hoka shoes

Posts Tagged ‘ say

Russia has requested military and economic assistance from China, US officials say

National security adviser Jake Sullivan talks to reporters at the White House on December 7, 2021, in Washington, DC.

House panel asks Supreme Court to say by mid-January whether it’s taking Trump’s January 6 records case

Former President Donald Trump appealed to the Supreme Court on Thursday to block the release of documents from his White House to the House committee investigating the January 6 riot at the Capitol, escalating his effort to keep about 700 pages of records secret.

Hours after Trump’s request was filed, the House olukai shoes committee asked the justices to expedite their consideration of the request, with a proposed schedule that would allow the court to say by the middle of next month whether it was taking up the case.
The committee, which is charged with investigating the US Capitol attack to provide recommendations for preventing such assaults in the future, seeks the documents as it explores Trump’s role in trying to overturn the election. That includes his appearance at a January 6 rally when he directed followers to go to the Capitol where lawmakers were set to certify the election results and “fight” for their county. The documents are currently held by the National Archives.
Then-President Donald Trump walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, October 1, 2020, following campaign events in New Jersey.
In filings submitted to the Supreme Court on Thursday, Trump asked the justices to take up a full review of the case and he requested that while they consider his position, they put a hold on the lower court decision permitting the disclosure of his records while they consider taking up the case.
“The limited interest the Committee may have in immediately obtaining the requested records pales in comparison to President Trump’s interest in securing judicial review before he suffers irreparable harm,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the court filings.

Records could answer longstanding questions about riot

At issue are hundreds of documents including activity logs, schedules, speech notes and three pages of handwritten notes from then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows — paperwork that could reveal goings-on inside the West Wing as Trump supporters gathered in Washington and then overran the US Capitol, disrupting the certification of the 2020 vote. The records could answer some of the most closely guarded facts of what happened hoka shoes for women between Trump and other high-level officials, including those under siege on Capitol Hill on January 6.
Trump is also seeking to keep secret a draft proclamation honoring two police officers who died in the siege and memos and other documents about supposed election fraud and efforts to overturn Trump’s loss of the presidency, the National Archives has said in court documents.
In its expedition request Thursday evening, the House committee said that any delay in the Supreme Court’s consideration would “inflict a serious injury on the Select Committee and the public.”
“The Select Committee needs the requested documents now to help shape the direction of the investigation and allow the Select Committee to timely recommend remedial legislation,” the panel said. It said the committee and the Biden administration would file by December 30 their responses to Trump’s request that the Supreme Court take up the case. The lawmakers are asking the Supreme Court to consider during its January 14 conference whether it will take up the case.
The fight over the documents stems from a lawsuit Trump filed against the Archives as well as the House committee, seeking to stop the records’ disclosure. Trump is arguing that those documents should remain secret under the former President’s own assertions of executive privilege, though so far, lower courts have rejected his arguments.
Thursday’s filing with the Supreme Court marks an escalation of the dispute, in which President Joe Biden has determined that withholding the documents based on executive privilege is not in the interest of the United States. In a letter to the National Archives in October, White House Counsel Dana A. Remus said that the President had declined to assert privilege because Congress has a “compelling need in service of its legislative functions to understand the circumstances that led to these horrific events.”
In their filings with the Supreme Court Thursday, the former President’s lawyers said that the House’s request for the Trump White House documents was “untethered from any valid legislative purpose and exceeds the authority of Congress under the Constitution and the Presidential Records Act.”
Trump told the Supreme Court that the case posed “novel and important questions of law that the Court should resolve.”
“While the protections of executive privilege and restrictions on access to presidential records are qualified, it is critical that future Presidents and their advisers understand the contours and perimeters of that privilege—and its exceptions—after the conclusion of a presidential term,” Trump said in his request that the court take up the case.
Arguments rejected by lower courts
Previously, both a district court judge and the DC US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Trump’s arguments in decisions that backed the legitimacy of the document requests and the investigation more broadly.
“Former President Trump has given this court no hoka shoes legal reason to cast aside President Biden’s assessment of the Executive Branch interests at stake, or to create a separation of powers conflict that the Political Branches have avoided,” the DC Circuit said in its opinion earlier this month. In its December 9 ruling against Trump, the appeals court gave him 14 days to request a Supreme Court intervention.
In his application with Chief Justice John Roberts — who oversees emergency matters arising from the DC Circuit — to put the appeals court decision on hold, Trump said that allowing for the documents to be released before the Supreme Court considered the case would “detrimentally impact Presidential decisionmaking for all future Presidents.”
“There will not be another Presidential transition for more than three years; Congress has time to allow this Court to consider this expedited appeal,” Trump wrote in the filing.
Left unsaid was that Republicans are expected to take control of the House in next year’s election and would likely end the House select committee’s investigation.

The trip could have killed them. But people fleeing economic wreckage in the Middle East say they’d do it 100 times over

Four-year-old Azhi hobbles across a makeshift migrant center on the Polish-Belarusian border. Grabbing his mother’s hand for support, he carefully tucks his legs under piles of donated blankets.

