Pope Francis on Sunday called for an international day of “prayer for peace” on January 26 to stop the Ukraine crisis from worsening, saying the tensions were threatening the security of Europe and risking vast repercussions.
Francis announced the prayer day and made the appeal for dialogue to defuse the crisis during his weekly address and blessing to pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square.
Top U.S. and Russian diplomats failed https://www.reuters.com/world/top-diplomats-us-russia-meet-geneva-soaring-ukraine-tensions-2022-01-21 on Friday to make a major breakthrough in talks to resolve the crisis over Ukraine, although they agreed to keep talking. On Sunday, Britain accused Russia of seeking to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine.
“I am following with concern the rising tensions that threaten to deliver a new blow to peace in Ukraine and put the security of Europe in doubt, with even more vast repercussions,” he said.
He appealed to “all people of good will” to pray next Wednesday so that all political initiatives “be for the service of human fraternity” rather than partisan interests. The Vatican gave no immediate details on how the pope would mark the day.
“Those who pursue their interests by damaging others are in contempt of his vocation as a man, because we were all created as brothers,” he said, without elaborating.
On Friday U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and warned of a “swift, severe” response if Russia invades Ukraine after massing troops near its border.
(Reporting by Philip PullellaEditing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
Ellen DeGeneres makes her final entrance onto the Ellen Degeneres Show
Los Angeles, United States of America (USA)- Ellen DeGeneres yesterday made her final appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show after 19 seasons.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show began back in September 2003 and has been host to various issues and people.
“Mary and Andy you have been with me since day one, and I am so grateful, I am so lucky that I have two executive producers that not only knew how to make a great show but make a great show for me because you understood me, you got me, you knew who was.
You have been with me for 25 years. We have been through everything together, 25 years, thick and thin. We have laughed, we have cried, you have been my constant source of support and love and I thank you. You are brilliant, you are talented, you are super smart, I admire you, I respect you, and I love you.
To all of you who have watched this show and supported me thank you so much for this platform and I hope that what I have been able to do over the last 19 years has made you happy and that I was able to take a little bit of pain away from a bad day or anything you are going through and I hope I have been able to inspire you to make other people happy and to do good in the world to feel like you have a purpose.
I have said it before and I will say it again if I have done anything in the past 19 years, I hope I have inspired you to be your true, authentic self and if someone is brave enough to tell you who they are, be brave enough to support them, even if you don’t understand. They are showing you who they are and that is the biggest gift anybody can ever give you, and by opening your heart and your mind, you are gonna be that much more compassionate and compassion is what makes the world a better place.
Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. I feel the love and I send it back to you. Bye,” said Ellen.
In May 2021, Ellen announced that the 19th season of her show would be her last. However, the show will continue to air new episodes with guest hosts and re-runs throughout the course of this year.
US maintains it does not support Taiwan independence, China hints at chopping hands
Washington DC, United States of America (USA)- Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has reiterated that the country’s policy on Taiwan remains resolute.
Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the US recognizes but does not endorse, China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. While the act codifies the US’ one-China Policy, it also authorizes informal diplomatic relations with the government of Taiwan and allows Washington to provide Taipei with enough military support to enable Taiwan to maintain sufficient self-defence capabilities.
“In Taiwan, our approach has been consistent across decades and administrations. As the President has said, our policy has not changed. We do not support Taiwan’s independence, and we expect cross-strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means,” said Blinken.
However, Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, has said some people in the US will have their hands chopped if they play the salami-slicing tactic in dealing with the Taiwan question.
“We want to make it clear to some people in the US that their hands will also be chopped off when they play the salami-slicing tactic in dealing with the Taiwan question. The People’s Liberation Army is ready to take all necessary measures to crush any form of Taiwan independence moves and to safeguard our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The US has been continuously marginalizing and diminishing the one-China principle. It wants to use the salami-slicing tactic to play the Taiwan card to contain China and that is a complete illusion.
We request that the US stops disguising its own rules as international norms and promoting the US-style, hegemony-based order. It must accept China’s peaceful development with a rational, objective perspective, which is in the interest of Sino-US relations and the world’s peace and stability,” said the Senior Colonel.
BBC to layoff 1 000 staff workers
London, Britain- The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has revealed plans to layoff 1 000 of its staff within the coming few years.
According to the corporation, BBC World News and BBC News channels will merge to create a single 24-hour TV news channel serving both Britain and international audiences as part of the corporation’s wider plans.
Regional TV news programmes in Oxford and Cambridge are also among the services being scrapped merging with the BBC’s Southampton and Norwich operations.
BBC Four and Children’s BBC will no longer be aired as traditional broadcast channels after the next few years and will end as linear TV channels and are expected to move online to the iPlayer, while Radio 4 Extra could become available on the BBC Sounds service only.
According to Tim Davie, BBC’s Director-General, the layoffs will save at least £200 million (US$252 million) annually.
“When I took this job, I said that we needed to fight for something important, public service content and services freely available universally for the good of all. This fight is intensifying, the stakes are high.
Driven by the desire to make life and society better for our licence fee payers and customers in every corner of the UK (United Kingdom) and beyond. They want us to keep the BBC relevant and fight for something that in 2022 is more important than ever. To do that, we need to evolve faster and embrace the huge shifts in the market around us.
This is our moment to build a digital-first BBC. Something genuinely new, a Reithian organization for the digital age, a positive force for the UK and the world. Independent, impartial, constantly innovating and serving all. A fresh, new, global digital media organization which has never been seen before,” said Davie.
The move comes off the back of remarks made by Nadine Dorries, the Culture Secretary, in January, that the licence fee will be frozen at £159 (US$201) per annum for the next two years.
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