Posted by Worldkrap on

Mortality Rate Higher for Black Moms Than White Moms in Mississippi, Study Says

Black people make up about 38% of Mississippi’s population, but a new study shows that Black women were four times more likely to die of causes directly related to pregnancy than white women in the state in 2020.

“It is imperative that this racial inequity is not only recognized, but that concerted efforts are made at the institutional, community, and state levels to reduce these disparate outcomes,” wrote Dr. Michelle Owens and Dr. Courtney Mitchell, leaders of the Maternal Mortality Review Committee that conducted the study.

The Mississippi State Department of Health published the findings Wednesday.

The committee said 80% of pregnancy-related deaths in Mississippi between 2016 and 2020 were considered preventable, and cardiovascular disease and hypertension remain top contributors to maternal mortality.

Women need comprehensive primary care before, during and after pregnancy, but many people live in areas where health care services are scarce, Owens and Mitchell wrote.

“A substantial portion of this care is being shouldered by smaller hospitals with limited resources, many of whom are facing possible closure and limiting or discontinuing the provision of obstetrical services, further increasing the burdens borne by the individuals and their communities,” they wrote.

The Maternal Mortality Review Committee was formed in 2017, and its members include physicians, nurses, public health experts and others who work in health care.

The committee found that from 2016 to 2020, Mississippi’s pregnancy-related mortality rate was 35.2 deaths per 100,000 live births. The study did not provide a comparable five-year number for the U.S. but said the national rate was 20.1 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019 and 32.9 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2020.

Mississippi has long been one of the poorest states in the U.S., with some of the highest rates of obesity and heart disease.

A state health department program called Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies offers care management and home visits for pregnant women and for infants who are at risk of having health problems.

“Losing one mother is too many,” Dr. Daniel Edney, the state health officer, said in a news release about the maternal mortality study.

The committee recommended that Mississippi leaders expand Medicaid to people who work in lower-wage jobs that don’t provide private health insurance — a policy proposal that Republican Gov. Tate Reeves has long opposed.

Earlier this year, Reeves signed a law allowing postpartum Medicaid coverage for a full year, up from two months.

Medicaid expansion is optional under the health care overhaul that then-President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010, and Mississippi is one of 10 states that have not taken the option. The non-expansion states have Republican governors, Republican-controlled Legislatures or both.

“Medicaid expansion should be incorporated for rural hospitals to remain open and include access to telehealth services,” the Maternal Mortality Review Committee leaders wrote. “There is a need for rural healthcare facilities to provide higher levels of critical care, recruit and retain adequate providers, and have access to life saving equipment, especially in the most vulnerable areas of the state.”

The study examined deaths that occurred during or within one year after pregnancy. It defined pregnancy-related deaths as those “initiated by pregnancy, or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy” and pregnancy-associated deaths as those “from a cause that is not related to pregnancy.”

Pregnancy-related deaths during the five years included 17 homicides and four suicides, plus 26 instances of substance abuse disorder contributing to the maternal death and 30 instances of mental health conditions other than substance abuse disorder contributing to a death.

The study also said obesity contributed to 32 maternal deaths and discrimination contributed to 22. It noted that some pregnancy-related deaths could have more than one contributing factor.

The committee recommended that health care providers develop procedures and training to address maternal patients with severe complaints for the same health concern, including training to eliminate bias or discrimination.

Posted by Ukrap on

Німецькі дослідники констатують різке скорочення міжнародної допомоги Україні

Posted by Ukrap on

Припинення допомоги Україні було б «різдвяним подарунком» для лідерів РФ і Китаю – голова МЗС Британії

Posted by Ukrap on

РФ має припинити атаки на українську зернову інфраструктуру – посольство США в Румунії

Росія має припинити атакувати українську зернову інфраструктуру і загрожувати кораблям із зерном, заявило посольство США в Румунії після багатосторонньої зустрічі у четвер в Тулчі (Румунія) щодо нарощування експортних можливостей для українських портів на Дунаї.

