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Israel’s attack in Rafah widely condemned


An Israeli airstrike triggered a fire that killed dozens of people in a tent camp in the Gazan city of Rafah. Condemnation has been swift. French President Emmanuel Macron called on Europeans to protect themselves more strongly against enemies and not just rely on the USA. U.S. President Joe Biden honored fallen service members during the 156th observance of Memorial Day in the U.S. And it’s National Hamburger Day in the U.S. We’ll look at how it was invented and how far and wide it has spread around the globe.

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VOA Newscasts


Give us 5 minutes, and we’ll give you the world. Around the clock, Voice of America keeps you in touch with the latest news. We bring you reports from our correspondents and interviews with newsmakers from across the world.

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The main contenders to replace Raisi in Iran’s snap presidential election


WASHINGTON — With a month to go before Iran’s snap presidential election to replace ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi following his death in a May 19 helicopter crash, a clearer picture is emerging of other conservatives who may become the only approved candidates in the race.

The Iranian government set the presidential election for June 28, with prospective candidates invited to register during a five-day period beginning Thursday. All candidates must be vetted by the Guardian Council, an unelected body stacked with loyalists of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In reports published Sunday, Iranian state media said the council will announce the approved candidates about two weeks before the vote.

Raisi was elected president in a 2021 vote marred by a record low turnout, with many Iranians disinterested after the Guardian Council barred his most prominent rivals from running. Some observers saw the election of Raisi, a protege of the 85-year-old Khamenei, as a sign of the supreme leader favoring Raisi to become his successor.

One possible candidate for next month’s race for is acting President Mohammad Mokhber, who had been Raisi’s first vice president and was next in line to assume the presidency upon the president’s death, according to the terms of Iran’s Islamist constitution.

Jason Brodsky, policy director for U.S. advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and a longtime observer of Iranian politics, said he has seen mixed signals about whether Mokhber will register as a presidential candidate. He discussed other likely contenders in an interview for the Monday edition of VOA’s “Flashpoint Global Crises” program.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

VOA: What signals should we be looking for regarding whom Supreme Leader Khamenei wants to be the next president?

Jason Brodsky, UANI policy director: We have to look at which candidates the Guardian Council disqualifies. In this round of presidential elections, there are a few announced and potential candidates who are being spoken about in Iranian media. I’ll list them briefly.

One is Saeed Jalili, a hard-line figure who was formerly the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council and currently is Khamenei’s representative in the council. Jalili has been in favor of aggressive moves in advancing Iran’s nuclear program [which Tehran says is peaceful and Western powers fear it is aimed at developing nuclear weapons]. He already has announced his presidential candidacy.

Another contender is Ali Larijani, who seems to have a personal desire to run, but is unsure of getting a green light for his candidacy from the ruling governmental system. That is because of his baggage from the 2021 presidential race, when he was disqualified in an embarrassing manner after having served as the speaker of Iran’s parliament.

Larijani is probably the most qualified potential presidential candidate on the field in terms of the number of positions he has had in the Islamic Republic’s bureaucracy: culture minister, head of state broadcaster Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Supreme National Security Council secretary and speaker of parliament.

Among other figures seen as presidential contenders is Mehrdad Bazrpash, Iran’s minister of roads and urban development. He is an alum of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration. Prior to that, Bazrpash was a member of a student Basij militia organization. He is part of this young generation of “hezbollahis” [fervent supporters of the Islamic Republic] that Khamenei has been cultivating.

Parviz Fattah, another contender, is head of the state-owned enterprise Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO). He also is a former official of Iran’s top military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and a former head of several state foundations and enterprises linked to the economy.

For example, Fattah led the Mostazafan Foundation charitable trust and the IRGC Cooperative Foundation. He is under multiple U.S. sanctions designations.

VOA: What qualities or qualifications do you think Khamenei is looking for in his next president?

Brodsky: I think Khamenei is laser focused on succession in the Islamic Republic. That is his largest priority. He wants to install someone in the presidency who is a trusted pair of hands during a sensitive moment in the Islamic Republic’s history.

Let’s not forget that the next Iranian president will be in office for a full four-year term. So, Khamenei is making a long-term placement in this office, and he wants to make sure the presidential office is occupied by someone who will not cause problems for his priorities during a succession process.


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Donald Trump’s Memorial Day from Hell


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Happy Memorial Day, Palmer Report readers. Happy Memorial Day to all. It is lovely when the country observes holidays, and who can think of a better one to observe than Memorial Day? Donald Trump can. Seriously, readers and friends, have you picked up where this is going yet?

Donald Trump, the original sourpuss, does not seem to like holidays. We know this because every time a holiday comes along, he goes nuts and posts an angry and unhinged statement. This Monday was no different.

One just can’t take the crazy out of orange monsters. Donald Trump cheerily called for a happy Memorial Day — to all the: “human Scum that is working so hard to destroy our country.” That’s a happy, man, right there, can’t you tell?

Scum — “extraneous matter or impurities risen to or formed on the surface of a liquid, often as a foul filmy covering.”

“A low vile or worthless person or group of people.”

“The earliest known use of the Noun scum is in the Middle English period. (1150-1500.)”

Oh, but that was not all. Trump also posted an image of himself, seemingly saluting at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We know that Donald Trump hates our military. We also know that Trump calls anyone with intelligence “scum.”

