Yulia Navalnaya's husband was poisoned and detained. Now she is piling pressure on Vladimir Putin



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They were spurred in part by the arrest of newly returned opposition leader Alexey Navalny, while the Kremlin has tried to deflect blame to the US.”},{“title”:”Survivor sounds alarm over ‘echoes of the Holocaust’ “,”duration”:”04:37″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https:/www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/27/holocaust-survivor-irene-butter-intv-ward-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/27/holocaust-survivor-irene-butter-intv-ward-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210127114658-holocaust-survivor-irene-butter-intv-ward-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx-00001621-large-169.png”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/27/holocaust-survivor-irene-butter-intv-ward-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”Born in Berlin in 1930, Irene Butter endured the horrors of the Holocaust as a Jewish child coming of age in Nazi-occupied Europe. 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As the world pauses to remember the genocide that killed millions of Jews, Butter tells u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/clarissa-ward-profile” target=”_blank”>CNN’s Clarissa Ward u003c/a>that we must stay vigilant to preserve democratic institutions amid emerging ‘echoes’ of the Holocaust.”},{“title”:”Young Russians emboldened to speak up against Putin “,”duration”:”02:27″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/26/young-russians-speaking-up-against-putin-pleitgen-dnt-tsr-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/26/young-russians-speaking-up-against-putin-pleitgen-dnt-tsr-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210126184643-russian-youth-protests-pleitgen-dnt-vpx-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/26/young-russians-speaking-up-against-putin-pleitgen-dnt-tsr-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”Supporters of Russia’s opposition leader Alexey Navalny gear up for more protests as the nation’s youth grow more empowered to speak up against President Vladimir Putin. “,”descriptionText”:”Supporters of Russia’s opposition leader Alexey Navalny gear up for more protests as the nation’s youth grow more empowered to speak up against President Vladimir Putin. “},{“title”:”Beijing cracks down on citizen journalists who blew whistle on Covid-19″,”duration”:”04:28″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/26/coronavirus-china-ccp-crackdown-citizen-journalists-culver-dnt-newday-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/26/coronavirus-china-ccp-crackdown-citizen-journalists-culver-dnt-newday-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210126144102-china-crackdown-citizen-journalists-culver-pkg-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/26/coronavirus-china-ccp-crackdown-citizen-journalists-culver-dnt-newday-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”A year after the first coronavirus lockdown enveloped Wuhan, China, Chinese officials have been cracking down on citizen journalists who risked their freedoms to reveal and preserve the truth about the initial outbreak. CNN’s David Culver speaks with Chen Kun, who fled the country after his younger brother was arrested for preserving an important internet database of news archives.”,”descriptionText”:”A year after the first coronavirus lockdown enveloped Wuhan, China, Chinese officials have been cracking down on citizen journalists who risked their freedoms to reveal and preserve the truth about the initial outbreak. CNN’s David Culver speaks with Chen Kun, who fled the country after his younger brother was arrested for preserving an important internet database of news archives.”},{“title”:”Video shows police clash with farmers on Republic Day”,”duration”:”02:34″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/26/india-farmers-protest-republic-day-sud-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/26/india-farmers-protest-republic-day-sud-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210126164251-screengrab-farmers-protest-republic-day-2-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/26/india-farmers-protest-republic-day-sud-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”Clashes have broken out in the streets of New Delhi, India, between farmers and police during a march on the nation’s capital. u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/vedika-sud” target=”_blank”>CNN’s Vedika Sudu003c/a> reports. “,”descriptionText”:”Clashes have broken out in the streets of New Delhi, India, between farmers and police during a march on the nation’s capital. u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/vedika-sud” target=”_blank”>CNN’s Vedika Sudu003c/a> reports. “},{“title”:”Watch London police break up an illegal rave”,”duration”:”01:01″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https:/www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/24/london-rave-police-break-up-orig-jk.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/24/london-rave-police-break-up-orig-jk.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210124141926-london-police-break-up-rave-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/24/london-rave-police-break-up-orig-jk.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”Bodycam video shows London police breaking up a 300-person indoor rave in Hackney as the UK remains under strict national lockdown. Officers issued £200 fines to 78 people. “,”descriptionText”:”Bodycam video shows London police breaking up a 300-person indoor rave in Hackney as the UK remains under strict national lockdown. Officers issued £200 fines to 78 people. “},{“title”:”Thousands turn out across Russia to protest Navalny’s arrest “,”duration”:”02:19″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/?refresh=1″,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/24/russia-protests-alexey-navalny-putin-pleitgen-pkg-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/24/russia-protests-alexey-navalny-putin-pleitgen-pkg-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210124075737-russia-protests-alexey-navalny-putin-pleitgen-pkg-vpx-00015627-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/24/russia-protests-alexey-navalny-putin-pleitgen-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”After Russia’s leading Kremlin critic, Alexey Navalny, was detained by police upon arrival near Moscow, protests calling for the politician’s release have spread across the country. CNN’s Fred Pleitgen reports from Moscow. “,”descriptionText”:”After Russia’s leading Kremlin critic, Alexey Navalny, was detained by police upon arrival near Moscow, protests calling for the politician’s release have spread across the country. CNN’s Fred Pleitgen reports from Moscow. “},{“title”:”Kremlin critic’s investigation into Putin is going viral in Russia”,”duration”:”02:52″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/?refresh=1″,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/22/navalny-investigation-alleged-putin-palace-russia-pleitgen-pkg-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/22/navalny-investigation-alleged-putin-palace-russia-pleitgen-pkg-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210124083953-putin-palace-vpx-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/22/navalny-investigation-alleged-putin-palace-russia-pleitgen-pkg-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation released an investigation into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wealth, offering Russians a look into what they allege is “Putin’s palace” on the Black Sea that they estimate to be worth around $1.4 billion. CNN is not independently able to verify the FBK’s claims. Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denied the Russian leader was linked to the estate on Tuesday. CNN’s Fred Pleitgen reports.”,”descriptionText”:”Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation released an investigation into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wealth, offering Russians a look into what they allege is “Putin’s palace” on the Black Sea that they estimate to be worth around $1.4 billion. CNN is not independently able to verify the FBK’s claims. Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denied the Russian leader was linked to the estate on Tuesday. CNN’s Fred Pleitgen reports.”},{“title”:”Images show huge trench being dug by Russian-backed mercenaries”,”duration”:”02:27″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/22/libya-russian-backed-mercenaries-wagner-investigation-npw-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/22/libya-russian-backed-mercenaries-wagner-investigation-npw-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210122121612-libya-russian-backed-mercenaries-wagner-investigation-npw-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx-00001519-large-169.png”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/22/libya-russian-backed-mercenaries-wagner-investigation-npw-pkg-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”Construction on an enormous trench across Libya, dug by Russian-backed mercenaries Wagner, is raising fears that foreign fighters will not withdraw from the country by January 23, as a UN-brokered peace deal insists. CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh reports.”,”descriptionText”:”Construction on an enormous trench across Libya, dug by Russian-backed mercenaries Wagner, is raising fears that foreign fighters will not withdraw from the country by January 23, as a UN-brokered peace deal insists. CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh reports.”},{“title”:”WHO and China criticized for slow Covid-19 responses”,”duration”:”02:34″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/22/who-china-criticized-covid-19-response-failure-coronavirus-vanier-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/22/who-china-criticized-covid-19-response-failure-coronavirus-vanier-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210122150204-screengrab-who-independent-panel-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/22/who-china-criticized-covid-19-response-failure-coronavirus-vanier-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”The world responded to the coronavirus pandemic with a series of global failures, u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2021/01/22/who-china-criticized-covid-19-response-failure-coronavirus-vanier-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn.html” target=”_blank”>according to an independent panel established by the World Health Organizationu003c/a>. A damning interim report from the panel highlights how too many countries and institutions were slow to act and take the threat seriously. CNN’s Cyril Vanier reports. “,”descriptionText”:”The world responded to the coronavirus pandemic with a series of global failures, u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2021/01/22/who-china-criticized-covid-19-response-failure-coronavirus-vanier-pkg-intl-hnk-vpx.cnn.html” target=”_blank”>according to an independent panel established by the World Health Organizationu003c/a>. A damning interim report from the panel highlights how too many countries and institutions were slow to act and take the threat seriously. CNN’s Cyril Vanier reports. “},{“title”:”Dozens killed and hundreds injured in Baghdad suicide blasts”,”duration”:”02:42″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/21/baghdad-iraq-suicide-bombings-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/21/baghdad-iraq-suicide-bombings-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210121084018-01-baghdad-attack-0121-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/21/baghdad-iraq-suicide-bombings-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”Twin suicide bombs rocked a busy market in central Baghdad on January 21, killing at least 32 people and injuring 110 others, according to officials and state media. It was the first suicide attack to strike Baghdad in nearly two years.”,”descriptionText”:”Twin suicide bombs rocked a busy market in central Baghdad on January 21, killing at least 32 people and injuring 110 others, according to officials and state media. It was the first suicide attack to strike Baghdad in nearly two years.”},{“title”:”See the aftermath of the Madrid explosion”,”duration”:”00:53″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/20/madrid-blast-aerial-video-orig-bl.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/20/madrid-blast-aerial-video-orig-bl.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210120142812-madrid-blast-reuters-police-aerial-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/20/madrid-blast-aerial-video-orig-bl.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”At least three people were killed in an explosion caused by a suspected gas leak in the Spanish capital, Madrid. See aerial footage of the damage it left behind.”,”descriptionText”:”At least three people were killed in an explosion caused by a suspected gas leak in the Spanish capital, Madrid. See aerial footage of the damage it left behind.”},{“title”:”Navalny urges his supporters to hit the streets”,”duration”:”02:35″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/18/alexey-navalny-supporters-vladimir-putin-toad-pleitgen-sot-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/18/alexey-navalny-supporters-vladimir-putin-toad-pleitgen-sot-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210118163553-alexey-navalny-toad-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/18/alexey-navalny-supporters-vladimir-putin-toad-pleitgen-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”Russia’s leading Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny is calling on his supporters to hit the streets for nationwide protests in Russia after he was detained by local police moments after returning to the country. “,”descriptionText”:”Russia’s leading Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny is calling on his supporters to hit the streets for nationwide protests in Russia after he was detained by local police moments after returning to the country. “},{“title”:”See Putin take part in traditional icy Epiphany dip”,”duration”:”00:36″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/19/putin-russia-icy-epiphany-dip-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/19/putin-russia-icy-epiphany-dip-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210119142608-putin-epiphany-0119-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/19/putin-russia-icy-epiphany-dip-ctw-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”Russian President Vladimir Putin took a bracing dip at his suburban estate Novo-Ogaryovo on January 19 for an Orthodox Christian ritual which marks the feast of the Epiphany.”,”descriptionText”:”Russian President Vladimir Putin took a bracing dip at his suburban estate Novo-Ogaryovo on January 19 for an Orthodox Christian ritual which marks the feast of the Epiphany.”},{“title”:”Authorities use tear gas and batons against US-bound migrants”,”duration”:”01:30″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/world/2021/01/18/guatemala-honduras-migrants-tear-gas-oppmann-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”world/2021/01/18/guatemala-honduras-migrants-tear-gas-oppmann-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210118102534-guatemala-honduras-migrants-tear-gas-oppmann-intl-ldn-vpx-00000604-large-169.png”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/world/2021/01/18/guatemala-honduras-migrants-tear-gas-oppmann-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/”,”description”:”Guatemalan authorities fired tear gas and used their batons on a group of US-bound migrants in a caravan trying to move towards Mexico through Guatemala. An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 migrants have entered Guatemala from Honduras since January 15. CNN’s Patrick Oppmann reports.”,”descriptionText”:”Guatemalan authorities fired tear gas and used their batons on a group of US-bound migrants in a caravan trying to move towards Mexico through Guatemala. An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 migrants have entered Guatemala from Honduras since January 15. CNN’s Patrick Oppmann reports.”}],’js-video_headline-featured-23288em’,”,”js-video_source-featured-23288em”,true,true,’around-the-world’);if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length



