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Salman Rushdie attacked with knife, police say writer suffered neck and stomach injuries

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British writer Salman Rushdie was the target of an attack this Friday at an event in New York State. The Booker Prize-winning author was preparing to speak at the Chautauqua Institute and witnesses say they saw a man run onto the stage, where he attacked the interviewer and Rushdie, who suffered neck and stomach injuries, police said. with a knife.

The NYPD identified the suspect in the attack as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey, and believe he acted alone. Authorities said there were no threats prior to the event, but said they did not know the reason for the attack.

After the attack, Salman Rushdie, 75, was airlifted to a local hospital. The severity of the injury is not yet known, but New York Gov. Katie Hochul said the writer is alive and “getting the help he needs.” The author’s spokesman, Andrew Wylie, said in an emailed statement that “Rushdie is in surgery” but did not provide any details.

Part of the audience took to the stage shortly after the incident, which took place around 11 am local time (4 pm in mainland Portugal). According to an Associated Press correspondent, the writer was lying on the floor, assisted by a lifeguard who later fled the scene. Henry Reese, the interviewer, also suffered a minor head injury. Reese is the co-founder of a non-profit organization that provides sanctuary for exiled writers who are at risk of persecution.

The attacker was immobilized and detained by the police, but no information has yet been received. British newspaper The Guardian cites eyewitness accounts who say they saw a man wearing a black face mask run onto the stage and attack Rushdie as he sat down. Paula Voell, a retired journalist, said: at the Buffalo News: “We saw the man run a few steps across the stage, and there was horror – the whole audience reacted, and probably 15 people ran out onto the stage to try to look at him.”

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Iran ordered the assassination of Rushdie in 1989.

The author of The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, was sentenced to death by Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini a year after publication on charges of blasphemous labor for Muslim believers. This decision forced Salman Rushdie to live in an unknown area under police protection, and a fatwa issued by the Iranian leader promising a three million dollar reward to anyone who kills the writer ultimately became the source of the rupture of diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran. The Iranian government has long distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment persists.

In 2012, the Iranian Religious Foundation increased the bounty for Rushdie’s assassination to $3.3 million. At the time, Rushdie downplayed the threat, saying there was “no evidence” that people were interested in the reward. In the same year, the writer published his memoirs “Joseph Anton Memory”, about the “fatwa”.

Author of about two dozen works, Rushdie received the Booker Prize in 1981 for Midnight’s Children, also awarded the Booker Prize in 1993, and in 2008 for The Best of Booker. “O Último Suspiro do Mouro” earned him the Withbread Prize in 1995 and the European Union Literary Prize in 1996.

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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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