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Comedian upsets Ukraine's president in landslide election victory
News ImageA comedian who plays the president on television has turned art intoreal life in a landslide election against the incumbent in conflict-torn Ukraine, according to exit polls. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, had 73 per cent of the vote against 26 per cent for Petro Poroshenko, 53, who was elected after protests toppled a pro-Russian leader in 2014. The story is remarkably similar to the hit show Servant of the People, where a teacher played by Mr Zelenskiy is elected president on the strength of a viral video rant. A lack of reform since the 2014 revolution has fuelled support for the outsider promising to fight corruption and leave after one term. Mr Zelenskiy easily won the first round of voting albeit without a majority. But his superficial campaign of comedy shows and social media videos has offered little insight on how the political neophyte will achieve this with a parliament mostly allegiant to Mr Poroshenko. Thank you to all Ukrainians, wherever you are located. I promise I will never let you down, Mr Zelenskiy said in a victory speech that lasted less than three minutes. To all citizens of post-Soviet countries: Look at us. Anything is possible, he added. Mr Poroshenko congratulated his opponent on victory shortly after the polls closed, saying the election had been fair and shown Ukraine to be an independent European country. The candidate previously betrayed his inexperience when he posed with his filled-in ballot on Sunday, a violation of election laws that earned him a police citation. Now the poorest country in Europe, Ukraine and its 42 million people stand at the forefront of tensions between Russia and the West, fighting a low-level conflict with Moscow-backed separatists that continues to claim lives. Mr Zelenskiy has said he would meet Vladimir Putin and involve the UK and United States in new talks to solve the conflict, but also promised not to lift the economic blockade on the separatist-held areas. An advisor to the Kremlin told The Telegraph that a plan reported last week to give Russian passports to residents of these breakaway republics was meant as a test for the incoming Ukrainian leader. Before casting his ballot, Mr Poroshenko went to a service at St Michael's monastery in Kiev, highlighting his success in obtaining recognition for a new Ukrainian Orthodox church independent of Russia. President Petro Poroshenko casts his vote on Sunday Credit: Sergei Supinsky/AFP Ukraine is now the only country besides Israel with a Jewish president and prime minister, as both Mr Zelenskiy and Volodymyr Groysman have Jewish heritage. Sunday's vote ended a dirty campaign that culminated in a venomous debate at Kiev's 70,000-seat Olympic stadium on Friday evening. Mr Poroshenko has been accused of black PR against his opponent following a video showing Mr Zelenskiy being hit by a lorry. A format where the candidates asked questions of each other quickly devolved into recriminations touching on the scandals in which both have been embroiled. Returning to central motifs of his campaign, Mr Poroshenko said Mr Zelenskiy was unprepared to stand up to Vladimir Putin and suggested he was a puppet of self-exiled oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, owner of the channel that broadcasts his shows. Mr Zelenskiy pointed out that the president was the owner of a candy-making empire that until 2017 had a factory in Russia, accusing him of enriching his friends while in power. He repeatedly threatened to put Mr Poroshenko on trial. The president dismissed Mr Zelenskiy's allegations as rubbish. The spectre of Mr Kolomoisky will continue to loom over Mr Zelenskiy as president, however. Just days before the vote, a court ruled that the oligarch's PrivatBank was illegally nationalised after a $5.5 billion hole was found in its accounts. Any move to hand the bank back is sure to be opposed by the international monetary fund, a vital creditor for Ukraine. A Femen activist staged a topless protest outside a Kiev polling station on Sunday, warning that a Zelenskiy presidency end up being a funny mistake. Mr Poroshenko said in his conciliatory remarks that he would not leave politics but rather continue to fight for reform. He and former PM Yulia Tymoshenko may be planning to take their revenge during the parliamentary elections in October, analyst Volodymyr Fesenko told The Telegraph. The prime minister's position could become even more important if lawmakers attempt long-discussed reforms to strip some powers from the president. Russia's troll factory was also accused of buying Ukrainians' Facebook accounts to spread disinformation before the vote. Last week, the authorities arrested seven men in what they said was a Russian plot to assassinate Ukrainian officials. One of the men injured himself when a car bomb he was setting in Kiev exploded in his face.