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Peru locks down 10 regions due to 'extreme' Covid-19 threat


Syringes filled with the Covid-19 vaccine await to be administered at the Kedren Community Health Center in Los Angeles, California on January 25.
Syringes filled with the Covid-19 vaccine await to be administered at the Kedren Community Health Center in Los Angeles, California on January 25. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

Close to half of Americans say they are eager to get a coronavirus vaccine or have already gotten one, according to a January survey published Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The survey of more than 1,500 adults found that 41% want the vaccine and 6% have already gotten at least one dose. 

That’s considerably higher than the 34% reported in December, said KFF, which studies health policy.

In the new survey, 31% said they would like to wait and see how the vaccine works for others before they get one themselves. Some 7% will only get one if “required to do so for work, school or other activities,” while 13% said they would “definitely not” get it.

And of course, politics plays a role. 

“While vaccine enthusiasm increased for both Democrats and independents, it has not shifted among Republicans, who remain the most resistant, with 33% saying they will definitely not get the vaccine or will get it only if required to do so for work, school or other activities,” Kaiser said in a statement.

The survey also looked into what might motivate people to take the vaccine.

Some 57% of those surveyed would be more likely to get vaccinated if told the vaccines are highly effective in preventing illness, and 54% said they would be more likely to get vaccinated if told it was the quickest way for life to return to normal.

Just under half, 46%, were impressed by hearing millions of people have been safely vaccinated, and 45% were motivated by being told we need people to be vaccinated to get the US economy back on track.



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Biden focuses on the climate crisis



At the first Security Council briefing on Middle East issues since President Biden took office, the acting United States United Nations ambassador made it a point to say the country’s position and policy will be to support a two state solution between Israel and Palestine, and it will endeavor to renew relations with Palestinian leadership, which he said have “atrophied” for four years.

