“Putin” – Google News: Meeting with North Korean leader gives Putin more leverage – Washington Post

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Meeting with North Korean leader gives Putin more leverage  Washington Post

For Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides a chance for Moscow to raise its influence in the region and …

“Putin” – Google News


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“Russia and US Presidential Elections of 2016” – Google News: Meeting with North Korean leader gives Putin more leverage – Washington Post

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Meeting with North Korean leader gives Putin more leverage  Washington Post

For Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides a chance for Moscow to raise its influence in the region and …

“Russia and US Presidential Elections of 2016” – Google News


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Voice of America: Leading Conservative Candidate Warns Populists to Back a United Europe

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The leading conservative candidate in next month’s European Parliament elections says he would like to see Britain stay in the European Union and warned populist parties in Europe that they would have no place in the EU’s largest political bloc unless they shared its vision of an “integrated and more ambitious Europe.”

 

Manfred Weber, the center-right European People’s Party candidate and front-runner to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission, visited Greece on Tuesday to launch his campaign for the May 23-26 elections across the bloc.

 

His priorities include having tough controls on migration, creating an EU crime-fighting agency modeled on the FBI and ending EU accession talks with Turkey. He spoke in an interview with The Associated Press.

 

WHAT ABOUT BREXIT?

 

Weber said he respected the result of Britain’s 2016 referendum to leave the EU. But he added “I personally would really enjoy and really would welcome if Great Britain would decide to stay.”

 

The EU has given Britain until Oct. 31 to ratify an agreement or leave the 28-nation EU without a deal — granting an extension after U.K. lawmakers repeatedly rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal with the EU.

 

Several prominent European politicians have said they hoped Britain would eventually stay in the union, including European Council President Donald Tusk and Weber’s main opponent in the May election, Social Democrat candidate Frans Timmermans.

 

Weber stressed, however, the final decision on Brexit remained with British people.

 

“What we ask at the moment is simply to speed up (and) give us a clear indication what their plan for the future is, because we respect the outcome — we regret it — but we respect the outcome,” Weber said.

 

HOW SHOULD EUROPE HANDLE THE POPULIST THREAT?

 

Weber said the European People’s Party, which groups many conservative national parties under its umbrella at the European Parliament, remains willing to part ways with member parties that do not share its vision for deepening European integration.

 

“The EPP is … a party of values of common ideas,” he said. “That means for all of us who don’t believe anymore in the idea of a more integrated and more ambitious Europe for the future — they are not any more our parties.”

 

In March, the EPP suspended Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party over the nationalist government’s rejection of EU policies, but the party’s European lawmakers were allowed to remain in the conservative parliamentary group.

 

Weber spoke after a visit to an ancient temple at Nemea in southern Greece.

 

Speaking later at his campaign launch in Athens, Weber argued that European conservatives were the true founders of the EU and would fight those who undermined it.

 

“In the year 2019, we will fight against those who want to destroy our Europe. The nationalists will be our enemies,” he said.

MIGRATION STILL A PRIORITY IN EUROPE

 

Weber on Wednesday is traveling to Spain’s autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the tip of North Africa, to underscore the party’s commitment to maintaining tough controls on immigration.

 

Although the number of migrants and asylum-seekers trying to get into Europe has dropped sharply since the large influx in 2015, Weber said the issue remains a priority for the bloc.

 

He wants to speed up the increased deployment of EU border guards, creating standing force of 10,000 border guards by 2022, or five years earlier than planned.

 

“My experience, when I speak with people all over Europe, is that the migration debate — especially illegal migration — is still the dominant political issue,” he said.

WEBER HELPS OTHER EUROPEAN CONSERVATIVES

 

The 46-year-old Weber, a relatively unknown politician outside his native Germany, focused the early stages of his campaign on countries where conservative allies are also facing national elections.

 

He began with Greece to voice support for Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the 51-year-old leader of the center-right New Democracy party, who is leading polls in an election year. In Spain, he will join the struggling 38-year-old conservative leader Pablo Casado in a country that is holding a general election on Sunday.

