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Russia-Ukraine war: Russia awill only open ports if sanctions revieweda; Nato chief aconfidenta in quick decision for Finland and Sweden a live
From https:

Russian minister says access to Ukrainian Black Sea ports linked to sanctions; Stoltenberg says alliance aaddressing concerns Turkey has expresseda

The UKas ministry of defence has issued its daily public intelligence briefing on the situation with Russia and Ukraine, and this morning it is concentrating on the situation within Russiaas military. The ministry claims that Lieutenant General Serhiy Kisel has been suspended for failing to capture Kharkiv and Vice Admiral Igor Osipov has been suspended from commanding the Black Sea Fleet. It says:

A culture of cover-ups and scapegoating is probably prevalent within the Russian military and security system. Many officials involved in the invasion of Ukraine will likely be increasingly distracted by efforts to avoid personal culpability for Russiaas operational set-backs.

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Russian soldier asks Ukrainian widow to forgive him during first war crimes trial
From https:

Vadim Shishimarin, 21-year-old tank commander, has pleaded guilty to killing unarmed 62-year-old civilian

A 21-year-old Russian soldier asked a Ukrainian widow to forgive him for the murder of her husband, as a court in Kyiv met for a second hearing on Thursday in the first war crimes trial arising from Russiaas 24 February invasion.

Vadim Shishimarin, a tank commander, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to killing Oleksandr Shelipov, an unarmed 62-year-old civilian, in the north-east Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on 28 February.

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Zelenskiy compares Russian laser threat to nonexistent Nazi awonder weapona
From https:

Russia says weapon destroyed drone in five seconds in a test, but there is scepticism that it could be used in war

Russiaas promise to use lasers to shoot down drones in Ukraine has prompted widespread scepticism that the novel and possibly nuclear-powered weaponry could be deployed on the battlefield or have any significant impact on the war.

Yuri Borisov, Russiaas deputy prime minister, told the countryas Channel One television station that the new Zadira directed-energy weapon could destroy targets up to 5km away, and had incinerated a drone in five seconds in a test.

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aNow we get hit tooa: Belgorod, the Russian city on the Ukraine frontline
From https:

Locals speak of a tense atmosphere after a number of attacks a and reports of Ukrainian saboteurs

The sounds of war have become louder in Belgorod, a mid-sized Russian city about 25 miles (40km) from the Ukrainian border. And the blasts are more frequent.

aOn Sunday, we were woken up again by explosions. You never know if itas them or us firing,a said Vladimir, a shopkeeper in the city.

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US Senate passes $40bn aid package for Ukraine a live
From https:

As Nancy Pelosi and Democratic lawmakers prepare to speak to the media about rising gun crime and domestic terrorism in the wake of the Buffalo massacre comes news of another multiple shooting: at a high school graduation in Tennessee.

According to the Associated Press, one person was killed and another injured in the incident Wednesday night at Middle Tennessee state university, where graduating seniors at Murfreesboroas Riverdale high school were being honored.

The masks have fallen and we see only the cold faces of war.

Russiaas war in Ukraine has changed Europeas and our security environment.

The situation in Ukraine reminds us of the darkest days in European history.

[But] over these past months we have shown transatlantic unity and strength at its best and have responded forcefully to Russiaas aggression by providing unprecedent support for Ukraine.

After 200 years of military non-alignment, Sweden has chosen a new path.

Russiaas full-scale aggression against a sovereign and democratic neighbor was a watershed moment for Sweden.

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Suspect in Buffalo mass shooting heckled as acowarda in court
From https:

Payton Gendron, 18, accused of killing 10 Black people at supermarket, not required to speak at brief court hearing

The man accused of killing 10 Black people in a racist attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, at the weekend was called a coward by a loved one of one of the victims when he made a fresh appearance in court on Thursday.

Payton Gendron, 18, who is white, was not required to speak a his court-appointed lawyer had already entered a plea of not guilty to one count of first-degree murder a but it was the first time families of the victims who had come to the courthouse came face to face with him.

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He became a hero for halting Trumpas efforts to overturn the election. Will voters now punish him?
From https:

Brad Raffensperger resisted Trumpas call to overturn the presidential election result and is now facing his ire

Brad Raffensperger was on his way out when the bartender stopped him. He wanted a word.

The man had been lingering in the doorway as Raffensperger, a Republican serving as Georgiaas top election official, spoke to a little over a dozen members of the chamber of commerce in Washington, a small town about two hours east of Atlanta. Raffensperger had seen him from the lectern and asked if he wanted to ask a question a he declined. Now the bartender had more courage. He wanted to ask about the phone call. aHow did that make you feel?a he said.

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Revealed: Starbucks fired over 20 US union leaders in recent months
From https:

Workers at the coffee chain have filed petitions for union elections at more than 250 stores, but chief Howard Schultz publicly opposes the movement

Starbucks has fired over 20 union leaders around the US over the past several months as union organizing campaigns have spread across the country, the Guardian can reveal.

