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Перестрахувальники відмовляються працювати з Росією, Білоруссю та Україною – Reuters

Будь-яке підвищення ставок перестрахувальників, імовірно, позначиться на корпоративних клієнтах страхових компаній.

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Сунак у розмові з Зеленським пообіцяв довгострокову підтримку Україні

У грудні 2022 року голова британського уряду закликав ігнорувати будь-які заклики Москви до переговорів, доки вона не залишить окуповані території в Україні

Posted by Worldkrap on

Drone Advances in Ukraine Could Bring Dawn of Killer Robots

Drone advances in Ukraine have accelerated a long-anticipated technology trend that could soon bring the world’s first fully autonomous fighting robots to the battlefield, inaugurating a new age of warfare.

The longer the war lasts, the more likely it becomes that drones will be used to identify, select and attack targets without help from humans, according to military analysts, combatants and artificial intelligence researchers.

That would mark a revolution in military technology as profound as the introduction of the machine gun. Ukraine already has semi-autonomous attack drones and counter-drone weapons endowed with AI. Russia also claims to possess AI weaponry, though the claims are unproven. But there are no confirmed instances of a nation putting into combat robots that have killed entirely on their own.

Experts say it may be only a matter of time before either Russia or Ukraine, or both, deploy them. The sense of inevitability extends to activists, who have tried for years to ban killer drones but now believe they must settle for trying to restrict the weapons’ offensive use.

Ukraine’s digital transformation minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, agrees that fully autonomous killer drones are “a logical and inevitable next step” in weapons development. He said Ukraine has been doing “a lot of R&D in this direction.”

“I think that the potential for this is great in the next six months,” Fedorov told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

Ukrainian Lt. Col. Yaroslav Honchar, co-founder of the combat drone innovation nonprofit Aerorozvidka, said in a recent interview near the front that human war fighters simply cannot process information and make decisions as quickly as machines.

Ukrainian military leaders currently prohibit the use of fully independent lethal weapons, although that could change, he said.

“We have not crossed this line yet – and I say ‘yet’ because I don’t know what will happen in the future,” said Honchar, whose group has spearheaded drone innovation in Ukraine, converting cheap commercial drones into lethal weapons.

Russia could obtain autonomous AI from Iran or elsewhere. The long-range Shahed-136 exploding drones supplied by Iran have crippled Ukrainian power plants and terrorized civilians but are not especially smart. Iran has other drones in its evolving arsenal that it says feature AI.

Without a great deal of trouble, Ukraine could make its semi-autonomous weaponized drones fully independent in order to better survive battlefield jamming, their Western manufacturers say.

Those drones include the U.S.-made Switchblade 600 and the Polish Warmate, which both currently require a human to choose targets over a live video feed. AI finishes the job. The drones, technically known as “loitering munitions,” can hover for minutes over a target, awaiting a clean shot.

“The technology to achieve a fully autonomous mission with Switchblade pretty much exists today,” said Wahid Nawabi, CEO of AeroVironment, its maker. That will require a policy change — to remove the human from the decision-making loop — that he estimates is three years away.

Drones can already recognize targets such as armored vehicles using cataloged images. But there is disagreement over whether the technology is reliable enough to ensure that the machines don’t err and take the lives of noncombatants.

The AP asked the defense ministries of Ukraine and Russia if they have used autonomous weapons offensively – and whether they would agree not to use them if the other side similarly agreed. Neither responded.

If either side were to go on the attack with full AI, it might not even be a first.

An inconclusive U.N. report last year suggested that killer robots debuted in Libya’s internecine conflict in 2020, when Turkish-made Kargu-2 drones in full-automatic mode killed an unspecified number of combatants.

A spokesman for STM, the manufacturer, said the report was based on “speculative, unverified” information and “should not be taken seriously.” He told the AP the Kargu-2 cannot attack a target until the operator tells it to do so.

Honchar thinks Russia, whose attacks on Ukrainian civilians have shown little regard for international law, would have used killer autonomous drones by now if the Kremlin had them.

“I don’t think they’d have any scruples,” agreed Adam Bartosiewicz, vice president of WB Group, which makes the Warmate.