«Росія повинна припинити свої жорстокі дії. Вона повинна дозволити постачання життєво необхідного зерна, яке годує мільйони людей по всьому світу. Вона повинна припинити атакувати елеватори і порти. Вона повинна припинити погрожувати кораблям країн, що не воюють. Росія повинна припинити використання продуктів харчування як зброї», – йдеться в повідомленні посольства США в Румунії у фейсбуці.

Згідно з повідомленням, на зустрічі були представники Румунії, України, Молдови та ЄС.

Американські дипломати наголосили, що Чорноморська зернова ініціатива допомогла стабілізувати ціни на продовольство і знизила їх майже на 20% після того, як неспровоковане вторгнення Росії в Україну призвело до стрибка світових цін на продовольство.

За інформацією посольства США в Румунії, п’ята багатостороння зустріч представників високого рівня продемонструвала рішучість Румунії, України, Молдови, ЄС і США збільшити експорт українського зерна на світовий ринок, попри деструктивні дії Росії.

У четвер стало відомо, що внаслідок атаки з використанням безпілотників, яку російські військові здійснили 7 грудня, пошкоджень зазнала припортова інфраструктура на Дунаї, загинув водій однієї з фур.

Росія вийшла із Чорноморської зернової ініціативи влітку цього року. Після того армія РФ активно атакує ракетами чи дронами українські порти, зокрема дунайські Рені та Ізмаїл.


Posted by Worldkrap on

White House and Republicans Stuck in Ukraine Funding Impasse

The Biden administration is running out of time to secure a deal on tens of billions of dollars in wartime aid for Ukraine and Israel that Senate Republicans blocked Wednesday. President Joe Biden has signaled he is willing to compromise on Republicans’ demands on border security to get the package through. But his aides accuse Republicans of ignoring Biden’s proposal. White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara reports. Camera: Oleksii Osyka. Contributors: Tatiana Vorozhko, Katherine Gypson.

Posted by Worldkrap on

In Paris Exile, Family Becomes Proud ‘Voice’ of Jailed Iran Nobel Winner

The address on the invitation to the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize says it all. “Ms. Narges Mohammadi, c/o Evin Prison, Tehran province, Iran.”

Mohammadi, 51, awarded the prize in October in recognition of two decades of work defending human rights in Iran, in defiance of constant persecution by the Islamic republic, remains in prison in Iran with no hope of release, let alone attending the glitzy event in Oslo on Sunday.

Instead, it will be her twin children Ali and Kiana, 17, who will attend the awards ceremony and deliver her speech, sharing the message of a mother of whom they are fiercely proud but who they have not seen for almost nine years and not even spoken to by phone for 20 months.

They now live in Paris with their father and Mohammadi’s husband, Taghi Rahmani. The awards she has won weigh the bookshelves of their apartment, which is marked by the spirit of the rights campaigner, even as she remains in jail thousands of kilometers away.

“We are not nervous. We are very proud to be able to be the voice of our mother and do our best to move things forward. The prize will reinforce our determination to go to the end,” Ali said.

He emphasized that the prize was not just for her mother but all Iranian women and men who rose up against Iran’s clerical authorities in the protest movement that started in September 2022.

His twin sister, Kiana, proudly showed the dress she bought for the ceremony but insisted “even if I went in my pajamas, what counts is the message, what counts is the speech.”

‘Release almost impossible’

Mohammadi wrote the speech from prison, and it was safely received by her family. But they said they will only read it at the last moment in order to discover its message with everyone else.

Amid all the excitement of the trip to Oslo, the family knows that the prize, whose award to Mohammadi was rapidly denounced by the Iranian authorities, will do little to help her find a way out of Evin prison in Tehran.

“They have a hatred without end for her. And as she won the Nobel Prize her release will be almost impossible. I prefer to anticipate and not be disappointed,” Kiana said.

Narges Mohammadi’s most recent stint in jail began with her arrest in November 2021 and she is embroiled in numerous cases supporters say are linked to her activism.

