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    As a historian, I have often written about the idea of a ‘nation in arms’. The United States was forged not just by its Declaration of Independence, but by its victory — after an eight-year war — over George III. It was the revolutionary wars from 1793 to 1815 that turned ‘peasants into Frenchmen’, as the phrase goes. Modern Italy and Germany, too, became nations through bloody wars. And while British national identity was forged in much earlier times, we still define ourselves partly in terms of battle. Each time we sing the national anthem, for instance, we ask God to send our monarch not only happy and glorious but, first and foremost, victorious. And yet, with the shrinking physical size of modern armies, and with recent wars fought in far-flung lands such as Iraq and Afghanistan, we have grown distant from the experience of a people’s war, in which all participate, all make sacrifices. Ukraine has proved that such a war still exists. And now I have seen it for myself. NIALL FERGUSON: We have grown distant from the...
    Pope Francis, 85, was seen being pushed in a wheelchair on Saturday as took a trip to Assisi to tell young people it was their duty to protect the planet and change the course of the Earth. Francis was visiting the birthplace of his namesake saint who was close to nature when he called for 'courage' in abandoning fossil fuels and lamented that older generations didn't know how to protect the planet and secure peace. He told young people he was pinning his hopes on their efforts in working to save the planet and to make the world's economy more attentive to the poor. The health of the aging Pope has been under the spotlight for a while as concerned onlookers wonder whether he still has the vitality to maintain his pontiff's duties. He is thought to be making use of a wheelchair due to a serious knee problem that limits his mobility, although he was also reported to have had colon surgery in July to remove 33cm (13 inches) of intestine. The Vatican described it as a 'planned procedure' because...
    DOZENS of students have been rushed to hospital after a bus slammed into a truck and flipped off a motorway during a school trip. The bus carrying 27 schoolgirls, four adults and the driver plunged 50 metres down a hill in the horror crash outside Melbourne in the early hours of Wednesday morning. 2All 32 people on board were rushed to hospital after the horror crashCredit: Nine News 2Harrowing pictures show the students' suitcases and belongings strewn across the hillCredit: Nine News It's understood the students were on their way to Melbourne airport to fly to the United States and visit the NASA space camp at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. All 32 people on board were rushed to hospital, with one teenage girl said to be fighting for her life after being airlifted from the scene. Harrowing pictures show the students' suitcases and belongings strewn across the hill as emergency services work at the crash site. Cops have urged parents to stay away and call the local police station for the latest updates, 9News reports. Read more...
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit to Ukraine on Thursday, vowing additional support from the United States as the war-torn country seeks to recapture territory overtaken by Russian forces. Blinken met with top Ukrainian officials in the capital of Kyiv, marking his second trip to the country since Russia invaded in late February. The trip was part of the U.S.’s latest efforts to convey its support for Ukraine and its intent to provide military support. HOUSE GOP DEFENDS REPORT ON BIDEN’S BOTCHED AFGHAN WITHDRAWAL The Biden administration also announced another $2 billion in aid to Ukraine and other neighboring nations as part of the war efforts, although details on that funding are not clear. “This assistance demonstrates yet again our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s future as a democratic, sovereign, and independent state, as well as the security of allies and partners across the region,” the State Department said in a statement. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER Blinken's surprise visit comes as Ukraine attempts to regain captured...
    More On: jessica chastain Jessica Chastain defends Florence Pugh’s sheer dress: ‘We don’t belong to you’ Andrew Garfield, Jessica Chastain, more crammed in Tony’s carpet holding pen Lady Gaga and the celebs going ‘all out’ with 2022 Oscars dresses: insiders Jessica Chastain had one condition before going nude for ‘Scenes From a Marriage’ Jessica Chastain took to Twitter on Thursday to share footage taken during her humanitarian-minded trip to Ukraine, having visited the war-ravaged, yet indefatigable nation in early August. “I needed a few weeks to process everything I saw from my trip to Kyiv,” the actress, 45, wrote in the tweet prefacing the roughly 1-minute montage. “We landed in Poland, drove 4 hrs then took a train for another 11. I was nervous and the length of the journey gave me time to calm myself,” she added of the complex travel logistics. The video begins with Chastain riding in a car in Kyiv with an unseen companion as she reads aloud a series of wartime statistics...
    President Joe Biden will speak to Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky on Thursday, a senior official announced on the country's independence day, but still has no plans to visit. Details of the call emerged after British Minister Boris Johnson made his third trip to wartime Ukraine. During his visit he saw his name engraved on a plaque marking the 'Walk of the Brave' celebrating politicians who have stood with Ukraine against Russia, forcing the White House to face questions about why Biden has yet to make the trip. John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, said Biden would speak to Zelensky by phone on Thursday. 'This is the latest in a  string of the conversations he has had with President Zelensky,' he said. 'Secretary Blinken has travelled to Kyiv. Secretary Austin has travelled to Kyiv. 'As you know we have an ambassador there as well.  'We have good connectivity with our Ukrainian counterparts. 'And look, if and when a trip by the president makes the most sense then clearly we'll appropriately consider that.' President Joe Biden returned to the...
