Maryna Lialko had raised the girls alone after their father left the family, their grandmother, Nina Lialko, said.

“She was devoted to these two girls,” she said.

Kateryna was discharged this fall from Ohmadyt hospital, where she received psychiatric and physical therapy, and the girls are now in Kyiv living with their grandmother and aunt.

The aunt, Olha Lialko, said she has seen a shift in their personalities. Kateryna is increasingly turning inward; she speaks very little and struggles to maintain eye contact. Yuliia still can’t fully comprehend the loss.

“Katya is very closed; she keeps it all to herself,” Olha Lialko said. “Yuliia is missing mom a lot. She needs attention, she likes to cuddle.”

The family is trying to help the girls process their loss. And occasionally they see glimpses of the girls they knew before the war.

They dye their hair wild colors and play with makeup. They fight as only sisters can, and cling closely to each other for company.

But no one knows what will come next for them. Their life is on hold. They attend school online and have few friends in the new city. The family is unable to return home to Donetsk but unwilling to commit to staying in Kyiv.

“It will be very difficult for them to live without her,” their grandmother said. “This life has no sense at all.”

Oleksandra Mykolyshyn contributed reporting

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Putin Says 16,000 New Recruits Have Deployed

Credit…Finbarr O’Reilly for The New York Times

KYIV, Ukraine — They exploded with dull thuds on the outskirts of towns and detonated in the center of cities with deafening booms. Strikes in Kyiv, the capital, left cars burning and splatters of blood on the sidewalks.

Through the week, the Russian military fired its most intense barrage of missiles at Ukraine since the start of the war in February, killing at least three dozen civilians, knocking out electricity across swaths of the country and overwhelming air defenses. One thing the missiles didn’t do was change the course of the ground war.

Fought mostly in trenches, with the most fierce combat now in an area of rolling hills and pine forests in the east and on the open plains in the south, these battles are where control of territory is decided — and where Russia’s military continued to lose ground this week, despite the missile strikes.

“They use their expensive rockets for nothing, just to frighten people,” Volodymyr Ariev, a member of Parliament with Ukraine’s European Solidarity party, said of the paltry military effect of the Russian cruise missiles, rockets and self-destructing drones used in the strikes. “They think they can scare Ukrainians. But the goal they achieved is only making us angrier.”

The war in the south and east continued apace through the strikes, with Russia mostly falling back but also attacking on one section of front in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.

On Monday and Tuesday, the most intense days of Russia’s missile strikes, the Ukrainian Army continued its offensive in the Kherson region in the south, reclaiming five villages over the two days, according to the military command. Ukrainian forces also took back a village in the east.

“The Kremlin continues to struggle to message itself out of the reality of mobilization and military failures,” the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based research group, wrote in an analysis published Thursday. “The Kremlin continued its general pattern of temporarily appeasing the nationalist communities by conducting retaliatory missile strikes.”

The war is now separated into two largely unconnected arenas: the battles in the sky, in which Russia is seeking to demoralize Ukrainian society and cripple the economy by using cruise missiles and drones to destroy heating, electricity and water infrastructure as winter sets in; and the battles on the ground, in which Ukraine continues to advance against Russian forces in two areas of the front line.

Credit…Nicole Tung for The New York Times

Russia has been using even the newest addition to its arsenal, Shahed-136 kamikaze drones purchased from Iran, principally for strategic strikes far from the front line, rather than in efforts to slow the Ukrainian attacks.

“Shahed-136s will not generate asymmetric effects for Russian forces because they are not being used to strike areas of critical military significance in a way that directly influences the frontline,” the Institute for the Study of War wrote.

The drones that get past air defenses instead buzz into cities, blowing up electrical power stations and municipal boilers used to heat neighborhoods in the centralized heating systems used in Ukraine.

Over the past 24 hours, the Russian army and air force attacked around the country with missiles, rockets and self-destructing drones, from the region around Kyiv, the capital, to Mykolaiv in the south, near the Black Sea, the Ukrainian General Staff said in its regular morning report.

“The enemy is not halting strikes on critical infrastructure and civilian objects,” it said, listing 88 strikes, including with short-range rocket systems near the front line.

The strikes have refocused Ukrainians’ attention on the war in cities where a sense of normalcy had been returning, including Kyiv, the capital.

Even successful advances for the Ukrainian army have been bloody and costly as the Russian military has been skirmishing and firing artillery to cover its retreat and continuing attacks in Donbas. Fighting raged along the entire front and in cross-border skirmishing with Russia in northern Ukraine overnight Thursday to Friday, the military command said in a morning statement.

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How a Hospital Chain Used a Poor Neighborhood to Turn Huge Profits

RICHMOND, Va. — In late July, Norman Otey was rushed by ambulance to Richmond Community Hospital. The 63-year-old was doubled over in pain and babbling incoherently. Blood tests suggested septic shock, a grave emergency that required the resources and expertise of an intensive care unit.

But Richmond Community, a struggling hospital in a predominantly Black neighborhood, had closed its I.C.U. in 2017.

