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Slovak Prime Minister shot

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot in a “politically motivated” assassination attempt when leaving a government meeting. As Russia ramps up its offensive in eastern Ukraine, officials with the U.S. command in Eastern Europe say it’s urgent for NATO to be ready for a possible confrontation. U.S. President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump traded barbs online Wednesday while agreeing to debate each other. The elusive street artist Banksy is front and center at a new museum in lower Manhattan dedicated to his paintings.

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18-летняя дочь отреклась от Тома Круза и сменила фамилию

Это решение поразило многих, учитывая, что она не виделась со своим отцом уже 12 лет. 18-летняя Сури, родившаяся в браке Тома Круза с Кэти Холм, осталась жить с матерью после развода родителей.

Связь между отцом и дочерью была нарушена из-за вероисповедания Тома Круза, которое запрещает ему общаться с людьми другой религии. Несмотря на надежды поклонников на воссоединение семьи после достижения Сури совершеннолетия, она приняла решение отказаться от общения с отцом.

После своего 18-летия Сури не выходила с скандальными заявлениями о своем отце в прессе, как многие ожидали. Вместо этого она тихо и незаметно сменила фамилию на Ноэль, что символизирует связь с матерью, у которой это имя было вторым.

Сури предпочитает избегать публичности и не вступать в скандальные ситуации. Она старается не привлекать внимание прессы и сохранять свою личную жизнь в тайне. Несмотря на все слухи и обсуждения вокруг ее семьи, она предпочитает оставаться в стороне.

Ранее Том Круз впервые за 15 лет снялся вместе со своими детьми от Николь Кидман, что также привлекло внимание общественности. Однако его отношения с дочерью Сури остаются напряженными, и ее решение отречься от отца вызывает раздумья и обсуждения в обществе.

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Wildberries упростил условия работы продавцов после предупреждения ФАС

Теперь на Wildberries введена возможность бессрочно зафиксировать тариф на хранение товаров.

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Экс-сотрудница ЦРУ Коффлер: Россия найдет в Нигере военное снаряжение США

Эвакуация американских военных из Нигера может привести к тому, что российские военные получат доступ к американскому оружию.

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Путин и Си Цзиньпин в Пекине начали переговоры в узком составе

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Путин прибыл к Дому народных собраний в Пекине

Президента РФ встречают артиллерийскими залпами.

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‘Are you satisfied now?’: Slovak politicians blame media for assassination attempt on PM

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico — the populist, pro-Russian prime minister once ousted in 2018 after the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak during his mandate — has undergone emergency surgery after an assassination attempt in a town in the center of the country.

Fico was shot multiple times following a political event in Handlova, about 120 miles north east of the capital Bratislava, and was flown to a hospital in nearby Banska Bystrica in what was described as a “life-threatening condition.” Following his operation he was reported to be in a stable condition and expected to survive. The police have detained the suspected gunman, Reuters reported.

World leaders across the West voiced their concern, including U.S. President Biden, who released a statement condemning the “horrific act of violence.” Slovakia’s interior minister, Matus Sutaj Estok, described it on Facebook as “the worst day of [Slovakia’s] democracy” and said there appeared to be “a clear political motivation” for the shooting.

ICIJ member and founder of Pavla Holcová, who collaborated with Kuciak on stories that came out of ICIJ’s Panama and Paradise Papers, reacted with alarm to the news and its potential implications.

“I’m in shock,” Holcová said. “This is kind of a signal of the extreme situation in Slovakia, of the extreme polarization.”

Photo of a man in a suit sitting behind a microphone, against a blue backdrop with the corner of the Slovakian flag visible.
Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico. Image: European Union

Since his reelection last fall, Fico and his coalition have put frequent pressure on the independent press, including ceasing communication with several respected outlets and plans to take control of public media, according to local journalists.

“The election in September pretty much returned the old power structures to power, and one of the first things they’ve done is to go and shrink the space that free press has,” Holcová said.

Holcová says the country has seen significant deterioration of press freedom in the years since Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kušnírová, were shot in an alleged contract killing.

The murder of the journalist— the first ever in Slovakia’s 25 years as an independent state–  triggered mass protests and a political crisis that brought down the country’s government. While four people connected to the crime have been convicted, the alleged instigator– businessman Marian Kocner– has been acquitted twice.

‘An Orwellian situation’

Holcová worries that the assassination attempt will be used as a “political tool” to aggravate anti-press sentiment. Reuters reported that a close ally of Fico’s, Lubos Blaha, has already condemned the media and political opposition for “the hatred you spread against Robert Fico.” SME, a Slovakian outlet, reported Andrej Danko, the chairman of the Slovak National Party, asked representatives of the media: “Are you satisfied now?”