    ROME (AP) — The Vatican confirmed Monday that Pope Francis will travel next month to Kazakhstan, where he could meet with Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, who has justified Moscow’s war in Ukraine. Francis, 85, will attend an interfaith conference in the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan, from Sept. 13-15, the Vatican said. Francis called off a planned encounter with Kirill in June in Jerusalem because of the diplomatic fallout it would have created. Kirill has justified the invasion on spiritual and ideological grounds, calling it a “metaphysical” battle with the West. He has blessed soldiers going into battle and invoked the idea that Russians and Ukrainians are one people. Francis and Kirill, who had a first historic encounter in Havana in 2016, have spoken by video call at least once since the war began. The Kazakh government is hosting a “Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions” from Sept. 14-15. Kirill has been invited and the Moscow Patriarchate has said he would attend. Returning from his just-concluded trip to Canada, Francis told journalists on Saturday that...
    As rumors swirl that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress may be jetting off to Taiwan in the coming days, China is threatening a forceful retaliation. But U.S. lawmakers have their own message for China and President Xi Jinping: Don’t mess with us. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, warned that if China has learned any lessons from Russia’s war in Ukraine, Beijing ought to stand down. “China is playing with fire there if they learn the wrong lesson from Ukraine, if they think that they can violently violate Taiwan's territorial integrity that they wouldn’t suffer reputational and economic damage,” Swalwell told The Daily Beast. China should know better than to go after Taiwan or conduct any “forceful” military responses to Pelosi’s visit, according to Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “If China attacks Taiwan today… they're going to be in a world of hurt,” Moulton told The Daily Beast. Russia invaded Ukraine in February, but leaders from around the globe have reacted, providing weapons...
    PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron embarked on a three-nation tour of Africa Monday. The four-day visit to Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau is the French leader’s first diplomatic trip outside of Europe since winning re-election, showing how Africa is high on the list of priorities for the former colonial power. On the agenda will be common challenges such as the fight against terrorism and combating climate change. But Macron will also discuss the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, such as ballooning inflation and the cost of living and a likely food crisis due to halts on Ukraine’s key exports of wheat, barley and sunflower oil. Russia and Ukraine provide over 40% of Africa’s wheat supply. The visit is seen as shoring up bilateral cooperation for France at a time when Russian officials have also been visiting African nations in moves to rally support. Of particular concern are links in the wider African region — including in the Central African Republic and Mali — to the Russian paramilitary organization the Wagner Group that is seen by...
    (CNN)Pope Francis departed Rome on Sunday for a week-long trip to Edmonton, Canada, where he's set to apologize for the Catholic Church's role in the abuse of Canadian Indigenous children in residential schools.The Vatican has called the trip a "penitential pilgrimage," and the Pope will be welcomed in Edmonton on Sunday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mary Simon, the Governor General of Canada.While in the country he will meet with Indigenous groups and address the scandal of abuse and erasure of indigenous culture in the country's residential schools. Indigenous leaders have long called for a papal apology for the harm inflicted for decades on Indigenous children. Last year, hundreds of unmarked graves were discovered on the grounds of former residential schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has reported that more than 4,000 Indigenous children died either from neglect or abuse in residential schools, many of which were run by the Catholic Church.Read MoreIn April, the Pope told Indigenous leaders at the Vatican that he feels "sorrow and shame for the role that a number of...
    President Joe Biden joined first lady Jill Biden in welcoming Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska to the White House on Tuesday, two months after the two women met in the Ukraine. The president carried a bouquet of yellow, sunflowers, blue hydrangeas, and white orchids that he gave to Zelenska. Blue and yellow are the national colors of the Ukraine. Jill Biden gave her Ukrainian counterpart a hug. Zelenska is on a tour of Washington D.C., to bring attention to Ukrainian humantarian issues and was not accompanied by her husband, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. She met with Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Monday and will address members of Congress on Wednesday. Zelenska was escorted by Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova. The four posed for a photo before going inside.  Biden put his arm around Zelenska to escort her inside the White House. Zelenksa is making a private visit to Washington D.C. to highlight the human cost of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.  President Joe Biden joined first lady Jill Biden in welcoming Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska to the White House President...
