Pope Names 13 New Cardinals, Includes WDC Archbishop Gregory 

Pope Francis on Sunday named 13 new cardinals, including Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who would become the first Black U.S. prelate to earn the coveted red hat.In a surprise announcement from his studio window to faithful standing below in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said the churchmen would be elevated to a cardinal’s rank in a ceremony on Nov. 28.Other new cardinals include an Italian who is the long-time papal preacher at the Vatican, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, a Franciscan friar; the Kigali, Rwanda, Archbishop Antoine Kambanda; the Capiz, Philippines, Archbishop Jose Feurte Advincula, and the Santiago, Chile, Archbishop Celestino Aos Braco. Another Franciscan who was tapped is Friar Mauro Gambetti, in charge of the Sacred Convent in Assisi. The pope, when elected in 2013, chose St. Francis of Assisi as his namesake saint. Earlier this month, the pontiff journeyed to that hill town in Umbria to sign an encyclical, or important church teaching document, about brotherhood.In a reflection of the pope’s stress on helping those in need, Francis also named the former director of the Rome Catholic charity, Caritas, the Rev. Enrico Feroci, to be a cardinal.Wilton, 73, was picked by Francis to lead the prestigious diocese in the U.S. capital last year. The prelate has his pulse on factions in the U.S. Catholic Church, which has both strong conservative and liberal veins since he served three times as the head of the U.S. Conference of Bishops.Nine of the new cardinals are younger than 80, and thus eligible to elect the next pontiff in a secret conclave. Some cardinals head powerful Vatican offices, and pontiffs frequently turn to cardinals for advice.No details were immediately given by the Vatican about the concistory, as the formal ceremony to make the churchmen cardinals is known, especially in view of travel restrictions involving many countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.As he has in other groups of cardinals he tapped in his papacy, Francis in this selection reflected the global nature of the Catholic Church and his flock of 1.2 billion Catholics.Others named cardinals include a Maltese prelate, Monsignor Mario Grech; Monsignor Marcello Semeraro, an Italian serving as prefect of the Vatican office which runs the saint-making process; Bishop Cornelius Sim, a Brunei native who serves as apostolic vicar of Brunei; the Italian archbishop of Siena and nearby towns in Tuscany, Augusto Lojudice; the retired bishop of San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, Monsignor Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel; and an Italian former Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi.Churchmen over 80 who are named cardinals are chosen to honor their life of service to the church. Those in this batch too old to vote in a conclave are Cantalamessa, Tomasi, Feroci and Arizmendi Esquivel. 

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Ukrainians Go to the Polls in Historic Local Elections 

Voters across Ukraine are casting ballots in local elections being held under a new Electoral Code that decentralizes power from Kyiv to local governing bodies. The polls are considered the most consequential local elections in Ukraine’s modern history, with all local officials up for replacement and the new local governments being granted expanded financial and political independence from the central government. The reforms have been lauded as a significant step away from the top-down administration the country inherited from the Soviet Union that has remained largely unchanged over three decades of independence. The October 25 vote has also been seen as an important test for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was elected in a landslide in early 2019, and his Servant of the People party. Recent public opinion polls show that about 70 percent of Ukrainians believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, while Zelenskiy’s personal approval rating has dipped below 50 percent. According to a poll by the Rating Group polling agency, Servant of the People —a populist party that has no defined program or ideology — is expected to get only about 17 percent of the overall vote on October 25, down from the 54 percent it received in snap parliamentary elections in July 2019. The incumbent mayors of the major cities holding elections — Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Dnipro, and Lviv — are expected to retain their seats, although some races could go to a second round of voting. None of these incumbents is a member of Servant of the People, and all of them oppose Zelenskiy. More than 1,400 newly defined local communities will choose city and regional council members, as well as heads of rural settlements and city mayors. The new election laws also mandate that 40 percent of local council seats go to women. In all, some 370 mayors, more than 1,000 town and settlement heads, and about 2,000 town, city, and regional councils will be determined. Some 360 registered parties are participating in at least one of the elections. Voting will not be held in the Black Sea region of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, and in parts of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions where Russian-backed separatist formations are fighting against Kyiv. In addition, Zelenskiy has ordered that a nonbinding poll comprising five questions be conducted in parallel with the voting. The questions have not been announced in advance, and voter participation in the survey will be voluntary. Zelenskiy said in a video posted on his official website that voters will also be asked to submit questions for future polls. The voting comes as Ukraine — like many European countries — is experiencing a sharp uptick in new coronavirus infections. The country set a single-day record for new infections on October 23, with 7,517 cases recorded. That broke the record of 7,053 set the day before. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko announced on October 24 that he had tested positive for the virus and that he was immediately self-isolating. Zelenskiy’s cabinet last year decided to strip Klitschko of his powers at the head of the capital city’s state administration, which are a separate position from the post of mayor, ratcheting up a power struggle between the former world boxing champion and the president. The president’s office accused Klitschko, who has served as mayor of Kyiv since 2014, of enabling graft and of not controlling the Kyiv city council. Klitschko has denied the allegations and in response has asked the National Anti-Corruption Bureau to investigate the allegations. Klitschko is expected to easily win the mayoral race for Kyiv. In all, Ukraine has recorded more than 330,000 coronavirus infections and more than 6,100 deaths.   

