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Posted by Worldkrap on

Long Days of Gravediggers Tell Story of Ukraine’s War Dead

The graves are dug in the morning. Four plots, each two meters deep in the section of a cemetery in a central Ukrainian city devoted to the nation’s fallen soldiers. 

The day begins for Oleh Itsenko, 29, and Andrii Kuznetsov, 23, shortly after dawn, when the two diggers report for the grueling work. A day in their lives tells the story of Ukraine’s mounting war dead. They won’t be finished until sunset. 

With a tractor equipped with an earth auger, they bore into the ground. Armed with shovels, they go about carving out perfect rectangles with precision, the final resting place for the country’s soldiers killed in fierce battles on Ukraine’s eastern front. 

There will be four funerals today in the main cemetery of Kryvyi Rih, an iron-mining city 400 kilometers from the capital, Kyiv. 

“It’s hard,” says Itsenko, a former metal worker. “But someone’s got to do it.” 

In Ukraine, even the business of death has become routine as funerals are held for soldiers across the country almost every day, at times multiple times a day. The war’s death toll is kept a closely guarded secret by government and military officials, but it can be measured in other ways: through the long, working hours of the two young men, the repetitive rhythm of shovels and spades scooping up soil, the daily processions of weeping mourners. 

Western officials estimate there have been at least 100,000 Ukrainians soldiers killed or wounded since Russia’s full-scale invasion began last year. Estimates for Moscow’s war dead and wounded are double that as Ukrainian military officials report Russia is using wave tactics to exhaust resources and deplete their morale. 

Many soldiers have died fighting in Bakhmut, in what has become the war’s longest battle, and among the deadliest. Ukrainian forces in the city are surrounded from three directions by advancing Russian invaders and are determined to hold on to the city to deprive Moscow of any territorial victories. In the process, many Ukrainian servicemen have died. 

At 11 a.m., when the first coffin arrives, the two men lean back, exhausted, under the late morning sun. Shovels to the side, they peer from under baseball caps as the familiar scene, now a routine, unfolds. 

The family of Andrii Vorobiov, 51, weep as they enter the premises. Dozens more mourners arrive in buses. The deceased’s fellow servicemen weep as the coffin, draped in the yellow and blue of the national flag, is placed on the gravel. Vorobiov died in an aerial bomb attack in Bakmut, leaving behind three children. 

When the priest is done reciting the funeral rites, Vorobiov’s wife throws her hands over his coffin and wails. His daughter holds his medals, won for acts of bravery in the battlefield. 

“I won’t see you again,” she screams. “You won’t come to breakfast. I can’t bear it!” 

Between tears and screams, Itsenko and Kuznetsov wait for the last handful of dirt to be tossed onto the lowered coffin. Then they can begin the work of filling Vorobiov’s grave. 

The outpouring of grief is normal, Kuznetsov said. He isn’t affected most of the time because they are strangers. 

But once, he was asked to help carry the coffin because there weren’t enough pallbearers. He couldn’t hold back his anguish in the middle of that crowd. 

He didn’t even know the guy, he reflected. 

Kuznetsov never imagined he would be a gravedigger. He has a university degree in technology. A good degree, he was told by his teachers. 

“If it’s so good, then why am I doing this?” he asked, panting as he shoveled dirt into Vorobiov’s grave. 

There were no jobs, and he needed the money, he said finally. 

Itsenko lost his job when the war broke out, and learned the local cemetery needed diggers. Without any options, he didn’t need to think twice. 

It is 1:30 p.m. While the two young men are still working to fill the first grave, another funeral is starting. 

The family of Andrii Romanenko, 31, erects a tent to protect the coffin from the afternoon sun. The priest reads the rites, and the wailing starts again. 

Romanenko died when he was hit by a mortar defending the city of Bakhmut. A fellow serviceman, Valery, says they had served together in Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk but parted ways in December. 

“He went too soon,” says Valery, sighing deeply. He speaks on the condition his last name be withheld, citing Ukrainian military protocols for active soldiers. 

As mourners bid their last farewell and toss earth into Romanenko’s grave, Itsenko and Kuznetsov still have not finished filling the first. 

“Got to hurry,” says Itsenko, wiping the sweat from his brow. 

There will be two more funerals in the next hour. And tomorrow, there will be another three funerals. Neither man can afford to stop. 

