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A Ukrainian film director who was jailed by Russia after opposing Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea said on Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin will wreak chaos and destabilisation further west if Ukraine falls. Russia arrested Oleg Sentsov in Crimea, his native Black Sea peninsula, and sentenced him to 20 years in a maximum security prison over terrorist charges he says amounted to a political vendetta. The West demanded his release and Sentsov returned to Ukraine after a 2019 prisoner swap, one of few such exchanges in years of stand-off between the former Soviet republic and its ex-overlord Moscow.
Everton managerial candidate Vitor Pereira has defended his record amid fan protests at the prospect of the Portuguese taking charge of the club's battle to remain in the Premier League.
An appellate court is preparing to hear arguments over a lawsuit challenging South Carolina’s abortion law, as states around the country await U.S. Supreme Court action in another case that could dramatically limit abortion rights overall. On Thursday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments in Planned Parenthood's case against South Carolina's measure. Signed by Republican Gov. Henry McMaster last year, the law requires doctors to perform ultrasounds to check for a so-called “fetal heartbeat," which can typically be detected about six weeks into pregnancy.
European Union leaders pledged Wednesday to confront the rise of antisemitism and Holocaust denial witnessed during the coronavirus pandemic, on the eve of the annual commemorations of Auschwitz’s liberation. European Council President Charles Michel said the lessons of the Holocaust are now “more relevant than ever.” Michel spoke at an online event organized by the European Jewish Congress, which was also attended by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.
Stephen Breyer, one of three liberal justices on the US Supreme Court, plans to retire, paving the way for Joe Biden to name a replacement on the nation's highest court, media reported Wednesday.
U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan on Wednesday handed over Washington's written responses to a sweeping set of security demands that Moscow has made of the West, Russia's Foreign Ministry said. Russia, which has alarmed the West with a military buildup near Ukraine, laid out an array of security demands late last year, including a demand that Kyiv never join NATO. It also asked for a halt to the Western military alliance's expansion.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday met with family members of some of the victims of two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes over the prior administration's decision to strike a deferred prosecution agreement with Boeing. In December, some victims' relatives said the Justice Department violated their rights when it struck the January 2021 agreement with Boeing over the two crashes in a five-month period that killed 346 people. They argued the U.S. government "lied and violated their rights through a secret process," and asked a judge to rescind Boeing's immunity from criminal prosecution, which was part of the $2.5 billion agreement, and order the planemaker publicly arraigned on the felony charges.
A Colorado-based aviation company wants to build a plant for next-generation supersonic passenger jets at a North Carolina airport, government officials said Wednesday as local and state boards approved hefty financial incentives for the parent company of Boom Supersonic. If successful, the manufacturing and testing operation at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro could generate at least 1,750 jobs in the region by 2030, according to local and state officials, while cutting flight times significantly for a post-Concorde generation of consumers. A state incentives panel voted to provide cash incentives over 20 years to Boom Technology Inc. should the company meet plant investment and job-creation goals.
Mozambique, Madagascar and Malawi are counting the deaths and damage by tropical storm Ana and more than a week of heavy rains across southern Africa. In central and northern Mozambique at least 11 people have died, including children and elderly, and several bridges and roads have been washed away, according to a statement from Mozambique’s disaster management authority. In all, five vehicles were carried away by the raging waters.
Romney is the featured guest at a March 14 fundraiser for Cheney at the home of Bobbie Kilberg, a well-connected Virginia Republican who lined up against Trump during his 2016 bid for the White House, according to an invitation seen by Reuters. In addition to Romney, the list of attendees is comprised of an array of establishment Republican figures and Trump critics, including former congresswoman Barbara Comstock, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, lobbyist Charlie Black, and former Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney's father.
A World Trade Organization arbitrator has decided that China can impose retaliatory tariffs on imports from the United States totaling up to $645 million a year, capping a decade-long dispute over U.S. duties on some Chinese goods. The dollar-value award issued Wednesday follows a decision in July 2019 from the WTO’s dispute resolution process, which the United States has since gummed up by refusing to allow for new judges to be appointed to its body that acts as a sort of appeals court. China had originally sought an award of $2.4 billion per year, while the U.S. had argued that fair compensation would have totaled no more than $106 million annually.
Venezuelans got a chance on to demand a recall of President Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday — but a government-friendly electoral board imposed limits that backers said were impossible to meet. The National Electoral Council said that nearly 4.2 million people at a minimum would have to sign petitions for a recall within a 12-hour period at 1,200 electoral centers. “The recall referendum is absolutely blocked,” Luis Lander, director of the independent Venezuelan Electoral Observatory, said this week.
