This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 5 KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — An investigation of a centuries-old monastic complex in Ukraine’s capital and other religious sites has underscored Ukrainian authorities' suspicions about some Orthodox Christian clergymen they see as loyal to Russia despite Moscow's nine month-old war on the country. The search by security service and police personnel at the Pechersk Lavra monastery, one of the most revered Orthodox sites in Kyiv, was unusual but did not happen in isolation. The Ukrainian counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism service reported Wednesday that its agents searched more than 350 church buildings in all — also including sites at another monastery and a diocese in the Rivne region, 240 kilometers (150 miles) west of Kyiv. And the service, known by its Ukrainian initials SBU, accused the bishop of yet another diocese of pro-Moscow activity last week after searching … [Read more...] about With searches, Ukraine focuses suspicions on Orthodox clergy
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 11 KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainians could face rolling blackouts from now through March in frigid, snowy weather because Russian airstrikes have caused “colossal” damage to the power grid, officials said. To cope, authorities are urging people to stock up on supplies and evacuate hard-hit areas. Sergey Kovalenko, the CEO of private energy provider DTEK Yasno, said the company is under instructions from Ukraine’s state grid operator to resume emergency blackouts in the areas it covers, including the capital, Kyiv, and the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region. “Although there are fewer blackouts now, I want everyone to understand: Most likely, Ukrainians will have to live with blackouts until at least the end of March,” Kovalenko warned on Facebook. “We need to be prepared for different options, even the worst ones. Stock up on warm clothes and … [Read more...] about ‘Stock up on blankets’: Ukrainians brace for horrific winter
JERUSALEM (AP) — Extremist politician Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has a long record of anti-Arab rhetoric and stunts, will become Israel's next minister of national security, according to the first of what are expected to be several coalition deals struck by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party. Likud announced the agreement with Ben-Gvir's Jewish Power party on Friday. Negotiations with three other potential far-right and ultra-Orthodox coalition partners are continuing. If successful, Netanyahu would return to the prime minister's office and preside over the most right-wing and religious government in Israel's history. The awarding of the sensitive role to Ben-Gvir raises concerns of a further escalation in Israeli-Palestinian tensions. Ben-Gvir and his allies hope to grant immunity to Israeli soldiers who shoot at Palestinians, deport rival lawmakers and impose the death penalty on Palestinians convicted of attacks on Jews. Ben-Gvir is the disciple of a racist … [Read more...] about Far-right Ben-Gvir to be Israel’s national security minister
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 8 TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to return to office, from where he could try to make his yearslong legal troubles disappear through new legislation advanced by his far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies. Critics say such a legal crusade is an assault on Israel's democracy. Netanyahu, 73, who is on trial for corruption, will likely be buoyed by a loyal and comfortable governing majority that could grant him a lifeline from conviction. Defenders of the justice system say the proposed changes would allow legislators to abuse their authority and disrupt the tenuous balance of powers that keeps them in check. “It brings us to a situation where our entire democracy boils down to elections, but once you are elected you can do whatever you want,” said Amir Fuchs, senior researcher at Jerusalem’s Israel Democracy … [Read more...] about EXPLAINER: How could allies help Netanyahu beat charges?