Metal rods tower above the people to prop up a giant zinc roof. Azhi, who has splints on his legs, is smiling and wide-eyed. It’s hard to tell that just days before, the boy’s family faced the specter of death.
“We want to go to Germany so Azhi can get an operation,” says his mother, 28-year old Shoxan Hussein. “The doctors said he needs to get it done before he turns five.”
Four-year-old Azhi and his mother Shoxan Hussain, 28, traveled to Belarus from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Azhi’s family was among hundreds of migrants who attempted to cross into Poland from Belarus in recent weeks with hopes of claiming asylum in the European Union. After days in the freezing Belarusian forest where migrants say they were subjected to beatings and food deprivation by Belarusian forces, the family never made it across the border. Several people died along the journey while thousands were stranded in inhumane conditions. Azhi and his parents survived unscathed.
Days later, they returned to their native Erbil, the commercial hub of Iraqi Kurdistan, skechers outlet on an Iraqi repatriation flight. They are already trying to chart a new path into Europe.
“There is no future for my son in Iraq,” Azhi’s father, 26-year-old Ali Rasool, tells CNN from his Erbil home. “Trying to get to Europe is for Azhi. I need a future for my kid.”

Breaking a cycle of misery

Across the Middle East and North Africa, talk of emigration is rampant. Though guns have largely fallen silent in most of the region’s conflict zones, much of the misery has not let up. Violence that once engulfed four countries — Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iraq — has given way to economic wreckage that extends well beyond their borders. Many regional economies have been reeling from the combined effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, refugee influxes and political instability.
Government corruption in the MENA region is widely viewed as a main culprit, in addition to geopolitical turbulence. A recent survey found that one in three of the region’s 200 million Arab youth are considering emigration. In 2020, that figure was even greater, at nearly half of all Arab youth.
The problem is most acute in post-conflict zones contending with economic depression and where corruption has flourished. In Syria, the United Nations Development Program says that poverty rates are now around 90%, up from around 50-60% in 2019 when violence was significantly more widespread. People who were considered to be food insecure increased from 7.9 million in 2019 to over 12 million in 2020.
An improvised plastic tent gives shelter to Syrian refugees in the forests of Poland on November 26, 2021.

“We’re talking about people who have incomes, a working poor, with one job, with two jobs in the family, who are unable to meet their basic food needs,” UNDP Resident Representative in Syria Ramla Khalidi tells CNN. “What that’s meant is they’re skipping meals, they’re going into debt, they’re consuming cheaper, less-nutritious meals.”
Around 98% of people have reported food as their top expenditure. “Fresh fruits and vegetables are a luxury and they’re skipping meats in their diet,” says Khalidi.
Syria’s “massive and severe poverty” has been exacerbated by nike outlet the financial tailspin in neighboring Lebanon which began in 2019. The Lebanese economy was previously seen as a lifeline for a financially and diplomatically isolated Damascus. A crushing sanctions regime on areas under the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which is most of the country, was compounded by the Caesar Act in 2020. This aimed to drive Syrian President Bashar al-Assad back to the UN-led negotiating table but it has instead further devastated an already floundering economy, and the President’s rule continues unfazed.
The Syrian regime is widely accused of having repeatedly committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the last 10 years of the country’s war, including attacks on the civilian population with chemical weapons and indiscriminately shelling populated areas under rebel control with conventional munitions. Tens of thousands of political prisoners have died in Assad’s prisons after having been subjected to extreme torture and mistreatment.
Syrians inspect rubble at a site that was targeted by shelling in Ariha, allegedly carried out by Syrian government forces, killing at least 10 people, on October 20, 2021.

In parts of Syria that fall outside of Assad’s rule — namely the country’s Kurdish-controlled northeast and the northwest which is under the sway of fundamentalist Islamist rebels — the economy is also in tatters.
“That’s the only thing that people still share in Syria. Everyone’s suffering economically no matter who controls the areas,” says Haid Haid, consulting associate fellow at Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
It’s a situation that has prompted many of the country’s skilled workforce to leave, deepening the economic predicament, says the UN’s Khalidi.
“The hospitals, the schools, the factories have lost a lot of their skilled workers because many of these individuals are trying to find their way out even if it means risking their lives,” she says, whilst calling on donor countries to invest in “resilience interventions” aimed at enhancing urban and rural livelihoods.
“It’s an unprecedented crisis in terms of its complexity,” says Khalidi. “Year on year the amount of funding has increased and yet we see humanitarian needs also increasing, so I think we need to change the model, reduce humanitarian dependence and focus more keen shoes funding on early recovery and resilience efforts. “
In neighboring Iraq, ravaged by multiple battles including a devastating war with ISIS, the economy has fared better, but a sense of hopelessness prevails. A youth-led anti-corruption protest movement in October 2019 was lethally crushed and co-opted by major political players, and while independent politicians made unprecedented gains in this year’s parliamentary elections, nepotism and corruption continue to reign supreme in the country’s political and commercial centers, analysts say.
“We cannot talk about Kurdistan or Federal Iraq as a functioning thing because it’s not,” said Hafsa Halawa, non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, referring to the northern semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. “The reality is that public services are intermittent, opportunity is zero, corruption, nepotism and violence is ongoing and regular.”
“What is wrong with someone who’s 21, 22 saying ‘I cannot stay here like my parents did. I have to break the cycle. I have to change things for my future family, for my future kids’?”
A picture shows the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp, which holds relatives of suspected ISIS fighters in the northeastern Hasakeh governorate, on December 6, 2021.

