США: поліцейській висунули звинувачення в ненавмисному вбивстві темношкірого чоловіка

Звинувачення висунули Кім Поттер, яка працювала в департаменті в місті Бруклін-Сентер, де 11 квітня загинув Данте Райт

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США: демократи прагнуть збільшити число суддів у Верховному суді

Раніше президент США Джо Байден підписав указ про створення комісії з реформування Верховного суду

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Байден підготував указ про запровадження нових санкцій проти Росії – The Wall Street Journal

Санкції будуть запроваджені у відповідь на російські кібероперації, втручання Росії в американські вибори і анексію Росією Криму

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Toy Cars Get Eco-friendly Makeover to Inspire Children

Matchbox is launching a new series of toy cars based on real-life electric and hybrid vehicles, in a bid to make its miniatures more sustainable and to raise awareness among children of the environmental impact of motoring.The first model off the production line is a scaled-down version of the Tesla Roadster, which will be joined by toys based on cars made by Nissan, Toyota and BMW. Electric charging stations will also go on sale this year.”We are unveiling a concept car, just like the real car industry does,” said Nuria Alonso, head of Matchbox marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa.She added that it would be the first die-cast model made of 99% recycled materials.”We wanted to work with Tesla to inspire kids as the future drivers of tomorrow. We think their parents will love to see how their kids play with cars that encourage environmental consciousness, like electric cars.”The launch is part of an overhaul in Britain and Europe at Matchbox, which is owned by toymaker Mattel.The Matchbox brand was created nearly 70 years ago and sells more than 40 million die-cast vehicles each year. 

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Nobel Doctor Calls Sexual Violence in Conflict a ‘Pandemic’

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege warned Wednesday that the scourge of sexual violence and rape in all conflicts is now “a real pandemic” and without sanctions and justice for the victims these horrific acts won’t stop.The Congolese doctor told the U.N. Security Council in a video briefing that “we are still far away from being able to draw a red line against the use of rape and sexual violence as a strategy of war domination and terror.”Mukwege appealed to the international community “to draw a red line against the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war.” And he stressed that the “red line” must mean “blacklists with economic, financial and political sanctions as well as judicial prosecutions against the perpetrators and instigators of these egregious crimes.”Mukwege founded the Panzi Hospital in the eastern Congo city of Bukavu, and for more than 20 years has treated countless women who were raped amid fighting between armed groups seeking control of some the central African nation’s vast mineral wealth. He lamented that sexual violence and impunity continue.He shared the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize with activist Nadia Murad, who was kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery by Islamic State militants in 2014 along with an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women.Mukwege said there has been progress in international law, and the greatest challenge today is to transform commitments into obligations, and Security Council resolutions into results. Accountability and justice “are the best tools of prevention,” he said, and without punishment and sanctions, rapes and sexual violence in conflicts will continue.Mukwege spoke at a council meeting on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ latest report on sexual violence in conflict that said the COVID-19 pandemic led to a spike in gender-based violence last year. It focused on 18 countries where the U.N. said it has verified information that 52 warring parties are “credibly suspected” of patterns of “rape and other forms of sexual violence” in conflicts on the council agenda. The majority of the parties are opposition, rebel and terrorist groups — so-called “non-state actors” — and over 70% “are persistent perpetrators.”In the latest example, Pramila Patten, the U.N. special representative on conflict-related sexual violence, told the council that right now in Ethiopia’s remote, mountainous regions of north and central Tigray, where fighting continues between the government and the region’s fugitive leaders, “women and girls are being subjected to sexual violence with a level of cruelty beyond comprehension.””Health care workers are documenting new cases of rape and gang-rape daily, despite their fear of reprisals and attacks on the limited shelters and clinics in operation,” Patten said, noting that the report records allegations of over 100 rape cases since fighting began in November but it may take months to determine the full scale and magnitude of the atrocities.She said the report documents “over 2,500 U.N.-verified cases of conflict-related sexual violence committed in the course of 2020,” including in Congo, Central African Republic, Libya and South Sudan’s western Darfur region.”Each of these cases cries out for justice,” Patten said. “It is time to write a new social contract in which no military or political leader is above the law, and no woman or girl is beneath the scope of its protection.”Caroline Atim, director of the South Sudan Women with Disabilities Network who represented non-governmental organizations focused on women, peace and security, became the first deaf person to brief the Security Council. She used sign language for her remarks, which were voiced by an interpreter.Despite a 2018 peace deal, Atim said, “South Sudan remains engulfed by intercommunal, ethnic, political and armed conflicts where gender-based violence is deliberately used as a tool of humiliation against women and girls.””More than 65% of South Sudanese women have experienced sexual or physical violence, a figure that is double the global average and among the highest in the world,” she said, echoing calls for a halt to sexual violence, a survivor-centered approach for victims, and accountability for perpetrators.