AI is a priority for Russia. President Vladimir Putin said in 2017 that whoever dominates that technology will rule the world. In a December 21 speech, he expressed confidence in the Russian arms industry’s ability to embed AI in war machines, stressing that “the most effective weapons systems are those that operate quickly and practically in an automatic mode.” Russian officials already claim their Lancet drone can operate with full autonomy.

An effort to lay international ground rules for military drones has so far been fruitless. Nine years of informal United Nations talks in Geneva made little headway, with major powers including the United States and Russia opposing a ban. The last session, in December, ended with no new round scheduled.

Toby Walsh, an Australian academic who campaigns against killer robots, hopes to achieve a consensus on some limits, including a ban on systems that use facial recognition and other data to identify or attack individuals or categories of people.

“If we are not careful, they are going to proliferate much more easily than nuclear weapons,” said Walsh, author of Machines Behaving Badly. “If you can get a robot to kill one person, you can get it to kill a thousand.”

Multiple countries, and every branch of the U.S. military, are developing drones that can attack in deadly synchronized swarms, according to Zachary Kallenborn, a George Mason University weapons innovation analyst.

So will future wars become a fight to the last drone?

That’s what Putin predicted in a 2017 televised chat with engineering students: “When one party’s drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender.”

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Французький виробник контейнерів для зрідженого природного газу йде з Росії

Попит на зріджений газ зріс після того, як улітку російський «Газпром» знизив постачання до Європи трубопровідного газу «Північним потоком-1», а потім повністю припинив їх

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Benedict Funeral to Be Similar to that of Reigning Popes

Tens of thousands more people paid homage to former Pope Benedict on Tuesday on the second day his body lay in state, and the Vatican announced that his funeral will be similar to that of a reigning pope, including a three coffin burial.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who like Benedict has called for the protection of Europe’s Christian roots, was among some 70,000 people paying their respects at St. Peter’s Basilica, following 65,000 on Monday.

Also among them was Rome resident Loredana Corrao, who said she was a great admirer of Benedict, a towering figure as an academic and a hero to conservatives but also a controversial leader who did not tolerate theological dissent.

“It was a fitting tribute. It was very emotional and moving. I also came yesterday but I had things to say to him and I also came today,” she told Reuters.  

“I am sure that an important part of the Church’s history has closed and now we have to move on without him.” 

Pope Francis has been carrying on his normal workload since Benedict died on Saturday at age 95. He had a regular series of audiences and meetings on Monday and Tuesday and will hold his weekly general audience on Wednesday. 

The death of Benedict, who in 2013 became the first pontiff in 600 years to step down instead of reigning for life, could make any decision to leave office easier on Francis and the Church, which encountered difficulties with having “two popes.” 

Francis will preside at Benedict’s funeral in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday before a crowd that Vatican police say will number in the tens of thousands. 

Three coffins 

Because Benedict was no longer a reigning pontiff when he died, official delegations have been limited to those from Italy and his native Germany. 

Among those expected to attend in a private capacity were the presidents of Poland and Hungary and the monarchs of Spain and Belgium. 

Benedict has been laying in state without any papal regalia, such as a crosier, a silver staff with a crucifix, or a pallium, a band of wool cloth worn around the neck by popes and archdiocesan bishops to signify their roles as shepherds of their flocks. Popes are also bishops of Rome. 

The decision not to have them during the public viewing appeared to have been decided to underscore that he no longer was pope when he died. 

The liturgy for Thursday’s funeral Mass will be based mostly on that for a reigning pope, with some minor modifications, particularly in the prayers, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said. 

Palliums will be placed in Benedict’s coffin along with coins and medals minted during his eight years as pope and a sealed lead tube holding a deed written in Latin describing his pontificate — all customary for funerals of popes.  

As is traditional for popes, Benedict’s body will be placed in a cypress coffin which will be carried out of St. Peter’s Basilica and into the square for the funeral. 

Later, as is also traditional, that one will be placed into a zinc coffin and then both will be placed into another coffin made of wood. 

Benedict will be buried according to his wishes in the same spot in the crypts under St. Peter’s Basilica where Pope John Paul II was originally interred in 2005 before his body was moved up to a chapel in the basilica in 2011. 


