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Pope Francis Accuses NATO Of 'barking At Russia's Door'

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In an interview with an Italian newspaper, Pope Francis accuses NATO of ‘barking at Russia’s door’

In an interview published by the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, on Tuesday, May 3, Pope Francis revealed that he has asked to travel to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to ask him to stop the war in Ukraine, but that he is yet to receive a response.

Pope Francis explained that while he has spoken with the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenskyy, he has not yet spoken with Putin, although he did receive a call on his birthday last December. He told the publication that after 20 days of the war, he had asked Pietro Parolin, his Cardinal Secretary of State, to contact Moscow. 

“Of course, it was necessary for the Kremlin leader to allow some windows. We have not yet received a response, and we continue to insist, although I am afraid that Putin cannot, and does not, want to have this meeting right now” added the pontiff.


The Pope also revealed that in his recent meeting with Victor Orban, the Hungarian president, he had been assured that the Russians “have a plan and that on May 9 everything will be over. I hope so, then we would also understand the speed of the recent escalation these last days”.

“Because now, it’s not just Donbas, it’s Crimea, it’s Odessa, it’s taking away Ukraine’s Black Sea access, that’s all. I am pessimistic, but we must make all possible gestures to stop the war”, he stressed.

Speaking about visiting Ukraine, he commented, “I feel that I do not have to go. First I have to go to Moscow, first I have to meet with Putin. But I am a priest, what can I do? I do what I can. If Putin opened the door….” he advanced. According to Corriere Della Sera, Pope Francis’s concern is that Putin, for the time being, will not stop.


Francisco pointed out his belief that before war broke out, the presence of NATO moving closer to Putin’s borders might not be fully to blame for him invading, but that their “barking at the gates of Russia” did not help, as reported by larazon.es.

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Ukraine On Border Strikes: “Threat Of Missile Attacks From Belarus Remains”

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Ukraine on border strikes: “Threat of missile attacks from Belarus remains”. Image: General Staff/ Ukraine Army

THE General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has warned that Russia is looking to maintain and strengthen its borders and notes that the “threat of missile strikes from the territory of the Republic of Belarus remains.”

Spokesman of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Alexander Štupun, said on Friday, May 20, that although there have been “no significant changes in the position of the armed forces units of the Republic of Belarus”, the threat remains.

Speaking further about other areas in Ukraine, Štupun said: “In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy focuses its main efforts on maintaining the occupied borders. Attempts to conduct counterattacks to recover lost positions. Conducts enhanced aerial intelligence with the use of BPLA.”

The failure to capture Kharkiv saw Russian President Vladimir Putin fire one of his most senior commanders.

As noted on Thursday, May 18, Lieutenant General Serhiy Kisel, who commanded the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, was suspended for his failure to capture Kharkiv.

Štupun continued: “In addition, enemy shelling was recorded near Russian Tishkív, while in the Slavic direction, the opponent fired at civilian infrastructure in the area of settlements Dovgenke, Velika Komyšuvakha and Valley.

“In the Donetsk direction, the enemy activated offensive and assault actions to improve the tactical position. Delivered mortars, barrel artillery, jet-fire systems, and Tactical Aviation to destroy our units’ fortification structures along the line of encounter.”

Štupun said that “there was a high probability of continuation of the fighting in order to improve the tactical position and exit the administrative border of the Kherson region,” something that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky touched upon in one of his recent nightly addresses to the nation.

Zelensky said on Tuesday, May 17, that Russian failures in southern Ukrainian regions such as Kherson led to desperate airstrikes on the Lviv region, Sumy region, Chernihiv region and Luhansk region in attempts to compensate for ‘failures in the east and south of the country

“In the Donetsk and Luhansk directions over the past 24 hours, fourteen enemy attacks have been repelled, eight tanks destroyed, fourteen units of combat armored equipment and six units of enemy’s vehicle equipment. Air defence units shot down one UAV type “Orlan-10″,” Štupun concluded.


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Breaking News: Eight New UK Cities Created In Queen’s Honour

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A competition run in honour of the Queen on her platinum jubilee has resulted in eight new cities being created, the first time Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories were allowed to apply.

The cities announced on Friday, May 20, by the BBC, cover every nation as well as the Falkland Islands and the Isle of Man.

Those towns looking to be afforded the royal honour were required to show their cultural heritage and royal links, as well as how their local identity and communities was deserving of city status.

Being afforded city status is a bonus for local communities according to the Cabinet Office, with the status opening up new opportunities for those that live and work there.

The addition of the eight new cities takes the tally across the UK to 76, with 55 in England, eight in Scotland, seven in Wales and six in Northern Ireland.

New cities in the United Kingdom

Six new cities have been created in the UK, these being:

  • Milton Keynes, Colchester and Doncaster all in England,
  • Dunfermline in Scotland,
  • Bangor in Northern Ireland and
  • Wrexham in Wales.

New cities in British Overseas Territories

The first time the awards have been made in the overseas territories have gone to:

  • Stanley, in the Falklands and
  • Douglas, in the Isle of Man.

The competition

Some 40 towns submitted bids for city status, which is usually associated in the UK with having a cathedral, a university or large population. However, there are no set rules for the granting of status, with each one being awarded by the monarch on the advice of ministers.

Each new city will receive the award formally through a Letters Patent, which will be presented later in the year.

A competition run alongside the main one saw Southampton granted Lord Mayoralty status, joining the ranks of previous Jubilee competition winners including Chester, Exeter and Armagh.

Competition is said to have been strong with many towns deserving of city status, but only eight cities have been created in honour of the queen on her platinum jubilee.


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Amnesty International Demands FIFA Compensates Migrant Workers In Qatar

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Amnesty International demands FIFA compensates migrant workers in Qatar. Credit: [email protected]

Amnesty International has demanded compensation to be paid to migrant workers constructing World cup venues in Qatar

Human rights organisation Amnesty International has this Thursday, May 19, made a demand of world football’s governing body FIFA. Ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the NGO has called on the entity to pay compensation to migrant workers.

These migrants have been involved in the construction of new stadiums for the prestigious sporting event in the Middle Eastern nation. Amnesty has suggested that a figure of at least $440 million (€416 million) in damages would be about right.

Ever since work began on the new football venues, Qatar has been heavily criticised for its treatment of the labour force.

In a statement, Amnesty International said: “FIFA should spend at least $440 million to repair the damage suffered by hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who were victims of human rights abuses in Qatar during preparations for the 2022 World Cup“.

This figure, according to the NGO, is equivalent to the amount of World Cup prize money on offer that the 32 participating countries will share.

“With six months to go before the World Cup kicks off, abuses will continue unabated unless the action plan put in place by FIFA and its partners is properly implemented”, the statement continued. “However, it is already too late to erase the past suffering, and it is time for FIFA and Qatar to put things right”.

Social reforms, and work condition improvements that were carried out by Qatari authorities on the construction sites since 2018 had been welcomed by Amnesty. FIFA, in response to the statement, told AFP that it was “currently assessing the proposal of Amnesty”, as well as those presented to them by other NGOs.

The number of deaths that human rights organisations and the international media have quoted to have occurred on the construction sites have always been vehemently denied by the authorities in Qatar.

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