It took several hours for Mr. Otey to be transported to another hospital, according to his sister, Linda Jones-Smith. He deteriorated on the way there, and later died of sepsis. Two people who cared for Mr. Otey said the delay had most likely contributed to his death.

the hospital’s financial data.

More than half of all hospitals in the United States are set up as nonprofits, a designation that allows them to make money but avoid paying taxes. Although Bon Secours has taken a financial hit this year like many other hospital systems, the chain made nearly $1 billion in profit last year at its 50 hospitals in the United States and Ireland and was sitting on more than $9 billion in cash reserves. It avoids at least $440 million in federal, state and local taxes every year that it would otherwise have to pay, according to an analysis by the Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.

In exchange for the tax breaks, the Internal Revenue Service requires nonprofit hospitals to provide a benefit to their communities. But an investigation by The New York Times found that many of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital systems have drifted far from their charitable roots. The hospitals operate like for-profit companies, fixating on revenue targets and expansions into affluent suburbs.

borrowing tricks from business consultants, have trained staff to squeeze payments from poor patients who should be eligible for free care.

John M. Starcher Jr., made about $6 million in 2020, according to the most recent tax filings.

“Our mission is clear — to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of our communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved,” the spokeswoman, Maureen Richmond, said. Bon Secours did not comment on Mr. Otey’s case.

In interviews, doctors, nurses and former executives said the hospital had been given short shrift, and pointed to a decade-old development deal with the city of Richmond as another example.

In 2012, the city agreed to lease land to Bon Secours at far below market value on the condition that the chain expand Richmond Community’s facilities. Instead, Bon Secours focused on building a luxury apartment and office complex. The hospital system waited a decade to build the promised medical offices next to Richmond Community, breaking ground only this year.

founded in 1907 by Black doctors who were not allowed to work at the white hospitals across town. In the 1930s, Dr. Jackson’s grandfather, Dr. Isaiah Jackson, mortgaged his house to help pay for an expansion of the hospital. His father, also a doctor, would take his children to the hospital’s fund-raising telethons.

Cassandra Newby-Alexander at Norfolk State University.

got its first supermarket.

according to research done by Virginia Commonwealth University. The public bus route to St. Mary’s, a large Bon Secours facility in the northwest part of the city, takes more than an hour. There is no public transportation from the East End to Memorial Regional, nine miles away.

“It became impossible for me to send people to the advanced heart valve clinic at St. Mary’s,” said Dr. Michael Kelly, a cardiologist who worked at Richmond Community until Bon Secours scaled back the specialty service in 2019. He said he had driven some patients to the clinic in his own car.

Richmond Community has the feel of an urgent-care clinic, with a small waiting room and a tan brick facade. The contrast with Bon Secours’s nearby hospitals is striking.

At the chain’s St. Francis Medical Center, an Italianate-style compound in a suburb 18 miles from Community, golf carts shuttle patients from the lobby entrance, past a marble fountain, to their cars.

after the section of the federal law that authorized it, allows hospitals to buy drugs from manufacturers at a discount — roughly half the average sales price. The hospitals are then allowed to charge patients’ insurers a much higher price for the same drugs.

The theory behind the law was that nonprofit hospitals would invest the savings in their communities. But the 340B program came with few rules. Hospitals did not have to disclose how much money they made from sales of the discounted drugs. And they were not required to use the revenues to help the underserved patients who qualified them for the program in the first place.

In 2019, more than 2,500 nonprofit and government-owned hospitals participated in the program, or more than half of all hospitals in the country, according to the independent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

in wealthier neighborhoods, where patients with generous private insurance could receive expensive drugs, but on paper make the clinics extensions of poor hospitals to take advantage of 340B.

to a price list that hospitals are required to publish. That is nearly $22,000 profit on a single vial. Adults need two vials per treatment course.

work has shown that hospitals participating in the 340B program have increasingly opened clinics in wealthier areas since the mid-2000s.

were unveiling a major economic deal that would bring $40 million to Richmond, add 200 jobs and keep the Washington team — now known as the Commanders — in the state for summer training.

The deal had three main parts. Bon Secours would get naming rights and help the team build a training camp and medical offices on a lot next to Richmond’s science museum.

The city would lease Bon Secours a prime piece of real estate that the chain had long coveted for $5,000 a year. The parcel was on the city’s west side, next to St. Mary’s, where Bon Secours wanted to build medical offices and a nursing school.

Finally, the nonprofit’s executives promised city leaders that they would build a 25,000-square-foot medical office building next to Richmond Community Hospital. Bon Secours also said it would hire 75 local workers and build a fitness center.

“It’s going to be a quick timetable, but I think we can accomplish it,” the mayor at the time, Dwight C. Jones, said at the news conference.

Today, physical therapy and doctors’ offices overlook the football field at the training center.

