SEOUL, Feb 23 (Reuters) – South Korea has raised its health alert as of Friday morning after thousands of doctors walked off the job this week to protest against a government plan to raise the number of medical school admissions, the health ministry said.
“We’ve decided to raise the healthcare disaster risk alert from cautious to severe,” the ministry said in a statement late on Thursday, citing an “intensifying” walkout by resident doctors and concerns over public health.
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo will preside over a disaster management meeting on the matter on Friday, the ministry said.
Emergency departments in South Korea’s biggest hospitals have been squeezed since trainee doctors began leaving the job this week in protest at government plans to increase medical school admissions to bolster the healthcare sector.
The protests by almost two-thirds of the country’s young doctors has forced hospitals to turn away patients and cancel procedures, raising fears about further disruptions to the medical system should the dispute drag on.
The doctors say the real issue is pay and working conditions, not the number of physicians.
The father of an Italian woman who appeared in chains in a Hungarian court has said no one deserves to be treated like she has and that “it’s a disaster” if her case becomes political.
Ilaria Salis, an anti-fascist activist, was arrested in Budapest last year on suspicion of a serious assault on two far-right supporters at Hungary‘s Day of Honour commemorations.
At a hearing last month she appeared with legs shackled together, handcuffed, and with a guard walking behind her holding a chain.
There have also been reports in Italian media that at one point in her detention she was bound by the neck in a cell with mice and cockroaches.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has reportedly spoken to her Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban about Salis’s detention.
The Italian government called the court appearance “humiliating” and the foreign ministry summoned Hungary’s deputy ambassador in protest.
Speaking to Sky’s Yalda Hakim, her father said the situation was becoming “very dangerous” for his daughter.
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“If it’s turning political, it’s a disaster,” said Roberto Salis.
“Nobody can treat a human being like she was treated, particularly at the beginning of this story,” he said.
Hungary’s international spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs, denied Salis’s treatment in court was inhumane.
He said her case was simply being “taken seriously due to the severity of the crime she’s charged with”.
Read more from Sky News: Huge fire engulfs block of flats in Valencia Biden calls Putin a ‘crazy SOB’ – and Kremlin reacts
Mr Salis told Sky News he hoped his daughter, 39, would be released to house arrest “as soon as possible”.
“We’ve been told the first step has to be in Hungary, but even if it’s very difficult – for instance to find an apartment there to rent – we hope this will be done shortly.
“Then the second step is in Italy for the house arrest and then we will carry on with the process.”
“Ilaria keeps saying that she’s innocent,” he added. “So we will fight to demonstrate her innocence.”
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A Canadian judge ruled on Thursday that the deadly rampage of a man who drove his truck into five members of a Muslim family was an act of terrorism motivated by white supremacist ideology and sentenced him to life with no possibility of parole for 25 years for his crimes.
The terrorism finding by Justice Renee Pomerance of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario was the first in Canada against a far-right extremist, according to the country’s criminal prosecution service. The perpetrator, Nathaniel Veltman, 23, killed four members of the Afzaal family in London, Ontario, in his June 2021 rampage and was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder in November.
In his trial, Mr. Veltman’s lawyers did not challenge that he had deliberately driven his Ram truck into the family. But they argued it was an impulsive act caused by consuming psilocybin, more commonly known as magic mushrooms, several hours earlier. They also said that he suffered from mental health problems and had difficulty controlling “an urge or obsession to put his foot on the gas” of his pickup.
But Justice Pomerance said Mr. Veltman was motivated by white supremacy.
“One might go so far as to characterize this as a textbook example of terrorist motive and intent,” Justice Pomerance told the courtroom in London, Ontario, according to the The Canadian Press, a news agency.
“He wanted to intimidate the Muslim community. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of other mass killers, and he wanted to inspire others to commit murderous acts,” she said, adding that it was an “inescapable conclusion” that the killing was an act of terrorism.
“The offender did not know the victims,” the judge said during the sentencing, in which she never referred to Mr. Veltman by name to avoid giving him publicity. “He had never met them. He killed them because they were Muslim.”
The terrorism finding was mostly symbolic, having no impact on the sentencing of Mr. Veltman, 23. Under Canadian law, first-degree murder convictions have a mandatory sentence of life with no possibility of parole for 25 years. But Sarah Shaikh, the prosecutor, told reporters said that the finding was still important.
“It is an acknowledgment that the offender’s attack was not only targeted at the Afzaal family, it was also targeted and directed toward the entire Muslim community,” she said.
