All posts by WorldNG

06Oct/22

At Least 16 Dead After Migrant Boats Sink in Greek Waters 

Greece’s coast guard said Thursday at least 16 people were dead after two boats carrying migrants sank in separate incidents. Authorities said one boat carrying about 40 people went down near the eastern island of Lesbos, near Turkey. Fifteen bodies were recovered and five people were rescued, with a search ongoing for the rest of the migrants. A second boat went down off the island of Kythira after hit rocks. Authorities said they rescued 30 people from the second boat. Both vessels were operating amid winds as high as 100 kilometers per hour. Migrants typically reach Greece form neighboring Turkey,…

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06Oct/22

Is Russia Moving Nuclear Weapons Toward Ukraine?

Amid unconfirmed reports that a train operated by Russia’s nuclear division was spotted heading toward Ukraine, the White House says that it has no indication that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine. Nuclear weapons experts tell VOA if Russia is moving nuclear weapons toward the Ukrainian border, the United States will know. VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports. …

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05Oct/22

Greece Warns Turkey on Illegal Drilling  

Greece is warning it is ready to use all its diplomatic and military might to defend its sovereignty against what it calls hostile plans by its historic foe Turkey. The direct warning follows a controversial energy deal Turkey recently signed with an element of Libya’s divided government. But the tensions that have been building up recently between the two NATO allies is sparking fears of a crisis that could spill out of control and destabilize the military alliance. Speaking to Greece’s parliament, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis advised Turkey to return, in his words, to a realm of logic. Otherwise, he…

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05Oct/22

Russian Launches to Space From US, 1st Time in 20 Years

For the first time in 20 years, a Russian cosmonaut rocketed from the U.S. on Wednesday, launching to the International Space Station alongside NASA and Japanese astronauts despite tensions over the war in Ukraine.  Their SpaceX flight was delayed by Hurricane Ian, which ripped across the state last week.  “I hope with this launch we will brighten up the skies over Florida a little bit for everyone,” said the Japan Space Agency’s Koichi Wakata, who is making his fifth spaceflight.  Joining him on a five-month mission are three new to space: Marine Col. Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman…

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05Oct/22

Putin Finalizes Annexation Claim Rejected by Ukraine, West

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law Wednesday to formalize Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, a move widely condemned as illegal and one that comes as Ukrainian forces advance in a counteroffensive to take back areas under Russian control. The Russian measure, approved earlier this week by the country’s parliament, claims Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions as Russian territory. Russia-installed officials carried out what they called referendums in those areas. Ukraine and its western partners, along with the United Nations, rejected those votes and the overall annexation effort, saying the votes were held under coercive conditions and…

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05Oct/22

OPEC+ Heads for Deep Supply Cuts, Clash with US

OPEC+ looks set for deep oil output cuts when it meets on Wednesday, curbing supply in an already tight market despite pressure from the United States and other consuming countries to pump more.  The potential OPEC+ cut could spur a recovery in oil prices that have dropped to about $90 from $120 three months ago due to fears of a global economic recession, rising U.S. interest rates and a stronger dollar.  OPEC+, which includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, is working on cuts in excess of 1 million barrels per day, sources told Reuters this week. One OPEC source said on…

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05Oct/22

Plastic-Gobbling Enzymes in Worm Spit May Help Ease Pollution

Enzymes found in the saliva of wax worms can degrade one of the most common forms of plastic waste, according to research published Tuesday that could open up new ways of dealing with plastic pollution. Humans produce some 400 million metric tons of plastic waste each year despite international drives to reduce single-use plastics and to increase recycling. Around a third is polyethylene, a tough plastic thanks to its structure, which traditionally requires heating or radiation before it starts to break down. There have been several studies showing that microorganisms can release enzymes that start the degradation process on polyethylene,…

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05Oct/22

Future Ukraine Aid May Hinge on Control of Congress in 2023

The impending November midterm elections, in which control of both houses of the United States Congress is being closely contested, could have significant consequences for the largest foreign policy challenge currently facing the Biden administration: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops into Ukraine in February, the U.S. and its allies, including most NATO countries, have been funneling aid and weapons into the country to help prop up the government and repel the invaders. While the U.S. public still maintains broad support for Ukraine, and bills providing for aid have been passing with large bipartisan…

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04Oct/22

Devastated by Russian Assault, Ukraine’s Schools Come Back to Life

Millions of Ukrainian schoolchildren are returning to the classroom despite air sirens that are still interrupting lessons. With more than 2,000 school buildings around the country destroyed, educators are working hard to rebuild and bring normality to children’s lives. VOA Eastern Europe Chief Myroslava Gongadze visited the village of Bohdanivka near Kyiv where Russian occupiers destroyed the local school and kindergarten. Camera: Eugene Shynkar …

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04Oct/22

Angela Merkel Wins UNHCR Nansen Award for Protecting Syrian Refugees

Former German chancellor Angela Merkel has won the prestigious Nansen Award from the U.N. refugee agency, for providing a haven for more than 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution in Syria. Angela Merkel welcomed the desperate people at the height of the Syrian conflict in 2015 and 2016, when other countries were turning their backs on them. In announcing the award, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Merkel displayed great moral and political courage by helping more than a million refugees survive and rebuild their lives. UNHCR spokesman Matthew Saltmarsh says Merkel has helped…

