Ukraine, Poland Want Continued Sanctions on Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Saturday that he and Poland’s president had agreed that sanctions ought to continue against Russia until Ukraine regained the territory it lost in Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.    Zelenskiy, accompanied by some members of his Cabinet, was on his first visit to Poland as president for political talks and to attend ceremonies planned for Sunday to mark the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II.    He said he and Polish President Andrzej Duda had discussed the next steps needed to end the war in eastern Ukraine and to return the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine.    “We have agreed on our next steps to stop the war in eastern Ukraine and to bring back occupied Crimea,” Zelenskiy said. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 in a move that Ukraine and almost all the world views as illegal. The European Union and the U.S. imposed sanctions.    In eastern Ukraine, a deadly conflict between government forces and Russia-backed separatists has gone on for five years.     A member of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service gives a sign to people to stop as they approach a checkpoint at the contact line between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian troops in Mayorsk, Ukraine July 3, 2019. Zelenskiy said his and Duda’s “joint and principal position” is that the EU “sanctions should be reviewed only to be increased — not otherwise,” unless existing peace agreements are fully implemented and “the territorial unity of Ukraine according to its internationally agreed borders” is restored.    Duda said he assured Zelenskiy of his …

5 Killed, More Than 20 Hurt in West Texas Shooting

 At least five people were killed and 21 others were injured Saturday in a mass shooting in western Texas, officials said.    Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke called it a “horrific day” after the shooting deaths in Odessa and nearby Midland, Texas.    Police said the incident started when a suspect hijacked a U.S. Postal Service vehicle, then drove around and randomly fired at people.    The shooter, described as a white male in his 30s, was shot and killed after being trapped by police in the parking lot of a movie theater, authorities said. They did not provide a motive for the attack, in which three police officers were also injured.    Gerke declined to name the gunman.    Police did not release the conditions or ages of the victims. Odessa-Midland, Texas President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday night, “Just briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings in Texas. FBI and Law Enforcement is fully engaged. More to follow.”    Texas Governor Greg Abbott released a statement Saturday, saying: “The First Lady and I are heartbroken over this senseless and cowardly attack, and we offer our unwavering support to the victims, their families, and all the people of Midland and Odessa. The state of Texas and the Department of Public Safety are working closely with local law enforcement to provide resources as needed and deliver justice for this heinous attack.”  El Paso, Dayton   Saturday’s shooting came after a mass shooting in early August at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart, where many …

Many From Africa, Haiti Seek Asylum at US Southern Border

While most migrants who arrive at America’s southern border are from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the U.S. Border Patrol in Texas’ Del Rio Sector reports apprehending people from more than 50 countries in the last year. VOA’s Ramon Taylor and Victoria Macchi spoke with asylum-seeking families who have journeyed across the Atlantic and through the Americas en route to the US-Mexico border, desperate for a new beginning.   …

Is Russia Using Patriotism as a Political Tool?

In Russia, countrywide celebrations have been held to mark the 350th anniversary of the national flag. Yet, only 50 percent of respondents polled in a recent survey could correctly name the sequence of the colors on the flag. Russia recently saw a surge of patriotic celebrations orchestrated by local and federal authorities. Yulia Savchenko has more from Moscow on the state-promoted events.   …

Teenage Climate Star Greta Thunberg Takes Her Friday School Strike to UN

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg took her Friday school strikes to the gates of the United Nations, surrounded by hundreds of other young activists, calling on adults to take action on climate change. Thunberg will speak at a climate change summit of world leaders next month at the U.N. General Assembly. VOA’s Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine has more from Washington.   …