On the west side of Richmond, Bon Secours dropped its plans to build a nursing school. Instead, it worked with a real estate developer to build luxury apartments on the site, and delayed its plans to build medical offices. Residents at The Crest at Westhampton Commons, part of the $73 million project, can swim in a saltwater pool and work out on communal Peloton bicycles. On the ground floor, an upscale Mexican restaurant serves cucumber jalapeño margaritas and a Drybar offers salon blowouts.

have said they plan to house mental health, hospice and other services there.

a cardiologist and an expert on racial disparities in amputation, said many people in poor, nonwhite communities faced similar delays in getting the procedure. “I am not surprised by what’s transpired with this patient at all,” he said.

Because Ms. Scarborough does not drive, her nephew must take time off work every time she visits the vascular surgeon, whose office is 10 miles from her home. Richmond Community would have been a five-minute walk. Bon Secours did not comment on her case.

“They have good doctors over there,” Ms. Scarborough said of the neighborhood hospital. “But there does need to be more facilities and services over there for our community, for us.”

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

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Amended Autopsy: Black Man Died Due To Sedative, Restraint

Despite the finding, the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, was still listed as undetermined, not a homicide.

A Black man died after a police encounter in a Denver suburb in 2019 because he was injected with a powerful sedative after being forcibly restrained, according to an amended autopsy report publicly released Friday.

Despite the finding, the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, was still listed as undetermined, not a homicide, the report shows. McClain was put in a neck hold and injected with ketamine after being stopped by police in Aurora for “being suspicious.” He was unarmed.

The original autopsy report that was written soon after his death in August 2019 did not reach a conclusion about how he died or what type of death is was, such as if it was natural, accidental or a homicide. That was a major reason why prosecutors initially decided not to pursue charges.

But a state grand jury last year indicted three officers and two paramedics on manslaughter and reckless homicide charges in McClain’s death after the case drew renewed attention following the killing of George Floyd in 2020. It became a rallying cry during the national reckoning over racism and police brutality.

The five accused have not yet entered pleas and their lawyers have not commented publicly on the charges.

In the updated report, completed in July 2021, Dr. Stephen Cina, a pathologist, concluded that the ketamine dosage given to McClain, which was higher than recommended for someone his size, “was too much for this individual and it resulted in an overdose, even though his blood ketamine level was consistent with a ‘therapeutic’ blood concentration.”

He said he could not rule out that changes in McClain’s blood chemistry, like an increase in lactic acid, due to his exertion while being restrained by police contributed to his death but concluded there was no evidence that injuries inflicted by police caused his death.

“I believe that Mr. McClain would most likely be alive but for the administration of ketamine,” said Cina, who noted that body camera footage shows McClain becoming “extremely sedated” within a few minutes of being given the drug.

Cina acknowledged that other reasonable pathologists with different experience and training may have labeled such a death, while in police custody, as a homicide or accident, but that he believes the appropriate classification is undetermined.

Qusair Mohamedbhai, attorney for McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, declined a request for comment.

Dr. Carl Wigren, a forensic pathologist in Washington state, questioned the report’s focus on ketamine, saying all the available evidence — including a highly critical independent review of McClain’s death commissioned by Aurora last year — point to McClain dying as a result of compressional asphyxia, a type of suffocation, from officers putting pressure on his body while restraining him. He was struck by one passage in the city’s review citing the ambulance company’s report that its crew found McClain lying on the ground on his stomach, his arms handcuffed behind his back, his torso and legs held down, with at least three officers on top of him.

That scene was not captured on body camera footage, the report said, but much of what happened between police was not because the officers’ cameras came off soon after McClain was approached. The cameras did continue to record where they fell and captured people talking.

Just because McClain, who said he couldn’t breathe, could be heard making some statements on the footage, does not mean he was able to fully breathe, Wigren said. Ketamine, which slows breathing, could have just exacerbated McClain’s condition, but Wigren does not think it caused his death.

However, another pathologist, Dr. Deborah G. Johnson of Colorado, said McClain’s quick reaction to ketamine suggests that it was a cause of McClain’s death, but she said its use cannot be separated from the impact that the police restraint may have had. McClain may have had trouble breathing because of the restraint and having less oxygen in your system would make the sedative take effect more quickly, she said.

Both thought the death could have been labeled as a homicide — a death caused by the actions of other people — which they pointed out is a separate judgment from deciding whether someone should be prosecuted with a crime for causing it.

McClain got an overdose of ketamine, Johnson said, noting that the paramedics were working at night when it is hard to judge someone’s weight.

“Was that a mistake to send someone to prison for? I don’t think so,” she said.

The updated autopsy was released Friday under a court order in a lawsuit brought by Colorado Public Radio, joined by other media organizations including The Associated Press. Colorado Public Radio sued the coroner to release the report after learning it had been updated, arguing that it should be made available under the state’s public records law.

Coroner Monica Broncucia-Jordan said she could not release it because it contained confidential grand jury information and that releasing it would violate the oath she made not to share it when she obtained it last year.

But Adams County District Judge Kyle Seedorf ordered the coroner to release the updated report by Friday, and a Denver judge who oversees state grand jury proceedings, Christopher Baumann, ruled Thursday that grand jury information did not have be redacted from the updated report.