Prison has marked the life of this family, who struggle to produce any picture showing the four of them together. Taghi Rahmani is also a veteran activist repeatedly jailed in Iran before coming to France a decade ago.

“When we were 4 years old, our dad went to prison. From then on it was either him or our mother in prison. We got used to living without one or the other,” Ali said.

Taghi Rahmani said that the awarding of the prize to Mohammadi had created “many problems” for his wife inside Evin, with the latest restriction a complete cutting off of her right to make phone calls that has yet to be restored.

Mohammadi is prohibited from calling her husband or children in France. But she has been allowed until recently to speak to family inside Iran, crucial communications for staying in touch with the world.

But Rahmani emphasized she was “first of all very happy with the prize as her voice can be heard even more loudly in the world.”

‘Victory not easy but certain’

The years of incarceration have taken a toll on the family, with Ali recalling that their last conversation dates back to just before her most recent jailing.

“She said ‘I am going back to prison, look after your sister and father well and stay strong. Stay strong for me.’ I told her the same thing. ‘We are very proud of you, don’t be worried for us. We support you 100%.'”

He said he believed his mother would be released “when our goal is reached, freedom and democracy is reached.”

“It will be very complicated. But I have a lot of hope to be able to see my mother and a free Iran. My mother has an important saying ‘Victory is not easy but it is certain.'”

In her teenage bedroom full of stuffed animals, makeup and photos, Kiana has a framed photo of Narges Mohammadi with her two children.

“I forgot the sound of her voice, her height, what she looks like in person,” she said. “I accepted this life. It’s a horrible pain to live without your mother, but we don’t complain.”

Posted by Worldkrap on

US Lawmakers Running Out of Time to Pass Ukraine Aid, Border Security Funding

With just four working days left before its holiday recess, the U.S. Congress is no closer to passing the White House’s $60 billion request for aid to Ukraine.

Lawmakers are running out of time to negotiate a deal on border security that Republicans say must be included to overcome their concerns about funding foreign conflicts while leaving domestic priorities unaddressed.

“This is about securing our border so we can then help our allies,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters Thursday.

Graham called on President Joe Biden to enforce existing immigration laws, saying he would not return to his home state of South Carolina to “try to explain why I helped Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel and did nothing to secure our own border. I will help all of our allies, but we have got to help ourselves first.”

The Ukraine aid request is part of a larger $106 billion emergency supplemental request that includes military assistance to Israel and Indo-Pacific partners as well as Democratic priorities for border security funding.

“Republicans in Congress are willing to give Putin a gift, the greatest gift that Putin could … hope for,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Thursday.

Senators resumed negotiations Thursday after failing to open debate on the supplemental request by a 49-51 vote late Wednesday.

“I think the vote yesterday convinced them [Democrats] that we are serious about it, and something needs to be done,” Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told VOA. “And I’m convinced that we’ll get there. That’s just democracy.”

Democrats object to Republicans’ proposals to change asylum rules at the U.S. border and argue the White House request must be considered all together as part of a broader national security strategy.

“It was Republicans who threw an unnecessary wrench into Ukraine funding by tying it to the extraneous issue of the border,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday.

“We all agree that border security is important,” he said. “President Biden included strong border provisions in the proposal he sent us. But we also know it’s a complicated issue — very complex — that’s escaped bipartisan solution for years.”

Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had been expected to address a classified briefing for U.S. senators via videoconference but canceled unexpectedly. The meeting ultimately grew tense as Republicans accused Democrats and Biden administration briefers of not addressing their concerns about the border.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a strong supporter of aid to Ukraine, emphasized Thursday that Republican border security proposals must be included to win Republican votes.

“It is profoundly unserious to pretend that national security priorities don’t include securing our nation’s borders,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday.

“To warn about borders in jeopardy and not start with the one that’s being overrun here at home,” he said. “To invoke threats facing sovereign nations without a clear plan to uphold America’s own sovereignty.”