Martin Turček, a Slovakian investigative journalist with, says the pressure is slowly making TV journalism less critical of the government — which, if it continues, could impact the elderly, or people living in smaller municipalities, which Turček says are less likely to consume news digitally or in print. Peter Sabo, a Slovakian journalist also with, says many of the largest media outlets are owned by oligarchs — leaving small, NGO newsrooms as the “only free media.”

“It’s kind of an Orwellian situation,” Sabo said. “People who were for years saying really hateful words about media and about the opposition, about NGOs — now they are telling that the media, the opposition and the NGOs are basically the ones who are responsible for hate.”

But Turček says he’s an optimist. Even though he’s reported extensively on Fico, his government and corruption in Slovakia, the news of the assassination attempt “hurts to see.”

“It sometimes happens that a mess like this just results in a big media war and everything,” he said. “But sometimes, in moments like this, actually, it can happen that a nation comes just a little bit together.”

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India gets new ambassador from China, but mistrust lingers

New Delhi — China’s appointment late last week of a new ambassador to India fills a seat that Beijing left vacant for 18 months. It’s a small step for two big Asian rivals but one that is unlikely to resolve mistrust between the two countries, analysts say.

Arriving in New Delhi last Friday, Xu Feihong, 60, replaces Sun Weidong, who stepped down in late 2022. VOA reached out to the Chinese Embassy and China’s foreign ministry on the new posting and the long delay but did not receive a response to a request for comment.

In a post on X after his arrival, Xu said he was looking forward to “working hard with all for #China-#India relations.” The new ambassador has been busy on the social media platform highlighting the potential of ties, updating with a post and photo Wednesday of him handing over his letter of credence to India’s foreign ministry.

Xu has served as China’s ambassador to Afghanistan from March 2011 to August 2013 and as Beijing’s top envoy in Romania.

In one recent post on X, the new ambassador noted that the leaders of both China and India have agreed on an important assessment that both are “cooperation partners, not competitors,” and that the two are “each other’s development opportunities, not threats.”

Earlier this week, the India-based research group Global Trade Research Initiative said that according to data for the fiscal year of 2024, China narrowly surpassed the U.S. as India’s largest trading partner after a decline over the past two years. Prior to that, China was India’s largest trading partner from 2008 to 2021.

However, some Indian analysts see relations as strained and tense, particularly following a deadly 2020 border clash that saw Beijing take control of disputed territory.

“There is a desire for improved relations on both sides,” said Lt. Gen. SL Narasimhan, a New Delhi-based China expert and former Beijing-based military attaché. “But at the same time, not much should be read into the appointment of a new envoy. There is a serious trust issue between two countries after the Galwan Valley conflict in June 2020.”

“But for India, peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) are central to this relationship,” said Narasimhan.

Some, like Associate Professor of China Studies Sriparna Pathak, say that leaving the position open for so long was a sign of disrespect from Beijing.

“Considering the state of India-China relations … China not sending the ambassador to India [for such a long period of time] clearly indicates that it … looks down upon India, and that has been made obvious an ample number of times,” said Pathak, referring to Beijing’s rejection of New Delhi’s request to pull troops back to positions that preceded the deadly 2020 border clashes in Galwan, a disputed region of the Himalaya’s.

Pathak, of New Delhi’s Jindal Global University, also said New Delhi took offense to Beijing’s decision to name People’s Liberation Army Commander Qi Fabao a torchbearer in the 2022 Winter Olympics torch relay. Qi was widely known for his involvement in a 2020 border clash that killed two Chinese troops and at least 20 Indians.

India responded by joining Britain, Canada and the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the games, which several Western nations launched in response to China’s treatment of ethnic Uyghurs in the remote western region of Xinjiang.

In 2022, the two militaries clashed at least two more times, though no casualties were reported. Tens of thousands of troops remain massed on both sides.

Beijing and New Delhi have so far held 21 rounds of military talks and 29 rounds of diplomatic negotiations to address the standoff.

Following a round of talks in March, India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar told India’s NDTV that his “first duty to Indians is to secure the border. I can never compromise on that.”

He also went on to say that a normal relationship cannot be envisaged between India and China until China moves back to its pre-2020 position on its borders.

In a May 7 interview granted to Indian and Chinese media, Ambassador Xu said relations between the two countries should not be defined by any single issue or area.