The 18-year-old gunman who opened fire Monday during a packed lecture at Heidelberg University in southwestern German bought three weapons about a week ago in Austria, German police said Wednesday. The third weapon, a rifle, was found by Austrian police in a room that the man, who was not identified by name in line with German privacy rules, had rented during his stay in Austria, Heidelberg police said in a statement. Police say the German man — who was a biology student at the university — purchased the two weapons used in the attack from a weapons dealer and the third from a private individual, both in Austria.
State prosecutors in Abu Dhabi summoned people who shared videos on social media of Emirati defense forces intercepting missiles fired by Yemen's Houthis at the nation's capital, a state-run report said Wednesday. The move by prosecutors against social media users indicates the destabilizing potential of continued attacks on the United Arab Emirates, even if the missiles are intercepted without injury to residents as happened on Monday. The United Arab Emirates relies on millions of foreigners for its economic survival; a perception of instability threatens this business model.
France’s government pledged Wednesday to investigate what it called “absolutely revolting” allegations that a world leader in care for older adults has been putting profit before quality, rationing food and other items for nursing home residents. Orpea, with more than 1,100 care homes in 23 countries, has vigorously denied the accusations of shoddy and rapacious care which have battered its stock-market value in Paris this week and are contained in an investigative journalist’s book published Wednesday. Government spokesman Gabriel Attal described the alleged practices described in the book as “absolutely revolting” and said “reading such things leaves a knot in the stomach.”
Republicans' faith in science is falling as Democrats rely on it even more, with a trust gap in science and medicine widening substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic, new survey data shows. It’s the largest gap in nearly five decades of polling by the General Social Survey, a widely respected trend survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago that has been measuring confidence in institutions since 1972. “We are living at a time when people would rather put urine or cleaning chemicals in their body than scientifically vetted vaccines,” University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd told the AP in an email.
Former England boss Roy Hodgson said on Tuesday he believes he is capable of pulling off the "massive challenge" of keeping Watford in the Premier League given his impressive record in relegation battles.
Wolves have exercised their option to buy South Korea forward Hwang Hee-chan on a permanent deal when his loan from RB Leipzig expires at the end of this season.
The third round of voting by Italian lawmakers for a new Italian president ended inconclusively on Wednesday, sending political parties into yet more intense negotiations to come up with a viable candidate to replace President Sergio Mattarella, whose term expires next week.
The US government warned companies Wednesday to be extremely wary of doing business in Myanmar, citing the risks of being linked to a military government involved in lawlessness and human rights abuse.
Former U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake formally stepped into his new position as U.S. ambassador to Turkey on Wednesday, after presenting his credentials to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Flake is a former Republican lawmaker who endorsed U.S. President Joe Biden’s 2020 run for the White House. The long list of disagreements between the two NATO allies includes a rift over U.S. support for Kurdish fighters in Syria as well as Turkey’s purchase of a Russian weapons system.
Mario Balotelli has been recalled for an Italy training camp this week so that coach Roberto Mancini, speaking on Wednesday, can see if the striker is able to "help" in the World Cup playoffs in March.
U.S. government scientists said on Wednesday they have taken an important step in the long trek toward making nuclear fusion - the very process that powers stars - a viable energy source for humankind. Using the world's largest laser, the researchers coaxed fusion fuel for the first time to heat itself beyond the heat they zapped into it, achieving a phenomenon called a burning plasma that marked a stride toward self-sustaining fusion energy. The experiments produced the self-heating of matter in a plasma state through nuclear fusion, which is the combining of atomic nuclei to release energy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of ties between Russia's energy industry and Italy as he addressed Italian business leaders in a video-conference on Wednesday despite rising tensions over Ukraine. The meeting with top Italian companies, including state-controlled Enel, went ahead despite a call from Rome for business executives not to attend. Western leaders are stepping up preparations for any Russian military action against Ukraine and making plans to shield Europe from potential disruptions to Russian energy supplies.
Afghanistan is "hanging by a thread," with millions suffering extreme hunger, education and social services on the brink of collapse and a lack of liquidity limiting the capacity to reach people in need, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday. "We need to give financial institutions and commercial partners legal assurance that they can work with humanitarian operators without fear of breaching sanctions," Guterres said.