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Children take center stage in UN meeting on Russia’s war in Ukraine: ‘World gone mad’

Children take center stage in UN meeting on Russia’s war in Ukraine: ‘World gone mad’

Children in crisis amid Russia’s war in Ukraine took center stage during a UN Security Council meeting Tuesday as UN members cited numerous staggering statics and once again called on Moscow to end the war.World leaders condemned Russia’s deadly invasion and the effects it has had on global food shortages, the spike in internationally displaced people and the energy crisis it has helped plunge the world into.”Last Thursday, the UN released its global humanitarian overview for 2023 which set another record with 339 million people in need of assistance and a price tag of $51 billion,” U.S. Ambassador Lisa Carty said Tuesday. “Russia’s aggression triggered one of the largest refugee and displacement crises since World War Two.”UKRAINE SAYS 60 OF 70 RUSSIAN MISSILES STRUCK DOWN AMID BARRAGE OF STRIKES
A man carries his child away from the damaged by shelling maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine
(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)”President Putin has focused his ire and fire on Ukraine’s civilian population,” she continued noting Moscow’s constant attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. “These consequences are horrific and cause needless suffering,” she added. “Children cannot attend school and doctors cannot treat the sick.”Two-thirds of all children have been displaced, 2,500 schools destroyed or damaged, and 5 million children are unable to attend school, officials detailed.But aside from the devastation, Russia’s war has caused to Ukraine’s infrastructure, UN officials also pointed to the psychological effect it has taken on Ukraine’s youngest generations. “1.5 million children are at risk of suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and other conditions which require mental health interventions,” the ambassador to Mexico said.Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said some 765,000 children have received psychosocial support to help them cope with the effects of the war. “I don’t apologize for the stream of really terrifying statistics,” Griffiths said. “Since February, 1,148 children have been killed or injured, while millions have fled, uprooted from their homes, separated from their families, or put at risk of violence.”World leaders also said they were concerned by sexual and gender-based violence, as well as human trafficking that children have fallen victim to. 
A child copies the position of Ukrainian servicemen standing at attention during the national anthem during an event marking a Day of Unity in Sievierodonetsk, the Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)PUTIN HOLDS COUNCIL MEETING ON DOMESTIC SECURITY FOLLOWING 3 AIRBASE ‘EXPLOSIONS'”Thousands of Ukrainian children have reportedly been transferred to Russia for adoption and neutralization through simplified and accelerated procedures without consent from their parents or legal guardians,” the delegate to Norway said. “The statistics we have heard from the UN today are shocking,” UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward added. “The trauma inflicted by Russia will last for generations.”The delegate for Ireland echoed these sentiments and said Ukrainian children have been “robbed of their childhoods” and their “right to education denied.”Russia rejected the international condemnation it once again faced Tuesday and suggested its troops were targeting civilian areas because Ukraine had erected air defense systems in those areas. Roughly 40 percent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed and is contributing to the nearly 18 million in Ukraine who are in need of humanitarian assistance, including the nearly 7 million who have been internally displaced. 
A woman holds a child in an improvised bomb shelter in Mariupol, Ukraine, Monday, March 7, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov))CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPOfficials on Tuesday warned that the repercussions of Russia’s war would affect not only generations to come in Ukraine but across the globe. “Humanitarian needs are accelerating, and this is especially true for winter,” the Under Secretary-General warned. “But I place that within that larger context of a world gone mad, which sees 1 in 23 people in need of humanitarian assistance around the globe. “It’s a picture which is unimaginable,” Griffiths added. 

