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1 dead, 3 hurt after shots fired outside Arkansas graduation – India Today

A man opened fire outside an Arkansas convention center after a high school graduation ceremony, killing one person and wounding three others and exchanging gunfire with police, authorities said Friday.

The shooting happened Thursday night outside the Hot Springs Convention Center, which had hosted a graduation ceremony for Hot Springs World Class High School, said Officer Omar Cervantes. Hot Springs officers then wounded the suspect, Charles Johnson, 25, who fled and was later arrested at a hospital on a murder warrant.

Authorities have not said what led to the fight, but Hot Springs School District Superintendent Stephanie Nehus said in a statement that no current students or graduates were involved.

ALSO READ | 1 dead, 10 injured after 2 shootings in Chicago

Cervantes said in a statement that Hot Springs police officers and Garland County deputies were trying to defuse the situation when a single gunman began shooting into the crowd. He identified the man who died as Michael Jordan, 39. Others had non-life threatening wounds, he said.

Johnson’s condition was not released. Jail records do not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf and court records do not show that he has been formally charged.

The shooting happened near downtown Hot Springs, a popular tourist destination that’s about 45 miles (75 kilometers) southwest of Little Rock.

ALSO READ | US rocked by 3 mass shootings during Easter weekend; 2 dead

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Ukraine should give up territory to reach peace deal with Russia, says former US secretary of state – India Today

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has said it would be ‘fatal’ for the West to get swept up in the ‘mood of the moment’ and forget Russia’s position of power within Europe and suggested Ukraine should give up territory, reported Daily Mail.

Kissinger, 98, was speaking during the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland.

Kissinger said Ukraine should begin negotiations before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easy to overcome.

“Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante. Pursuing the war beyond that point will not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself,” he told the conference on Monday.

These statements come after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky’s opening speech at this week’s Davos summit.

Zelensky had said that brute force will once again rule the world if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is allowed to go unanswered.

He told delegates that their summit would become pointless if Putin was allowed to win the war.

According to The Telegraph, he explained that Russia was an ‘essential part of Europe’ for over 400 years, noting that European leaders must ‘not lose sight of the longer-term relationship’ or otherwise risk putting Russia in a permanent alliance with China.

He also said, “I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom.”

Zelensky’s speech came at the start of the four days of talks during which Ukraine is expected to launch a global charm offensive to secure economic and military backing to ensure survival.

This year, Russia will take part in the Davos meeting as the organisers had banned Moscow from sending a delegation.

“The theme for this year’s summit is, ‘history at a turning point’,” Zelensky told a packed auditorium on Monday morning.

“This year, the words, turning, and point, are more than a rhetorical talking point. This year is the year when it is decided whether brute force will rule the world,” he said.

“If so, the powerful are not interested in our thoughts and there is no further use for meeting in Davos,” he said.

Zelensky said, “The Brute force seeks nothing but the subjugation of those who it seeks to subdue and it does not talk, it kills, as Russia does in Ukraine, just as we speak today.”

Recalling the horrors of Russia’s invasion, Zelensky said, “Instead of peaceful cities there are only black ruins, instead of normal trade, seas full of mines and blocked ports, instead of tourists, closed skies and the sound of Russian bombs and cruise missiles.”

“This is what the world will look like if that turning moment does not have a proper response from humanity, it would resemble a large set of war crimes,” he said.

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Russia-Ukraine War News: World Leaders Accuse Russia of Inciting Food Crisis – The New York Times

Boris Bondarev says President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia could have spent the last two decades “developing the country” but instead turned it “into some kind of total horror, a threat to the world.”

Mr. Bondarev would know: He spent his career promoting Mr. Putin’s foreign policy.

A midlevel diplomat at Russia’s United Nations mission in Geneva, Mr. Bondarev on Monday became the most prominent Russian official to resign and publicly criticize the war in Ukraine since the invasion on Feb. 24.

“For 20 years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns of our foreign policy but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on Feb. 24 of this year,” Mr. Bondarev said in an email to colleagues.

While his blistering message was unlikely to reach most Russians given the state’s domination of the news media, his resignation showed that discontent lurks in Russian officialdom despite the facade of national unity that the Kremlin has worked to create.

“Those who conceived this war want only one thing — to remain in power forever, live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian Navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity,” Mr. Bondarev said in his email. “To achieve that they are willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes.”

The resignation came on the same day that President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine told the world’s political and business leaders that they needed to go much further to punish Moscow for invading his country. Speaking by video link to the World Economic Forum, Mr. Zelensky called for sanctions to be pushed to the utmost, for Russia be cut off from international networks and for foreign businesses to halt operations in Russia.

Mr. Bondarev’s message was the latest instance of unrest in the Russian elite to emerge in the public eye.

Mr. Putin’s climate envoy, Anatoly Chubais, stepped down and left the country in March, reportedly because of his opposition to the war, but he has not commented publicly. Several Russian state television journalists have quit, including an employee who stormed off the set of a live news broadcast with an antiwar poster. And some business leaders have spoken out, including a banking tycoon who said the Kremlin had forced him into a fire sale of his assets because of his opposition to the war.

In a phone interview from Geneva, Mr. Bondarev said that while he believed he was in the minority among Russian diplomats for opposing the war, he was not alone. He said that he knew several diplomats who had resigned quietly after the war began, though it was impossible to verify that claim.

“There are people — not so few — who think as I do,” he said. “But most, I think, are still in the thrall of this propaganda that they receive and that they, in part, create.”

