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Posted by Worldkrap on

Former Colonies Conflicted Over the Queen

Upon taking the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II inherited millions of subjects around the world, many of them unwilling. Today, in the British Empire’s former colonies, her death brings complicated feelings, including anger.

Beyond official condolences praising the queen’s longevity and service, there is some bitterness about the past in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and elsewhere. Talk has turned to the legacies of colonialism, from slavery to corporal punishment in African schools to looted artifacts held in British institutions. For many, the queen came to represent all of that during her seven decades on the throne.

In Kenya, where decades ago a young Elizabeth learned of her father’s death and her enormous new role as queen, a lawyer named Alice Mugo shared online a photograph of a fading document from 1956. It was issued four years into the queen’s reign, and well into Britain’s harsh response to the Mau Mau rebellion against colonial rule.

“Movement permit,” the document says. While over 100,000 Kenyans were rounded up in camps under grim conditions, others, like Mugo’s grandmother, were forced to request British permission to go from place to place.

“Most of our grandparents were oppressed,” Mugo tweeted hours after the queen’s death Thursday. “I cannot mourn.”

But Kenya’s outgoing president, Uhuru Kenyatta, whose father, Jomo Kenyatta, was imprisoned during the queen’s rule before becoming the country’s first president in 1964, overlooked past troubles, as did other African heads of state. “The most iconic figure of the 20th and 21st centuries,” Uhuru Kenyatta called her.

Anger came from ordinary people. Some called for apologies for past abuses like slavery, others for something more tangible.

“This commonwealth of nations, that wealth belongs to England. That wealth is something never shared in,” said Bert Samuels, a member of the National Council on Reparations in Jamaica.

Elizabeth’s reign saw the hard-won independence of African countries from Ghana to Zimbabwe, along with a string of Caribbean islands and nations along the edge of the Arabian Peninsula.

Some historians see her as a monarch who helped oversee the mostly peaceful transition from empire to the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 56 nations with historic and linguistic ties. But she was also the symbol of a nation that often rode roughshod over people it subjugated.

There were few signs of public grief or even interest in her death across the Middle East, where many still hold Britain responsible for colonial actions that drew much of the region’s borders and laid the groundwork for many of its modern conflicts. On Saturday, Gaza’s Hamas rulers called on King Charles III to “correct” British mandate decisions that they said oppressed Palestinians.

In ethnically divided Cyprus, many Greek Cypriots remembered the four-year guerrilla campaign waged in the late 1950s against colonial rule and the queen’s perceived indifference over the plight of nine people whom British authorities executed by hanging.

Yiannis Spanos, president of the Association of National Organization of Cypriot Fighters, said the queen was “held by many as bearing responsibility” for the island’s tragedies.

Now, with her passing, there are new efforts to address the colonial past, or hide it.

India is renewing its efforts under Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove colonial names and symbols. The country has long moved on, even overtaking the British economy in size.

“I do not think we have any place for kings and queens in today’s world, because we are the world’s largest democratic country,” said Dhiren Singh, a 57-year-old entrepreneur in New Delhi.

There was some sympathy for Elizabeth and the circumstances she was born under and then thrust into.

In Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, resident Max Kahindi remembered the Mau Mau rebellion “with a lot of bitterness” and recalled how some elders were detained or killed. But he said the queen was “a very young lady” then, and he believes someone else likely was running British affairs.

“We cannot blame the queen for all the sufferings that we had at that particular time,” Kahindi said.

Timothy Kalyegira, a political analyst in Uganda, said there is a lingering “spiritual connection” in some African countries, from the colonial experience to the Commonwealth. “It is a moment of pain, a moment of nostalgia,” he said.

The queen’s dignified persona and age, and the centrality of the English language in global affairs, are powerful enough to temper some criticisms, Kalyegira added: “She’s seen more as the mother of the world.”

Mixed views were also found in the Caribbean, where some countries are removing the British monarch as their head of state.

“You have contradictory consciousness,” said Maziki Thame, a senior lecturer in development studies at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, whose prime minister announced during this year’s visit of Prince William, who is now heir to the throne, and Kate that the island intended to become fully independent.

The younger generation of royals seem to have greater sensitivity to colonialism’s implications, Thame said — during the visit, William expressed his “profound sorrow” for slavery.