The news comes as Starbucks workers have filed petitions for union elections at more than 250 stores, spanning 35 states in the US. Starbucksa chief executive, Howard Schultz, has led a campaign against the union movement calling it asome outside force thatas going to dictate or disrupt who we are and what we doa.

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Suicides indicate wave of adoomerisma over escalating climate crisis
From https:

While alarm over wildfires, droughts, flooding and societal unrest is on the rise, not many of us talk about climate angst

It was a stunning, grisly act. A man, a climate activist and Buddhist, had set himself on fire on the steps of the US supreme court. He sat upright and didnat immediately scream despite the agony. Police officers desperately plunged nearby orange traffic cones into the courtas marbled fountain and hurled water at him. It wasnat enough to save him.

The death of Wynn Bruce, a 50-year-old photographer who lived in Boulder, Colorado, was a shock to those who knew him. aIt was so upsetting,a said April Lyons, a psychotherapist who knew Bruce from a therapeutic dance class they both took. aHe was a solid person, a compassionate, kind person. We had no idea head do this.a

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Biden uses Defense Production Act to tackle US baby formula crisis
From https:

Government aims to speed production after closure of Abbott plant, as experts urge parents not to concoct own alternatives

Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to address the shortage of infant formula by speeding production and authorizing flights to import it from abroad, as experts warned desperate parents not to concoct their own ahome brewa alternatives.

The safety-related closure of the nationas largest formula manufacturing plant has seen a nationwide squeeze on supply. The Defense Production Act order requires suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill orders from those companies before other customers, in an effort to eliminate production bottlenecks.

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US homeland security pauses new disinformation board amid criticism
From https:

Nina Jankowicz, the boardas director, resigns and says attacks and threats will not stop her from speaking out on disinformation

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has paused a new government boardas work on disinformation and accepted the resignation of its leader, capping weeks of argument about free speech rights in the US and a frenzy of conspiracy theories.

Former disinformation governance board director Nina Jankowicz told the Associated Press hours after resigning on Wednesday that a wave of attacks and violent threats she has fielded since the boardas launch will not stop her from speaking out about disinformation campaigns pulsing through the social media feeds of Americans.

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Taliban orders female Afghan TV presenters to cover faces on air
From https:

Female anchors post pictures of themselves being aeraseda on orders of virtue and vice ministry

Afghanistanas Taliban rulers have ordered all female TV presenters to cover their faces on air, the countryas biggest media outlet has said.

The order came in a statement from the Talibanas virtue and vice ministry, tasked with enforcing the groupas rulings, as well as from the information and culture ministry, the Tolo news channel tweeted on Thursday. The statement called the order afinal and non-negotiablea, the channel said.

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More than 3,000 potentially harmful chemicals found in food packaging
From https:

International experts who analyzed more than 1,200 scientific studies warn chemicals are being consumed with unknown long-term impacts


Scientists have identified more than 3,000 potentially harmful chemicals that can be found in food packaging and other food-related materials, two-thirds of which were not previously known to be in contact with food.

An international group of scientists analyzed more than 1,200 scientific studies where chemicals had been measured in food packaging, processing equipment, tableware and reusable food containers.

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aTop of the worlda: Black climbing team makes history as first to scale Mount Everest
From https:

Seven members reached the summit with the hope of inspiring the next generation of Black outdoor enthusiasts

The first all-Black climbing group to reach the summit of Mount Everest was recovering back at the bottom of the mountain on Thursday and celebrating a journey to the atop of the worlda.

Seven members of the US-led team made it to the top of the mountain in one expedition, greatly increasing the number of Black people who have summited the worldas highest peak from 10 to 17, out of about 10,000 in total.

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Vangelis, composer of Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner soundtracks, dies aged 79
From https:

Greek composer topped US charts and won an Oscar with Chariots of Fireas uplifting piano-led theme

Vangelis, the Greek composer and musician whose synth-driven work brought huge drama to film soundtracks including Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire, has died aged 79. His representatives said he died in hospital in France where he was being treated.

Born EvA!ngelos OdyssA(c)as PapathanassAou in 1943, Vangelis won an Oscar for his 1981 Chariots of Fire soundtrack. Its uplifting piano motif became world-renowned, and reached No 1 in the US charts, as did the accompanying soundtrack album.

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Rihanna and A$AP Rocky welcome their first child a report
From https:

The pop star reportedly gave birth to a baby boy on 13 May in Los Angeles

Multi-hyphenate pop star Rihanna and rapper A$AP Rocky have welcomed their first child, according to a TMZ report. The baby boy was reportedly born on 13 May in Los Angeles. No name was given.