    Vatican CityPope Francis has dismissed reports that he plans to resign in the near future, saying he is on track to visit Canada this month and hopes to be able to go to Moscow and Kyiv as soon as possible after that.In an exclusive interview with Reuters in his Vatican residence, Francis also denied rumors that he had cancer, joking that his doctors "didn't tell me anything about it," and for the first time gave details of the knee condition that has prevented him carrying out some duties.In a 90-minute conversation on Saturday afternoon, conducted in Italian, with no aides present, the 85-year-old pontiff also repeated his condemnation of abortion following the US Supreme Court ruling last month.Rumors have swirled in the media that a conjunction of events in late August, including meetings with the world's cardinals to discuss a new Vatican constitution, a ceremony to induct new cardinals, and a visit to the Italian city of L'Aquila, could foreshadow a resignation announcement.L'Aquila is associated with Pope Celestine V, who resigned the papacy in 1294. Pope Benedict XVI visited the...
    LONDON (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday made her first visit to the U.K. since both countries signed a free trade agreement, meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to boost bilateral ties and discuss Russia’s war in Ukraine. The trip came after both leaders attended the NATO summit in Madrid. They will also discuss security challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region. It was Ardern’s first visit to the U.K. since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. New Zealand had enacted a strict border policy at the outset of the pandemic and only recently reopened its borders to international visitors. She said at Johnson’s No. 10 Downing St. residence that it was an “incredibly important milestone for us in New Zealand” that she was able to visit Europe, adding that it signified “we are open for business, for trade, for tourism.” Ardern also said the meeting was an opportunity to discuss how the U.K. and New Zealand have responded to Russia’s war in Ukraine. “We have also provided our military aid via our partnership with you,” she...
    Madrid (CNN)President Joe Biden departed the first of his two summits in Europe this week committing with other top world leaders to back Ukraine in its war against Russia "for as long as it takes."But exactly how long that might be remains an open question -- and a source of anxiety -- for leaders now departing the Bavarian Alps after a two-day summit of the G7. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the group he wanted the conflict to be over by year's end. But Russian strikes on civilian targets in Ukraine -- including residential buildings and a shopping mall -- sent a clear message to the summit: Russian President Vladimir Putin is not backing down.Here are four takeaways from Biden's first major summit of his latest international trip:A new desired timeline for the end of the Ukraine warRead MoreThe war in Ukraine has brought Western leaders together in condemning Russia and applying punishing sanctions. But as the war enters its fifth month, the economic consequences of isolating Russia are being felt in high gas prices, a major political liability. Meanwhile,...
    MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin is making his first public foreign trip since Russia sent troops into Ukraine, heading for two former Soviet republics and meetings likely to be friendly. Ahead of the trip beginning Tuesday to Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, there were no expectations of significant developments. But the visit gives Putin the opportunity to show that he is not isolated despite widespread sanctions and denunciations from the West because of the Ukraine operation. At the first stop in Tajikistan, Putin is to meet with authoritarian President Emomali Rahmon, who has been in office since 1994 and kept his country close to Russia. Tajikistan hosts some 7,000 Russian troops, Moscow’s largest base abroad. Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said Monday that a key part of the talks with Rahmon will be discussing measures to improve security along Tajikistan’s porous, 1,357-kilometer (843-mile) border with Afghanistan. Tajikistan, where a 1990s civil war that included Islamist insurgents killed as many as 100,000 people, is wary of Islamic radicalism spilling over from Afghanistan. It also is a main route for heroin and...
    President Joe Biden will travel to Germany and Spain in the coming days to attend G-7 and NATO summits. Senior administration officials briefed reporters Wednesday ahead of Biden's trip and noted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address both bodies while the president visits. Officials say Ukraine will remain at the forefront of discussions at both summits. The president previously told reporters that it is "not likely" that he will visit Ukraine on the trip. BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TALKS UP FINLAND, SWEDEN AMID NATO ENTRY BIDS The G-7 Leaders' Summit is being hosted by Germany, and Biden will meet with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz before heading to the summit location in the Bavarian Alps. The group also invited nonmembers Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal, and South Africa to discuss cooperative responses to challenges facing the global community. Senior administration officials added that specific deliverables would be announced as the summit progresses but outlined a brief four-point framework: Roll out a concrete set of new proposals to put pressure on Russia and show continued allied support for Ukraine. Demonstrate the impact the...
    President Joe Biden said on Monday he won't visit the Ukraine during his upcoming trip to Europe but he said he talks to President Volodymyr Zelensky three or four times a week. Biden leaves at the end of the week for a G7 meeting in Germany and then heads to a NATO summit in Spain.  'On this trip, not likely,' he said when asked if he'll travel to the Ukraine. He said a visit to Kyiv depends on 'whether or not it causes more difficulty for the Ukrainians, whether it distracts from what's going on.' 'I have been meeting with Zelensky – I talk to him three, four times a week,' he told reporters during a walk on the beach in Rehoboth, where he is spending Father's Day weekend with his family.   Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Katsura Tarō are the only two G7 leaders who haven't visited Zelensky in Kyiv.  President Joe Biden said he won't visit the Ukraine during his upcoming trip to Europe but he said he talks to President Volodymyr Zelensky three or four times a week British...