 

With Spain’s conservatives splintering into three factions, Casado is trailing in opinion polls behind the Socialist incumbent, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Weber’s office said he is also planning campaign stops in Lithuania and Malta over the next week.

Voice of America


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“Оппозиция в России” – Google News: North Korea’s Kim arrives in Russia before summit with Putin – Yahoo News

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North Korea’s Kim arrives in Russia before summit with Putin  Yahoo News

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has arrived in Russia for his summit with President Vladimir Putin in the Pacific port city of …

“Оппозиция в России” – Google News


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Sputnik International – Breaking News & Analysis – Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics: India’s Terror Plot Warning to Sri Lanka Based on Daesh Suspect Intel – Report

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Indian intelligence services’ early warning to Sri Lanka of a potential terror plot in the country was based on information extracted from Daesh terrorist group suspect in their custody, media reported.

Sputnik International – Breaking News & Analysis – Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics


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РБК – Все материалы: В Госдепе отреагировали на встречу Путина и Ким Чен Ына

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Путин и Ким Чен Ын встретятся 25 апреля. Это первый визит действующего главы КНДР в Россию. В Госдепартаменте заявили, что готовы работать со всеми, кто хочет денуклиаризации Северной Кореи

РБК – Все материалы


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Газета.Ru – Новости часа: Трамп выступил против слушаний в конгрессе по докладу Мюллера

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Президент США Дональд Трамп выступил против того, чтобы прошлые и нынешние сотрудники Белого дома давали показания в конгрессе по докладу спецпрокурора Роберта Мюллера по расследованию дела о “вмешательстве России” в американские …

Газета.Ru – Новости часа


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Voice of America: In Rambling Note to Judge, Pipe Bomb Mailer Sayoc Blames Steroids

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A Florida man who mailed crudely made pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Donald Trump said he abused steroids for over 40 years, an issue his lawyers say they’ll cite at sentencing. 

Cesar Sayoc made the assertion in lengthy and rambling letters to a federal judge that were posted in his court case file Tuesday. 

Sayoc, 57, pleaded guilty to explosives-related charges in March and faces a mandatory 10-year prison term and up to life in prison when he’s sentenced Aug. 5. His lawyers told the judge in a different letter that a psychiatrist with specialized knowledge of the effects steroids can have on mental health will compose a report on Sayoc’s extensive steroid use prior to that sentencing date.

He said he never intended to injure anyone when he mailed 16 rudimentary bombs to CNN offices and numerous Democrats, including former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, members of Congress and actor Robert De Niro.

No bombs exploded

The bombs were mailed to addresses in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, California, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., and began turning up over a five-day stretch weeks before the 2018 midterm elections. 

No bombs exploded, which Sayoc said was by design, describing the devices as little more than fireworks. Prosecutors plan to submit a detailed report on the explosives prior to sentencing.

In his letters, Sayoc told U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff that he had abused steroids for more than four decades and was using 274 different supplements and vitamins along with “heavy amounts of steroids” before his arrest.

He wrote that before he mailed explosives, his idea “first was how to tone down the liberal left violence platform.”

He wrote that he believed prominent Democrats were encouraging violence, saying he had been attacked personally — including as he returned to his hotel after attending Trump’s inauguration.

‘Leftist leadership’

Sayoc also asserted “leftist leadership” had encouraged followers to commit violence that caused $1,800 worth of damage to his van, including slashed tires, sliced fuel lines, broken windows and doors and damage to his battery that a mechanic told him could have caused it to explode.

Sayoc has been held without bail since his arrest in late October outside a South Florida auto parts store. He had been living in his van, which was plastered with Trump stickers and images of crosshairs superimposed over the faces of Trump opponents.

Since being imprisoned, Sayoc said, he has heard voices and suffered various psychological effects, including depression, high anxiety, vertigo and loneliness.

Newfound drug

Explaining his crimes, he said he was never political until he was looking at Facebook on his phone one day when “Donald J. Trump popped up …”

He likened attending a Trump rally to a newfound drug. 

“I was getting so wrapped up in this new found fun drug,” he said in one handwritten letter. 

