Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Wake-Up Call: Russian Gets Life For Killing Unarmed Ukrainian

A Russian soldier captured by Ukraine who pled guilty to killing a 62-year-old unarmed civilian in the early days after Russia's invasion was sentenced to life in prison in a Ukrainian court Monday. The soldier, 21-year-old Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, had apologized to the man's widow in court, saying he was following orders. Even as more war crimes trials may be coming in Ukraine, Russian authorities have threatened to hold trials of their own of the captured Ukrainian fighters who held out for months at Mariupol's steel plant. They surrendered and were taken prisoner last week.
Meanwhile, Russia increased its bombardment of the eastern Donbas region, where there was heavy fighting and constant shelling of cities not under the control of Russian forces. The regional governor of Donetsk, which with Luhansk makes up the Donbas, claimed that Russia was destroying cities in its attempt to take them over. Pavlo Kyrylenko also charged that Russian forces were attacking civilians as they tried to evacuate from the area.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke via video to work leaders and executives gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, yesterday, calling for, quote, "maximum" sanctions against Russia, saying they had to go further than they have so far. He urged an embargo on Russian oil, a complete cutoff of trade and a withdrawal of foreign companies from Russia. That came as nearly 50 defense leaders from around the world, including the U.S., met yesterday and agreed to send more advanced weapons to Ukraine, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters.

Russian Diplomat Resigns, Denounces Invasion: A veteran Russian diplomat at the U.N. office in Geneva resigned yesterday and denounced his country's invasion of Ukraine in rare public opposition to the war from a member of the Russian elite. Boris Bondarev said in a scathing letter to foreign colleagues, "Never have I been so ashamed of my country as on Feb. 24," the day of the invasion, and denounced the, quote, "aggressive war unleashed" by President Vladimir Putin. He also said Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is all about, quote, "warmongering, lies and hatred."

➤'QUAD' SUMMIT HELD ON LAST DAY OF BIDEN'S ASIA VISIT: A "Quad" summit of President Biden and the leaders of Japan, Australia and India was held Tuesday in Japan on the last day of Biden's five-day Asian trip to South Korea and Japan. Among them was new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who flew to Tokyo for the summit Monday right after being sworn into office following his Labor Party's defeat of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's party over the weekend. Among the issues addressed at the Quad summit, Biden spoke to the Indo-Pacific leaders about the war in Ukraine, urging them to make a greater effort to help stope Russia's aggression, saying, "This is more than just a European issue. It’s a global issue." While Biden didn't name any leaders or countries, his message appeared to be aimed, at least in part, at India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Unlike other Quad countries and nearly every other U.S. ally, India hasn't imposed sanctions or even condemned Russia.

➤PFIZER...THREE COVID-19 VACCINE DOSES GIVE STRONG PROTECTION FOR KIDS UNDER AGE FIVE: Pfizer announced Monday that three extra-low doses of its Covid-19 vaccine offers strong protection for children under age five. The pharmaceutical company plans to submit the findings to U.S. regulators this week, with the vaccine possibly being available, if approved, for these youngest children by early summer. The Food and Drug Administration is already evaluating Moderna's application for approval for a two-dose vaccination for the young children, the only age group for whom a vaccine has not yet been approved.

➤WHO ADVISER SUGGESTS MONKEYPOX SPREAD BY SEX AT TWO RAVES IN EUROPE: An expert who's a leading adviser to the World Health Organization has suggested that the unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox in developed countries beyond Africa appears to have been caused by people have sex at two recent raves in Spain and Belgium. Dr. David Heymann, the former head of WHO’s emergencies department, told the Associated Press that's the leading theory, saying, "We know monkeypox can spread when there is close contact with the lesions of someone who is infected, and it looks like sexual contact has now amplified that transmission." Most known cases in Europe have been among men who have sex with men, but anyone can be infected through close contact with a sick person, their clothing or bedding. There have so far been more than 90 reported cases in a dozen countries, including the U.S. They have been mild, with no deaths reported.

➤KATE MOSS TO TESTIFY IN JOHNNY DEPP’S DEFAMATION TRIAL: Johnny Depp’s ex-girlfriend, Kate Moss, is expected to testify in his defamation trial against Amber Heard on Wednesday. This comes after Heard mentioned Moss while on the stand earlier this month.

Kate Moss
Recalling an incident between Depp and her sister, Whitney Henriquez, Heard said, "[Whitney's] back was to the staircase, and Johnny swings at her. I don't hesitate, I don't wait — I just, in my head, instantly think of Kate Moss and stairs. And I swung at him."

Heard also mentioned Moss in a previous testimony for Depp's U.K. defamation trial. "I remembered information I had heard [that] he pushed a former girlfriend — I believe it was Kate Moss — down the stairs. I had heard this rumor from two people and it was fresh in my mind," she said.

