Zelenskyy: West needs more courage in helping Ukraine fight
LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused the West of lacking courage as his country fights to stave off Russia’s invasion, making an exasperated plea for fighter jets and tanks to sustain a defense in a conflict that has ground into a war of attrition.
Speaking after U.S. President Joe Biden met with senior Ukrainian officials in Poland on Saturday, Zelenskyy lashed out at the West’s “ping-pong about who and how should hand over jets and other defensive weapons to us” while Russian missile attacks kill and trap civilians.
“I’ve talked to the defenders of Mariupol today. I’m in constant contact with them. Their determination, heroism and firmness are astonishing,” Zelenskyy said in a video address early Sunday, referring to the besieged southern city that has suffered some of the war’s greatest deprivations and horrors. “If only those who have been thinking for 31 days on how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had 1% of their courage.”
People are also reading…
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its 32nd day, has stalled in many areas, its aim to quickly encircle the capital, Kyiv, and force its surrender faltering in the face of staunch Ukrainian resistance — bolstered by weapons from the U.S. and other Western allies.
However, Western military aid has, so far, not included fighter jets. A proposal to transfer Polish planes to Ukraine via the United States was scrapped amid NATO concerns about getting drawn into a military conflict with Russia.
‘My personal tragedy’: Ukrainians brace for attack on Odesa
ODESA, Ukraine (AP) — The Black Sea port of Odesa is mining its beaches and rushing to defend its cultural heritage from a feared Mariupol-style fate in the face of growing alarm that the strategic city might be next as Russia attempts to strip Ukraine of its coastline.
The multi-cultural jewel, dear to Ukrainian hearts and even Russian ones, would be a hugely strategic win for Russia. It is the country’s largest port, crucial to grain and other exports, and headquarters for the Ukrainian navy.
Bombardment from the sea last weekend further raised worries that the city is in Russia’s sights.
Residents say Russian President Vladimir Putin would be insane to take Odesa with the brutal approach that has left other Ukrainian cities in ruins. Once a gilded powerhouse of the Russian empire, Odesa includes one of the finest opera houses in Europe and the famed Potemkin Steps between the city and the sea, featured in Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 silent film masterpiece “Battleship Potemkin.”
But after a month of grueling war, people say they can’t predict anything anymore.
War shakes Europe path to energy independence, climate goals
BERLIN (AP) — Before Russia’s war in Ukraine, Europe’s most pressing energy policy goal was reducing carbon emissions that cause climate change.
Now, officials are fixated on rapidly reducing the continent’s reliance on Russian oil and natural gas — and that means friction between security and climate goals, at least in the short term.
To wean itself from Russian energy supplies as quickly as possible, Europe will need to burn more coal and build more pipelines and terminals to import fossil fuels from elsewhere.
This dramatic shift comes amid soaring fuel costs for motorists, homeowners and businesses, and as political leaders reassess the geopolitical risks from being so energy-dependent on Russia.
In 2021, the European Union imported roughly 40% of its gas and 25% of its oil from Russia — an economic relationship that officials had thought would prevent hostilities, but is instead financing them.
Without Russia, science going solo on world’s woes, dreams
PARIS (AP) — Without Russian help, climate scientists worry how they’ll keep up their important work of documenting warming in the Arctic.
Europe’s space agency is wrestling with how its planned Mars rover might survive freezing nights on the Red Planet without its Russian heating unit.
And what of the world’s quest for carbon-free energy if 35 nations cooperating on an experimental fusion-power reactor in France can’t ship vital components from Russia?
In scientific fields with profound implications for mankind’s future and knowledge, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is causing a swift and broad decaying of relationships and projects that bound together Moscow and the West. Post-Cold War bridge-building through science is unraveling as Western nations seek to punish and isolate the Kremlin by drying up support for scientific programs involving Russia.
The costs of this decoupling, scientists say, could be high on both sides. Tackling climate change and other problems will be tougher without collaboration and time will be lost. Russian and Western scientists have become dependent on each other’s expertise as they have worked together on conundrums from unlocking the power of atoms to firing probes into space. Picking apart the dense web of relationships will be complicated.
With eye to China investment, Taliban now preserve Buddhas
MES AYNAK, Afghanistan (AP) — The ancient Buddha statues sit in serene meditation in the caves carved into the russet cliffs of rural Afghanistan. Hundreds of meters below lies what is believed to be the world’s largest deposit of copper.
Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers are pinning their hopes on Beijing to turn that rich vein into revenue to salvage the cash-starved country amid crippling international sanctions.
The fighters standing guard by the rocky hillside may once have considered destroying the terracotta Buddhas. Two decades ago when the Islamic hard-line Taliban were first in power, they sparked world outrage by blowing up gigantic Buddha statues in another part of the country, calling them pagan symbols that must be purged.
But now they are intent on preserving the relics of the Mes Aynak copper mine. Doing so is key to unlocking billions in Chinese investment, said Hakumullah Mubariz, the Taliban head of security at the site, peering into the remnants of a monastery built by first-century Buddhist monks.