The couple, together since early 2020, first announced their pregnancy with a heavily photographed stroll through A$AP Rockyas hometown of New York in January. The fashion mogul and Fenty beauty founder has since made headlines for her trend-setting maternity style of sheer lace, crop tops and belly-baring outfits.

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The Christian leader trying to break Americaas link between faith and guns
From https:

Peter Cook says in the aftermath of the Buffalo racist shooting white Christian denominations have a duty to act

In the aftermath of the racist shooting that killed 10 on Saturday in Buffalo, the director of the New York State Council of Churches, the Rev Peter Cook, has been a constant presence at prayer gatherings and public memorials.

The organization he leads represents eight denominations to New York state government; and he has the ear of political leaders, including Governor Kathy Hochul, in shaping the political response to a massacre that targeted the Black community of East Buffalo a one that has been met with expressions of faith as well as anger and distress.

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George W Bush accidentally admits Iraq war was aunjustified and brutala in gaffe
From https:

Former president makes slip when speaking at his presidential library in Dallas on Wednesday

Sigmund Freud was unavailable for comment, but George W Bush saying Iraq instead of Ukraine when condemning aa wholly unjustified and brutal invasiona certainly suggests he still has a lot on his unconscious mind.

The former president jokingly attributed the slip to his 75 years, but there has always been a faulty connection between his brain and his tongue. There are whole books full of aBushismsa, like his boast that people amisunderestimateda him, and how much he felt for single mothers aworking hard to put food on your familya.

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aThis canat be reala: Grubhub promotion turns New York City restaurants into a awar zonea
From https:

The deal resulted in 6,000 New Yorkers placing an order every minute, overwhelming kitchens and delivery workers

What were they thinking?

Thatas what customers, restaurants and delivery workers want to know after a surprise promotion by the food delivery platform Grubhub went badly awry a and proved thereas really no such thing as a free lunch.

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aA catastrophic failurea: computer scientist Hany Farid on why violent videos circulate on the internet
From https:

aHashinga would allow copies of videos to be removed from social media a but tech companies canat be bothered to make it work

In the aftermath of yet another racially motivated shooting that was live-streamed on social media, tech companies are facing fresh questions about their ability to effectively moderate their platforms.

PaytonGendron, the 18-year-old gunman who killed 10 people in a largely Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, broadcasted his violent rampage on the video-game streaming service Twitch. Twitch says it took down the video stream in mere minutes, but it was still enough time for people to create edited copies of the video and share it on other platforms including Streamable, Facebook and Twitter.

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Mavis Staples & Levon Helm: Carry Me Home review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week
From https:

(Anti-)
On poignant yet defiant recordings made in 2011 shortly before Helmas death, Staplesa commanding vocals give enormous vibrancy to blues, folk and soul standards

In the early noughties, Levon Helm began hosting live shows he called Midnight Rambles in a studio at his home in Woodstock, NY. It was a rare bright moment in the story of what happened to the members of the Band who werenat Robbie Robertson in the years following the quintetas split, a grim saga involving bitter enmity, addiction, suicide, bankruptcy and jail. The Midnight Rambles shows reinvigorated the drummer and vocalistas career, led to two Grammy-winning solo albums and attracted a vast array of guests: Dr John, Drive-By Truckers, Elvis Costello, Donald Fagen, My Morning Jacket, Norah Jones, Kris Kristofferson.

But perhaps no performer was quite as appropriate to the event as Mavis Staples, who played a Midnight Ramble with Helm and his band in 2011. Helm had prosaic reasons for starting the shows a after suffering with throat cancer which left him unable to sing for five years, he had medical bills to pay a but his stated aim was to recreate the atmosphere of the travelling tent shows head seen as a child in Arkansas. The amidnight ramblea, he explained, was a second, adults-only performance, awhere the songs would get a little bit juicier, the jokes would get funnier and the prettiest dancer would really get down and shake ita.

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aThink you can do what you want with your body?a: vintage pro-choice ads a in pictures
From https:

Aiming to underscore the threat to abortion rights in the late 1990s, activists created a provocative campaign

In the late 90s, there was a fear that a new generation who had never known a pre-Roe world was unaware of the threat that abortion might once again become illegal in the US. A group of pro-choice activists came together with the imperative to push back against the notion that abortion rights were sacrosanct, and to motivate women to remain passionately engaged in the pro-choice struggle.

Their great fear was that, with people turning their attention to other battles, the enemies of Roe might gain the upper hand.

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aSome things canat be repaireda: how do you recover when a friend betrays you?
From https:

With the aWagatha Christiea trial poring over the destruction of a celebrity friendship, four people share their experiences of treachery and trauma

As the libel suit between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney rumbles on in the high court, the public has heard weeks of claims and counterclaims about Instagram stings, paparazzi ambushes and phones lost in the sea. But one thing has been clear from the outset: one of the two women has been betrayed. Either, as Rooney claims, Vardy sold stories about her fellow Wag to the Sun, or, as Vardy maintains, Rooneyas baseless accusation has dragged her good name through the mud.

