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Хоронить Навального запретили


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Все, что нужно знать рано утром 28 февраля


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Подпольщик: ВС РФ уничтожили стоянку HIMARS и цех по сборке БПЛА под Николаевом


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Вооруженные силы России ударами с 23 по 25 февраля уничтожили в Николаевской области стоянку украинских РСЗО HIMARS производства США и цех по сборке дронов для ВСУ. Об этом РИА Новости сообщил координатор николаевского подполья Сергей Лебедев.


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Байден побеждает на первичных выборах в Мичигане


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По данным центра Decision Desk HQ, президент США Джо Байден выиграл первичные выборы Демократической партии в Мичигане, одержав решающую победу в ключевом в предвыборной гонке штате.


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Сотрудники МЧС потушили крупный пожар в торговом центре Приангарья


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Пожарные ликвидировали открытое горение в трехэтажном здании поселка Чунский Иркутской области, где огонь сегодня утром распространился на площадь в тысячу квадратных метров.


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Минобороны рассказало о бегстве ВСУ от бойцов РФ при освобождении Ласточкино


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Оператор российского разведывательного БПЛА зафиксировал бегство солдат ВСУ под натиском штурмовых подразделений группировки войск “Центр” при освобождении населенного пункта Ласточкино в ДНР. Об этом сообщает Минобороны России.


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The New NATO – Transforming Europe


No troops in Ukraine say at least five NATO nations. Now that it has admitted Sweden, a look at how NATO has changed and how the new NATO is changing Europe. The U.S. military dips into its own funding to cover costs in Ukraine. And, a Palestinian man’s dream to be a pop singer on the world stage.

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In Michigan, a Win and a Warning for Biden


Michigan Holds Its Primary Election

This article is part of The D.C. Brief, TIME’s politics newsletter. Sign up here to get stories like this sent to your inbox.

Two parallel truths danced around each other Tuesday in Michigan, as President Joe Biden easily won the state’s primary, but heads into Super Tuesday lightly bruised as double-digit shares of voters in far-flung counties lodged protest votes against him.

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Even among the biggest Biden supporters, who were quick to note he snagged the vast majority of its 117 delegates, there was the annoying fact that some plenty-loud Democrats in the state urged their neighbors to reject Biden and his place as the only major candidate on the ballot. (Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, and author Marianne Williamson were also on the ballot, but she has dropped out in the span since the ballots were finalized in December.) Instead, Biden critics urged like-minded primary voters to say they were “uncommitted” as a signal to Biden that his continued support for Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 terror attacks by Hamas is going to cost him.

In the months since the attack, Muslims and Arab Americans in Michigan have been particularly harsh on Biden, making clear they wanted to punish him for not doing more to stop what they see as Israel’s overblown reaction to a surprise Hamas attack that left 1,200 dead. Since Israel lept to action, 29,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, large parts of Gaza have been leveled, 1.9 million people are displaced, and a quarter of the population of Gaza—576,000 people—are bordering on famine. In a show of unity at rallies and online, Black voters and younger voters lent their voices to those calling on Biden to join them in demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

In Washington and at Biden’s campaign base in Wilmington, Del., the general attitude has been one of pique in the face of mutiny over perhaps the greatest wedge issue in the Democratic Party. Biden advisers are annoyed but not worried about the insurgent voices on the Left calling for a reversal of the long-standing U.S. practice of publicly supporting Israel. There’s also this fact: Biden seldom takes into account domestic politics when it comes to foreign policy, and there is no plausible way Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a de facto co-Secretary of State during his eight years as Vice President, was going to be anything but supportive of Israel—even if he is not particularly fond of the nation’s Prime Minister or how he’s prosecuted the response to Oct. 7.

Taken from a macro level, Biden’s showing in Michigan on its own is hardly reason for him to lose sleep. But it fits with a problematic series of small-scale shifts inside the Democratic Party that could cost him come November. Keeping in mind Biden came within 44,000 votes in Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin of an Electoral College tie with Donald Trump in 2020, the micro-fraying of the Democratic coalition has left strategists plenty worried. 

The “uncommitted” crowd picked up at least one delegate, meeting the Democratic National Committee’s qualifying threshold of 15% support in a congressional district to claim a ticket to the convention in Chicago. That earliest sign of discontent came from the district that includes Dearborn, the largest per capita Muslim population in the United States. That district’s representative in the House, the first and only Palestinian-American member of Congress Rep. Rashida Tlaib, recorded robocalls for a group leading the “uncommitted” effort, which is led by her sister.

“Send a clear message to President Biden: Change course on Gaza, pursue peace, save lives, and win back the trust of the voting coalition who got him to the White House in 2020,” Tlaib said in a recorded call sent to 87,000 people in her Dearborn-area district from Listen to Michigan and Our Revolution, a progressive group that grew out of Sen. Bernier Sanders’ political machine.

At other points, support for the “uncommitted” position climbed north of 15% statewide, giving hope that those activists could compete for those delegates, too.