“What we are doing is for the greater good,” Itsenko says. “Our heroes deserve a proper resting place.” 

But he, his family’s only breadwinner, wouldn’t want to be fighting alongside them. 

“It’s better here,” he says, patting Vorobiov’s grave with his shovel. Kuznetsov plunges the cross into the earth, the last step before the flowers are laid. 

One done, three more to go. 

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Investigators Say Syrian Suspect Sought Items to Attack ‘Civilian Targets’

German authorities have arrested a Syrian man on suspicion of planning to carry out an explosives attack motivated by Islamic extremism, officials said Tuesday.

Federal police said officers arrested the 28-year-old man early Tuesday in the northern city of Hamburg based on a court-issued warrant for suspected terrorism financing offenses.

Investigators say the man is suspected of trying to obtain substances online that would have allowed him to manufacturer an explosive belt “in order to carry out an attack against civilian targets.”

Police say the man was encouraged and supported in his action by his 24-year-old brother, who lives in the southern town of Kempten. German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported that the younger man was also detained.

The brothers, whose names weren’t immediately released, were described by federal police as being motivated by “radical Islamist and jihadist” views.

Authorities said they had no information indicating a concrete target for the planned attack.

Search yields chemical substances

Police searched properties in Hamburg and Kempten, seizing large amounts of evidence including chemical substances, officials said. Some 250 officers were involved in the operation.

Germany’s top security official thanked police, saying their actions “have prevented possible Islamist attack plans.”

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the case showed that the danger of Islamic extremism remained high and pledged that German security agencies would continue to take all information about such threats seriously.

“Germany remains a direct target of Islamist terrorist organizations,” she said. “Islamist-motivated lone perpetrators are another significant threat.”

Attack at Duisburg gym

In a separate case, authorities in western Germany said Tuesday that they are investigating a possible extremist motive in an attack at a gym in Duisburg last week. A 26-year-old Syrian was arrested days after the attack, in which four men were seriously wounded and one of them remains in life-threatening condition.

Duesseldorf prosecutors said a review of the suspect’s cellphone indicated that “there may have been an Islamist motive” behind the attack but declined to elaborate. The man is currently being held on suspicion of attempted murder and other offenses.

Posted by Ukrap on

Путін підписав указ про дзеркальне вилучення іноземних активів

Після початку повномасштабного вторгнення в Україну Москва запровадила низку обмежень для іноземних компаній із так званих «недружніх країн», які підтримали санкції проти РФ

Posted by Ukrap on

У Запоріжжі повідомляють про звуки вибухів

Влада просить перебувати у безпечних місцях до завершення повітряної тривоги

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After Weeks of Hinting, Biden Announces Reelection Bid

After weeks of hinting he would run for reelection, U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday formally announced his candidacy for 2024 in a three-minute video that drew a stark picture of what he believes is at stake: the very soul of America. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Washington on the prospect of another election battle between Biden and his likely challenger, former President Donald Trump.

Posted by Ukrap on

«Приклад російських репресій проти корінного народу Криму» – президент про затримання Джеппарова

Президент Володимир Зеленський назвав актом репресії проти кримськотатарського народу затримання в окупованому Криму кримського громадського діяча, правозахисника Абдурешита Джеппарова.

«Сьогодні окупанти увірвалися в будинок Абдурешита Джеппарова. Він один із представників кримськотатарського національного руху, правозахисник, громадянин України. Де він зараз, що з ним – невідомо. Це ще один приклад російських репресій проти корінного народу Криму, проти всіх наших людей. Тисячі й тисячі таких прикладів за час агресії як у Криму, так і в інших наших регіонах, окупованих Росією», – сказав Зеленський у вечірньому відеозверненні.

25 квітня стало відомо, що російські силовики затримали кримського громадського діяча Абдурешита Джеппарова після обшуку в його будинку. Кримська правозахисна група у фейсбуці повідомила, що Джеппарова окупанти затримали нібито за непокору поліції. Його тримають у спецприймачі для адміністративно арештованих у Сімферополі.

16 березня російські силовики провели обшук у будинку правозахисника, ветерана кримськотатарського національного руху в Білогірську. До Джеппарова не допустили адвокатів. Після обшуку російські силовики відвезли чоловіка до райвідділу поліції.