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Кількість порушень на виборах зростає. МВС повідомило про понад 1000 фактів

Станом на полудень 25 жовтня поліція зафіксувала 1280 заяв і повідомлень про порушення, пов’язані із виборчим процесом, повідомила пресслужба МВС України.

«Так, найбільше повідомлень зафіксовано в Києві – 151, у Київській області – 132, Донецькій – 110, Дніпропетровській – 98, Запорізькій – 81, Львівській – 74, Черкаській – 59, Полтавській – 57, Харківській та Херсонській – по 54, Вінницькій – 51, Одеській – 47, Сумській – 36, Рівненській – 35, Закарпатській – 31 , Кіровоградській та Миколаївській – по 30, Хмельницькій – 29, Луганській – 27, Чернігівській – 26, Тернопільській – 20, Івано-Франківській – 18, Волинській – 14, Житомирській – 11, Чернівецькій – 5», – йдеться в повідомленні МВС у Telegram.

Повідомляється, що за 14-ма фактами відкрито кримінальні провадження.

Крім того, щодо порушення порядку ведення агітації зафіксовано 303 повідомлення, з них про агітацію в день виборів – 158, порушення обмежень щодо ведення передвиборної агітації – 65, порушення таємниці голосування – 50, порушення порядку ведення реєстрів виборців або виборчих комісій або списків виборців – 38, незаконне використання виборчого бюлетеня (спроба або винесення виборчого бюлетеня) – 33.

Також поліцейські склали 25 протоколів про вчинення адміністративних правопорушень, зазначили в МВС.

Новина доповнюється…


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UN Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons Worldwide Ratified

An international treaty to ban nuclear weapons has been ratified by 50 United Nations member countries, the world body said Saturday.With Honduras being the 50th nation to ratify it, the historic document enters into force in 90 days, on Jan. 22.In a statement U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres commended the efforts of the 50 countries and of civil society’s anti-nuclear activists for such “instrumental work.”The treaty is the culmination of a worldwide movement “to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons,” Guterres said in the statement issued by U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, adding it “is a tribute to the survivors of nuclear explosions and tests, many of whom advocated for this treaty.”The movement had been strongly opposed by the United States and other major nuclear powers.The treaty “represents a meaningful commitment towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which remains the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations,” Dujarric quoted Guterres as stating.The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross saluted the treaty, saying in a statement “today is a victory for humanity, and a promise of a safer future.”Since the 75th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in August, several countries, including Nigeria, Malaysia, Ireland, Malta and Tuvalu, have ratified the treaty.

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Top Aide to US Vice President Pence Tests Positive for Coronavirus

A close aide to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson for the office said late Saturday.“Today, Marc Short, chief of staff to the vice president, tested positive for COVID-19, began quarantine and assisting in the contact tracing process,” Devin O’Malley said, adding that Pence and his wife, Karen, tested negative Saturday and were in good health.Pence “will maintain his schedule in accordance with the CDC guidelines for essential personnel,” O’Malley said. On Sunday the vice president is to address a campaign rally in North Carolina.Asked about Short when he returned to Washington Saturday evening, after rallies in three U.S. states, President Donald Trump said, “I did hear about it just now. I think he’s quarantining. I did hear about that. He’s going to be fine. But he’s quarantining.”

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Керівництво одного з вишів ДФС вказувало курсантам, за кого голосувати, відкрито справу – прокуратура

Курсанти одного з університетів Державної фіскальної служби України в Київській області отримували вказівку від командного складу віддати свої виборчі голоси на місцевих виборах у неділю за певних кандидатів у депутати, йдеться на сторінці Київської обласної прокуратури у фейсбуці.

«За даними слідства, одна з осіб командного складу курсантів університету ДФС України, за попередньою змовою з посадовцями зазначеного вишу, надала курсантам вказівку віддати свої виборчі голоси на користь певних кандидатів у депутати від однієї з політичних партій. Наразі фігуранту провадження повідомлено про підозру у вчинені кримінального правопорушення, передбаченого ч. 4 ст. 160 КК України (підкуп виборців)», – йдеться в повідомленні.

Повідомляється, що триває досудове слідство, слідчі та розшукові дії.

Водночас у поліції Київської області уточнили, що за вказівкою командира, яку він виклав у мобільному додатку, курсанти повинні були прийти на одну з дільниць міста Ірпінь і віддати свої голоси за депутатів від певної політичної партії, вартість одного голосу коштувала понад півтори тисячі гривень.

За даними Міністерства внутрішніх справ, що у день місцевих виборів 25 жовтня вже зареєстровано 383 заяви та повідомлення про порушення виборчого законодавства.