“It was also an attack on values that we as Canadians hold very dear — inclusiveness, community, decency and multiculturalism,” she added.
From the time of the killing, many members of Canada’s Muslim community had called for the killings to formally be declared an act of terrorism.
Mr. Veltman told police that he aimed his full-size pickup truck at his victims because he believed they were Muslim based on their clothing, prosecutors said during his 10-week trial.
Mr. Veltman drove past the Afzaals near a busy intersection and made a U-turn to mow them down, prosecutors said during the trial.
He killed three generations of the family. The youngest was Yumnah Afzaal, 15. Her parents, Salman Afzaal, a 46-year-old physiotherapist, and Madiha Salman, 44, a doctoral student in civil engineering, died, as did Mr. Afzaal’s mother, Talat Afzaal, 74.
At the trial, prosecutors said that Mr. Veltman had become obsessed with white supremacist ideology and wrote a manifesto titled “A White Awakening” just five days before he mowed down the family.
A young boy was the only survivor of the attack.
A jury convicted Mr. Veltman of first-degree murder and attempted murder in November, but the terrorism finding was delayed until Thursday’s sentencing hearing.
Speaking for the family outside the courthouse, Tabinda Bukhari, Ms. Salman’s mother, said that although Thursday’s ruling acknowledged that hate had taken the lives of four people, it would not replace what her family had lost.
“It will not mend the fractured pieces of our lives, our identity and our security,” she said, reading from a statement.
Several Ukrainian media outlets were attacked by Russian hackers this week, posting misinformation about the ongoing war between the two countries.
Ukrainska Pravada, one of the largest Ukrainian online newspapers, and Liga.net, a business media site, were hacked in recent days. Ukraine’s cybersecurity agency (SSSCIP) confirmed via Telegram that the hacks came from Russia.
“Russia continues the information war against our state. Today, Russian hackers launched another attack on a number of Ukrainian media and posted fake information on their resources,” SSSCIP posted.
Representatives from the organizations have contacted the Government Computer Emergency Response Team and experts are investigating the incident, the agency said.
Ukrainian Pravada’s account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, was hacked on Sunday. The organization’s editorial team “lost access to the UP account” and “fakes began to appear on the page.”
The organization said the false information pertained to the recent Ukrainian withdrawal in Avdiivka. Ukraine’s commander-in-chief said last week that troops were leaving the city in eastern Ukraine to save the lives and health of its soldiers.
“We are trying to restore access. Please do not consider the information posted on our Ukrainian-language X account as having anything to do with Ukrainska Pravda,” the organization said, adding that its English-language account has not been hacked.
Liga.net also said that on Sunday a fake news story appeared on its site about the “alleged ‘rout’ by the Russian occupiers of the elite units of the Armed Forces in Avdiivka.”
“The editors of LIGA.net are not involved in the publication of Russian disinformation, the site was hacked by unknown persons,” the organization said.
The outlet said the article was quickly removed but still was active “for some time” and was “automatically spread” on the organization’s X account. It said it is investigating its security gaps to prevent it from happening.
The news of the hacks comes just after Russian President Vladimir sat down for an interview with pundit Tucker Carlson, where he spread propaganda about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as part of his ongoing information warfare campaign.
SSSCIP said in a post last year that the “most intense period of hostile cyber activity” against Ukrainian media outlets was at the beginning of the invasion nearly two years ago, although it has continued throughout the duration of the war.
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Washington — Four foreign nationals who were allegedly transporting Iranian-made weapons on a vessel that two U.S. Navy SEALs drowned trying to board have been brought to the U.S. to face criminal charges, making their first appearance in court on Thursday.
The defendants — Muhammad Pahlawan, Mohammad Mazhar, Ghufran Ullah and Izhar Muhammad — were taken into custody when a U.S. Navy ship intercepted their small boat in the Arabian Sea on Jan. 11. The vessel, or dhow, was allegedly destined for Yemen.
A team of SEALs from the USS Lewis Puller and a U.S. Coast Guard response team boarded the unflagged boat in a nighttime raid and seized “what is believed to be Iranian-made advanced conventional weaponry,” according to charging documents unsealed Thursday. A total of 14 crew members were on board. In addition to the four co-defendants, eight of the remaining 10 witnesses are also in U.S. custody.
Prosecutors wrote that the vessel was transporting “propulsion and guidance components” for medium-range ballistic missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles, as well as a warhead. The weapons were likely intended for Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have attacked dozens of commercial and military vessels in recent months, according to investigators.