Пізніше Білогірський районний суд, підконтрольний Росії, заарештував його на 15 діб за звинуваченням у «пропаганді нацистської атрибутики чи символіки» у соцмережах.

МЗС України і представництво президента України в АР Крим закликали звільнити Абдурешита Джеппарова.

31 березня він вийшов на свободу після 15 діб адміністративного арешту.

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Venezuela’s Guaido in Miami After Surprise Colombia Visit

Former Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido arrived in Miami on Tuesday following a surprise visit to Colombia the previous day, where he had hoped to meet with participants at an international summit.

Guaido unexpectedly arrived in Colombia on the eve of the summit, organized by the government of leftist President Gustavo Petro with the aim of restarting stalled negotiations between Venezuela’s government and opposition politicians.

He boarded a plane in Colombia’s capital Bogota on Monday, just hours after saying on Twitter he had crossed into Colombia on foot.

“After 70 hours or more of travel I’m still very worried about my family and team,” Guaido told journalists after arriving in Miami, referring to threats he said they had received.

Guaido’s visit drew criticism from Colombian officials, with Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva sayingon Mondaythat Guaido had entered the country inappropriately.

Colombia’s migration agency accompanied Guaido to Bogota’s airport to ensure his departure to the United States, the ministry said on Monday.

Leyva told journalists on Tuesday that Guaido was accompanied by some U.S. officials at the airport and his ticket was provided by the United States. The U.S. government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Just enter with your passport and ask for asylum. With pleasure it would have been offered. You don’t need to enter illegally,” Petro tweeted, adding that Guaido was offered transit permissions.

Guaido had said that he hoped to meet delegations in Bogota for the summit. He urged participants to speak for Venezuelans in exile, serving as “the voice [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro wanted to take from me.”

The Tuesday conference, set to be attended by representatives of 19 countries and the European Union, is meant to help restart the stalled talks in Mexico.

Guaido, a 39-year-old engineer, headed an interim government for nearly three years before being replaced as head of the opposition legislature at the end of 2022.

Guaido’s Popular Will party in a statement said it rejected his treatment by Colombia’s government.

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Lithuania Legalizes Migrant Pushbacks

Lithuania’s parliament passed legislation Tuesday to make it legal to deny entry to asylum seekers, the EU member’s latest move to fight illegal immigration from Belarus to the dismay of rights activists.

The Baltic state had already been engaging in so-called pushbacks since 2021, when thousands of migrants and refugees — mainly from the Middle East and Africa — began trying to enter the European Union via Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.

The EU argued that the influx was a “hybrid attack” orchestrated by the Belarusian regime in retaliation for international sanctions against Minsk.

The number of attempted crossings has since fallen, but Lithuanian border guards still deny entry to up to several dozen migrants a day.

“When it comes to national security and human rights, there are no easy solutions, but also there are no alternatives,” Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite told journalists.

“Our country must defend itself,” she added.

Bilotaite said authorities had intel that Belarus was negotiating new direct flight routes to Minsk with Iran and Iraq, which suggested “possible new [migrant] flows.”

“We have to be ready and we need instruments,” she said.

Last week, Amnesty International warned that the law would “green-light torture.”

The legislation still requires approval by the president and activists said they would call for a veto.

“These amendments are against both international law and our own commitments,” Jurate Juskaite, the head of Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, told AFP.

“They are immoral, they endanger the life and health of the people trying to enter,” she added.

Last year, Lithuania finished building a four-meter razor wire fence along the border with Belarus to tackle illegal immigration.

It spans around 550 kilometers, while the entire border is nearly 700 kilometers long.

Neighboring Poland has also regularly resorted to pushbacks at its border with Belarus in recent years.

The controversial action is allowed under Polish law — through an interior ministry decree and the foreigners act — though in two separate cases, courts found it had violated refugee rights.

Posted by Ukrap on

Українські військові відбили 36 атак за добу на Бахмутському, Авдіївському та Мар’їнському напрямках – Генштаб

Авіація Сил оборони за добу завдала пʼять ударів по районах зосередження особового складу та військової техніки військ РФ, а також одного удару по зенітно-ракетному комплексу., інформують українські військові

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Prince Harry Takes on Murdoch’s UK Group Over Phone-Hacking

Britain’s Prince William has settled a phone-hacking claim against Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper arm for a “huge sum” after a secret deal struck with Buckingham Palace, lawyers for the heir’s brother Prince Harry said in court documents.

