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Новосибирские спасатели вытащили женщину из провалившейся под лед машины

Автомобиль скатился в замерзший водоем и оказался в ледяной ловушке.

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Израиль запустил “горячую линию” на русском для сообщений об угрозах евреям

Линия, запущенная бюро “Натив”, нацелена на постсоветские государства и позволяет сообщать об угрозах евреям и призывах к антисемитским акциям.

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Biden, first lady to attend Georgia service for Rosalynn Carter


Busts of Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter are displayed in the entryway of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Center after the death at age 96 of former U.S. first lady Rosalynn Carter, wife of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, in Plains, Georgia, U.S., November 20, 2023. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

U.S. President Joe Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, will attend a service for former first lady Rosalynn Carter in Georgia on Tuesday, the White House said.

Carter died earlier this week shortly after she entered hospice care at home in Plains, Georgia, alongside her husband, former President Jimmy Carter.

The Bidens will attend a tribute service at Glen Memorial Church at Emory University in Atlanta on Tuesday.

Carter will lie in repose in the lobby of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta on Monday, giving members of the public an opportunity to view the casket and pay their respects.

On Wednesday, Carter’s funeral will be held at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains before she is interred at the family residence in Plains.

The Carters were the longest-married U.S. presidential couple, having wed in 1946 when he was 21 and she was 18.

President Biden has ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff until Carter is interred.

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Japan Times: мыши портят терминалы Starlink в окопах ВСУ

По данным издания, украинские войска этой осенью страдают от нашествия грызунов.

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INTERNATIONAL EDITION: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Red Cross would be allowed to visit the remaining Gaza hostages

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Red Cross would be allowed to visit the remaining hostages in Gaza. U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield says UN members should not minimize what happened to Israel on Oct. 7, when expressing compassion for Palestinian civilians.

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New Obesity Medications Change How Users View Holiday Meals

For most of her life, Claudia Stearns dreaded Thanksgiving. As a person who struggled with obesity since childhood, Stearns hated the annual turmoil of obsessing about what she ate — and the guilt of overindulging on a holiday built around food. 

Now, after losing nearly 100 pounds using medications including Wegovy, a powerful new anti-obesity drug, Stearns says the “food noise” in her head has gone very, very quiet. 

“Last year, it felt so lovely to just be able to enjoy my meal, to focus on being with friends and family, to focus on the joy of the day,” says Stearns, 65, of Somerville, Massachusetts. “That was a whole new experience.” 

As millions of Americans struggling with obesity gain access to a new generation of weight-loss drugs, Stearns’ experience is becoming more common — and more noticeable at the times of year when cooking, eating and a sense of abundance can define and heighten gatherings of loved ones and friends. Medical experts and consumers say the drugs are shifting not only what users eat, but also the way they view food.

For some, it means greater mental control over their meals. Others say it saps the enjoyment from social situations, including traditionally food-centric holidays like Thanksgiving, Passover and Christmas.

“It’s something that really changes a lot of things in their life,” says Dr. Daniel Bessesen, chief of endocrinology at Denver Health, who treats patients with obesity. “They go from food being a central focus to it’s just not.”

Undermining the festivities?

The new obesity drugs, originally designed to treat diabetes, include semaglutide, used in Ozempic and Wegovy, and tirzepatide, used in Mounjaro and recently approved as Zepbound. Now aimed at weight loss, too, the drugs delivered as weekly injections work far differently than any diet. They mimic powerful hormones that kick in after people eat to regulate appetite and the feeling of fullness communicated between the gut and the brain. Users can lose as much as 15% to 25% of their body weight, studies show. 

“That’s how it works — it reduces the rewarding aspects of food,” explains Dr. Michael Schwartz, an expert in metabolism, diabetes and obesity at the University of Washington in Seattle. 

For Stearns, who started treatment in 2020, using the weight-loss medications means she can take a few bites of her favorite Thanksgiving pies — and then stop. “I would not feel full,” she says, “but I would feel satisfied.” 

Yet such a shift can have broader implications, both religious and cultural, because it alters the experience of festive and religious holidays that are often built around interactions with food — and lots of it.

“I’m Italian. For us, it’s like going to church, going to a table,” says Joe Sapone, 64, a retiree from Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, who lost about 100 pounds with dieting and Mounjaro. He no longer needs what he called “the food orgy” of a holiday, but he acknowledges it was an adjustment.