The Navy SEALs’ deaths
Two of the SEALs — Special Warfare Operators Christopher Chambers and Nathan Ingram — were lost at sea during the mission. Defense officials told CBS News at the time that they fell overboard in rough seas while trying to board the dhow. After a 10-day search, the military declared the two SEALs deceased.
None of the defendants have been charged directly with the SEALs’ deaths. According to prosecutors, Pakistani identification cards matching their names were found onboard their boat.
The seizure was the first time the U.S. military intercepted weapons from Iran destined for the Houthis since the rebel group ramped up their attacks on commercial shipping and international warships in the Red Sea in November 2023.
According to court papers, all of the crewmembers denied smuggling the weapons once they were in custody, though a few admitted to being drug smugglers. Other crew members identified Pahlawan as the leader of the group. He said he had been in Iran for two years and that the ship left Iran six days before it was intercepted by the Navy.
Pahlawan said the ship’s Iranian owner gave him a satellite phone to communicate while at sea. Investigators said the phone received calls from a number associated with a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite branch of the country’s military.
U.S. investigators said that the ship originated in Iran on a route that included a stop in Somalia. The path was “consistent with other weapons smuggling operations,” the government said.
The FBI and NCIS twice interviewed Pahlawan. He denied being the captain of the boat or knowing about the weaponry, but admitted to being the senior sailor onboard.
“Two crew members indicated that Pahlawan told crewmembers not to stop the [boat] while the Navy was approaching the dhow,” according to charging documents. “At least one crewmember said that [Pahlawan] tried to make the dhow go faster when the Navy was approaching. Multiple crewmembers said it was another crewmember, and not [Pahlawan], who stopped the boat.”
The other three defendants also denied knowing about the weapons on the ship. They are charged with providing materially false information to investigators.
Pahlawan faces that charge, plus one count of intentionally and unlawfully transporting explosive material on a ship, knowing it would be used to cause harm.
“Due to the publicity of the war in Israel and the Houthis’ attacks on vessels in the Red Sea as a means of protesting the United States’ support of Israel and as a means of supporting Hamas and Palestine … there is probable cause to believe that Pahlawan knew that the weaponry would be used by the Houthis against American and/or Israeli targets or interests,” prosecutors alleged Thursday.
He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.
The four defendants and eight of the witnesses who were aboard the small boat made their initial appearances in federal court in Virginia on Thursday, the Justice Department said.
“The Justice Department extends our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the two Navy SEALs who lost their lives on January 11th while conducting an operation in the Arabian Sea,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “The charges resulting from that interdiction make clear that the Justice Department will use every legal authority to hold accountable those who facilitate the flow of weapons from Iran to Houthi rebel forces, Hamas, and other groups that endanger the security of the United States and our allies.”
Houthi rebels have now attacked or threatened ships in the Red Sea at least 60 times since November 2023, according to a defense official. The strikes are in response to ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which began after Hamas’ attacks across Israel on Oct. 7.
The U.S. military has since conducted roughly 30 defensive strikes targeting the Houthis, according to the Pentagon.
Robert Legare is a CBS News multiplatform reporter and producer covering the Justice Department, federal courts and investigations. He was previously an associate producer for the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell.”
Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, has been in a state of stress for the last two years. Located only about 20 miles from the border of Russia, the city has lived under attack and threat of attack since the Russian invasion began in February 2022.
UNICEF says Kharkiv, known as a cultural and education center in Ukraine and home to around 1.4 million people, now has only two schools open for students. One is a makeshift operation in the city’s metro stations, the other is a Soviet-era anti-radiation shelter.
UNICEF spokesperson, James Elder, is currently in Kharkiv where he says childhood has been replaced by a “state of fear and state of uncertainty.”
“They had two years of COVID and now two years of war. The two teenage girls I just spoke with were back in school for a week over four years,” Elder told CNN. “There is a massive toll being taken here on mental health.”
Since the war began on February 24, 2022, the UNHCR has recorded almost 6.5 million refugees from Ukraine globally. For those still living in the country, the constant bombardment is a strain both physically and mentally – especially on children.
“You really can feel the wounds are everywhere, because of their isolation, lack of socialization, because the attacks keep coming,” Elder said. “There’s this sort of psychological scarring that is really evident after two years of war.”
Elder tried to sum up the mood of the Ukrainians he’s met in a few words –
“Fear, isolation and resilience.”
Longing for peace
Organizations like UNICEF are providing psychologists and counseling, but Elder says that more help is needed. The need for basic health care, safe drinking water and financial stress are also adding to people’s anxiety.
Through it all, however, Elder still sees a lot of resilience and determination.