Harry, the younger son of King Charles, is suing Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN) at the High Court in London for multiple unlawful acts allegedly committed on behalf of its tabloids, the Sun and now defunct News of the World, from the mid-1990s until 2016.

In preliminary hearings this week, NGN, which has paid out millions of pounds to settle more than a thousand phone-hacking cases, is seeking to strike out claims by the prince and British actor Hugh Grant, arguing they should have taken action sooner.

It also denies anyone from the Sun was involved in any unlawful activity.

In a submission to the court, Harry’s legal team said the reason he had not brought action before was because a deal had been agreed between NGN and the “institution” — Buckingham Palace — to hold off any claims until the conclusion of other outstanding phone-hacking litigation.

“In responding to this bid by NGN to prevent his claims going to trial, the claimant has had to make public the details of this secret agreement, as well as the fact that his brother, His Royal Highness, Prince William, has recently settled his claim against NGN behind the scenes,” his lawyers said.

In a witness statement, Harry said NGN had settled William’s claim “for a huge sum of money in 2020… without any of the public being told, and seemingly with some favourable deal in return for him going ‘quietly’ so to speak.”

William’s office said it could not comment on ongoing legal proceedings and NGN had no comment.

During a criminal trial brought against News of the World journalists and others in 2014, its former royal editor Clive Goodman said in the mid-2000s he had hacked the voicemails of Harry as well as those of William, and William’s wife Kate.

Her phone was hacked 155 times, William’s 35 and Harry’s nine times, Goodman said.

In his 31-page statement, Harry railed against senior NGN figures and his own family, who he has accused of being in cahoots with the press to protect their image, saying the secret deal was struck to avoid a member of the royal family in the witness box.

Buckingham Palace “wanted to avoid at all costs” the reputational damage caused by publication in the 1990s of details of an “intimate telephone conversation” between Charles and the now Queen Consort Camilla, when his father was still married to his mother Princess Diana, his statement said.

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Литва унормувала практику поводження з мігрантами на кордоні з Білоруссю

Тепер прикордонники  можуть запобігти в’їзду нелегальних мігрантів та відправити їх назад до Білорусі

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After Weeks of Hinting, Biden Announces Re-Election Bid

After weeks of hinting at a run for reelection, U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday formally announced his candidacy for 2024, in a three-minute video ad that drew a stark picture of what he believes is at stake: the very soul of America. 

“When I ran for president four years ago, I said we are in a battle for the soul of America. And we still are,” Biden says in the video, released on his website.

Biden said in the video he had righted the affairs of state in America and can advance the cause of democracy with another four-year term in the White House.

“The question we are facing is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom, more rights or fewer,” Biden said in the video. “I know what I want the answer to be. This is not a time to be complacent. That’s why I’m running for reelection.”

Biden’s long-awaited announcement, released in the early hours of Tuesday, opens with an evocative image: that of a violent mob thronging the U.S. Capitol as it prepared to mount a failed insurrection attempt on Jan 6, 2021. While Biden shows three elected representatives he has described as “MAGA extremists” – a reference to former president Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again” – the ad makes no overt mention of Trump, whose claim to have won the 2020 poll led his followers to storm the Capitol that day. 

A recent Yahoo News-YouGov poll shows that 38 percent of Americans feel “exhaustion” at the idea of a second round between Biden and Trump.

And 29 percent said the idea of a rematch  provoked feelings of “fear.” More than half of respondents – 56 percent – said in the poll, conducted earlier this month, that they didn’t feel Biden should run again. 

Trump released a statement Tuesday in which he continued to maintain the 2020 election was rigged against him, despite multiple recounts and court rulings that found it was not. 

“With such a calamitous and failed presidency, it is almost inconceivable that Biden would even think of running for reelection,” Trump said. “… There has never been a greater contrast between two successive administrations in all of American history. Ours being greatness, and theirs being failure.”

The Biden ad also cites the debate over abortion access in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision last year to allow each of the 50 states to set its own abortion policy. Vice President Kamala Harris is used to illustrate the administration’s stance in supporting abortion access. Video of her is also used to illustrate that she is the only woman to have risen to such a senior role in American leadership, and further, that her multiethnic identity made that rise even more difficult. 

