09Feb/23

Rescuers Search for Earthquake Survivors in Turkey, Syria as Death Toll Nears 12,000  

Rescue crews in Turkey and Syria raced against time Wednesday and a lack of equipment to find survivors buried in the rubble of buildings toppled by powerful earthquakes that struck the region Monday and left about 12,000 people dead. The rescue effort in Turkey involved 96,000 personnel, the country’s emergency management agency said Wednesday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the area near the quake’s epicenter close to the city of Gaziantep and the Turkey-Syria border. He faced the mounting frustration of survivors looking for their loved ones or for aid from the government by acknowledging problems with the emergency…

09Feb/23

US Two-Way Trade Rose in 2022, New Data Show

The United States’ two-way trade with other nations spiked in 2022, new federal data show, including trade with China despite increasing friction between the world’s two largest economies. Even while posting record-high exports to 73 countries in 2022, the U.S. still ran a trade deficit of $1.19 trillion, up $101 billion from 2021, the U.S. Commerce Department said this week. The deficit reflected the fact that the U.S. also recorded record-high imports from 90 countries. U.S. imports from China reached $537 billion in 2022 compared with $505 billion the previous year. The U.S. sold a record-high $154 billion in exports…

09Feb/23

Exclusive: US Planning HIMARS Training Center in Europe, General Tells VOA

The U.S. military is planning to set up a training center in Europe to teach NATO allies how to field High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, a top U.S. general told VOA, amid increased demand for the systems in Eastern Europe following the weapon’s successes in Ukraine. “We’re still in the preliminary stages here, but it would be an area that we would maybe pull in several countries to one location,” V Corps commander Lieutenant General John Kolasheski, who is responsible for U.S. Army operations along NATO’s eastern flank, told VOA in an exclusive interview late Tuesday. The news…

08Feb/23

Twitter Down in Turkey as Quake Response Criticism Mounts

Twitter became inaccessible on major Turkish mobile providers on Wednesday as online criticism mounted of the government’s response to this week’s deadly earthquake. AFP reporters were unable to access the social media network in Turkey. It was still accessible using VPN services that disguise a user’s location. The netblocks.org social media monitor said Twitter was being restricted “on multiple internet providers in Turkey”. “Turkey has an extensive history of social media restrictions during national emergencies and safety incidents,” the monitor added. Turkish police have detained more than a dozen people since Monday’s earthquake over social media posts that criticized how…

08Feb/23

Farmers Drive Tractors Through Paris in Protest at Pesticide Bans

French farmers drove hundreds of tractors into Paris on Wednesday to protest against pesticide restrictions and other environmental regulations they say are threatening farm production in the European Union’s largest agricultural power. The action follows an EU court ruling last month that overturned a French policy allowing sugar beet growers to use an insecticide banned by the EU, raising concern of a further decline in beet plantings and of sugar factory closures. The sugar beet decision has sharpened discontent among farmers over what they see as excessive pesticide curbs that go against government calls to boost food security in response…

08Feb/23

Rescue Crews Search for Earthquake Survivors in Turkey, Syria as Death Toll Tops 8,700

Rescue crews in Turkey and Syria raced against the cold Wednesday to find survivors buried in the rubble of buildings toppled by powerful earthquakes that struck the region Monday and left more than 8,700 people dead.        The rescue effort in Turkey involved 79,000 personnel, the country’s emergency management agency said Wednesday.     Officials in Turkey said at least 6,234 people were killed and more than 37,000 others were injured. In Syria, there were at least 2,470 deaths, according to figures from the Damascus government and rescue groups.     The epicenter of Monday’s pre-dawn earthquake was near Gaziantep, close to the…

08Feb/23

US State Court System, US, EU Universities Hit by Ransomware Outbreak

A global ransomware outbreak has scrambled servers belonging to the U.S. state of Florida’s Supreme Court and several universities in the United States and Central Europe, according to a Reuters analysis of ransom notes posted online to stricken servers. Those organizations are among more than 3,800 victims of a fast-spreading digital extortion campaign that locked up thousands of servers in Europe over the weekend, according to figures tallied by Ransomwhere, a crowdsourced platform that tracks digital extortion attempts and online ransom payments and whose figures are drawn from internet scans. Ransomware is among the internet’s most potent scourges. Although this…