Israeli deportation of Palestinian activist on hold

Israeli deportation of Palestinian activist on hold

JERUSALEM — Israel will have to wait to deport a Palestinian lawyer and activist to France for at least several weeks.Saleh Hammouri appeared at a court hearing near Tel Aviv on Tuesday. No decisions were made, and another hearing was set for Jan. 1, said Dani Shenhar, one of his lawyers. He remains in Israeli custody.Hammouri has been held since last March under administrative detention — an Israeli tool that allows it to hold suspected militants without charge for months at a time. Israel’s interior minister, Ayelet Shaked, announced last week that she would deport Hammouri as soon as possible after his detention ended on Sunday. The case has underscored the fragile status of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents and sparked a diplomatic row with France. Hammouri, who was born in Jerusalem, has French citizenship.Israel accuses Hammouri of membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which has been labeled a terrorist group by Israel and the U.S.Israel captured east Jerusalem, home to the city’s most important religious sites, in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in a step that is not internationally recognized. It considers the entire city to be its capital, while the Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.Most Palestinians in east Jerusalem are Israeli residents, but not citizens. This allows them freedom of movement, the ability to work and access to Israeli social services, but they are not allowed to vote in national elections. Residency rights can be stripped if a Palestinian is found to live outside the city for an extended period or in certain security cases.France has told Israel that it opposes the planned expulsion, French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said Monday in an online briefing. “He must be able to exercise all his rights and lead a normal life in Jerusalem, his city of birth and residence,” she said, adding that French officials have met with Israeli counterparts to express their opposition.

Ukraine leader defiant as drone strikes hit Russia again

Ukraine leader defiant as drone strikes hit Russia again

KYIV, Ukraine — Drones struck inside Russia’s border with Ukraine Tuesday in the second day of attacks exposing the vulnerability of some of Moscow’s most important military sites, observers said. Ukrainian officials did not formally confirm carrying out drone strikes inside Russia, and they have maintained ambiguity over previous high-profile attacks.But Britain’s Defense Ministry said Russia was likely to consider the attacks on Russian bases more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) from the border with Ukraine as “some of the most strategically significant failures of force protection since its invasion of Ukraine.”Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian authorities will “take the necessary measures” to enhance protection of key facilities. Russian bloggers who generally maintain contacts with officials in their country’s military criticized the lack of defensive measures. A fire broke out at an airport in Russia’s southern Kursk region that borders Ukraine after a drone hit the facility, the region’s governor said Tuesday. In a second incident, an industrial plant 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Ukrainian border was also targeted by drones, which missed a fuel depot at the site, Russian independent media reported. “They will have less aviation equipment after being damaged due to these mysterious explosions,” said Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “This is undoubtedly excellent news because if one or two aircraft fail, then in the future, some more aircraft may fail in some way. This reduces their capabilities.”Moscow blamed Kyiv for unprecedented attacks on two air bases deep inside Russia on Monday. The attacks on the Engels base in the Saratov region on the Volga River and the Dyagilevo base in the Ryazan region in western Russia were some of the most brazen inside Russia during the war.In the aftermath, Russian troops carried out another wave of missile strikes on Ukrainian territory struck homes and buildings and killed civilians, compounding damage done to power and other infrastructure over weeks of missile attacks. Approximately half of households in the Kyiv region remain without electricity, the regional governor said Tuesday, while authorities in the southern Odesa say they have managed to restore power to hospitals and some vital services. In a new display of defiance from Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy traveled to an eastern city near the front line. Marking Ukraine’s Armed Forces Day, Zelenskyy traveled to the eastern Donetsk region and vowed to push Russian forces out of all of Ukraine’s territory. “Everyone sees your strength and your skill. … I’m grateful to your parents. They raised real heroes,” Zelenskyy said Tuesday in a video address to Ukrainian forces from the city of Sloviansk, a key Ukrainian stronghold in the east. The Tu-141 Strizh (Swift) drone entered service with the Soviet air force in the 1970s and was designed for reconnaissance duties. It can be fitted with a warhead that effectively turns into a cruise missile.Unlike modern drones, it can only stay in the air for a limited amount of time and fly straight to its designated target.Its outdated technology makes it easily detectable by modern air defense systems and easy to shoot down.Another Soviet-built drone in the Ukrainian armed forces’ inventory, the Tu-143 Reis (Flight) has a much shorter range of about 180 kilometers (about 110 miles).A Russian pro-war blogger posting on the Telegram channel “Milinfolive” on Monday hit out at Russian military leadership, alleging that incompetence and lack of proper fortifications at the airbases made Ukrainian drone strikes possible. Russia’s Defense Ministry said three Russian servicemen were killed and four others wounded by debris, and that two aircraft were slightly damaged.After Ukrainian forces took control in November of the major Russian-occupied city of Kherson, neither side has made significant advances. But Ukrainian officials have indicated that the country plans to pursue counteroffensives during the winter when frozen ground is conducive to moving heavy equipment. Kherson city is still being hit by Russian rocket attacks but if Ukrainian forces establish firm control there it could be a bridgehead for advancing toward Crimea.Pro-Kremlin political analyst Sergei Markov said the latest strikes by Ukraine “have raised questions about security of Russian military air bases.”The Engels base hosts Tu-95 and Tu-160 nuclear-capable strategic bombers that have been involved in strikes on Ukraine. Dyagilevo houses tanker aircraft used for mid-air refueling.In a daily intelligence update on the war in Ukraine, Britain’s Defense Ministry said the bombers would likely be dispersed to other airfields. Speaking in a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Peskov said that “the Ukrainian regime’s course for continuation of such terror attacks poses a threat.”Peskov reaffirmed that Russia sees no prospects for peace talks now, adding that “the Russian Federation must achieve its stated goals.”Ukrainian rocket attacks killed six people in the city of Donetsk, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of where Zelenskyy spoke, according to Denis Pushilin, head of the Russia-backed Donetsk People’s Republic separatists. He said one of those killed was a 29-year-old member of the DPR parliament, Maria Pirogova. The city is about 60 miles from where Zelenskyy visited. Russia, meanwhile, maintained intense attacks on Ukrainian territory, shelling towns overnight near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant that left more than 9,000 homes without running water, local Ukrainian officials said.The towns lie across the Dnieper River from the nuclear plant, which was seized by Russian forces in the early stages of the war. Russia and Ukraine have for months accused each other of shelling at and around the plant.The head of Ukraine’s northern Sumy region, which borders Russia, said that Moscow launched over 80 missile and heavy artillery attacks on its territory. Governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky said the strikes damaged a monastery near the border town of Shalyhyne.Ihnat, the Ukrainian air force spokesman, said the country’s ability to shoot down incoming missiles is improving, noting there had been no recent reports of Iranian-made attack drones being used on Ukrainian territory. ———Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Dig at UK housing site yields major 7th century treasures