The announcement by Biden, at 80, already the oldest U.S. president, marks another milestone for one of the most enduring political figures in U.S. history. He has been a public figure for a half-century, 36 years as a U.S. senator from the small eastern state of Delaware, eight years as vice president under President Barack Obama, and then elected as the country’s president and commander in chief in 2020.

While the ad released Tuesday doesn’t reference his age, Biden has repeatedly joked about the matter in recent days, as if to provoke those who say that, at 80, he is too old to hold the world’s most stressful job. 

Last week, he wished Colombia’s president a happy birthday and joked, “it’s very difficult turning 40 years of age.”

President Gustavo Petro, who in fact had turned 63, replied “being 63 is like being 40 in the old generation.”

“I fully subscribe to that,” Biden said. 

While at least two minor candidates have announced a run against Biden for the Democratic nomination, his incumbent status makes it unlikely, given U.S. political precedent, that the party would choose another standard bearer when it meets in summer 2024 in Chicago to officially pick its nominee. Polls show that many Democrats think that Biden would stand the best chance of defeating Trump or another Republican.

Trump is leading nomination polls of Republican voters, although several other figures have announced their candidacy opposing him, or are contemplating a run for the nomination, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, and others.

Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report.

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ПАР оголосила про вихід із міжнародного суду, який видав ордер на арешт Путіна

Раніше влада ПАР повідомила, що проведе консультації з Росією через ситуацію з можливим візитом Володимира Путіна на саміт БРІКС, який відбудеться у ПАР у серпні

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Global Public Perception of Russia’s Leadership Eroded Sharply in 2022

In the aftermath of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last year, global attitudes toward Russia’s leadership have shifted dramatically, with large majorities of the population in dozens of countries reporting disapproval of the Kremlin.

Data compiled from surveys of thousands of people in 137 countries and regions showed a marked decline in approval of the Kremlin, according to a report released by the Gallup organization on Tuesday. Globally, 57% of respondents reported that they disapprove of Russia’s leadership in 2022, up from just 38% the year before.

Only 21% of respondents said that they approve of Russia’s leadership, down from 33% in 2021. Both the approval and disapproval figures were the most extreme Gallup has measured since it began asking the question as part of its annual survey tracking attitudes toward global leaders in 2007.

“It’s incredible,” Zacc Ritter, a senior researcher with Gallup and the lead author of the report, told VOA. “I don’t think we’ve seen a shift like this before in Gallup’s data for any country.”

Negative shift everywhere

While peoples’ impression of Russia’s leadership varied across individual countries in the survey, the overarching result was a worsening of the public image of its leadership across the board.

The shift was most prominent in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the median approval rating fell by 21 percentage points, to 16%, while the median disapproval rating jumped by 30 points, to 61%.

Even in parts of Africa and Asia where Russian influence remains strong, the change was negative. In North Africa and the Middle East, disapproval rates rose by 12 points, to 55%. In sub-Saharan Africa, where Russia maintains active influence operations, disapproval rates still spiked from 21% to 32%, worsening even in countries whose leaders have refused to condemn the war.

Still, sub-Saharan Africa was the only region polled by Gallup in which the median approval rating of Russia’s leadership (35%) remained above the median disapproval rating.

State-level differences

The data collected by Gallup indicates significant regional differences in attitudes toward Russia’s leadership, with disapproval most concentrated in Europe, North America, Australia, South Korea and Japan. Feelings toward Russia were more ambivalent in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Unsurprisingly, Ukraine registered the highest rate of disapproval, at 96%, followed closely by Poland, at 95%. The U.S., Canada and 10 different European countries registered disapproval ratings of 90% or above.

In Taiwan, the self-governing island claimed as a possession by China and itself under constant threat of invasion, the shift against Russia was large. In 2021, just 26% of Taiwanese surveyed expressed disapproval of Russia’s leadership. By 2022, that number had leapt to 72%.

Another outlier was Kazakhstan, the former Soviet republic on Russia’s eastern border. Normally a reliable ally of Moscow’s, Kazakhstan showed a major shift in attitude between 2021 and 2022. Approval of Russian leadership fell to 29% from 55% and disapproval jumped to 50% from just 20%.

Little surprise

Steven Pifer, a former senior U.S. State Department official who also served as ambassador to Ukraine, told VOA that it is no secret that Russia has seriously damaged its international standing, particularly in Europe.

