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"Beyond Alarming": Rishi Sunak's Impassioned Plea To Save Democracy In UK

03/02/24 11:26 AM

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has issued an impassioned plea for Britain to protect its democracy as he warned that extremist forces were out to tear the country apart and undermine its multi-faith identity.

"Right Now Ball Is In The Camp Of Hamas": US Official On Gaza Ceasefire

03/02/24 11:53 PM

Israel has broadly accepted a deal for a six-week Gaza ceasefire and it is now up to Hamas to agree to release the most vulnerable hostages for the deal to take effect, a senior US official said Saturday.

'How much time he's lost': Jailed U.S. reporter's family waits for his return

03/01/24 12:30 PM

Nearly a year since U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Russia on espionage charges, his parents are counting on a "very personal" promise from President Joe Biden to bring him home.The US government has declared that Gershkovich, who categorically denies the spying accusations, is wrongfully detained, and negotiations are underway to swap him in a prisoner exchange."He made a very personal, very strong commitment to do whatever it takes to bring Evan home and that has been tremendous for us," Evan's father Mikhail Gershkovich told AFP in an interview this week, describing meeting Biden last April.Efforts to free Gershkovich, 32, who was detained in March 2023 while on a reporting trip in the Urals, have been further complicated since the death in prison earlier this month of Russia's opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who, his team says, was also part of a prisoner exchange plan under discussion.President Vladimir Putin has indicated that he could be ready to swap Gershkovich for Vadim Krasikov, a Russian national serving life in prison in Germany for the murder of a separatist commander in a Berlin park in 2019, but Western officials would not divulge any details of the talks.Meanwhile, Evan's parents, Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union, spend their days trying to maintain hope through anguish and pain."We have no other choice. We need to be strong, strong for Evan," his mother Ella Milman told AFP.- 'Navigating between two worlds' -Ella and Mikhail, now in their sixties, raised Evan and his older sister Danielle, 34, speaking Russian at home, eating Russian food, watching Soviet cartoons and knowing not to whistle inside the house because that brings bad luck."We were navigating between two worlds," Danielle said in her apartment in Philadelphia. "It's that feeling when you go to school and you're in America and you come home and it's somewhere else."Yearning to understand the birthplace of his parents, Evan moved to Russia in 2017 to work for the English-language newspaper The Moscow Times. His mother was excited for him, but his father had his doubts, seeing how freedoms were shrinking under Putin.In Russia, Evan flourished as a reporter, covering politics, but also seeking out less obvious stories, such as efforts to preserve a disappearing indigenous language in a Russian province or dying fish in a Siberian river. After a stint at AFP in Moscow, Evan was hired by the Wall Street Journal.In September 2018, Ella and Danielle visited Evan in Moscow. The city had just hosted the 2018 World Cup and Evan was eager to show them the dynamic, modern capital with a rich social and cultural scene."We saw everything through his eyes," Ella said. "It was amazing. I told him I left this country and you love this country -- and what a change. And I was happy for him."Several years later, the country that Evan loved turned on him.- 'There is my brother' -Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. He is the first Western journalist accused of spying since the Soviet era. The Russian government has not provided any evidence to support the charges against him and no date has yet been set for his trial.For Ella, Mikhail and Danielle life has been filled with advocacy work, writing weekly letters to him -- and waiting.At Moscow's Lefortovo prison, the reporter shares a small cell with another inmate. He gets an hour-long walk in a small prison yard every day, tries to stay fit through exercise and relies on fruit and vegetables sent by friends to supplement the meager prison diet.In May, Evan's parents traveled to Moscow and were able to talk to him briefly in prison and then in court.The joy that Ella felt was quickly overshadowed by the pain of having to leave him there. "When I saw him being led out in those handcuffs -- hard to take," Ella said.Last week, a Moscow court again extended Evan's arrest pending trial, as he looked out wearily from a glass defendant's cage. Painful as they are, these court proceedings at least provide his family a chance to lay eyes on him."It's unexpected moments when you find happiness," said Danielle. "Just seeing his little mannerisms, just seeing: oh, there is my brother."In his letters Evan tries to stay optimistic and full of humor, discussing artificial intelligence with his father and with his mother -- the notoriously long classic Russian novels he passes his days reading."He is doing the best under those very hard circumstances," Ella said.Danielle, who works as a university administrator, dreams of going on a family vacation when Evan returns home. She has warned him that she will "crush the air out of his lungs" when she sees him."For me it's devastating to know how much he's missed, how much time he's lost, and I miss him more and more every day," Danielle said. "And it's just unacceptable for him to be there a day longer as an innocent person. We just want him home as soon as possible."