Brigadier General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said Tuesday that there is $1.1 billion left to replenish U.S. military stockpiles for weapons and equipment sent to Ukraine.

The White House also warned earlier this week that the United States has about $4.8 billion left to supply Ukraine with aid, an amount that would run out by the end of this year.

Any compromise passed in the Democratic-majority Senate would also need to pass the Republican-majority House of Representatives, where support for Ukraine has diminished this year.

House Speaker Mike Johnson has indicated he does not plan to extend the House schedule past its last scheduled day in session on December 14. Earlier this week, he told reporters several key questions about accountability and the longer-term strategy for victory in Ukraine remain.

Many Republicans recognize that aid to Ukraine is important for deterrence but argue for more oversight.

Republican Representative Michelle Steel told VOA on Thursday, “We’ve been spending so much — billions and billions of dollars. We have to see transparency, that exactly where these monies are going and how they’re spending it.”

According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, aid commitments to Ukraine are at their lowest since the beginning of the war in February 2022.

“Between August and October 2023 saw a stark drop in the amount of newly committed aid, with the value of new packages totaling just EUR 2.11 billion,” the report said.

Biden has worked to shore up the support of allies amid uncertainty over passage of the funding on Capitol Hill.

“Great Britain and the European countries will keep on supporting Ukraine,” David Cameron, British foreign secretary and former prime minister, told VOA.

“But clearly America is an essential partner in this,” he said. “They are the world’s biggest economy, the biggest defense player, absolutely vital. So, let’s keep going on making the argument about what a difference the resources will make.”

Posted by Worldkrap on

US, UK Act Against Russian Hacker Group

The U.S. government on Thursday unveiled measures to combat Russian hackers accused of targeting U.S-based entities and individuals and meddling in a British election.

The cyber actors targeted include the Callisto group, also known as Star Blizzard or COLDRIVER, which engaged in espionage and is connected to Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, according to a statement released by U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

Also, the Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against two Russian hackers, Andrey Stanislavovich Korinets and Ruslan Aleksandrovich Peretyatko, in connection with what the State Department called “a criminal hacking conspiracy that targeted U.S.-based entities and individuals, including U.S. Department of Energy facilities’ employees.”

Financial sanctions

In addition to the indictment, the U.S. Treasury announced it has imposed financial sanctions on Peretyatko and Korinets for their roles in malicious cyber-enabled activity.

Under the Rewards For Justice program, or RFJ, the U.S. offered unspecified rewards for information on the whereabouts of Peretyatko and Korinets.

A notice on the RFJ website says awards of up to $10 million can go to anyone who has information “leading to the identification or location of any person who, while acting at the direction or under the control of a foreign government, engages in certain malicious cyber activities against U.S. critical infrastructure.”

Hackers also targeted individuals

The hackers, who the U.S. says worked in the Callisto Group, also targeted individuals based in the United Kingdom.

The U.S. noted concern about the hackers’ targeting of the U.K., which London described as a failed attempt to interfere with politics from Russian agents.

The U.K. sanctioned the two hackers in connection with the cyberattacks and summoned the Russian ambassador.

“I can confirm today that the Russian Federal Security Services, the FSB, is behind a sustained effort to interfere in our democratic processes,” British Junior Foreign Minister Leo Docherty said in a statement to lawmakers.

The hacking group has been known for years to target and attempt to hack personal emails from high-profile victims.

Posted by Ukrap on

ЗМІ: російське ГРУ заволоділо даними іноземців, запрошених до РФ фондом із орбіти партії покійного Жириновського

Російський фонд миру, який очолює лідер ЛДПР Леонід Слуцький, передавав Головному розвідувальному управлінню Генштабу ЗС РФ дані іноземців, які приїжджали до Росії на запрошення організації. Про це пише видання The Insider із посиланням на дані службового листування співробітників 1-го «європейського» управління ГРУ.