“Certainly when you look at how Europeans now look at Russia, I think it’s a much more negative image than was the case before this war began,” said Pifer, who is now an affiliate of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. “Russian actions are so at odds with the fundamental principles that we thought had been the basis for European security… that now, when they talk about security in Europe, it’s not about security that involves Russia. It’s about security against Russia.”

On the broader global stage, he said, it will be difficult for most world leaders to engage meaningfully with senior Russian officials and hard to trust them on the occasions when engagement is possible.

“Start at the top. Vladimir Putin has been indicted for war crime. It’s really difficult to see how any Western leader can sit down with him at this point. There’s a reputational cost to doing that,” Pifer said.

He said the willingness of senior Russian diplomats to parrot obvious lies and distortions about the war that have been put forward by the Kremlin will make re-engagement all the more difficult.

“Russian diplomats who I used to have some respect for are just out there, basically saying the most bizarre things,” Pifer said. “That will come back to bite them. These guys have lost a lot of credibility, and it’s going to be hard to see how they get it back.”

Similar findings

Although its sample size makes the Gallup survey stand out, its findings echo those of a number of other major research firms that have explored the decline in Russia’s global standing, including the Pew Research Center and Ipsos.

Last month, Brand Finance, the U.K.-based consultancy that issues an annual Global Soft Power index, reported that in the previous year, Russia was the only country to see its soft power decline over the previous year.

Soft power, which refers to a country’s ability to affect the behavior of other nations without resorting to force, derives from many things, including economic ties and cultural influences.

“While nations have turned to soft power to restore trade and tourism after a devastating health crisis, the world order has been disrupted by the hard power of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Brand Finance Chairman and CEO David Haigh said in a statement. “An event that would be hard to believe were it not for the intensity of the images we have been seeing for months and the consequences the conflict is having on politics and the economy alike.”

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Donald Trump Goes to Trial, Accused of Rape

Donald Trump goes to trial on Tuesday, where the writer E. Jean Carroll is accusing the former U.S. president in a civil lawsuit of raping her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Jury selection is expected to begin in Manhattan federal court, where the former Elle magazine advice columnist is also accusing Trump of defamation.

Trump, 76, has denied raping Carroll, 79, He called her claim a “hoax” and “complete Scam” in a October 2022 post on his Truth Social platform. He has said she made up the encounter to promote her memoir and declared that she was “not my type!”

Trump is not required to attend the trial. His lawyers have said he may not appear, citing the likelihood of security concerns and traffic delays. Carroll’s lawyers have said they do not plan to call Trump as a witness.

If Trump testified, he would likely face an aggressive cross-examination. Trump has repeatedly attacked Carroll and in personal terms since she first publicly accused him of rape in 2019. He has claimed she is mentally ill.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who oversees the case, is keeping jurors anonymous from the public, including the lawyers, to shield them from potential harassment by Trump supporters.

The trial could last one to two weeks.

Trump, the Republican front-runner for the 2024 presidential election, faces a slew of lawsuits and investigations.

These include Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal charges over hush money payments to a porn star.

Trump pleaded not guilty to those charges on April 4 at a New York state courthouse, a three-minute walk from Tuesday’s trial.

The former president also faces civil fraud charges by New York Attorney General Letitia James into his namesake company.

Trump also faces criminal probes into interference in Georgia’s 2020 presidential race and into classified government documents recovered at his Mar-a-Lago residence, plus inquiries into his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

In all of these cases, Trump has denied wrongdoing.

Other accusers may testify

Carroll said her encounter with Trump at the Bergdorf Goodman store occurred in late 1995 or early 1996.

She said Trump recognized her, calling her “that advice lady,” and asked for help in buying a gift for another woman.

Carroll said Trump “maneuvered” her into a dressing room where he shut the door, forced her against a wall, pulled down her tights and penetrated her. She said she broke free after two to three minutes.

Trump’s lawyers may try to undermine Carroll’s credibility by noting that she did not call the police and remained publicly silent for more than two decades.

They may also challenge her inability to remember the date or even the month of the alleged attack.

Carroll has said the #MeToo movement inspired her to come forward.

Two women in whom she said she confided after the attack, author Lisa Birnbach and former news anchor Carol Martin, are expected to testify.

Carroll’s witness list also includes two other women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, which Trump denies.

Lawyers for Carroll could use their testimony to establish a pattern of Trump’s alleged mistreatment of women.

