European court finds Russia was behind Litvinenko assassination, Moscow calls decision ‘unfounded’

The European Court of Human Rights found on Tuesday that Russia was responsible for the assassination of ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who died an agonizing death in 2006 after being poisoned in London with a rare radioactive substance. Litvinenko, a defector who had become a vocal critic of the Kremlin, died three weeks after drinking […]

Putin says dozens in Kremlin inner circle have COVID

President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that dozens of people in his inner circle at the Kremlin had tested positive for coronavirus, which has affected over seven million people in the badly-hit country. Earlier this week, the 68-year-old Putin said he was self-isolating after announcing an outbreak among members of his entourage. “Cases of the coronavirus […]

Putin self-isolates after COVID cases in inner circle

President Vladimir Putin will self-isolate after coronavirus cases were detected in his inner circle, the Kremlin said Tuesday, as Russia struggles with stubbornly high Covid infection rates. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin was “absolutely healthy” and had taken a coronavirus test, without specifying the result. Putin had been due to travel to […]

Five to watch at the Tokyo Paralympics

The Tokyo Paralympics begin on Tuesday after a year’s pandemic delay. Here, AFP Sport picks out five athletes hoping to make an impact: Markus Rehm (GER) Known as the “Blade Jumper”, three-time Paralympic champion Rehm is aiming to push the boundaries even further after demolishing the T64 long jump world record in June. The German, […]

UK says Russia, China needed for ‘moderating influence’ over Taliban

By Kanishka Singh (Reuters) – Britain would have to turn to Russia and China to exercise a “moderating influence” over the Taliban, despite a mistrust between the UK and those governments, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. “We’re going to have to bring in countries with a potentially moderating influence like Russia and China, however uncomfortable […]

Taliban pledge to be ‘different’, as Afghans flee

The Taliban have offered a pledge of reconciliation, vowing no revenge against opponents and to respect women’s rights in a “different” rule of Afghanistan from two decades ago. The announcements came on Tuesday night shortly after the return to Afghanistan of their co-founder, crowning the group’s astonishing comeback after being ousted by a US-led invasion […]

Stunned allies criticize US over Afghanistan chaos: ‘The biggest debacle that NATO has suffered’

Allies and critics alike on Monday condemned the United States over the botched end to its 20-year NATO campaign in Afghanistan, with a leading German politician slamming the pullout as “the biggest debacle” in the alliance’s history. Stunned by the Taliban’s lightning advance across the country after the departure of Western troops, NATO allies have […]

Facebook shuts down Russian anti-vaccine influencer campaign

Facebook on Tuesday said it shut down a disinformation operation which sought to spread Covid-19 vaccine hoaxes by duping social media influencers into backing false claims. The leading social network labeled the operation a “disinformation laundromat” which sought to legitimize false claims by pushing them through people with clean reputations. Influencers who caught onto the […]

Russian state TV pushes propaganda that the US is faking suicides of cops who responded to MAGA riots

Russia is pushing out a new conspiracy theory that suicides of officers involved in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol are being faked by the United States government. It has become a kind of “kitchen sink” conspiracy, with Russian state-television stations pushing out several conspiracy theories all at once that are unrelated. Among […]

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China battles biggest COVID outbreak in months as US ramps up vaccine push

Hundreds of thousands of people in China were in coronavirus lockdown Friday as the country battled its worst outbreak in months, while the United States intensified vaccination efforts in the face of a Delta variant-fueled surge. The World Health Organization has warned that the highly transmissible strain, first detected in India, could unleash more Covid-19 […]

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US, Russia to hold new talks to encourage stability

The United States and Russia will hold high-level talks next week in the second bid in as many months to encourage stability in the tense relationship, officials said Friday. The so-called Strategic Stability Dialogue, set up during a June 16 summit between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva, will […]

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Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status at risk

After years of climate-worsened damage to its vibrant corals, Australia’s vast Great Barrier Reef could this week be added to UNESCO’s list of endangered World Heritage sites. Along with six other sites globally that are grappling with issues like ecological damage, overdevelopment, overtourism or security concerns, the reef’s fate is being considered at a meeting […]

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Russia unveils stealth fighter jet to compete with F-35s

Russia on Tuesday unveiled its new Sukhoi stealth fighter jet designed to compete with the US F-35 and capable of striking six targets simultaneously. Dubbed “The Checkmate”, the plane was first shown to a reportedly “pleased” President Vladimir Putin before the launch at a biennial airshow outside Moscow. Reports first surfaced that the jet was […]

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Biden pushes Putin for stable ‘great powers’ relationship

President Joe Biden pressed Vladimir Putin at their summit Wednesday to replace the combustible US-Russian standoff with a more “predictable” relationship between “two great powers” capable of agreeing to disagree. The two leaders shook hands, striking cautiously positive notes at the elegant Geneva villa chosen for their first summit. Huge motorcades of limousines, communications equipment […]

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Biden, Putin face off in tense Geneva summit

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin face off Wednesday at a tense Geneva summit, where ghosts of the Cold War will hover over modern-day US concerns about Russian cyberattacks and what the White House sees as a dangerous authoritarian drift. The setting — a sumptuous villa overlooking Lake Geneva — may be picturesque, but a gruelling […]

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Fiona Hill recalls horrific experiences of Trump’s meeting with Putin — and how she expects Biden’s will go

Fiona Hill, the former official at the U.S. National Security Council, specializing in Russian and European affairs, spoke to CNN’s Don Lemon, remembering what it was like during the meeting between former President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. President Joe Biden will meet with Putin in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the […]

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