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У Києві два дні поспіль науковці фіксують температурні рекорди

2 січня вперше за 143 роки спостережень середньодобова температура повітря склала +9,4°С

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У ЗСУ повідомили про знищення двох російських складів боєприпасів на напрямку Кремінна-Сватове

За даними Сергія Череватого, українські військові також знищили російський склад паливо-мастильних матеріалів

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СБУ затримала у Херсоні жінку, яка допомагала перекидати в Україну російські ешелони

Під час окупації Херсона жінка очолила створене агресором «підприємство промислового залізничного транспорту «Херсонської залізниці»

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US Says Not Considering Joint Nuclear Exercises with South Korea

The United States plans to hold table-top drills and expand other areas of defense cooperation with South Korea, but is not considering joint nuclear exercises with Seoul, according to a senior U.S. administration official.

The U.S. announcement came after South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said in an interview Monday the United States and South Korea were in talks meant to give Seoul a bigger role in the operation of U.S. nuclear forces.

Yoon told the conservative Chosun Ilbo newspaper the discussions centered on joint planning and exercises with U.S. nuclear forces — a process he envisioned would have the same effect as “nuclear sharing.”

Asked late Monday whether he was discussing joint nuclear exercises with South Korea, U.S. President Joe Biden replied, “No.” Biden, who was returning from a trip to the eastern U.S. state of Kentucky, did not elaborate.

In a statement emailed late Tuesday to VOA, a senior U.S. official attempted to clarify the situation by saying that the United States and South Korea are “working together to strengthen extended deterrence, including eventually through table-top exercises that will explore our joint response to a range of scenarios, including nuclear use by the DPRK.”

North Korea — also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — last year launched a record number of ballistic missiles and on Sunday vowed to “exponentially increase” production of its nuclear warheads.

North Korea’s recent actions and statements have caused “increasing concern,” the U.S. official added.

Both the U.S. and South Korean presidential offices later denied any contradiction between the Biden and Yoon comments, noting that since South Korea is not a nuclear weapons state it cannot technically participate in “joint nuclear exercises.”

Though the situation may have arisen partly because of semantics, many analysts suggest it reflects behind-the-scenes tensions between the two allies over how best to involve South Korea in countering the North Korean threat.

Yoon, a conservative, has in the past pushed for Washington and Seoul to enter a NATO-style arrangement in which South Koreans would be trained to use U.S. nuclear weapons in a conflict. For now, it seems South Korea may have to be happy with more cooperation in other areas.

Following a November meeting between Biden and Yoon in Cambodia, both leaders tasked their teams to come up with a plan “for an effective coordinated response to a range of scenarios, including nuclear use by North Korea,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement emailed to VOA.

“As the President said, we are not discussing joint nuclear exercises,” the NSC official added.

In a statement to reporters, South Korean presidential spokesperson Kim Eun-hye defended Yoon’s remarks. “South Korea and the United States are discussing information sharing, joint planning, and subsequent joint implementation plans in relation to U.S. nuclear assets, to respond to North Korea’s nuclear threat,” she said.

The United States has not stationed nuclear weapons in South Korea since the early 1990s, when it pulled tactical nukes from the peninsula as part of a disarmament deal with the Soviet Union. Instead, South Korea is protected by the U.S. “nuclear umbrella,” under which Washington vows to use all its capabilities, including nuclear weapons, to defend its ally.

In the interview Monday, Yoon suggested such ideas were outdated. “What we call ‘extended deterrence’ means that the United States will take care of everything, so South Korea should not worry about it,” Yoon said. “But now, it is difficult to convince our people with just this idea.”

As a presidential candidate in 2021, Yoon said he would ask the United States to either redeploy tactical nuclear weapons or agree to nuclear-sharing. The U.S. State Department quickly shot down the proposal.

Many analysts are skeptical the United States would enter a nuclear-sharing arrangement with South Korea, noting it would go against Washington’s stated global nonproliferation goals as well as its support for the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“South Korean concerns and wishes are understandable, but the U.S. won’t be able to jointly discuss nuclear plans to the degree that Seoul wants. That’s still a bridge way too far,” said Duyeon Kim, a Seoul-based Korea specialist at the Center for a New American Security.