Now, though, he says he has sworn off politics.

“Politics is dirty, ruthless, deadly,” he wrote. “It is a poison. It will drive you crazy like it or not.”

Voice of America


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Voice of America: In Camp of Diehard IS Supporters, Some Women Express Regrets

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The women say it was misguided religious faith, naivete, a search for something to believe in or youthful rebellion. Whatever it was, it led them to travel across the world to join the Islamic State group. 

 

Now after the fall of the last stronghold of the group’s “caliphate,” they say they regret it and want to come home. 

 

The Associated Press interviewed four foreign women who joined the caliphate and are now among tens of thousands of IS family members, mostly women and children, crammed into squalid camps in northern Syria overseen by the U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces who spearheaded the fight against the extremist group.

Many in the camps remain die-hard supporters of IS. Women in general were often active participants in IS’s rule. Some joined women’s branches of the Hisba, the religious police who brutally enforced the group’s laws. Others helped recruit more foreigners. Freed Yazidi women have spoken of cruelties inflicted by female members of the group.

​Within the fences of al-Hol camp, IS supporters have tried to recreate the caliphate as much as possible. Some women have re-formed the Hisba to keep camp residents in line, according to officers from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces guarding the camp. While the AP was there, women in all-covering black robes and veils known as niqab tried to intimidate anyone speaking to journalists; children threw stones at visitors, calling them “dogs” and “infidels.”

‘How could I have been so stupid’

The four women interviewed by the AP said joining IS was a disastrous mistake. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces gave the AP access to speak to the women at two camps under their administration. 

 

“How could I have been so stupid, and so blind?” said Kimberly Polman, a 46-year-old Canadian woman who surrendered herself to the SDF earlier this year. 

 

The women insisted they had not been active IS members and had no role in its atrocities, and they all said their husbands were not fighters for IS. Those denials and much in their accounts could not be independently confirmed. The interviews took place with Kurdish security guards in the room. 

 

To many, their expressions of regret likely ring hollow, self-serving or irrelevant. Traveling to the caliphate, the women joined a group whose horrific atrocities were well known, including sex enslavement of Yazidi women, mass killings of civilians and grotesque punishments of rule-breakers, ranging from lashings, public shootings and crucifixions, to beheadings and hurling from rooftops.

Their pleas to return home point to the thorny question of what to do with the men and women who joined the caliphate and their children. Governments around the world are reluctant to take back their nationals. The SDF complains it is being forced to shoulder the burden of dealing with them.

Repatriating children, not parents 

Al-Hol is home to 73,000 people who streamed out of the Islamic State group’s last pockets, including the village of Baghuz, the final site to fall to the SDF in March. Nearly the entire population of the camp is women or children, since most men were taken for screening by the SDF to determine if they were fighters. 

 

At the section of the camp for foreign families — kept separate from Syrians and Iraqis — women and children pressed themselves, four deep, against the chain-link fencing, pleading with guards and aid workers for aid, favors and to be sent home. Many shared the same cough, and some wore surgical masks. Behind them, children played in puddles of mud, as women washed clothes in plastic tubs. Girls as young as three wore veils, while men and boys wore dishdashas, often associated with Central Asia. 

Around 11,000 people are held in the foreign section of al-Hol; The Associated Press met some from South Africa, Germany, Canada, Turkey, Russia, India, Tunisia, and Trinidad and Tobago. 

 

The women interviewed by the AP there and in Roj Camp, another site for foreign women and children, said they were deceived by IS’s promises of an ideal state ruled by Islamic law promoting justice and righteous living. Instead, they said their lives became a hell, with restrictions, punishments and imprisonment.

But in a measure of the West’s broad skepticism about these narratives, governments say they are focusing on repatriating children but not the parents who took them to Syria. 

 

Belgium’s current policy is to bring back child nationals under 10 years old. 