В електронних листах співробітників ГРУ журналісти виявили файли зі скріншотами десятків паспортів науковців, викладачів університетів, громадських та релігійних діячів з-за кордону.

1-ше управління ГРУ займається шпигунством за кордоном і вербує агентів, у тому числі в Європі – в Австрії, Швейцарії, Франції, Італії, Німеччині та Чехії, зазначає видання.

Найбільше даних від фонду Слуцького військова розвідка отримала про представників Франції, пише The Insider. Також у досліджених журналістами файлах була інформація про громадян США, Канади, Бельгії, Іспанії, Італії, Словенії, Індії, Бразилії, Ізраїлю та країн Африки. Що саме ГРУ робило із цими даними, у тексті не уточнюється.

Російський фонд миру – правонаступник заснованого понад 60 років тому Радянського фонду миру. Він позиціонує себе як громадська організація, яка здійснює «миротворчу та гуманітарну діяльність з надання допомоги соціально вразливим верствам населення, ветеранам війни, дітям-сиротам та інвалідам».

Згадані у статті іноземці, як і Слуцький, не прокоментували розслідування журналістів.

Леонід Слуцький є наступником Володимира Жириновського і став лідером партії ЛДПР після смерті останнього у квітні 2022 року. Слуцький активно підтримує зовнішню політику Володимира Путіна, зокрема війну в Україні та конфлікт із країнами Заходу. У вересні він отримав від командування 24-ї окремої бригади спецпризначення ГРУ пам’ятний знак. Ця бригада воювала у Сирії та Україні.


Posted by Ukrap on

Укрзалізниця заявила, що відправила першу партію вантажівок через кордон із Польщею

Posted by Ukrap on

У МЗС РФ назвали Тихановську «шахрайкою». В офісі білоруської опозиціонерки відреагували

Офіційна представниця МЗС Росії Марія Захарова назвала білоруську опозиціонерку Світлану Тихановську «вільнюською шахрайкою». Так представниця російського зовнішньополітичного відомства відреагувала на візит Тихановської до США і її зустрічі в Конгресі, передає білоруська служба Радіо Свобода.

За словами Захарової, Білорусь на заходах високого рівня мають представляти офіційні особи або «представники громадянського суспільства», тоді як, на її думку, Тихановська є «самозванкою», і говорила переважно про РФ, бо їй буцімто «за це платять».

У відповідь головний радник Тихановської  Франак Вячорка заявив: «Якщо Захарову «бомбить», значить, ми все робимо правильно».

З 4 по 8 грудня лідерка білоруської опозиції Світлана Тихоновська перебуває у США.

5 грудня в Палаті представників Конгресу США відбулися слухання «Майбутнє свободи та демократії в Білорусі» з її участю. Під час слухань йшлося про політику США щодо Білорусі, санкції проти режиму Олександра Лукашенка та допомогу громадянському суспільству. 6-8 грудня у Вашингтоні проходить перший американо-білоруський стратегічний діалог, де американську сторону представляють урядовці, а білоруську – демократичні сили, опозиційні фактичному керівництву Білорусі.


Posted by Worldkrap on

Azerbaijan Leader Calls Snap Presidential Vote For Feb. 7

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Thursday called snap presidential elections in February, in a move expected to extend the decades-long authoritarian rule of his family.

Aliyev’s popularity is soaring after his military recaptured the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region from Armenian separatists in a lightning offensive in September.

A decree published by the presidency ordered officials to hold a “snap election” on Feb. 7 next year. Elections had previously been scheduled for 2025.

A state-run pollster recently said 75% of the population approve of Aliyev’s handling of the Karabakh conflict, which saw the mass exodus of ethnic Armenians living in the long-disputed mountainous territory.

“Aliyev’s approval ratings had always been high, and they skyrocketed after the victorious military operation in Karabakh in September,” independent political analyst Farhad Mamedov told AFP. “He is at the peak of his popularity.”

Aliyev sent troops to Karabakh on Sept. 19 and after just one day of fighting, Armenian separatist forces that had controlled the disputed region for three decades laid down arms and agreed to reintegrate with Baku.