If South Korea participates in table-top exercises, it could learn more about how the U.S. weighs its options in various crisis scenarios, according to Kim.

“Since joint nuclear planning won’t happen and Seoul wants a voice, South Korean leaders like the president could instead unilaterally tell the U.S. president which North Korean targets they’d like him/her to consider in their nuclear plans without expecting a response back,” Kim said.

“It’s conceivable that South Korean fighter jets could someday practice escorting U.S. bombers as one way of doing ‘nuclear sharing’ done by NATO, but it’s hard to imagine the U.S. doing more than that,” she added.

Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, also doubts the United States would be open to including South Korea in nuclear planning.

“Ultimately, the decision concerning whether or not nuclear weapons ought to be introduced into a specific crisis contingency will depend on the president of the United States,” Panda told VOA.

The matter has grown more urgent as North Korea becomes more belligerent and expands its nuclear arsenal.

North Korea is already believed to have enough fissile material to build around 50 nuclear bombs and has a growing number of both short- and long-range weapons that could be capable of delivering them. If Pyongyang can destroy a major U.S. city, some South Koreans fear, Washington may be reluctant to respond to a North Korean attack on the South.

Many South Koreans were also rattled by former U.S. President Donald Trump, who regularly questioned the value of the U.S.-South Korea alliance and even threatened to pull U.S. troops from Korea.

As a result, a growing number of prominent South Koreans have called for the country to acquire its own nuclear deterrent.

According to a poll published Monday by the Seoul-based Hankook Research organization, 67% of South Koreans support the country acquiring nuclear weapons, including 70% of conservatives and 54% of liberals.

Lee Juhyun contributed to this report.

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NFL Player Hospitalized Following On-Field Collapse

Damar Hamlin, a player for the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills, was in critical condition Tuesday after being involved in a tackle during a game and going into cardiac arrest.    

Hamlin initially got back to his feet, but then fell back to the ground. Medical personnel administered CPR on the field before sending Hamlin in an ambulance to a local hospital.  

“His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment,” the Bills said in a statement early Tuesday. “He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”   

Players from Bills and the opposing Cincinnati Bengals were visibly shaken after the incident and gathered together in prayer.  

The league later announced the game had been postponed.  

Several players were later seen at the hospital, as well as a number of fans from both teams who gathered outside, including some holding candles.   

In a show of support for Hamlin, donations poured into an online fundraiser he had organized earlier to purchase toys for kids in need. By early Tuesday, there were more than $3 million in donations. 

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.  

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War in Ukraine Bolstered EU Solidarity—Will it Last?

Zohra stuffs packages of sliced bread, fresh fruit and canned vegetables into her shopping cart — free handouts she once never thought she would need.

Other Parisians patiently wait their turn for the Salvation Army’s weekly food distributions in the French capital: two women from Africa, a middle-aged man from the French Antilles, a young woman who looks like a student. Most are reluctant to talk. In a room nearby, volunteers prepare food packages for the charity’s swelling clientele.

“The prices for everything are rising — rent, electricity, gas telephone,” Zohra said, declining to give her last name. She lost her job at a medical clinic a few months ago. “People can’t live like this.”

Such sentiments are growing across the European Union that greets 2023 with an energy crisis and a war at the bloc’s doorstep for the first time in decades. If Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked sometimes stunning displays of EU unity and power, analysts say, some question how long that will last as winter bites and the price for supporting Kyiv and European values mounts.

“It’s been transformative in so many ways — and in areas in which it’s difficult for the European Union to act quickly,” said Ian Lesser, vice president of the German Marshall Fund and head of the policy institute’s Brussels office, of the Ukraine conflict. “In some of these areas, it acted very quickly — which surprised many people.”

This past year, the EU slapped eight rounds of sanctions against Moscow, earmarked billions of dollars of military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine and took in millions of Ukrainian refugees. The war in Ukraine led Europe to end its dependency on cheap Russian energy, pushing the bloc to seek new suppliers and power sources — and to stock up on its all-important gas reserves before the cold sets in.

