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ЗСУ звільнили Таврійське на Херсонщині, є «певні успіхи» на Запоріжжі – Зеленський

Президент також згадав про роздачу російських паспортів на окупованих територіях та переговори з президенткою Єврокомії

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Двоє цивільних загинули через дії російських збройних сил на Донеччині – Кириленко

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Російські війська обстріляли прикордонну громаду – голова Сумської ОВА

За даними обласної влади, внаслідок обстрілу ніхто не постраждав, руйнувань не було

Posted by Worldkrap on

Biden Says He Has ‘Not Yet’ Decided on Saudi Trip

U.S. President Joe Biden said he had “not yet” decided if he will travel to Saudi Arabia, a week after he opened the door to a possible trip.

Sources have said Biden was planning a trip to Saudi Arabia, along with a trip to Europe and Israel in late June.

The White House has said the president feels that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is a “pariah” for his role in the killing of a political opponent, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Turkey in 2018.

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Italy Finds 7 Bodies at Scorched Crash Site of Helicopter

Italian rescuers on Saturday found the bodies of seven people, including four Turkish and two Lebanese businessmen, who died when their helicopter crashed in a heavily forested, mountainous area in north-central Italy during a storm, authorities said.

Colonel Alfonso Cipriano, who heads an air force rescue coordination unit that led the search since Thursday, said rescuers were tipped off to the crash site after a mountain runner reported seeing what he thought was a part of the mangled chopper during an excursion on Mount Cusna on Saturday morning.

Air crews confirmed the site, and ground crews initially found five bodies, and then the other two, Cipriano told The Associated Press. The location was in a hard-to-reach valley and the chopper remains were hidden to air rescuers from the lush tree cover, but some branches were broken and burned, he said.

The helicopter disappeared from radar Thursday morning as it flew over the province of Modena in the Tuscan–Emilian Apennines. Electric storms had been reported in the area at the time, Cipriano said. The chopper was carrying seven people, including four Turkish citizens, two Lebanese and the Italian pilot, from Lucca to Treviso to visit a tissue paper production facility.

The two Lebanese were identified in Lebanon as Shadi Kreidi and Tarek Tayah, both executives at INDEVCO, an international manufacturing and industrial consultancy group. The two were said to be on a business trip.

Tayah’s wife, Hala, was killed two years ago in the massive explosion at Beirut’s port, which took the lives of more than 215 people and injured thousands. Their daughter, Tamara, who was 11 at the time, was one of the few victims who met French President Emmanuel Macron when he flew to Beirut following the blast, gifting him a pin shaped like the map of Lebanon made by her mother, a jeweler, and getting an emotional hug in return.

Tarek and Hala Tayeh had two other children besides Tamara.

The Turks on board worked for Turkish industrial group Eczacibasi, which said they were taking part in a trade fair.

Eczacibasi confirmed in a statement with “great pain and sadness” that its director of factories, director of hygienic papers at its Yalova province factory, director of investment projects and production director at its Manisa province factory had died in the crash and relayed their condolences.

The crash site was about 10 kilometers from where rescuers initially began searching based on the last cellular pings from the passengers’ phones. Cipriano said it might have taken hours more or even days to locate the site had it not been for the runner’s tip, given the difficult, lush terrain.

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Thousands Rally Against Gun Violence in Washington, Across US

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to rally in Washington, D.C., and across the country on Saturday, calling on lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at curbing gun violence following last month’s massacre at a Texas elementary school.

March for Our Lives (MFOL), the gun safety group founded by student survivors of the 2018 massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school, said it has planned more than 450 rallies for Saturday, including in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The organization’s 2018 march on Washington, weeks after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, brought hundreds of thousands of people to the nation’s capital to pressure Congress to take legislative action, though Republican opposition has prevented any new limits on guns from passing the U.S. Senate.

U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat who earlier this month urged Congress to ban assault weapons, expand background checks and implement other gun control measures, said he supported Saturday’s protests.

“Today, young people around the country once again march with @AMarch4OurLives to call on Congress to pass commonsense gun safety legislation supported by the majority of Americans and gun owners,” Biden said in a Twitter post. “I join them by repeating my call to Congress: do something.”

This year’s event in Washington has a simple message to political leaders, according to organizers: Your inaction is killing Americans.

“We will no longer allow you to sit back while people continue to die,” Trevon Bosley, an MFOL board member, said in an emailed statement.

A gunman in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 children and two teachers on May 24, 10 days after another gunman murdered 10 Black people in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store in a racist attack.

The latest mass shootings have added new urgency to the country’s ongoing debate over gun violence, though the prospects for federal legislation remain uncertain.