They are also expected to play for jurors a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape where Trump made graphic, vulgar comments about women.

Carroll is also suing Trump for defamation after he first denied her rape claim in June 2019, when he was still president.

That case remains pending before Kaplan.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Biden Launches Re-election Campaign

U.S. President Joe Biden officially launched his re-election campaign Tuesday, appealing to voters in a video to grant him more time to “finish the job” his administration began two years ago.

The official candidates from the country’s two main political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, will not be selected for more than a year, just months ahead of the November 2024 election.

But Biden’s incumbent status means it would be unlikely, given precedent, that Democrats would select someone else as their candidate.  He defeated Republican President Donald Trump in the 2020 election to earn his first term in office.

Trump refused to accept the results of the election, making baseless claims of election fraud. A mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress met to certify the election in January 2021, and Biden’s campaign used scenes from the assault to begin Tuesday’s announcement.

“Every generation of Americans has faced a moment when they have to defend democracy,” Biden said.  “Stand up for our personal freedoms.  Stand up for the right to vote and our civil rights.”

He cast Republicans as working to restrict access to abortions, cut Social Security, limit voting rights and “telling people who they can love.”

Biden, who was the nation’s oldest president at the time of his inauguration, has downplayed concerns about his age ahead of another presidential campaign.  He would be 82 years old at the start of a new term.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.

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Latest in Ukraine: Ukraine Says Russian Missile Hit Kupiansk Museum 

Latest Developments

Estonian Prime Minister supports Ukraine’s bid to join NATO, EU
China says it respects the sovereignty of former Soviet states
Letter containing unknown substance was sent to the French embassy in Moscow, the TASS news agency said Monday, citing law enforcement.

Ukrainian officials said a Russian missile struck a museum in the city of Kupiasnk on Tuesday, killing at least one person and injuring 10 others.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia is doing all it can to destroy Ukraine’s history, culture and its people.

“Killing Ukrainians with absolutely barbaric methods,” Zelenskyy said after the Kupiansk attack. “We have no right to forget about it for a single second. We must and will respond!”

Zelenskyy said those responsible for committing war crimes “will definitely be brought to justice and it will be merciless.”

Russian forces seized Kupiansk, an important rail hub in northeastern Ukraine, during the early part of the invasion it launched in Ukraine last year. Ukrainian forces took it back in September.

Grain deal

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has proposed a “way forward” of the Black Sea Grain Deal to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Guterres outlined his proposal in a letter to the Russian president on “the improvement, extension and expansion” of a grain deal that would allow the safe Black Sea export of Ukrainian grain, a U.N. spokesperson said on Monday after Guterres and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in New York.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Monday that an agreement between Moscow and the United Nations on Russia’s grain and fertilizer exports is not being fulfilled and there are “lots of details” to be discussed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary-General Guterres.

The Kremlin has indicated it will not allow the deal — brokered by the U.N. and Turkey last year — to continue beyond May 18 unless Russia’s terms on its own grain and fertilizer exports are met.

The European Union and Japan have pushed back against a U.S. proposal for G-7 countries to ban all exports to Russia, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Lavrov did not answer questions on his way in or out of the 90-minute meeting with Guterres. “Don’t shout at me,” he told reporters.

During the Security Council meeting Monday, Guterres said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “causing massive suffering and devastation to Ukraine and its people” and contributing to “global economic dislocation triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Tensions between major powers are at a historic high. So are the risks of conflict, through misadventure or miscalculation,” he remarked.

Sitting next to the U.N. chief, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the council that the world is now in a more dangerous situation than even during the Cold War. “As during the Cold War, we have reached the dangerous, possibly even more dangerous, threshold,” Lavrov said during the session on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security” that he was chairing.

Russia holds the monthly rotating presidency of the 15-member body for April.

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

Posted by Ukrap on

ЄС надає Україні додаткові 1,5 мільярда євро макрофінансової допомоги

«Кошти надаються на безпрецедентно пільгових умовах для України», заявили в Мінфіні

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МЗС Росії викликало посла Молдови і вислало співробітника посольства

Крім того, голові молдовської дипмісії в МЗС Росії повідомили про рішення закрити в’їзд до РФ для низки офіційних осіб Молдови «у відповідь на їхні регулярні антиросійські заяви»