Richard Mills, speaking Tuesday at a virtual UN briefing, said the Biden administration supports “a mutually agreed two-state solution, one in which Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state.”

He added that “US diplomatic engagement will begin from the premise that sustainable progress must be based on active consultation with both sides and that ultimate success requires the active consent of both sides.”

He elaborated that the US will urge both Israel and Palestinian Authority “to avoid unilateral steps that make a two-state solution more difficult, such as annexation of territory, settlement activity, demolitions, incitement to violence, and providing compensation for individuals imprisoned for acts of terrorism.”

Notably, the US will “restore credible US engagement with Palestinians as well as Israeli’s.”

Mills said this is not a move that will favor Palestinian leadership, adding US assistance benefits millions of ordinary Palestinians and “helps to preserve a stable environment,” that benefits both parties.

“At the same time, I must be clear, the U.S. will maintain its steadfast support for Israel,” Mills said.

The Biden Administration also “welcomes” what he described as “normalization agreements between Israel and UN Member States in the Arab world, as well as Muslim-majority countries.”

Some background: Former President Donald Trump in January of 2020 backed a Middle East plan that he claimed was a “realistic two-state solution” but catered to nearly every major Israeli demand, and was immediately rejected by Palestinians.

Also during his tenure, in 2018, following a review of US assistance to the Palestinian Authority, he directed the State Department to withdraw $200 million in aid that was originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza. Trump in the final months of his presidency announced a peace deal amounting to the “full normalization of relations” between Israel and the UAE, a joint statement calling it “historic diplomatic breakthrough.” The deal included Israel’s plan to temporarily suspend the annexation of its West Bank.



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Biden's pick for UN ambassador to call for re-engagement with UN to counter Chinese influence



“When America shows up — when we are consistent and persistent — when we exert our influence in accordance with our values — the United Nations can be an indispensable institution for advancing peace, security, and our collective well-being,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield plans to tell the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“If instead we walk away from the table, and allow others to fill the void, the global community suffers — and so do American interests,” her prepared remarks say. “In particular: We know China is working across the UN system to drive an authoritarian agenda that stands in opposition to the founding values of the institution — American values. Their success depends on our continued withdrawal. That will not happen on my watch.”

The comments from Thomas-Greenfield, a respected career diplomat who was forced out at the beginning of the Trump administration, present a marked contrast to the US’ position on the UN for the last four years, as former President Donald Trump and his officials were highly critical of the institution and withdrew from a number of its agencies and initiatives.

Thomas-Greenfield, who has been praised by current and former US foreign service officers as an ideal candidate to restore the standing of the US and rebuild credibility at the venerable multilateral institution, is expected to draw on her past experience in the field during the hearing.

“Throughout my career, from Jamaica to Nigeria, Pakistan to Switzerland, I’ve learned that effective diplomacy means more than shaking hands and staging photo ops,” she plans to say, according to her prepared remarks. “It means developing real, robust relationships. It means finding common ground and managing points of differentiation. It means doing genuine, old-fashioned, people-to-people diplomacy.”

The longtime diplomat also plans to vow to work with Congress if confirmed, saying, “I want the conversation and collaboration we begin today to continue throughout my service as ambassador.

Thomas-Greenfield began her career in the foreign service in 1982. In her 35-year tenure, she has served as the director general of the Foreign Service, held an ambassadorship in Liberia and postings in Geneva, Pakistan, Kenya, Gambia, Nigeria and Jamaica, and was the top diplomat in the Bureau of African Affairs. She retired in 2017 after being pushed out of the department under then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.



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Now's the time to refi. Rates as low as 2.125% APR (15 yr fixed)


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Meet New York's radical female and non-binary skateboarders


Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

Though Jordana Bermúdez isn’t a skateboarder, she found a sense of community at a skate park on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

The photographer, who relocated from Mexico City to New York City in 2019, grew up roller skating and biking. And it was in Coleman Playground, a stretch of concrete near the waterfront populated with ledges and grind rails, that she felt familiarity amid the unknowns of her new city.

“I grew up going to parks, and surrounded by these people,” Bermúdez said over video. “And I felt safer there.”

She was particularly intrigued by the number of women and non-binary skaters testing tricks and sharing laughs. Since watching Bing Liu’s “Minding the Gap,” a 2018 documentary about male friendships strengthened by skateboarding, Bermúdez had been interested in the skate culture and identity among those who don’t identify as male.

Skateboarder Sarah Seafoss at LES Coleman Playground skate park in Manhattan, New York.

