Daily Archives

21 Articles

Posted by Ukrap on

Обговорювали ситуацію на Донбасі – Зеленський повідомив про засідання Ставки головнокомандувача

Обговорювалася ситуація в Бахмуті, Соледарі, Кремінній та Сватовому

Posted by Ukrap on

Удар по Краматорську: війська РФ поцілили в авто, є загиблі – Тимошенко

Posted by Ukrap on

Зеленський анонсує «хороші новини» і впевнений, що ЗСУ отримають необхідну зброю «вже скоро»

«Україна має отримати все те, що необхідно, щоб вигнати терористів із нашої землі. Я впевнений, що ця зброя й ця техніка будуть у наших воїнів на фронті. Вже скоро»

Posted by Worldkrap on

US Green Beret Veteran Clears Mines in Ukraine

Ryan Hendrickson is a retired Green Beret, a special forces unit of the U.S. Army. But today he is in Ukraine, helping to clear mines laid by invading Russian forces and keep soldiers and civilians safe. For VOA, Іa Meurmishvili talked to Hendrickson in this report. Video editor – Anna Rice.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Independent News Outlet Staff Go on Trial in Belarus

Five employees of what used to be authoritarian Belarus’s largest independent news outlet went on trial Monday in Minsk, facing several charges including tax evasion and “inciting enmity”, a rights group said.

The outlet Tut.by covered large-scale protests in 2020 that erupted after President Alexander Lukashenko claimed a sixth term in office in a contested election.

The new source’s editor-in-chief Marina Zolatova and the its general director Lyudmila Chekina have been in pre-trial detention since May 2021.

Three other defendants in the case left Belarus before the trial started, according to rights group Viasna.

A photo from court published by opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya showed Zolatova and Chekina sitting inside a cage for defendants.

“We must support all journalists who fight for the truth!” Tsikhanouskaya wrote on Twitter on Monday at the start of the closed-door trial.

The media outlet was designated “extremist” in 2021. Some of its employees now work from abroad for a successor publication called Zerkalo.

Zerkalo said in a statement the case against their former colleagues “was fabricated from start to finish and appeared only because the regime is afraid of journalists”.

Following the historic anti-regime protests in 2020, Belarus has sought to wipe out remaining pockets of dissent, jailing journalists, activists and forcing many others into exile.

According to Viasna, there are over 1,400 political prisoners in Belarus.

In a high-profile case last week, Viasna founder Ales Bialiatski, who was co-awarded last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, went on trial in Belarus with several of his associates.

They face between seven and 12 years in prison.

Tsikhanouskaya, who claimed victory in Belarus’s disputed 2020 presidential election, will face trial in absentia on January 17 on charges including high treason and conspiracy to seize power.

Posted by Ukrap on

НАБУ розшукує депутатку ВР від «Слуги народу» за підозрою в недостовірному декларуванні

Маргарита Шол була обрана до Верховної Ради у 2019 році від партії «Слуга народу»

Posted by Ukrap on

Російські війська обстріляли Очаків, голова облради повідомляє про 9 поранених

За даними голови ОВА, обстріл пошкодив лікарню, проте на її території ніхто не постраждав

Posted by Ukrap on

Шмигаль розраховує, що 10-й пакет санкцій ЄС міститиме обмеження проти ядерної енергетики Росії

«Агресор має бути покараний за атаки на енергетику України та злочини проти екології»

Posted by Worldkrap on

Immigration, Trade on Agenda as Biden Visits Mexico

Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador hosts U.S. President Joe Biden for talks Monday in Mexico City ahead of a regional summit that will include Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Migration, climate change, trade and manufacturing are among the major topics on the agenda. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that with his visit, the first to Mexico since becoming president, Biden expects to “promote a common vision for North America.” 

Jean-Pierre said Biden would be making announcements about expanding cooperation to combat trafficking of arms, drugs and humans, as well as addressing environmental challenges and steps to “jointly address irregular migration in the region.” 

Ahead of the Tuesday summit, Biden, Trudeau and Lopez Obrador are participating in a dinner along with their spouses. 

Biden arrived late Sunday in Mexico after visiting the Texas city of El Paso for a firsthand look at the influx of thousands of undocumented migrants crossing the border with Mexico.     

