Daily: 25/12/2021

Народ України унеможливить будь-який сценарій захоплення – Загороднюк

Армія і народ захищатимуть країну. Це і є головним стримуючим фактором для Путіна

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Queen Elizabeth Speaks of Family and Loss at Christmas

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth spoke of the loss of her husband, Prince Philip, on Saturday, remembering the “mischievous twinkle” in his eyes in an unusually personal Christmas message to the nation.

The 95-year-old monarch said that while Christmas was a time of happiness for many, it could be hard for those who had lost loved ones, and this year especially she understood why, having lost Philip, 99, in April after 73 years of marriage.

“His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation were all irrepressible,” she said in her traditional pre-recorded festive broadcast, paying tribute to “my beloved Philip.”

“That mischievous enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him,” she said.

The queen said she knew Philip would want his family to enjoy Christmas, and there would be joy for them despite the absence of his “familiar laugh.”

She delivered her address seated at a desk on which stood a photograph of herself and Philip, standing arm-in-arm and smiling at each other. The photo was taken in 2007, when the couple were marking their Diamond Wedding Anniversary.

For her broadcast, the queen wore a sapphire brooch that she wore on her honeymoon in 1947 and for the Diamond Wedding portrait. Photos of her and Philip at various stages of their lives appeared on the screen while she spoke.

Elizabeth is spending Christmas at Windsor Castle, west of London, for the second year running, a break from royal tradition caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A palace source said this reflected a precautionary approach when the omicron variant is spreading fast.

Police arrested at 19-year-old man on the grounds of the castle about 8:30 a.m. local time. The man, from Southhampton, didn’t enter any buildings and was being held on suspicion of possessing a weapon, Thames Valley Police Superintendent Rebecca Mears said.

Prince Charles, his wife, Camilla, and other royal family members arrived later in the morning for a Christmas church service at St George’s Chapel within the Windsor Castle complex.

There was no suggestion that any of the royal family’s plans had been disrupted by the incident.

Usually, all the Windsors gather for Christmas at another one of the     queen’s homes, the Sandringham estate in eastern England. Their walk to a nearby church for a Christmas service is a staple of the royal calendar.

With Britain’s daily COVID-19 infection numbers hitting records, the queen last week canceled a pre-Christmas lunch with her family, also as a precaution.

In her message, she also spoke of her upcoming Platinum Jubilee year, which starts in February and will mark her 70 years on the throne. She is the longest-reigning monarch in British history, having in 2015 overtaken her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

She said she hoped the jubilee would be a chance for people “to give thanks for the enormous changes of the last 70 years, social, scientific and cultural, and also to look ahead with confidence.”

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Щонайменше 16 мігрантів загинули в Егейському морі

За оцінками ООН, понад 2500 людей загинули або зникли безвісти в морі, намагаючись дістатися до Європи з січня по листопад цього року

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NASA та Європейське космічне агентство запустили потужний телескоп для спостереження за космосом

Астрономи та астрофізики десятиліттями чекали на розгортання телескопа вартістю 9 мільярдів доларів

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Від початку доби обстрілів на Донбасі не було – штаб ООС

Напередодні ж бойовики 5 разів порушили «тишу» на Донбасі

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Україна має розслідувати демографічну ситуацію в окупованому Криму – Кримська правозахисна група

Стратегічне завдання Російської Федерації – змінити склад населення Криму, переконана керівниця Кримської правозахисної групи Ольга Скрипник

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Pope: World Must Be Open to Dialogue to Resolve Conflicts

On Christmas Day, in his message to the city and the world, Pope Francis stressed the importance of being open to dialogue to resolve the large number of conflicts, crises and disagreements that exist in today’s world. He mentioned Syria, Iraq and Yemen as examples of countries where longstanding conflicts have caused endless suffering.

As customary on Christmas Day, Pope Francis appeared at the balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica overlooking the square to deliver his “Urbi et Orbi” message and blessing to the city and to the world, a tradition he had to make a break from last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing those gathered at the Vatican on this rainy, wintry day and the millions watching him live on television, Francis said the need for patient dialogue at this time of pandemic is even more necessary in the world.  

The pope said that “our capacity for social relationships is sorely tried; there is a growing tendency to withdraw, to do it all by ourselves, to stop making an effort to encounter others and do things together.”

He also turned his comments to the international situation, where “we continue to witness a great number of conflicts, crises and disagreements.” These, he added, never seem to end and people hardly notice them.

We have become so used to them, Francis said, that immense tragedies are now being passed over in silence: we risk not hearing the cry of pain and distress of so many of our brothers and sisters.

Francis said the risk is that of avoiding dialogue, and that the complex crisis of the world pandemic will lead to taking of shortcuts rather than the longer paths of dialogue, which, he stressed, are the way to the resolution of conflicts and lasting benefits for all.  

Among the nations that the pope singled out were Syria, where for more than a decade the war has resulted in many victims and an untold number of displaced people, Iraq, still struggling to recover from a lengthy conflict, and Yemen.

Let us listen to the cry of children arising from Yemen, Francis said, where an enormous tragedy, overlooked by everyone, has silently gone on for years, causing deaths every day.  

Francis mentioned other conflict areas in the world, including the Middle East, where the continuing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians drag on without a resolution. He also spoke of the Afghan people, tested by more than 40 years of conflict, and the people of Myanmar, where intolerance and violence have targeted Christian communities.

He did not forget Africa, mentioning Ethiopia, the Sahel region and Sudan.

The pope prayed for the peoples of the countries of North Africa, tormented by divisions, unemployment and economic inequality.