Cina noted that the report was updated based on extensive body camera footage, witness statements and records that he did not have at the time of the original autopsy report, which were not made available to the coroner’s office at all or in their entirety before. Last year, Cina and Broncucia-Jordan received some material that was made available to the grand jury last year, according to court documents, but they did not say what exactly that material was.

McClain’s death fueled renewed scrutiny about the use of the ketamine and led Colorado’s health department to issue a new rule limiting when emergency workers can use it.

Last year, the city of Aurora agreed to pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit brought by McClain’s parents. The lawsuit alleged the force officers used against McClain and his struggle to survive it dramatically increased the amount of lactic acid in his system, leading to his death, possibly along with the large dose of ketamine he was given.

The outside investigation commissioned by the city faulted the police probe into McClain’s arrest for not pressing for answers about how officers treated him. It found there was no evidence justifying officers’ decision to stop McClain, who had been reported as suspicious because he was wearing a ski mask as he walked down the street waving his hands. He was not accused of breaking any law.

Police reform activist Candice Bailey had mixed emotions about seeing the amended autopsy.

“I do believe that it does get us a step closer to anything that is a semblance of justice,” said Bailey, an activist in the city of Aurora who has led demonstrations over the death of McClain.

But Bailey added that she is “extremely saddened that there is still a controversy around whether or not the EMTs and officers should be held responsible for what they did, and as to whether or not this was actually murder.”

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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In Ukraine’s South, Fierce Fighting and Deadly Costs

AT THE KHERSON FRONT, Ukraine — The commander banged on the door furiously.

“I need help!” he shouted.

When Tetiana Kozyr opened up, the commander rushed in, carrying a young soldier on his shoulders. She said the young man was sunburned, thin and gravely wounded.

The Ukrainians were trying to recapture her village, the smallest dot on the most detailed military maps. Russian forces had just blown up three Ukrainian tanks. Flames leaped off the roofs of neighboring houses.

refused to let his commanders retreat from the city of Kherson, according to American officials.

recently said that Ukraine was losing 50 soldiers a day.

officially announced the beginning of the offensive. She fled a few days later and now lives in a displaced persons shelter in the city of Zaporizhzhia.

She said that when the commander first arrived with the wounded soldier, she panicked.

“I was yelling at him: ‘Why did you bring him here? The Russians will kill us all!’” she said.

But the commander just stepped through the doorway, desperate to find shelter. The village was on fire, in the middle of two armies blasting each other.

She shrunk back as her husband and the commander pressed bandages to the young man’s wounds. Shrapnel had sliced through his back and lungs. Her kitchen floor was soon covered in blood.

That night, she and her husband slept in their cellar. The commander curled up next to the wounded soldier on the kitchen floor.

When Ms. Kozyr stepped outside the next morning, to check on her calf and pigs, she passed by the kitchen and peered through the window.

The soldier’s hands were curled, his body stiff. He was dead.

She started crying at the memory of it, pulling a small rag out of her pocket and wiping her eyes. But she did not question the counteroffensive.

“It needed to be done,” she said. And then she repeated herself, a little more softly. “It needed to be done.”

Oleksandra Mykolyshyn and Oleksandr Chubko contributed reporting from Mykolaiv, Ukraine, and Thomas Gibbons-Neff from Pokrovsk, Ukraine.

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Breakthrough Device Could Ease Deep Depression

A very small group of just several hundred Americans is trying an at-home medical treatment involving electrical stimulation of part of the brain.

It looks a little “weird science.” 

But the headpiece that Susan Meiklejohn dons daily is giving her head peace— peace and relief from the deep, debilitating depression from which she has suffered most of her life. 

SUSAN MEIKLEJOHN: I had a very, very stressful — overwhelmingly stressful — childhood. I had a violent father. And at 11, was the first time I had suicidal ideation.   

NEWSY’S JASON BELLINI: How old are you now?   

MEIKLEJOHN: 68. So, I’ve never gotten past the ideation phase. I’ve never attempted suicide. But I certainly have been enmeshed in that ideation.  

Meiklejohn, a retired college professor and amateur artist, is one of nearly three million adults in America with depression that does not respond to medication. Now she’s one of a very small group — just several hundred — trying an at-home medical treatment involving electrical stimulation of part of the brain.  

BELLINI: How many medications have you tried?   

MEIKLEJOHN: I’d say 10. … I have always been very, very eager to do what it takes to get out of this.

So she tried ketamine—most commonly used in anesthesia—forking over $16,000 out of pocket to see whether the new psychedelic treatment, now being offered in hundreds of U.S. clinics, could provide her with some relief. It did, but not for long. 

“It makes you feel great,” Meiklejohn said. “So, that lasted for about three days. And then it’s right back again.”

Back again to suicidal ideation. Then, a few months ago, Meiklejohn heard about a new treatment protocol — one she could try at home.

It’s provided by a team led by Leigh Charvet, who is a neuropsychologist at NYU Langone Health. She’s pioneering research in transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a treatment for a wide range of neurological disorders, depression among them. 