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04Oct/22

Turkish Journalist Groups Slam Bill to Fight Disinformation

Turkish journalists groups on Tuesday protested a draft law the government says is aimed at combating fake news and disinformation but which critics denounce as yet another attempt to stifle freedom of expression. Parliament was set to debate a 40-article piece of legislation that amends multiple laws governing press, advertising and social media. The most controversial change is an amendment to the press law that would criminalize the spreading of “fake news” with a sentence of up to three years in prison. Critics, including opposition lawmakers and nongovernmental organizations, say the law is too vague and could potentially be abused…

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04Oct/22

Afghan National Institute of Music Performs First Concert in New Home

Afghanistan’s National Institute of Music has performed its first concert in its new home of Lisbon, Portugal. Members of the exiled school are determined to keep Afghan music alive even though they can’t play in their homeland. VOA’s Farkhunda Paimani and Munaza Shaheed attended the concert in Lisbon and filed this report narrated by Amy Katz. Camera: Nawid Orokzai …

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04Oct/22

Russian Court Sets Brittney Griner Appeal Date for October 25

A Russian court on Monday set October 25 as the date for American basketball star Brittney Griner’s appeal against her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession.  Griner, an eight-time all-star center with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was convicted August 4 after police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.  The Moscow region court said it will hear her appeal.  Griner admitted that she had the canisters in her luggage but testified that she had inadvertently packed them in haste and that she had no criminal intent….

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04Oct/22

Albania Denies Police System Was Attacked by Iranian Hackers

Albanian authorities Monday denied the country’s police system was hacked after local media reported that data on people being investigated for crimes was released from an Iranian hacking group. Albanian media reported a leaked file with a list of suspected people, from allegedly the police database, who are being probed on different crimes. Ervin Karamuco, a criminology professor, was quoted in social media as saying a channel called Homeland Justice had published 1.7 gigabytes of criminal data from the Memex police system. State police denied its Memex system was damaged but urged local media not to publish data from hackers….

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03Oct/22

Russian Journalist Sobchak Faces Investigation, TASS Reports

Prominent Russian journalist Ksenia Sobchak faces a criminal investigation over a story that police suspect was “fake,” state news agency TASS reported on Monday, citing an unidentified source in law enforcement.  Sobchak, whose late father was the mayor of St. Petersburg in the 1990s and worked closely with Vladimir Putin, hosts a YouTube channel with over 3 million subscribers. She also founded a popular Telegram account which regularly shares stories critical of Russia’s mobilization efforts.  TASS reported that Sobchak’s story related to “state funding of festivals” and that she could be charged under an article of Russian law that provides…

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03Oct/22

UN Report: Fiscal Policies of Advanced Economies Risk Global Recession

U.N. economists warn the monetary and fiscal policies of advanced economies risk plunging the world into a recession worse than the financial crisis of 2008. UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has issued its annual Trade and Development Report 2022. The authors of the report warn the world is teetering on the edge of a recession due to bad policy decisions by advanced economies, combined with cascading crises resulting from climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. They project this year’s global growth rate of 2.5 percent will slow to 2.2 percent in 2023….

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03Oct/22

Ukrainian Forces Make Gains in Kherson

Ukrainian forces made further gains Monday in the Kherson region in the country’s south, adding to their gains in the east in recent days as they push a counteroffensive against Russia. Russia-installed officials in Kherson said Ukraine’s military had recaptured some settlements in Kherson. The region is one of four that Russia illegally annexed last week. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Sunday that his forces in Kherson had liberated the settlements of Arkhanhelske and Myroliubivka. The developments in Kherson followed Sunday’s announcement by Ukrainian forces that they had retaken full control of Lyman, the eastern logistics…

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03Oct/22

Reformists Gain in Bosnia Elections, Though Change Unlikely

Reformists who ran on fighting corruption and clientelism in public office appeared set to win an important race in Bosnia’s elections Sunday that could give them greater sway over the direction of the country which has never fully recovered from its 1992-95 sectarian war and remains divided along ethnic lines.   The first preliminary results released by Bosnia’s central election commission early Monday showed cooperation-prone contenders Denis Becirovic and Zeljko Komsic on course to win respective Bosniak and Croat seats in the tripartite presidency. However, the reformists were likely to be joined by Zeljka Cvijanovic from the strongest Bosnian Serb party…

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02Oct/22

Greece Says It’s Open to Talks with Turkey Once Provocations End

Greece wants to have a constructive dialogue with Turkey based on international law but its Aegean neighbor must halt its unprecedented escalation of provocations, the Greek foreign minister said Sunday. The two countries — North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies but historic foes — have been at odds for decades over a range of issues, including where their continental shelves start and end, overflights in the Aegean Sea and a divided Cyprus. “It is up to Turkey to choose if it will come to such a dialogue or not, but the basic ingredient must be a de-escalation,” Nikos Dendias told the Proto…

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02Oct/22

Pope Calls on Putin to Stop ‘Spiral of Violence’ in Ukraine 

Pope Francis has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop “this spiral of violence and death” over the war in Ukraine. Francis’s remarks, made on Sunday in his weekly public prayer on St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, were some of the strongest he has made since the February 24 invasion. “My appeal is addressed first of all to the president of the Russian Federation, begging him to stop, also for the love of his people, this spiral of violence and death,” Francis said. “On the other hand, saddened by the immense suffering of the Ukrainian population following the…

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