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 14:40:26 -0400
IS claims deadly attack on Afghan ministry
News ImageThe Islamic State group Sunday claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 10 people and trapped around 2,000 for hours inside the communications ministry in the Afghan capital the previous day. Four IS jihadists detonated explosives near the ministry, then entered and "battled Afghan security forces with machine guns and hand grenades for numerous hours", the group said in a statement on its social media channels. The attack in central Kabul killed seven civilians and three members of the security forces, the interior ministry said on Sunday, in a new toll after three people died of their wounds.
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 09:36:06 -0400
John Oliver Digs Into the 'Incredible' Mueller Report on Last Week Tonight
News Image"Some of the details in this report were incredible, said Oliver on Robert Mueller's report on Donald Trump's Administration
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 08:43:01 -0400
Islamic State behind attack on Saudi security north of Riyadh: Arabiya TV
News ImageThe assailants who attacked a state security building northwest of Riyadh on Sunday are Saudi militants who belong to Islamic State, Saudi-owned Arabiya TV said in a tweet, citing its own correspondent. Saudi state media said authorities thwarted the attack by four militants targeting the Mabaheth (domestic intelligence) station in Zulfi, a small city about 250 km (155 miles) northwest of the capital Riyadh. There has been no Islamic State claim of responsibility for the attack so far, and the authorities did not officially identify the assailants.
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 12:14:15 -0400
Alleged commander of militia group that detained migrants makes initial court appearance
News ImageThe group has posted social media videos of its volunteers apprehending migrants crossing the U.S. border in New Mexico.
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 14:58:42 -0400
Tiger attacks zookeeper in front of visitors: 'He is a wild animal and was acting on instinct'
News ImageA beautiful spring morning at the Topeka Zoo in Kansas turned tragic when a male Sumatran tiger attacked a keeper, inflicting wounds that sent her to a hospital.Although keepers are never supposed to be in the same space as the tigers, they found themselves together in the outdoor habitat that morning for reasons under investigation."There's some sort of error that occurred here," said Brendan Wiley, the zoo's director, told a news conference. He confirmed that several visitors to the zoo had witnessed the attack.The employee is the zoo's primary tiger keeper and had worked there for years, according to Mr Wiley, who noted that part of her job is to clean and maintain the enclosure. He said that the keeper was in stable condition and that the zoo was reviewing its safety protocols.The zookeeper, whom Mr Wiley declined to name, citing her family's need for privacy, suffered "lacerations and punctures" to the back of the head, neck, back and arm. She was awake and alert when she was transported to a hospital.The attack occurred about 9:15 am and the zoo's safety protocols immediately went into effect, Mr Wiley said. A radio call alerted the staff that there was an emergency, and the zoo called 911. Nearby staff members responded to the scene to secure the tigers, and an official made the decision to temporarily close the zoo. A firearms response team also was dispatched to the tiger exhibit, but zookeepers had successfully lured the tiger away by the time it arrived."Some of our staff witnessed some things that you hope you go through a career without witnessing," Mr Wiley said.The zoo has two adult Sumatran tigers: Jingga, a female, and Sanjiv, who was brought to the zoo in August 2017. Shanna Simpson, animal care supervisor, told the Topeka Capital-Journal then that Sanjiv "is the sweetest cat I have ever met."In October, Jingga gave birth to four cubs - three males and one female.The Topeka Zoo allowed Jingga and her cubs back into their enclosures Saturday afternoon, but Sanjiv would remain in holding overnight, Mr Wiley said.City spokeswoman Molly Hadfield said in an email that "nothing will happen to the tiger; he is a wild animal and was acting on instinct."Sanjiv is too valuable to conservation efforts to euthanise. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, and only about 400 remain in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They are native to Indonesia, where deforestation, human encroachment and poaching have whittled their numbers to the brink of extinction.Some zoos participate in Sumatran tiger conservation programs designed to save the species, but these efforts are not always successful. In February, a male tiger brought to the London Zoo to mate attacked and killed its prospective female partner.The Washington Post
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 04:13:52 -0400
British father whose entire family were wiped out in Sri Lanka attack tells of his 'catastrophic' loss