Among other policies, MFOL has called for an assault weapons ban, universal background checks for those trying to purchase guns and a national licensing system, which would register gun owners.

In recent weeks, a bipartisan group of Senate negotiators have vowed to hammer out a deal, though they have yet to reach an agreement. Their effort is focused on relatively modest changes, such as incentivizing states to pass “red flag” laws that allow authorities to keep guns from individuals deemed a danger to others.

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a sweeping set of gun safety measures, but the legislation has no chance of advancing in the Senate, where Republicans have opposed gun limits as infringing upon the U.S.

Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. Speakers at the Washington rally are due to include David Hogg and X Gonzalez, Parkland survivors and co-founders of MFOL; Becky Pringle and Randi Weingarten, the presidents of the two largest U.S. teachers’ unions; and Yolanda King, granddaughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Members of MFOL have spent the week meeting with lawmakers in Washington to discuss gun violence.

Organizers also expect counter-protesters at the demonstrations.

A steady rain fell in Washington on Saturday morning, threatening to diminish turnout.

Posted by Ukrap on

Путін підписав закон про невиконання Росією рішень ЄСПЛ, ухвалених після 15 березня

Компенсації за рішеннями ЄСПЛ, винесені до 15 березня, Росія виплачуватиме лише в рублях на російські рахунки

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Через бойові дії знеструмлені найбільші міста на вільній частині Донеччини – Кириленко

Фахівці намагаються відновити електропостачання, «але все залежатиме від безпекової ситуації»»

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У Сербії офіційно підтвердили затримання ексначальника в СБУ, який фігурував у розслідуванні «Схем»

Андрія Наумова та його водія затримали на кордоні з Північною Македонією

Posted by Worldkrap on

China, Russia Open Cross-Border Bridge Amid Sanctions, Criticism

The first highway bridge connecting China and Russia opened Friday, the first day of the 3-day Shangri-La Summit in Singapore. Construction of the bridge was completed two years back, but it remained unused because of the coronavirus pandemic.  

 

The timing of its opening is significant. Russia and China have come under severe criticism at the summit, and analysts say the bridge is a signal China can help Russia navigate economic sanctions.

 

The opening comes just one month after a railway bridge linking the two countries was inaugurated. The road bridge in northern China, called the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe Bridge, will carry vehicles across the Amur River. The toll bridge can accommodate 630 freight trucks, 164 buses and 68 other vehicles daily, the Moscow Times reported.

 

Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, who attended the inauguration ceremony by video link, made it apparent the bridge has political and diplomatic significance apart from trade.  

 

Hu said China is ready to meet Russia halfway, and the bridge’s opening will help to achieve the goal of mutual connectedness.  

 

Even after the invasion of Ukraine, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to raise their mutual trade from $147 billion in 2021 to $250 billion in 2024.

 

The two countries also plan to establish a cross-border economic cooperation zone near the bridgehead “to facilitate comprehensive cooperation” and promote the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership, according to CCTV, the official broadcaster in China.

 

But both the road and railway bridges will be used to a limited extent because China has not fully lifted restrictions it imposed on transportation, among the other business segments.

 

Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev said that the opening of the road bridge would increase bilateral trade between Russia and China. “Today marks the start of stable daily transport links between our countries,” Yekaterina Kireeva, the Amur region’s senior economic development official, told Interfax, the Russian news agency.

 

The road and railway bridges were built as part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative. Russia had been reticent about allowing large-scale Chinese investments under the program. But after the Ukraine invasion, Moscow changed its stance and invited Chinese companies to invest in infrastructure.

 

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Governors Forming Task Force to Address Mass Shootings

The leaders of the National Governors Association said Friday they’re forming a bipartisan working group to come up with recommendations to stop mass shootings following the Texas school massacre.

Reaching consensus could be a tall order given that the nation’s governors have been divided along partisan lines on how to approach issues of gun control and school safety.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, the group’s chairman, and Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, the vice chair, told the White House in a letter that they will convene a group of six to 10 governors, with a particular focus on making schools safe.

Hutchinson and Murphy appeared to leave open the possibility that the recommendations could include some gun control proposals. The U.S. House this week approved a wide-ranging gun control bill that has little chance of passing the Senate.

“It is our hope that the task force can provide suggestions to keep our schools and communities safe in a manner that is consistent with the demands of the American people, who overwhelmingly support gun safety measures,” the governors’ letter said. “We can all agree that there are commonsense ways to prevent these tragic events, and we must work together to do everything in our collective power to protect our communities and our most vulnerable citizens – our children.”

The letter comes as governors have been split along partisan lines on the best response to the Uvalde, Texas, shooting that killed 19 elementary school children and two teachers. A recent survey by The Associated Press showed governors divided, with Democrats calling for more restrictions on guns and Republicans focusing instead on beefing up school security.

