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May 28, 2022 7:20 am

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Europe: EU cash alone won’t secure chip supply for region, says Infineon chief


Head of chipmaker argues funding will have little effect if foreign giants remain biggest customers

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Настоящее Время: Тренинги по посещению протестов


Все, что нужно знать рано утром 11 марта

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RSS: Боевые расчеты ЗРК С-400 с Камчатки примут участие во втором этапе конкурса «Ключи от неба»


Победившие в Калининграде расчеты, примут участие в международном этапе конкурса ПВО «Ключи от неба», который состоится в рамках Армейских международных игр.

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Voice of America – English: International Edition


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Voice of America – English: Layoffs, Upheaval at Zacharias Ministry Roiled by Scandal


The global Christian ministry founded by the late Ravi Zacharias said Wednesday it will suspend fundraising, lay off 60% of its staff and overhaul its mission in the wake of revelations that he engaged in sexual misconduct with massage therapists and carried on many amorous extramarital relationships via texts and email.

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries CEO Sarah Davis announced the organization will shift away from its current mission as a global team of speakers making the case for Christianity. It will become a grant-making entity with funds directed to two areas: RZIM’s original mission of preaching the Gospel, and the prevention of sexual abuse and caring for its victims. Previously the organization had said it would change its name.  

“RZIM cannot — indeed should not — continue to operate as an organization in its present form,” said Davis, the eldest daughter of the author and speaker who died last May before his misconduct came to light. “Nor do we believe we can merely rename the organization and move forward with ‘business as usual.'” 

“We anticipate this transition to grant-making will be complete in four to six months, and when completed will be accompanied by leadership changes,” she added.

RZIM had experienced a steady decline in financial support in recent months, according to Davis, and had decided to stop soliciting or accepting contributions at least temporarily.

Citing “current economic realities,” she said the organization’s global staff — which included scores of traveling speakers — would be reduced by about 60% beginning Thursday. She said employees who are laid off will receive severance pay and will not be asked to sign nondisclosure agreements.

Allegations of sexual misconduct by Zacharias began to surface last fall in social media and news outlets, notably a September 29 article in the evangelical publication Christianity Today. It asserted that over about five years, he sexually harassed three women who worked as massage therapists at two day spas he co-owned in an Atlanta suburb.

RZIM’s leadership initially challenged the claims, saying they “do not in any way comport with the man we knew for decades — we believe them to be false.”

However, in October it hired an Atlanta law firm which in turn engaged the services of a private investigation company comprising former federal law enforcement officers. The law firm, Miller & Martin, issued a scathing report last month based on interviews with more than 50 people, including more than a dozen massage therapists.

Five of the therapists said Zacharias touched them inappropriately, and one said she was raped, according to the report. It said investigators searching Zacharias’ mobile devices found more than 200 photographs of younger women, including nude images of a salon employee in Malaysia.

Zacharias, who died of cancer at the age of 74, was widely popular and counted many celebrities and prominent Christian leaders among his admirers. Then-Vice President Mike Pence spoke at his memorial service in May 2020.

Zacharias founded his international ministry in 1984 with a mission to engage in “Christian apologetics” — defending Christianity through intellectual arguments. Based in suburban Atlanta, RZIM has operations in about 20 countries and scores of traveling speakers.

After release of the law firm’s report, RZIM’s board said it was hiring a consulting firm, Guidepost Solutions, to conduct an independent assessment of the organization. It also hired lawyer Rachael Denhollander, a prominent advocate for survivors of sexual abuse, to serve as a confidential liaison with survivors of abuse related to RZIM.

RZIM also said it is removing Zacharias’ publications and videos from its website and social media platforms. 

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4015160 Voice of America – English


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Voice of America – English: Daybreak Africa


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Voice of America – English: Invalidations of Meghan’s Claims of Racism Hurt Black Women


As Oprah Winfrey’s TV interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex reverberates internationally, it’s left the more than 50 million viewers grappling with the couple’s claims of racism and lack of support that Meghan says drove her to thoughts of suicide. 

But for many Black women worldwide, the headlines and social media discussions were painfully familiar. With social media conversations questioning whether racism affected Meghan’s treatment by the British press and royal family, many Black women say it is yet another example of a Black woman’s experiences with racism being disregarded and denied. 