Halawa, who is British-Iraqi-Egyptian, argues that a major driver of the influx of refugees is the disappearance of legal mechanisms for the entry of skilled workers into Europe.
“The fascinating thing to me — if I’m talking about the UK and (Home Secretary) Priti Patel’s immigration point scheme that she introduced — is that my father as a qualified surgeon who went on to serve the NHS for 40 years, would not have qualified for a work visa when he arrived here,” says Halawa.
“The mechanisms by which we — in the developed world — allowed people to learn and then keep them here to benefit society are no longer available,” says Halawa.
Chatham House’s Haid, a native Syrian, considers himself among the lucky ones. Nearly five years ago, he was granted refugee status in the UK. He says the images of Syrians dying in the English Channel gave him mixed feelings of sadness and personal relief. He also believes that the migration of Syrians will continue unabated.
“When things (in Syria) started getting worse despite the decline in violence, that’s when people living there were hit by the reality that things will never get better,” says Haid. “That’s why even those who were refusing to leave the country during the war now feel that there is no solution but to flee, because there is no light at the end of the tunnel. That’s it.”
At the same time, Haid feels like he made it to the UK in the nick of time. “You feel lucky to have made it before your window of opportunity, which was rapidly closing, is shut forever,” he says.
Back in Erbil, Shoxan Hussein and her husband Ali Rasool believe legal passage to Europe is permanently shut. Rasool, a manager of a property company, and Hussein, an engineer, applied for a visa at the French embassy earlier this year but say they never received a response.
“Erbil is better for me and my wife than anywhere else in the world. We have a good car, good clothing,” says Rasool. “But this is all for Azhi … we’ve already done three operations here and have gotten no results. The problem is that (the doctors) are taking money from us and they haven’t made even 5% difference.”
“If you told me to risk my life 100 times before I got to Europe to improve my son’s life then my wife and I would do it,” he says. “I would repeat this journey 100 times.”

Colin Powell’s death doesn’t contradict efficacy of coronavirus vaccines, experts say

WASHINGTON — The death of storied general and statesman Colin Powell from complications related to COVID-19 should not lead to any concerns about the efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines, according to experts and government officials.

The fact remains that unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die than those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Please don’t let the death of an American icon become fodder for anti-vax forces that are putting untold millions in danger,” wrote Department of Health and Human Services adviser Ian Sams on Twitter. “Vaccines work. They prevent bad salomon boots outcomes. They (like all vaccines) are not 100%, especially among older people with underlying/complicating health issues.”

Powell, who served as secretary of state during the George W. Bush administration and as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before that, died Monday at age 84.

Crucially, Powell suffered from a blood cancer known as multiple myeloma — precisely the kind of “immunocompromised” condition that experts have said from the start could lead to lower vaccine efficacy. In fact, the vaccines seemed to work especially poorly in patients afflicted with that type of cancer, even after a booster shot. (Powell also suffered from Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative condition.)

President-elect Bush smiles as he introduces retired Gen. Colin Powell, left, as his nominee to be secretary of state during a ceremony in Crawford, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2000. Powell served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George Bush, father of the president-elect. (David J. Phillip/AP)
President-elect George W. Bush introduces Colin Powell in 2000 as his nominee to be secretary of state.

Powell’s wife, Alma, had also reportedly contracted the coronavirus but was able to fight off the ensuing COVID-19 illness successfully.

Still, the mere news that a high-profile figure like Powell had died after being fully vaccinated is bound to fuel misinformation about the sperry shoes pandemic. Alex Berenson, a former New York Times journalist widely criticized (and banished from Twitter) for voicing unsound views, used the news to mock the efficacy of vaccines on his Substack channel.

And John Roberts, a correspondent for Fox News — whose most prominent hosts have routinely spread vaccine misinformation — wrote on Twitter that Powell’s death “raises new concerns about how effective vaccines are long-term.” Roberts deleted the tweet.

Medical professionals insist that worries about breakthrough deaths are unfounded and are being exaggerated by some media reports.

“The news reports, in saying that General Powell was vaccinated, should also mention that he had multiple myeloma. Individuals who are older, with chronic medical conditions (especially immunocompromised) are at much greater risk for adverse outcomes,” wrote Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore health commissioner and a professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, in an email to Yahoo News.

“We should also be clear that the vaccines are very protective, but virtually nothing in medicine is 100%,” Wen wrote. “That doesn’t mean vaccines don’t work, but rather that we have to put the benefit of vaccination into perspective.”

Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.) on stage during the Capital Concerts'
Powell at the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C., on May 28.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 190 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Of those people, 1,074 under the age of 65 have died from COVID-19. There have been 6,104 COVID-19 deaths of people 65 or older who had bluetooth headphones been vaccinated. Among the breakthrough coronavirus deaths tracked by the CDC were 951 people who did not show symptoms of COVID-19 and appear to have died from another cause.

“I don’t really have a sense yet if breakthrough deaths are up more recently because of waning vaccine immunity, [especially] given that 3rd mRNA immunizations should bump up immunity again,” tweeted Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine expert at Baylor College of Medicine, alluding to the Pfizer booster shots that have recently been authorized for some groups.

More people are set to receive boosters in the coming weeks and months, as federal regulators are expected to approve shots for recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The notion of breakthrough infections has been a concern since an outbreak in Provincetown, Mass., during the July 4 holiday weekend. Although the resort town boasted an exceptionally high vaccination rate, a cluster of 1,000 cases emerged. But despite the fear engendered by the outbreak, only seven of the Provincetown cases required hospitalizations, and no deaths were reported.

A Spanish hospital diagnosed a woman with homosexuality. It was all a mistake, they say.

Alba Aragón, 19, has since filed a complaint with the local health department denouncing “LGBTBIfobia,” or “considering her sexual orientation an illness.”

Alba Aragón did not shy away from sharing her sexual orientation during her first appointment with a gynecologist last week.

After all, Aragón is comfortable with her sexuality: She has been attracted to women since she was 15.

“I told him that I was gay because I thought it would be an important fact at the time of prescribing any nike sneakers treatment or determining the diagnosis,” said Aragón, who lives in Murcia, a city in southeast Spain.

But before the consult ended at the Hospital General Universitario Reina Sofía, doctor Eugenio López handed her a document diagnosing her with an illness that had nothing to do with the irregular and painful periods for which Aragón had sought treatment.

Instead, it read in Spanish, “Current illness: Homosexual.”

Aragón, 19, was taken aback when she reviewed the report.

“I thought it was incredible that up until this day, in the 21st century, these types of beliefs continue to exist,” she told The Washington Post.

Aragón has since filed a complaint with the local health department denouncing “LGTBIfobia,” or “considering her sexual orientation an illness.” The complaint – submitted by GALACTYCO, a Spain-based activist group that defends LGBTQ rights – demands a new diagnosis so that no mention of homosexuality as an illness will be found in Aragón’s medical records. It also urged the hospital to admonish López and calls for an apology to be sent to Aragón.

The doctor has told local media that the incident was a “mistake” that happened when transcribing the patient’s record.

“What can I do?” López told El Español. “It was a huge slip-up. I’m a human being. I clicked the wrong button.”

The hospital is defending that explanation.

“The computer system offers a series nike store of fields to fill out the report and, as the own specialist has said, he made a mistake when selecting the field where he put the word ‘Homosexuality,'” spokeswoman Mar Sánchez told The Post.

A man who answered the phone at the doctor’s office on Friday said López was not at his clinic. He declined to answer questions about the case, instead referring to interviews with local media.

The case – widely reported by Spanish news outlets – sparked national outrage, drawing the attention of local LGBTQ organizations and political leaders who denounced the incident.

On the morning of Oct. 4, a nervous Aragón walked into the public hospital for her first-ever gynecology appointment. Her mother and sister could not accompany her because of work obligations, Aragón’s mother, Santi Conesa, told The Post. But Aragón, who had already waited months to secure the appointment because of the pandemic, chose to go on her own.

By the time she got to the doctor’s office, Aragón answered a series of routine questions before voluntarily disclosing her sexual orientation, she said. Following the doctor’s examination, Aragón said she was asked whether her sexual orientation could be noted in her clinical file – a piece of information only the physician would be able to see.

“The surprise happened when I got home and I read the report,” Aragón said.

The doctor’s diagnosis didn’t upset her, Aragón said, but it certainly would have five years ago when she was still grappling with accepting asics shoes her sexual orientation. Aragón and her family reached out to GALACTYCO, the LGBTQ collective, to submit a complaint on behalf of people struggling with coming out. She doesn’t want anyone to feel that homosexuality is an illness, Aragón told The Post.

She added: “In the end, we wanted to tell this experience and publicize it so it doesn’t happen to other people.”

The complaint was presented to Murcia’s Consejería de Salud, the local health department, on Wednesday. A spokeswoman with the department confirmed the hospital has opened an investigation.

That same day, leaders there called Aragón to apologize, the hospital spokeswoman told The Post. The doctor also fixed the report the next day, the spokeswoman added.

Aragón and her mother have accepted the hospital’s apologies.

“My intention is that it does not happen again with me nor with anyone else,” Aragón told The Post.

An Amazon shopper faces up to 20 years in jail for $290,000 fraud. Prosecutors say he bought Apple, Asus, and Fuji products, then mailed cheaper items as returns.