“I have to say, of all of our experience with tDCS, the response in the depression trial has been absolutely remarkable,” Charvet said.

And the treatment is considered low-risk enough to let Newsy’s Jason Bellinni try it, powered up. 

At his lab, at the City College of New York, Marom Bikson develops cutting edge methods of “neuromodulation.”

“Neuromodulation as a field is the use of devices to deliver energy in a controlled way to the nervous system to change the body,” he said. “When you think something, when you feel something, it’s all electricity. We’re adding electricity into that mix. So, it’s sort of, maybe not a surprise that an electrical organ is sensitive to electricity coming in.”

BELLINI: What do you think is most exciting right now when it comes to this field generally? 

MAROM BIKSON: One is more and more sophisticated technologies that can deliver energy to the nervous system in a more intentional and targeted way. So, more and more specificity.  

To demonstrate, Bikson suited Bellini up for an experiment to see if targeted electrical stimulation can improve one’s concentration while doing a boring, repetitive task. 

BELLINI: Is there a sweet spot you’re trying to hit? 

“This electrode here is roughly over a part of your brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,” Bikson said.

That’s an area of the brain associated with problem solving, attention switching, memory management and inhibition.  

BIKSON: Now, you’re at the full current, can you feel it? 

BELLINI: I feel the itchiness, that’s for sure. 

Itchiness, where the electrode touched Bellini’s scalp, which he says went away within a few minutes. He had no other sensation beyond that.  

As far as the game, as shown to Bellini in an analysis afterward, stimulation appeared to improve his performance a bit. Depression treatments target the same brain area as that experiment.  

“We have developed a hypothesis that this energy may not directly affect the neurons of the brain, but actually affect the blood vessels in the brain,” Bikson said.

They headed over to an MRI machine, where they set Bellini up to capture what the stimulation does inside his head.  

The areas in red showed an increase in blood flow. But how that may impact people with depression and other neurological diseases remains a medical mystery. 

BIKSON: It works, but it also works on the most difficult people, people who have been failed by conventional medicines.  

BELLINI: But not everyone?

BIKSON: But not everyone. And then, there’s the opportunity, right? Just like with medications, with neuromodulation, you’re thinking, “How can I make this work better? How can I capture the people who did not respond? And even for the people who did respond, can I do better for them still?”

Today, another approach to stimulation, called “repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation,” or repetitive TMS, is both FDA approved and widely available. But it requires a series of sessions over days or weeks. And larger studies are needed to determine how long improvements last. 

“I’m very interested in creating something that is as effective as that. But you can use it at home still under prescription,” Bikson said.

NYU is using a device developed in partnership with Bikson that can be positioned properly remotely.

BELLINI: You haven’t done this long enough to know how long it will last?   

LEIGH CHARVET: No. … We know that more is better. We don’t know if you reach a plateau or If you have remission in depression. Do you need to continue or do you need to taper it?   

Meiklejohn has been using it daily, while meditating, for more than three months. 

BELLINI: When did you start to notice changes?  

MEIKLEJOHN: I’d say after about three weeks. 

BELLINI: Has the suicide ideation gone away? 

MEIKLEJOHN: Not completely, no. You know, when I dip, I dip. … The difference is, I bounce back in a day or two. 

Meiklejohn hopes she’ll continue to be a portrait of hope.

Newsy’s mental health initiative “America’s Breakdown: Confronting Our Mental Health Crisis” brings you deeply personal and thoughtfully told stories on the state of mental health care in the U.S. Click here to learn more.

Source: newsy.com

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High Level Russian Intelligence Officers Are Getting Fed Up With Putin

A source with knowledge of U.S. intelligence tells Newsy that Putin is more engaged now in the war than ever before.

Just how desperate is Vladimir Putin? 

 Two sources familiar with U.S. intelligence say that senior officers in Russia’s intelligence community are getting fed up with their president. 

There are indications that Putin’s critics there want to replace the former KGB officer with a current intelligence official, and a person may have been chosen, according to one source. It comes as major losses in Ukraine drove Putin to announce a partial draft — even as he still refuses to call his invasion a war: 

“In order to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity, in order to provide for safety of people of liberated territories, I think it is necessary to support the decision to partially mobilize citizens of Russian federation,” Putin said. “I would like to underline this is a partial mobilization.” 

Fleeing Russians are heading for land borders and airports. Protesters have been arrested and are receiving draft notices during detention, according to the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

 And video appears to show civilians arguing with recruiting officers, or leaving with teary goodbyes. 

Many Western military analysts see the conscription as a new sign of Russian weakness and predict that the new troops won’t be well-prepared for battle.  

A source with knowledge of U.S. intelligence tells Newsy that Putin is more engaged now in the war than ever before, believing he is the only one who can turn around Russia’s losses. He has advisers inside and outside of the Kremlin, some of whom are telling him to get tougher in Ukraine.  

The U.S. and its allies continue to call for Russia to end the war. 

