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Russian pilots who intercepted and harassed a US drone last week were presented with awards. When asked at a briefing about the awards, a top White House official ripped into the pilots. "I don't know of another military in the world — another air force in the world — that would award a pilot for smashing into a drone," Kirby said. But State Department spokesperson Ned Price last week also said that the incident was indicative of "a lack of competence." He added that "we've known they were unprofessional," but the incident really "demonstrates how poorly trained" their pilots are.
An online claim that the United States has not officially congratulated Nigerian president-elect Bola Tinubu on his election win is not true. It is based on a speech by a U.S. lawyer that is being misrepresented as reflecting an official U.S. position. “Vote rigging, vote buying and bribery marred Nigeria's presidential elections. But neither the lawyer nor the Nigerian pro-democracy group speak for the U.S. government, which officially congratulated Tinubu on March 1. The U.S. has officially congratulated Nigerian president-elect Bola Tinubu.
UFC 286 will stream live on March 18, with the main card starting at 5 p.m. How to watch UFC 286You can watch the main event of UFC 286 on ESPN+ at 5 p.m. Ways to save on the UFC 286 pay-per-view priceIf you're signing up for ESPN+ to watch UFC 286, you can take advantage of a special discounted bundle. New members can buy a year-long ESPN+ membership with access to UFC 286 included for a total of $124.98. Here's the fight card for UFC 286: Edwards vs. UsmanESPNEarly Prelims — 12:30 p.m.
A Russian fighter jet harassed a US military MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea this week. But US officials said the fighter pilot demonstrated a "lack of competence" by clipping the drone. On Tuesday, two Russian Su-27 fighter jets intercepted a US military MQ-9 Reaper drone that was flying in international airspace above the Black Sea. A composite image showing the rear of a US MQ-9 Reaper drone before and after the US military says a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with it. The report consists of empirical research completed in 2020 that analyzes years of Russian military activity like intercepts and other engagements.
Stripe’s $50 bln reset is relative sign of health
  + stars: | 2023-03-16 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
LONDON, March 16 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Stripe’s valuation cut is arguably still a relative sign of strength. The newly attained price tag is a 53% cut from its 2021 valuation of $95 billion. And by some metrics Stripe seems to be valued at a discount relative to its publicly listed peers. Stripe’s $50 billion is 3.5 times last year’s gross revenue, while Dutch payment firm Adyen (ADYEN.AS) trades on a multiple of 4.7 times. The valuation cut reflects the reality of how an economic slowdown affects fintech businesses like Stripe.
[1/11] U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 15, 2023. "We have agreed to strengthen the long standing bilateral relations between our countries with a commitment to partnership," the Ethiopian leader said. While the peace deal has allowed humanitarian aid to flow into Tigray, needs remain immense after the conflict left hundreds of thousands facing starvation. Eritrean troops remain in several border areas while militia from the Amhara region, which neighbours Tigray, occupy large areas of territory in contested parts of western and southern Tigray, humanitarian workers said. A spokesperson for the Amhara regional government said it and the people of Amhara were "always ready to co-operate with peace deal process and activities".
The US says a Russian jet clipped a US drone over the Black Sea, forcing it to crash. A US official told PBS the Russian pilot seemed out of control, calling their actions "amateur hour." Schifrin further described what the official told him on "PBS NewsHour," saying "this was not a controlled tap. The Russian pilot was barreling toward the drone, out of control, tried to pull away from the from the drone, and that's when the Russian jet actually hit the back of it." Russia also denied that any contact was made between the jet and the drone, saying the drone crashed after "sharp maneuvering".
A Russian fighter jet hit a US military drone on Tuesday, forcing it to crash into the Black Sea. It's unclear if the US will be able to recover the aircraft, a White House official said Wednesday. I mean, where it fell into the Black Sea, very, very deep water. During the Tuesday incident, two Russian Su-27 jets conducted what US European Command described was an "unsafe and unprofessional intercept" of the Reaper drone as it flew in international airspace over the Black Sea. It was also the latest in a string of provocative and aggressive Russian actions against NATO militaries around the Black Sea, where intercepts, including unsafe intercepts, are fairly common.
WASHINGTON, March 15 (Reuters) - A U.S. military surveillance drone's crash into the Black Sea after being intercepted by Russian jets was likely an unintentional act from Russia's side, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price told MSNBC on Wednesday. The U.S military MQ-9 surveillance drone crashed into the Black Sea on Tuesday after a Russian Su-27 jet struck its propeller, the Pentagon said, the first such incident since Russia's invasion of Ukraine over a year ago. The U.S. State Department spokesperson also confirmed there is surveillance video of the incident and that the Department of Defense was determining whether to release it to the public. The Russian and U.S. defense ministers held a phone call on Wednesday, the Russian defense ministry said. Russia has said it will try to retrieve the remains of the drone while White House spokesman John Kirby said the drone may never be recovered.