Nadeen Spence, an activist, said appreciation for Elizabeth among older Jamaicans isn’t surprising since she was presented by the British as “this benevolent queen who has always looked out for us,” but young people aren’t awed by the royal family.

“The only thing I noted about the queen’s passing is that she died and never apologized for slavery,” Spence said. “She should’ve apologized.”

Posted by Ukrap on

Через обстріл Харкова загинув чоловік, ще один поранений в області – Синєгубов

Електропостачання в деяких населених пунктах Харківщини поступово відновлюють

Posted by Ukrap on

«Без світла чи без вас? Без вас» – Зеленський прокоментував знеструмлення через обстріли

«Навмисні й цинічні ракетні удари по цивільній критичній інфраструктурі. Жодних військових об’єктів»

Posted by Ukrap on

Обстріли спричинили затримки кількох поїздів – голова «Укрзалізниці»

Всі поїзди вже відправилися, на Полтавщині приміський рух поновлено з затримками до 1 години

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US Pauses, 21 Years Later, to Remember 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

 Americans paused in sorrow and reflection Sunday on the anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, the September 11, 2001, crashing of four passenger jets hijacked by al-Qaida terrorists that killed nearly 3,000 people. 

President Joe Biden marked the moment in the solemnity of a ceremony at the Pentagon, where the terrorists flew an airliner into one of the five sides of the Defense Department building just outside Washington, killing 184 people.    

“Twenty-one years and we kept that promise to never forget,” Biden told people covered by umbrellas on a rainy day. “The American story changed that day, but we’ll never change the character of the nation.” 

He said the country’s resolve against foreign terrorists “never once faltered,” citing the U.S. commando attack in 2011 that killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and the more recent drone attack Biden ordered to kill the new al-Qaida leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.  

Biden said the United States “will never hesitate to do what it takes to defend the American people.”  

More than 2,700 people were killed when two of the hijacked airliners were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York.  

Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff visited ground zero in New York for the day’s commemoration, witnessing the traditional reading of the names of all the victims of the attack, while Biden’s wife, first lady Jill Biden, visited a memorial at Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  

Forty people were killed in a rural area of the eastern state of Pennsylvania after a plane crashed into a field. Passengers had stormed the cockpit of the airliner and futilely tried to overpower hijackers who had commandeered the plane and were trying to fly to Washington for another attack on the national capital. 

Other communities around the U.S. marked the day with candlelight vigils, interfaith services and other commemorations. Some Americans joined volunteer projects on a day that is federally recognized as both Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.  

The attacks spurred a “war on terror” on al-Qaida training grounds in Afghanistan, a war that lasted two decades before Biden withdrew the last remaining Americans troops a year ago in a chaotic retreat as Taliban insurgents took control of the country, much as they had before the 9/11 attacks.  

The attack 21 years ago spurred a unified, national sense of patriotic resolve in the U.S. against a common enemy, the terrorist group that executed the unimagined assault. 

Now, even though many Americans paused for a moment of reflection on the attack’s anniversary, the country has long since become politically divided on a host of domestic issues, such as election integrity, abortion, climate change, voting rights and more.  

Meanwhile, the country has turned away from direct participation in foreign warfare even as the U.S. government has been sending billions of dollars in armaments to Ukraine to help Kyiv’s fight against Russia’s invasion, now in its seventh month.  

At home, the U.S. has instead been faced with a growing threat of domestic violence, sometimes from right-wing extremists angered by former President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection defeat by Biden and sometimes from street protests against police treatment of racial minorities.  

Biden observed that in 2001 after the terrorist attacks, “We dug deep, we cared about each other, a true sense of national unity.”  

Now, he said, “There’s nothing this nation can’t accomplish when we stand together. It’s not enough to stand up for democracy once a year. We’ll secure our democracy with one another.” 

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China Legislator Criticizes Sanctions on Visit to Russia 

Chinese state media say the country’s top legislator decried sanctions against Russia during a recent visit to the country, underscoring China’s backing of Moscow in its war on Ukraine despite claims of neutrality.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Li Zhanshu urged greater cooperation on “fighting against external interference, sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, among others,” in a meeting with Russian lawmakers Thursday.

Li also held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of an expected meeting this month between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a regional gathering in Uzbekistan. That would mark Xi’s first trip outside China since the pandemic began in early 2020.

Li is a member of the Communist Party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee and is considered one of Xi’s closest confidants, the two having worked together for decades. Ranked third in the Communist Party hierarchy, Li is the highest-level official to travel abroad since the start of the pandemic.

The meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization — a political, economic and security forum that China and Russia dominate — comes as Putin faces setbacks in his attempt to conquer Ukraine and Xi prepares for a congress of the ruling Communist Party that is expected to grant him a third five-year term as leader.

Xinhua said Russia also backed Beijing’s condemnation of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit last month to Taiwan, the self-governing island democracy that China threatens to annex by force.

“Li thanked the Russian side for firmly supporting China on the Taiwan question,” Xinhua reported.

Russia has also backed China against international criticism, including at the United Nations, over its mass incarceration of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

The world’s two leading authoritarian states, China and Russia have increasingly aligned their foreign policies against the U.S. and other liberal democracies. Weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, Xi hosted Putin in Beijing in early February, during which the sides issued a joint statement declaring, “Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.”

In that statement, Russia also said it “confirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and opposes any forms of independence of Taiwan.”

China has steadfastly refused to criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or even to refer to it as such and has accused the U.S. and NATO of provoking the conflict, despite Putin’s statements that he regards Ukraine as a historical part of Russia that must be eliminated as an independent political entity.

Although condemning the punishing economic sanctions against Russia, Beijing has not provided military or financial support to Moscow that could trigger legal action from Washington against its companies.

Russia held sweeping military drills that ended last week in the country’s east, involving forces from China in another show of increasingly close ties between the two.

Xinhua said Li met with Putin in the far-eastern port city of Vladivostok, and with Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko and Vyacheslav Volodin, chairperson of the Russian State Duma, in Moscow on a visit that ran from Wednesday to Saturday.

Posted by Ukrap on

«Тисячі життів були б врятовані», якби Захід озброїв Україну швидше – голова МЗС Литви

«Ті, хто сумнівався в силі України, повинні вибачитися», вважає Ґабріелюс Ландсберґіс

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Pope Seeks Prayers for His ‘Peace Pilgrimage’ in Kazakhstan 

Pope Francis Sunday asked for prayers to accompany him this week on what he calls his “pilgrimage of peace” in Kazakhstan for a meeting of religious leaders.

In remarks to the public in St. Peter’s Square, Francis noted that on Tuesday he begins a three-day visit to that central Asian country to participate in a gathering of heads of world and traditional religions.

“It will be an occasion to meet so many religious representatives and to dialogue as brothers, animated by the common desire for peace, the peace for which our world is thirsting,” Francis said.

“I ask everyone to accompany with prayer this pilgrimage of peace,” the pontiff said.

He had been hoping to meet during his trip with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who has sought to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on spiritual and ideological grounds in a “metaphysical” battle with the West.

But earlier this summer, Kirill bowed out of the interfaith gathering.

Francis had the first-ever encounter between a pope and a Russian Orthodox patriarch in 2016. Plans for a second encounter earlier this year were postponed over the diplomatic fallout of the war in Ukraine.

After Francis cited his pilgrimage, he urged continued prayers for the Ukrainian people, so that the “Lord gives them comfort and hope.” He said that a Polish cardinal who serves as his official almsgiver is currently in Ukraine, to visit various communities and give concrete testimony of the closeness of the pope and the Catholic church.

Posted by Ukrap on

Росія може використати «спостерігачів»-громадян ЄС на псевдореферендумах на Запоріжжі – РНБО

Про це Центр протидії дезінформації заявив у переліку дезінформаційних кампаній Росії на окупованих територіях

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21st Anniversary of 9/11 Terror Attacks in Photos

Americans are remembering 9/11 with moments of silence, readings of victims’ names, volunteer work and other tributes 21 years after the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil. Victims’ relatives and dignitaries convene at the places where hijacked jets crashed on Sept. 11, 2001 — the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

Posted by Ukrap on

ЗСУ звільнили понад 40 населених пунктів на Харківщині – Синєгубов

«Але насправді їх значно більше, ми просто цю цифру проголошувати не можемо»

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Decades Later, 9/11 Self-Professed Mastermind Awaits Trial

Hours before dawn on March 1, 2003, the U.S. scored its most thrilling victory yet against the plotters of the Sept. 11 attacks — the capture of a disheveled Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, hauled away by intelligence agents from a hideout in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

The global manhunt for al-Qaida’s No. 3 leader had taken 18 months. But America’s attempt to bring him to justice, in a legal sense, has taken much, much longer. Critics say it has become one of the war on terror’s greatest failures.