Skateboarder Sarah Seafoss at LES Coleman Playground skate park in Manhattan, New York. Credit: Jordana Bermúdez, @jbtph

Bermúdez, who moved to New York to study at the International Center of Photography, began attending meet-ups organized by two groups: GRLSWIRL, a skate community that began in Venice Beach, California, and Quell, a female-founded media, magazine and podcast brand aiming to “increase visibility for nontraditional skateboarders.” These groups both formed with the intention of providing a safe space for women and gender-nonconforming riders in a sport that is still dominated by men. Bermúdez was quickly pulled into their orbit.

“I couldn’t stop (photographing),” Bermúdez said. “I followed my intuition, and I started going four times a week.”

Her ensuing multimedia project, “Girls Can’t Skate,” was shot over the course of nearly a year and comprises still portraits, GIFs and, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in New York, video interviews and virtual photo shoots. By shifting from in-person photographs to Zoom shoots, she could visit people’s homes in an instant, taking pictures of skaters in Arizona and California, in Brazil and Norway.

Though not a skater herself, Bermúdez has become a fixture in the scene, and is even roommates with one of her subjects.

“It’s just so natural to be part of the community,” she said. “They’re very welcoming and inclusive.”

Strength through diversity

Skateboarding has become a cultural force around the world, spreading from its birthplace in Southern California to inspire thriving communities as far afield as South Africa, Afghanistan and Japan. In Tokyo, where the rescheduled 2020 Summer Olympics are set to take place this summer, skateboarding will be represented for the first time, and will include both men’s and women’s street and park competitions.
GRLSWIRL NYC chapter leader Kristen Noelle skating in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

GRLSWIRL NYC chapter leader Kristen Noelle skating in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Credit: Jordana Bermúdez, @jbtph

Though women have long been a part of skateboarding, they are not afforded the same visibility or professional opportunities as men — and the gap is even more glaring for gender-nonconforming riders.

The rosters of professional skate teams are still nearly all male, but recent years have seen a handful of firsts for professional female and non-binary skaters. In 2015, Leticia Bufoni became the first female skater to sign for the Nike SB team, and she was joined two years later by non-binary skater Leo Baker. In 2016, Nora Vasconcellos became the first woman to join the Adidas skateboarding team, and in 2017, Samarria Brevard became the first Black woman to sign with skate brand Enjoi.

In amateur skateboarding, female and LGBTQ+ riders are also carving out a space for themselves, forming groups that promote support, solidarity and safety. As well as GRLSWIRL and Quell in the United States, they include Nefarious Skate Crew in London, Skate Gal Club in Ghana and Girl Skate India.

Adrian Koenigsberg, director of Quell, said that she has witnessed a significant change in attitudes — even in the short time since she founded the brand in 2017.

“When I started Quell, the conversation around gender was nowhere near what it is now,” she said over email. “We were focused on women in skateboarding but now our language has shifted to focus on marginalized genders. When we support others, we make a stronger community.”

Female skateboarders have seen increased presence on screen as well, with a 2019 documentary about young Afghan skaters, “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl),” winning an Oscar last year, and HBO’s teen comedy “Betty,” which follows a group of girl skaters in New York City, debuting last May.

Thriving under restraints

While the Olympics are bound to bring more riders to the sport, the ongoing pandemic has also caused an uptick in interest, as people seek out new kinds of outdoor recreation and alternative ways to commute. In New York, Koenigsberg has seen the effects firsthand.

“I think the amount of people skating since the pandemic has increased tremendously,” she said. “There are more non-male-identifying people absolutely killing skating than ever. There are so many people organizing their own events all over the city.”

Skaters Kristen Noelle, Mary Chun and Charlotte Tegen at 2nd Nature Skate Park in Peekskill, New York.

Skaters Kristen Noelle, Mary Chun and Charlotte Tegen at 2nd Nature Skate Park in Peekskill, New York. Credit: Jordana Bermúdez, @jbtph

As the community continues to widen, male skaters are becoming more welcoming, according to Kristen Miller, founder of GRLSWIRL’s New York chapter. “Not too long ago, I would always be the only girl at my local skatepark. ‘Men’ would be super aggressive and snake my lines or get in my way on purpose and I would always be the one apologizing, feeling like I was always in their way,” she said over email.

“As the tides have changed this year, I’ve noticed these same men have learned to take a step back and allow their fellow skaters more space at the park (and) they apologize when they accidentally get in our way. (They) see that there are more GRLS than ever before, skating and taking up space, and are showing more respect towards us.”



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America’s billionaires have grown $1.1 trillion richer

 

Billionaires are minting money during the pandemic, even as millions of Americans join the ranks of the poor.