Kennedy Assassin Sirhan Sirhan in Hospital After Prison Stabbing

Sirhan Sirhan, imprisoned for more than 50 years for the 1968 assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was hospitalized Friday after being stabbed by a fellow inmate at a San Diego prison. A statement from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said the stabbing occurred Friday afternoon at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego. “Officers responded quickly, and found an inmate with stab wound injuries. He was transported to an outside hospital for medical care, and is currently in stable condition,” the statement said. The statement did not name Sirhan, but a government source with direct knowledge confirmed to The Associated Press that he was the victim. The source spoke under condition of anonymity, citing prison privacy regulations. The stabbing was first reported by TMZ. Corrections officials reported that the alleged attacker has been identified and has been segregated from the rest of the prison population pending an investigation. Kennedy assassination Sirhan, 75, was convicted of shooting Kennedy shortly after midnight June 5, 1968, immediately after the New York senator had declared victory in the previous day’s California Democratic presidential primary. Kennedy had just finished delivering his victory speech to cheering supporters at Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel when he decided to walk through the hotel kitchen. He had stopped to shake hands with a busboy who had delivered food to his room the day before when he was shot in the head. He died the next day. Sirhan was originally sentenced to death. But when California …

Візит місії МВФ в Україну очікується у період 10-24 вересня – прем’єр

Візит місії Міжнародного валютного фонду в Україну очікується з 10 до 24 вересня цього року, повідомив прем’єр-міністр Олексій Гончарук в інтерв’ю журналістам декількох ЗМІ. «Вже за декілька тижнів у Києві буде місія МВФ, з якою ми будемо вести переговори щодо нової, на 3-4 роки, програми співпраці з Україною», – заявив Гончарук. Відповідаючи на запитання про ціни на газ для населення, що тривалий час було спірним питанням у відносинах між попереднім Кабінетом Міністрів і фондом, Гончарук зазначив, що уряд не повинен втручатися адміністративними рішеннями в ціноутворення, навіть на енергоносії. Згідно із базовим прогнозом Національного банку, за новою програмою співпраці з МВФ Україна може отримати два мільярди доларів від МВФ у цьому році та ще по два мільярди у 2020 й 2021 роках. Обсяг поточної програми – 3,9 мільярда доларів. 21 грудня 2018 року Україна отримала перший і наразі єдиний транш за програмою співпраці з Міжнародним валютним фондом обсягом близько 1,4 мільярда доларів. Востаннє місія МВФ працювала в Україні в травні 2019 року. …

Setback in First Legal Challenge to UK Govt’s Brexit Plans

The first legal challenge to prevent British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from suspending Parliament has been delayed in a Scottish court. The Court of Session in Edinburgh refused Friday to take immediate legal action to prevent Johnson from suspending Parliament for several weeks during part of the period ahead of the Brexit deadline of Oct. 31. Judge Raymond Doherty, however, said a full hearing on the case will be heard Tuesday, raising the prospect that the government’s move could still be blocked. He said there is no need for an immediate injunction because a “substantive” hearing on the case will be heard next week. The full hearing had originally been set for Sept. 6, but was moved up. Law professor Nick McKerrell at Glasgow Caledonian University said the decision to speed up the hearing may be significant because it indicates the matter is being treated with urgency. “This is not the end of the matter,” he said after the judge declined to take immediate action. The case was brought by a cross-party group of legislators seeking to broaden the period for parliamentary debate in a bid to prevent a disorderly departure by Britain from the European Union. Two other legal cases are in progress, one in Northern Ireland and another in London. Former Prime Minister John Major said Friday he is seeking to join the case in London to argue against suspension. “If granted permission to intervene, I intend to seek to assist the court from the perspective of having …

Syrian Troops to Start Unilateral Cease-Fire in Idlib

The Russian military says Syrian government forces will begin a unilateral cease-fire in the northwestern province of Idlib in the coming hours. The Russian military reconciliation center says the cease-fire will go into effect Saturday morning at 6 a.m. (0300 GMT).    Friday’s report comes as government forces have intensified their offensive over the past weeks capturing rebel-held areas in Hama province and nearby Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in the country.  The Russian military called on the opposition to end “provocations” and engage in peaceful settlement. Russia is a main backer of Syrian government forces. The announcement came as hundreds of protesters in Idlib marched toward a border crossing with Turkey demanding that Ankara either open the border or demand an end to the government attack. …