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Jorge Sampaio laments the rise of totalitarianism and populism – Current Events

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Sampaio spoke at the launch of My Land is Beautiful – Stories of Syrian Students in Portugal, a set of 30 testimonials from higher education students who traveled on scholarships to study at Portuguese universities to avoid the war in Syria. which has been going on for over 10 years.

“The second decade of this century has been marked by growing turmoil at the global level, a general degradation of international relations and a regression of democracies,” said the former Portuguese head of state who heads the Global Platform Association of Syrian Students. (APPLE).

In an audience with the Institute for National Defense (IDN) in Lisbon, Sampaio, president from 1996 to 2006, believed that failure was “visible” in the “strengthening” of authoritarian regimes, in the “growing power” of populism and the “accumulation of various faults” in democratic mechanisms. …

“They are slowly adapting to the challenges posed by profound transformations at all levels, from economy to work, through climate change, public health, digital communications and social organization in general,” he said.

The President of APGES also drew attention to the problem of migration, “especially forced”, which is one of the most pressing problems, mainly due to the number and duration of ongoing conflicts, as well as due to “growing insecurity” and “growing inequality of opportunity” throughout the world.

“Young people are one of the groups hardest hit by humanitarian emergencies, especially as access to education continues to be seen as an unnecessary luxury in this crisis environment. In times of war, threats and insecurity, access to higher education, on the other hand, is a tool of protection, a vector of resilience and the true value of asylum that allows us to nurture hope for the future, ”he continued.

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By creating a “bridge” to the plight of Syrian students attending higher education in Portugal, Sampaio stressed that APGES, by investing in university education in humanitarian emergencies, has sought to bring substance to initiatives that have been developed since 2014.

“Modestly, but this is what we at APGES tried to do with the Fellowships and Emergencies program, initially targeted at Syrian students, but now open to any student from conflict-affected countries,” he explained.

More than 650 scholarships have been awarded annually since 2014, and 135 Syrian fellows already hold advanced degrees, masters or doctorates, the vast majority in Portugal, as well as in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, France, Germany, Canada, and the United States.

According to project coordinator Helena Barroco, about 300 Syrian students have been admitted to Portugal: 135 are completing the course, 130 are already employed and only five are looking for work.

The “Little Book of Stories,” as Jorge Sampaio himself calls in the foreword to the work, printed by Âncora Editora, which published it with Norprint – A Casa do Livro, free of charge, collects first-person testimonies from some of the recipients of the Emergency Fellowship program, and also reports on how APGES has developed this initiative over the years.

The 139-page book My Land is Beautiful – Stories of Syrian Students in Portugal has a threefold goal of telling the story of the initiative and sharing students’ personal stories, mobilizing more support and encouraging more engagement. initiatives and integration can arise.

APGES has a diverse group of partners and partners to fund scholarships, including government, civil society organizations, the academic community, the private sector, foundations and even individuals, and today also generates additional income from the sale of a book at a price of five euros.

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The book presents two short preliminary reading notes emphasizing that the titles of most of the stories correspond to well-known songs, so “no translation has been chosen, the reader is encouraged to try to link each chapter with melodies” for reason.

On the other hand, texts written by students, as well as references to them, are identified only with their own names, “which could have been changed for obvious reasons.”

Portugal’s Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs Francisco André and for Science, Technology and Higher Education João Sobrinho Teixeira, as well as former Público journalist Francisca Gorjau Henriques, who recently retired from journalism to devote herself to journalism, also participated in the initiative and presented the book today.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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