    LONDON (AP) — UK government says Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in Kyiv, 2nd trip to Ukraine since war began. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's trip to Serbia was abruptly canceled on Sunday after three countries bordering the Balkan nation closed their airspace to the Russian diplomat's plane. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Sunday confirmed reports that Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Montenegro did not allow permission for the overflight of the aircraft carrying Lavrov to the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reportedly called the move “another closed channel of communication.” "The countries bordering Serbia have closed the only air route to the aircraft of Sergey Lavrov who was to depart for Serbia. The Russian delegation was scheduled to hold talks in Belgrade, while the EU and NATO member-countries have closed their airspace," Zakharova told an Italian television station, according to Tass. "Our diplomacy has not yet mastered the ability to teleport," a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official said of the incident, according to the Russian news outlet Interfax. US, SOUTH KOREA LAUNCH 8 BALLISTIC MISSILES A DAY AFTER NORTH KOREA DOES SAME Lavrov had been scheduled to visit Serbia June 6-7. Before the trip...
    TOKYO (AP) — Joe Biden spent his first trip to Asia as president strengthening economic and military commitments. He pushed new rules for the global economy and promoted democracy in launching a new trade pact. And he summoned fellow Indo-Pacific leaders to do more in defense of Ukraine even if it causes their people some economic pain. The president was, in short, promoting the types of values abroad of greater economic investment, cooperation and democratic principles that he has s truggled to sell to voters in the U.S. “The future of the 21st century economy is going to be largely written in the Indo-Pacific and our region,” Biden said hopefully as he launched a new trade deal called the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. It was one of the brighter moments of the five-day trip, which took him to South Korea and then Japan. The trade framework got buy-in from a dozen Pacific leaders including some, like Japan’s Fumio Kishida, who would prefer the United States rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal that Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of...
    Reportedly, Ms. Trump has been involved in several efforts to provide relief to Ukrainians in need since March. CityServe says that she has purchased and helped distribute one million meals into Ukraine and was vital in delivering several cargo planes worth of requested medical supplies that will be distributed among hospitals and clinics throughout Ukraine. Ms. Trump is just the latest high-profile American figure to visit the Ukrainian people. In late April, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss the U.S. federal government’s role in providing the Ukrainian military with more than $300 million in financing. In early May, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a delegation of Congressional Democrats met with Zelenskyy to show support for the Ukrainian government. Shortly after Pelosi’s trip to Ukraine, First Lady Jill Biden made a surprise trip to Ukraine and met with her Ukrainian counterpart, Olen Zelenska. About a week after the first lady’s trip to Ukraine, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell led a delegation of Congressional Republicans to meet...
    President Joe Biden is pitching for allies Japan and South Korea to do more to assist Ukraine as he meets with leaders of both countries on his trip to Asia – pushing for further support as Ukraine suffers defeat in Mariupol following a long Russian siege. South Korea is one of the world's top arms exporters, and Japan is the world's third largest economy. Populations and leaders in both countries have rallies around the Ukrainian cause, but Biden is using his trip to try to organize further contributions.  'I think you could expect that at each stop, the President is going to focus on his concerns about Ukraine and the importance he places in providing assistance to Ukraine,' a senior administration official told DailyMail.com on a press call with reporters on Biden's trip. President Joe Biden is stressing support for Ukraine at 'each stop' on his trip to Asia. He flies from South Korea to Japan Sunday The official said Biden has 'made very clear how impressed he is by what the ROK has done. And the fact that the...
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Biden signs $40B in Ukraine aid after bill is flown to him during Asia trip; half the money is for Ukrainian military. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Ivanka Trump recently spent time in Poland helping out and hanging out with Ukrainian refugees, including a chance to play guitar with a child.  Trump, 40, visited Krakow and Warsaw after an invite from global non-profit CityServe, hugging children and embracing mothers as they helped to deliver relief to the refugees. The former First Daughter said in an interview in 2020 that she was learning to play guitar during the pandemic.   According to the organization: 'There she met with dozens of pastors serving Ukrainians on the frontlines, many of which helped support the 1 million meal distribution in March.'  'This week, they brought meals, financial support and toys to dozens of Ukrainian families seeking both short-term and long-term refuge in Poland until they can safely return to Ukraine,' a CityServe spokesperson added.  Since March, Trump has continued to be involved in several efforts to support Ukrainians in need.  Ivanka Trump recently spent time in Poland helping out and hanging out with Ukrainian refugees, including a chance to play guitar with a child. The former First Daughter said in an interview in...