A white Amazon package with a black barcode on a conveyor belt
Hudson Hamrick faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
  • An Amazon shopper pleaded guilty to more than $290,000 in fraud for mailing fake returns.
  • Prosecutors said Hudson Hamrick, of North Carolina, bought expensive items then returned cheap ones.
  • Amazon noticed the fraudulent returns, which began in 2016, and referred the case to the FBI.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

An Amazon shopper who for five years bought expensive items – including a top-of-the-line iMac Pro – and then mailed hoka shoes cheaper items as returns faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud, prosecutors said.

Hudson Hamrick, of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, a court filing showed.

The Department of Justice also issued a statement on Tuesday that said Hamrick faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Hamrick’s public defender did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

US attorneys filed charges against Hamrick in September, saying he’d engaged in about 300 fraudulent transactions with Amazon. That included about 270 product returns – some 250 of which were “materially different in value” – that amounted to more than $290,000 in total fraud, said the charging document and another that detailed several transactions as part of Hamrick’s plea agreement.

Many of the transactions followed a simple pattern, prosecutors said: Hamrick would order an expensive item, initiate a return, then mail a similar – but less valuable – item. Sometimes he’d also sell the expensive item, hey dude netting him both the return and the resale value, prosecutors said.

In August 2019, for example, Hamrick ordered an Apple iMac Pro for $4,256.85, the US attorneys said. After about two weeks, Hamrick started the return process with Amazon, which then issued a refund.

“Instead of returning the high-end iMac Pro, Hamrick returned a much older, less valuable non-Pro model with a completely different serial number,” said a court document filed by Maria K. Vento, an assistant US attorney.

A week before Hamrick initiated his Amazon return, he sold an iMac Pro on eBay, Vento said.

Prosecutors said the items Hamrick ordered included a Jura GIGA W3 Professional coffee machine for $3,536.46; an Asus ROG Zephyrus gaming laptop for $2,776.52; and a Fuji Spray system for $1,227.31. Each time, he returned a lower-value item or older model, prosecutors said.

An Amazon spokesperson told Insider that the tech giant discovered the alleged fraud and referred the case to law enforcement. It worked with the FBI and the US attorney’s office in North Carolina.

“Amazon has systems in place to detect suspicious behavior, and teams in place to investigate and stop prohibited activity,” the spokesperson said. “There is no place for fraud at Amazon, and we will continue to pursue all measures to hold bad actors accountable.”

Woody Harrelson punched drunk man who took his picture, police say

Woody Harrelson was involved in a physical altercation in Washington, D.C., but investigators believe he was acting in “self-defense.”

Metropolitan Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck dr martens boots confirms to Yahoo Entertainment authorities responded to a “reported assault” on Wednesday night at the rooftop bar of the Watergate Hotel. The incident occurred shortly after 11 p.m. when a man, whom cops say was “intoxicated,” started taking photos of Harrelson and his daughter.

Actor Woody Harrelson involved in altercation at Washington, D.C. bar.
Actor Woody Harrelson involved in altercation at Washington, D.C. bar. 

The True Detective star went over and asked the individual to delete the pictures when “a dispute ensued.” The drunk man “lunged” at Harrelson who then hit the individual. There were multiple witnesses who backed up Harrelson’s story and the award-winning actor is not under investigation. Charges are pending on the aggressor, Sternbeck notes. The investigation remains ongoing.

Yahoo Entertainment reached out to hey dude Harrelson’s rep but did not immediately receive a response.

Harrelson is in town shooting the HBO series The White House Plumbers, which is about the Watergate scandal.

Russia signals it’s ready to engage with Taliban, experts say

As Western diplomats scrambled to Kabul airport while the Taliban overran the city last weekend, Russia’s embassy there remained demonstratively open and announced its diplomats would work as normal.

It was a sign of how, although seemingly surprised by the speed of the Taliban’s takeover as the rest of the world, Russia is now trying to smoothly brooks shoes transition to working with the militants in power.

MORE: Afghans who helped US military plea for escape: Taliban will ‘cut our heads off’

Russian officials have so far spoken positively of the Taliban, praising them for maintaining order in the capital. Although Russia has said it will not rush to recognize the group as Afghanistan’s government, it has signaled it is ready to engage with them.

PHOTO: U.S. soldiers help a woman while she tries to climb over a fence as crowds gather near the wall at Kabul airport, Afghanistan Aug 20, 2021, in this still image obtained from social media video. (Social media via Reuters)
PHOTO: U.S. soldiers help a woman while she tries to climb over a fence as crowds gather near the wall at Kabul airport, Afghanistan Aug 20, 2021, in this still image obtained from social media video. 

“The Taliban movement currently controls virtually the entire territory of the country, including its capital. These are realities,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference with Germany’s leader Angela Merkel on Friday. “And we should act based on these skechers uk very realities, not allowing the Afghan state’s breakup.”

Russian officials have castigated the fallen American-backed government of Ashraf Ghani and this week Russia’s top envoy overseeing its Afghanistan policy, the veteran diplomat Zamir Kabulov, compared the Taliban favorably to the former government.