'Smoking gun': Scientist claims evidence COVID-19 created by researchers in Chinese lab

03/01/24 3:49 PM

COVID-19 may have been intentionally created in a Chinese lab, a Rutgers University professor told the United Nations this week, and another expert says the evidence has reached "the level of a smoking gun."

'This reality is mind-boggling': Journalist astonished by Trump's latest pro-Putin gambit

02/29/24 4:28 PM

Journalist Anne Applebaum, who writes about American foreign policy for The Atlantic, brings word that American allies around the world are astonished that former President Donald Trump is using his influence within the Republican Party to block security assistance to Ukraine.In her latest column, Applebaum writes that there is a sense of disbelief that a presidential candidate would not only work to undermine his own country's global stature but also to drag the leadership of his political party along for the ride."For outsiders, this reality is mind-boggling, difficult to comprehend and impossible to understand," she reports. "In the week that the border compromise failed, I happened to meet a senior European Union official visiting Washington. He asked me if congressional Republicans realized that a Russian victory in Ukraine would discredit the United States, weaken American alliances in Europe and Asia, embolden China, encourage Iran, and increase the likelihood of invasions of South Korea or Taiwan. Don’t they realize? Yes, I told him, they realize."She then cited past comments by House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) showing that he knew the stakes involved in Ukraine, as he argued that letting Kyiv fall could embolden Russia to attack even NATO countries.RELATED: A decade of Russian infowar has made Republicans weirdApplebaum then speculates on the reasons why Trump seems so intent on blocking help for Ukraine, and she speculates that he isn't merely an isolationist, but someone who actively wants to see Russia achieve its goals."Trump has said repeatedly that he wants a 'deal' with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and maybe this is what he means: If Ukraine is partitioned, or if Ukraine loses the war, then Trump could twist that situation to his own advantage," she writes. "Perhaps, some speculate, Trump wants to let Russia back into international oil markets and get something in return for that. But that explanation might be too complex: Maybe he just wants to damage President Joe Biden, or he thinks Putin will help him win the 2024 election."Read the whole column here.

11 Of The Best Things To Do In London This Mother's Day And Paddy's Day Weekend

03/17/23 5:02 PM

It's a Mother's Day *and* Paddy's Day double whammy, people.View Entire Post ›

11 Palestinians Killed In Israeli Air Strike On Tent In Gaza's Rafah

03/02/24 10:12 PM

At least 11 Palestinians were killed when an Israeli airstrike hit a tent in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, the Gaza health ministry said, in an area where people are seeking sanctuary from Israel's devastating offensive.

17 Very British Tweets About The Very British Queue To See The Very British Queen's Coffin

09/24/22 1:25 AM

"If you’re British, this is the queue you’ve been training for all your life. The final boss of queues."View Entire Post ›

A Former Marine Was Freed From “Wrongful Detention” In Russia, But Concerns Remain For Brittney Griner And Others

12/08/22 8:18 AM

Trevor Reed's release from Russia highlighted concerns over the continued detention of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another former Marine, Paul Whelan.View Entire Post ›

A fusion of eras, cultures and styles hits Paris Fashion Week runways

03/02/24 11:14 AM

On a rain-soaked Saturday in Paris, the fashion world was treated to a spectacle of contrasts, where the audacious spirit of Vivienne Westwood's punk melded with the whispers of historical elegance

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