“This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state, plain and simple,” said President Joe Biden. “And Ukraine’s right to exist as a people. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever you believe, that should not– that should make your blood run cold.”  

The U.S. intelligence community believes that Putin is doubling down, in large part because he sees himself as “the personification of Russia,” according to the source.  

In occupied territories of Ukraine, Moscow-backed officials plan to swiftly hold so-called referenda to join Russia. Putin has also invoked more nuclear threats, with Kremlin officials saying they could use nuclear weapons to defend seized land. 

“This week, President Putin said that Russia would not hesitate to use ‘all weapons systems available’ in response to a threat to its territorial integrity, a threat that is all the more menacing given Russia’s intention to annex large swaths of Ukraine in the days ahead<‘ said Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State. “When that is complete, we can expect President Putin will claim any Ukrainian effort to liberate this land as an attack on so-called Russian territory.” 

The CIA’s deputy director said last week that the U.S. should not “underestimate Putin’s appetite for risk.”  

Source: newsy.com

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Biden: Russia ‘Shamelessly Violated’ U.N. Charter In Ukraine

President Biden also highlighted consequences of the invasion for the world’s food supply, pledging $2.9 billion in global food security aid.

President Joe Biden declared at the United Nations on Wednesday that Russia has “shamelessly violated the core tenets” of the international body with its war in Ukraine as he summoned nations around the globe to stand firm in backing the Ukrainian resistance.

Delivering a forceful condemnation of Russia’s seven-month invasion, President Biden said reports of Russian abuses against civilians in Ukraine “should make your blood run cold.” And he said President Vladimir Putin’s new nuclear threats against Europe showed “reckless disregard” for Russia’s responsibilities as a signer of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

He criticized Russia for scheduling “sham referenda” this week in territory it has forcibly seized in Ukraine.

“A permanent member of the U..N Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the U.N. charter,” he told his U.N. audience.

President Biden called on all nations, whether democracies or autocracies, to speak out against Russia’s “brutal, needless war” and to bolster Ukraine’s effort to defend itself.

“We will stand in solidarity against Russia’s aggression, period,” President Biden said.

He also highlighted consequences of the invasion for the world’s food supply, pledging $2.9 billion in global food security aid to address shortages caused by the war and the effects of climate change. President Biden praised a U.N.-brokered effort to create a corridor for Ukrainian grain to be exported by sea, and called on the agreement to be continued despite the ongoing conflict.

The president, during his time at the U.N. General Assembly, also planned to meet Wednesday with new British Prime Minister Liz Truss and press allies to meet an $18 billion target to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

But the heart of the president’s visit to the U.N. this year was his full-throated censure of Russia as its war nears the seven-month mark. One of Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassadors, Gennady Kuzmin, was sitting in Russia’s seat during President Biden’s speech.

The address came as Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine have announced plans to hold Kremllin-backed referendums in days ahead on becoming part of Russia and as Moscow is losing ground in the invasion. Russian President Putin on Wednesday announced a partial mobilization to call up 300,000 reservists and accused the West of engaging in “nuclear blackmail.”

The White House said the global food security funding includes $2 billion in direct humanitarian assistance through the United States Agency for International Development. The balance of the money will go to global development projects meant to boost the efficiency and resilience of the global food supply.

“This new announcement of $2.9 billion will save lives through emergency interventions and invest in medium- to long-term food security assistance in order to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations from the escalating global food security crisis,” the White House said.

President Biden was confronting no shortage of difficult issues as leaders gather this year.

In addition to the Russian war in Ukraine, European fears that a recession could be just around the corner are heightened. Administration concerns grow by the day that time is running short to revive the Iran nuclear deal and over China’s saber-rattling on Taiwan.

When he addressed last year’s General Assembly, President Biden focused on broad themes of global partnership, urging world leaders to act with haste against the coronavirus, climate change and human rights abuses. And he offered assurances that his presidency marked a return of American leadership to international institutions following Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.

But one year later, global dynamics have dramatically changed.

His Wednesday address comes on the heels of Ukrainian forces retaking control of large stretches of territory near Kharkiv. But even as Ukrainian forces have racked up battlefield wins, much of Europe is feeling painful blowback from economic sanctions levied against Russia. A vast reduction in Russian oil and gas has led to a sharp jump in energy prices, skyrocketing inflation and growing risk of Europe slipping into a recession.

President Biden’s visit to the U.N. also comes as his administration’s efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal appears stalled.

The deal brokered by the Obama administration — and scrapped by Trump in 2018 — provided billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for Iran’s agreement to dismantle much of its nuclear program and open its facilities to extensive international inspection.

“While the United States is prepared for a mutual return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, if Iran steps up to its obligations, the United States is clear: We will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” President Biden said.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said no breakthrough with Iran was expected during the General Assembly and that administration officials would be consulting with fellow signers of the 2015 agreement on the sidelines of this week’s meetings.