US billionaires have collectively become $1.1 trillion — nearly 40% — richer since mid-March, according to a report published Tuesday by progressive groups Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness.
In other words, not only have the uber-wealthy recovered their losses from the spring, many are faring much better than before. That’s in large part because of the sizzling stock market. Elon Musk alone is about $155 billion richer, boosted by Tesla’s skyrocketing market valuation.
Forty-six people joined the ranks of billionaires since March 18, 2020, the week after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, according to the report.
Clearly, the pandemic is worsening America’s already troubling inequality crisis. The staggering gains at the top contrast sharply with the financial struggles of those at the bottom, many of whom are on the front lines of the pandemic and have lost their jobs or had wages cut.
America’s 660 billionaires now hold $4.1 trillion in wealth — two thirds more than the amount held by the bottom 50% of the US population, the report found.

Poverty rate climbs sharply

More than 8 million Americans fell into poverty during the final six months of 2020, according to real-time estimates published by economists at the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame and the Lab for Economic Opportunities.
The US poverty rate declined during the first few months of the pandemic, in large part because of the federal government’s stimulus checks. However, the poverty rate climbed 2.4 percentage points during the second half of the year — nearly double the largest annual increase in poverty since the 1960s, the economists found.
Some groups have suffered more than others. The poverty rate for Black Americans is 5.4 percentage points higher today than in June 2020, translating to 2.4 million people who have fallen into poverty, the economists found.
For those with a high school education or less, the poverty rate has surged to 22.5%, compared to 17% in June.
Florida, Mississippi, Arizona and North Carolina were among the states that suffered the largest increases in poverty rates. The state-level findings “suggest that poverty rose more in states with less effective unemployment insurance systems,” the economists said in the report.

How Biden wants to fight inequality

The wealth and poverty statistics provide further proof of America’s K-shaped economic recovery.
The stock market is at record highs, the housing market is booming and Big Tech is thriving. However, other industries including airlines, restaurants, hotels and movie theaters are still in disarray.
Janet Yellen, President Joe Biden’s newly confirmed Treasury secretary, has acknowledged this problem and suggested it’s nothing new.
“Well before Covid-19 infected a single American, we were living in a K-shaped economy, one where wealth built on wealth while working families fell further and further behind,” Yellen told lawmakers during her confirmation hearing last week.
Biden and Yellen are calling for bold action from Congress to ease inequality. Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan includes $1,400 stimulus checks, $350 billion in state and local aid and enhanced unemployment benefits. The White House is also expected to push for a multi-trillion infrastructure package that would be aimed at further boosting the economy — and could be financed in part by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

Surging housing, stock markets

The pandemic has been a boon to the housing market, with existing home sales hitting a 14-year high in 2020. Home prices, a major source of wealth, hit a record high.
The stock market has played a significant role in the divide between rich and poor.
Even though the US economy has not fully recovered from the pandemic, the S&P 500 is up by 72% from its low point in March. That V-shaped recovery reflects optimism about vaccines, trillions in relief provided by Washington and unprecedented steps from the Federal Reserve that have essentially forced investors to bet on stocks.
Not surprisingly, surging stock prices are especially helpful to the wealthy because they have more skin in the game. As of early 2020, the wealthiest 10% of US households owned 87% of all stocks and mutual funds, according to the Federal Reserve. By contrast, millions of less affluent Americans can’t feel the stock market boom.
Tesla’s (TSLA) skyrocketing share price has lifted Musk’s wealth by more than 600%, according to the wealth report. Other big gainers include Amazon (AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, whose wealth has climbed by more than $68 billion during the pandemic. Facebook (FB) co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is about $37 billion more wealthy than in mid-March.
Inequality isn’t just an American problem.
It will take more than a decade for the world’s poorest to recoup their losses from the pandemic, according to Oxfam International’s annual inequality report released Sunday. By contrast, it took just nine months for the world’s top 1,000 billionaires to recover.

Zlatan scores, almost fights former teammate and gets red card in fiery derby

 

Talk about a busy evening. Zlatan Ibrahimović generated plenty of headlines on Tuesday in the Milan derby — and then some.

From scoring to getting into a spat with a former teammate and then being sent off, the Swedish superstar did it all in AC Milan’s dramatic Coppa Italia defeat to cross-city rivals Inter Milan.
Ibrahimović’s first-half strike put the Italian league leaders in front, further continuing his excellent form against Inter, his eighth goal in seven appearances against the Nerazzurri, who the Swede played for between 2006 and 2009.
However, the 39-year-old’s turbulent evening was only just beginning.
As the two sides were heading off the field for the halftime break and with tensions rising, Ibrahimović and his former Manchester United teammate Lukaku came head-to-head as tempers flared.
They were seen on TV cameras — and heard, due to an empty San Siro — exchanging insults in English as Lukaku had to be restrained by his teammates as the Belgian international tried to confront the Swede for a second time.
Both players, who were teammates in 2017 in Manchester, were booked for their involvement in the spat, something which came back to haunt Ibrahimović.
Ibrahimović (right) argues with Lukaku (left) during the Coppa Italia match.

