25 січня Міжнародний олімпійський комітет закликав спортивні федерації допустити російських та білоруських спортсменів на змагання в нейтральному статусі, якщо вони дотримаються певних умов
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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are hosting a Lunar New Year reception at the White House on Thursday, as Americans mourn over recent mass shootings in the state of California that included Asian American victims and perpetrators.
“Our hearts are with the people of California. They’ve been a rough, rough couple of days,” Biden said Tuesday. “You see what’s happened in California and what’s happened to the Asian American community. It’s been devastating.”
On Saturday in Monterey Park, a 72-year-old Asian American man is suspected of killing 11 people of Asian descent. Two days later in Half Moon Bay, a 66-year-old Asian American man allegedly killed seven people, including Chinese and Latino farm workers. Motives are still being sought.
On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Monterey Park to meet with victims’ families and call for action on gun control.
“We will always, as a compassionate nation, mourn for the loss and pray for those who survive and are recovering,” Harris said. “But we must also require that leaders in our nation, who have the ability and the power and the responsibility to do something, that they act.”
The Lunar New Year event is part of White House outreach efforts to the Asian American community and is “an important symbol of access and inclusion during a time of shock and sadness,” said Janelle Wong, professor of American studies and government and politics at the University of Maryland in College Park.
“The Biden administration has also recognized Diwali and the start of Ramadan, and all of these receptions are shared beyond those who attend, through print and social media,” she told VOA.
Twenty-two million people in the U.S., or 7% of the population, identify as “Asian” alone or in combination with another racial or ethnic category, and trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, according to the Pew Research Center.
They are also a key demographic for Biden. Asian Americans are the fastest-growing group of eligible voters. Over the past two decades they have become much more likely to vote for Democrats than for Republicans, supporting traditionally Democratic agendas, including stricter gun laws.
In his remarks, Biden highlighted his administration’s national agenda aimed at addressing the range of disparities that Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities face, through action plans prepared by 32 federal agencies.
Beginning this month, the administration is launching a series of summits to advance economic equity in the AAPI community, aiming to connect them with critical resources and opportunities.
The United States recently announced that it would impose new sanctions on the Wagner Group and designate it as a transnational criminal organization. This came as new details emerged about Wagner Group recruitment efforts outside Russia. VOA’s Milena Durdic has the story, narrated by Anna Rice.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Thursday a series of sanctions targeting individuals associated with Russia’s paramilitary Wagner Group, including its leader and associated front companies, for waging war in Ukraine, including battlefield activities and the targeting of civilians.
In a statement, Blinken said the sanctions will target five entities and one individual linked to the Wagner Group and its head, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, as well as several other individuals and entities, for their status as government officials and for being part of Russia’s military industrial complex.
Blinken’s statement said the State Department also is designating three individuals for their roles as heads of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, which has been reported to facilitate the recruitment of Russian prisoners into the Wagner Group, and subsequently sent to the front lines to fight in the conflict in Ukraine.
WATCH: Russia’s Wagner Group Recruits Fighters Abroad
Additionally, the top U.S. diplomat said the U.S. Treasury Department is designating the Wagner Group a “significant transnational criminal organization” for actions taken in Africa.
The statement said the “group’s pattern of serious criminal behavior includes violent harassment of journalists, aid workers, and members of minority groups and harassment, obstruction, and intimidation of U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, as well as rape and killings in Mali.”
In the statement Thursday, Blinken noted, “The United States is steadfast in our resolve against Russia’s aggression and other destabilizing behavior worldwide. [Thursday’s] designations will further impede the Kremlin’s ability to arm its war-machine that is engaged in a war of aggression against Ukraine, and which has caused unconscionable death and destruction.”