During his roughly four-hour visit to the border city, Biden stopped at the Bridge of the Americas port of entry where he met with Customs and Border Protection officers and watched as they demonstrated how they search vehicles at the border for drugs, money and other contraband.     

Biden also walked a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border wall that separates the Texas city from Ciudad Juarez. Two Border Patrol agents walked with the president.    

He also visited the El Paso County Migrant Support Center where he met with local officials and community leaders.   

Upon his arrival in Texas, Biden was met by Governor Greg Abbott, who handed Biden a letter. Abbott cited “chaos” in his state, saying the situation is the result of Biden failing to enforce federal immigration laws. 

Biden tweeted after his visit that it is possible to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and make the immigration process “orderly, fair, safe, and humane.” 

“My Administration is using the tools available to limit illegal migration, expand legal pathways to immigration, and increase security,” Biden said. “The approach we’re taking is based on a model we know works. But to truly fix our broken immigration system, Congress needs to act.”    

Biden’s visit came days after announcing that 30,000 Cubans, Nicaraguans, Haitians and Venezuelans would be allowed into the U.S. per month and allowed to work legally for up to two years if they apply from their home countries, pass a background check and prove they have a financial supporter in the U.S.      

But Biden says they will be deported to Mexico if they enter the U.S. illegally, an expansion of a pandemic-era immigration policy that cited concerns over the spread of the coronavirus as the reason to keep out the waves of migrants trying to enter the United States.        

White House correspondent Anita Powell in El Paso, Texas contributed to this story. Some material for this report came from The Associated Press. 

Posted by Worldkrap on

Czech Ex-Premier Babis Acquitted in EU Funds Fraud Case

A Prague court on Monday acquitted former Prime Minister Andrej Babis of fraud charges in a $2 million case involving European Union subsidies.     

A prosecutor requested a three-year suspended sentence and a fine of $440,000 for the populist billionaire. The prosecution still can appeal.     

Babis pleaded not guilty and repeatedly said the charges against him were politically motivated.     

He wasn’t present at Prague’s Municipal Court on Monday. His former associate, Jana Nagyova, who signed the subsidy request, was also acquitted.     

The ruling is a boost for Babis just days before the first round of the Czech presidential election.     

Babis is considered a front-runner in Friday’s election, along with retired army general Petr Pavel, former chairman of NATO’s military committee, and former university rector Danuse Nerudova. 

Posted by Worldkrap on

NWS: California to Get Heavy Rain and Heavy Snow

The National Weather Service said Monday that it is advising residents in some areas of California to prepare for “two major episodes of heavy rain and heavy mountain snow” that are expected “to impact California in quick succession during the next couple of days.”  

The wet weather forecast is complicated further the service said by an “energetic and moisture-laden parade of cyclones that are aiming directly for California.”    

Heavy precipitation is expected in central California with rainfall totals Monday of 7 to 13 centimeters near the coast, the weather forecasters said.  

On Tuesday, slightly less precipitation will fall, impacting locations farther south into southern California.  

The heavy rainfalls, the meteorologists said, “will lead to additional instances of flooding,” including “rapid water rises, mudslides, and the potential for major river flooding.” 

The Sierra Nevada, meanwhile, will likely receive “heavy snow exceeding 6 feet [2 meters] across the higher elevations before the snow tapers off Wednesday morning.” 

The NWS warned that the heavy snow expected in the Sierra Nevada could make travel “very dangerous to impossible at times.”   

The heavy snowfall could also “increase the threat of avalanches and strain infrastructure,” the NWS warned.  

Posted by Ukrap on

Суд у Чехії виправдав експремʼєра та кандидата в президенти Андрея Бабіша

Державне обвинувачення в справі про шахрайство просило засудити Бабіша до умовного терміну та штрафу

Posted by Ukrap on

Болгарія відмовилася екстрадувати до Білорусі українського волонтера

38-річного Трофимчука було затримано в листопаді 2022 року при спробі вʼїхати до Болгарії з Румунії

Posted by Ukrap on

Російський уряд схвалив заборону мап, які «піддають сумніву цілісність РФ»

Законопроєкт, внесений до Держдуми Росії після оголошеної російською владою анексії чотирьох областей України, вже пройшов перше читання

Posted by Worldkrap on

Sweden Can’t Meet Some of Turkey’s Demands for NATO Bid, PM Says

Turkey, which has for months blocked NATO membership bids by Sweden and Finland, has made some demands that Sweden cannot accept, Sweden’s prime minister said on Sunday.