As Sunday’s 21st anniversary of the terror attacks approaches, Mohammed and four other men accused of 9/11-related crimes still sit in a U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, their planned trials before a military tribunal endlessly postponed.

The latest setback came last month when pretrial hearings scheduled for early fall were canceled. The delay was one more in a string of disappointments for relatives of the nearly 3,000 victims of the attack. They’ve long hoped that a trial would bring closure and perhaps resolve unanswered questions.

“Now, I’m not sure what’s going to happen,” said Gordon Haberman, whose 25-year-old daughter Andrea died after a hijacked plane crashed into the the World Trade Center, a floor above her office.

He’s traveled to Guantanamo four times from his home in West Bend, Wisconsin, to watch the legal proceedings in person, only to leave frustrated.

“It’s important to me that America finally gets to the truth about what happened, how it was done,” said Haberman. “I personally want to see this go to trial.”

If convicted at trial, Mohammed could face the death penalty.

When asked about the case, James Connell, an attorney for one of Mohammed’s co-defendants — one accused of transferring money to 9/11 attackers — confirmed reports both sides are still “attempting to reach a pretrial agreement” that could still avoid a trial and result in lesser but still lengthy sentences.

David Kelley, a former U.S. attorney in New York who co-chaired the Justice Department’s nationwide investigation into the attacks, called the delays and failure to prosecute “an awful tragedy for the families of the victims.”

He called the effort to put Mohammed on trial before a military tribunal, rather than in the regular U.S. court system, “a tremendous failure” that was “as offensive to our Constitution as to our rule of law.”

“It’s a tremendous blemish on the country’s history,” he said.

The difficulty in holding a trial for Mohammed and other Guantanamo prisoners is partly rooted in what the U.S. did with him after his 2003 capture.

Mohammed and his co-defendants were initially held in secret prisons abroad. Hungry for information that might lead to the capture of other al-Qaida figures, CIA operatives subjected them to enhanced interrogation techniques that were tantamount to torture, human rights groups say. Mohammed was waterboarded — made to feel that he was drowning — 183 times.

A Senate investigation later concluded the interrogations didn’t lead to any valuable intelligence. But it has sparked endless pretrial litigation over whether FBI reports on their statements can be used against them — a process not subject to speedy trial rules used in civilian courts.

The torture allegations led to concerns that the U.S. might have ruined its chance to put Mohammed on trial in a civilian court.

But in 2009, President Barack Obama’s administration decided to try, announcing that Mohammed would be transferred to New York City and put on trial at a federal court in Manhattan.

“Failure is not an option,” Obama said.

But New York City balked at the cost of security and the move never came. Eventually, it was announced Mohammed would face a military tribunal. And then over a dozen years passed.

Kelley said talk of military tribunals two decades ago surprised many in the legal community who had been successfully prosecuting terrorism cases in the decade before. The concept of a tribunal, he said, “came out of the blue. Nobody knew it was coming.”

Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was not in favor of tribunals and had been supportive of the Manhattan federal terrorism prosecutions, he said.

Now, Kelley said, with the passage of time it will be much more difficult to prosecute Mohammed in a tribunal, much less a courtroom. “Evidence goes stale, witness memories fail.”

The passage of time hasn’t dulled the memories of the victims’ families or dampened their interest in witnessing justice.

Eddie Bracken’s sister Lucy Fishman was killed at the trade center. The New Yorker opposed Obama’s proposal to move the trial to federal court — Mohammed is charged with “a military act,” and should be tried by the military, he reasoned. And while he is somewhat frustrated by the delays, he understands them.

“The whole world is looking at us and saying, ‘What are they doing after all this time?'” he said. But he realizes the case is “a process that the world is seeing, that needs to be done under a microscope. … It’s up to the United States to do their due diligence, make sure it’s done right.”

“The wheels of justice turn. They turn slowly, but they turn. And when the time comes, and it’s said and done, the world will know what happened,” he adds.

While Mohammed has lingered at Guantanamo, the U.S. killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in a 2011 raid and deputy-turned-successor Ayman al-Zawahri in a drone strike just this August.

Investigators with the military commission at Guantanamo Bay said he plotted the 9/11 attacks for three years. They cited a computer hard drive seized at his arrest which they said contained photographs of the 19 hijackers, three letters from bin Laden and information about some hijackers.