Depp’s lawyers seemed to celebrate when Heard mentioned Moss by name in the Fairfax, Virginia, courthouse. This is presumably because it opens the door for them to bring Moss in as an impeachment witness.

Despite news reports stating otherwise, it turns out Johnny Depp will not be returning to the stand as a witness for Amber Heard’s defense. A source close to Heard told Deadline, “Calling Depp back to the stand would be as relevant to us as a bicycle to a fish.”   “Everything Depp has testified up to this point has been irrelevant to the heart of this case, and there’s no reason to believe it would be any different now,” the source added.

➤HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE OPENS PROBE IN CAWTHORN: The House Ethics Committee said Monday that it has opened an investigation into allegations that Rep. Madison Cawthorn had a conflict of interest in a cryptocurrency he promoted and engaged in an improper relationship with a member of his staff. The North Carolina Republican just lost his primary race last week, so will be leaving Congress at the end of his term in January. Cawthorn's chief of state charged that he was, quote, "falsely accused by partisan adversaries for political gain."

➤U-S TOURISTS WHO DIED AT BAHAMAS RESORT KILLED BY CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING: The three American tourists who died at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort on Exuma in the Bahamas earlier this month were reportedly killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. The Nassau Guardian reported that the pathologist is expected to release the official autopsy results and toxicology findings soon. Both the Guardian and the Tribune published stories about the findings before its official release. The two couples affected were staying in villas that were next to each other, and only one woman survived.

🤗HUGS MAY HELP WOMEN MORE THAN MEN:  A hug between romantic partners may do more for a woman than it does for a man. German and Dutch researchers looked at 76 heterosexual, romantic relationships. They had all participants stick one hand into an ice bath for three minutes before they had half the couples hug and found the women in those couples had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their systems afterwards compared to those that did not hug. The effect on men was not measurable. Study author Julian Packheiser says, “Simple advice would be to hug your partner, relatives, or friends if you know that they are confronted with stress situations soon.” It’s also not clear why the same effect doesn’t occur in men—it’s thought it could be cultural, physiological, or it could just be that this study missed the evidence of this.

🏀CELTICS DEFEAT HEAT 102-82 TO EVEN EASTERN CONF. FINALS AT TWO GAMES EACH: The Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 102-82 last night at home, evening up the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals at two games each. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 31 points, and Payton Pritchard had 14 points. Game 5 is on Wednesday in Miami.

🏒TAMPA BAY SWEEPS FLORIDA TO ADVANCE TO NHL CONF. FINALS: The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 2-0 last night to sweep their second-round playoff series 4-0 and advance to the NHL's Eastern Conference Finals. Both goals for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, the only ones in the game, came in the third period, scored by Pat Maroon a little over six minutes in and by Ondrej Palat, who got an empty-net goal with 22 seconds left. They will play the winner of the second-round series between the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers, which Carolina leads 2-1.

🏒NHL PLAYOFFS: Results from second-round games yesterday:
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 2, Florida Panthers 0 - Tampa Bay sweeps series 4-0
  • Colorado Avalanche 6, St. Louis Blues 3 - Colorado's Nazem Kadri had a hat trick. - Colorado leads series 3-1

NY Post 5/24/22

MLB suspended New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson for one game yesterday and fined him an undisclosed amount over him making several references to Jackie Robinson while talking to Chicago White Sox star Tim Anderson when the teams played each other Saturday. MLB said in a statement, "Regardless of Mr. Donaldson’s intent, the comment he directed toward Mr. Anderson was disrespectful and in poor judgment[.]" Donaldson said he twice called Anderson "Jackie," leading the benches to empty. Donaldson, who's white, said he'd used the name before with Anderson, a Black player who'd said in 2019 interview that he viewed himself a a potential modern-day Robinson. Anderson called it "disrespectful," and Chicago manager Tony La Russa said it was racist, but Donaldson that wasn't his intention.

🎾OSAKA LOSES IN FIRST ROUND AT FRENCH OPEN: Naomi Osaka lost in the first round at the French Open yesterday, falling to 27th-seeded American Amanda Anisimova 7-5, 6-4. Osaka was formerly ranked Number 1, but is now at Number 38 and was unseeded for the tournament. Also losing in the first round was the French Open defending champion, second-seeded Barbora Krejcikova, who fell to Diane Parry of France. The day's winners included the top-seeded woman, Iga Swiatek, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' Dwayne Haskins was legally drunk when he was fatally hit by a dump truck on a Florida highway last month, according to a toxicology report released by the Broward County Medical Examiner's office yesterday. The 24-year-old's blood alcohol levels were .20 and .24 in two samples, well above the legal limit of .08. The report said he also tested positive for the drugs ketamine and norketamine. A woman in Haskins' car that was found on the side of the highway told police he'd left to try to find gas.

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