    VIDEO2:2302:23Think tank discusses the U.S.' view on South Korea and nuclear weaponsSquawk Box Asia North Korea could launch an intercontinental missile test or even a nuclear test to try to overshadow U.S. President Joe Biden's upcoming visit to South Korea, an expert told CNBC on Friday.  "They've already done two intercontinental ballistic missile tests earlier this year and we've been seeing tunneling activity preparing for a nuclear test," Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia" on Friday.  He added that such a test would be intended to "overshadow" Biden's trip. The White House has been bracing itself for such a move by North Korea during Biden's first Asia visit as president. "Our intelligence does reflect the genuine possibility there will be either a missile test or a nuclear test or both," U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters on Wednesday, a day before Biden departed for Asia. Biden arrived in Seoul on Friday for a three-day visit in South Korea, and will travel to Tokyo, Japan on Sunday. He is attending a Quad...
    President Joe Biden's maiden trip to Asia as commander in chief marks a long-awaited shift to the region, one that has been overshadowed by the president's deadly withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Russia's bloody invasion of Ukraine. Biden's five-day itinerary includes a stop in South Korea and then Japan to meet the countries' new heads of government, as well as a gathering of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue partners Australia, India, and Japan in Tokyo. While the leaders are expected to discuss the Russia-Ukraine conflict, topics likely to dominate the agenda are China, North Korea, and economic opportunities. "President Biden has rallied the free world in defense of Ukraine and in opposition to Russian aggression," national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Wednesday. "He remains focused on ensuring that our efforts in those missions are successful, but he also intends to seize this moment, this pivotal moment, to assert bold and confident American leadership in another vital region of the world, the Indo-Pacific." BIDEN FACES PRESSURE TO 'NAME AND SHAME' FOLLOWING BUFFALO SHOOTING Here are four developments of which to...
    (CNN)First lady Jill Biden on Wednesday departs Washington for a six-day Latin American tour, with scheduled stops in Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica, according to a White House release obtained first by CNN. Biden will be joined on the trip by her daughter, Ashley Biden. The tour will "emphasize the importance of the US partnership," as well as the three countries' commitment to democracy, "in a region where democratic backsliding is increasingly common," says the release.In Ecuador, Biden is scheduled to meet with President Guillermo Lasso, and deliver a keynote speech focused on democracy and the challenges of migrating Latin Americans, according to an official. The trip comes as the Biden administration faces several challenges on the immigration front, including a heated debate over Title 42, a Trump-era pandemic restriction that allows migrants to be turned away at the US-Mexico border because of the public health crisis.Biden will also visit an elementary school that is "hosting a US-supported accelerated learning program that helps Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, and Colombian teenagers -- who were previously out of school for at least two years...
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was pictured flashing her American Express card during a shopping trip to New York City's Saks Fifth Avenue with her husband Paul. The Democrat was seen wearing a salmon-pink pantsuit and high heels as she strutted from her car to the up-market department store.  She was flanked by her body guards - one of which was holding an umbrella over Pelosi to keep her dry from the rain. Pelosi, D-Calif., is believed to be worth around $114 million - making her one of the richest members of congress.  She appeared ready to splash her cash in Saks as she smiled and waved to the camera with the same hand holding her credit card. The congresswoman's husband, Paul Pelosi, was also photographed following his wife into the luxury Manhattan store. The couple married in 1963 and have five children together. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, pictured flashing her American Express card during a shopping trip to New York City's Saks Fifth Avenue with her husband Paul on Saturday Paul Pelosi founded venture capital firm Financial...
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Monday that Congress could ratify Finland's NATO membership by the end of this summer. He held a press conference alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto after leading a small delegation of senior GOP senators to Ukraine, Sweden and Finland over the weekend. It comes as the US and its western allies seek to fast-track Finland and Sweden's membership to NATO, spurred by Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine launched in February. McConnell said he gave the leaders of both nations his 'personal assurance' that he supports their membership in the defensive alliance.  'It was a special honor to visit both these strong, proud nations during the exact days when both countries’ governments were concluding their deliberations and preparing to formally move forward with joining NATO,' the Kentucky Republican said in a statement. 'Sweden and Finland already have long track records as two of the United States’ and NATO’s most capable friends and partners, even from outside the alliance.' Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned their admittance would 'trigger a response' from Moscow.  President of Finland...
    BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — The first telephone call Jill Biden made from her black SUV after an unannounced meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart inside the embattled country was to her husband, President Joe Biden. Biden and Olena Zelenska, who had not been seen in public since President Vladimir Putin sent Russia’s military into her country nearly 11 weeks ago, had just spent about two hours together at a school in Uzhhorod in western Ukraine. With her visit to the Ukraine war zone, the U.S. first lady was able to act as a second pair of eyes and ears for the president, who so far has been unable to visit the country himself. “Sometimes the first lady is able to do things and get into places where the president can’t,” said Myra Gutin, author of “The President’s Partner: The First Lady in the Twentieth Century.” Jill Biden wrapped up her four-day trip to Eastern Europe on Monday after meeting in Bratislava with Zuzana Caputova, Slovakia’s first female president. Her trip over the border on Sunday to meet with Zelenska and...
    Jill Biden urged President Joe Biden to keep supporting the Ukraine after making a surprise Mother's Day visit to the war torn nation. The first lady called the president from her car as she returned from her secret visit to a Ukraine public school where she met with her counterpart Olena Zelensky and made art projects with the children. She told reporters in Slovakia on Monday that she said to her husband: 'I said just how much I saw the need to support the people of Ukraine.' She also said she told him about the 'horrors and the brutality that the people I had met had experienced.'  Biden was on the last leg of her four-day trip to Europe where she focused on humantarian crisis caused by Russia's invasion of the Ukraine.  She said she will carry with her the stories of the mothers and children she met on her trip. 'I am returning home to the United States carrying with me the stories of the mothers and children I met. As a Romanian mother said: "our hearts have no borders,"'...
    First lady Jill Biden made an unannounced Mother’s Day visit to Ukraine on Sunday to visit Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska, the wife of President Volodymyr Zelensky. The first ladies embraced as Biden, who crossed the border from Slovakia, presented Zelenska with flowers before a meeting inside a school that is being used as temporary housing for displaced Ukrainians. “I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” Biden said, ,according to the press pool. “I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.” The moment First Ladies Jill Biden ???????? and Olena Zelenska ????????met today in Uzhhorod, Ukraine pic.twitter.com/9UsdBBA6Eh— Michael LaRosa (@MichaelLaRosa46) May 8, 2022 Zelenska called Biden’s visit “a very courageous act.” “We understand what it takes for the U.S. first lady to come here during a war when the military actions are taking place every day, where the air sirens are happening every day even today,”...
    First Lady Jill Biden on Sunday made a surprise visit to western Ukraine where she was greeted by  her counterpart Olena Zelensky. AP reports Biden became the latest high-profile American to enter Ukraine during its 10-week-old conflict with Russia after travelling in total secrecy. “I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” Biden told Zelensky on arrival. “I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.” The first lady arrived by vehicle to the town of Uzhhorod, about a 10-minute drive from a Slovakian village that borders Ukraine, according to AP. It is just the latest in a string of diplomatic visits she had made with her husband by her side. First Lady Jill Biden is tipped to visit Japan for the Tokyo Olympics on a solo trip in place of President Joe Biden, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily reported Sunday. https://t.co/SMtEd8AlZO — Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 27, 2021 Zelensky thanked Biden for her “courageous act”...
    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian media, local mayor say Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a surprise trip to Ukraine amid the war. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Uzhhorod, Ukraine (CNN)First lady Jill Biden made an unannounced trip on Sunday to Uzhhorod, Ukraine, a small city in the far southwestern corner of the country. At a converted school that now serves as temporary housing for displaced citizens, Biden met with Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska, who has not been seen in public since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.Jill Biden is the latest high-profile American and the first family member of President Joe Biden to visit the war-torn country in recent weeks. This is a breaking story and will be updated.
    EUROPE -- First Lady Jill Biden will continue her trip to two eastern European countries that border Ukraine.Biden heard heartbreaking stories Saturday from Ukrainian women and children who fled Russia's war and found safe haven in Romania, with one mother telling the U.S. first lady of a harrowing escape after being holed up in a cramped, cold basement with her traumatized 8-year-old daughter.Reaching Romania "was a game chang for us," Svitlana Gollyak of Kharkiv, Ukraine, told Biden in her native language during the first lady's tour of a Bucharest public school hosting refugee children. Gollyak said her daughter "feels much better here. ... No more tears and she adapted very nicely."Biden told Gollyak and the other women, "I think mothers will do anything for their children," adding that they were "amazingly strong and resilient."Biden said her message to the families was "we stand with you." During a craft activity, she watched as the children scrawled messages on paper cutouts of their hands. One young Ukrainian girl wrote, "I want to return to my father." Biden later told reporters the girl's...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — For weeks, first lady Jill Biden has been transfixed by the news coming out of Ukraine, by the bombings and scenes of “parents weeping over their children’s broken bodies in the streets,” as she said in a recent speech. Now Biden is using her second solo overseas trip to get an up-close look at the Ukrainian refugee crisis by visiting Romania and Slovakia, where she will spend Mother’s Day meeting with displaced families in a small Slovakian village on the border with Ukraine. Biden, who opens the visit Friday in Romania, told reporters traveling with her Thursday night, “It’s so important to the president and to me that the Ukrainian people know that we stand with them.” She said earlier in the week she wants the refugees to know “their resilience inspires me.” NATO allies Romania and Slovakia border Ukraine and have taken in some of the millions of mostly women and children who fled after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, triggering Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. Biden also will use...