Still, the conflict in Ukraine has delivered a blow to Europe’s economy and energy security, at least in the short term. It also slowed, as some countries revive coal mines, Brussels’ emissions-cutting goals. The International Monetary Fund and other experts believe the bloc will fall into recession this year. Despite government efforts to cushion the blow, prices and poverty are rising.

“What really shook us is we’re seeing a lot of young people — students who are having a hard time making it to the end of the month,” said Salvation Army spokesperson Samuel Coppens. “Also, single parents and older people with tiny pensions who can’t even afford heat. For them, food is a top priority.”

A recent IFOP poll found that more than half of the French surveyed feared their income wouldn’t cover their monthly expenses. One quarter believed they would need help from charities like the Salvation Army.

“I can go shopping with 50 euros ($53) and my shopping cart is still pretty empty,” said Valerie, a health care worker from Cameroon, who signed up for the Salvation Army’s food distributions a few weeks ago.

“From the start I didn’t like this war,” she added of the Ukraine conflict. “I thought there would be consequences here. Now, I see it is hitting the poorest.”

Even as Europeans send generators to power-crippled Ukraine after Russian strikes on its energy facilities, some are bracing for possible blackouts at home. Germans are squirreling away candles, Finns who own electric cars are asked not to heat them before climbing inside.

In France, normally an electricity exporter, half the country’s nuclear fleet is offline for repairs. Authorities have urged citizens and businesses to lower their thermostats, hoping energy savings will avert possible blackouts.

“My village raised funds for Ukrainians,” said Valerie, a tourist from southern France. “But if there are electricity cuts, it will be very difficult for French and Europeans. It will really impact our daily lives and our morale.”

“At the moment, solidarity is pretty strong” among European citizens, said John Springford, deputy director for the Center for European Reform think-tank. “But if the Ukraine war turns into a complete stalemate, things might get more difficult.”

French energy expert Thierry Bros is more pessimistic, describing a Russian energy war to defeat Ukraine and unravel European unity.

“The fact we are getting less energy, the fact we are getting less rich, that the economy is turning into a recession, could lead to Ukraine fatigue,” Bros added. “European citizens will look out for themselves first.”

Divisions are already showing in other areas.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, with once-close ties to Russia, has suggested EU sanctions against Moscow should be scrapped, and temporarily blocked $19 billion in EU financial aid for Ukraine. The legislation ultimately passed last month.

Poland and Germany have sparred over the placement of a German Patriot missile air defense system, in what some reports suggest underscores larger differences.

EU divisions also exist over Russia’s threat and Europe’s future relationship with Moscow, analysts say. French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent suggestion that the West should consider “security guarantees” for Russia drew sharp pushback from Poland and the Baltic states.

“There is a clear understanding the fight against Russia’s invasion is a fight for their own liberty,” said Sebastien Maillard, head of the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris, describing mindsets in European countries located near Russia. “It’s very obvious for Poland, the Baltic states and the Balkans. It’s not that obvious for the western part of Europe.”

Lesser, of the German Marshall Fund, believes Europe will face another test. To date, U.S. financial and military support for Ukraine has dwarfed the EU’s.

“When it comes to reconstruction in Ukraine, including things that could be done now to support Ukrainian society even before the war ends — I think there’s going to be a much stronger push from the American side for Europe to do more, and spend more,” Lesser said. “Because it can.”

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За дві перші ночі року сили ППО збили 100% дронів, випущених Росією – Ігнат

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На Харківщині затримали експоліцейського, який співпрацював із окупаційними військами – ОГП

«Однією з його основних задач було конвоювання затриманих окупантами місцевих жителів, українських правоохоронців та учасників АТО»

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Журналіст Bild отримав осколкове поранення через обстріл Дружківки

«Травма не така вже й серйозна. Однак це нагадування про всі труднощі, через які проходять репортери в Україні»

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House Speaker Race May Complicate New Session of US Congress

The 118th session of the U.S. Congress opens Tuesday with all attention focused on whether Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California can secure enough votes from his fellow Republicans to become the speaker of the House of Representatives and second in line to the U.S. presidency.

The 57-year-old McCarthy, who for years has sought to lead the 435-member House, is now tantalizingly close to winning the speakership yet not quite assured of securing the 218-vote majority he needs.