Hutchinson has said that raising the minimum age to buy an AR-style rifle from 18 to 21 should be part of the discussion. But Hutchinson, who leaves office in January and is considering running for president, isn’t calling for such a move in his state and has said gun control measures won’t be on the agenda if he asks the Republican-controlled Legislature to take up school safety ideas during a potential special session.

The letter was sent the same day Hutchinson announced he was reinstating a school safety commission he formed to come up with recommendations following the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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Skier Who Represented China in Olympics Now Pushes US as Games Host 

Eileen Gu, the U.S.-born and -trained skier who represented China in this year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, is now pushing for an upcoming Winter Olympics to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

At Tuesday’s TIME100 Summit in New York, which Time magazine billed as a gathering to “spotlight solutions and encourage action toward a better world,” Gu said her new role was a “beautiful example of globalism.”

In a media advisory provided by the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, Fraser Bullock, president and CEO, said Gu would be a global ambassador who would speak “to the vision of growing sport worldwide through the Olympics.”

“Our bid for 2030 or 2034 will focus on using our Games as a catalyst to energize winter sport worldwide,” Bullock said. “Eileen has been effectively aligned and engaged in this same vision. As a global ambassador, she can carry that message to millions worldwide.” 

The Salt Lake City mayor’s office told VOA Mandarin in a written statement, “A key vision for us as a bid group is to use the platform of our Games to help grow interest in winter sport globally. Eileen is a[n] exceptional spokesperson for that.”

Both the Salt Lake City committee and the mayor’s office declined VOA’s interview requests for comment, as did Gu’s agent.

‘Not surprising’

The Chinese state-run Global Times said in an op-ed that it was “not surprising” for Gu to represent Salt Lake City, and that this was not the first time that athletes had supported the hosting applications of countries other than their own. For instance, Taiwanese American tennis player Michael Chang was an ambassador for China’s 2008 Olympic bid, while Chinese snooker sensation Ding Junhui supported London’s bid to host the Olympics in 2012.  But neither competed for countries other than his own.

Born in California, Gu decided to compete for China at the 2022 Beijing Olympics when she was 15. Even before winning two gold medals and one silver in February, she was one of the most marketable athletes in China — with lucrative sponsorship deals, Vogue covers and a huge fan base — where she emerged as the unofficial face of the Games.

Questions about her nationality dogged her, however. The freestyle skiing champion repeatedly dodged questions about whether she had renounced her U.S. citizenship to ski for China or held dual nationality, which is not recognized in China.

When she announced her decision to join China’s team, Gu said only that “I am proud of my heritage, and equally proud of my American upbringings.”

Gu’s latest switch quickly became a trending topic on Chinese social media. On Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, content related to Gu’s move received more than 430 million views within 48 hours.

At the TIME100 Summit, Gu said she did not regret swapping allegiances ahead of the Beijing Games. In February, she said she wanted “to energize youth in China to engage in winter sport.”

Some criticism

Although Gu’s online supporters in China praised her “international influence as a Chinese athlete,” her Salt Lake City role isn’t sitting well with some Chinese netizens, who called her citizenship “flexible.”

“Of course, she doesn’t regret,” a Chinese netizen commented. “Billions of yuan of endorsement fees. She wouldn’t have got that much for representing the U.S.”

Another netizen mocked her by rewording the famous poem “Goodbye Again, Cambridge” by Chinese poet Xu Zhimo: “Very quietly I take my leave / As quietly as I came here; gently I stroke my skis / Billions of yuan of endorsement fees will I bring away.”

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German Chancellor Calls for EU to Open Accession Talks with North Macedonia and Albania

The European Union should kick off accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania to finally fulfill its pledge to integrate the Western Balkans, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday on the second day of a tour to the region.

Speaking in Skopje, Scholz said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made it important for Europe to stand together and he praised North Macedonia’s support of sanctions on the Kremlin.

“It’s very important to bring a new dynamic into this process,” Scholz said in a news conference with North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski.

“I will advocate that the next steps happen.”

Supporters of the EU accession of Albania and the countries that emerged from the break-up of Yugoslavia and the ethnic wars of the 1990s say it will ease regional tensions, counter growing Russian and Chinese influence and raise living standards.

Four — Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Albania — already have candidate status although the latter two have not started accession talks. The overall process has stalled in recent years amid doubts about the wisdom of further EU enlargement.

Kovacevski underscored the “many difficult reforms” North Macedonia had undertaken in order to join the 27-member bloc, including changing its name to comply with Greek objections.

The current main obstacle is a dispute with Bulgaria over history and language.