WASHINGTON, March 15 (Reuters) - A U.S. surveillance drone brought down over the Black Sea after a Russian military intercept probably broke apart and would be difficult to recover given the depth of the water in the area, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday. Russia's defense ministry blamed "sharp maneuvering" by the drone for the crash and said its jet did not make contact. Milley said the United States had already taken measures to guard against a loss of sensitive intelligence if the drone were to be recovered by Russia. The State Department on Tuesday summoned Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, to express U.S. concerns over the encounter. Antonov after the meeting said the drone "deliberately and provocatively was moving toward Russian territory with transponders turned off."
WASHINGTON, March 14 (Reuters) - The United States has summoned Russia's ambassador to Washington on Tuesday after a Russian Su-27 fighter jet downed a U.S. military drone over the Black Sea, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. "We are summoning the Russian ambassador to the department where we will convey this message." The meeting of Russian ambassador Anatoly Antonov with senior U.S. officials at the State Department will take place this afternoon, Price said, without saying who from the U.S. side he would be meeting. He referred reporters to the Department of Defense when asked about the effort to recover the downed drone. Two Russian Su-27 jets carried out what the U.S. military described as a reckless intercept of the American spy drone before one of them collided with it.
[1/8] A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone sits in a hanger at Amari Air Base, Estonia, July 1, 2020. On the diplomatic and economic fronts, talks continued to extend a deal to allow grain shipments from Ukraine's Black Sea ports that is due to expire this week, the United Nations and Turkey said. DRONE CRASHTwo Russian Su-27 jets carried out what the U.S. military described as a reckless intercept of the American spy drone while flying in international air space. The accounts of the incident in the Black Sea, which is bordered by Russia and Ukraine among other countries, could not be independently verified. RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR SUMMONEDRussia's Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov was summoned by the U.S. State Department to discuss what happened over the Black Sea, said spokesperson Ned Price.
The Black Sea grain initiative, brokered between Russia and Ukraine by the United Nations and Turkey last July, aimed to prevent a global food crisis by allowing Ukrainian grain blockaded by Russia's invasion to be safely exported from three Ukrainian ports. Russia, he said, "does not object to another extension of the 'Black Sea Initiative' after its second term expiration on March 18, but only for 60 days." 'CRITICAL MOMENT'The United Nations said it noted the Russian position and that it remained "fully committed to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, as well as to efforts to facilitate the export of Russian food and fertilizer." "The UN Secretary-General has confirmed that the UN will do everything possible to preserve the integrity of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and ensure its continuity," it said in a statement. "To extend it for 60 days, you have to amend the deal."
The airport was being used to deliver aid to victims of last month's earthquake that killed thousands. U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that, while he could not "speak to attribution" for Tuesday's air strike, Washington would worry about any lengthy halt to the flow of humanitarian aid. He said all U.N. Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights from Aleppo had been suspended, adding that those flights transport aid workers and life-saving supplies and must resume without delay. The Israeli military declined to comment on the Syrian state media accusation that it was behind the air strike. Foreign donors including the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Algeria have flown aid into Aleppo airport since the Feb. 6 earthquake, Syrian state media has reported.
The United States was the largest donor to the 2022 U.N. aid plan in Afghanistan, giving more than $1 billion. The Taliban administration, which seized power in August 2021 as U.S.-led forces withdrew from Afghanistan after 20 years of war, says it respects women's rights in accordance with its strict interpretation of Islamic law. "They systematically deprive women and girls of their fundamental human rights," United Arab Emirates U.N. "They say their elimination from public life is no better than fearing violent death," Otunbayeva told the Security Council meeting on Afghanistan, which coincided with International Women's Day. "Afghanistan under the Taliban remains the most repressive country in the world regarding women's rights," she said.
TBILISI, March 8 (Reuters) - Police in the ex-Soviet state of Georgia used tear gas and stun grenades early on Wednesday to break up a protest outside Parliament against a draft law on "foreign agents". The crowd then gathered outside parliament, where some people pulled aside light metal barriers designed to keep the public away from the building. Speaking in Berlin earlier on Tuesday, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Garibashvili reaffirmed his support for the law, saying the proposed provisions on foreign agents met "European and global standards". [1/10] Police use a water cannon to disperse protesters during a rally against the "foreign agents" law in Tbilisi, Georgia, March 7, 2023. Late on Tuesday night protesters angrily remonstrated with police armed with riot shields who then used tear gas and watercannon.
Smotrich said last week that while he opposed vigilantism, he believed "that Huwara needs to be erased" by Israel. The U.S. State Department called the comments "irresponsible," "repugnant" and "disgusting" and said Netanyahu should reject and disavow them. Netanyahu has said that he - and not coalition partners like Smotrich - calls the shots on Israeli diplomacy. "I am still waiting to hear a condemnation from the Palestinian Authority for the murder of the Yaniv brothers," Netanyahu added. At least 62 Palestinians, including gunmen and civilians, have been killed since the start of 2023, the Palestinian health ministry said.