Ah, but it’s the day before — day before court! Our little traitor is likely scared, which is maybe why he decided to hide in plain sight on Truth Social. I would like to exercise my right to respond to the orange one and give him my very own Memorial Day message on this day, the day before all hell REALLY breaks through in Donald Trump’s life.

Hello, Donnie. Memorial Day is “a federal holiday for honoring and remembering the U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.” We know you’re stressed, Donnie. However, you need to know that Memorial Day isn’t all about you.

You see, on this day, we honor those who are your direct OPPOSITE. We honor the courageous. Not the cowardly. We honor the strong, not the weak. We honor America, not those who hate her.

We honor heroism, not shrinking in fear. We honor the givers to America, not those who try to steal from her. We honor the fallen, the falling stars who, with grace, dignity, and courage, put others, including their country before themselves, fighting for America, loving her, honoring and paying tribute to her.

We do not honor those who despise America, who hate her, dishonoring her, and never once paying tribute to her. Prison — “a building in which people are legally held as a punishment for a crime they have committed.”


. . .



It is fitting that the jury will decide your fate on the week of Memorial Day. People such as you, Donnie, do not know anything about human kindness, mightiness, and suffering. You, Donald, are a bloated, collapsing bigot, thief, insurrectionist, and failure. How lovely to see you get what you so richly deserve.

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The post Donald Trump’s Memorial Day from Hell appeared first on Palmer Report.


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VOA Newscasts


Give us 5 minutes, and we’ll give you the world. Around the clock, Voice of America keeps you in touch with the latest news. We bring you reports from our correspondents and interviews with newsmakers from across the world.

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Татаринов: ни один сын депутатов Рады не служил за всю историю конфликта


Депутаты Верховной рады имеют 66 сыновей призывного возраста.

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E. Jean Carroll may be about to go after Donald Trump again


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After a jury awarded E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million of Donald Trump’s money for the lies he told about having sexually assaulted her, you’d think Trump would have had enough sense to simply shut up about her. But Trump’s brain is fully broken, so shortly after the verdict, Trump resumed lying about her. Then he stopped for awhile, presumably distracted by his criminal trial troubles.

Trump, clearly frazzled by the week he’s about to face, is now spending Memorial Day attacking just about everyone. After Trump posted a “Happy Memorial Day” message that accused his adversaries of being “Human Scum,” he quickly pivoted to making all kinds of accusations against E. Jean Carroll. Trump’s lies aren’t worthy of reposting here, but suffice it to say that he’s going into all kinds of details about the evidence and such.

Because the verdict already came down and the trial is over, there’s no automatic recourse for this. The previous trial doesn’t suddenly come alive again. Nor does the gag order in that trial apply, because gag orders expire at the end of trials. However, Trump is clearly committing a new round of defamation against Carroll, which means she can bring a new case against him – and it sounds like she just might.


. . .



E. Jean Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan announced to the media today that “all options are on the table” when it comes to bringing a new civil case against Trump. No one would blame Carroll if she ultimately decides that she’s spent enough years of her life defeating Trump in court. But if she and her legal team do bring another case against Trump, suffice it to say that the damages could be far larger this time than last time.

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The post E. Jean Carroll may be about to go after Donald Trump again appeared first on Palmer Report.


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Словения начнет рассматривать вопрос признания Палестины


Премьер-министр Роберт Голоб заявил, что страна обязана сделать все для установления прочного мира на Ближнем Востоке.

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4 killed in building collapse in eastern China, state media say


TAIPEI, Taiwan — At least four people have been reported dead in a building collapse in the eastern province of Anhui, Chinese state media reported.

The western side of the five-story building collapsed about 1:40 p.m. Monday, the district government confirmed. And a section of the 10-unit apartment block in the city of Tongling, located in Datong township in the Jiaoqu district, fell onto its occupants.

That led to an hourslong search for survivors. A 12-year-old girl was found alive and was undergoing emergency treatment, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Cranes and backhoes were brought in to stabilize the parts of the building left standing.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the collapse, although the city has recently seen days of heavy rains that have inundated underground structures, CCTV said.

Poor construction quality and illegally built additions and modifications are becoming increasingly apparent as buildings erected quickly during the economic boom years of the 1980s and 1990s begin to age.


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Donald Trump’s lost weekend just came crashing down


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Donald Trump ended up getting nearly a week off from his criminal trial, thanks to a confluence of events including a juror’s need, a holiday weekend, and the judge’s desire for closing arguments to flow directly into jury deliberation. During his six days off, Trump proceeded to get booed off the stage at one event, and stood in a parking lot waving to no one at another event. In terms of optics and trying to wrangle votes, Trump would have done better if he’d spent his six days watching TV.

Of course Trump won’t have a choice in the matter tomorrow, when his criminal trial resumes. We’ll see closing arguments from both sides, and then the whole thing will be in the jury’s hands. When is the verdict coming? We don’t know. What are the odds he’ll be convicted? High. What will his criminal punishment be if he’s convicted? Past precedent isn’t clear.


. . .



But we do know that after an increasingly dementia-riddled Donald Trump spent the weekend seemingly unable to fully grasp that the audience in front of him hated him, and seemingly unaware that he was waving to an empty parking lot, he’ll be forced to come face to face with reality in court today. Then again maybe not. There’s a good chance he’ll sleep through closing arguments, and the judge will have to wake him up for the verdict.

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