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Friday, 22 August 2014

16 trucks from Russian humanitarian aid convoy to arrive at Donetsk border checkpoint

The first 16 trucks of the Russian humanitarian convoy are to cross into Ukraine after all the necessary procedures are agreed upon with Kiev, a source familiar with the situation said. "The International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC] and Russia have done everything that was required of them to prepare the cargo for passage, including providing the Ukrainian side with all the necessary documents. Now it is all up to the Ukrainian representatives," the source said. The Russian Foreign Ministry recently stated that Russia has done everything it could to ensure the security of the convoy's passage, which has been confirmed by ICRC president Peter Maurer. The ICRC still has not received confirmation of safe passage for the convoy in Ukraine. The first 16 trucks of the convoy that carries humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine are said to be stationed at the Donetsk border checkpoint. The rest of the convoy remains near the Russian town of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky some 20 miles away. Earlier in August, in light of the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine, Russia suggested sending an international humanitarian mission to eastern Ukraine under the auspices of the ICRC. The convoy comprises 280 trucks carrying about 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid, including baby food, medication, grain, sugar, sleeping bags and other necessities. It set off from the Moscow Region on August 12 heading toward Ukraine's conflict areas.

Lip service: UN Security Council calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

The UN Security Council expressed "grave concern" over the renewal of combat actions in the Gaza Strip and urged the warring sides to reach an immediate agreement on a lasting ceasefire, Reuters reported Thursday, quoting British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, president of the council for this month. A five-day truce in Gaza between the Palestinian Hamas movement and Israel collapsed on August 19, some eight hours before the official deadline. Israel blamed Hamas militants for disputing the ceasefire and ordered the army to resume airstrikes against the Gaza Strip. According to media reports, about 50 rockets have been fired at the Israeli territory since the resumption of hostilities; at least 15 of them have been intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system. Recently resumed military actions in Gaza have already led to at least 10 casualties among Palestinians, including the wife and daughter of a Hamas military leader.

Ebola West Africa: Deathtoll soars above 1,200

The Ebola virus killed 84 people in just three days last week, bringing the global death toll to 1,229, the World Health Organisation revealed today. It comes as 17 patients suspected of having Ebola who disappeared after a health centre in Liberia was attacked by a mob have been traced. But local clinics are refusing help to those who have been found, including a 10-year-old boy, for fear they will be infected with the deadly virus.

Words of sympathy and support: Putin extends condolences to Japan Prime Minister over Hiroshima landslides victims

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences Wednesday to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over numerous victims as a result of landslides in Hiroshima Prefecture. "The head of the Russian State has expressed his words of sympathy and support to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those, injured as a result of this catastrophe," a statement on the Kremlin website read. According to the latest media reports, 39 people were killed in landslides, including a two-year-old child and several teenagers aged between 11 and 16. Seven people are unaccounted for.

Finally! The first 16 of 280 Russian aid trucks permitted to travel to customs checkpoint in war-ravaged Eastern Ukraine

The first 16 trucks with Russian humanitarian aid to the population of violence-torn eastern Ukraine have started movement toward customs office at the Donetsk border crossing point, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Wednesday.

Mother of missing journalist, Andrey Stenin, asks Red Cross for help in finding her son

The mother of Russian photojournalist, Andrey Stenin, missing in war-torn eastern Ukraine, has addressed the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help find her son. Vera Stenina told RT that she addressed the ICRC "because they are looking for missing relatives. And I had hopes that I will be helped there." "They said that they'll try to look for him," the woman told RT, adding that the Red Cross showed "understanding" of her problem. An experienced war photographer, Stenin, who works for the Rossiya Segodnya news agency (formerly RIA Novosti), disappeared on August 5 as he was covering the Ukrainian army's campaign against the anti-Kiev rebels in the country's southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Despite over two weeks having passed since his disappearance, the journalist's whereabouts still remain unknown. Last week, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, Anton Gerashchenko, said that Stenin had been arrested by the Ukrainian Security Service for "aiding and glorifying terrorism," but he then backtracked on the statement.

The 35.4 percent: 109,631,000 on welfare in the U.S. in 2012

109,631,000 Americans lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded "means-tested programs" - also known as welfare - as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau has not yet reported how many were on welfare in 2013 or the first two quarters of 2014. But the 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time. When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs - such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits - were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012. Subtract the 3,297,000 who were receiving veterans' benefits from the total, and that leaves 150,026,000 people receiving non-veterans' benefits.

$125k settlement for man arrested for filming NYPD stop-and-frisk operation

The New York Police Department reached a $125,000 settlement with a man who says he was arrested and strip-searched for photographing officers performing a stop-and-frisk operation in 2012. Dick George was sitting in his car in Flatbush on June 14, 2012, when he spotted three African-American youths getting searched by police employing the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk policy. The 45 year old pulled out his cell phone and began taking pictures, the New York Daily News reported. After the youths were let go, George advised them to note the cops' badge numbers next time. The cops overheard his remark and violently pulled George out of his car, court papers stated. "Now we're going to give you what you deserve for meddling in our business and when we finish with you, you can sue the city for $5 million and get rich, we don't care," Lt. Dennis Ferber told him,according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court. The officers arrested George and charged him with disorderly conduct. He was in police custody for a total of 45 minutes, but he said he suffered a torn meniscus of his knee while being handcuffed.