Republicans won a narrow 222-213 majority in nationwide House congressional elections in November and will take control of the chamber from Democrats and outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Democrats, who have been locked in a 50-50 split with Republicans in the Senate the past two years, gained a 51-49 edge in the elections nearly two months ago and will maintain a majority even though Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema later switched from Democrat to independent.

McCarthy, a staunch conservative, won 188 votes in a House Republican caucus in November, and since then has secured more support in his effort to reach the 218-vote majority for the speakership.

But a hard-right group of House Republicans — five or more — oppose McCarthy’s bid for the speakership, saying that he has not been devoted enough to the conservative cause.

The dissidents have vowed to vote against McCarthy, which would leave him short of the needed majority because all Democrats almost assuredly will vote for their newly selected party leader, Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

Over the past several weeks, McCarthy has held numerous conversations with the band of Republicans opposing him to try to secure their support.

He has offered them a variety of changes to the way the House operates or appointment to committees where key legislation is considered. One change will give the small number of dissident Republicans the right to a House vote to declare the House speakership vacant if they disagree with the way McCarthy is handling party policy on legislation or expected investigations of U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration.

But so far, with less than a day before Congress convenes at noon Tuesday, McCarthy’s quest for the speakership hangs in the balance, even though no one has gained any substantial support as an alternative.

No vote for the House speakership has gone beyond a single ballot in a century, but it could Tuesday.

Choosing a House speaker occurs even before representatives are sworn into office for their two-year terms. Lawmakers will call out the name of their choice for House speaker from the floor of the chamber.

Should McCarthy come up short of the required 218 votes — or fewer if some lawmakers vote themselves as “present” in the chamber, lowering the number McCarthy would need for a majority — one or more new votes would occur. The clerk of the House would continue to laboriously call the roll of all 435 members until McCarthy, or someone else, reaches a majority to become speaker.

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Benedict Aide’s Tell-all Book Will Expose ‘Dark Maneuvers’

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s longtime personal secretary has written a tell-all book that his publisher on Monday promised would tell the truth about the “blatant calumnies,” “dark maneuvers,” mysteries and scandals that sullied the reputation of a pontiff best known for his historic resignation.

Archbishop Georg Gaenswein’s Nothing but the Truth: My Life Beside Pope Benedict XVI is being published this month by the Piemme imprint of Italian publishing giant Mondadori, according to a press release.

Benedict died Saturday at age 95 and his body was put on display Monday in St. Peter’s Basilica ahead of a Thursday funeral to be celebrated by his successor, Pope Francis.

Gaenswein, a 66-year-old German priest, stood by Benedict’s side for nearly three decades, first as an official working for then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then starting in 2003 as Ratzinger’s personal secretary.

Gaenswein followed his boss to the Apostolic Palace as secretary when Ratzinger was elected pope in 2005. And in one of the most memorable images of Benedict’s final day as pope Feb. 28, 2013, Gaenswein wept as he accompanied Benedict through the frescoed halls of the Vatican, saying goodbye.

He remained Benedict’s gatekeeper, confidant and protector during a decade-long retirement, while also serving until recently as the prefect of Francis’ papal household. It was Gaenswein who performed the anointing of the sick last Wednesday, when Benedict’s health deteriorated, and it was he who called Francis on Saturday to tell him that Benedict had died.

According to Piemme, Gaenswein’s book contains “a personal testimony about the greatness of a mild man, a fine scholar, a cardinal and a pope who made the history of our time.” But it said the book also contained a firsthand account that would correct some “misunderstood” aspects of the pontificate as well as the machinations of the Vatican.

“Today, after the death of the pope emeritus, the time has come for the current prefect of the papal household to tell his own truth about the blatant calumnies and dark maneuvers that have tried in vain to cast shadows on the German pontiff’s magisterium and actions,” the press release said.

Gaenswein’s account would “finally make known the true face of one of the greatest protagonists of recent decades, too often unjustly denigrated by critics as ‘Panzerkardinal’ or ‘God’s Rottweiler,'” it said, referring to some common media nicknames for the German known for his conservative, doctrinaire bent.

