One year ago, on August 9, 2020, Alexander Lukashenko declared himself the winner of Belarus' presidential elections. Massive nationwide protests ensued, which were followed by a seemingly unending wave of arrests, torture and intimidation of the participants. "I had the feeling that they would soon come for me as well," says Anna Koval, who, along with other helpers, collected food, toiletries and clothing for people in detention. "We joke among ourselves that we suffer from bus phobia — a specifically Belarusian anxiety disorder," she says. "We mean the small buses carrying unknown people who can stop you on the street at any time and force you into the vehicles. They don't tell you who they are or why they are taking you away. Even people who aren't at all politically active can have it happen to them." The personal story of Anna Koval, who felt compelled to leave her native country four months ago, and that of many other women in Belarus is told by the author Alice Bota in … [Read more...] about Belarus: Women as the drivers of protest
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday criticized China for continuing its close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin while his war in Ukraine rages on, saying the two countries' diplomatic ties "should raise alarm bells for all of us who call the Indo-Pacific region home." Blinken made the comments during a speech hosted by the Asia Society Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He outlined President Joe Biden 's policy with China during the speech while also touching on issues related to the war in Ukraine. America's top diplomat said Russia's invasion has backfired, adding that "Putin has failed to achieve a single one of his strategic games. Instead of erasing Ukraine's independence, he strengthened it. Instead of dividing NATO , he's united it. Instead of asserting Russia's strength, he's undermined it. And instead of weakening the international order, he has brought countries together to defend it." Blinken … [Read more...] about U.S. alarmed by China’s support of Putin’s war in Ukraine
It may have won the best show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show , but Monty Don has questioned whether Rewilding Britain’s beaver-themed exhibit was a “real garden”. The installation - designed by Adam Hunt and Lulu Urquhart, first-time Chelsea exhibitors - was an unexpected winner of the top prize on Tuesday, beating long-time show garden designers including Andy Sturgeon and Sarah Eberle. The decision has divided audiences at the prestigious flower show, including Joe Swift and Monty Don, presenters of the BBC’s Gardeners’ World programme . Referring to Mr Sturgeon’s more traditional mental health-themed Mind Garden, Mr Don said: “I think they’re both fantastic. The question it raises to me - Rewilding Britain was beautifully done - was it a garden? “It is a show garden and therefore has a right to win, whether it is a real garden or not, I’m not sure.” Mr Swift added: “Andy Sturgeon’s is a beautiful garden. The other one - to me it’s a landscape, a recreation. … [Read more...] about Monty Don asks: Was Chelsea Flower Show winner a ‘real garden’?
There is a vein of disdain that runs through the harrumphing about Downing Street parties. And I’m not talking about hypocrisy or lying. It’s more serious than that. It’s something that marks a generational and cultural shift in the zeitgeist and it’s about alcohol. Newspapers manifest it in their headlines. Members of Parliament scoff at the idea of it in the House of Commons. Now we see it in actual photos, attached to the Sue Gray report. There in full gory detail in photo after photo: Boris Johnson in a government building, glass in hand, booze in glass in hand. Doesn’t he know he’s got a country to run? Isn’t he aware of the new unspoken rule of the early 21st century? Don’t dare drink in any workplace, and, when in Downing Street, don't drink and rule! There were times, of course, when drinking in Whitehall was virtually compulsory. Winston Churchill, as is often recounted, was a fairly big sipper, reputed to consume two bottles of Pol Roger per day. Indeed records of his … [Read more...] about There’s nothing wrong with drinking at work
SIR – My wife and I have a friend who is a widow in her 80s. Recently we found her in a distressed state. She said that her gas bill, normally about £30 per month, had gone up to £170. She does not bank online and her bank has recently closed its branch in the nearest town four miles away. She tried phoning her supplier, British Gas, only to be told by an automated voice on each attempt that the wait time was “more than an hour”. So distressed has she become that she has had to visit her GP, who suggested that she was suffering from anxiety brought on by the situation with her gas supply. She is now taking anti-anxiety medicine and has managed to get her bill altered. I can only say that this is a disgraceful way to deal with any customer. David J Hartshorn SIR – Gillian Courage (Letters, May 5) writes of her energy supplier’s grab for more money. The same applies to our long-term supplier, Ovo Energy. On Wednesday we received two emails, one complaining about a lack of … [Read more...] about Letters: An automated voice is no comfort to a widow faced with soaring gas bills
