Global Review – 28th May

 ‘We should protect our schools’ – Trump

Former US president Donald Trump, from the stage of the NRA convention in Houston, has attacked President Biden by relaunching the proposal to arm teachers. “If we can send billions to Ukraine, we can also do whatever it takes to secure schools,” he said after reading the names of the victims of the Uvalde massacre. “We want to save the lives of our children. Shools should not be the easiest target to hit,” he added, relaunching the proposal to arm teachers.

NRA attacks Biden on gun possession control

“Abolishing the second amendment is not the answer; Biden’s proposals on arms control limit the fundamental human right of Americans to defend themselves,” National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre said at the lobby convention in Houston. “We disagree with Biden,” he added, referring to the president’s statement that the ‘second amendment is not absolute’. “The federal government cannot legislate against evil,” he said.

Protests at NRA convention: “Blood on your hands”

In Houston, Texas, the annual convention of the National Rifle Association, the powerful American arms lobby, opened amid protests. A crowd of protesters with slogans and placards accused the protagonists of the meeting of having “blood on their hands”. A few days after the massacre in the Uvalde elementary school, many believe that the assembly, including the former president Donald Trump, is out of place. Harsh criticism greeted the opening video of the convention which, presumably shot before the massacre in the school, showed smiling families in a gun shop, boys and children carrying semi-automatic rifles, machine guns and pistols available on shelves as if they were fruit and vegetables.

Parents slam the police

The killer of the Texas school massacre fired at least one hundred bullets, killing 19 children and two teachers. This was reported by Steven McCraw, head of the state’s public security department. McCraw admitted he was “wrong not to break into the classroom”. On the issue of the delay in the intervention of the agents in the building, two sources report to the New York Times that the men of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit had arrived at the school of Uvalde an hour earlier than when they managed to get inside. They had in fact been blocked by the local police. During a media conference, the police explained that the special teams of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit arrived at the primary school “an hour after” the killer entered and killed him. But they didn’t explain why it took them so long. Local police and school security guards “came in after four minutes. They heard gunshots, did some reconnaissance and then took cover,” the director general said. “Salvador Ramos started shooting outside the school, from the parking lot. He fired many, many shots,” the Texas police said.

Meghan Markle’s surprise visit to Uvalde

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, who now lives in California, showed up by surprise at the memorial to the victims of the massacre in Texas. Accompanied by a bodyguard, white T-shirt, tennis shoes, jeans and baseball cap, Prince Harry’s wife laid a bouquet of white roses at the makeshift memorial set up near the site of the massacre, Robb Elementary School.

Ukraine accuses Russia of launching thermobaric bombs

Ukraine has accused Russia of unleashing thermobaric weapons on their forces, as enemy troops made their biggest advancement in weeks in the eastern region of the country. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence shared a video of explosions that they said were from TOS-1A thermobaric rocket launchers landing on Ukrainian troops in the Donetsk region. “This is what the largest and most horrific war of the 21st century looks like,” the agency wrote on Twitter. Thermobaric weapons, sometimes called vacuum bombs, are high-energy explosives that consume oxygen from the air around them. This creates a higher-temperature explosion and a longer-duration, higher-pressure blast wave than a conventional bomb, making it particularly deadly in urban environments.

Ukraine military unit destroyed – Russia

Russia said its military has destroyed a large unit in Ukraine. Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the nation’s warplanes hit the eastern region’s railway station in Pokrovsk when an assault brigade that would reinforce Ukraine’s troops in the region was unloading there. He also claimed that Russian forces destroyed Ukraine’s electronic intelligence centre in Dniprovske. Konashenkov said the Russian air force had hit 28 soldiers and weapons concentrations and two ammunition depots over the past 24 hours. Meanwhile, Russian forces overnight Friday took the town of Lyman, a railway hub some 35 miles West of Severodonetsk, the last Ukrainian holdout in the Luhansk Oblast. Invading troops also continued to work to encircle Severodonetsk, while Russian troops shelled the city. Rodion Miroshnik, a representative of the separatist Luhansk region in Russia, said that some 8,000 Ukrainian soldiers were in captivity in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

‘The Donbass will be ours again’ – Zelensky

The Donbass will be “ours again”, President Zelensky vowed during his evening speech. He called the current situation in Donbass “very difficult”, referring to the increase in Russia’s firepower and military strength in the region. “We have to increase our defence, increase our resistance and the Donbass will be Ukrainian again. We will rebuild every city, every community. There is no other alternative,” he stressed.

8,600 civilian victims in Ukraine

The number of civilian casualties in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24 is 8,628, according to the United Nations Human Rights Agency. At least 3,998 people have been killed so far by Russian forces, while at least 4,693 civilians have been injured. However, the agency believes that the actual data is much higher. The number of Ukrainian children killed since the beginning of the Russian invasion has risen to 241, while 438 have been injured.

Russian politicians demand ‘immediate withdrawal’

Protests over the war are growing in Russia as a veteran legislator issued an appeal to President Putin to stop military action, bring his troops home, or risk even more orphans. Such a scene in a regional assembly caught on video was unthinkable until now, as a Communist deputy Leonid Vasyukevich, 69, blasted the use of Moscow’s servicemen in Ukraine. The veteran local MP defied attempts to gag him and told legislators in Primorsky region he and his fellow lawmakers were making an appeal to the Russian president.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church cuts all ties with Russia

The part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church still linked to Moscow claims to have cut all ties with Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine, declaring ‘full independence’. “We disagree with Moscow Patriarch Kirill’s position on war,” the church said in a statement after holding a council focusing on Russia’s ‘aggression’ against Ukraine, where it declared the “full independence and autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”.

200 cases of monkeypox in more than 20 countries

The World Health Organisation says nearly 200 cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 20 countries not usually known to have outbreaks of the unusual disease, but described the epidemic as “containable” and proposed creating a stockpile to equitably share the limited vaccines and drugs available worldwide. During a public briefing on Friday, the UN health agency said there were still many unanswered questions about how the current epidemic arose.

Champions League: ‘The most courageous will win in the final

Following their recent La Liga triumph, Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid will be bidding for a 14th Champions League title when they take on Liverpool in the final in Paris this evening. “Two great teams will face each other and in the end, the one with showing most courage and personality will win”, according to Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, who spoke on the UEFA website about the upcoming challenge against Liverpool. The English team “has a lot of quality, plays at high intensity and is well organised. It is one of the strongest teams”.

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