08Feb/23

US Indicts Another Associate of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch Vekselberg

The Justice Department is putting associates of Russian oligarchs on notice. In the latest indictment of its kind, an associate of sanctioned Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg has been charged with violating sanctions and laundering money in connection with helping to maintain Vekselberg’s U.S. properties, according to a four-count indictment unsealed on Tuesday. Vladimir Voronchenko, a Russian citizen and U.S. permanent resident who fled to Russia last May, is accused of arranging for more than $4 million in payments to maintain four properties owned by Vekselberg in New York, Southampton and Florida. Prosecutors estimate the properties’ value at about $75 million….

08Feb/23

Міністерство фінансів продало військових облігацій на 12,5 мільярда гривень

«Гроші інвесторів підтримують Збройні сили України та забезпечують наших військових найнеобхіднішим: зброєю, набоями, технікою, харчуванням та медикаментами» …

07Feb/23

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Visits Mali

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday vowed that Russia will continue helping Mali improve its military capabilities in a joint press conference aired live on state television. Standing alongside his Malian counterpart, Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop, Russia top diplomat touted the August 2021 delivery of several fighter jets and helicopters, adding that more military support is assured. “We have delivered very important aircraft,” he said, “and this has considerably increased the capacity of Malian armed forces to eradicate the terrorist threat.” Russian support for the West African nation’s efforts to sustain a decade-long battle against al-Qaida and Islamic-State-linked militants…

07Feb/23

As EU Welcomes Ukraine’s Refugees, Other Newcomers Cry Foul

The European Union has opened its doors to millions of Ukrainian refugees since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — even as member states tighten restrictions against economic migrants and asylum seekers from elsewhere. That includes France, which unveiled new immigration legislation last week. For VOA, Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of Evry Courcouronnes. …

07Feb/23

BMW Emissions Challenge Unfounded, Court Rules, NGO to Appeal

A lawsuit against BMW BMWG.DE by German climate NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe demanding the carmaker tighten its carbon emission reduction targets was unfounded, Munich’s district court said on Tuesday, but the NGO said it planned to appeal. The heads of Deutsche Umwelthilfe called in their lawsuit on BMW to end production of combustion engine cars by 2030 and limit its emissions before then to remain within a “carbon budget” they calculated for the company, a ratio of the global carbon budget put together by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Failing to do so would infringe on their right to…

07Feb/23

Engineers, Search Dogs Sent to Turkey, Syria After Quake

Structural engineers, soldiers, paramedics and handlers with trained search dogs are heading to Turkey and Syria to help locate and rescue survivors of Monday’s earthquake. Here’s a glance at the assistance that’s being provided: The European Union has mobilized search and rescue teams to help Turkey, while the bloc’s Copernicus satellite system has been activated to provide emergency mapping services. At least 13 member countries have offered assistance. The United States is coordinating immediate assistance to Turkey, including teams to support search and rescue efforts. In California, nearly 100 Los Angeles County firefighters and structural engineers, along with six specially…

07Feb/23

Powerful Earthquake Kills More Than 4,800 in Turkey, Syria

Rescue crews in Turkey and Syria worked Tuesday to find survivors buried in the rubble of buildings toppled by powerful earthquakes that struck the region on Monday and left more than 4,800 people dead.     After a night in which temperatures fell close to freezing, Tuesday brought more quakes with more than 20 of magnitude-4.0 or greater shaking the area along the border between the two countries.   World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed support for the people of Turkey and Syria “in this moment of unspeakable grief,” and said the casualty figures do not capture “the grief and loss…

07Feb/23

US Vice President Harris to Attend Munich Security Conference

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will attend the annual Munich security conference this month, her office said Monday.    Harris will use her February 16-18 stay in Germany and her attendance at the annual forum, as the war in Ukraine nears one year of combat, “to demonstrate Transatlantic unity and resolve,” said a communique from press secretary Kirsten Allen.    The 59th edition of the security conference, which draws leaders from around the world, will be held February 17-19.     Harris will give a speech at the conference itself and meet with foreign leaders.    Her presence will also show U.S. leadership in the…