Azerbaijan’s victory marked the end of the territorial dispute, which saw Azerbaijan and Armenia fight two wars — in 2020 and the 1990s — that have claimed tens of thousands of lives from both sides.

It also sparked fears — particularly among Armenians — of a broader conflict in the region in which Azerbaijan could aim to create a land corridor to its Nakhchivan exclave through Armenian territory.

Aliyev insists Baku has no territorial claims to Armenia and rules out a fresh conflict.

The arch-foe countries are now negotiating a comprehensive peace treaty, but the Western-mediated talks have so far failed to produce a breakthrough.

‘Unchallenged dynasty’

Aliyev, 61, has ruled the energy-rich country with an iron fist since 2003, when he succeeded his father, Heydar, a former KGB officer and Communist-era boss.

He was last re-elected with 86% of votes in a snap election in April 2018.

All leadership polls held in Azerbaijan under Aliyevs’ rule were denounced by opposition parties as fraudulent.

Supporters have praised the Aliyevs for turning a republic once thought of as a Soviet backwater into a flourishing energy supplier to Europe.

But critics argue they have crushed the opposition, stifled media, and used their power to amass a fortune that funds a lavish lifestyle for the president and his family.

Rights activists have recently decried the arrest of several high-profile journalists known for investigations into corruption among the political elite.

In 2009, Azerbaijan adopted constitutional amendments that removed the two-term limit to the presidential mandate, meaning Aliyev could potentially become a president for life.

In 2016, after a constitutional referendum at which presidential terms were extended from five to seven years, he appointed his glamorous wife Mehriban Aliyeva as first vice president.

The amendments drew criticism from constitutional law experts of the Council of Europe rights watchdog as “severely upsetting the balance of powers” and giving the president “unprecedented” authority.

Bolstered by billions in oil money, Aliyev has overseen years of steady economic growth and followed a pragmatic foreign policy agenda, treading carefully between Russia and the West.

That calculating approach saw him likened in one U.S. diplomatic cable to the coldblooded fictional character of Michael Corleone from “The Godfather” movies.

“His goal appears to be a political environment in which the Aliyev dynasty is unchallenged,” said the cable, released by whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Denmark Passes Bill to Stop Quran Burnings

Denmark’s parliament passed a bill on Thursday that makes it illegal to burn copies of the Quran in public places, after protests in Muslim nations over the desecration of Islam’s holy book raised Danish security concerns.

Denmark and Sweden experienced a series of public protests this year where anti-Islam activists burned or otherwise damaged copies of the Quran, sparking tensions with Muslims and triggering demands that the Nordic governments ban the practice.

Denmark sought to strike a balance between constitutionally protected freedom of speech, including the right to criticize religion, and national security amid fears that Quran burnings would trigger attacks by Islamists.

Domestic critics in Sweden and Denmark have argued that any limitations on criticizing religion, including by burning Quran, undermine hard-fought liberal freedoms in the region.

“History will judge us harshly for this, and with good reason… What it all comes down to is whether a restriction on freedom of speech is determined by us, or whether it is dictated from the outside,” said Inger Stojberg, leader of the anti-immigration Denmark Democrats party, who opposed the ban.

Denmark’s centrist coalition government has argued that the new rules will have only a marginal impact on free speech and that criticizing religion in other ways remains legal.

Breaking the new law would be punishable by fines or up to two years in prison, the government has said.

Sweden, too, is considering ways to legally limit Quran desecrations but is taking a different approach than Denmark. It is looking into whether police should factor in national security when deciding on applications for public protests.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Trump Back at New York Fraud Trial As Testimony Nears an End

Former President Donald Trump returned to his civil business fraud trial as a spectator Thursday, after a month of assailing the proceedings from afar. 

With testimony winding down after more than two months, the Republican 2024 presidential front-runner showed up to watch an accounting professor testify about financial topics important to the case. 

