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March 18, 2023

International Authorities Issue Arrest Warrant for Vladimir Putin

1985: Capital Cities Communications Inc. acquires ABC for $3.5 billion — marking the first transfer of ownership of a TV network.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes.

The ICC’s warrant alleges that Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, another Russian official, violated the Geneva Convention by unlawfully deporting children from Ukraine to Russia.

A warrant was also issued for the arrest of Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation. The ICC states that the official “bears individual criminal responsibility” for the alleged crimes.

“It is forbidden by international law for occupying powers to transfer civilians from the territory they live in to other territories. Children enjoy special protection under the Geneva Convention,” ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmański said Friday in a statement.

“The ICC is doing its part of work. As a court of law, the judges issued arrest warrants that execution depends on international cooperation,” he said.

Russia rejected both the warrants and the ICC’s authority.

“Russia does not cooperate with this body, and possible ‘recipes’ for arrest coming from the International Court of Justice will be legally null and void for us,” according to a statement made in Russian on the Foreign Ministry’s Telegram channel.

According to the ICC, it has the authority to bring charges against Russian officials because Ukraine accepted its jurisdiction to investigate crimes made by the country on Ukrainian territory.

The ICC said that it publicized the arrest warrants in the hopes that it “may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes,” as the forced deportation of children in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory is ongoing.

“This is an important moment in the process of justice before the ICC,” Hofmański said. “The judges have reviewed the information and evidence submitted by the prosecutor and determined that there are credible allegations against these persons for the alleged crimes.” 

The warrants come as Putin is set to have a high-profile meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping between March 20 and 22.

“From now on, the Russian president has the official status of a suspect in committing an international crime – illegal deportation and displacement of Ukrainian children,” Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said in a statement.

“This means that outside Russia, Putin should be arrested and brought to court. And world leaders will think three times before shaking his hand or sitting with him at the negotiating table. The world has received a signal that the Russian regime is criminal and its leadership and allies will be brought to justice.”

Source: The Hill

January 31, 2023

Teen Playing Hide-and-Seek Found Days Later in Another Country

A game of hide-and-seek took a turn when a 15-year-old boy accidentally locked himself inside a shipping container and ended up in another country.

The teen, identified only by his first name, Fahim, was playing hide-and-seek with a group of friends in Chittagong, Bangladesh, on Jan. 11 when he hid inside a shipping container and fell asleep.

Fahim was discovered six days later in West Port, Malaysia, after the container arrived via a commercial ship.

“The boy was just believed to have entered the container, fell asleep, and found himself here,” Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said. “He was the only one found in the container. A police report was lodged and as he was having a fever.”

Ismail said the boy received medical attention and that authorities “are in the process of repatriating him through the legal channel.”

At first, officials were concerned that Fahim had wound up approximately 2,300 miles away after being human trafficked, but an investigation determined that he entered the shipping container during a game of hide-and-seek.

“The relevant authorities have investigated the case and their investigations found no elements of human trafficking,” Ismail said.

Source: Fox 13

January 21, 2023

Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Accused of Staging ‘Fake Arrest’

Climate activist Greta Thunberg was hauled off by German police during a protest — but the now-viral footage has sparked accusations of a “fake arrest.”

Thunberg, 20, and other activists were protesting the demolition of a village in western Germany for the expansion of a coal mine. She and other protesters broke through a police barrier and encroached on an unsecured coal pit, according to police spokesperson Christof Hüls.

Thunberg was released from police detention after an identity check, Reuters reported.

Video clips made the rounds on social media, showing Thunberg standing in handcuffs with a group of German officers before being carried away from the coal mine. One clip from the Catch Up Network shows Thunberg laughing with police and posing for a photo.

“Yes, the Greta Thunberg arrest was staged for the establishment media,” the Catch Up Network wrote alongside the video.

Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, also alleged that Thunberg’s arrest was staged.

“So, it turns out Greta Thunberg’s arrest was as fake as the climate change cult she works for,” Kirk wrote on Twitter.

Conservative political commentator Tim Young tweeted: “Nothing says climate change is a total grift quite like Greta Thunberg staging her own fake arrest.”