Inter manager Antonio Conte said after the match that these combustible moments are typical of heated derbies.
“Derbies are like this, it was a heartfelt match,” Conte told Rai Sport.
“I haven’t spoken with Romelu yet, but I was a player so I know that during a match things can get heated. Situations can flare up but it’s only right that things then settle.
“I liked seeing Romelu so focused, he is growing in terms of his character. He plays an important role for us and if sometimes he gets angry, then we can only gain from it.”
Thirteen minutes after the half-time break, Ibrahimović was shown his second yellow card — and a ticket to an early shower — for a foul on former Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov.
Ibrahimović is shown the red card by referee Paolo Valeri.

And with a man advantage, Inter capitalized against their long-time rivals.
Lukaku in fact was the man to bring the teams level, converting from the penalty spot after a foul from Rafael Leao on Nicolo Barella was eventually given by referee Paolo Valeri after consulting the pitch side monitor.
Now in the ascendency, Inter continued to pile on the pressure, but found stand-in Milan goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu an immovable object.
That was until, with extra time looming, Christian Eriksen curled in an exquisite free-kick in the dying moments of the game to snatch a dramatic victory and set up a semifinal clash against either Juventus or SPAL who play on Wednesday.
It was Eriksen’s first goal of the season — the Dane has started just four Serie A games so far — with rumors circulating that he could be on his way out of the club after only joining in January 2020.
However, Conte is adamant that Eriksen is going nowhere.
“As I’ve said for a month, this is our squad. With Christian, we’re working hard on making him a tactical alternative to (Marcelo) Brozović<‘ said the Inter manager.
Eriksen scores from a free kick.

“He has quality and he’s very intelligent from a footballing perspective. He is part of the project and I am pleased that he scored. I urged him to take the free-kick, he’s a bit shy but I hope this goal helps him.
“We all want him to do well because he’s a good lad, perhaps too good. We’re keeping a close eye on him as he is part of the group. We’ll all keep working hard right until the end, pleased that we’re here together.”

TikTok is laying off employees in India as the country doubles down on its ban

 

TikTok has been forced to lay off some of its workers in India as the country doubles down on what was already a monthslong ban on the app in the country.

The popular short video app announced Wednesday that it will cut workers in India after it had “not been given a clear direction on how and when our apps could be reinstated.”
“It is deeply regretful that after supporting our 2000+ employees in India for more than half a year, we have no choice but to scale back the size of our workforce,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.
TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, did not say how many workers would be affected, and it did not immediately respond to a request for comment for more detail.
TikTok made its decision public days after Indian media reported that the country plans to make permanent a ban on 59 Chinese apps that were blocked last June, including TikTok, Tencent’s WeChat and Alibaba’s UC Browser. Indian regulators at the time claimed that the apps posed a “threat to sovereignty and integrity.”
The ban was a huge blow to TikTok, which had an estimated 120 million users in India.
And though TikTok said this week that it has “worked steadfastly to comply with” authorities in the country, such efforts appear to have had little effect.
A source in the Ministry of Electronics and IT told CNN Business on Wednesday that the government decided this week to make the ban permanent because it was unsatisfied with how the Chinese companies had addressed concerns about data collection and security.
“We continually strive to make our apps comply with local laws and regulations, and do our best to address any concerns they have,” the TikTok spokesperson said. “It is therefore disappointing that in the ensuing seven months, despite our efforts we have not been given a clear direction on how and when our apps could be reinstated.”
The spokesperson added that the company hopes the app will someday be allowed to return.

High-running tensions

Tensions between China and India have been escalating since last summer, when a bloody clash along a disputed border in the Himalayas left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.
India has banned dozens of Chinese apps since then, and reportedly moved to block Huawei from participating in India’s 5G telecommunications network. And many Indians have called for a boycott of Chinese goods and services.
The business impact may be limited for some companies, including Alibaba (BABA), which already scaled back in India following the ban.
Last August, CEO Daniel Zhang announced that the company had “decided to stop the operations” of UC Browser, a web browsing app, and other initiatives in India.
“We do not expect it to have a material impact on the group’s overall financial performance,” he told analysts during an earnings call, citing an “extensive review of the business.”
A UC Browser spokesperson declined to comment.
Tencent (TCEHY) has not yet outlined its plans.
“Tencent complies with all applicable orders and regulations, and continues to adhere to applicable laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate. We look forward to continuing to focus on our core markets and providing valuable services for our users,” a spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business. The company declined to provide further details.
Ji Rong, a spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India, on Wednesday reiterated China’s opposition to the ban.
“Since last year, the Indian side has repeatedly used national security as an excuse to prohibit some mobile apps with Chinese background. These moves [are] in violation of WTO non-discriminatory principles,” she said.
Geopolitical tensions between India and China, meanwhile, have continued to simmer. On Monday, the Indian Army disclosed that there had been a “minor” face-off between Indian soldiers and China’s People’s Liberation Army.
The incident took place last Wednesday near a disputed border high in the Himalayas, and “was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols,” the Indian Army said in a statement.