“Freedom is a word I hear regularly.”
Despite the attacks and threats of attacks, he sees Ukrainians focused on rebuilding efforts, sometimes within hours of the damage taking place.
“There is this immense sense of community in terms of lending a hand, counseling, volunteering. Everyone I meet is working in some way in the evenings – volunteering in some capacity, be it in a laborious way of helping in reconstruction or be it in counseling or looking after children while other friends are doing things.”
After two years of war, fatigue is taking its toll on Ukrainians and other crises have grabbed the world’s attention, but Elder says that the people remain “unrelenting.”
“They don’t imagine anything other than living here, at some point, peacefully. There is no flexibility on that. They are utterly, utterly determined to ensure their own peace and freedom.”
How to help
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U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday met the wife and daughter of Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who died last week in a prison camp, and called him “a man of incredible courage.”
Biden, speaking to reporters in California, reiterated that Washington plans to impose a wide array of sanctions on Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin following Navalny’s death.
Navalny, 47, fell unconscious and died suddenly last Friday after a walk at the “Polar Wolf” penal colony above the Arctic Circle where he was serving a three-decade sentence, the prison service said.
“He was a man of incredible courage and it’s amazing how his wife and daughter are emulating that,” Biden said after meeting Navalny’s wife Yulia and daughter Dasha.
“I know that we’re going to be announcing the sanctions against Putin, who is responsible for his death, tomorrow.”
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Navalny death: U.S. preparing ‘major’ Russian sanctions
In a statement released before Biden spoke to reporters, the White House said the president conveyed his “heartfelt condolences” to Navalny’s family.
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During the meeting in California, he expressed his admiration for Navalny’s “extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption and for a free and democratic Russia in which the rule of law applies equally to everyone,” the White House said.
Sanctions to be announced Friday
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Sanctions will be imposed on more than 500 targets in an action marking the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Reuters on Thursday.
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The action, taken in partnership with other countries, will be targeted at Russia’s military industrial complex as well as companies in third countries that help facilitate Russia’s access to goods it wants, Adeyemo said, as Washington seeks to hold Russia to account over the war and the death of Navalny.
“Tomorrow we’ll release hundreds of sanctions just here in the United States, but it’s important to step back and remember that it’s not just America taking these actions,” Adeyemo said.
He said the sanctions are aimed at ensuring Russia cannot get access to the goods required to build weapons and slowing down Russia’s access to revenues it needs to prop up their economy and build weapons.
The package will be the latest of thousands of sanctions targeting Moscow announced by the United States and its allies following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, which has killed tens of thousands and reduced cities to rubble.
–Reporting by Jasper Ward, Trevor Hunnicutt, Daphne Psaledakis, Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by David Ljunggren, Daniel Wallis, Leslie Adler and Sandra Maler
A picture authentically shows Israeli flags all over the U.K. parliament chambers.
The protracted, often bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict exploded into a hot war on Oct. 7, 2023, when the militant Palestinian group Hamas launched a deadly attack on Israel and Israel retaliated by bombarding the Gaza Strip. More than 20,000 people, the vast majority of them Palestinians, were reportedly killed during the first two months of the war alone. The violence is driven by mutual hostilities and territorial ambitions dating back more than a century. The internet has become an unofficial front in that war and is rife with misinformation, which Snopes is dedicated to countering with facts and context. You can help. Read the latest fact checks. Submit questionable claims. Become a Snopes Member to support our work. We welcome your participation and feedback.
On Feb. 22, 2024, a photograph of the U.K. House of Commons chamber covered in Israeli flags went viral. The image spread a day after Parliament erupted into chaos amid a debate over calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.
The image was posted alongside the caption, “UK Parliament last night.”
(Screenshot via X)
The above image is fake, consisting of a real photograph of the U.K. Parliament in session digitally edited to add multiple instances of the same image of an Israeli flag.
The original, untampered-with photograph of the Parliament proceedings was taken in 2022. It showed a session in the House of Commons with newly appointed U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking at the bottom right. A standing man with his legs crossed is also visible at the top center of the frame. The photo is available on Alamy, a stock photography agency (which stated it was first published on Nov. 2, 2022), and has also been published by The Guardian and on Parliament’s official website on Nov. 18, 2022.
The parliamentary session that the post on X was referring to had a very different look. Al Jazeera published a Reuters image of the Feb. 21, 2024, proceedings with the caption: “Speaker Lindsay Hoyle returned to the House of Commons to apologise after causing controversy by allowing a Labour amendment on a ceasefire in Gaza to go ahead.” The members of Parliament present at the Feb. 21 session were also dressed differently than those in the edited image.