German officials deny the accusations

German police have denied the claims that Thunberg’s detainment was staged. A spokesperson told the BBC: “We would never give ourselves to make such recordings.”

When asked about why officers and Thunberg were seemingly waiting around for a photo-op, the interior ministry of the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia cited logistical reasons, the BBC reported.

“They had to wait for a couple of minutes before they could bring her to a certain police car,” the spokesperson said, adding that “the whole situation has been used by those with political motives and the real reason is entirely practical and mundane.”

Thunberg tweeted: “Yesterday I was part of a group that peacefully protested the expansion of a coal mine in Germany. We were kettled by police and then detained but were let go later that evening. Climate protection is not a crime.”

Sources: Newsweek | BBC

November 18, 2022

Kevin Spacey Faces 7 More Sexual Assault Charges

Actor Kevin Spacey now faces an additional seven sexual assault charges in the United Kingdom, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

“The CPS has authorized additional criminal charges against Kevin Spacey, 63, for a number of sexual assaults against one man between 2001 and 2004,” said Rosemary Ainslie, Head of the CPS Special Crime Division.

Ainslie said that the CPS has also authorized “one charge of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.”

Spacey, a two-time Academy Award winner, is already set to stand trial in the U.K. in June 2023 for five counts of sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty to all counts in July. The charges stem from the alleged sexual assault of three men when Spacey lived in London and served as the artistic director of the Old Vic theatre. He held that position from 2004 until stepping down in 2015.

The “American Beauty” actor has also faced accusations in the United States. Last month, Spacey appeared in a New York courtroom for a civil case brought by actor Anthony Rapp.

Rapp had alleged that in 1986, when he was 14, Spacey climbed on top of him and made sexual advances. He sought $40 million in damages for battery.

The jury sided with Spacey, finding that he didn’t molest Rapp, and wasn’t liable for battery.

Sources: Variety | CPS | DNYUZ

September 30, 2022

Embassy Urges Americans to Leave Russia Immediately

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a security alert urging all U.S. citizens to leave Russia immediately.

“U.S. citizens should not travel to Russia and those residing or traveling in Russia should depart Russia immediately while limited commercial travel options remain,” the Embassy warned.

“On September 21, the Russian government began a mobilization of its citizens to the armed forces in support of its invasion of Ukraine,” the alert reads. “Russia may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, deny their access to U.S. consular assistance, prevent their departure from Russia, and conscript dual nationals for military service.”

The U.S. Embassy urged U.S. citizens to “make independent arrangements as soon as possible,” noting that it has “severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens.”

“We remind U.S. citizens that the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in Russia,” the Embassy said, telling citizens, “Avoid all political or social protests and do not photograph security personnel at these events. Russian authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who have participated in demonstrations.”

On August 15, the State Department designated Russia as a level 4 travel advisory — “Do not travel and leave immediately.”

The alert comes after Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the U.S. is close to “becoming a party to the conflict” in Ukraine.

“More and more, the American side is getting into this conflict, getting closer to becoming a party to the conflict, which is extremely dangerous,” Peskov said on Wednesday.

Sources: U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Russia | The Sun | The Daily Wire

September 10, 2022

World Leaders React to Death of Queen Elizabeth II: The Longest-Reigning Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday at age 96, sparking an outpouring of remembrances from world leaders and royalty.

The British royal family said the queen died “peacefully” at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, bringing her 70-year-reign to an end. She was succeeded by her son, King Charles III.

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” King Charles said.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden released a joint statement saying she “defined an era.”

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era,” the Bidens said. “In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her. An enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II united people across the Commonwealth. The seven decades of her history-making reign bore witness to an age of unprecedented human advancement and the forward march of human dignity.”

The queen made her final public appearance on Tuesday during the appointment of the U.K.’s new prime minister, Liz Truss.

“Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built,” Truss said. “Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her.”

“Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed,” the prime minister said. “She was the very spirit of Great Britain — and that spirit will endure. She has been our longest-ever reigning monarch.”