It is a messy and sordid tale from which no one a except possibly the lawyers a emerges the better. Rooney has described Vardyas WhatsApp exchanges about her as aevila; Vardy has said that the threats and abuse she received after Rooneyas accusations made her feel suicidal. What is driving the former friends to spend millions airing their most intimate details?

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aEach little thing in my life is preciousa: Ken Watanabe on cancer, childhood and Hollywood cliches
From https:

His role in The Last Samurai changed Hollywoodas attitude to Asian characters overnight a but illness very nearly ended his career. He discusses recovery, regret and yakuza drama Tokyo Vice

There is something incongruous about seeing Ken Watanabe in a light-brown hoodie. He is synonymous with crisp tailored suits. It is like catching James Bond in jogging bottoms. aHello!a he beams from a cosy corner of his living room, family photos lining a shelf, dark-mahogany cabinets behind him. aGood evening! Or good morning?a he asks from his home in Karuizawa, a resort town in Honshu, Japan, as we chat over video. He has just finished a photoshoot with his boisterous border collie, Dan, who is yelping nearby, desperate to be included.

Even dressed down, the Japanese actor radiates the same commanding presence that he exudes on screen. He is one of the few modern east Asian stars to cross over successfully to Hollywood, which he did with his role in 2003as historical epic The Last Samurai. At 62, sporting a smattering of stubble, he still looks remarkably youthful.

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Gucci APS1,300 umbrella ridiculed in China for not being waterproof
From https:

Item from Adidas collaboration mocked over warning it is meant only for asun protection or decorative usea

An umbrella created as part of a collaboration between Gucci and Adidas has met with a storm of criticism in China, where social media users have derided its inability to keep its owner dry.

Chinese consumers are calling out the fact that the item, priced at 11,000 yuan (APS1,311) and not yet available, does not perform the basic function a user might expect.

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Trump claims immigrants are voting illegally. The real problem is foreign fatcats funding US campaigns | Robert Reich
From https:

Non-Americans a whose interests donat necessarily align with the interests of the US a assert growing influence over American politics

In 2017, Donald Trump repeatedly claimed without evidence that between 3 million and 5 million unauthorized immigrants had voted for Hillary Clinton. In the last few weeks, Trump has resurrected his lie during campaign rallies for Republican primary candidates he has endorsed a whipping up fears of aopen borders and horrible electionsa, and calling for stricter voter ID laws and proof of citizenship at the ballot box.

Trump endorsees and wannabes are amplifying this lie. JD Vance, the Trump-backed winner of last weekas Ohio Republican senate primary, claimed that President Bidenas immigration policy has resulted in amore Democrat voters pouring into this countrya.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. His new book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, is out now. He is a Guardian US columnist. His newsletter is at robertreich.substack.com

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Republicans just nominated one of the most radical governor candidates in history | Judd Legum
From https:

Doug Mastriano may be one of the most radical candidates ever to receive a Republican nod and he has been clear that he will use that power

Pennsylvania Republicans have nominated state senator Doug Mastriano to be the next governor. Mastriano is one of the most radical gubernatorial candidates ever to receive a major party nomination.

Many Republicans have indulged Trumpas claims that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election. But few have gone as far as Mastriano has to try to justify Trumpas fever dream.

Iam Doug Mastriano, and I get to appoint the secretary of state whoas delegated from me the power to make the corrections to elections, the voting logs and everything. I could decertify every machine in the state with the stroke of a pen via the secretary of state. I already had the secretary of state picked out. Itas a world-class person that knows voting integrity better than anyone else in the nation, I think, and I already have a team thatas gonna be built around that individual.

Judd Legum is the founder and author of Popular Information, an independent newsletter dedicated to accountability journalism, where this post originally appeared

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The banks collapsed in 2008 a and our food system is about to do the same | George Monbiot
From https:

Massive food producers hold too much power a and the regulators scarcely understand what is happening. Sound familiar?

For the past few years, scientists have been frantically sounding an alarm that governments refuse to hear: the global food system is beginning to look like the global financial system in the run-up to 2008.

While financial collapse would have been devastating to human welfare, food system collapse doesnat bear thinking about. Yet the evidence that something is going badly wrong has been escalating rapidly. The current surge in food prices looks like the latest sign of systemic instability.

George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

George Monbiot will discuss his new book, Regenesis, at a Guardian Live event on Monday 30 May. Book tickets in-person or online here

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The US is running out of baby formula: yet more evidence that new mothers can never win | Emma Brockes
From https:

Women have breastfed for thousands of years and yet there are still those who think we can just aswitch ona our milk

I had an easy pregnancy, a textbook C-section and the gift of a two-week recovery period alone at home after my twins were sent to the newborn intensive care unit a or, having given birth in the US, athe worldas most expensive babysitting servicea, as a nurse described it at the time.

