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August 12, 2022 6:01 am

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Ukraine’s president fires spy chief and top state prosecutor posted at 10:17:37 UTC via

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KYIV, July 17 (Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday abruptly fired the head of Ukraine’s powerful domestic security agency, the SBU, and the state prosecutor general, citing dozens of cases of collaboration with Russia by officials in their agencies.

The sackings of SBU chief Ivan Bakanov, a childhood friend of Zelenskiy, and Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, who has played a key role in the prosecution of Russian war crimes, were announced in executive orders on the president’s website.

The firings are easily the biggest political sackings since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, forcing the entire Ukrainian state machine to focus on the war effort.

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In a Telegram post, Zelenskiy said he had fired the top officials because it had come to light that many members of their agencies had collaborated with Russia, a problem he said had touched other agencies as well.

He said 651 cases of alleged treason and collaboration had been opened against prosecutorial and law enforcement officials, and that more than 60 officials from Bakanov and Venediktova’s agencies were now working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied territories.

The sheer number of treason cases lays bare the huge challenge of Russian infiltration faced by Ukraine as it battles Moscow in what it says is a fight for survival.

“Such an array of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state … pose very serious questions to the relevant leaders,” Zelenskiy said.

“Each of these questions will receive a proper answer,” he said.

Russian troops have captured swathes of Ukraine’s south and east during an invasion that has killed thousands, displaced millions and destroyed cities.

It remains unclear how the southern, Russian-occupied region of Kherson fell so quickly, in contrast to the fierce resistance around Kyiv that forced Russia eventually to withdrew to focus on capturing the industrial Donbas heartland in the east.

In his nightly speech to the nation, Zelenskiy noted the recent arrest on suspicion of treason of the SBU’s former head overseeing the region of Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014 that Kyiv and the West still view as Ukrainian land.

Zelenskiy said he had fired the top security official at the start of the invasion, a decision he said had now been shown to be justified.

“Sufficient evidence has been collected to report this person on suspicion of treason. All his criminal activities are documented,” he said.

Bakanov was appointed to head the SBU in 2019, one of an array of new faces who rose to prominence after Zelenskiy, a former comedian, won election earlier that year.

Zelenskiy appointed Oleksiy Symonenko as the new prosecutor general in a separate executive order that was also published on the president’s site.

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Reporting by Max Hunder; Additional reporting by Elaine Monaghan; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Gareth Jones and Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

PARIS: Baths in blood extracted from the antlers of Siberian deer. Excrements scooped up by loyal officials to evade analysis. Mysterious absences for emergency medical treatment.

The claims made about the health of Russian President Vladimir Putin

, who will be 70 in October, are lurid and macabre, as well as impossible to verify.

But they illustrate how little is known about the health of a leader whose medical condition is fundamental to the future of Europe, all the more so after he ordered Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Over the course of Putin’s two decades in power, remarkably little has emerged about his health, beyond the famous images provided by the Kremlin showing him bare-chested in a bid to project an image of macho strength.

But scrutiny has now increased with the war that Putin unleashed against Russia’s neighbour.

The most in-depth investigation into Putin’s health was published in April by the Russian-language news site Proekt, which used open-source data to conclude that the president’s trips to the southern resort city of Sochi were synchronised with those of a large number of doctors.

They included specialist in thyroid cancer Yevgeny Selivanov, whose visits to Sochi frequently coincided with Putin’s sudden absences from the public eye over the past years.

It also alleged that one of the methods used by Putin to ensure longevity were baths in blood extracted from deer antlers in Siberia, a method recommended by his friend defence minister Sergei Shoigu, who is from Siberia.

French weekly Paris Match this month said that on visits to Saudi Arabia in 2019 and France in 2017, Putin was accompanied by a team whenever he went to the toilet, to keep his excretions so no foreign power could medically analyse his urine or stools.

Even more sensationally, US publication Newsweek said in June that Putin had undergone treatment for advanced cancer in April, citing American intelligence. The US National Security Council denied the existence of such briefings.

Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, in a mid-May interview with Sky News claimed without evidence that Putin has cancer.

Proekt also alleged that the Kremlin set up a fake office in Sochi that purported to look like the one at his suburban Moscow residence to make it look like he was working in the Russian capital rather than resting at the Black Sea resort.

The only time the Kremlin confirmed Putin was suffering a health problem was the fall of 2012, when he cancelled several meetings and vanished from public life after being seen moving awkwardly.

The Kremlin at the time said he had pulled a muscle and one newspaper said he aggravated a back problem during a stunt when he flew with cranes on a motorised hang-glider. But Proekt alleges it was here that his major health problems began.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also seen sometimes odd conduct from the Russian leader.