“The overall border situation is stable and under control, and border areas are peaceful and tranquil,” he said. “China is ready to work with India to accommodate each other’s concerns, find a mutually acceptable solution to specific issues through dialogue at an early date, and turn the page as soon as possible.”

The last time the role of China’s top diplomat to India remained empty for more than a year was from 1962 to 1976 and was also linked to a border conflict. The 1962 Sino-Indian War was fueled by border skirmishes and the 1959 Tibetan uprising against rule by communist China, which saw the Dalai Lama flee to India.

The fact that India has continued to give refuge to the Tibetan spiritual leader has been a thorn in relations between New Delhi and Beijing, which exercises strict control over Tibet and its leaders.

The 1962 war saw Chinese troops attack and take over disputed territory in the Aksai Chin region along the two countries’ borders. The fighting resulted in thousands of Indian soldiers, and hundreds of Chinese troops, being killed or captured.

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Putin: ‘We Have to Be One Step Ahead’– Ukraine at War Update for May 16


Putin arrives in China; As Blinken discusses latest $2B in aid to Kyiv, White House and Germany signal more Patriots on the way; AFU claims 700 Russian troops lost in Kharkiv front in the past week

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Putin arrives in China to deepen strategic partnership with Xi

Belt and Road Forum in Beijing
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, October 18, 2023. Sputnik/Sergei Guneev/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights, opens new tab

MOSCOW, May 16 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing early on Thursday for talks with Xi Jinping that the Kremlin hopes will deepen a strategic partnership between the two most powerful geopolitical rivals of the United States.

China and Russia declared a “no limits” partnership in February 2022 when Putin visited Beijing just days before he sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, triggering the deadliest land war in Europe since World War Two.

By picking China for his first foreign trip since being sworn in for a six-year term that will keep him in power until at least 2030, Putin is sending a message to the world about his priorities and the depth of his personal relationship with Xi.

In an interview with China’s Xinhua news agency, Putin praised Xi for helping to build a “strategic partnership” with Russia based on national interests and deep mutual trust.

“It was the unprecedentedly high level of the strategic partnership between our countries that determined my choice of China as the first state that I would visit after officially taking office as president of the Russian Federation,” Putin said.

“We will try to establish closer cooperation in the field of industry and high technology, space and peaceful nuclear energy, artificial intelligence, renewable energy sources and other innovative sectors,” Putin said.

Putin, 71, and Xi, 70, will take part in a gala evening celebrating 75 years since the Soviet Union recognised the People’s Republic of China, which was declared by Mao Zedong in 1949.

Reuters reported exclusively in March that Putin would travel to China in May.

Xinhua confirmed his arrival for what China’s state press has described as a state visit from an “old friend”.

The United States casts China as its biggest competitor and Russia as its biggest nation-state threat while U.S. President Joe Biden argues that this century will be defined by an existential contest between democracies and autocracies.

Putin and Xi share a broad world view, which sees the West as decadent and in decline just as China challenges U.S. supremacy in everything from quantum computing and synthetic biology to espionage and hard military power.

Putin will also visit Harbin in northeastern China, a city with strong ties to Russia. It was not immediately clear whether or not Putin would drop in on any other capitals in Asia after Beijing.

China has strengthened its trade and military ties with Russia in recent years as the United States and its allies imposed sanctions against both countries, particularly against Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.

The West says China has played a crucial role in helping Russia withstand the sanctions and has supplied key technology which Russia has used on the battlefield in Ukraine.

But China, once the junior partner of Moscow in the global Communist hierarchy, remains by far the most powerful of Russia’s friends in the world.

Putin’s arrival follows a mission to Beijing late last month by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in part to warn China’s top diplomat Wang Yi against deepening military support for Russia.

Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov said that the two leaders would hold informal talks on Thursday evening over tea and that they would touch on Ukraine, Asia, energy and trade.

Putin’s newly appointed defence minister, Andrei Belousov, as well as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu and foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov, will also attend, along with Russia’s most powerful CEOs.

It was not immediately clear if Gazprom GAZP.MM CEO Alexei Miller would go to China as he was on a working visit to Iran on Wednesday.

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Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Nick Macfie and Kim Coghill

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As Moscow bureau chief, Guy runs coverage of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Before Moscow, Guy ran Brexit coverage as London bureau chief (2012-2022). On the night of Brexit, his team delivered one of Reuters historic wins – reporting news of Brexit first to the world and the financial markets. Guy graduated from the London School of Economics and started his career as an intern at Bloomberg. He has spent over 14 years covering the former Soviet Union. He speaks fluent Russian.