Mohammed, at his tribunal hearing, conceded in a written statement that he swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden, that he was on al-Qaida’s council and that he served as operational director for bin Laden for the organizing, planning, follow-up and execution of the Sept. 11 plot “from A to Z.”

According to the statement, he also took credit for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; an attempt to down U.S. jetliners using bombs hidden in shoes; the bombing of a nightclub in Indonesia; and plans for a second wave of attacks after the 2001 attacks targeting landmarks like the Sears Tower in Chicago and Manhattan’s Empire State Building.

He also claimed credit for other planned attacks, including assassination attempts against then-President Bill Clinton in 1994 or 1995 and an assassination plot against Pope John Paul II at about the same time, the statement said.

Mohammed’s nearly two decades in legal limbo differs from the fate of his nephew, Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six people, injured 1,000 others and left a crater in the parking garage beneath the twin towers.

Yousef is serving life in prison after being convicted at two separate civilian trials. He was also captured in Pakistan, in 1995, but was brought to the United States for trial.

At the time, Yousef said his right to kill people was comparable to the U.S. decision to drop a nuclear bomb in World War II. Mohammed has offered a similar justification, saying through an interpreter at a Guantanamo proceeding that killing people was the “language of any war.”

Bracken traveled to Guantanamo in 2012 to watch one hearing for Mohammed and his co-defendants, and would probably go again if a trial ever happened.

“I don’t know if I want to go there again to bring back all the hurt and pain. But if I’m allowed to go, then I guess I would go. Yeah. My sister would do that for me.”

“She’s that type of a woman,” he added. Then he corrected himself: “She was that type of a woman.”

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Ukraine Says Final Reactor at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Switched Off 

Ukraine said Sunday the sixth and final reactor at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in the south of the country was no longer generating electricity.

“Today, September 11, 2022, at night, at 03:41 am (0141 GMT), unit No. 6 of the ZNPP was disconnected from the power grid. Preparations are underway for its cooling and transfer to a cold state,” state nuclear agency Energoatom said in statement.

Ukraine and its allies have been increasingly concerned about the safe operation of the Zaporizhzhia plant — the largest in Europe — and recent fighting there has raised fears of serious incident.

The U.N.’s atomic watchdog warned earlier this week that a blackout in the nearby town of Energodar had “compromised the safe operation” of the nuclear facility.

Energoatom said Sunday that a cold shutdown was the “safest state” for the reactor.

Energoatom said that the sixth reactor had been generating energy for the plant itself for three days and that the decision to halt its operations came when external power had been restored to the facility.

“In case of repeated damage to the transmission lines linking the facility to the power system — the risk of which remains high the [plant’s] in-house needs will be powered by diesel generators,” it cautioned in a statement.

Energoatom in its statement again called for the establishment of a demilitarized zone around the plant, saying it was the only way to sure plant’s safety.

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UK Defense Ministry: Ukraine Has Made ‘Significant Gains’

Britain’s defense ministry says Ukrainian forces have continued to make significant gains in the Kharkiv region.

The agency’s intelligence report, posted Sunday on Twitter, said, “Russia has likely withdrawn units from the area, but fighting continues around the strategically important cities of Kupiansk and Izium.”

Ukrainian forces reported Saturday that they had gained control of Izyum and pushed Russian soldiers across the Oskil River. Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed it had pulled its forces out of Izyum, claiming the move was planned.

Western military analysts said if the advances were confirmed, it would put the Ukrainians in control of a main railway that Moscow uses to supply thousands of troops in eastern Ukraine.

In other developments, a pro-Russia separatist leader was quoted as saying there also was fierce fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk region.

Denis Pushilin said the situation in the town of Lyman was “very difficult” and there was fighting in “a number of other localities,” particularly in the northern part of the region.

Military analysts say Russia is believed to be sending reinforcements to the area, where it plans to launch new attacks against Ukrainian-controlled sections of Donetsk.

Meanwhile, Moscow announced it was regrouping its forces in the eastern Kharkiv region of Ukraine.

“To achieve the goals of the special military operation to liberate Donbas, a decision was made to regroup Russian troops stationed in the Balakliya and Izyum regions, to bolster efforts along the Donetsk front,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The regrouping of Russian soldiers comes as residents in parts of the Kharkiv region had been advised to evacuate to Russia, according to the state-run news agency Tass. The area’s Russian-installed administrator, Vitaly Ganchev, reportedly said doing so would “save lives.”