“Part of succeeding at this is disconnecting a good time with what you eat,” he says.

Changes in enjoyment

Many users welcome what they say is greater control over what they eat, even during the emotionally charged holiday season. 

“I may be more selective of the items I put on my plate,” says Tara Rothenhoefer, 48, of Trinity, Florida. She lost more than 200 pounds after joining a clinical trial testing Mounjaro for weight loss in 2020. “I don’t care about the bread as much. I still eat what I enjoy.” 

But others on the drugs lose their appetites entirely or suffer side effects — nausea, vomiting, diarrhea — that undermine the pleasure of any food. 

“I’ve had a handful of patients over the years who were really miserable because they didn’t enjoy food in the same way,” says Dr. Katherine Saunders, an obesity expert at Weill Cornell Medicine and co-founder of Intellihealth, a clinical and software company that focuses on obesity treatment. 

But, she added, most people who have turned to weight-loss medications have spent years struggling with the physical and mental burdens of chronic obesity and are relieved to discover a decreased desire for food — and grateful to shed pounds. 

When people stop taking the drugs, their appetites return and they regain weight, often faster than they lost it, studies show. One early analysis found that two-thirds of patients who started taking weight-loss drugs were no longer using them a year later. 

Part of that may be due to the high cost and ongoing supply shortages. But the larger question of what it means to alter a basic human drive like appetite needs to be considered as well, says Dr. Jens Juul Holst of the University of Copenhagen. He is one of the researchers who first identified the gut hormone GLP-1, or glucagon-like peptide 1, which eventually led to the new class of obesity drugs. 

Speaking at an international diabetes conference this fall, Holst offered a philosophical critique of the new medications’ real-world impact. 

“Why is it that you’ve lost weight? That’s because you’ve lost your appetite. That’s because you’ve lost the pleasure of eating and the reward of having a beautiful meal,” Holst told his colleagues. “And how long can you stand that? That is the real, real question.” 

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Biden ‘Personally Involved’ in Israel-Hamas Hostage Deal, White House Says

President Joe Biden was “personally involved” in the deal to secure the release of about 50 hostages held in Gaza by Hamas, John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, said in an interview Wednesday.

The release, which has now been pushed back to at least Friday, is to be accompanied by Israel’s release of 150 Palestinian prisoners, a days-long temporary cease-fire and the delivery of more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Kirby, who spoke to Paris Huang, the VOA Mandarin White House correspondent, also dismissed recent diplomatic efforts by China to broker an end to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Analysts have described the attempt as a bid by Beijing to position itself as a more credible peacemaker in the Middle East than the United States.  

The following interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. 

VOA: What was President Biden’s role in the Israel-Hamas hostage deal? 

NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS JOHN KIRBY: The president was personally involved at the leader level to see if we can get this deal done. In fact, he was speaking to the emir of Qatar just last week while we were in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. So he was personally engaged and involved. He’s been updated, sometimes multiple times a day, on how things were going with a negotiation. And of course, he directed the entire national security team to work hard on this outcome as well, from the CIA director to the secretary of state and national security adviser. … And of course, special envoy on the ground David Satterfield was pivotal, as was our coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk. So it really was a team effort. 

VOA: A delegation of Arab and Muslim countries had a meeting on Gaza in Beijing this Monday. Do you believe that meeting could be constructive, and did President Xi promise to help on this issue when he met with President Biden last week? 

KIRBY: I’ll let President Xi speak for himself on what he will or won’t do. The president did raise the issue of what’s going on in the Middle East with President Xi and we certainly urge President Xi to use his influence in Tehran to make sure that we were communicating to the supreme leader how seriously we take what’s going on and that we don’t want to see this war widen or escalate. And of course, Tehran can have a role in that or not. And so that was certainly a message to President Xi. But China has interest in the region too. Our strong desire would be that they would use their influence in the region to that larger effect. 

VOA: The delegation, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Indonesia, plans to also travel to Washington. What would be your message? 


KIRBY: I’m not going to get ahead of a discussion that hasn’t happened. I think you can expect that our message will be the same as it has been; that that we want to continue to work with our partners in the region and many of these partners have been enormously helpful so far. Jordan, Egypt, certainly, in their communications with Hamas helped broker this deal. They have all been helpful in their own way. And I think what you can see us continue to do in our discussions with them is talk about ways in which they can be more helpful going forward. 