Dig at UK housing site yields major 7th century treasures

LONDON — A 1,300-year-old gold and gemstone necklace found on the site of a new housing development marks the grave of a powerful woman who may have been an early Christian religious leader in Britain, archaeologists said Tuesday.Experts say the necklace, uncovered with other items near Northampton in central England, is part of the most significant early medieval burial of a woman ever found in the U.K.The woman is long gone – some tooth enamel is all that remains. But scientists say her long-buried trove will shed new light on life in 7th century England, a time when Christianity was battling with paganism for people’s allegiance.The items are “a definite statement of wealth as well as Christian faith,” said Lyn Blackmore, a senior finds specialist at Museum of London Archaeology, which made the discovery.“She was extremely devout, but was she a princess? Was she a nun? Was she more than a nun – an abbess? … We don’t know,” Blackmore said.The Harpole Treasure – named for the village where it was found, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northwest of London – was unearthed in April by archaeologists working with property developer Vistry Group on a neighborhood of new houses.On one of the last days of the 10-week dig, site supervisor Levente-Bence Balázs noticed something glinting in the dirt. It turned out to be a rectangular gold pendant with a cross motif, inlaid with garnets — the centerpiece of a necklace that also contained pendants fashioned from gold Roman coins and ovals of semiprecious stones.“These artifacts haven’t seen daylight in more than 1,300 years,” Balázs said. “To be the first person to actually see it – it’s just indescribable.”Researchers say the burial took place between 630 and 670 A.D., the same period as several other graves of high-ranking women that have been found around Britain. Earlier high-status burials were mostly men, and experts say the change could reflect women gaining power and status in England’s new Christian faith. The Kingdom of Mercia, where the Harpole Treasure was found, converted to Christianity in the 7th century, and the woman buried there was a believer, maybe a faith leader. A large and ornate silver cross was placed on her body in the grave. It is adorned with tiny, astonishingly well-preserved likenesses of human heads with blue glass eyes, who may represent Christ’s apostles. Clay pots from France or Belgium, containing residue of an unknown liquid, were also found.Within a few decades, as Christianity took hold more widely in England, the practice of burying people with their luxury goods died out.“Burying people with lots and lots of bling is a pagan notion, but this is obviously heavily vested in Christian iconography, so it’s that period of quite rapid change,” said Simon Mortimer of archaeological consultants RPS, who worked on the project.The Harpole discoveries will help fill in gaps in knowledge about the era between the departure of Britain’s Roman occupiers in the 5th century and the arrival of Viking raiders almost 400 years later. Experts say it’s one of the most significant Saxon finds since the 7th-century ship burial found in the 1930s at Sutton Hoo, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the east.Once archaeologists have finished their work, the plan is for the items to be displayed in a local museum.Property developers in Britain routinely have to consult archaeologists as part of their planning process, and Mortimer said the practice has yielded some important finds. “We are now looking at places we would never typically have looked at,” he said, and as a result “we are finding genuinely unexpected things.”“The scale of the wealth is going to change our view of the early medieval period in that area,” he added. “The course of history has been nudged, ever so slightly, by this find.”