One consequence of this was that I was fully healed by the time they came home. Another was that in the first two weeks of my babiesa lives, breastfeeding had to be supplemented with formula. By the time they left hospital, my supply was getting sketchy, which as it turned out was the least of our problems. Trying to get two preemies, not much bigger than guinea pigs, to latch was like asking them to eat peas off a beachball.

Emma Brockes is a Guardian columnist

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Russia-Ukraine war: Russia awill only open ports if sanctions revieweda; Nato chief aconfidenta in quick decision for Finland and Sweden a live
From https:

Russian minister says access to Ukrainian Black Sea ports linked to sanctions; Stoltenberg says alliance aaddressing concerns Turkey has expresseda

The UKas ministry of defence has issued its daily public intelligence briefing on the situation with Russia and Ukraine, and this morning it is concentrating on the situation within Russiaas military. The ministry claims that Lieutenant General Serhiy Kisel has been suspended for failing to capture Kharkiv and Vice Admiral Igor Osipov has been suspended from commanding the Black Sea Fleet. It says:

A culture of cover-ups and scapegoating is probably prevalent within the Russian military and security system. Many officials involved in the invasion of Ukraine will likely be increasingly distracted by efforts to avoid personal culpability for Russiaas operational set-backs.

Continue reading...

Russian soldier asks Ukrainian widow to forgive him during first war crimes trial
From https:

Vadim Shishimarin, 21-year-old tank commander, has pleaded guilty to killing unarmed 62-year-old civilian

A 21-year-old Russian soldier asked a Ukrainian widow to forgive him for the murder of her husband, as a court in Kyiv met for a second hearing on Thursday in the first war crimes trial arising from Russiaas 24 February invasion.

Vadim Shishimarin, a tank commander, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to killing Oleksandr Shelipov, an unarmed 62-year-old civilian, in the north-east Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on 28 February.

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Zelenskiy compares Russian laser threat to nonexistent Nazi awonder weapona
From https:

Russia says weapon destroyed drone in five seconds in a test, but there is scepticism that it could be used in war

Russiaas promise to use lasers to shoot down drones in Ukraine has prompted widespread scepticism that the novel and possibly nuclear-powered weaponry could be deployed on the battlefield or have any significant impact on the war.

Yuri Borisov, Russiaas deputy prime minister, told the countryas Channel One television station that the new Zadira directed-energy weapon could destroy targets up to 5km away, and had incinerated a drone in five seconds in a test.

Continue reading...

aNow we get hit tooa: Belgorod, the Russian city on the Ukraine frontline
From https:

Locals speak of a tense atmosphere after a number of attacks a and reports of Ukrainian saboteurs

The sounds of war have become louder in Belgorod, a mid-sized Russian city about 25 miles (40km) from the Ukrainian border. And the blasts are more frequent.

aOn Sunday, we were woken up again by explosions. You never know if itas them or us firing,a said Vladimir, a shopkeeper in the city.

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US Senate passes $40bn aid package for Ukraine a live
From https:

As Nancy Pelosi and Democratic lawmakers prepare to speak to the media about rising gun crime and domestic terrorism in the wake of the Buffalo massacre comes news of another multiple shooting: at a high school graduation in Tennessee.

According to the Associated Press, one person was killed and another injured in the incident Wednesday night at Middle Tennessee state university, where graduating seniors at Murfreesboroas Riverdale high school were being honored.

The masks have fallen and we see only the cold faces of war.

Russiaas war in Ukraine has changed Europeas and our security environment.

The situation in Ukraine reminds us of the darkest days in European history.

[But] over these past months we have shown transatlantic unity and strength at its best and have responded forcefully to Russiaas aggression by providing unprecedent support for Ukraine.

After 200 years of military non-alignment, Sweden has chosen a new path.

Russiaas full-scale aggression against a sovereign and democratic neighbor was a watershed moment for Sweden.

Continue reading...

Suspect in Buffalo mass shooting heckled as acowarda in court
From https:

Payton Gendron, 18, accused of killing 10 Black people at supermarket, not required to speak at brief court hearing

The man accused of killing 10 Black people in a racist attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, at the weekend was called a coward by a loved one of one of the victims when he made a fresh appearance in court on Thursday.

Payton Gendron, 18, who is white, was not required to speak a his court-appointed lawyer had already entered a plea of not guilty to one count of first-degree murder a but it was the first time families of the victims who had come to the courthouse came face to face with him.

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He became a hero for halting Trumpas efforts to overturn the election. Will voters now punish him?
From https:

Brad Raffensperger resisted Trumpas call to overturn the presidential election result and is now facing his ire

Brad Raffensperger was on his way out when the bartender stopped him. He wanted a word.

