s friend, Madalyn Woodward, said she saw a girl who appeared to have been shot in the arm lying on the ground. Security guards from a nearby nightclub rushed to help the girl with what looked like napkins to try to stanch the bleeding. 

Sunday’s violence was the third time in the U.S. this year that at least six people have been killed in a mass shooting, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. And it was the second mass shooting in Sacramento in the last five weeks. 

President Joe Biden called for action on gun crimes in a statement Sunday. 

“Today, America once again mourns for another community devastated by gun violence,” Biden said. “But we must do more than mourn; we must act.” 

On February 28, a father killed his three daughters, a chaperone and himself in a Sacramento church during a weekly supervised visitation. David Mora, 39, was armed with a homemade semiautomatic rifle-style weapon, even though he was under a restraining order that prohibited him from possessing a firearm. 

The crime scene Sunday sprawled across two city blocks, closing off a large swath of the city’s downtown. Bodies remained on the pavement throughout the day as Lester said investigators worked to process a “really complex and complicated scene” to make sure investigators gathered all the evidence they could to “see the perpetrators of this crime brought to justice.” 

Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, who represents the area, said she’s fielded too many phone calls reporting violence in her district during her 15 months in office. She cried at a news conference as she told reporters that the latest phone call woke her up at 2:30 a.m. Sunday. 

“I’m heartbroken and I’m outraged,” she said. “Our community deserves better than this.” 


Posted by Ukrap on

Кличко попросив киян, які виїхали, утриматися від повернення до міста «принаймні ще тиждень»

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At US Urging, Spain Seizes Russian Oligarch’s Yacht

At the urging of the United States, Spain on Monday seized the yacht of Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg at a shipyard on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

The 78-meter-long boat named Tango is valued at more than $99 million.

It is the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that the U.S. has been involved in seizing property belonging to a Russian oligarch. The move comes under the Justice Department’s new KleptoCapture task force, which is expected to go after more assets held by Russian oligarchs.

“Today marks our task force’s first seizure of an asset belonging to a sanctioned individual with close ties to the Russian regime. It will not be the last,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a press release. “Together, with our international partners, we will do everything possible to hold accountable any individual whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue its unjust war.”

Vekselberg, who runs the energy and aluminum conglomerate Renova, was already the subject of multiple U.S. sanctions, including over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He has yet to comment on the seizure.

Spain has reportedly seized three other yachts owned by Russian oligarchs.

Some information in this report comes from Reuters.

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Biden Calls for War Crimes Trial Against Putin for Ukraine Atrocities 

U.S. President Joe Biden called Monday for a war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin, condemning him for the atrocities allegedly committed by Russian troops that have been discovered in recent days in Bucha, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

“You may remember I got criticized for calling Putin a war criminal,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “Well, the truth of the matter, you saw what happened in Bucha. This warrants — he is a war criminal. But we have to gather the information.”

“This guy is brutal and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous, and everyone’s seen it,” Biden said, referring to Putin as Biden returned to Washington after a weekend in his home state of Delaware. “Yes, I’m going to continue to add sanctions.”

The bodies of 410 civilians have been removed from Kyiv-area towns that were recently retaken from Russian forces, Ukraine’s prosecutor-general, Iryna Venediktova, said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted Monday that the European Union will send investigators to Ukraine to help her “document war crimes.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited war-devastated Bucha on Monday, telling his people on national television it is now harder to negotiate an end to the war with Russia as the atrocities committed by Moscow’s troops become more apparent.

With evidence of civilians tied together and shot at close range, a mass grave and bodies strewn on the streets of Bucha, Zelenskyy declared, “These are war crimes and will be recognized by the world as genocide.”

Moscow has denied accusations of killing civilians in Bucha, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov characterizing the scenes outside Kyiv as a “stage-managed anti-Russian provocation.”

Zelenskyy, wearing body armor and surrounded by military personnel in his first reported trip outside Kyiv since the Feb. 24 Russian invasion, said, “It’s very difficult to talk when you see what they’ve done here. The longer the Russian Federation drags out the meeting process, the worse it is for them and for this situation and for this war.”

“We know of thousands of people killed and tortured, with severed limbs, raped women and murdered children,” he said.

The scenes of the devastation in Bucha and other Kyiv suburbs since Russian troops pulled out in recent days to concentrate their attacks on Ukrainian cities near the Black Sea and in the contested Donbas region of eastern Ukraine have galvanized condemnation of Moscow.

Western leaders are raising the possibility of further economic sanctions on Russia, including restrictions on energy imports. Europe, however, relies heavily on the purchase of several types of Russian energy, leaving the Western allies at odds as to the extent and timing of any cutback.

Europe gets 40% of its natural gas and 25% of its oil from Russia, with European governments trying to find ways to reduce that reliance without curbing economic growth. Over the weekend, Lithuania announced it cut itself off entirely from gas imports from Russia.

German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who is also the country’s economy minister, said Europe can go “significantly further” in imposing sanctions against Russia. He said Germany, which has faced opposition for taking a longer-term approach to abandoning Russian energy imports, hopes to end Russian coal imports this summer and oil imports by the end of the year.

“We are working every day on creating the conditions for and steps toward an embargo,” Habeck said. “We are on the right track.”