Jamaica imposes state of emergency amid sharp criticism

Jamaica imposes state of emergency amid sharp criticism

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Jamaica’s prime minister declared a widespread state of emergency on Tuesday to fight a surge in gang violence on an island with one of the highest murder rates in the region.The measure applies to certain communities in the capital of Kingston as well as six of Jamaica’s 14 parishes, including those where popular tourist spots like Montego Bay are located. The state of emergency allows authorities to arrest people and search buildings without a warrant, drawing heavy criticism from political opponents and activists who have warned against a repeat of the police abuse and mass detentions that happened under previous states of emergency.Similar measures have been imposed in El Salvador and Honduras recently.Prime Minister Andrew Holness dismissed critics, saying in a televised address that his priority is to save lives.“That is all the government is trying to do,” he said, adding that Jamaicans “have to hide under their beds, hide their daughters, can’t go to church, and they see their sons and their boyfriends and husbands killed. That’s the reality.”The island of 2.8 million people reported 1,421 killings so far this year, outpacing the 1,375 killings in the same period last year, a spokesman with Jamaica’s Constabulary Force told The Associated Press.Jamaica has a similar population to the U.S. city of Chicago, which reported 643 killings so far this year.“We have some really serious criminal threats facing us, and we have to use all the powers at our disposal,” Holness said.The vast majority of killings in Jamaica are blamed on gangs known as “posses” that have been linked to major political parties and rely on extortion, drug trafficking and lottery scams to finance their activities.In response, Jamaica has implemented several states of emergency in recent years that have been scrutinized by human rights activists. The nation’s Supreme Court has ruled several times — most recently in June — that detaining Jamaicans for months without a trial, let alone more than a year, is unconstitutional. States of emergency deliver only marginal results and have worrying consequences, according to Jermaine Young, an expert on emergency powers and former professor at Howard University.“Jamaica has a sordid reputation for abusing emergency powers,” Young wrote in an essay this month. The police and military “have engaged in practices that include arbitrary and unlawful mass extended detentions, extrajudicial killings and internal renditions.”Authorities in Jamaica are defending the measure. Police Chief Maj. Gen. Anthony Johnson noted a 64% decline in killings during a smaller, two-week state of public emergency last month.The prime minister said he is aware of the concerns.“It is not the intention of the government to abuse these powers,” Holness said. “As long as it is needed, this government will use states of public emergency.”Holness left the press conference early, saying he was traveling to the U.S. to meet with top security officials and talk about new ways to reduce violent crime.