The man had been lingering in the doorway as Raffensperger, a Republican serving as Georgiaas top election official, spoke to a little over a dozen members of the chamber of commerce in Washington, a small town about two hours east of Atlanta. Raffensperger had seen him from the lectern and asked if he wanted to ask a question a he declined. Now the bartender had more courage. He wanted to ask about the phone call. aHow did that make you feel?a he said.

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Revealed: Starbucks fired over 20 US union leaders in recent months
From https:

Workers at the coffee chain have filed petitions for union elections at more than 250 stores, but chief Howard Schultz publicly opposes the movement

Starbucks has fired over 20 union leaders around the US over the past several months as union organizing campaigns have spread across the country, the Guardian can reveal.

The news comes as Starbucks workers have filed petitions for union elections at more than 250 stores, spanning 35 states in the US. Starbucksa chief executive, Howard Schultz, has led a campaign against the union movement calling it asome outside force thatas going to dictate or disrupt who we are and what we doa.

Continue reading...

Suicides indicate wave of adoomerisma over escalating climate crisis
From https:

While alarm over wildfires, droughts, flooding and societal unrest is on the rise, not many of us talk about climate angst

It was a stunning, grisly act. A man, a climate activist and Buddhist, had set himself on fire on the steps of the US supreme court. He sat upright and didnat immediately scream despite the agony. Police officers desperately plunged nearby orange traffic cones into the courtas marbled fountain and hurled water at him. It wasnat enough to save him.

The death of Wynn Bruce, a 50-year-old photographer who lived in Boulder, Colorado, was a shock to those who knew him. aIt was so upsetting,a said April Lyons, a psychotherapist who knew Bruce from a therapeutic dance class they both took. aHe was a solid person, a compassionate, kind person. We had no idea head do this.a

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Biden uses Defense Production Act to tackle US baby formula crisis
From https:

Government aims to speed production after closure of Abbott plant, as experts urge parents not to concoct own alternatives

Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to address the shortage of infant formula by speeding production and authorizing flights to import it from abroad, as experts warned desperate parents not to concoct their own ahome brewa alternatives.

The safety-related closure of the nationas largest formula manufacturing plant has seen a nationwide squeeze on supply. The Defense Production Act order requires suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill orders from those companies before other customers, in an effort to eliminate production bottlenecks.

Continue reading...

US homeland security pauses new disinformation board amid criticism
From https:

Nina Jankowicz, the boardas director, resigns and says attacks and threats will not stop her from speaking out on disinformation

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has paused a new government boardas work on disinformation and accepted the resignation of its leader, capping weeks of argument about free speech rights in the US and a frenzy of conspiracy theories.

Former disinformation governance board director Nina Jankowicz told the Associated Press hours after resigning on Wednesday that a wave of attacks and violent threats she has fielded since the boardas launch will not stop her from speaking out about disinformation campaigns pulsing through the social media feeds of Americans.

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Taliban orders female Afghan TV presenters to cover faces on air
From https:

Female anchors post pictures of themselves being aeraseda on orders of virtue and vice ministry

Afghanistanas Taliban rulers have ordered all female TV presenters to cover their faces on air, the countryas biggest media outlet has said.

The order came in a statement from the Talibanas virtue and vice ministry, tasked with enforcing the groupas rulings, as well as from the information and culture ministry, the Tolo news channel tweeted on Thursday. The statement called the order afinal and non-negotiablea, the channel said.

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More than 3,000 potentially harmful chemicals found in food packaging
From https:

International experts who analyzed more than 1,200 scientific studies warn chemicals are being consumed with unknown long-term impacts


Scientists have identified more than 3,000 potentially harmful chemicals that can be found in food packaging and other food-related materials, two-thirds of which were not previously known to be in contact with food.

An international group of scientists analyzed more than 1,200 scientific studies where chemicals had been measured in food packaging, processing equipment, tableware and reusable food containers.

Continue reading...

aTop of the worlda: Black climbing team makes history as first to scale Mount Everest
From https:

Seven members reached the summit with the hope of inspiring the next generation of Black outdoor enthusiasts

The first all-Black climbing group to reach the summit of Mount Everest was recovering back at the bottom of the mountain on Thursday and celebrating a journey to the atop of the worlda.

Seven members of the US-led team made it to the top of the mountain in one expedition, greatly increasing the number of Black people who have summited the worldas highest peak from 10 to 17, out of about 10,000 in total.

Continue reading...

Vangelis, composer of Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner soundtracks, dies aged 79
From https:

Greek composer topped US charts and won an Oscar with Chariots of Fireas uplifting piano-led theme

Vangelis, the Greek composer and musician whose synth-driven work brought huge drama to film soundtracks including Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire, has died aged 79. His representatives said he died in hospital in France where he was being treated.

Born EvA!ngelos OdyssA(c)as PapathanassAou in 1943, Vangelis won an Oscar for his 1981 Chariots of Fire soundtrack. Its uplifting piano motif became world-renowned, and reached No 1 in the US charts, as did the accompanying soundtrack album.

