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Jill Biden To Namibian Youth: Protect Your Democracy

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Jill Biden

WINDHOEK, Namibia — Jill Biden, the first lady of the United States, told Namibian youth on Friday that the democracy their parents and grandparents fought for is now theirs to defend and protect.

As they move forward, she encouraged them to include women and girls, whose voices, she said, are too often unheard.

“As the first generation born into a free Namibia, the legacy that your parents and grandparents established is now yours to defend and protect,” Biden said to a mostly student audience at Namibia University of Science and Technology.

“It’s yours to grow. And as we look ahead, we must remember that the fight for democracy is never over.”

Namibia is a young democracy that gained independence from South Africa in 1990.

jill biden

Jill Biden is in the middle of her first trip to Africa as first lady, including a Friday stop in Kenya.

She is using the trip to bring attention to a terrible drought that is making it harder for people in the Horn of Africa to get food and to give women and girls more power.

“We must build on the foundation of democracy by elevating those voices that have gone unheard, particularly those of women and girls, people living on the margins of society, or those vulnerable to abuse,” Jill Biden told a crowd of over 1,000 students from various schools seated around her in a campus courtyard.

Jill Biden is in the middle of her first trip to Africa as first lady, including a Friday stop in Kenya.

jill biden

The students applauded as she danced to a drum-heavy African beat.

Jill Biden, who has taught young people for 30 years, believes they must exercise their rights to disagree and dissent, to speak up when they see injustice, and to support leaders who listen to their concerns.

Jill Biden stated, “nearly 250 years after our founding, we are still defending and strengthening our democracy in the United States.”

“Democracy is difficult. “It takes effort,” she said during her rousing rally speech. “However, it is worthwhile because democracy delivers.”

She then walked around the courtyard like she rarely does, shaking hands and taking selfies with a slew of excited students.

The students applauded as she danced to a drum-heavy African beat.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

 

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Argentina’s Milei Calls Out Spain’s First Lady Over Corruption

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Argentina's Milei Calls Out Spain's First Lady Over Corruption
Milei had called Sanchez's wife Begona Gomez "corrupt" during a rally in Madrid: Reuters

Spain has withdrawn its ambassador to Buenos Aires after Argentina’s President Javier Milei slammed Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez over his wife’s alleged corruption during a anti-socialism rally in Madrid.

Javier Milei a staunch libertarian referred to Sanchez’s wife Begona Gomez as “corrupt” during a rally in Madrid organized by the far-right Vox party and attended by several of its overseas friends.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares stated that he expects Milei to apologize.

Other ministers also attacked Milei’s statement, in which he referred to socialism as “cursed and carcinogenic”. Sanchez leads Spain’s Socialist Party.
“With his behaviour, Milei has brought the relationship between Spain and Argentina to its most serious state in recent history,” Albares said in a video statement.

Milei’s visit breached diplomatic convention by refusing to meet with Spain’s King Felipe and Sanchez, instead promoting his book at a party gathering alongside Vox leader Santiago Abascal.

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, stated in a post on social messaging app X that “attacks against family members of political leaders have no place in our culture”.

Spain’s largest opposition party, the conservative People’s Party (PP), declined to support Madrid’s position, claiming that Sanchez should have provided explanations concerning the alleged corruption issue weeks ago.

“His silence generates internal doubts, but also distrust abroad,” a PP source said, adding that the party’s mission was to oppose the Spanish government, not Milei.

In April, a local court said that it was investigating allegations of influence peddling and commercial corruption against Sanchez’s wife, which were raised in a private complaint by Manos Limpias, or Clean Hands, an anti-corruption activist group.

However, Madrid’s prosecuting authorities later announced that it was asking to have the case dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

Sanchez decided to stay in office after five days of deliberating his future after the investigation into his wife was publicized.

Spain court says investigating PM's wife for graft

Spain court investigating PM’s wife for graft: Image Reuters

Wife of Span’s PM investigated for corruption

In April, a Spanish judge has initiated a preliminary investigation against Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s wife over corruption allegations, raising political tensions in Madrid to unprecedented heights.

The judge’s surprising decision against Begoña Gómez provoked outrage in Sánchez’s Socialist-led administration, which denounced the claims as “false” and blamed them on rightwing rivals.

The judge, Juan Carlos Peinado, initiated judicial proceedings after receiving a complaint from a labor union regarding influence peddling. It claimed that Gómez obtained favors from private companies that secured government contracts and received subsidies.

Spain’s justice minister, Félix Bolaños, criticized the case as “one more false allegation”.