“Turkey has confirmed that we have done what we said we would do, but it also says that it wants things that we can’t, that we don’t want to, give it,” Ulf Kristersson said during a security conference also attended by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.

“We are convinced that Turkey will make a decision, we just don’t know when,” he said, adding that it will depend on internal politics inside Turkey as well as “Sweden’s capacity to show its seriousness.”

Sweden and Finland broke with decades of military non-alignment and applied to join the U.S.-led defense alliance in response to Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine.

But Turkey has refused to approve their bid until the two countries take steps, including joining Turkey’s fight against banned Kurdish militants.

Most of Turkey’s demands have involved Sweden because of its more robust ties with the Kurdish diaspora.

Finland’s foreign minister said that the country would join NATO at the same time as its neighbor.

“Finland is not in such a rush to join NATO that we can’t wait until Sweden gets the green light,” Pekka Haavisto, told reporters at Sunday’s conference.

NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg said he expects both countries will be able to join the military alliance as early as this year, while admitting the decision depends on the Turkish and Hungarian parliaments. 

Among the 30 NATO members, only Hungary and Turkey have yet to green-light the two Nordic applications.

But Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said parliament will soon approve both Finland and Sweden’s accession bids, leaving Turkey the main holdout.

“I expect (that accession will take place in 2023), but I will not guarantee the exact date, because it is of course a sovereign decision of the Turkish and Hungarian parliaments, (which) have not yet ratified the agreement,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with AFP.

Finland and Sweden “are clearly committed to long-term cooperation with Turkey,” and “the time has come to finalize the accession process and to ratify the accession protocol,” he added.

In late December, Turkey praised Sweden for responding to its security concerns but stressed more was needed to win Ankara’s full backing for Stockholm’s stalled NATO membership bid.

Posted by Ukrap on

Зеленський: Бахмут і Соледар залишаються одними з найкривавіших місць на фронті

Від стійкості та ефективності дій у кожній точці фронту залежить стійкість та ефективність дій на фронті загалом, зазначив президент

Posted by Worldkrap on

Biden Visits US Mexico Border Amid New Immigration Restrictions

U.S. President Joe Biden visited the American border town of El Paso, in Texas, Sunday afternoon before traveling to Mexico City to meet with North American leaders. This is Biden’s first trip to the Southwestern border since taking office. VOA’s immigration reporter Aline Barros has more. Jorge Agobian contributed to this report.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Japan’s Kishida Highlights Security Concerns on Trip to Europe, US

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida begins a weeklong trip Monday to strengthen military ties with Europe and Britain and bring into focus the Japan-U.S. alliance at a summit in Washington, as Japan breaks from its postwar restraint to take on more offensive roles with an eye toward China.

Kishida’s talks with U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday will highlight his five-nation tour that also takes him to France, Italy, Britain and Canada — some of the Group of Seven nations Japan has stepped up defense ties with in recent years. His first stop is Paris on Monday evening.

Kishida said his summit with Biden will underscore the strength of the Japan-U.S. alliance and how the two countries can work more closely under Japan’s new security and defense strategies.

Japan in December adopted key security and defense reforms, including a counterstrike capability that makes a break from the country’s exclusively self-defense-only postwar principle. Japan says the current deployment of missile interceptors is insufficient to defend it from rapid weapons advancement in China and North Korea.

Kishida said he will explain to Biden the new strategy, under which Japan is also reinforcing defenses on its southwestern islands close to Taiwan, including Yonaguni and Ishigaki, where new bases are being constructed.

“Will will discuss further strengthening of the Japan-U.S. alliance, and how we work together to achieve a fee and open Indo-Pacific,” Kishida told a NHK national television talk show Sunday, referring to a vision of national and economic security cooperation the two countries promote to counter China’s growing military and economic influence.

Under the new strategies, Japan plans to start deploying in 2026 long-range cruise missiles that can reach potential targets in China, nearly double its defense budget within five years to a NATO standard of about 2% of GDP from the current 1%, and improve cyberspace and intelligence capabilities.