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Rihanna and A$AP Rocky welcome their first child a report
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The pop star reportedly gave birth to a baby boy on 13 May in Los Angeles

Multi-hyphenate pop star Rihanna and rapper A$AP Rocky have welcomed their first child, according to a TMZ report. The baby boy was reportedly born on 13 May in Los Angeles. No name was given.

The couple, together since early 2020, first announced their pregnancy with a heavily photographed stroll through A$AP Rockyas hometown of New York in January. The fashion mogul and Fenty beauty founder has since made headlines for her trend-setting maternity style of sheer lace, crop tops and belly-baring outfits.

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The Christian leader trying to break Americaas link between faith and guns
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Peter Cook says in the aftermath of the Buffalo racist shooting white Christian denominations have a duty to act

In the aftermath of the racist shooting that killed 10 on Saturday in Buffalo, the director of the New York State Council of Churches, the Rev Peter Cook, has been a constant presence at prayer gatherings and public memorials.

The organization he leads represents eight denominations to New York state government; and he has the ear of political leaders, including Governor Kathy Hochul, in shaping the political response to a massacre that targeted the Black community of East Buffalo a one that has been met with expressions of faith as well as anger and distress.

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George W Bush accidentally admits Iraq war was aunjustified and brutala in gaffe
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Former president makes slip when speaking at his presidential library in Dallas on Wednesday

Sigmund Freud was unavailable for comment, but George W Bush saying Iraq instead of Ukraine when condemning aa wholly unjustified and brutal invasiona certainly suggests he still has a lot on his unconscious mind.

The former president jokingly attributed the slip to his 75 years, but there has always been a faulty connection between his brain and his tongue. There are whole books full of aBushismsa, like his boast that people amisunderestimateda him, and how much he felt for single mothers aworking hard to put food on your familya.

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aThis canat be reala: Grubhub promotion turns New York City restaurants into a awar zonea
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The deal resulted in 6,000 New Yorkers placing an order every minute, overwhelming kitchens and delivery workers

What were they thinking?

Thatas what customers, restaurants and delivery workers want to know after a surprise promotion by the food delivery platform Grubhub went badly awry a and proved thereas really no such thing as a free lunch.

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aA catastrophic failurea: computer scientist Hany Farid on why violent videos circulate on the internet
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aHashinga would allow copies of videos to be removed from social media a but tech companies canat be bothered to make it work

In the aftermath of yet another racially motivated shooting that was live-streamed on social media, tech companies are facing fresh questions about their ability to effectively moderate their platforms.

PaytonGendron, the 18-year-old gunman who killed 10 people in a largely Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, broadcasted his violent rampage on the video-game streaming service Twitch. Twitch says it took down the video stream in mere minutes, but it was still enough time for people to create edited copies of the video and share it on other platforms including Streamable, Facebook and Twitter.

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Mavis Staples & Levon Helm: Carry Me Home review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week
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(Anti-)
On poignant yet defiant recordings made in 2011 shortly before Helmas death, Staplesa commanding vocals give enormous vibrancy to blues, folk and soul standards

In the early noughties, Levon Helm began hosting live shows he called Midnight Rambles in a studio at his home in Woodstock, NY. It was a rare bright moment in the story of what happened to the members of the Band who werenat Robbie Robertson in the years following the quintetas split, a grim saga involving bitter enmity, addiction, suicide, bankruptcy and jail. The Midnight Rambles shows reinvigorated the drummer and vocalistas career, led to two Grammy-winning solo albums and attracted a vast array of guests: Dr John, Drive-By Truckers, Elvis Costello, Donald Fagen, My Morning Jacket, Norah Jones, Kris Kristofferson.

But perhaps no performer was quite as appropriate to the event as Mavis Staples, who played a Midnight Ramble with Helm and his band in 2011. Helm had prosaic reasons for starting the shows a after suffering with throat cancer which left him unable to sing for five years, he had medical bills to pay a but his stated aim was to recreate the atmosphere of the travelling tent shows head seen as a child in Arkansas. The amidnight ramblea, he explained, was a second, adults-only performance, awhere the songs would get a little bit juicier, the jokes would get funnier and the prettiest dancer would really get down and shake ita.

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aThink you can do what you want with your body?a: vintage pro-choice ads a in pictures
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Aiming to underscore the threat to abortion rights in the late 1990s, activists created a provocative campaign

In the late 90s, there was a fear that a new generation who had never known a pre-Roe world was unaware of the threat that abortion might once again become illegal in the US. A group of pro-choice activists came together with the imperative to push back against the notion that abortion rights were sacrosanct, and to motivate women to remain passionately engaged in the pro-choice struggle.

Their great fear was that, with people turning their attention to other battles, the enemies of Roe might gain the upper hand.