On Wednesday, Sánchez addressed parliament, “On a day like today, and despite the news I have heard, despite everything, I still believe in justice in my country.”

The union that submitted the complaint was Manos Limpias (Clean Hands), which has a history of filing anti-corruption lawsuits and whose leader has far-right connections. Its complaint was based on a series of stories published by news outlets, including El Confidencial.

Before deciding whether or not to proceed with the case, the judge must call witnesses and analyze the evidence.

Manos Limpias claims that Gómez obtained favors from executives at Air Europa and its parent company, Globalia, while serving as the director of an Africa research center at IE University in Madrid for over four years, until 2022.

Manos Limpias linked her actions to the airline’s €475 million bailout in late 2020, as it tried to survive the coronavirus outbreak.

Gómez has remained silent on the claims in recent weeks and was not available for comment on Wednesday. Globalia has declined to respond.

IE University reported receiving four airline tickets from Globalia as part of an event sponsorship contract in 2020, but stated that it had never received any money from Globalia or its Africa center.

The conservative opposition demanded that Sánchez deliver quick “explanations” to parliamentarians regarding the case.

According to Esther Muñoz, deputy secretary of the opposition People’s Party, the silence of the government’s head is highlighting his wife, not the People’s Party.

Other ministers in Sanchez’s government responded to the opposition. Spain’s deputy prime minister, María Jesús Montero, stated, “we are facing the worst PP in history” and accused it of aligning with “practices and discourses of the extreme right”.

In recent weeks, Sánchez’s government has concentrated on approaching regional and EU elections, passing only a few pieces of legislation.

The PP has postponed the approval of a controversial plan that would provide amnesty to Catalan separatists involved in a 2017 secession push. Sánchez’s minority coalition government is reliant on the votes of Catalan legislators, who will not support any new legislation until the amnesty bill passes.

A Catalan regional election on May 12 will put Sánchez’s standing to the test following the amnesty pact. The Catalan branch of Sánchez’s Socialist Party is leading polls, followed by the extreme separatists Junts for Catalunya.

Source: Financial Times, Reuters

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Rescuers Search for Iran President Ebrahim Raisi After Helicopter Crash

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Rescuers Search for Iran's President After Helicopter Crash
Search and rescue teams have been scouring Varzaqan in the East Azerbaijan Province: CTN Image

A helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister, and other dignitaries crashed in the mountainous northwest on Sunday, sparking a large rescue attempt in a foggy forest as the population was asked to pray.

The apparent crash occurred as Iran, led by Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched an unprecedented drone and missile offensive on Israel last month and enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels.

Iran has also endured years of large protests against its Shiite theocracy over an ailing economy and women’s rights, making the situation even more sensitive for Tehran and the country’s future as the Israel-Hamas conflict rages across the Middle East.

Raisi was heading through Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. State television reported a “hard landing” at Jolfa, a city on the border with Azerbaijan some 600 kilometers (375 miles) northwest of Tehran. Later, state television moved it farther east, near the hamlet of Uzi, but reports remained inconsistent.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan region, and other officials and bodyguards accompanied Raisi, according to the Associated Press. One local government official used the term “crash,” while others mentioned a “hard landing” or a “incident.”

Iran’s state TV Silent

In the hours that followed, neither IRNA nor state TV reported on Raisi’s condition. However, hardliners urged the population to pray for him. State television broadcast footage of hundreds of believers, some with their hands raised in supplication, worshiping at the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad.

One of Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines, as well as in Qom and other cities across the country. The primary channel of state television broadcast the prayers nonstop. In Tehran, a group of men kneeling on the side of the street held strands of prayer beads and watched a video of Raisi praying, with some clearly crying.

“If anything happens to him, we’ll be heartbroken,” one of the men, Mehdi Seyedi, stated. “May the prayers work and may he return to the arms of the nation safe and sound.”

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi stated on state television that “the esteemed president and company were on their way back aboard some helicopters, and one of the helicopters was forced to make a hard landing due to bad weather and fog.”

“Various rescue teams are on their way to the region but because of the poor weather and fogginess it might take time for them to reach the helicopter.”

Poor weather conditions

IRNA referred to the area as a “forest,” and it is also known to be mountainous. Poor weather conditions, including heavy rain and wind, hampered SUVs racing through a wooded region, according to state TV. Rescuers were visible walking through the fog and mist.

A rescue aircraft attempted to land in the region where authorities believe Raisi’s chopper was, but was unable to do so owing to heavy mist, emergency services spokesperson Babak Yektaparast told IRNA.