The Kremlin has gone to extraordinary lengths to silence dissent on the war. On state television, the war’s opponents are regularly branded as traitors. A law signed by Mr. Putin in March punishes “false information” about the war — potentially defined as anything that contradicts the government line — with as much as 15 years in prison. Partly as a result, virtually no government official had spoken out publicly against the invasion until Mr. Bondarev’s resignation.

Still, Mr. Bondarev said that responsibility for the war goes beyond Mr. Putin and includes the Russian Foreign Ministry. Russian diplomats, he said, were complicit in making it seem like Mr. Putin could achieve an easy victory in Ukraine.

“They got Ukraine wrong, they got the West wrong, they basically got everything wrong,” Mr. Bondarev said, referring to the Kremlin’s view of the world before the invasion. “We diplomats of the Foreign Ministry are also at fault for this, for not passing along the information that we should have — for smoothing it out and presenting it as though everything was great.”

Mr. Bondarev, part of the team working on arms control and disarmament at Russia’s Geneva mission, said he had seen misleading information cabled to Moscow in recent weeks.

“Instead of presenting your own analysis as objectively as possible along with your suggestions on how to proceed, we often presented information that was certain to be liked,” he said. “That was the main criterion.”

In his email to colleagues, he said that he “should have stepped down at least three months ago,” when Russia invaded, but that he had delayed because he had unfinished family business and “had to gather my resolve.”

“I simply cannot any longer share in this bloody, witless and absolutely needless ignominy,” Mr. Bondarev wrote.

In the interview, he said that he had grown disenchanted with Russian government service even before the invasion, “when we were not yet such pariahs,” but that he had stayed on because of the decent pay and interesting work trips and people he met.

Russia’s state media did not immediately report on Mr. Bondarev’s resignation, and the Foreign Ministry had not commented as the end of the workday approached in Moscow. Mr. Bondarev, who is listed as a counselor at the Russian mission on the United Nations website, confirmed his identity in a video call with The New York Times and by sending an image of his diplomatic passport.

Mr. Bondarev said that what had most disturbed him at his workplace since the invasion was the nonchalance with which some of his fellow Russian diplomats chatted about possible nuclear strikes against the West — even though they worked in arms control. On Russian state television, commentators have raised the specter of nuclear conflict with increasing frequency while casting the fighting in Ukraine as a proxy war of the West against Russia.

“They think that if you hit some village in America with a nuclear strike, then the Americans will immediately get scared and run to beg for mercy on their knees,” Mr. Bondarev said, describing his colleagues’ comments. “That’s how many of our people think, and I fear that this is the line that they are passing along to Moscow.”

He said that when he had suggested to his colleagues that perhaps they did not want their children to live in “radioactive ruins,” they would chuckle and say that “this is about values” — echoing Mr. Putin, who in trying to justify his invasion has often described Russia as fighting for “traditional values” against a decadent West.

But Mr. Bondarev said that Mr. Putin’s war was really about the president’s effort to stay in power amid a stagnating economy and gathering public discontent, and a lack of an ideology to mobilize the masses.

“How can you stay and preserve power, without losing it in the face of such objective difficulties?” he asked. “You have to invent a war.”

Mr. Bondarev said he did not yet have any firm career plans. On LinkedIn, after posting his resignation statement, he wrote: “Job offers are welcome.”

Nick Cumming-Bruce contributed reporting from Geneva.

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China, Russia fighter jets flew near as PM Modi was at Quad meet: Japan minister – Hindustan Times

  • Nobuo Kishi said the government had expressed “grave concerns” to Russia and China over the flights, which took place while leaders from the United States, India, Australia and Japan held talks on regional security.

Leaders from the United States, India, Australia and Japan hold talks on regional security at the Quad summit in Tokyo.(ANI)

Leaders from the United States, India, Australia and Japan hold talks on regional security at the Quad summit in Tokyo.(ANI)
Updated on May 24, 2022 05:55 PM IST



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Chinese and Russian fighter jets carried out joint flights near Japan on Tuesday as leaders of the Quad bloc met in Tokyo, the Japanese defence minister said.

Nobuo Kishi said the government had expressed “grave concerns” to Russia and China over the flights, which took place while leaders from the United States, India, Australia and Japan held talks on regional security.

The planes did not breach territorial airspace, the defence ministry told AFP, and it is the fourth time since November that long-distance joint flights by Russia and China have been spotted near Japan.

“Two Chinese bombers joined two Russian bombers in the Sea of Japan and made a joint flight to the East China Sea,” Kishi told reporters.

“After that, a total of four aircraft, two presumed (new) Chinese bombers — which replaced the two Chinese bombers — and two Russian bombers, conducted a joint flight from the East China Sea to the Pacific Ocean.”

He said a Russian intelligence-gathering aircraft also flew off northern Hokkaido to the Noto Peninsula in central Japan on Tuesday, calling the moves especially “provocative” given the summit in Tokyo.

The Quad leaders on Tuesday warned against attempts to “change the status quo by force”, although they avoided direct references to Russia or China in a joint statement.

Their statement referred to the war in Ukraine, however, and listed a range of activities that Beijing has regularly been accused of in the region.

Kishi said Japan had “communicated through diplomatic routes our grave concerns from the perspective of our country’s and the region’s security”.

“As the international community responds to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the fact that China took such action in collaboration with Russia, which is the aggressor, is cause for concern. It cannot be overlooked.”

Japan, which has volatile ties and border disputes with its neighbours China, Russia and South Korea, routinely sends jets to defend its air borders.

The country scrambled military jets 1,004 times in the past year to March, the second highest on record, according to the defence ministry.

Most were to counter approaching Chinese aircraft, although many of the rest involved Russian aircraft.

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