This year’s U.N. gathering is back to being a full-scale, in-person event after two years of curtailed activity due to the pandemic. In 2020, the in-person gathering was canceled and leaders instead delivered prerecorded speeches; last year was a mix of in-person and prerecorded speeches. Biden and first lady Jill Biden were set to host a leaders’ reception on Wednesday evening.

China’s President Xi Jinping opted not to attend this year’s U.N. gathering, but his country’s conduct and intentions will loom large.

Weeks after tensions flared across the Taiwan Strait as China objected to the high-profile visit to Taiwan of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Biden called for “peace and stability” and said the U.S. would “oppose unilateral changes in the status quo by either side.” That came days after President Biden repeated that the U.S. would militarily assist Taiwan if China sought to invade.

China’s government on Monday said President Biden’s statement in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview that American forces would defend the self-ruled island was a violation of U.S. commitments on the matter, but it gave no indication of possible retaliation.

President Biden on Wednesday also declared that “fundamental freedoms are at risk in every part of our world,” citing last month’s U.N. human rights office report raising concerns about possible “crimes against humanity” in China’s western region against Uyghurs and other largely Muslim ethnic groups.

He also singled out for criticism the military junta in Myanmar, the Taliban controlling Afghanistan, and Iran, where he said the U.S. supports protests in Iran that sprang up in recent days after a 22-year-old woman died while being held by the morality police for violating the country’s Islamic dress code.

“Today we stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran, who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights,” President Biden said. “The United States will always promote human rights and the values enshrined in the U.N. Charter in our own country and around the world.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Don Bolduc Declares Victory In GOP New Hampshire Senate Primary

Don Bolduc will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in the November midterms.

The Republican stage for retaking the Senate majority this coming November is finally set, as retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc declared himself the winner Tuesday night.

Chuck Morse, the Senate president in New Hampshire, who was viewed as the mainstream, more moderate Republican choice, announced that he was conceding in a tweet saying “It’s been a long night and we’ve come up short. I want to thank my supporters for all the blood sweat and tears they poured into this team effort. I just called and wished all the best to General Don Bolduc.”

Bolduc’s focus this fall now needs to be on defeating Maggie Hassan; Bolduc is the candidate Democrats preferred, as they immediately wasted no time in blasting him as someone who is far-right with his positions.

Democratic voters in New Hampshire appear to be galvanizing over the Supreme Court’s move overturning nationwide access to abortion.

“I think that women across our whole country are energized because of the overturning of Roe, which we thought they would never see, so I think people realize what they can do is vote,” said Heather Krans, a New Hampshire voter.

“We’ve got to get the women back their rights. I mean, this is ridiculous,” said George Drinkwater of Newfields, New Hampshire.

But Democrats aren’t the only party saying they are motivated to vote in November.

“The people in New Hampshire are tired of what’s happening with this administration and it’s time to hold this administration accountable,” said Kevin Ray, who voted in the GOP Primary.

Bolduc says he’s the best option to recall Hassan from Washington.

“I will be able to go to Washington, D.C., be beholden to nobody but Granite Staters. That’s what they want. That’s the difference they’re looking for,” said Bolduc.

Bolduc tried to paint Hassan as out of touch with voters.

“Their No. 1 issues are inflation, energy, and safety and security. All those things that Maggie Hassan has failed at, for Granite Staters and Americans,” Bolduc said.

But with control of the Senate hanging in the balance, President Joe Biden’s Granite State favorability ratings hit just 22% in the latest poll, meaning Hassan may have to rely on voters looking past the president.

“The issues on the ballot are really going to drive the people out — abortion, Supreme Court, stuff like that — not that Biden’s going keep them away,” said Guy Cayton of Exeter, New Hampshire.

But Tuesday morning, before Don Bolduc was declared the winner of the Republican primary, the first-term Democratic senator told Newsy she expects to fight for survival.

“This will be a close race because it always is in New Hampshire. Everybody takes their responsibility very, very seriously here as voters. And I’m looking forward to making my case about my bipartisan record of results. And I will draw a sharp contrast with my opponent,” Hassan said.

Source: newsy.com

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In A Nod To JFK, President Biden Pushing ‘Moonshot’ To Fight Cancer

The president is seeking to rally the nation around developing treatments and therapeutics for the pervasive diseases.

President Joe Biden is set to channel John F. Kennedy on the 60th anniversary of the former president’s moonshot speech, as the incumbent tries to set the nation’s sights on “ending cancer as we know it.”

President Biden was traveling to Boston on Monday to highlight a new federally backed study that seeks to validate using blood tests to screen against multiple cancers — a potential game-changer in diagnostic testing to dramatically improve early detection of cancers. He also planned other announcements meant to better the lives of those suffering from cancer.

His speech at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum comes as President Biden seeks to rally the nation around developing treatments and therapeutics for the pervasive diseases that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks as the second-highest killer of people in the U.S. after heart disease. President Biden hopes to move the U.S. closer to the goal he set in February of cutting U.S. cancer fatalities by 50% over the next 25 years and to dramatically improve the lives of caregivers and those suffering from cancer.