“White supremacy seeks to isolate you, make you feel like no one is listening and no one is supporting you. It uses that as a tool to keep in power,” said Gaye Theresa Johnson, associate professor in the Department of African American Studies at UCLA. “And so when you aren’t validated in your feelings or feel supported, that does real harm.” 

The former Meghan Markle, daughter of a white father and a Black mother, said that when she was pregnant with her son Archie, a member of the royal family expressed “concerns … about how dark his skin might be.” The former television star also said she sought mental health help through the palace’s human resources department but was told there was nothing it could do. 

Almost as soon as the interview aired, many were quick to deny Meghan’s allegations of racism. The New York Post published a column titled, “Meghan Markle’s interview was full of bull.” British television host Piers Morgan quit his job on “Good Morning Britain” after facing backlash for saying on air that Meghan lied about suffering suicidal thoughts in what he called a “two-hour trash-a-thon of our royal family.” 

On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace released a statement saying the “whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan” but that “some recollections may vary.” 

Johnson said the doubts and questioning cast against Meghan’s claims were emotionally wrenching for many Black women, who may relate to the trauma of having their personal experiences with racism invalidated by others. 

“It’s an insult when people are incredulous about the racism people like Meghan Markle experienced because that incredulity speaks volumes about what people refuse to see, what is right in front of their eyes all the time and that some people have to navigate daily,” she said.

A statue stands in front of Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Britain's royal family is absorbing the…

A statue stands in front of Buckingham Palace in London, March 9, 2021. Britain’s royal family is absorbing the tremors from a sensational television interview by Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex.

“That takes a toll on a person and their mental health.”  

Dr. Anita Thomas, executive vice president and provost at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, said watching Meghan’s interview with Winfrey was emotional. 

“It speaks to the burden that many African American women face,” she said. “For Black women, it was upsetting to see that, even when she had the courage to speak out about her experiences with racism, that she didn’t get the support that she needed and, in many ways, her experiences were invalidated.” 

Thomas said enduring such treatment requires “psychological and emotional energy” to navigate. “As a psychologist, I hope people talk about this effect of racism and sexism on psychological functioning,” she said. 

Sinai Fleary, founder of the UK-based Reggae and Rasta lifestyle publication Jus’ Jah Magazine, said while she initially saw an outpouring of support for Meghan, she quickly saw that change on social media. 

“They will dismiss, gaslight and ignore what we have been saying, and what Meghan and Harry have been saying,” Fleary, who lives in London, wrote on Twitter. “This is how the media and certain parts of the public work. Same formula, every single time.” 

Fleary told The Associated Press that Meghan’s interview brought back her own memories of being racially profiled in shops and seeing white women clutch their bags on public transit when they saw her. 

“If racism as blatant as what Meghan spoke about is immediately denied, will people believe me when I tell them about these less overt, daily examples of racism I face every day?” she asked. 

Fleary said the UK has a long history of dismissing Black women in conversations about racism. “They’re never believed,” she said. “It’s always deny and dismiss. It can be so blatant and people will still say they don’t see it.” 

Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pointed to the racist attitudes of the British media as a reason for stepping away from royal duties and moving to North America last year, something Harry reiterated in the interview with Winfrey. 

As Meghan and Harry began dating, many pointed to the relationship as evidence of Britain entering a “post-racial” era, but the racism Meghan faced from the British media told another story. 

When the news first broke of their relationship, publications were quick to refer to Meghan in racist terms, with one tabloid columnist referring to her “exotic” DNA. A Mail Online headline stated Meghan was “[almost] straight outta Compton,” and a Daily Star headline asked whether Harry would “marry into gangster royalty.” 

Then, when Meghan and Harry announced they would step away from official royal duties last year, people quickly began to question that racism was what drove Meghan away. 

Heather McGhee, author of the book “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together,” said the immediate rush by some to deny Meghan’s allegations were upsetting.  

And that denial is something Black women face every day, she said. 

“Very often, Black women in conference rooms and offices experience discrimination and have no recourse, in the same way that one of the more powerful Black women in the world had no recourse except to give it all up,” McGhee said of Meghan.  

“I hope we realize there’s a much less powerful version of Meghan likely at your office or school who is being discriminated [against] and doesn’t have champions. I hope this encourages more people to stand up for their Black co-workers, neighbors and friends.” 