The Ukrainian breakthrough near Kharkiv was the fastest advance reported by either side for months, and it is one of the biggest gains in the war since Russian forces abandoned a disastrous assault on the capital, Kyiv, in March.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the country’s armed forces have liberated about 2,000 square kilometers of territory since a counteroffensive against Russia started earlier this month.

On the diplomatic front, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday, pledging Berlin’s unwavering support for Ukraine.

“I have traveled to Kyiv to show that they can continue to rely on us. That we will continue to stand by Ukraine for as long as necessary with deliveries of weapons, and with humanitarian and financial support,” Baerbock said in a statement.

Over the last weeks, Germany has sent howitzers, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. Heavier weapons such as anti-aircraft systems, rocket launchers mounted on pickup trucks and anti-drone equipment are also expected in a further military aid package worth more than $500 million.

Meanwhile, Britain’s defense ministry also said in its intelligence report Sunday that “Russia is pursuing a deliberate misinformation strategy as it seeks to deflect blame for food insecurity issues, discredit Ukraine and minimize opposition to its invasion.”

The ministry said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim on Sept. 7 that only 60,000 tons of grain exported from Ukraine since August had been sent to developing countries, with the majority delivered to EU states, was false.

The ministry said, “According to UN figures, around 30% has been supplied to low and middle-income countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.”

Some information in this report came from Reuters, Agence France-Presse and The Associated Press. 

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Президент Латвії: «Заборона в’їзду для росіян – це механізм тиску на Росію»

Росіяни, які зазнають репресій з боку влади, можуть подати заяву на притулок як біженці, а не їздити в Європу як туристи, каже президент Латвії

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Залужний про Харківський напрямок: «До виходу на державний кордон залишається 50 км»

Раніше Генштаб ЗСУ повідомив, що триває звільнення населених пунктів Куп’янського та Ізюмського районів Харківської області

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Дергачівська міськрада опублікувала фото підняття прапора України у Козачій Лопані на Харківщині

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What’s Up for Grabs in Sweden’s Election Sunday

Sweden is holding an election Sunday to elect lawmakers to the 349-seat Riksdag as well as to local offices across the nation of 10 million. Early voting began Aug. 24. Here are some key things to know about the vote.

What is at stake?

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson is fighting to keep her center-left Social Democrats at the helm of a left-wing coalition but is facing a strong challenge from the right.

Sweden is known for being a cradle-to-grave welfare society and Andersson would like to preserve the social protections that have long defined Sweden, and reverse some of the market-oriented changes by an earlier government. Her party feels that some of the changes, like state subsidies going to private schools, are creating greater inequalities.

The once-mighty Social Democrats have been in power since 2014. But as the party’s popularity has sunk, it has presided over a weak government that relies more on other parties to pass laws, creating political instability for the past eight years.

Who is likely to win?

There are two major blocs: one with four parties on the left and another with four on the right. The polls leading up to the election say it is impossible to predict.

“It’s basically a coin toss. It’s 50-50 between the two different sides,” Zeth Isaksson, a sociologist in electoral behavior at Stockholm University, said Saturday.

Under Swedish law, the party that wins the most seats forms the next government. Polls show this is likely to be Andersson’s party, which will need to create a coalition with other parties.

But if the left has a poor showing, she might not be able to form a coalition. In that case, the baton would be passed to the second-largest party to try to form a government.

Which party is in the No. 2 spot?

In the last election in 2018, the Moderates led by Ulf Kristersson, a center-right party, won the second-highest number of seats. The conservative party promotes a market economy, lower taxes and a smaller role for government in a country with a generous welfare state supported by high taxes.

But like the Social Democrats and other mainstream parties across Europe, the Moderates have also seen their popularity decline amid a populist challenge coming from further right.

Who are the populists?

The Sweden Democrats, a populist right-wing party that takes a hard line on immigration and crime, first entered parliament in 2010 and has been growing steadily ever since.

The party won 13% of the vote in 2018, becoming the third-largest force in parliament. Polls show it is likely to improve on that showing Sunday.

Some Swedes compare the party to Trump-style populism and note it was founded by far-right extremists decades ago. They do not trust it in its reported transformation to a more traditional conservative party.