Several former U.S. presidents also shared kind words about the queen, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

“Melania and I will always cherish our time together with the Queen, and never forget Her Majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom, and wonderful sense of humor. What a grand and beautiful lady she was — there was nobody like her!” Trump said in a statement posted to Truth Social.

“May God bless the Queen, may she reign forever in our hearts, and may God hold her and Prince Philip in abiding care,” he continued.

Source: CNBC

March 7, 2022

Report: Zelensky Evaded Multiple Assassination Attempts Last Week

1876: Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent for the telephone in the US.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky survived at least three assassination attempts this past week.

Mercenaries from the Russian-backed Wagner group and Chechen special forces have been thwarted by anti-war movements within Russia’s Federal Security Service — the KGB’s successor.

A source close to the situation said Wagner mercenaries were behind two of the attempts and have sustained casualties in Kyiv.

“They would be going in there with a very high-profile mission, something that the Russians would want to be deniable — a decapitation of a head of state is a huge mission,” an unnamed official said.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov confirmed an assassination effort by Chechen special forces — known as the “Kadyrovites” — to kill Zelensky.

“I can say that we have received information from the FSB [Russia’s Federal Security Service], who today do not want to take part in this bloody war. And thanks to this, I can say that [Chechen leader Ramzan] Kadyrov’s elite group was destroyed directly, which came here to eliminate our president,” Danilov said.


Volodymyr Zelensky survives three assassination attempts in days

March 6, 2022

Video: Russia Seizes Europe’s Biggest Nuclear Power Plant

Russian forces in Ukraine seized Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, sparking worldwide alarm.

The Russian assault on the Zaporizhzhia plant showed how reckless the invasion has been, U.S. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.

“It just raises the level of potential catastrophe to a level that nobody wants to see,” Kirby said.

Though officials later said the plant was safe and a fire had been put out, they worry about the precarious circumstances, with Ukrainian staff now operating under Russian control.

An official at Energoatom, the Ukrainian state nuclear plant operator, said there was no further fighting and radiation was normal, but his organization no longer had contact with the plant’s management or control over potentially dangerous material.

“Europeans, please wake up. Tell your politicians – Russian troops are shooting at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.


Russians take Ukraine nuclear plant; no radiation after fire

March 5, 2022

1 Million Refugees Have Fled Ukraine

The United Nations says that 1 million people have fled Ukraine since Russian forces invaded on Feb. 24.

It’s the “swiftest exodus of refugees this century,” AP notes. On Wednesday, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said that more than 2,000 civilians have been killed so far. 

In just seven days we have witnessed the exodus of one million refugees from Ukraine to neighboring countries,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“For many millions more, inside Ukraine, it’s time for guns to fall silent, so that life-saving humanitarian assistance can be provided.”

Most Ukrainian refugees have fled to Poland. Others have crossed into Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Romania.

United Nations aid agencies have warned that dwindling fuel, cash and medical supplies could lead to up to 5 million people fleeing Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russian forces of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.


Refugee count tops 1 million; Russians besiege Ukraine ports

March 3, 2022

US, 30 Other Nations Release Oil From Reserves

The U.S. joined 30 other countries in the International Energy Agency in releasing 60 million barrels of oil from their strategic petroleum reserves after crude prices surged amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, despite the news, crude prices continued to rise. Brent, the global benchmark, soared past $107 a barrel to set a seven-year high.

The global release is also smaller than a similar release coordinated by the U.S. in November, which did not decrease prices.

So far, sanctions haven’t directly targeted Russian oil and gas exports. But experts say financial sanctions on Russia and concerns over the risk of future energy sanctions are already slowing down the sale of Russian oil and gas, though not stopping it completely.

The U.S. has also signaled it has not taken direct energy sanctions off the table.

“We are prepared to use every tool available to us to limit disruption to global energy supply as a result of President Putin’s actions,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

“We will also continue our efforts to accelerate diversification of energy supplies away from Russia and to secure the world from Moscow’s weaponization of oil and gas.”


The U.S. and 30 other nations are releasing oil from reserves to try to calm markets

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