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South African Telecom App Helps Gender-Based Violence Survivors

South African mobile communications company Vodacom South Africa, with British parent company Vodafone and charity Hestia, has launched a free mobile phone application to support targets of gender-based violence, which has soared during the coronavirus pandemic.  The application, “Bright Sky,” provides information for people to identify gender-based violence and get counseling and emergency help. Franco Puglisi reports from Johannesburg.Producer: Rod James. Camera: Franco Puglisi. 

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Помічник Путіна – послу США: нових санкцій бути не повинно

Американського посла запросили до Ушакова на наступний день після того, як у телефонній розмові з Путіним президент США Джо Байден запропонував російському президенту в найближчі місяці зустрітися в одній із третіх країн

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«Американським військовим пора додому»: Байден оголосив про повернення військ з Афганістану

За його словами, виведення 2,5 тисяч американських військових, які наразі залишаються в Афганістані, почнеться 1 травня

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Computerized Map Predicts Next COVID-19 Outbreak

Predicting whether an outbreak is likely to happen is now possible with the COVID-19 Outbreak Detection Tool, a map that shows the coming hotspots for the disease, if accurate data is available.  VOA’s Elizabeth Lee has the details.Producer: Elizabeth Lee

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Kurdish Officials Demand Help With Looming COVID ‘Catastrophe’ in NE Syria

Kurdish officials in northeast Syria are expressing concerns over a sharp increase in coronavirus cases in their region, calling on international health organizations to intervene to prevent a “humanitarian catastrophe.”
 
A 10-day curfew went into effect Tuesday in an attempt to curb the spread of the deadly virus in the semiautonomous region, which is home to nearly 5 million people, including thousands of internally displaced people, refugees and prisoners of the Islamic State (IS) terror group, also known as ISIS or its Arabic acronym, Daesh.
 
“The situation is getting out of control,” said Jowan Mustafa, co-chair of the Health Department at the Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria (AANES), a governing body affiliated with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
 
“In the past few weeks, we have witnessed a growing rate of COVID-19 cases in our region,” he told VOA by phone. “We need immediate assistance from international health organizations to stop a potential humanitarian catastrophe.”
 
On Wednesday alone, 248 new cases and five deaths were reported, bringing the total number of coronavirus infections in northeast Syria to 13,004, including 437 deaths.
 
Local health officials said the actual number of those infected with the virus could be much higher.
 
“Our testing capacity is very limited, and our hospitals and health facilities are overwhelmed,” said Mustafa, adding that “many people carrying the virus are staying at home without reporting to us.”
 Al-Hol camp
 
One in four COVID-19-related deaths confirmed on Tuesday occurred in al-Hol camp, where over 60,000 people reside, including thousands of families of IS foreign fighters.
 
Sheikhmous Ahmed, head of the Refugee Affairs Office at the AANES, said overpopulation and poor health infrastructure make camp residents more susceptible to the coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, the viral strain that causes COVID-19.  
 
“Given the current high number of COVID cases outside the camp, its spread could be much more rapid inside the camp,” Ahmed told VOA.
 
He said medical teams at al-Hol don’t have enough resources to contain a sudden outbreak of the virus.FILE – A member of Kurdish internal security stands guard at the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp, in northeastern Syria, Jan. 28, 2021.Philippe Nassif, Middle East and North Africa advocacy director at Amnesty International, said “in Syria, where over half the population has been displaced and tens of thousands remain in IDP camps in the northeast, the pandemic has taken a particularly heavy toll.”
 
“This includes prisons holding ISIS fighters, their families and other detainees creating a crisis within a crisis,” he said.
 
In addition to those held in al-Hol and other detention camps, the SDF says it holds more than 10,000 IS fighters, including about 2,000 foreign nationals.
 
“Amnesty International has profound concerns for the well-being of those held in detention, and for the hundreds of thousands of refugees and IDPs scattered across Syria and the region,” Nassif told VOA. “The world needs an urgent plan to help these vulnerable populations get vaccinated immediately.”
 Call for help  
 
Mustafa of AANES said the organization has reached out to international health bodies, including the World Health Organization, to take immediate action in this part of the war-ravaged country.  
 
“The WHO has said it would deliver a small number of vaccines to northeast Syria in April, but even that hasn’t happened yet,” he said, noting that “if we don’t receive immediate assistance from the WHO, then other non-governmental health groups should step in to help us stop this crisis.”  
 
 WHO said last month it will run a coronavirus vaccination campaign in Syria, with the goal of inoculating 20% of the country’s population by the end of 2021.  
 
WHO representative to Syria Akjemal Magtymova recently said only one of 16 public hospitals in the region is fully functioning, and three are partially functioning.
 
“It is a massive challenge to ensure the adequate number of hospital beds in intensive care units, in the wake of the third wave of COVID-19 in Syria,” she said in a statement, noting that “access to COVID-19 vaccines to reduce ongoing transmission is yet another mammoth task for Syria.” 

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