“Protecting them is very important to us and the Chinese,” he said.
Second ‘black box’ found in China Eastern plane crash
BEIJING (AP) — The second “black box” has been recovered from the crash of a China Eastern Boeing 737-800 that killed all 132 people on board last week, Chinese state media said Sunday.
Firefighters taking part in the search found the recorder, an orange cylinder, on a mountain slope about 1.5 meters (5 feet) underground, state broadcaster CCTV said. Experts confirmed it was the second black box. The impact of the crash scattered debris widely and created a 20-meter- (65-foot-) deep pit in the side of the mountain.
Searchers had been looking for the flight data recorder after finding the cockpit voice recorder four days ago. The two recorders should help investigators determine what caused the plane to plummet from 29,000 feet (8,800 meters) and into a forested mountainside in southern China.
The search for the black boxes and wreckage from the plane has been complicated by the remote setting and rainy and muddy conditions. Video posted by CGTN, the international arm of CCTV, showed an official holding the orange can-like object on site with the words “RECORDER” and “DO NOT OPEN” written on it. It appeared slightly dented but intact.
Flight MU5735 crashed Monday en route from the city of Kunming in southeastern China to Guangzhou, a major city and export manufacturing hub near Hong Kong. An air traffic controller tried to contact the pilots several times after seeing the plane’s altitude drop sharply but got no reply, officials have said.
Ukrainians welcome in Hungary but Afghan student was not
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — When Russia launched its war, Hungary opened its borders for the tens of thousands of refugees escaping Ukraine. Other refugees have been left with no help in a field in Serbia.
After studying in Hungary for three years, Hasib Qarizada sought asylum there after his native Afghanistan unraveled in chaos last August. But rather than receiving refuge, Hungarian authorities whisked Qarizada over the border six months ago into neighboring Serbia, kicking him out into a country he didn’t even know.
“Police just came over and handcuffed me,” Qarizada told The Associated Press in Belgrade, the Serbian capital. “They told me ‘Don’t try to run away, don’t try to fight with us, don’t do anything stupid.’”
Left all alone in a field in Serbia with no one in sight for miles, the 25-year-old Qarizada had no idea where he was, where to go or what to do.
“I was a student, and they just gave my life a totally different twist,” he said. “They didn’t give me a chance to grab my clothes, my (phone) charger or my laptop or anything important that I would need to travel.”
Coach K makes 13th Final Four, Duke beats Arkansas 78-69
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mike Krzyzewski slowly climbed up the ladder, bowed to the adoring Duke fans and then pointed to his players to give them the credit before cutting the final string of the net.
Coach K’s farewell tour will end at his record-setting 13th Final Four.
The Blue Devils delivered their most complete performance of this NCAA Tournament run to extend the career of their Hall of Fame coach for one more weekend after beating Arkansas 78-69 on Saturday night in the West Region final.
“To see the joy, I can’t explain it, because, you know, I’m a grandfather, I’ve lived through my daughters, I’m living through my grandchildren but now I’m living through these guys,” Krzyzewski said on the court before cutting down the net. “Holy mackerel!”
A.J. Griffin scored 18 points, West Region MVP Paolo Banchero added 16 and and second-seeded Duke (32-6) frustrated fourth-seeded Arkansas (28-9) on the offensive end to get back to the Final Four for the first time since Krzyzewski won his fifth championship in 2015.
Villanova to 7th Final Four, beats Houston 50-44 in South
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Villanova coach Jay Wright has won national championships with well-balanced and fundamentally sound teams, yet even he knew staying in contention for another title was going to take a rugged and exhaustive effort.
Ugly at times, the final result was beautiful for the Wildcats, who are going to their third Final Four in the past six NCAA Tournaments.
Jermaine Samuels had 16 points and 10 rebounds as Villanova grinded out a 50-44 victory over gritty and athletic Houston team in the South Region final Saturday.
“You just knew watching this team defensively, like you weren’t going to come out and just outscore them,” Wright said. “We really weren’t talking as much at the end about how we were going to score. We were talking about how we were going to stop them.”
Caleb Daniels added 14 points for the Wildcats (30-7), and fifth-year senior Collin Gillespie’s only made field goal was a clutch shot late, even though Villanova led throughout to clinch the first spot in this year’s Final Four in New Orleans.
Live updates: Blinken: US not seeking Russian regime change
JERUSALEM — Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the U.S. is not trying to topple Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite its harsh condemnations of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Blinken spoke a day after President Joe Biden said of Putin during a speech in Warsaw: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
At a news conference in Jerusalem, Blinken said Biden’s point was that “Putin cannot be empowered to wage war or engage in aggression against Ukraine or anyone else.”
He said the U.S. has repeatedly said that “we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia, or anywhere else for that matter.”
“In this case, as in any case, it’s up to the people of the country in question. It’s up to the Russian people,” Blinken said.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.