News ImageA British father whose entire family were killed in the suspected terror attack in Sri Lanka has paid tribute to his "talented and thoughtful" children and his "brilliant, loving" wife. Ben Nicholson said his wife Anita, 42, son Alex, 14, and daughter Annabel, 11, had been killed as they sat at a table for breakfast in the Shangri-la Hotel in Colombo on Easter Sunday. "Mercifully, all three of them died instantly and with no pain or suffering," Mr Nicholson said. They were on the second floor of the luxury hotel when two suicide bombers walked in and blew themselves up as part of eight co-ordinated attacks which killed 290 people. Billy Harrop, 56, a retired firefighter, and his wife Sally, originally from Manchester, were also killed, while two other British nationals, with dual American citizenship, were also thought to be among the dead. In a statement released by the Foreign Office, Mr Nicholson said: "I am deeply distressed at the loss of my wife and children. Anita was a wonderful, perfect wife and a brilliant, loving and inspirational mother to our two wonderful children. The holiday we had just enjoyed was a testament to Anitas enjoyment of travel and providing a rich and colourful life for our family, and especially our children. Read more | Sri Lanka attacks "Alex and Annabel were the most amazing, intelligent, talented and thoughtful children and Anita and I were immensely proud of them both and looking forward to seeing them develop into adulthood. They shared with their mother the priceless ability to light up any room they entered and bring joy to the lives of all they came into contact with." Waisale Serevi, a retired professional rugby player and member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame, told The Telegraph that he and Mr Nicholson would coach aspiring young players in Singapore together. Mr Serevi said Alex had dreamed of being a professional player and he had coached him at a rugby camp only weeks ago. Mr Serevi said: Ben is a really nice guy. Alex wanted to be a professional rugby player and he said thank you for the drill, I will use it, and he said I want to play like you, and I said to Alex, nothing is impossible in life, you can do it. And he was smiling and I hugged him and wished him well and I said all the best to you. Little did I know it was the last time we would meet. Hospital staff have described the harrowing moments after the bomb blast in which Mr Nicholson wandered the streets and hospitals desperately trying to find his loved ones in the aftermath of the blasts. "I saw him covered in blood like this, walking up and down just there," Pushpa Zoysa, who is in charge of the emergency triage at the National Hospital in Colombo, told Mail Online. "He just kept asking about his family members." Anita Nicholson was killed along with her two children Credit: Facebook The Nicholson family were based in Singapore and in the country for a family holiday at the time of the attack. Mr Nicholson is a partner at Kennedys Legal Solutions while his wife was a former legal adviser to the UK Treasury. According to her LinkedIn profile, she was currently managing counsel at the mining and metals company Anglo American. Mr Nicholson also thankedthe medical teams at General Hospital, Colombo "for treating Anita, Alex and Annabel with great dignity and me with kindness and sympathy" as well as "the Sri Lankan people I have encountered in Colombo following this catastrophe". "Anita, Alex and Annabel leave behind a large extended family and many close and cherished friends who are now grieving this tragic loss," he said. "We shall all miss them dearly.We are all grateful for the many expressions of support and good wishes.
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 16:27:05 -0400
The Latest: 12 students,1 teacher killed honored at ceremony
News ImageLITTLETON, Colo. (AP) The Latest on events commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting (all times local):
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 05:19:52 -0400
How 11 People Are Trying to Stop Fake News in the Worlds Largest Election
News ImageOne of the operations most vital to Facebook Inc. at this moment is a world away from its Menlo Park, California, headquarters, and in more ways than one. This is Boom Live, one of seven tiny fact-checking firms at the heart of Facebooks efforts to rebuild some of its credibility during Indias elections. Based on the early tallies, more than 60 percent of Indias 900 million eligible voters are expected to cast ballots between now and May 19, as the center-left Congress Party tries to seize power from the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party.
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 03:20:53 -0400
Here's An Idea: The Air Force Builds 200 B-21 Stealth Bombers
News ImageThe B-21 has disappeared into the black world of military technology, and will only reemerge when the bomber is ready.On October 27, 2015, nearly thirty-four years to the day after Northrop Grumman was awarded the contract to develop the first stealth bomber, the U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop a contract for a new bomber: the B-21 Raider. While many of the details of the Raider are shrouded in mystery, we do know a few things about it, and can infer others.(This first appeared in 2017.)The B-21 Raider bomber takes its name from both the twenty-first century and the legendary 1942 raid by Gen. James Jimmy Doolittles force of B-25 Mitchell bombers against targets in and around Tokyo, Japan. In invoking the Doolittle Raid, the Air Force is drawing attention to attacks audacious nature, the strategic and tactical surprise, and the epic distances General Doolittle and his raiders flew to accomplish their mission.Recommended: Why Doesn't America Just Kill Kim Jong-un?
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 22:00:00 -0400
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