The Kremlin said he had been vaccinated, but unlike almost all other world leaders, no images ever emerged of his jab. Those coming into close contact with him, including journalists, were subject to the most stringent precautions such as days of quarantine.

Visiting world leaders who did not accept the Kremlin’s stringent conditions — such as French President Emmanuel Macron and UN chief Antonio Guterres — were banished to the end of a now notoriously long table.

Those who accepted the Kremlin’s demands, including a Russian Covid test, and possibly quarantine, such as Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan were allowed a handshake and even an embrace.

A meeting with Shoigu on Ukraine in late April also fuelled rumours with Putin tightly gripping the table in what some saw a bid to stop body tremors. Numerous videos have also shown one of Putin’s feet fidgeting during meetings.

The Kremlin has meanwhile postponed Putin’s annual direct line phone-in with the Russian people, usually a fixture in June, to a later date without explanation.

Huge efforts appear to have been made to protect Putin. In his 2020 annual news conference only a handful of reporters — quarantined and tested beforehand — were allowed in the room with him, while others massed in another hall.

In 2021, the event returned to its usual format but with a vast distance between the front row of journalists and Putin’s desk. Even now, with the business of government returning to normal in most of the world, Putin conducts most domestic business via video.

The Kremlin, via Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, has vehemently denied all claims that the Russian president is suffering from any serious health problem.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took the highly unusual step in an interview with French television channel TF1 in late May to deny Putin was ill, saying “I don’t think that sane people can see in this person signs of some kind of illness or ailment” and claiming that the Russian leader appeared in public “every day”.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, ostracised by the West but a frequent face-to-face interlocutor with Putin

, insisted in a March interview with Japanese television that the Russian leader was in rude health.

“If you think that something is wrong with President Putin or something happened, you are, as we say, the most pitiful person on earth,” he said.

In recent public appearances — including a forum on Peter the Great and a meeting with Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdymukhamedov — Putin has also shown no sign of physical frailty.

Putin remains the undisputed leader of Russia and most observers expect him to seek a third consecutive mandate in 2014, after recent controversial constitutional changes allowing him to do so.

There is no obvious successor and, as commander in chief of the Russian forces, it was the decision of Putin to invade Ukraine on February 24.

“The country does not know a word of truth about the physical and emotional health of the person who runs it,” said the editor-in-chief of Proekt, Roman Badanin.

“The whole planet does not know if a person who could destroy all of humanity by pressing a red button is healthy.”

The Hill @thehill

posted at 09:58:00 UTC by The Hill via The Hill (Twitter)
Zelensky sacks Ukrainian prosecutor leading war crimes probes


Jan 6 hearing witnesses: What Cassidy Hutchinson, Cipollone, Barr said  USA TODAY The post Jan 6 hearing witnesses: What Cassidy Hutchinson, Cipollone, Barr said – USA TODAY first appeared on Advertising – The News And Times.

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U.S. Pays $4.2 Million to Victims of Jail Guard’s Long-Running Sex Abuse  The New York Times The post U.S. Pays $4.2 Million to Victims of Jail Guard’s Long-Running Sex Abuse – The New York Times first appeared on The Brooklyn Guide.

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US president concludes four-day trip aimed at mending ties

posted on Jul 16 2022 20:31:50 UTC by TRT World via TRT World

Joe Biden has departed Saudi Arabia and concluded his first Middle East Tour as US president. In Jeddah, he attended a summit with leaders of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. His trip also aimed to stabilize the energy market and lower fuel prices for Americans back home.

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PBS News Weekend live episode, July 16, 2022

posted on Jul 16 2022 20:36:16 UTC by PBS NewsHour via PBS NewsHour

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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has told U.S. President Joe Biden that Saudi Arabia had acted to prevent a repeat of mistakes like the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, while the United States had also made mistakes, including in Iraq, says a Saudi minister.

Biden said on Friday he holds Prince Mohammed responsible for the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, shortly after he exchanged a fist bump with the kingdom’s de facto ruler.

“The President raised the issue… And the crown prince responded that this was a painful episode for Saudi Arabia and that it was a terrible mistake,” said the kingdom’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir.
Those who were accused were brought to trial and are being punished with prison terms, he added.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe the crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing, which he denies.

Minister al-Jubeir, talking to Reuters about Friday’s conversation between the two leaders, said the crown prince had made the case that trying to impose values by force on other countries could backfire.

“It has not worked when the U.S. tried to impose values on Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, it backfired. It does not work when people try to impose values by force on other countries,” Jubeir quoted the prince as telling Biden.