EU vaccine delivery dates weren’t guaranteed, says AstraZeneca CEO

AstraZeneca is pushing back strongly against criticism from EU officials over delayed deliveries of its Covid-19 vaccine.

In an interview with Italian newspaper la Repubblica on Tuesday, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said the company had agreed to make its “best effort” to deliver the doses EU countries had ordered but was not contractually committed to a schedule.
Soriot also told the newspaper that countries such as the United Kingdom were quicker than the European Union to finalize their orders, meaning the drugmaker was unable to give the bloc an iron-clad commitment on its delivery schedule. The “head start” also gave AstraZeneca’s operation in the United Kingdom more time to resolve the kind of supply chain issues that are now affecting EU deliveries, the CEO said.
“We’ve had also teething issues like this in the UK supply chain. But the UK contract was signed three months before the European vaccine deal. So, with the UK, we have had an extra three months to fix all the glitches we experienced. As for Europe, we are three months behind in fixing those glitches,” he said.
The European Union said earlier this week that AstraZeneca “intends to supply considerably fewer doses in the coming weeks than agreed and announced.” EU officials are worried that a slower rollout could threaten the bloc’s recovery from pandemic, just as it was trying to assess the impact of Pfizer (PFE) delivering fewer doses of the vaccine it developed with BioNTech than planned last week.
EU officials are now threatening to tighten controls on vaccine exports, and Italy has warned that it could take legal action. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen turned up the heat on the pharmaceutical companies on Tuesday, saying the bloc “means business.”
“Europe invested billions to help develop the world’s first Covid-19 vaccines, to create a truly global common good. And now the companies must deliver. They must honor their obligations,” she said during a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Teething issues

Soriot set out his defense in the interview with la Repubblica and other major European newspapers.
The CEO acknowledged that AstraZeneca (AZN) has experienced problems at one large manufacturing facility in Europe. He said the early phase of vaccine production is often “complicated,” and the company is “basically two months behind” where it wanted to be.
“Would I like to do better? Of course. But, you know, if we deliver in February what we are planning to deliver, it’s not a small volume,” said Soriot. “We are planning to deliver millions of doses to Europe, it is not small.”
The European Union has ordered 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which could be approved for use as soon as this week, with an option to purchase an additional 100 million. In a statement on Wednesday, AstraZeneca said it would supply “tens of millions of doses” in February and March once the vaccine is approved for use in the European Union.
But in his interview with la Repubblica, Soriot also outlined crucial differences in the agreements the company has with the United Kingdom and the European Union.
“The contract with the UK was signed first and the UK, of course, said ‘you supply us first,’ and this is fair enough,” he said. Three months later, when the European Union wanted to be supplied “more or less at the same time” as the United Kingdom, AstraZeneca was not able to make that commitment.
“Our contract [with the European Union] is not a contractual commitment. It’s a best effort. Basically we said we’re going to try our best, but we can’t guarantee we’re going to succeed. In fact, getting there, we are a little bit delayed,” he said.
AstraZeneca said in its statement that it has built more than a dozen regional supply chains to produce its vaccine, collaborating with over 20 partners in more than 15 countries.
“Each supply chain was developed with input and investment from specific countries or international organizations based on the supply agreements, including our agreement with the European Commission,” the company said.
“As each supply chain has been set up to meet the needs of a specific agreement, the vaccine produced from any supply chain is dedicated to the relevant countries or regions and makes use of local manufacturing wherever possible.”

Political firestorm

EU vaccine efforts received a boost on Wednesday when French drugmaker Sanofi (SNY) said it would manufacture 125 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for distribution in the bloc, with deliveries starting in summer 2021.
But European governments are demanding answers over delays, pointing out that the success of their vaccination efforts is dependent on the private sector.
“On the one hand we can only welcome the result of science, and on the other hand they have a monopoly and we are totally dependent,” Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said on Saturday. “There may be production issues, but these uncertainties and announcements make it very difficult to organize the campaign.”