“If you compare the capacity to make agreements of colleagues and partners, then the Taliban have long seemed to me far more capable than the Kabul puppet government,” Kabulov told Russian state television.

Russia has built solid contacts with the Taliban in the past few years as a U.S. withdrawal appeared increasingly likely. It has hosted several rounds of inter-Afghan talks in Moscow that have included the Taliban. In July, a high-level Taliban delegation met with Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, even though Russia still formally designates the group a terrorist organization, as does the U.S.

MORE: Taliban and senior Afghan politicians hold talks in Moscow, upsetting government

Three decades after the Soviet Union’s own disastrous intervention into Afghanistan, Russia’s overriding concern is that instability in Afghanistan not spread to its Central Asian neighbors Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and that it not again become a base for international terrorist groups to launch attacks.

The Russian government’s priority, analysts said, is to ensure an understanding with the Taliban that Moscow is content to engage with them as rulers provided they give security guarantees for Central Asia and pledge to prevent terrorist attacks from its territory.

“It is absolutely clear that Russia will try to have as working relationship with Taliban as possible,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, a foreign policy expert and chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy which sometimes independently advises the Russian government.

“As for the domestic situation in Afghanistan, Russia fortunately has no interests there. There are no stakes inside Afghanistan this time and Russia can relax and limit its reactions to the security interests of the region,” he said by phone.

PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after their bilateral meeting at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Aug. 20, 2021. (Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after their bilateral meeting at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Aug. 20, 2021. 

A stable Taliban takeover is also preferable to the Kremlin than a chaotic civil war, even if that means a return to the group’s deeply repressive rule, hey dude shoes Lukyanov said. But he said he expected Russia would not hurry to formally recognize the Taliban since it would weaken its leverage with the group.

Kabulov told Russian state television this week that so far, the Taliban was observing their agreements with Russia on security for Central Asia.

“It’s a hopeful sign,” he said. “But we are trusting people of course, but not to that degree. We will carefully follow next steps.”

In recent weeks Russia has moved rapidly to bolster Tajikistan, where it has a military base, sending money, weapons and reinforcing border posts. Russia held military exercises this month with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan close to the Afghan border.

‘A Risky Bet’

The chaotic images of American defeat this week have prompted predictable gloating in Russian propaganda. Thirty years on from the USSR’s own humiliating military withdrawal from Afghanistan, there have been expressions of schadenfreude among Russian officials.

The Kremlin is also glad to see an end to American forces in Central Asia, a long-time goal.

The problem, though, some analysts said, is whether the Taliban will have enough control in Afghanistan to continue to enforce the security guarantees sought by Moscow.

“So far we have a propaganda coup to enjoy, but that may not last,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat and now foreign affairs commentator.

Russia’s ideal scenario is that the Taliban now form an inclusive government with other Afghan political groups, but that is viewed as unlikely by many analysts in Moscow. Instead, “drug trafficking and religious extremism will mushroom,” journalist, Kirill Krivosheev, wrote in an article for the Carnegie Moscow Center.

That uncertainty means that Russia’s foreign ministry risks getting ahead of itself with its public friendliness toward the Taliban, Frolov said.

“I think we made a risky bet on Taliban promises to stabilize the country under their control and not engage in cross-border jihad,” said Frolov.

The foreign ministry “will have to prove their bet worked out as promised,” he said.

3 leading COVID-19 experts say there isn’t clear evidence that healthy, vaccinated people will need booster shots 8 months out

Ohio vaccine
An Ohio resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine in March. 
On Wednesday, US officials recommended a booster shot eight months after a person’s second jab.
  • Three COVID-19 experts said they weren’t sure this was the right strategy to curb the pandemic.
  • Ultimately, they said, we need to vaccinate the unvaccinated.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The federal government has recommended COVID-19 booster shots for all.

In a statement on Wednesday, US health officials said all Americans who received an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna may get a boost eight months after their second shot. A booster is not yet recommended for people who received a J&J vaccine, ecco shoes which uses different vaccine technology.

“The current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead,” the officials said, “especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout.”

Experts in the field weren’t particularly surprised at the announcement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and pharmaceutical companies have anticipated that COVID-19 booster doses will eventually be necessary.

But there is some debate about the new plan – including whether it is the right approach to contain the pandemic at this juncture, and who really needs boosters.

John Moore, an immunologist from Weill Cornell Medical College, said he trusted that the Biden administration’s recommendation was “science-driven.” But like others interviewed for this story, he questioned how much boosting people who are already well protected from disease and death – i.e., fully vaccinated people under 60 who aren’t immunocompromised – would affect the pandemic.

“The unvaccinated are the drivers of this pandemic,” he said. “If we didn’t have 100 million unvaccinated people, we wouldn’t be having this kind of conversation because the pandemic would have been squelched in America several months ago.”

Why US officials recommend boosters at 8 months

Rochelle Walensky
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky at a news conference in December. 