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Update from Ukraine | US and Saudi will end Ruzzia

posted on Jul 16 2022 21:22:24 UTC by Denys Davydov via Denys Davydov

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How omicron subvariants are causing a surge in COVID infections

posted on Jul 16 2022 21:58:54 UTC by PBS NewsHour via PBS NewsHour

COVID cases are spiking in many parts of the country and hospital admissions have doubled since May. The latest surge is being driven by two new omicron subvariants. The CDC estimates that the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants represent more than 80 percent of U.S. cases. Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, joins Geoff Bennett to discuss.

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President Biden finished his visit to the Middle East Saturday at a meeting of 10 regional leaders led by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. The trip largely focused on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, but there was also talk of whether the kingdom would make enough oil to ease gas prices. Nick Schifrin spoke with Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, to discuss.

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Arrest made in stabbing of security guard at Upper East Side bank

posted on Jul 16 2022 22:14:19 UTC by CBS New York via CBS New York

Police made an arrest Saturday after a bank security guard was stabbed on the Upper East Side.

AP Top Stories July 16 P

posted on Jul 16 2022 22:18:52 UTC by Associated Press via Associated Press

Here’s the latest for Saturday, July 16: Biden says US ‘will not walk away’ from Middle East; Kamala Harris: Overturning Roe is ‘deeply harmful’; 6 people die after storm causes Montana highway pileup; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to have 75th birthday.

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PBS News Weekend full episode, July 16, 2022

posted on Jul 16 2022 22:27:52 UTC by PBS NewsHour via PBS NewsHour

Saturday on PBS News Weekend, as President Biden wraps up his trip to the Middle East, we get the latest on his high-stakes meetings in Saudi Arabia. Then, with Covid cases spiking across much of the country, we take a look at the subvariants behind this latest surge, and the protection offered by vaccines. Plus, a top Saudi diplomat discusses the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

Biden unveils new Middle East framework as he wraps up trip
News Wrap: Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Secret Service over texts
How omicron subvariants are causing a surge in infections
Top Saudi diplomat discusses the U.S.-Saudi relationship

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00:00 – Full Episode
02:04 – Biden in Saudi Arabia
08:14 – News Wrap
11:20 – COVID Surge
19:08 – Middle East Diplomacy

President Biden wraps up 4-day trip to the Middle East

posted on Jul 16 2022 22:42:28 UTC by CBS New York via CBS New York

President Joe Biden is on his way back to Washington, wrapping up a four-day trip to the Middle East. During his visit, the president held key meetings with several leaders to discuss peace, human rights, climate change and oil production. Michael George reports for CBS2.

Russia vows to ramp up operations as rockets pound Ukraine

posted on Jul 16 2022 21:33:17 UTC (updated on Sun Jul 17, 2022 06:29) via Reuters

At least three people were killed and 15 injured following a Russian missile attack on the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Friday (July 15) evening.

Russia said on Saturday its forces would step up military operations in Ukraine in “all operational areas” as Moscow’s rockets and missiles pounded cities in strikes that Kyiv says have killed dozens in recent days.

Rockets hit the northeastern town of Chuhuiv in Kharkiv region overnight, killing three people including a 70-year-old woman and wounding three others, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said. read more

“Three people lost their lives, why? What for? Because Putin went mad?” said Raisa Shapoval, 83, a distraught resident sitting in the ruins of her home.

To the south, more than 50 Russian Grad rockets pounded the city of Nikopol, on the Dnipro River, killing two people who were found in the rubble, the region’s governor Valentyn Reznichenko said.

Ukraine says at least 40 people have been killed in such attacks on urban areas in the last three days. Russia says it has been hitting military targets.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered military units to intensify their operations to prevent Ukrainian strikes on eastern Ukraine and other areas held by Russia, where he said Kyiv could hit civilian infrastructure or residents.

“Clearly, preparations are now under way for the next stage of the offensive,” said Vadym Skibitskyi, a spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence, adding that there was Russian shelling along the entire front line and active use of attack helicopters.

Shoigu, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was shown in military fatigues at a command post on the defence ministry’s Zvezda TV channel being briefed on the war and awarding “Golden Star” medals for heroism to two generals.

His remarks appeared to be a direct response to what Kyiv says is a string of successful strikes carried out on 30 Russian logistics and ammunitions hubs using several multiple launch rocket systems recently supplied by the West.