Trump himself is scheduled to take the stand Monday, for a second time. 

Even while campaigning to reclaim the presidency and fighting four criminal cases, Trump is devoting a lot of attention to the New York lawsuit. He’s been a frustrated onlooker, a confrontational witness and a heated commentator outside the courtroom door. 

“This is a witch hunt, and it’s a very corrupt trial,” Trump said on his way into court Thursday. 

The case is putting his net worth on trial, scrutinizing the real estate empire that first built his reputation, and threatening to block him from doing business in his native state. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James’ suit accuses Trump, his company and some executives of misleading banks and insurers by giving them financial statements full of inflated values for such signature assets as his Trump Tower penthouse and Mar-a-Lago, the Florida club where he now lives. The statements were provided to help secure deals — including loans at attractive interest rates available to hyperwealthy people — and some loans required updated statements each year. 

Trump denies any wrongdoing, and he posits that the statements’ numbers actually fell short of his wealth. He also has downplayed the documents’ importance in getting deals, saying it was clear that lenders and others should do their own analyses. And he claims the case is a partisan abuse of power by James and Judge Arthur Engoron, both Democrats. 

The former president has regularly railed about the case on his Truth Social platform. 

Going to court in person affords him a microphone — in fact, many of them, on the news cameras positioned in the hallway. He often stops on his way into and out of the proceedings, which cameras can’t record, to expostulate and to cast various developments as victories. 

His out-of-court remarks got him fined $10,000 Oct. 26, when Engoron decided Trump had violated a gag order that prohibits participants in the trial from commenting publicly on court staffers. Trump’s lawyers are appealing the gag order. 

James hasn’t let Trump go unanswered, often — but not Thursday — showing up to court herself when he’s there and making her own comments on social media and the courthouse steps. Lawyers in the case have been told not to make press statements in the hallway, but the former president has been allowed to do so. 

“Here’s a fact: Donald Trump has engaged in years of financial fraud. Here’s another fact: When you break the law, there are consequences,” her office wrote this week on X, formerly Twitter. 

While the non-jury trial is airing claims of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records, Engoron ruled beforehand that Trump and other defendants engaged in fraud. He ordered that a receiver take control of some of Trump’s properties, but an appeals court has held off on that order for now. 

At trial, James is seeking more than $300 million in penalties and a prohibition on Trump and other defendants doing business in New York. 

It’s not clear exactly when testimony will wrap up, but it’s expected before Christmas. Closing arguments are scheduled in January, and Engoron is aiming for a decision by the end of that month.

Posted by Worldkrap on

As Antisemitism Rises in US, Some Students Want Limits to Freedom of Expression

Several universities in the United States are taking measures to prevent and address incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia related to the Israel-Hamas war. VOA’s Veronica Balderas Iglesias spoke with several students who favor freedom of speech with certain limits.

Posted by Ukrap on

Вслід за Британією США запровадили санкції проти двох росіян

Раніше Велика Британія запровадила санкції проти цих двох росіян за їхню причетність до Star Blizzard, яку Лондон пов’язує з ФСБ РФ

Posted by Ukrap on

Два блоки ТЕС у прифронтовій зоні зупинилися через обстріли РФ – Міненерго

«Сьогодні вдень ворог завдав удару по одній із ТЕС у прифронтовій зоні. Внаслідок артобстрілу серйозно пошкоджено обладнання»

Posted by Ukrap on

Називали «хохлом» – депортований Богдан Єрмохін про ставлення однолітків у РФ

Водночас, за його словами, опікунка у РФ до нього ставилася добре і нормально сприйняла новину про його прагнення повернутися в Україну

Posted by Worldkrap on

Generative AI May Need News Organizations, Journalism to Succeed

In the year since Open AI introduced ChatGPT to the world, almost 600 media organizations have blocked the technology from scraping their content. 

Two other AI chat bots — Google AI’s Bard and Common Crawl’s CCBot — are also blocked by some or most of those same news organizations.