Scholz, who has fashioned himself as a mediator during his Western Balkans trip, is set to travel onwards to Sofia on Saturday where he will hold talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov.

The chancellor has made the Western Balkans’ EU accession, in order to ease growing regional tensions and counter Russian and Chinese influence, a foreign policy priority.

On Friday, he visited Serbia and Kosovo, which declared independence from Belgrade in 2008, where he urged the leaders to reach an agreement normalizing relations.

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Президентка Єврокомісії прибула до Києва

«Із президентом Володимиром Зеленським я підіб’ю підсумки спільної роботи, необхідної для відновлення і прогресу, досягнутого Україною на її європейському шляху»

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Помер ветеран з Харківщини Іван Лисун, будинок якого був знищений внаслідок російського обстрілу

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‘March for Our Lives’ Returns With Renewed Gun Control Push

Angered by the unrelenting toll from gun violence, tens of thousands of people are expected at rallies this weekend in the nation’s capital and around the United States demanding that Congress pass meaningful changes to gun laws.

The second “March for Our Lives” rally will take place Saturday in front of the Washington Monument, a successor to the 2018 march organized by student protesters after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. 

Now with recent shootings from Uvalde, Texas, to Buffalo, New York, bringing gun control back into the national conversation, organizers of this weekend’s events say the time is right to renew their push for a national overhaul. 

“Right now we are angry,” said Mariah Cooley, a “March for Our Lives” board member and a senior at Washington’s Howard University. “This will be a demonstration to show that us as Americans, we’re not stopping anytime soon until Congress does their jobs. And if not, we’ll be voting them out.” 

About 50,000 participants are predicted to turn out in the District of Columbia, with rain in the forecast. That’s far fewer than the original march, which filled downtown Washington with more than 200,000 people. This time, organizers are focusing on holding smaller marches at an estimated 300 locations. 

“We want to make sure that this work is happening across the country,” said Daud Mumin, co-chairman of the march’s board of directors and a recent graduate of Westminster College in Salt Lake City. “This work is not just about D.C., it’s not just about senators.” 

The protest comes at a time of renewed political activity on guns and a crucial moment for possible action in Congress. 

Survivors of mass shootings and other incidents of gun violence have lobbied legislators and testified on Capitol Hill this week. Among them was Miah Cerrillo, 11, who survived the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. She told lawmakers how she covered herself with a dead classmate’s blood to avoid being shot. 

On Tuesday, actor Matthew McConaughey appeared at the White House briefing room to press for gun legislation and made highly personal remarks about the violence in his hometown of Uvalde. 

The House has passed bills that would raise the age limit to buy semiautomatic weapons and establish federal “red-flag” laws. But such initiatives have traditionally stalled or been heavily watered down in the Senate. Democratic and Republican senators had hoped to reach agreement this week on a framework for addressing the issue and talked Friday, but they had not announced an accord by early evening. 

Mumin referred to the Senate as “where substantive action goes to die,” and said the new march is meant to send a message to lawmakers that public opinion on gun control is shifting under their feet. “If they’re not on our side, there are going to be consequences — voting them out of office and making their lives a living hell when they’re in office,” he said. 

The “March for Our Lives” movement was born out of the massacre when 14 students and three staff members were gunned down February 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by a former student. Surviving students organized bus trips to the state capital to lobby in person, and they succeeded in pressuring the Republican-dominated state government to buck the National Rifle Association’s influence and pass substantial measures targeting gun violence. 

Then-Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, signed legislation that banned bump stocks, raised the gun buying age to 21, imposed a three-day waiting period for purchases and authorized police to seek court orders seizing guns from people deemed threats to themselves and others. 

The Parkland students then took aim at gun laws in other states and nationally, launching “March for Our Lives” and holding the big rally in Washington on March 24, 2018. 

The group did not match the Florida results at the national level but has persisted in advocating for gun restrictions since then, as well as participating in voter registration drives. 

One of the group’s highest-profile activists, co-founder David Hogg, said in a tweet Friday that he believed “this time is different,” pointing to his opinion piece on Fox News. 

He wrote that his group is not “anti-gun” and supports the Second Amendment but wants measures with bipartisan support. “Let’s start there and find common ground to take action, because the next shooter is already planning his attack,” he said.

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Україна отримала загалом 1,5 мільярда доларів бюджетної підтримки напередодні – президент

«Напередодні наша держава отримала 1,5 мільярда доларів США: мільярд – це Світовий Банк, ще 500 мільйонів – це Британія»

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Один зі звинувачених у справі про збиття MH17 просить визнати його невинуватим

У відеозверненні, яке заслухали в суді, Олег Пулатов заперечив свою причетність до збиття літака