Message sent, for sure. Received? To be seen.

There really is no yardstick against which to judge Biden’s performance. The last time a Democratic incumbent President sought renomination was 2012, when Barack Obama won 89% support in Michigan—but, importantly, that was in a system run as a caucus, not a primary. In 1996, incumbent President Bill Clinton didn’t even appear on the state’s primary ballot as he sought a second term and “uncommitted” prevailed with 87% of the vote.

(On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump coasted to another primary win against former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.)

Biden allies say his relationships with Black voters, union members, and suburban moms are a firewall. But among all three blocs, enthusiasm appears to be shrinking and the relative share of the electoral pie could be insufficient. In 2020, just 11% of the electorate identified as Black, according to exit polls. One-in-five voters said they were part of a union household in 2020; union membership now stands at 13%, down from 16% a decade earlier. 

And while suburban voters powered Biden’s 2020 coalition—55% of his votes came from the ‘burbs—he’s not so hot there these days, especially with women. The latest NBC News poll finds Biden underperforming with suburban women; among all women, he is up 10 points over Trump, but in the suburbs the advantage falls to 6 points. And he’s trailing by a point among white suburban women, a statistical tie in effect.

To be sure, Biden remains the plain frontrunner for his party’s nomination. He won the New Hampshire primary as a write-in candidate despite keeping his name off the ballot in solidarity with a new DNC calendar that he ordered.

And then there’s the money. In January, the Biden campaign raised $15.7 million and ended the month with $56 million in the bank. By contrast, Trump raised $8.8 million and closed the month with $30.5 million in cash on hand. 

Put plainly: Biden won four years ago with a coalition that has been slowly fraying in front of national Democrats’ face. Tuesday was the first piece of ballot-box proof. It was a snag, not an unraveling. But with swing state polls showing Biden trailing, a loud minority inside his own camp looking to bleed his support could leave him lurching into the general election.The margins are incredibly tight. After all, Biden won Michigan in 2020 by 154,000 votes and the state’s Arab population today has grown to about 300,000, and the Muslim voting pool is more than 200,000. Biden can scant afford to have discontent inside those populations if he plans to be a player come Michigan’s autumn.

Make sense of what matters in Washington. Sign up for the D.C. Brief newsletter.


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San Francisco Formally Apologizes to Black Residents for Decades of Racist Policies


A crowd listens to speakers at a reparations rally outside of City Hall in San Francisco, on March 14, 2023.

SAN FRANCISCO — Supervisors in San Francisco formally apologized Tuesday to African Americans and their descendants for the city’s role in perpetuating racism and discrimination, with several stating that this was just the start of reparations for Black residents and not the end.

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The vote was unanimous with all 11 board members signed on as sponsors of the resolution.

“This historic resolution apologizes on behalf of San Francisco to the African American community and their descendants for decades of systemic and structural discrimination, targeted acts of violence, atrocities,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton, “as well as committing to the rectification and redress of past policies and misdeeds.”

San Francisco joins another major U.S. city, Boston, in issuing an apology. Nine states have formally apologized for slavery, according to the resolution.

“We have much more work to do but this apology most certainly is an important step,” said Walton, the only Black member of the board and chief proponent of the resolution.

It is the first reparations recommendation of more than 100 proposals made by a city committee to win approval. The African American Reparations Advisory Committee also proposed that every eligible Black adult receive a $5 million lump-sum cash payment and a guaranteed income of nearly $100,000 a year to remedy San Francisco’s deep racial wealth gap.

But there has been no action on those and other proposals, and some supervisors Tuesday took a dig at public safety measures on next week’s March 5 city ballot that they say would harm Black residents.

Supervisor Dean Preston represents the historically Black Fillmore neighborhood, which was razed in the last century and resulted in the displacement of residents. He said that some leaders who back the apology still want to build “unaffordable housing for mostly wealthy, white people” on public land.

He also referenced two measures backed by Mayor London Breed, who is Black, including one to screen welfare recipients for drug addiction and another to give more powers to the police department.

“People want an apology,” he said. “But they also want a commitment not to repeat harms.”

The mayor has also said she believes reparations should be handled at the national level, and facing a budget crunch, her administration eliminated $4 million for a proposed reparations office in cuts this year.

The resolution contains findings, including property redlining, the razing of the Fillmore neighborhood in the name of urban renewal, and intentional policies and practices by the city that robbed Black residents of opportunities to build generational wealth.

Black people, for example, make up 38% of San Francisco’s homeless population despite being less than 6% of the general population, according to a 2022 federal count. There are about 46,000 Black residents in San Francisco.

In 2020, California became the first state in the nation to create a task force on reparations. The state committee, which dissolved in 2023, also offered numerous policy recommendations, including methodologies to calculate cash payments to descendants of enslaved people.

But reparations bills introduced by the California Legislative Black Caucus this year also leave out financial redress, although the package includes proposals to compensate people whose land the government seized through eminent domain, create a state reparations agency, ban forced prison labor and issue an apology.