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki assailed the French and German leaders by name for not doing more against Russia, while calling for actions “that will finally break Putin’s war machine.”

“President (Emmanuel) Macron, how many times have you negotiated with Putin? What have you achieved? … Would you negotiate with Hitler, with Stalin, with Pol Pot?” Morawiecki asked. “Chancellor Scholz, Olaf, it is not the voices of German businesses that should be heard aloud in Berlin today. It is the voice of these innocent women and children.”

He said, “The bloody massacres perpetrated by Russian soldiers deserve to be called by name: This is genocide.”

Some information in this report came from Reuters and the Associated Press.


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US Pushes for Russia’s Removal From UN Human Rights Council

The United States said Monday it wants the U.N. General Assembly to remove Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council, citing allegations of war crimes committed in Ukraine.

“Russia’s participation on the Human Rights Council is a farce,” said Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “And it is wrong, which is why we believe it is time the U.N. General Assembly vote to remove them.”

Thomas-Greenfield based her call for Russia’s removal on allegations by Ukraine that Russian troops killed dozens of civilians in the town of Bucha.

Ukraine said it is investigating the killings, and Russia has denied any involvement.

A two-thirds vote by the 193-member assembly is required to remove Russia from the council.

The council, which is based in Geneva, is largely symbolic, but it can authorize investigations into human rights violations.

Russia is in its second year of a three-year stint on the 47-member council.

It has yet to comment on calls for its removal.

Since Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, the General Assembly has passed two resolutions condemning the country’s actions.

Some information in this report comes from Reuters.

Posted by Ukrap on

У Херсоні є проблеми з ліками, пальним і борошном – міськрада

З початку березня Херсон – в облозі, містяни майже щоденно виходять на мітинги з українською символікою

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Байден закликав до суду за воєнні злочини через загибель цивільних у Бучі

Виступаючи біля Білого дому 4 квітня, президент США сказав, що необхідно зібрати більше доказів для використання на суді

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На 3,5 млн гектарів земель неможливо провести посівну через бойові дії – Сольський

Щоб спростити логістику з вивезення урожаю, аграріям рекомендують сіяти насамперед соняшник, ріпак та сою

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Spanish Volunteers Help at Ukraine-Poland Border

Medyka, Poland, is one of the busiest border crossings for people fleeing the war. Everyday refugees stream across the border form Ukraine, and at the same time volunteers are arriving to help. For VOA News, Julia Riera has the story.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk Takes a 9% Stake in Twitter 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken a 9.2% stake in Twitter, purchasing approximately 73.5 million shares, according to a regulatory filing Monday.

Musk’s stake in Twitter is considered a passive investment, which means Musk is a long-term investor that’s looking to minimize his buying and selling of the shares.

Yet in recent weeks Musk has raised questions about free speech on Twitter and if failing to adhere to its basic principles undermines democracy.

He has also pondered starting up a rival social media network and industry analysts are skeptical about whether the mercurial CEO would remain on the sidelines for long.

“We would expect this passive stake as just the start of broader conversations with the Twitter board/management that could ultimately lead to an active stake and a potential more aggressive ownership role of Twitter,” Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities said in a client note early Monday.

Twitter’s stock surged 25% before the opening bell Monday.

Musk told is more than 80 million followers on Twitter that he was ” giving serious thought ” to creating a rival social media platform and has clashed repeatedly with financial regulators about his use of Twitter.

Early last month, Musk asked a federal judge to nullify a subpoena from securities regulators and throw out a 2018 court agreement in which Musk had to have someone pre-approve his posts on Twitter. U.S. securities regulators said they had legal authority to subpoena Tesla and Musk about his tweets, and that Musk’s move to throw out a 2018 court agreement that his tweets be pre-approved is not valid.

Musk’s revelation about his stake in Twitter shares comes two days after Tesla Inc. posted first-quarter delivery numbers. While the company delivered 310,000 vehicles in the period, the figure was slightly below expectations.

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Генштаб ЗСУ: 8 авіаударів по Маріуполю, перегрупування сил РФ та зниження активності на морі 

Триває формування та переміщення додаткових підрозділів РФ для участі у бойових діях проти України, вказує Генштаб

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Російські військові обстріляли церкву на Луганщині, два священники поранені – Гайдай

Під обстріл потрапила церква на честь святителя Луки Кримського у Рубіжному

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Орбан після перемоги на виборах назвав Зеленського одним зі своїх «опонентів»

З часу російського вторгнення в Україну офіційний Будапешт фактично дистанціювався від решти Європи у різкому засудженні і санкційному тиску на Росію через її дії

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Ukrainian Refugees Targeted by Human Traffickers

Four million people have fled Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion, according to U.N. data. The vast majority are women and children – populations that are especially vulnerable to human trafficking. Lesia Bakalets has the story, narrated by Anna Rice. VOA footage by Andrey Degtyarev.

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Generations of Ukrainian Women Flee War, Share Their Stories

Grandmothers, mothers and children account for most of those fleeing Russia’s war on Ukraine. Each refugee has a story as well as hopes for the future. VOA’s Celia Mendoza reports from Medyka, Poland. Julia Riera contributed.

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Три села на підступах до Чернігова звільнені від військ РФ – ОК «Північ»

Чергінів знищений на 70%, заявив напередодні міський голова Владислав Атрошенко