There are so many countries that have an interest in what’s going on in the region writ large, and certainly have an interest in what’s going on between Israel and Hamas. Every nation is a sovereign state. They can all speak for themselves on how they want to pursue their interests.  

What we want to make sure is a few things: Number one, that Israel has the tools and capabilities it needs to go after this very viable threat by Hamas, an existential threat to Israel. Number two, that all of us with interest in the region and obviously people that live in the region, do whatever we can to continue to help the people of Gaza through humanitarian assistance, medical assistance, food, water, medicine and fuel. The United States is leading the world in trying to get that kind of humanitarian assistance in and we’re certainly going to be looking for additional contributions that can be made by our partners who actually live in the neighborhood. 

VOA: Are you concerned that China might gain a better hand dealing with Arab and Muslim countries right now? 

KIRBY: We’re comfortable with our relationships. We’re comfortable with American leadership in the region. We’re comfortable that we have the ability to work through partners in the region to achieve outcomes and results that are beneficial to all of us. So I’ll let China speak for themselves. President Biden is comfortable with our leadership on the world stage and particularly there in the region. 

VOA: There’s an open letter signed by the international aid organization overseeing the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza accusing President Biden of destroying international rules [that civilians and hospitals should be protected] and hurting humanitarian values in his support of Israel. What is your response? 

KIRBY: President Biden has made it clear that we’re going to continue to support Israel as they conduct these operations against Hamas. They have a right and a responsibility to do it. No nation should have to suffer the attacks that they suffered on Oct. 7, and we’re going to continue to stand with Israel, and we’re going to do so in a steadfast way.

At the same time, we’re going to continue to urge Israel to be as careful and deliberate and cautious in their targeting and in their operations as possible so that an impact on civilian life can be minimized, civilian casualties can be reduced. Obviously, many, many thousands of innocent people in Gaza have been killed as a result of this conflict. And certainly, we don’t want to see any more killed. We don’t want to see any more wounded, and we’ll continue to work with Israel to that effect. 

But I also think it’s important to remember who’s putting these people in harm’s way and that’s Hamas. Hamas started this on the seventh of October by slaughtering innocent Israelis, some of them in their homes, some of them in front of their kids, and then they go back to Gaza. And what do they do? They hide in tunnels, they hide in hospitals. They put innocent people of Gaza in the crossfire between the Israel Defense Forces and themselves. That itself is a war crime. That itself is a violation of international law. That’s abominable. And that’s the kind of threat that the Israelis are facing. 

VOA: You mentioned the administration hopes President Xi will use his influence on Iran. At this moment, do you believe that Iran is still heeding U.S.’s message to not widen the war in Gaza? 

KIRBY: We haven’t turned a blind eye to Iran’s destabilizing behavior and the support that they have given to Hezbollah, the support that they’ve given to Hamas, the support that they give to the Houthis in Yemen, the attacks on maritime shipping, I could go on and on and on. The support that they’re given Mr. Putin in Ukraine. We haven’t turned a blind eye to any of that. And our message to Iran today is the same as it was yesterday, the day before that. This is not the time to be thinking about escalating or widening or deepening this conflict. Now, again, we haven’t seen any actor in the region jump all in with both feet and try to do that. Our message to anybody thinking about that, including Iran: Don’t do it. 


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Recommendation Letters Are an Art Form 

Jim Jump spent over three decades as a college counselor at a high school in the eastern U.S. state of Virginia. He prided himself on writing impassioned and personalized recommendation letters for his students. Now retired, he looks back over the hard work, and uncertainty, of recommending a young person. Read his op-ed for Inside Higher Ed. (November 2023)

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Су-25 ВС РФ уничтожили замаскированные позиции ВСУ на южнодонецком направлении


Пара штурмовиков Су-25 ВКС России уничтожила замаскированные укрепленные позиции украинских войск на южнодонецком направлении. Об этом сообщает Минобороны РФ.

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В Белом доме объяснили перенос даты освобождения заложников “проблемами логистики”


Администрация Байдена надеется, что процесс освобождения заложников в секторе Газа начнется в пятницу утром, когда стороны проработают “окончательные логистические детали”, сообщила в среду вечером официальный представитель Совета национальной безопасности (СНБ) США Эдриен Уотсон.