Reparations advocates are urging San Francisco to move faster in adopting changes made by the city reparations committee, including policies to improve education, employment and housing options for Black people.

Cheryl Thornton, a city employee who is Black, said that an apology alone does little to address current problems, such as shorter lifespans for Black people.

“That’s why reparations is important in health care,” she said. “And it’s just because of the lack of healthy food, the lack of access to medical care and the lack of access to quality education.”


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Flashpoint Iran: Many Iranians, Struggling with Inflation, Show Apathy Ahead of Uncompetitive Parliamentary Election


Independent Persian chief editor Camelia Entekhabifard on why many voters in Iran were apathetic ahead of March 1 parliamentary elections. VOA Persian managing editor Arash Sigarchi on Tehran’s Revolutionary Court convicting him and 10 other VOA Persian journalists in absentia for alleged propaganda crimes after a secret trial. U.N. Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in Iran Javaid Rehman on why he is optimistic as he prepares to end his six-year mandate in a few months. Iranian American entrepreneur and attorney Rumi Parsa on why U.S. social media giants Meta and X penalized Iranian government accounts this month, one year after he sued them in U.S. federal court to take such action.

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North Korean Missiles Used by Russia Against Ukraine Are Products of Sanction Loopholes


Washington — The discovery of a North Korean missile in Ukraine that had more than 200 components from U.S. and European companies revealed loopholes that North Korea uses to evade sanctions, said analysts.

North Korea is operating its arms factories at full capacity to supply Russia with weapons needed to fight Ukraine, said South Korean Defense Minister Shin Wonsik at a news briefing on Monday.

South Korea estimates Pyongyang sent about 6,700 containers to Russia since September, Shin said, according to South Korean media.

The U.S. puts the number even higher, estimating that North Korea delivered more than 10,000 containers of munitions or munition-related materials to Russia since September.

The U.S. announced the estimates on Friday as it issued sanctions against more than 500 individuals and entities in Russia.

North Korean weapons have been turning up on the Ukraine battlefield since December, according to the Security Service of Ukraine. It said on Thursday that Russia has fired at least 20 North Korean missiles at Ukraine since then, adding that the missiles had killed or injured civilians.

Russia denied any military or technical cooperation with North Korea during a Jan. 26 news briefing conducted by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

VOA contacted the North Korean mission at the United Nations in New York City for comment but received no response.

Investigators determined a missile recovered on Jan. 2 in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, was made with components from U.S. and European companies, according to a report by the U.K.-based investigative group Conflict Armament Research (CAR), first reported by CNN on Feb. 20.

The CAR report found that of the 290 components from the North Korean missile that were examined, about 75% originated with U.S.-based companies. About 16% of the components were linked to European companies.

The report said more than three quarters of the components were produced between 2021 and 2023 and that the missile could not have been made before March 2023. The report said, however, CAR “will not identify the companies linked to their production.”

U.N. member states have been banned from exporting materials and technologies that North Korea could use to make ballistic missiles since the Security Council passed Resolution 1718 in 2006.

Experts said U.S. companies whose parts ended up in the North Korean missile probably did not know the identity of the end user.

Aaron Arnold, a former member of the U.N. Panel of Experts for North Korea’s sanctions, said, however, that the discoveries show “how porous Western export control systems can be.”

Arnold, who is currently a senior associate fellow at Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the Royal United Service Institute, told VOA via email on Friday that some of the items that ended up in the North Korean missile are items that can be used to make weapons as well as commercial goods.

“While I can’t say for sure in this particular case, some of the micro-electronics are dual use, meaning, they could be commonplace and used in other commercial applications,” Arnold said. “Some of the Western micro-electronics found in Russian drones, for example, are also used in refrigerators.”

Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation, emailed VOA on Monday that in addition to dual-use items, “the focus on sanctions enforcement should be on more important components.”

Such components could include “non-domestic electronic components” that the CAR report said were found in the North Korean missile.

Arnold and other experts said North Korea’s practice of using third-party countries to smuggle banned items makes it difficult to detect components headed into the country. But they said it is possible to use established procurement networks to track components back from the missile to identify intermediaries.

Anthony Ruggiero, senior fellow and sanctions expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said in a telephone interview with VOA on Friday, “Part of the biggest challenge is going after those who help North Korean sanctions evasion.”

He continued, “China, Russia, North Korea, Iran — these countries are experts in avoiding U.N. and U.S. sanctions. They are smart enough not to use their names and avoid any suggestion that it’s Russia or North Korea or Iran or China trying to buy these items. Part of the challenge is to lift that veil.”

Joshua Stanton, an attorney based in Washington who helped draft the Sanctions and Policy Enforcement Act in 2016, said via email these discoveries could be “an opportunity for the Commerce Department to trace North Korea’s procurement networks from each component through its supply chain and put the middlemen on its entity list.”