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UN Orders Russia To Stop War On Ukraine

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UN Orders Russia To Stop War On Ukraine

Russia came under heavy condemnation by the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.

Nations overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that “demands” Russia “immediately” withdraw from Ukraine, in a powerful rebuke of Moscow’s invasion .

After more than two days of extraordinary debate which saw the Ukrainian ambassador accuse Russia of genocide, 141 out of 193 member states voted for the non-binding resolution.

China was among the 35 countries which abstained, while just five — Eritrea, North Korea, Syria, Belarus and of course Russia — voted against it.

READ ALSO: Scores Of Nigerian Youths Apply At Ukrainian Embassy To Fight In War

The resolution “deplores” the invasion of Ukraine “in the strongest terms” and condemns President Vladimir Putin’s decision to put his nuclear forces on alert.

The vote had been touted by diplomats as a bellwether of democracy in a world where autocracy is on the rise in countries from Myanmar to Venezuela, and came as Putin’s forces bear down on Kyiv while terrified Ukrainians flee.

“They have come to deprive Ukraine of the very right to exist,” Ukraine’s ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya told the Assembly ahead of the vote.

“It’s already clear that the goal of Russia is not an occupation only. It is genocide.”

Putin launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Moscow has pleaded “self-defense” under Article 51 of the UN Charter.

But that has been roundly rejected by Western countries who accuse Moscow of violating Article 2 of the Charter, requiring UN members to refrain from the threat or use of force to resolve a crisis.

The text of the resolution — led by European countries in coordination with Ukraine — has undergone numerous changes in recent days.

It no longer “condemns” the invasion as initially expected, but instead “deplores in the strongest terms the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine.”

It also makes clear the United Nations is “condemning” Putin’s decision to put his nuclear forces on alert, a move that ignited an immediate outcry from the West.

Nearly every General Assembly speaker unreservedly condemned the war and the risks of military escalation.

“If the United Nations has any purpose, it is to prevent war,” the US ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said during her speech on Wednesday.

She accused Russia of “preparing to increase the brutality of its campaign.”

“We’ve seen videos of Russian forces moving exceptionally lethal weaponry into Ukraine, which has no place on the battlefield that includes cluster munitions and vacuum bombs, which are banned under the Geneva Convention,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

Russia’s ally Belarus offered a staunch defense of the invasion, however. Ambassador Valentin Rybakov blasted sanctions imposed by the West on Russia as “the worst example of economic and financial terrorism.”

And he followed other Russian allies such as Syria in condemning the “double standards” of Western nations who have invaded countries including Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan in recent decades.

Other speakers cited fears of a domino effect should Ukraine fall to Russia. Colombia railed against any return to “empire,” while Albania wondered: “Who will be next?”

From the Arab world it was Kuwait, itself the victim of an invasion by Iraq in 1990, whose denunciation of Moscow was the most explicit, with the rest of the Middle East remaining in the background.

READ ALSO: Putin Bars Citizens From Taking Above $10,000 Out Of Russia

Japan and New Zealand led condemnation from Asia, but the continent’s giants — China, India and Pakistan — all abstained. During the debate Beijing had stressed the world had “nothing to gain” from a new Cold War.

On the meeting’s sidelines, Washington has taken aim at Russians working at the United Nations, leveling accusations of espionage and demanding expulsions.

US President Joe Biden asserted Tuesday in his State of the Union address that Putin had underestimated the response to the invasion.

“He rejected efforts at diplomacy… And, he thought he could divide us here at home,” Biden said.

“Putin was wrong. We were ready.”
AFP

 

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World’s Oldest Primary Pupil Dies

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World's Oldest Primary Pupil Dies

Priscilla Sitieni ,the world’s oldest primary school pupil is dead

Sitieni, reportedly died after developing a chest complication.

“Gogo has been in good health and attending her classes until three days to her demise when she developed chest pains, which forced her out of school,” he told the newspaper on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Man Catches Heavily Pregnant Wife In Bed With Alleged Pastor

“We are thankful for the 100 years of her life. She made all of us proud,” he added.

She was 94 when she persuaded the headmaster of the local school in her village in Kenya’s Rift Valley to admit her, according to UNESCO, which hailed her as “a role model for her community and beyond”.

In an interview with the UN agency last year, she said her aim was to motivate young mothers in Kenya to return to school after having children, instead of dropping out due to shame or fear of social stigma.

“I wanted to show an example not only to them but to other girls around the world who are not in school,” she said.

“Without education, there will be no difference between you and a chicken,” she said.

“Education is your future. Education remains in your head forever and you cannot lose it once you have it.”

Her efforts were documented in a French film titled “Gogo”, which led her to take a plane for the first time last year to visit France and meet first lady Brigitte Macron.

The film’s co-writer Patrick Pessis paid tribute to her on Thursday, tweeting: “Her message about girls’ education lives on.”
AFP

 

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How Trump Endangered My Life, Family – Pence

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How Trump Endangered My Life, Family - Pence

About two years after leaving office, erstwhile United Stated Vice President, has revealed how his life and that of his family were endangered by “reckless” comments made by former President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021, during the invasion of the Capitol Building by Trump supporters.

Pence revealed to ABC’s David Muir in an interview that the ex-president’s words during the insurrection “endangered his life, his family and everyone at the Capitol building” that day.

During the infamous invasion, Pence was in the midst of leading a joint session of Congress when the angry mob broke into the building to prevent Congress from counting the 2020 Electoral College votes and affirming Joe Biden as president-elect.

READ ALSO: Trump Protests As FBI Search Divides Republicans, Democrats

In a speech to his supporters shortly before the attack, Trump had urged them to walk to the U.S. Capitol “peacefully” but also added: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

In the interview which held on Sunday but aired late night Monday, Pence said: “The president’s words that day at the rally endangered me and my family and everyone at the Capitol building.”

Trump had insisted that Pence had the authority to overturn the election results but in a statement Pence issued on January 6, the then Vice President said he could not change the outcome of the election.

“The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone.

“And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person can choose the president,” Pence said when asked if he did not antagonize Trump by not carrying out his orders.

Pence has, on different occasions, publicly criticized his former boss several times since the January 6 insurgence.

In February, while addressing The Federalist Society, a conservative and libertarian legal organization, Pence called January 6 a “dark day,” and again said that Trump was wrong in claiming he could overturn the election.

 

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Same-sex Marriage Now Legal Throughout Mexico

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Same-sex Marriage Now Legal Throughout Mexico

After the state of Tamaulipas became the last in the mostly Catholic Mexico to approve same-sex marriage, it has become legal throughout the country.

This was disclosed by the local Congress on Wednesday.

The northern border state’s decision ends a 12-year journey toward national marriage equality beginning when the capital Mexico City became the first to celebrate same-sex unions in 2010.

The move was followed by a Supreme Court declaration five years later stating a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional that spurred changes at the state level.

“The Congress of Tamaulipas approved the reforms to article 132 of the Civil Code for the State, to recognize the right to same-sex marriage,” the institution said in a statement.

“There are no first or second-class people, all people should enjoy this right,” said local congresswoman Nancy Ruiz of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), who promoted the reform.

READ ALSO: Ghana Considers Law To Punish Gay Sex

Marriage equality was approved in seven other states this year — three of them in the last two weeks.

In five of Mexico’s 32 states where marriage equality was established through court orders or governors’ decrees, it is still pending “legislative harmonization,” said political scientist and LGBTQ activist Genaro Lozano.

“But it is already a reality throughout Mexico. Thanks to all the activists and legislators who have supported it over the years,” Lozano tweeted.
AFP

 

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