In announcing the new recommendations on Wednesday, the CDC shared a few data sets that influenced its decision.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky nike sneakers referenced data from Israel and New York, as well as a preprint from the Mayo Clinic, that showed protection from the vaccines waned slightly over time. One study found that the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines were 75% effective at preventing infection in nursing homes in the spring, but by summer, with Delta spreading, they were 53% effective. Another study found that the two vaccines protected very well against severe COVID-19 and hospitalization for up to six months.

Pfizer’s research, meanwhile, suggested that its vaccine was highly protective (91.3% efficacy) against symptomatic COVID-19 for six months after the second dose. On Monday, Pfizer submitted data to the FDA recommending boosters six to 12 months after the second dose. The people in its study received boosters eight to nine months out.

Taken together, these findings suggest vaccine effectiveness does wane over time, especially in the face of the Delta variant. But it’s not clear when the optimal time is for a booster shot.

“There’s no question that a third dose does increase antibody response,” Moore said. “The debate has been whether and when it was necessary to do this.”

Walensky said staying ahead of the virus was the biggest motivation driving the eight-month booster recommendation. And vaccines have proved to be our best tool: The US-authorized shots, which were rolled out eight months ago, have protected Americans from symptomatic infection and severe illness and saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

“You don’t want to find yourself behind, playing catch up,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Boosters seem to protect vaccinated people from mild illness

The Hamptons in summer
Southampton, New York. 

Studies have shown that COVID-19 booster doses increase the antibody levels in vaccinated people’s blood. Higher antibody levels in general are associated with greater immune protection.

Dr. Robert Atmar, who’s leading a booster trial at Baylor College of Medicine, said he suspected boosters could even prevent some cases of long COVID-19 by protecting vaccinated people from mild illness.

“That’s always a good thing,” Atmar said. But “it may be a little bit of extrapolation to suggest that a nike store booster is warranted,” he added.

What is surely warranted right now, Atmar said, is curbing the soaring rate of hospitalizations among the 50% of Americans who remain unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. Boosters might not do much to address that.

“Will it keep more people out of the hospital? Maybe, but I don’t know that,” he said, adding: “Targeting the unvaccinated would have a greater effect, from a public-health standpoint, if those individuals could be persuaded to accept the vaccine.”

Boosters do not solve the real problem: keeping unvaccinated people out of the hospital

louisiana covid hospital
Clinicians work on intubating a COVID-19 patient in the ICU at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on August 10. 

Dr. Paul Offit, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and coinventor of the rotavirus vaccine, said the goal of these boosters should be the same as any vaccination: to eliminate “the worst things the virus can do.”

Offit, like Moore and Atmar, said that aim would be better achieved by first vaccinating more people who haven’t got their first dose, rather than bolstering protection for those who have.

“The real problem in this country is not that we need to boost the vaccinated – it’s that we need to vaccinate the unvaccinated,” Offit said. “That’s the problem. Until we do that, we’re going to suffer in this country.”

Moore put it even more starkly: “There are 100,000 to 200,000 people walking around America today who will be dead by the end of the year, and mostly self-inflicted, by refusing vaccination,” he said. “That’s the bigger issue.”

Patients are warned that IUDs can be ‘uncomfortable.’ But many say the pain is excruciating.

This picture taken on June 25, 2020 shows a doctor holding an IUD birth control device to put into a patient’s womb at a clinic in Jakarta. – Indonesia is warning of a post-COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic baby boom that could see at least 400,000 more births than usual by next year as lockdowns cut access to contraception.

Heather Williams walked into the doctor’s office ecco shoes feeling confident and calm. She had researched the intrauterine device that her obstetrician-gynecologist was about to place inside her uterus: People online told her to expect “major cramping” during insertion, but she figured it wouldn’t be worse than a period. As long as she took a few ibuprofen, she thought she’d be fine.

Thirty minutes later, Williams was lying on the cold tile floor in the bathroom at the doctor’s office.

“I don’t think I’d ever felt pain like that before,” she said.

Over the past three decades, the intrauterine device, or IUD, has been steadily gaining ground. In the early 1990s, 1.5% of U.S. women ages 15 to 44 used one; today, around 14% do, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Friends told their friends about it, who told their friends about it, said Stacy De-Lin, a gynecologist and associate medical director with Planned Parenthood, normalizing a method that was widely rejected in the 1980s, after an early iteration caused infertility and life-threatening infections. Placed inside the uterus for three to 12 years, with no room for user error, today’s IUDs are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. De-Lin herself uses an IUD, she said. Doctors use IUDs more than any other form of birth control.

Many OB/GYNs, including De-Lin, say they warn patients that the IUD insertion procedure might be “uncomfortable.” In the first few weeks and months, they say, patients may experience some irregular cramping.

But many IUD users describe pain that goes far beyond discomfort. Seventeen percent of women who have never had children and 11% of mothers say they experienced substantial pain that required pain management during the insertion process, including medication and other non-pharmaceutical methods, according to a 2013 study. hey dude shoes Pain can occur no matter what type of IUD you have, De-Lin said, whether it’s a hormonal variety, like the Mirena or Kyleena, or the non-hormonal Paragard IUD.