Раніше голова Центрвиборчкому Олег Діденко заявив, що сьогодні надходять повідомлення про окремі порушення на виборах, але вони не мають системного характеру та не впливають на проведення виборів.

Про перші порушення виборчого законодавства на місцевих виборах в Україні повідомляли громадські спостерігачі від організацій «Опора» та «Комітет виборців України».

В неділю, 25 жовтня, в Україні тривають вибори до місцевих органів влади. Голосування проходитиме до 20:00. Українці обирають депутатів обласних, районних рад, а також депутатів місцевих рад та їх голів у 1439 громадах. Не відбуватимуться вибори на тимчасово окупованих територіях України та у 18 громадах Донецької і Луганської областей, де вибори на підставі висновків обласних військово-цивільних адміністрацій не призначила ЦВК.

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Greece Court Orders Neo-Nazi Leaders to Jail

The leader and founder of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has turned himself in after a court ordered him and other senior members of the party to serve more than 13 years in prison for acting as a criminal organization under the guise of a political party.It is a historic decision bound to have ramifications for other far-right parties across Europe.However, as a three-member criminal court here ordered the leaders of the far-right Golden Dawn party to immediately serve out their prison sentences, many of them emerged defiant.Nikos Michaloliakos, the leader of Golden Dawn, emerged from his home, vowing to quickly return.“We will be vindicated!” he shouted. “I am proud to be taken to jail for my ideas, and we will be vindicated by history and the Greek people,” he said.Michaloliakos and six other leading members of Golden Dawn were former members of the Greek parliament. One continues to hold a seat in the European Parliament.They were convicted earlier this month and sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for leading a violent, decade-long campaign that targeted anyone who was on the political left and not Greek.Despite their conviction, the defendants battled in court for days seeking to win some sort of leniency or suspended sentences that would allow them to serve their sentences at home. Even the court’s prosecutor recommended the neo-Nazis be kept out of jail on the grounds that they had had no prior criminal record.After repeated delays and days of deliberation, though, the judge, Maria Lepenioti, ordered the entire leadership to serve out their sentences behind bars, insisting the order take immediate effect.Police have already started rounding up Golden Dawn’s leaders. They are all expected to appeal their convictions.After the five-year trial, prosecution attorneys such as Kostas Papadakis emerged elated, punching the air in victory.This decision is historic, he said, because it debunks the mystique surrounding Golden Dawn.With a symbol similar to a swastika, and stiff-arm salutes in praise of Adolf Hitler, Golden Dawn is a neo-Nazi party that emerged from obscurity, gaining surprising prominence during Greece’s grim economic crisis.The party went from winning fewer than 20,000 votes in the 2009 general election to more than 7% of the vote and winning 21 parliamentary seats within three years.It retained that hold through 2019, with 18 lawmakers in Greece’s Parliament.No outright fascist party in Europe managed to make such gains in general elections for years.What made Golden Dawn different, and potentially more dangerous than all other Nazi groupings in Europe, was that in public many of its members professed respectable politics and community service that put Greeks first.Many of its members helped escort young women, protecting them at night across the country’s crime-infested capital. They came to the aid of senior citizens and brought food and clothes to many of those in need, including the tens of thousands of Greeks who had lost their jobs to the financial crisis.But they were also seen as the kind of Nazis read about in history books, all driven by profound racism and an admiration for Adolf Hitler, his extremist rhetoric, the torchlit flag-waving rallies, the endless recruitment of young men and the operation of violent hit squads that frequently roamed the streets of the country, targeting immigrants, communist trade unionists, gay people and an antifascist rapper.It was this deadly attack in 2013 against Pavlos Fyssas that finally forced authorities to crack down on the violent group and send its leaders to jail.It remains unclear whether the party can and will remain operative. It is also unclear whether the end of Golden Dawn will stamp out far-right extremism and racist attitudes still strong within Greek society.

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‘Murder Hornet’ Nest Vacuumed Out of Washington Tree

A team of entomologists in full-body protective gear vacuumed Asian giant hornets out of a tree in Washington state on Saturday, eradicating the first nest of the so-called murder hornets found in the United States.The state’s agricultural department said it had spent weeks searching for and trapping the hornets, which attack honeybee hives and could pose a threat to humans, because they can sting repeatedly with venom that is stronger than a honeybee’s.The state’s entomologists succeeded by attaching radio trackers to three hornets they had trapped earlier in the week, one of which they followed to the nest, located in a tree near Blaine, Washington, on Thursday.They returned on Saturday to make the extraction.”Got ’em. Vacuumed out several #AsianGiantHornets from a tree cavity near Blaine this morning,” the agriculture department said on Twitter, adding that more details would be provided at a news conference on Monday.The stinging hornet, the world’s largest, can grow as large as 6.4 centimeters in length and is native to Southeast Asia, China and Taiwan. It was first discovered in the United States in December by a homeowner in Blaine.Aside from the danger to humans, the hornet presents a threat to agriculture and the apiary industry, officials have said, because it is a known predator of honeybees, with a few of the hornets capable of wiping out an entire hive in hours.

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