The party is led by Jimmie Akesson, a 43-year-old former web designer who has been the driving force in trying to moderate the party’s image.

The party has clearly tapped into the social mood, however, and other parties have been moving closer to its positions, as many Swedes believe that they can no longer bear the costs of the country’s generous refugee policies and are seeking a crackdown on crime.

Once a pariah, other conservative parties have grown increasingly willing to deal with the Sweden Democrats.

Andersson told reporters Saturday that “the rise of the far right” was partly the fault of the right-wing opposition, which she said, “spent so much time and effort to try to convince people that the Sweden Democrats aren’t the party that they actually are.”

How serious is crime in Sweden?

Some immigrants have had difficulties assimilating into Swedish society, leading to segregated neighborhoods with high crime rates.

Gang violence mostly takes place among criminal networks dealing drugs or involved in other illicit activity. But there have been recent cases of innocent bystanders being hurt. So far this year, 48 people have been killed by firearms in Sweden, three more than in all of 2021.

The fears triggered by shootings and explosions in disadvantaged neighborhoods have made crime one of the most pressing issues for Swedish voters.

“Shootings and explosions of bombs have increased in the last few years and (this violence) is now considered a great social problem,” said Anders Sannerstedt, a political scientist at Lund University in southern Sweden.

The gender factor

Andersson became Sweden’s first female prime minister less than a year ago — a milestone late in coming for a country that in many ways is an example of gender equality.

“I was really proud,” said Ulrika Hoonk, a 39-year-old who voted early in Stockholm on Friday, saying it took “far too long” for that to happen.

Polls show that Andersson’s party is especially popular with women, with men tending to vote more conservative.

Even though Andersson is the first prime minister, there are still many women represented in positions of authority. Four party leaders are women, and one party has a woman and a man sharing the leadership. In parliament, the gender balance has long been split roughly 50-50.

Several women voters interviewed this week said that finally having a woman in the top leadership job was very important for them, and one factor they considered when choosing which party to support. 

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Trains Collide in Croatia, Killing at Least 3, Injuring 11

A passenger train and freight train collided Friday night in central Croatia, killing at least three people and injuring another 11 or more, authorities said.

The collision happened around 9:30 p.m. near the town of Novska, which is close to Croatia’s border with Bosnia, police said in a statement.

“The impact was huge,” said Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who rushed to the scene with other government officials.

Plenkovic confirmed that so far the bodies of three people were found at the site of the accident, but he said more victims could still be found.

The injured have been hospitalized, some with serious injuries but none in life-threatening condition, he added.

“It’s nighttime, there is no light, we don’t know at the moment if there are more victims,” said Plenkovic.

The cause of the collision was not immediately clear.

The passenger train was a local line carrying 13 people, while only the engine driver was in the freight train, said Plenkovic. He said foreign citizens were among the injured.

Officials said both trains were pushed off the rails after the collision. An investigation has been launched to determine what caused the collision.

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Bidens to Commemorate 9/11 Anniversary at Pentagon, Pennsylvania

President Joe Biden will mark the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sunday by delivering remarks and laying a wreath at the Pentagon, the White House said Tuesday.

The day will commemorate the 2001 terrorist attacks when hijackers took control of commercial planes and used them as missiles, crashing into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks by al-Qaida. The U.S. and its allies responded by launching the Afghanistan war.

Jill Biden, the first lady, will speak Sunday at the Flight 93 National Memorial Observance in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband will go to New York City for a commemoration ceremony at the National September 11th Memorial.

In New York, the smaller of two museums dedicated to preserving the memory of the attacks has closed.

The 9/11 Tribute Museum, which opened in 2006, offered tours led by volunteers who had lost a family member or were connected in some other way to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. It was sometimes confused with the much larger Sept. 11 museum, which opened in 2014 near the memorial pools that mark where the twin towers stood.

“Financial hardship including lost revenue caused by the pandemic prevents us from generating sufficient funding to continue to operate the physical museum,” Jennifer Adams, co-founder and CEO of the 9/11 Tribute Museum, said in a statement.

She said the Tribute Museum would maintain an online presence to provide educational resources and support for the 9/11 community.

Most of the museum’s collection of artifacts from the Sept. 11 attacks is being moved to the New York State Museum in Albany, Adams said. The nonprofit September 11th Families’ Association, which founded the Tribute Museum, is coordinating with its donors to make sure that the artifacts are handled property, she said.