As the deadliest European war in decades enters its third month, Newsweek spoke with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch about the deeper implications of the conflict — for Ukraine itself, but also for the wider world. Yovanovitch, whose recently released memoir, Lessons From the Edge, details both her 33-year diplomatic career and her firing by former President Donald Trump in 2019 following an extensive smear campaign against her, sees Ukraine as a key battleground in the global contest between democracy and autocracy. In her interview, Yovanovitch stressed the importance of understanding the effect that regime type has on a given country's policies, both foreign and domestic. From her perspective, the current hot war in Ukraine is not a battle over materialistic geopolitical interests or expanding alliance structures, but an attempt by an authoritarian Russian leadership to remake the world in its own image. It is a fight that, if Russia is permitted to win, … [Read more...] about Former U.S. Ambassador: ‘Ukrainians are fighting for our freedom as well’
Interactive Investor experts discuss rise in inflation Get pensions news and advice plus latest money alerts for FREE now SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Around 22 million Britons hold Premium Bonds from National Savings & Investments (NS&I), making them the nation's favourite investment. They now offer a better return than most savings accounts , but the very best on the market still offers twice as much. Related articles Savers warned as inflation DESTROYS Premium Bonds £1m jackpot Premium Bonds: NS&I to increase fund rate to 1.40% NS&I has announced it will increase the Premium Bonds prize fund rate from 1 percent to 1.4 percent, a move that Express.co.uk called for … [Read more...] about Best fixed-rate savings account pays 2.8% but should you take a gamble on Premium Bonds?
BBC: Public share their views on TV licence fee Get pensions news and advice plus latest money alerts for FREE now SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info A TV licence is needed to watch or record live programming and is a legal requirement for Britons who stream live using BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime. However, millions of people could get a refund or a discount and it’s not just pensioners who could make savings. Related articles Sunak launches new inheritance tax and capital gains tax grab in April Outrage as online card payments could be declined As Britons find their budgets stretched to breaking point, people will be looking to make savings anywhere they can. Anyone can ask for a TV … [Read more...] about TV licence: How to get a refund on the £159 BBC licence fee
May 26, 2022 - 02:37 BST Kelly Ripa urged fans to call lawmakers in a heartbreaking conversation about the horrific Texas school elementary shooting As thousands across the nation reel from the horrifying school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Kelly Ripa is opening up about the grim reality of being a parent in a country with such little gun control. ALSO: HELLO! launches Jubilee T-shirt collection to celebrate Queen Elizabeth in style The star, joined by Ryan Seacrest on Live! With Kelly and Ryan , gave an impassioned statement on the morning show following the news that 19 children and two adults had been killed by an 18-year-old gunman. Kelly put it plain and simple, saying: "I have not slept yet, because I am enraged, again, and again, and again." Loading the player... WATCH: CBS' Tony Dokoupil reports from Robb Elementary School MORE: Kelly Ripa's son Joaquin twins with dad Mark Consuelos during … [Read more...] about Kelly Ripa makes heartbreaking statement live on-air: ‘I am enraged’
A giant mural of one of the most popular memes of the Ukraine war has been painted on a building in Kyiv, causing outrage. The Saint Javelin image, which depicts the Virgin Mary holding a Javelin missile, has become a symbol of resistance during the conflict in Eastern Europe. The image was originally popularised in 2012 but resurfaced in February 2022 on Reddit and Twitter as Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia's 'elite' airborne forces involved in 'several notable tactical failures' - follow latest updates It has now been immortalised in a giant mural in the Ukrainian capital. Advertisement The Kailas-V art group is behind the mural and told Sky News the graffiti would "raise money for the restoration of Ukraine" However, the mural was greeted by outrage from the Council of Churches, a worldwide Christian inter-church organisation. More on Ukraine Ukraine war: Russia blames the West for grain exports being blocked Ukraine war: … [Read more...] about Ukraine war: Giant mural of Saint Javelin meme painted in Kyiv outrages church organisation