The image was apparently shared as a criticism of the debate over a cease-fire in Gaza. The proceedings got so heated, reportedly, that dozens of lawmakers stormed out, and the three largest parties, the Scottish National Party, Labour and the Conservatives, sought to outmaneuver each other. While the SNP put forward the motion to call for an immediate cease-fire, Labour and the Conservatives, which have backed Israel before, proposed amendments with conditions they said needed to be met in order to pause the fighting. A Labour Party amendment went through, but the SNP’s original motion was not voted on in the end.
“Chaos Erupts as UK Parliament Votes on Gaza Ceasefire.” Al Jazeera, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/2/21/uk-parliament-speaker-gives-labour-leadership-gaza-ceasefire-vote-reprieve. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.
“Coming up in the Commons 21-25 November.” U.K. Parliament, 18 Nov. 2022, https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2022/november-2022/coming-up-in-the-commons-21-25-november/. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.
Mason, Rowena, and Aubrey Allegretti. “MPs Bullying and Humiliating Staff, Speaker’s Inquiry Told.” The Guardian, 2 Nov. 2022. The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/nov/02/mps-staff-report-being-bullied-in-evidence-given-to-speakers-conference. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.
“Rishi Sunak during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, London.” Stock Photo – Alamy, Nov. 2, 2022. https://www.alamy.com/one-editorial-use-only-no-sales-no-archiving-no-altering-or-manipulating-no-use-on-social-media-unless-agreed-by-hoc-photography-service-mandatory-credit-uk-parliamentandy-bailey-handout-photo-issued-by-uk-parliament-of-the-prime-minister-rishi-sunak-during-prime-ministers-questions-in-the-house-of-commons-london-picture-date-wednesday-november-2-2022-image488356468.html. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.
“UK Lawmakers Storm out of Parliament over Gaza Ceasefire Vote.” France 24, 21 Feb. 2024, https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20240221-uk-parliament-plunged-into-chaos-over-gaza-ceasefire-vote. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.
Washington — President Biden met with the wife and daughter of late Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny in California on Thursday to express his “heartfelt condolences” over his death, the White House said.
“The President expressed his admiration for Aleksey Navalny’s extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption and for a free and democratic Russia in which the rule of law applies equally to everyone,” the White House said, using a different spelling of Navalny’s first name in a summary of the meeting with Yulia and Dasha Navalnaya. “The President emphasized that Aleksey’s legacy will carry on through people across Russia and around the world mourning his loss and fighting for freedom, democracy, and human rights.”
The White House posted photos of the meeting on social media, showing the president embracing Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s widow. Yulia Navalnaya, who lives in exile from Russia, posted on Instagram earlier in the day that she was visiting her daughter, a student at Stanford University.
Speaking to reporters in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Biden said, “This morning I had the honor of meeting with Alexey Navalny’s wife and daughter. As to state the obvious, he was a man of incredible courage. And it’s amazing how his wife and daughter are emulating that.”
The president also said his administration would “be announcing sanctions against Putin, who is responsible for [Navalny’s] death, tomorrow.”
Navalny was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent domestic opponent and critic, exposing corruption among the Russian elite and advocating for democratic reforms. Russian authorities announced his death last week, leading to an outpouring of grief around the world. Mr. Biden soon blamed his death on the Kremlin.
In the meeting with Navalny’s family, the president “affirmed that his Administration will announce major new sanctions against Russia tomorrow in response to Aleksey’s death, Russia’s repression and aggression, and its brutal and illegal war in Ukraine,” the White House summary said.
Navalny’s death remains shrouded in mystery. He had been detained since 2021 after returning to Russia from Germany, where he had been recovering from an unsuccessful poisoning attempt. He was most recently held at a penal colony in Russia’s far north, where he died. Russian authorities have said the cause of his death is still unknown.
On Thursday, Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila Navalnaya, said officials had allowed her to see his body but pressured her to agree to a quiet burial.
“They are blackmailing me, they are setting conditions where, when and how my son should be buried,” she said. “They want it to do it secretly without a mourning ceremony.”
Yulia Navalnaya accused the Russian authorities of killing her husband with a Soviet-era nerve agent and delaying the release of his body until traces of the poison had vanished. A Kremlin spokesman said the allegations were “absolutely unfounded, insolent accusations about the head of the Russian state.”
Stefan Becket is managing editor, digital politics, for CBSNews.com. He helps oversee a team covering the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, immigration and federal law enforcement.
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