At this time of pandemic, Francis also reminded the world and asked for prayers for the victims of violence against women, for young children and adolescents suffering from bullying and abuse, and for the elderly. He prayed that the current health crisis be overcome and that the necessary health care and vaccines in particular be provided to those who need them most. 

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Правозахисний проєкт «ОВД-Инфо» повідомив про блокування свого сайту в Росії

Проєкт «ОВД-Инфо» створено після мітингу в Москві 5 грудня 2011 року проти фальсифікації парламентських виборів

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Штаб: бойовики напередодні 5 разів порушили «тишу», біля лінії розмежування поранений нацгвардієць

Від ранку поточної доби порушень режиму припинення вогню не зафіксовано, вказують українські військові

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Robots Serve Food to Diners at Iraq Restaurant

The White Fox restaurant in Mosul, Iraq, isn’t known for its comfortable atmosphere or its great food and drinks. It’s known for its servers. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report, narrated by Rikar Hussein.

Producer and camera: Kawa Omar.

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Paris’ Notre-Dame Rector Offers Hope to Virus-Weary Worshippers

Worshippers in face masks filed into Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois Church across from the Louvre Museum on Friday for Christmas Eve Mass and were greeted by the rector of the closed Notre-Dame Cathedral. 

It was the second year that holiday services were held under the shadow of the coronavirus. 

Everyone was masked, and members of the congregation sprayed people’s hands with disinfectant as they entered. Children in the choir sang while masked and spaced out across the podium. They had to produce negative coronavirus tests to participate.

“We have very strict rules in place,” said Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, rector of Notre-Dame, which has been closed since a devastating fire nearly three years ago. “The communion wafer is placed into worshippers’ hands, and there is no kiss of peace. There is no contact whatsoever.” 

Chauvet has been leading the congregation at Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois while the cathedral is being repaired. 

In the lead-up to Christmas, France has recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus infections so far, and hospitalizations for COVID-19 have been rising. But the government has held off on imposing curfews, closures or other restrictions for the festivities.

‘We have to live’

Maria Valdes, a dual Mexican-French citizen at Mass, said she was resigned to the restrictions of the pandemic. She has gotten used to the ever-changing rules and regulations in her private and public life.

“As far as I’m concerned, we have to live because this is a virus that isn’t just going to go away,” Valdes said. “Respect the rules, but we have to live.” 

Chauvet said before celebrating the Mass that much as the fire ravaged Notre-Dame, the pandemic has devastated communities, whole towns and families. The lockdowns and isolation have left people disoriented, tired and emotionally exhausted, he said.

“I meet with people who wonder if they are going to manage to get out of this situation, people who are sometimes losing hope,” he said.

“Christmas is hope,” Chauvet added. “We have to continue to fight, to reach the point where we can try to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

In September, the famed medieval cathedral was finally deemed stable and secure enough to start reconstruction from the blaze in April 2019 that tore through its roof and toppled its spire. Work on the spire started a few days ago, and authorities hope to have Notre-Dame open to visitors and religious services in 2024, the year Paris hosts the Olympics.

Carpenters, scaffolding experts, professional climbers, organ mechanics and others are taking part in the effort, which includes special temporary structures to secure the iconic towers, vaults and walls of the huge, roofless structure, and a special “umbrella” to protect it from the weather.

“It’s not simple,” Chauvet said of the work. But, he said, like people in his congregation will recover from the pandemic, the cathedral will recover its past glory. 

“The spire will be the same. The roof will be the same,” he said.

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More Than a Dozen Dead in Greece Migrant Boat Accidents

At least three people died when a migrant boat sank in the Aegean Sea on Friday, just hours after similar sinking claimed 11 lives, Greece’s coast guard said.

The latest tragedy, the third since Wednesday, came amid high smuggler activity not seen in Greek waters in months.

The coast guard said it found three bodies and rescued 57 people from a boat that overturned and sank near the island of Paros.

Hours earlier, 11 bodies were recovered from a boat that ran aground on an islet north of the Greek island of Antikythera on Thursday evening.

Ninety people stranded on the islet were rescued, including 27 children and 11 women, the coast guard said.

On Wednesday, a dinghy carrying migrants capsized off the island of Folegandros, killing at least three people.

Thirteen people were rescued, while dozens remain missing, Greek authorities said.

Survivors gave conflicting accounts: Some said there had been 32 people on board, while others put the number around 50, a coast guard official told AFP.

The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said the Folegandros accident was the worst in the Aegean Sea this year.

“This shipwreck is a painful reminder that people continue to embark on perilous voyages in search of safety,” said Adriano Silvestri, the UNHCR’s assistant representative in Greece.

Earlier Friday, the coast guard intercepted another boat with 92 men and boys on board after it ran aground on the coast of the Peloponnese peninsula.

Three suspected smugglers who fled the boat on foot were later arrested.

The UNHCR estimates that more than 2,500 people have died or gone missing at sea in their attempt to reach Europe from January through November this year.

Nearly 1 million people, mainly Syrian refugees, arrived in the European Union in 2015 after crossing to Greek islands close to Turkey. 

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Путін заявив про успіх залпового пуску гіперзвукових ракет

Випробування здійснив Північний флот

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Суд у Росії оштрафував власника Facebook на 1,9 мільярда рублів

Раніше,24 грудня суд наклав аналогічний штраф на компанію Google, також за відмову видаляти інформацію

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Europe Fears Poland-Belarus Migrant Crisis Will Continue in 2022

The year 2021 saw a new migrant crisis on Europe’s borders – as thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa travelled to Belarus and tried to cross the border into Poland and the European Union. Henry Ridgwell reports.

Camera: Henry Ridgwell

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