 

“Up to today, our priority remains to return these kids because they are the victims, so to speak, of the radical choices made by their parents,” said Karl Lagatie, deputy spokesman of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Aliya, 24

 

Aliya, a 24-year-old Indonesian, said that back home she grew up in a conservative Muslim family but was not herself practicing. Then her boyfriend broke up with her and, brokenhearted, she threw herself into religion. To “make up for” her past, she said she went far to a hard-line direction, watching videos of IS sermons.

“I believed they were the real Islamic state … They said when you make hijra [migration to the caliphate], all your sins are cleared,” she said. She spoke on condition her full name not be used for fear of drawing harassment to her family back home.

In 2015, she flew to Turkey, planning to go on to Syria. In Turkey, she married an Algerian man she met there who was also considering joining IS. But he had doubts, and suggested they move to Malaysia. 

 

She was the one who insisted they go to the “caliphate,” she said. They settled in IS’s de facto capital, Raqqa, and soon after their son Yahya was born in February 2017.

She said it was not what they’d been promised. Their passports were confiscated, their communications monitored. She said her husband was imprisoned for a month by IS for refusing to become a fighter, then worked in the IS administration’s welfare office. 

 

She said she was unable to escape IS territory until late 2017, when the militants gave her and her son permission to leave. Her husband had to stay behind. She has been unable to contact him for nearly a year and believes he is now in SDF hands.

Her parents are trying to persuade Indonesian officials to allow her home.

“I want to tell my government I regret, and I hope for a second chance. I was young,” Aliya said. “Some people still love ISIS. Me, because I’ve lived there, I see how they are, so I’m done with them.”

Gailon Lawson, 45

Gailon Lawson, of Trinidad and Tobago, said she began to regret her decision even before she reached the “caliphate.” The night she crossed with her then 12-year-old son and her new husband into Syria in 2014, people had to dash across in the darkness to evade Turkish border guards. 

“I saw people running, and that’s when I realized it was a mistake,” the 45-year-old Lawson said.

She had converted recently to Islam and married a man in Trinidad who apparently had been radicalized — becoming his second wife. Only days after they married, they traveled to Syria.

“I just followed my husband,” she said.

They divorced not long after arriving. Lawson’s biggest concern over the next years was keeping her son from being enlisted as a fighter. He was arrested three times by IS for refusing conscription, she said. 

 

During the siege at Baghuz, she dressed her son as a woman in robes and a veil, and they slipped out. Kurdish security forces detained the son, and Lawson has not heard from him in a month.

Samira, 31

Samira, a 31-year-old Belgian woman, said that back home when she was young, she drank alcohol and went dancing at clubs. Then “I wanted to change my life. I found Islam.” She said she came to believe IS propaganda that Europe would never accept Muslims and only in the caliphate could one be a proper member of the faith.

“It was very stupid, I know,” she said. 

 

When she reached Syria, IS militants put her in a house for women and brought suitors for marriage. Samira chose a French citizen, Karam El-Harchaoui. She said IS imprisoned her husband for a year for refusing to become a fighter. After his release, he sold eggs and chickens. 

 

In 2016, they tried to pay a Syrian smuggler to escape, but the smuggler pocketed the money and ratted them out to IS. Finally in January 2018, she and her husband fled with their 2-year-old child and surrendered to Kurdish-led forces. Her husband was imprisoned and has since been sent to Iraq to stand trial there. 

 

“I know he will not have a fair trial,” Samira said. Iraqi courts are notorious for cursory trials of suspected IS members in which almost no evidence is presented.

Meanwhile, she is trying to get home to Belgium. “What we saw with Daesh was a lesson to us and allowed us to gain perspective on the extremists. All we want is to reintegrate in our society,” she said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

“I hate them,” she said of the group. “They sold us a dream, but it was an open prison. They kill innocent people. All that they do, these things, it’s not from Islam.”

Lagatie, the Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said his government would not comment on individual cases, but said Samira was “well known to Belgian authorities.”

Kimberly Polman, 46

Polman, the Canadian woman, came to the caliphate to join her new husband, a man she knew only from online. One of her siblings in Canada, contacted by the AP, confirmed this part of her story. Soon after they were united in Syria, the husband became abusive and they divorced. 

She married again and worked in a hospital, treating children wounded in the fighting. 