The idea is to do as much as possible in a short time as some experts see growing risks that Chinese President Xi Jinping may take action against self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.

Japan’s new strategy has been well received by the Biden administration and some members of the Congress. Experts say it would also widen cooperation with their main regional partners Australia and possibly South Korea.

“This is an opportunity to rethink and update the structure and the mechanisms of the alliance to reflect a much more capable partner that’s coming,” said Christopher Johnstone, senior adviser and Japan chair for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He said, however, that Japan’s focus on the strike capability and budget is a welcome but “a daunting agenda” that will require a lot of cooperation with the United States.

Paving the way for the summit, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi will fly to Washington to meet their American counterparts, Lloyd Austin and Antony Blinken, respectively, on Wednesday, followed by separate defense ministers’ talks on Thursday.

The Biden administration, which also adopted its security strategy in October, expects Japan to assist in the supply and storage of fuel and munitions in case of a Taiwan emergency, experts say. Japan and the United States are also reportedly considering establishing a joint command.

During the talks at the White House, the two leaders are also expected to discuss China, North Korea’s nuclear and missile development as well as Russia’s war on Ukraine, Japanese officials said.

Cooperation in the area of supply chain and economic security will be also on the table. Last week, Japanese Economy and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo discussed in Washington the importance to work together to promote and protect critical and emerging technologies, including semiconductors, and export controls to address competitiveness and security concerns.

During his trip, Kishida will seek to further strengthen bilateral military ties with four other countries, Japanese officials say.

Japan’s joint development and production of its F-X next-generation fighter jet with Britain and Italy for a planned deployment in 2035 will be a top agenda item during his visits in Rome and London on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Japan and Britain have also been discussing a Reciprocal Access Agreement that would remove obstacles to holding joint military exercises in either country. Besides the Japan-U.S. security treaty that allows U.S. troops to station in Japan, Tokyo has a similar agreement only with Australia, and Britain would be second.

During his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, Kishida is expected to share concern over China’s growing activity in the South Pacific and confirm stepping up joint military exercise between the two sides.

Posted by Worldkrap on

CES 2023: Smelling, Touching Take Center Stage in Metaverse 

Is the metaverse closer than we think?

It depends on whom you ask at CES, where companies are showing off innovations that could immerse us deeper into virtual reality, otherwise known as VR.

The metaverse — essentially a buzzword for three-dimensional virtual communities where people can meet, work and play — was a key theme during the four-day tech gathering in Las Vegas that ends Sunday.

Taiwanese tech giant HTC unveiled a high-end VR headset that aims to compete with market leader Meta, and a slew of other companies and startups touted augmented reality glasses and sensory technologies that can help users feel — and even smell — in a virtual environment.

Among them, Vermont-based OVR Technology showcased a headset containing a cartridge with eight primary aromas that can be combined to create different scents. It’s scheduled to be released later this year.

An earlier, business-focused version used primarily for marketing fragrances and beauty products is integrated into VR goggles and allows users to smell anything from a romantic bed of roses to a marshmallow roasting over a fire at a campsite.

The company says it aims to help consumers relax and is marketing the product, which comes with an app, as a sort of digital spa mixed with Instagram.

“We are entering an era in which extended reality will drive commerce, entertainment, education, social connection, and wellbeing,” the company’s CEO and co-founder Aaron Wisniewski said in a statement. “The quality of these experiences will be measured by how immersive and emotionally engaging they are. Scent imbues them with an unmatched power.”

But more robust and immersive uses of scent — and its close cousin, taste — are still further away on the innovation spectrum. Experts say even VR technologies that are more accessible are in the early days of their development and too expensive for many consumers to purchase.

The numbers show there’s waning interest. According to the research firm NPD Group, sales of VR headsets, which found popular use in gaming, declined by 2% last year, a sour note for companies betting big on more adoption.

Still, big companies like Microsoft and Meta are investing billions. And many others are joining the race to grab some market share in supporting technologies, including wearables that replicate touch.

Customers, though, aren’t always impressed by what they find. Ozan Ozaskinli, a tech consultant who traveled more than 29 hours from Istanbul to attend CES, suited up with yellow gloves and a black vest to test out a so-called haptics product, which relays sensations through buzzes and vibrations and stimulates our sense of touch.