The list grows longer each day, according to Ben Welsh, a news applications editor for Reuters, who compiled a survey of news organizations for his media blog. 

“What we are seeing here is that news publishers, at least half of them in my survey, want to put the brakes on this a little bit and not just allow themselves to be included in this without some sort of conversation or negotiation with the Open AI company,” Welsh said. 

Open AI, the creator of ChatGPT, offered 1,153 news organizations the option to block its chat bot in August 2023. As of Wednesday, nearly half have taken up that offer.   

While most are U.S. organizations, including The New York Times and CNN, the list also includes international media groups, including Australia’s ABC News, The Times of India, and The South African.   

Welsh’s survey didn’t dig deeply into the reasons for blocking ChatGPT, but he said that commercial media tend to be among the groups that stop ChatGPT whereas nonprofits are more likely to share content.  

VOA’s attempts to contact ChatGPT via LinkedIn, email and at its offices in San Francisco were unsuccessful.

Seen as threat  

Many media analysts and press freedom groups see AI as a threat to publishers and broadcasters, as well as a threat to ethical journalism. 

Among the chief concerns are the use of artificial intelligence to create false narratives and fake visuals and to amplify misinformation and disinformation. 

“It is clearly possible that some groups or organizations use and fine-tune models to create tailored disinformation that suits their projects or their purpose,” said Vincent Berthier, who manages the technology desk at Reporters Without Borders, or RSF. “But right now, today, the higher risk of disinformation comes from generative AI from pictures and deep fakes.” 

RSF organized a commission made up of 32 journalism and AI experts, led by Nobel laureate and disinformation expert Maria Ressa, to regulate how media use the technology.  

The resulting Paris Charter on AI and Journalism, released in November, sets parameters for the use of AI for news organizations and makes clear that journalists must take a leading role.   

RSF’s Berthier believes that many of the organizations opting out are sending a clear message to AI developers. 

“What media companies are saying is AI won’t be built without us and it is exactly RSF’s position on this topic,” Berthier said. “It is the spirit of the charter we released this month saying that media and journalism should be part of AI governance.”   

Media freedom is already at risk from Big Tech and social media algorithms, Berthier said. 

“That’s why we fight every day to protect press freedom and just make sure that journalists can still do their jobs to give the most accurate information to the public,” he said. 

The Associated Press became partners with OpenAI in a news content and information sharing agreement in July.  

Pamela Samuelson, a MacArthur Fellow, University of California-Berkeley law professor and information technology expert, said the deal might be just the beginning of many licensing agreements and partnerships between AI and journalism.  

But she also predicted that companies would work to develop their own AI. 

“So The New York Times might be doing it, CNN might be doing it, we just don’t know,” Samuelson said. “They will announce either their own generative stuff or they will just keep it in house.” 

Ethical concerns

As the debate over the use of AI in journalism unfolds, many news organizations and journalists cite ethical concerns and reservations about its use.   

Others cite economic factors, such as the use of their copyrighted materials and unique intellectual property without payment or provenance.   

But, said Samuelson, “The predictions of doom, doom, doom are probably overblown.” 

“Predictions that everything is going to be perfect, that is probably wrong, too,” she added. “We will have to find some new equilibrium.” 

Generative AI can write computer code, create art, produce research and even write news articles. But makers widely admit in disclaimers that there are problems with its reliability and accuracy.  

There is also growing fear among researchers that a dependence on generative AI to both produce and access news and information is spreading and that too often the information being dispensed isn’t reliable or accurate. 

“There is one thing that journalism puts right up at the top of the list and that’s accuracy and that is a weakness of these tools,” Welsh said. “While they are incredibly great at being creative and generating all sorts of interesting outputs, one thing they struggle with is getting the facts right.” 

Some AI analysts and watchers say the growing list of news organizations blocking AI bots could further affect that quality.

Posted by Ukrap on

Зеленський подякував Японії за 1 мільярд доларів додаткової допомоги