 

“I saw an incredible number of children die,” she said. She recounted mopping up blood on the hospital floor and breaking down after failing to revive a dying 4-month-old. Polman said she came to blame the militants for the horrors she saw.

“Why would the rest of the world be responding to this if you were any kind of normal human being? Why? …You can say this is about religion but I don’t buy it,” she said, referring to other IS supporters who often accuse the world of ganging up against the group because it is Muslim.

In early 2019, she and her husband surrendered to the SDF.

She wants to return to Canada, saying she is not safe in the camp because she has spoken out against IS. 

 

“I feel so badly that I think I don’t deserve a future. I shouldn’t have trusted.”

Voice of America


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Twitter Search / JohnsonRussiaLi: RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2019-#69 :: Tuesday, 23 April 2019 https://russialist.org/russia-ukraine-johnsons-russia-list-table-of-contents-links-jrl-2019-69-tuesday-23-april-2019/ …pic.twitter.com/bcdupJlb2u

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2019-#69 :: Tuesday, 23 April 2019 https://russialist.org/russia-ukraine-johnsons-russia-list-table-of-contents-links-jrl-2019-69-tuesday-23-april-2019/ …

Twitter Search / JohnsonRussiaLi


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Главные новости – Google Новости: Посол США пригрозил России авианосцами в Средиземном море – РИА Новости

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“US military options in Syria” – Google News: As Sri Lanka mourns, Islamic State claims Easter bombings – WCTI12.com

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As Sri Lanka mourns, Islamic State claims Easter bombings  WCTI12.com

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — As the death toll from the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka rose to 321 on Tuesday, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility and …

“US military options in Syria” – Google News


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РБК – Все материалы: Маск заявил о двойных стандартах в освещении возгорания автомобиля Tesla

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Риск возгорания электромобилей на 500% ниже, чем у машин с двигателями внутреннего сгорания, но никто об этом не говорит, заявил Илон Маск

РБК – Все материалы


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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow May Dispense with Party List Voting and Parties as Such, Petersburg Politics Foundation Says

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Paul Goble
            Staunton, April 23 – Members of the Duma and those who aspire to be are already assembling personal staffs to organize their campaigns in 2021, an indication that the Russian government may do away with party list voting and organize the elections exclusively on the basis of single-member districts., according to the Petersburg Politics Foundation.
            The analytic center says that the authorities are considering four possible variants for the 2021 Duma elections, “the most revolutionary of which – doing away with party lists – would allow the authorities, in the opinion of the experts, to disorient the negatively inclined voters” as they would no longer have a target to aim at (ura.news/articles/1036277962).
                It would also give the authorities the opportunity to exploit “the tiredness of the electorate” as far as the existing parties are concerned.  But this approach has a number of minuses, perhaps the greatest of which are the fact that Moscow would have less control over many members and there would be more intense lobbying to create blocs in the new parliament.
            Mikhail Vinogradov, the head of Petersburg Politics, spokes with Vera Chernysheva and Leonid Fedorov of the URA news agency about this.  He said this scenario was also of interest to the powers that be because the existing opposition is completely unprepared for such a move and the regime, having the most resources, could control things without parties.
            The foundation report identified three other possible arrangements for 2021 – “the first and most predictable is the maintenance of the existing system,” the second would involve changing the leaders of existing parties or creating new parties in their stead, and the third would involve having the various parties play a more active role, even though that would entail risks.
            Leonid Davydov of the Davydov.Index telegram channel says that “for the authorities undoubtedly doing away with party lists would be the preferred way to go.” But he doubts that the Kremlin is prepared to make the effort over the next year that would allow that to happen. Instead, he said, both the election and the Duma they produce are likely to look the same as now.

Window on Eurasia — New Series


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“russia analysis” – Google News: Putin-Kim summit sends message to U.S. but sanctions relief elusive for North Korea – Reuters UK

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Putin-Kim summit sends message to U.S. but sanctions relief elusive for North Korea  Reuters UK

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time this week at a symbolic summit hoping to project himself as a …

“russia analysis” – Google News


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