Ozaskinli was attempting to punch in a code on a keypad that allowed him to pull a lever and unlock a box containing a shiny gemstone. But the experience was mostly a letdown.

“I think that’s far from reality right now,” Ozaskinli said. “But if I was considering it to replace Zoom meetings, why not? At least you can feel something.”

Proponents say widespread adoption of virtual reality will ultimately benefit different parts of society by essentially unlocking the ability to be with anyone, anywhere at any time. Though it’s too early to know what these technologies can do once they fully mature, companies looking to achieve the most immersive experiences for users are welcoming them with open arms.

Aurora Townsend, the chief marketing officer at Flare, a company slated to launch a VR dating app called Planet Theta next month, said her team is building its app to incorporate more sensations like touch once the technology becomes more widely available on the consumer market.

“Being able to feel the ground when you’re walking with your partner, or holding their hands while you’re doing that… subtle ways we engage people will change once haptic technology is fully immersive in VR,” Townsend said.

Still, it’s unlikely that many of these products will become widely used in the next few years, even in gaming, said Matthew Ball, a metaverse expert. Instead, he said the pioneers of adoption are likely to be fields that have higher budgets and more precise needs, such as bomb units using haptics and virtual reality to help with their work and others in the medical field.

In 2021, Johns Hopkins neurosurgeons said they used augmented reality to perform spinal fusion surgery and remove a cancerous tumor from a patient’s spine.

And optical technology from Lumus, an Israeli company that makes AR glasses, is already being used by underwater welders, fighter pilots and surgeons who want to monitor a patient’s vital signs or MRI scans during a procedure without having to look up at several screens, said David Goldman, vice president of marketing for the company.

Meanwhile, Xander, a Boston-based startup which makes smart glasses that display real-time captions of in-person conversations for people with hearing loss, will launch a pilot program with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs next month to test out some of its technology, said Alex Westner, the company’s co-founder and CEO. He said the agency will allow veterans who have appointments for hearing loss or other audio issues to try out the glasses in some of their clinics. And if it goes well, the agency would likely become a customer, Westner said.

Elsewhere, big companies from Walmart to Nike have been launching different initiatives in virtual reality. But it’s not clear how much they can benefit during the early stages of the technology. The consulting firm McKinsey says the metaverse could generate up to $5 trillion by 2030. But outside of gaming, much of today’s VR use remains somewhat of a marginal amusement, said Michael Kleeman, a tech strategist and visiting scholar at the University of California San Diego.

“When people are promoting this, what they have to answer is — where’s the value in this? Where’s the profit? Not what’s fun, what’s cute and what’s interesting.”

For more coverage of CES, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/technology

Posted by Worldkrap on

Climate Activists to Defend Village From Demolition by Coal Mine 

Climate activists pledged Sunday to defend a tiny village in western Germany from being bulldozed for the expansion of a nearby coal mine that has become a battleground between the government and environmental campaigners.

Hundreds of people from across Germany gathered for protest training and a subsequent demonstration in the hamlet of Luetzerath, which lies west of Cologne next to the vast Garzweiler coal mine.

The open-cast mine, which provides a large share of the lignite — a soft, brownish coal — burned at nearby power plants, is scheduled to close by 2030 under a deal agreed last year between the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia and utility company RWE.

The company says it needs the coal to ensure Germany’s energy security, which has come under strain following the cut in gas supplies from Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.

But environmental groups have blasted the agreement, saying it will still result in hundreds of millions of tons of coal being extracted and burned. They argue that this would release vast amounts of greenhouse gas and make it impossible for Germany to meet its commitments under the 2015 Paris climate accord.

“[We] will fight for every tree, for every house, for every meter in this village,” said Luka Scott, a spokesperson for the alliance of groups organizing protests. “Because whoever attacks Luetzerath, attacks our future.”

Prominent campaigners have rallied support to defend the village from destruction, citing the impact that climate change is already having on Germany and beyond.

German news agency dpa reported that some activists have erected barricades and other defensive measures to prevent Luetzerath from being razed. Last week, protesters briefly clashed with police at the site.

The village and surrounding areas belong to RWE and the last farmer residing there sold his property to the company in 2022 after losing a court case against his eviction. Since then, only a handful of activists have remained, some living in self-built tree houses or caravans.

Police have said no clearance will take place before Jan. 10.