Late in the evening, Turkey’s defense ministry reported that it had sent an unmanned aerial vehicle and was prepared to send a helicopter with night vision capabilities to assist with the search and rescue efforts.

Long after the sun had set, Iranian government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi said that “we are experiencing difficult and complicated conditions” throughout the search.

Raisi, 63, a hardliner who formerly commanded the country’s court, is seen as Khamenei’s protégé, and some observers believe he may succeed the 85-year-old leader after his death or retirement. Raisi had gone on the border with Azerbaijan early Sunday to inaugurate a dam alongside President Ilham Aliyev. The dam is the third that the two countries have built on the Aras River.

The visit occurred despite strained relations between the two countries, including a shooting attempt on Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Tehran in 2023 and Azerbaijan’s diplomatic connections with Israel, which Iran’s Shiite theocracy regards as its principal regional adversary.

Iran pilots a variety of helicopters, but international sanctions make it difficult to obtain spare parts. Its military air fleet predates the 1979 Islamic Revolution. IRNA reported images showing Raisi taking off in what seemed to be a Bell helicopter with a blue-and-white paint scheme similar to that seen in prior photographs.

Raisi won Iran’s 2021 presidential election, which had the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history. The US has sanctioned Raisi in part because of his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political detainees in 1988, at the close of the horrific Iran-Iraq war.

Source: CTN News

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Disneyland Character And Parade Performers In California Vote To Join Labor Union

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Pixa Bay - VOR News image

Anaheim, California – Disneyland actors who bring Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and other popular characters to life at the Southern California resort voted to unionize after a three-day referendum that ended on Saturday.

The Actors’ Equity Association labor union announced Saturday that cast members at Disney’s theme parks near Los Angeles voted overwhelmingly for the union to become the bargaining agent for approximately 1,700 workers.

According to an association website that tracked balloting among cast members, 78.7% (953 votes) supported the passage, and 21.3% (258 votes) opposed it

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AP – VOR News Image

Disneyland Character And Parade Performers In California Vote To Join Labor Union

“They say that Disneyland is ‘the place where dreams come true,’ and for the Disney Cast Members who have worked to organize a union, their dream came true today,” Actors’ Equity Association President Kate Shindle said in a statement on Saturday night.

Shindle described the workers as the “front lines” of the Disneyland guest experience. She said the association and cast members will address health and safety improvements, salaries, benefits, working conditions, and job security before meeting with Walt Disney Company executives to negotiate worker priorities into a contract.

The union now represents theatrical actors in Disney’s Florida parks.

According to the association, the National Labor Relations Board’s regional director will certify the results within a week, assuming no election challenges.

The NLRB did not immediately respond to The Associated Press’s email requesting confirmation or other information about the vote.

The election was held on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday in Anaheim, California after employees filed cards earlier this year to join the “Magic United” unit.

disneyland

Pixa Bay – VOR News Image

Disneyland Character And Parade Performers In California Vote To Join Labor Union

Parade and character workers who advocated for unionization said they like helping to create a fantastic experience at Disneyland. However, they were anxious when asked to begin hugging people after returning to work during the coronavirus pandemic. They also claimed that elaborate outfits and unpredictable timetables cause damage.

Most of the Disneyland Resort’s more than 35,000 employees, including cleaning crews, pyrotechnic specialists, and security personnel, are already unionized. The resort contains Disneyland, the Walt Disney Company’s oldest theme park, Disney California Adventure and Anaheim’s shopping and entertainment center, Downtown Disney

In recent years, Disney has been accused of failing to pay a living wage to its Southern California employees, who face excessive housing prices and frequently drive long distances or live in cramped quarters. Parade performers and character actors are paid a base rate of $24.15 per hour, up from $20 before January, plus premiums for certain roles.

Union membership has been declining in the United States for decades, but organizations have enjoyed increased public support in recent years during high-profile contract negotiations with Hollywood studios and Las Vegas hotels. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which protects workers’ rights to organize, announced more than 2,500 filings for union representation during the fiscal year 2023, the most in eight years.

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PixaBay – VOR News Image

Disneyland Character And Parade Performers In California Vote To Join Labor Union

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union that normally represents transportation workers, organized those who play Mickey, Goofy, and Donald Duck in Florida over 40 years ago.

At the time, Florida performers complained about unclean costumes and harassment from customers, including youngsters who kicked the shins of Disney villains like Captain Hook.

SOURCE – (AP)

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