Danielle Carnival, the White House cancer moonshot coordinator, told The Associated Press that the administration sees huge potential in the commencement of the blood diagnostic study on identifying and treating cancers.

“One of the most promising technologies has been the development of blood tests that offer the promise of detecting multiple cancers in a single blood test and really imagining the impact that could have on our ability to detect cancer early and in a more equitable way,” Carnival said. “We think the best way to get us to the place where those are realized is to really test out the technologies we have today and see what works and what really has an impact on extending lives.”

In 2022, the American Cancer Society estimates, 1.9 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 609,360 people will die of cancer diseases.

The issue is personal to President Biden, who lost his adult son Beau in 2015 to brain cancer. After Beau’s death, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which dedicated $1.8 billion over seven years for cancer research and was signed into law in 2016 by President Barack Obama.

Obama designated President Biden, then vice president, to run “mission control” on directing the cancer funds as a recognition of President Biden’s grief as a parent and desire to do something about it. President Biden wrote in his memoir “Promise Me, Dad” that he chose not to run for president in 2016 primarily because of Beau’s death.

Despite President Biden’s attempts to hark back to Kennedy and his space program, the current initiative lacks that same level of budgetary support. The Apollo program garnered massive public investment — more than $20 billion, or more than $220 billion in 2022 dollars adjusted for inflation. President Biden’s “moonshot” effort is far more modest and reliant on private sector investment.

Still, President Biden has tried to maintain momentum for investments in public health research, including championing the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, modeled after similar research and development initiatives benefiting the Pentagon and intelligence community.

On Monday, President Biden will announce Dr. Renee Wegrzyn as the inaugural director of ARPA-H, which has been given the task of studying treatments and potential cures for cancers, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other diseases. He will also announce a new National Cancer Institute scholars’ program to provide resources to early-career scientists studying treatments and cures for cancer.

Experts agree it’s far too early to say whether these new blood tests for finding cancer in healthy people will have any effect on cancer deaths. There have been no studies to show they reduce the risk of dying from cancer. Still, they say setting an ambitious goal is important.

Carnival said the National Cancer Institute Study was designed so that any promising diagnostic results could be swiftly put into widespread practice while the longer-term study — expected to last up to a decade — progresses. She said the goal was to move closer to a future where cancers could be detected through routine bloodwork, potentially replacing more invasive and burdensome procedures like colonoscopies, and therefore saving lives.

Scientists now understand that cancer is not a single disease, but hundreds of diseases that respond differently to different treatments. Some cancers have biomarkers that can be targeted by existing drugs that will slow a tumor’s growth. Many more targets await discovery.

“How do we learn what therapies are effective in which subtypes of disease? That to me is oceanic,” said Donald A. Berry, a biostatistician at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. “The possibilities are enormous. The challenges are enormous.”

Despite the challenges, he’s optimistic about cutting the cancer death rate in half over the next 25 years.

“We can get to that 50% goal by slowing the disease sufficiently across the various cancers without curing anybody,” Berry said. “If I were to bet on whether we will achieve this 50% reduction, I would bet yes.

Even without new breakthroughs, progress can be made by making care more equitable, said Dr. Crystal Denlinger, chief scientific officer for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a group of elite cancer centers.

And any effort to reduce the cancer death rate will need to focus on the biggest cancer killer, which is lung cancer. Mostly attributable to smoking, lung cancer now causes more cancer deaths than any other cancer. Of the 1,670 daily cancer deaths in the United States, more than 350 are from lung cancer.

Lung cancer screening is helping. The American Cancer Society says such screening helped drive down the cancer death rate 32% from its peak in 1991 to 2019, the most recent year for which numbers are available.

But only 5% of eligible patients are being screened for lung cancer.

“It’s tragic,” said Dr. Roy Herbst, a lung specialist at Yale Cancer Center.

“The moonshot is going to have to be a social fix as well as a scientific and medical fix,” Herbst said. “We’re going to have to find a way that screening becomes easier, that it’s fully covered, that we have more screening facilities.”

President Biden planned to urge Americans who might have delayed cancer screenings during the pandemic to seek them out swiftly, reminding them that early detection can be key to avoiding adverse outcomes.

He was also set to highlight provisions in the Democrats’ health care and climate change bill that the administration believes will lower out of pocket drug prices for some widely used cancer treatments. He will also celebrate new guarantees for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, that cover their potential cancer diagnoses.

Dr. Michael Hassett of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said President Biden’s goal to reduce cancer deaths could be met by following two parallel paths: one of discovery and the other making sure as many people as possible are reaping the advantages of existing therapies and preventive approaches.

“If we can address both aspects, both challenges, major advances are possible,” Hassett said.

In breast cancer, for example, many women who could benefit from a hormone-blocking pill either never start the therapy or stop taking it before the recommended five years, Hassett’s research has found.

“Those are big gaps,” Hassett said. “That’s a treatment that’s effective. But if many people aren’t taking that medication or if they’re taking it but stopping it before concluding the course of therapy, then the benefits that the medicine could offer aren’t realized.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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