Specifically, the publisher said Gaenswein would address the “Vatileaks” scandal, in which Benedict’s own butler leaked his personal correspondence to a journalist, as well as clergy sex abuse scandals and one of the enduring mysteries of the Vatican, the 1983 disappearance of the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee, Emanuela Orlandi.

The book appears to be just part of what is shaping up as a postmortem media blitz by Gaenswein, including the release Monday of excerpts of a lengthy interview he granted Italian state RAI television last month that is to be broadcast Thursday after the funeral.

According to the excerpts published by La Repubblica newspaper, Gaenswein recounted how he tried to dissuade Benedict from resigning after the then-pope told him in late September 2012 that he had made up his mind. That was six months after Benedict took a nighttime fall during a visit to Mexico and determined he no longer could handle the rigors of the job.

“He told me: ‘You can imagine I have thought long and hard about this, I’ve reflected, I’ve prayed, I’ve struggled. And now I’m communicating to you that a decision has been taken, it’s not up for discussion,'” Gaenswein recalled Benedict saying.

Gaenswein also referred to the struggles, scandals and problems Benedict faced during his eight-year pontificate, recalling he had asked for prayers at the start to protect him from the “wolves” who were out to get him. Gaenswein cited in particular the “Vatileaks” betrayal, which resulted in the butler being convicted by the Vatican tribunal, only to be pardoned by the pope two months before his resignation.

“Anyone who thinks there can be a calm papacy has got the wrong profession,” he said.

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Російські військові знищили арену восьмиразових чемпіонів України – ХК «Донбас»

За повідомленням, це «вже третя домівка, яку втратив донецький клуб через російських окупантів – Палац спорту «Дружба» у Донецьку, Mariupol Ice Center, а тепер «Альтаїр»

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Британія не вимагатиме обовʼязкового COVID-тестування подорожувальників із Китаю – Independent

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У Росії співака Меладзе пропонують «позбавити звань» за відповідь «Героям слава»

На виступі в Дубаї чоловік, який залишився за кадром, попросив співака передати привіт його дружині й додав «Слава Україні!» У відповідь співак, прибравши мікрофон від обличчя, тихо відповів «Героям слава!»

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Hundreds of Migrants in Florida in What Sheriff Calls ‘Crisis’

At least 500 migrants arrived in small boats along the Florida Keys over the last several days in what the local sheriff’s office described on Monday as a “crisis.”

Economic turmoil, food shortages and soaring inflation in Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean is spurring the most recent wave of migration. Over the weekend, 300 migrants arrived at the sparsely populated Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of Key West. The park was closed so that law enforcement and medical personnel could evaluate the group before moving them to Key West, the park tweeted.

Separately, 160 migrants arrived on boats in other parts of the Florida Keys over the New Year’s Day weekend, officials said. On Monday, 30 people in two new groups of migrants were found in the Middle Keys.

In a news release, Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay criticized the federal response to the uptick in migrant arrivals, saying they were stretching local resources. U.S. Border Patrol told the sheriff’s office that the federal response to some of the migrants arriving may have to wait a day, the news release said.

“Refugee arrivals require a lot of resources from the Sheriff’s Office as we help our federal law enforcement partners ensure the migrants are in good health and safe,” said Ramsay, whose office’s jurisdiction encompasses the Florida Keys. “This shows a lack of a working plan by the federal government to deal with a mass migration issue that was foreseeable.”

Officials at Dry Tortugas National Park said they expected it to be closed for several days because of the space and resources needed to attend to the migrants. The national park is at the southern tip of the continental U.S. — and attracts scuba divers and snorkelers for its coral reefs, nesting sea turtles, tropical fish and shipwrecks.

“Like elsewhere in the Florida Keys, the park has recently seen an increase in people arriving by boat from Cuba and landing on the islands of Dry Tortugas National Park,” the National Park Service said in a news release.

In addition to landing at the national park over the weekend, 160 other migrants arrived in the Middle and Upper Keys. At least 88 of the migrants are from Cuba, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a tweet.

U.S. Border Patrol and Coast Guard crews patrolling South Florida and the Keys have been experiencing the largest escalation of migrations by boat in nearly a decade, with hundreds of interceptions in recent months, mostly of people from Cuba and Haiti.