Iran officials sentence 5 to death for killing Basij troop

Iran officials sentence 5 to death for killing Basij troop

CAIRO — Iranian authorities sentenced five people to death for allegedly killing a member of a paramilitary force affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, state media said Tuesday. Eleven others received prison sentences.The 13 men and three minors had been charged with killing Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the Basij, a paramilitary volunteer branch of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, according to the report from IRNA, Iran’s state news agency.The five sentenced to death Monday were charged by Iran’s Revolutionary Court, along with eight others. Three boys were charged by Iran’s Criminal Court, according to the report. Judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi, who is cited in the report, provided no evidence to support any of the accusations. IRNA did not disclose the identities of the 16. It said their sentences can be appealed, the longest being 25 years.The alleged killing took place In Karaj, near Tehran, on Nov. 12 when a group of men chased and attacked Ajamian with knives and stones, the report said. The IRNA report referred to “rioters,” a term commonly used by the government to refer to protesters and anti-government demonstrations were taking place in the area at the time. The sentencings come amid months of anti-government demonstrations that have been violently suppressed by Iran’s security forces. The protests, now entering their third month, were sparked by the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. They have since escalated into calls for the downfall of Iran’s clerical rulers, posing one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the 1979 revolution.Iran’s Revolutionary Court regularly hands out death sentences. The court was established following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. According to Amnesty International, Iran executed at least 314 people in 2021, more than half the total state executions recorded across the Middle East that year.Last week, Iranian authorities executed four people it accused of working for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. It provided no evidence to the public for any of the four men’s alleged crimes.Also on Tuesday, the country’s semi-official state news agency, Tasnim, said authorities had arrested 12 people it accused of being linked with “anti-revolutionary” foreign agents in Germany and the Netherlands.According to an IRG statement cited by Tasnim, the group was planning to procure weapons and act against the country’s security. No further details were provided. The arrests were also reported by YJC.Ir, a news website affiliated with Iranian state TV. Iran regularly arrests and sentences people on charges related to espionage and has accused Western countries of driving the protests. So far, at least 473 people have been killed and 18,200 others arrested in the demonstrations and the security forces crackdown that followed, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group monitoring the demonstrations.Tuesday also marked the second day of a three-day nationwide strike called for by the protesters. In posts circulating on social media, demonstrators asked businesses to close and called on people to stop using banks. The level of participation was unclear, but in neighborhoods in northern Tehran most shops were closed Tuesday afternoon and there was a heavy security presence.Iran’s judiciary chief, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehi on Monday ordered the arrest of anyone encouraging the strike or trying to intimidate shops into shutting down. According to Tasnim, authorities In the southern city of Shiraz shut down a pharmacy after it reportedly refused to sell items to patients on Monday. Over the past few days confusion has grown around the fate of Iran’s morality police and Iran’s enforcement of its strict religious dress code. On Sunday Iran’s chief prosecutor, Mohamed Jafar Montazeri, said the morality police had been shut down in a report published by the semi-official state news agency ISNA. The previous day, the prosecutor also said the laws surrounding the wearing of the Hijab were under review, but offered no indication the country was planning to revoke the lawFor weeks, fewer morality police officers have been seen in Iranian cities. Across Tehran, It has become common to see women walking the city’s streets without wearing the hijab, particularly in wealthier areas.

Oil spill smears coast in Venezuelan tourist hotspot

Oil spill smears coast in Venezuelan tourist hotspot

CARACAS, Venezuela — An oil spill has polluted more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) of coastline at the city of Lechería, one of Venezuela’s top tourist destinations, the city’s mayor said Tuesday.Mayor Manuel Ferreira called it a “catastrophic scene.” “The authorities in the area of oil production have not given us information, but the reality speaks for itself,” Ferreira lamented in a Twitter post. He ordered the beaches closed for at least 72 hours in the resorts of Los Canales, Lido and Cangrejo.The government of President Nicolás Maduro and the state-owned PDVSA oil company have yet to announce what caused the spill, nor how much oil has been unleashed along the coast of the state of Anzoátegui.The nearby refinery of Puerto La Cruz has the capacity to process 200,000 barrels of crude a day. And each day off the shores of Lechería, numerous tanker ships wait their turn to load crude and natural gas for Venezuelan and international markets.Oil production has dropped sharply in recent years in Venezuela. Government critics blame inadequate maintenance and a lack of investment to improve the obsolete infrastructure, and say spills and failures have become more frequent as a result.