Ukraine’s defence ministry spokesperson said on Friday that the strikes were causing havoc with Russian supply lines and had significantly reduced Russia’s offensive capability. read more

On Saturday, the Ukrainian military said Russia appeared to be regrouping units for an offensive towards Sloviansk, a symbolically important city held by Ukraine in the Donetsk region.

While the focus of the war has moved to Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, Russian forces have been striking cities elsewhere in the country with missiles and rockets in what has become an increasingly attritional conflict.

Moscow, which launched what it called its “special military operation” against Ukraine on Feb. 24, says it uses high-precision weapons to degrade Ukraine’s military infrastructure and protect its own security. It has repeatedly denied targeting civilians.

Kyiv and the West say the conflict is an unprovoked attempt to reconquer a country that broke free of Moscow’s rule with the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In one recent attack that stoked outrage from Ukraine and its Western allies, Kalibr cruise missiles hit an office building in Vinnytsia, a city of 370,000 people about 200 km (125 miles) southwest of Kyiv, on Thursday. read more

Kyiv said the strike killed at least 23 people and wounded dozens. Among the dead was a 4-year-old girl with Down’s Syndrome named Liza, found in the debris next to a pram. Images of her playing shortly before the attack quickly went viral.

Russia’s defence ministry has said the strike on Vinnytsia was directed at a building where top officials from Ukraine’s armed forces were meeting foreign arms suppliers. read more

Late on Friday, Russian missiles hit the city of Dnipro, about 120 km (75 miles) north of Nikopol, killing three people and wounding 15, Reznychenko, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region that includes both cities, said on Telegram, adding that an industrial plant and a busy street next to it were hit.

“When the blast wave hit, there were few shards because all my windows were taped up,” a local woman who gave her name as Klavdia told Reuters.

“The people whose windows were not protected like this, there was a lot of blood, their injuries were horrible. I saw a small child all covered in blood. It was awful,” she said.

Russia said it had destroyed a factory in Dnipro making missile parts.

The war dominated a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Indonesia. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said differences over the conflict had prevented the finance chiefs and central bankers from issuing a formal communique but that they agreed on a need to address a worsening food security crisis. read more

“This is a challenging time because Russia is part of the G20 and doesn’t agree with the rest of us on how to characterize the war,” Yellen said.

Western countries have imposed tough sanctions on Russia and have accused it of war crimes in Ukraine, which Moscow denies. Other G20 nations, including China, India and South Africa, have been more muted in their response.

In one spillover from the conflict, a blockade restricting exports of Ukrainian grain has prompted warnings it could put millions in poorer countries at risk of starvation.

Despite the bloodshed, both Russia and Ukraine described progress towards an agreement to lift a blockade in recent talks. Turkey, which is mediating, has said a deal could be signed next week.

Related Galleries:

A family’s picture is seen amidst debris at the site of a military strike in Chuhuiv, about 6 km from the frontline, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine July 16, 2022. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

A shell crater in seen after a Russian missile strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Dnipro, Ukraine July 16, 2022. REUTERS/Mykola Synelnykov

Emergency crew work amidst collapsed building site in Chuhuiv Town, Kharkiv, Ukraine, in this handout image obtained by REUTERS on July 16, 2022. State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS

People stand near a crater left by a Russian missile strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Dnipro, Ukraine July 16, 2022. REUTERS/Mykola Synelnykov

Smoke billows above buildings, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Odesa, Ukraine, in this handout image released on July 16, 2022. State Emergency Services of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS

Fedir, a local resident, fixes the window of his house near the site of a military strike in Chuhuiv, about 6 km from the frontline, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine July 16, 2022. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

A car burns on the road, not far from front line, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the Donbas region, Ukraine July 16, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Smoke rises after a missile strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 26, 2022. REUTERS/Anna Voitenko

A view shows a building of a civil infrastructure damaged by a Russian missile strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Vinnytsia, Ukraine July 15, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer

Rescuers work at a site where a residential building was damaged by a Russian military strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine July 16, 2022. Press Service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS

A Ukrainian servicewoman walks past a car damaged by a Russian missile strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Dnipro, Ukraine July 16, 2022. REUTERS/Mykola Synelnykov

Steve Bannon’s Contempt Trial Starts Monday—Here’s What To Expect

posted on Jul 16 2022 21:44:23 UTC by Nicholas Reimann, Forbes Staff via Markets and Business News Review
Prosecutors are hoping for the first trial conviction on contempt of Congress charges since Watergate, which could land Bannon in prison.

2098227.jpgНа севере Греции разбился украинский грузовой самолет “Антонов”, летевший из Сербии в Иорданию. На его борту находились 8 членов экипажа. Полный текст новости

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