    A veterinarian from the United States went on a volunteer trip to the Polish border and fell in love with an adorable cat in need. Source: Greater Good Charities/Youtube George, the cat, will now embark on his journey to the United States with veterinarian Dr. Julie Ryan Johnson. George is a creme-colored Norwegian Forest cat with piercing blue eyes. Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content.Click here to Support Us In early April, Dr. Ryan Johnson left her home in California to go to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees and their pets that were fleeing Ukraine amid the Russian invasion. Dr. Ryan Johnson is a board member for Greater Good Charities, who invited her to volunteer in Poland. Greater Good Charities has supported over 20 groups that are helping the people and animals of the war-torn areas. “Greater Good Charities has been on the ground for weeks with multiple organizations to help provide much-needed emergency relief and services for the people and pets impacted by the Ukraine crisis,” Dr. Ryan Johnson...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden on Tuesday will make a trip that would have seemed far-fetched to his own advisers one year ago, visiting a weapons-making facility in ruby-red Alabama. But 69 days into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, his trip is especially timely. Biden, who last week urged Congress to authorize a $33 billion aid package, will tour and deliver remarks from the sprawling Lockheed Martin manufacturing facility in Troy, which sits on 4,000 acres and is the final assembly plant for Javelins, the anti-tank missiles that have been critical to Ukraine's defense because they are lightweight systems that can be operated by one person and hit targets more than two miles away. The US has delivered over 5,000 Javelins to Ukraine from US stockpiles and almost 500 more from allies and partners. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the Javelins have been "very, very effective in this fight" and Ukrainian officials have at times asked for 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles daily.Sending Ukraine those Javelins quickly has become a numbers game. The Lockheed Martin facility can produce up to 2,100 Javelins per year,...
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a group of senior Democratic lawmakers returned on Monday from an unannounced meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and discussions with Polish President Andrzej Duda. The trip came as President Joe Biden's administration is under fire by Republicans and some Democrats for taking a more aggressive stand against Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, including stepped-up weapons transfers. Democrats joining Pelosi on the weekend trip included House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and Reps. Barbara Lee, Bill Keating, and Jason Crow. The group discussed “bolstering the NATO alliance to counter Putin's aggression” with leaders, with the members in attendance not told until departure that they would be going to Ukraine, a Pelosi aide confirmed. The aide added that Republican members were invited to join the delegation but ultimately refrained from going. “Multiple House Republicans were invited on this trip. Obviously, given security precautions, all potential delegation members were told this was a CODEL to Poland. None of...
    First Lady Jill Biden is the new face of U.S. diplomacy. This was confirmed Monday with the news she will head to eastern Europe later this week on a solo diplomatic mission for the White House, following in the footsteps of House Leader Nancy Pelosi who met with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday. It is her second overseas sojourn representing the U.S. in less than a year. AFP reports Biden will visit Romania and Slovakia to meet with displaced Ukrainian parents and children, aid workers, U.S. service members and embassy personnel. In Slovakia on Sunday, celebrated as Mother’s Day in the United States, the president’s wife will travel to the city of Kosice and village of Vysne Nemecke to meet with refugees, aid workers and the Slovakians who are supporting them as well as U.S. diplomatic staff. Pelosi made similar efforts to represent U.S. interests across eastern Europe as part of her secret weekend visit to Ukraine as it struggles through its eighth year of war and colonization by neighboring Russia. U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi speaks to media...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden will spend Mother’s Day meeting with Ukrainian mothers and children who fled for their lives after Russian President Vladimir Putin opened war against Ukraine, the White House announced late Sunday. The May 8 meeting will take place in Slovakia, one of two eastern European countries the first lady plans to visit during a five-day trip that starts Thursday. She also will be stopping in Romania. The trip will mark Biden’s latest show of solidarity with Ukraine. Romania and Slovakia share borders with Ukraine, which has spent the past two months fighting off Russia’s military invasion. Romania and Slovakia also are NATO members. Nearly 5.5 million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded its smaller neighbor on Feb. 24, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Many have resettled in neighboring countries or relocated elsewhere in Europe. Throughout the trip, Jill Biden will also meet with U.S. service members, U.S. Embassy personnel, humanitarian aid workers and educators, the White House said. After arriving in Romania on Friday,...
