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UK health minister admits to violating adultery

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UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock today apologized for “disrespecting social distancing rules” during his adultery with a counselor, but refused to step down.

“I admit that I violated the social distancing rules in these circumstances. I have let people down and I apologize, ”he said in a statement quoted by the British press.

However, he was determined to continue to “focus on getting the country out of this pandemic,” demanding respect for the family’s privacy “in this private matter.”

The Sun tabloid reported today that Matt Hancock, married with three children, has an affair with an aide, and posted photos of the two kissing in the minister’s office in May, at a time when hugs between people from different households were banned.

The hiring of Gina Coladangelo, whom Matt Hancock will meet in college and who is currently communicating with the chain of stores her husband founded, is also raising questions.

A spokesman for the Labor Party, the main opposition party, asked whether the minister had violated the rules and whether there was a “conflict of interest” in appointing an advisor who is a shareholder and director of Luther Pendragon’s lobbying agency.

“Ministers, like everyone else, have the right to privacy. However, when taxpayers’ money is at stake or a job is offered to close friends who have a personal relationship with the minister, this needs to be analyzed, ”he said.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps told SkyNews this morning that any recruitment to the state must go through an “incredibly rigorous” process and that there are no “labels”, declining to comment further on a “completely personal” issue. “

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Hancock has been under pressure lately after Dominic Cummings, a former adviser to the prime minister, accused him of lying on several occasions and said he should have been fired.

He subsequently posted images of alleged messages he exchanged with Boris Johnson, where he categorizes Hancock as “completely useless” in treating the pandemic.

At the start of the pandemic in May 2020, scientist Neil Ferguson, one of the top government advisers, was forced to resign after taking a woman, allegedly a mistress, into his home during his first imprisonment in England.

In the UK, which is currently experiencing a new wave of the Delta variant pandemic, there have been 16,703 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, up to a maximum since 6 February, bringing the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 128,048. the highest rate in Europe.

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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.

See also  Assange's brother fears the applicant will die during the extradition process
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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.

See also  At least 90% of the world's population has become immune to Covid, according to WHO.

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.). ).

See also  At least 90% of the world's population has become immune to Covid, according to WHO.

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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