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aSome things canat be repaireda: how do you recover when a friend betrays you?
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With the aWagatha Christiea trial poring over the destruction of a celebrity friendship, four people share their experiences of treachery and trauma

As the libel suit between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney rumbles on in the high court, the public has heard weeks of claims and counterclaims about Instagram stings, paparazzi ambushes and phones lost in the sea. But one thing has been clear from the outset: one of the two women has been betrayed. Either, as Rooney claims, Vardy sold stories about her fellow Wag to the Sun, or, as Vardy maintains, Rooneyas baseless accusation has dragged her good name through the mud.

It is a messy and sordid tale from which no one a except possibly the lawyers a emerges the better. Rooney has described Vardyas WhatsApp exchanges about her as aevila; Vardy has said that the threats and abuse she received after Rooneyas accusations made her feel suicidal. What is driving the former friends to spend millions airing their most intimate details?

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aEach little thing in my life is preciousa: Ken Watanabe on cancer, childhood and Hollywood cliches
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His role in The Last Samurai changed Hollywoodas attitude to Asian characters overnight a but illness very nearly ended his career. He discusses recovery, regret and yakuza drama Tokyo Vice

There is something incongruous about seeing Ken Watanabe in a light-brown hoodie. He is synonymous with crisp tailored suits. It is like catching James Bond in jogging bottoms. aHello!a he beams from a cosy corner of his living room, family photos lining a shelf, dark-mahogany cabinets behind him. aGood evening! Or good morning?a he asks from his home in Karuizawa, a resort town in Honshu, Japan, as we chat over video. He has just finished a photoshoot with his boisterous border collie, Dan, who is yelping nearby, desperate to be included.

Even dressed down, the Japanese actor radiates the same commanding presence that he exudes on screen. He is one of the few modern east Asian stars to cross over successfully to Hollywood, which he did with his role in 2003as historical epic The Last Samurai. At 62, sporting a smattering of stubble, he still looks remarkably youthful.

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Gucci APS1,300 umbrella ridiculed in China for not being waterproof
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Item from Adidas collaboration mocked over warning it is meant only for asun protection or decorative usea

An umbrella created as part of a collaboration between Gucci and Adidas has met with a storm of criticism in China, where social media users have derided its inability to keep its owner dry.

Chinese consumers are calling out the fact that the item, priced at 11,000 yuan (APS1,311) and not yet available, does not perform the basic function a user might expect.

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Trump claims immigrants are voting illegally. The real problem is foreign fatcats funding US campaigns | Robert Reich
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Non-Americans a whose interests donat necessarily align with the interests of the US a assert growing influence over American politics

In 2017, Donald Trump repeatedly claimed without evidence that between 3 million and 5 million unauthorized immigrants had voted for Hillary Clinton. In the last few weeks, Trump has resurrected his lie during campaign rallies for Republican primary candidates he has endorsed a whipping up fears of aopen borders and horrible electionsa, and calling for stricter voter ID laws and proof of citizenship at the ballot box.

Trump endorsees and wannabes are amplifying this lie. JD Vance, the Trump-backed winner of last weekas Ohio Republican senate primary, claimed that President Bidenas immigration policy has resulted in amore Democrat voters pouring into this countrya.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. His new book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, is out now. He is a Guardian US columnist. His newsletter is at robertreich.substack.com

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Republicans just nominated one of the most radical governor candidates in history | Judd Legum
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Doug Mastriano may be one of the most radical candidates ever to receive a Republican nod and he has been clear that he will use that power

Pennsylvania Republicans have nominated state senator Doug Mastriano to be the next governor. Mastriano is one of the most radical gubernatorial candidates ever to receive a major party nomination.

Many Republicans have indulged Trumpas claims that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election. But few have gone as far as Mastriano has to try to justify Trumpas fever dream.

Iam Doug Mastriano, and I get to appoint the secretary of state whoas delegated from me the power to make the corrections to elections, the voting logs and everything. I could decertify every machine in the state with the stroke of a pen via the secretary of state. I already had the secretary of state picked out. Itas a world-class person that knows voting integrity better than anyone else in the nation, I think, and I already have a team thatas gonna be built around that individual.

Judd Legum is the founder and author of Popular Information, an independent newsletter dedicated to accountability journalism, where this post originally appeared

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The banks collapsed in 2008 a and our food system is about to do the same | George Monbiot
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Massive food producers hold too much power a and the regulators scarcely understand what is happening. Sound familiar?

For the past few years, scientists have been frantically sounding an alarm that governments refuse to hear: the global food system is beginning to look like the global financial system in the run-up to 2008.

While financial collapse would have been devastating to human welfare, food system collapse doesnat bear thinking about. Yet the evidence that something is going badly wrong has been escalating rapidly. The current surge in food prices looks like the latest sign of systemic instability.

George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

George Monbiot will discuss his new book, Regenesis, at a Guardian Live event on Monday 30 May. Book tickets in-person or online here

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