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4015160 Voice of America – English


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Voice of America – English: VOA Newscasts (2 Minute)


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Voice of America – English: Blinken to Meet Top Chinese Diplomats Next Week


Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a congressional panel he would meet with top Chinese diplomats next week and would discuss a host of issues that concern the United States. VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports.

 

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Voice of America – English: Decision Could Lead to Reinstatement of Charge Against Former Minneapolis Officer


The Minnesota Supreme Court declined Wednesday to hear the appeal of a former Minneapolis police officer who is trying to block a third-degree murder charge from being reinstated in George Floyd’s death.

At issue is whether the conviction of another former police officer in an unrelated case established a precedent for prosecutors to restore a third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin that the trial judge dismissed earlier.

The high court’s decision left open the possibility that the judge could add the charge back, lessening the chances that his trial would be delayed over the dispute.

Judge Peter Cahill noted the ruling during a break and told the prosecution and defense that they would discuss the issue Thursday morning before jury selection began for the day. He noted that there were still some legal issues left to be decided before the dispute could be resolved.

During the second day of jury selection, attorneys probed potential jurors about their attitudes toward police, trying to determine whether they were more inclined to believe testimony from law enforcement over evidence from other witnesses to the fatal confrontation.

Two jurors seated

Cahill seated two more jurors to go with the three picked Tuesday for Chauvin’s trial, which currently involves second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. It has been a grinding process during which attorneys ask prospective jurors one by one whether they can keep an open mind, what they think of the criminal justice system and racial justice issues, how they resolve conflicts and much more.

The first juror picked Wednesday, a man who works in sales management and grew up in a mostly white part of central Minnesota, acknowledged saying on his written questionnaire that he had a “very favorable” opinion of the Black Lives Matter movement and a “somewhat unfavorable” impression of the Blue Lives Matter countermovement in favor of police, yet “somewhat agreed” that police do not get the respect they deserve. He said he agreed that there are bad police officers.

“Are there good ones? Yes. So, I don’t think it’s right to completely blame the entire organization,” he told the court under questioning from prosecutor Steve Schleicher.

He also said he would be more inclined to believe an officer, all things being equal, over the word of another witness. But he maintained he would be able to set aside any ideas about the inherent honesty of an officer and evaluate witnesses on their own.

In this image from video, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell addresses Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill as he presides over…

In this image from video, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell addresses Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill during jury selection, March 10, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, in the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd.

The second, a man who works in information technology security, marked “strongly agree” on a question about whether he believes police in his community make him feel safe. His community was not specified — jurors are being drawn from all over Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis and many of its suburbs.

“In my community, I think when there is suspicious activity, the police will stop by. They will ask a question,” he said. “I think that sense of community is all we want, right? We want to live in a community where we feel safe, regardless of race, color and gender.”

Schleicher noted that the man also stated in the questionnaire he strongly disagreed with the concept of “defunding” the police, which has become a political flashpoint locally and across the country in the wake of Floyd’s death.

‘They have to have money’

“While I necessarily might not agree with the police action in some situations, I believe that in order for police to make my community safe, they have to have the money,” he replied.

The questionnaire explores potential jurors’ familiarity with the case and their own contacts with police. Their answers have not been made public, and the jurors’ identities are being kept secret. Their racial backgrounds often are not disclosed in open court.

Floyd was declared dead on May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against the Black man’s neck for about nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond.

Chauvin and three other officers were fired. The others face an August trial on aiding and abetting charges. The defense has not said whether Chauvin will testify in his own defense.

Schleicher used a peremptory challenge Wednesday to remove from the panel a woman who has a nephew who is a sheriff’s deputy in western Minnesota. She said she was dismayed by the violence that followed Floyd’s death.

“I personally didn’t see any usefulness to it,” she said. “I didn’t see anything accomplished by it, except, I suppose, bring attention to the frustrations of the people involved. But did I see anything useful coming out of the burning of Lake Street and that sort of thing? I did not.”

The first juror chosen for the panel on Wednesday said he had one potential problem — he is scheduled to get married May 1 in Florida but was prepared to change his plans if the trial continues that long.

Opening statements are scheduled for no sooner than March 29, and testimony is expected to last about four weeks.

“We’ll do our best to get you to your wedding,” Cahill said as he informed the man he was on the jury. “Go ahead and throw me under the bus with your fiancée.”

 

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4015160 Voice of America – English