UFC 285 will stream live on March 4, with the main card starting at 10 p.m. Jon Jones will face Ciryl Gane for the UFC heavyweight title. How to watch UFC 285You can watch the main event of UFC 285 on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. Ways to save on the UFC 285 pay-per-view priceIf you're signing up for ESPN+ to stream UFC 285, you can snag a special discounted package. Here's the fight card for UFC 285: Jones vs. GaneESPNEarly Prelims — 5:30 p.m.
A UN nuclear watchdog has found uranium enriched to 83.7% purity at Iran's nuclear plants. The new findings come as Iran continually breaches its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. On February 19, Bloomberg reported that the highly enriched uranium had been discovered, citing two senior diplomats. That means it's been breaching its 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers, China, and Russia. Iran has in turned continually breached the deal, raising the level of its uranium enrichment and stockpiling more material.
[1/5] Israeli troops aim their weapons as they clash with Palestinians during a raid in Jericho in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, March 1, 2023. The head of a pro-settler party in Netanyahu's nationalist-religious coalition, Smotrich made the comments at a conference on Wednesday amid a spate of deadly Palestinian attacks and Israeli settler violence in the occupied West Bank. Asked about a weekend settler rampage through the Palestinian village of Huwara, which an Israeli general on Tuesday described as a "pogrom," Smotrich said: "I think that Huwara needs to be erased". Israeli forces killed one Palestinian and arrested six in the West Bank. One Palestinian was killed and scores were hurt as dozens of houses and cars were torched in what one Israeli commander described as a "pogrom".
WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) - Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich's call for a Palestinian village to be "erased" amounted to incitement to violence and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must publicly disavow it, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday. Asked about a weekend settler rampage through the Palestinian village of Huwara, which an Israeli general on Tuesday described as a "pogrom," Smotrich said: "I think that Huwara needs to be erased". Price continued: "And just as we condemn Palestinian incitement to violence, we condemn these provocative remarks that also amount to incitement to violence." On Wednesday, Israeli forces killed one Palestinian and arrested six others suspected of involvement in the fatal shooting of an Israeli American in the West Bank on Monday. After making the Huwara comments, Smotrich issued a statement saying the media had misinterpreted them, without retracting his call for the village to be erased.
Zelenskiy last year proposed his own 10-point peace plan, which calls on Russia to withdraw all its troops from Ukraine and to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity. Russia still controls nearly a fifth of Ukraine, despite losing swathes of land in major battlefield setbacks last year. Russia said on Wednesday that it welcomed China taking a more active role in efforts to resolve the conflict. Meeting Putin on Wednesday, Wang said China was willing to play a "constructive role" to end the Ukraine conflict. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said China had an obligation to use that influence to seek peace in Ukraine.
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The United Nations overwhelmingly isolated Russia on Thursday, marking one year since Moscow invaded Ukraine by calling for a "comprehensive, just and lasting peace" and again demanding Moscow withdraw its troops and stop fighting. Just a day after China's top diplomat visited Moscow and pledged a deeper partnership with Russia, Beijing abstained on the vote - the fourth time it has done so on such action since the Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 last year. Six countries joined Russia to vote no - Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua and Syria. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy dismised the action at the United Nations as "useless," posting on Twitter: "Will it bring peace? Western powers have provided Ukraine with billions of dollars in weapons since Russia invaded.
Russia says U.S. should prove it did not destroy Nord Stream
  + stars: | 2023-02-16 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Feb 16 (Reuters) - The United States should try to prove it was not behind the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines that connected Russia to Western Europe, the Russian embassy to the United States said on Thursday. Moscow considers the destruction of Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines last September "an act of international terrorism" and will not allow it to be swept under the rug, the embassy said in a statement. The White House has dismissed the allegations as "utterly false and complete fiction". U.S. Department of State spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday "it is pure disinformation that the United States was behind what transpired" with Nord Stream, provoking the fresh Russian comment. Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Tom HogueOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Russia has held at least 6,000 Ukrainian children - likely many more - in sites in Russian-held Crimea and Russia whose primary purpose appears to be political re-education, according to a U.S.-backed report published on Tuesday. The report said Yale University researchers had identified at least 43 camps and other facilities where Ukrainian children have been held that were part of a "large-scale systematic network" operated by Moscow since its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Some of the children were moved through the system and adopted by Russian families, or moved into foster care in Russia, the report said. Ukrainian prosecutors have said they are examining allegations of forced deportation of children as part of efforts to build a genocide indictment against Russia. "This network stretches from one end of Russia to the other," Raymond said, adding that researchers believed that the number of facilities in which Ukrainian children have been held exceeds 43.
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