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced trip to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Saturday, becoming the most senior US official to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky since the war broke out more than two months ago. Pelosi’s office said Sunday that the speaker had led an official congressional delegation to Ukraine — the first since Russian invasion of the country began on February 24. President Joe Biden spoke with Pelosi on Sunday to discuss her trip to Ukraine and her meeting with Zelensky, according to a statement from the White House shared by the press pool. Zelensky shared a video Sunday of his meeting with the congressional delegation and thanked the US for its support of Ukraine against Russian aggression. In the clip, Pelosi is seen telling Zelensky, “We are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom, that we’re on a frontier of freedom and that your fight is a fight for everyone. And so our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done.” Pelosi was joined by several senior...
    U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi led a secret delegation visit to Ukraine flanked by armed guards and top Democrats. The meeting, which is the highest level official delegation yet to the besieged nation, was not announced until after it happened, in stark contrast to Ukrainian president Volodmyr Zelensky’s announcement last weekend that Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin were set to visit nearly put that visit in peril. Pelosi took the dangerous trip amidst continued Russian attacks around the capital to send “a clear message to the world that America stands with Ukraine.” Zelensky presented Pelosi—who war a blue suit the color of the Ukrainian flag—with a number of gifts, including a Ukrainian flag signed by himself and female members of Ukraine’s parliament and the medal from the Order of Princess Olga, which he said showed his appreciation for her “significant personal contribution” in strengthening American support. The medal is only awarded to women who show high achievement in Ukraine society. “I am grateful to you for this...
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise trip to Kyiv as part of the first congressional delegation to the capital since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. Pelosi and her delegation, who made the visit on Saturday, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in person to discuss the United States's efforts to support Ukraine's defense. "Meeting with the Speaker of the US House of Representatives in Kyiv," Zelensky said in a tweet. "The United States is a leader in Ukraine's strong support in the fight against Russian aggression. Thank you for helping to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state!" PENTAGON SPOKESMAN CHOKES UP CONDEMNING RUSSIAN 'DEPRAVITY' IN UKRAINE Зустріч зі спікером Палати представників Конгресу США @SpeakerPelosi в Києві. Сполучені Штати є лідером потужної підтримки України в боротьбі з агресією РФ. Дякуємо, що допомагаєте захищати суверенітет і територіальну цілісність нашої держави! pic.twitter.com/QXSBPFoGQh— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) May 1, 2022 Pelosi echoed these sentiments. "Our delegation traveled to Kyiv to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden will make his first trip to Asia as president next month, visiting South Korea and Japan from May 20 to May 24, White House officials told CNN, underscoring his commitment to the region even as international attention is directed toward the crisis in Ukraine.Biden, the officials said, will hold bilateral meetings with his counterpart in each country: Korean President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol, who is set to be inaugurated on May 10, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. In Tokyo, Biden is also set to meet with the leaders of Japan, Australia and India, in a gathering of the Quad partnership that's been revitalized at his initiative.The trip is meant "to further deepen ties between our governments, economies, and people," press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. "This trip will advance the Biden-Harris Administration's rock-solid commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and to U.S. treaty alliances with the Republic of Korea and Japan."Looming over the trip will be a spate of weapons tests by North Korea, which have worried US officials and demonstrated the hermit kingdom's...
    BOSTON (CBS) – Ulana Nosal scoops up her whole world – her daughters – in her arms Monday night, after arriving to Logan Airport. Even so, it still feels like part of her heart is so far away. “Coming back the first time around it was hard to find a balance of coming back to a mom role and work and still being able to support Ukraine,” the Walpole mother and realtor recalled. READ MORE: 'Scary And Disturbing': Police Investigate Report Of Plane Shot Near Gardner AirportThis was her and Terry Reid’s second trip to the Ukrainian border within weeks. And how their mission is growing – they brought 17 bags of military and medical supplies this time, plus more help from Massachusetts. “I had to do something,” said friend Yuri Bukhenik, who was born in Ukraine but lives and works on the South Shore. While the trio did cross into Ukraine to deliver military protective gear, much of their work was in Poland – at a refugee center serving 125. READ MORE: Arlington Residents...
    (CNN)US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin traveled to Kyiv on Sunday where they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, making them the highest-level US officials to have traveled to the country since the Russian invasion began in late February. While in Kyiv, Blinken and Austin met with Zelensky, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and Interior Minister Denys Monastrysky for an extended, roughly 90-minute bilateral meeting, a senior State Department official said.Zelensky had announced on Saturday that Blinken and Austin would visit Kyiv, and the White House declined to comment at the time.During the visit, Blinken relayed that US diplomats would return to Ukraine this week, the senior State Department official said, characterizing the move as a strong message of solidarity from the United States. Blinken also relayed that US President Joe Biden would nominate Bridget Brink as US ambassador to Ukraine, according to the senior State Department official. The post that has been without a confirmed ambassador since Marie Yovanovitch was recalled in May 2019. Brink is the...
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