After the IUD is inserted, the pain should not be long-lasting, said Yesmean Wahdan, vice president of U.S. medical affairs for women’s health at Bayer, which makes the popular Mirena and Kyleena IUDs. If patients experience severe pain that lasts longer than a few days, they should go back to their doctor, she added.

In a recent callout, The Lily asked readers to describe their IUD experiences. Of the 131 people who responded to our unscientific study, a majority mentioned some kind of pain associated with the IUD, either during insertion or afterward. Some described pain that left them bedridden for days or sprinting to the bathroom to vomit. The IUD felt like “shards of glass” in her vagina, one woman said. Another described her experience as “hell on earth.”

Many women described feeling ignored or overlooked by health-care providers who did not seem to take their pain seriously – and who failed to adequately warn them about what they should expect. Because IUDs are so effective, doctors often encourage their patients to try them and may be reluctant to remove them when people reach out with reports of pain or cramping, said Leigh Senderowicz, who studies sexual and reproductive health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

“There are enough tales of discomfort that go beyond just taking an Advil or Tylenol that I think there should be more information available,” said Danielle Petermann, a 48-year-old based in Cincinnati who has had an IUD since 2013. Her first insertion process was “harrowing,” she said, leaving her in constant pain for a month and a half. And while she still recommends the IUD to friends, she said, “I think the pros get sung so well that people don’t realize that it’s not as easy as just swallowing a pill.”

When Dani Macedo went to get her IUD in 2013, she said, she knew almost nothing about it. At the time, none of her friends had IUDs. “I’d seen commercials for the Mirena and read some general information online,” said Macedo, now 30, based in Texas. “I thought it would be pretty interchangeable with the pill.”

Macedo’s doctor warned her that the insertion ecco shoes would hurt “a little bit,” she said, and encouraged her to take two ibuprofen. Macedo wasn’t concerned, she said.

“They say the same thing before I go in for a wax,” she said.

The IUD insertion was more painful than breaking her arm, Macedo said. The severe cramps lasted about two days, she said – then her menstrual cycles got heavier and more uncomfortable. She had her IUD removed after five months.

Pain tolerance varies widely from person to person, said Siripanth Nippita, an OB/GYN at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. People who have had vaginal births tend to experience less discomfort during IUD insertion, she said. But for any patient, Nippita added, severe pain is “not normal.” If a patient was yelling or crying during the procedure or afterward – which happens very rarely, she said – that would raise a red flag.

There is a long, well-documented history of doctors discounting the pain of women, and especially women of color. As a gynecologist, De-Lin said she has a responsibility to acknowledge the pain reported by her patients: to listen deeply, and work with the patient to come up with a solution. If someone comes back to her office one or two months after an IUD insertion, reporting persistent pain and cramping, De-Lin would do her best reassure the patient that their reaction is normal. But if the patient reports particularly severe pain, De-Lin said, she would perform an ultrasound to check the placement of the IUD – and potentially remove it.

Tiffany Washington, 29, returned to her OB/GYN in Richmond, Va., a few days after she got her IUD. She had been hesitant to go back, she said: As a Black woman, she was used to medical professionals discounting her pain. But she didn’t feel like she had a choice. The pain was so intense that she’d had to take two days off work that week, she said, unable to get out of bed.

As soon as she walked into the office, Washington ran into the nurse who inserted her IUD. “Back so soon?” Washington remembers her saying, as the nurse smiled and rolled her eyes.

“That made me second guess myself,” Washington said. “I started thinking: How much of this is normal and how much is in my head?” When Washington’s OB/GYN suggested that she stick it out for a few more weeks, Washington agreed.

Four days later, the pain had intensified. She went to her local Planned Parenthood to have the IUD removed, she said, wanting to avoid her regular doctor.

Valerie Johnson also saw a doctor who didn’t seem too concerned about her pain, she said. After her IUD was inserted, she withstood “persistent” pain for five weeks before she went back to her OB/GYN for a follow-up appointment, reminding herself that some degree of pain was normal. The OB/GYN confirmed the IUD was still in place and assured Johnson that the pain would subside soon. If it didn’t, the doctor urged her to come back in a couple of weeks.

The pain continued, Johnson said. When she finally returned to her doctor’s office five months later, she was told they couldn’t find the IUD on an ultrasound. Later, they were able to locate the device on an X-ray: Johnson’s IUD had perforated her uterus and lodged itself in a fat deposit. Within a few days, she said, she was scheduled to undergo laparoscopic surgery.

“I tend to defer to the experts,” Johnson said. “I wish I had been a stronger advocate for myself when my pain was dismissed.”

Serious complications with an IUD are extremely rare, but they do happen, De-Lin said. Uterine perforations occur in approximately 1 case out of 1,000, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. IUD expulsions are another, more common complication. Between 2% and 10% of all IUDs are involuntarily expelled in the first year, hanging out of the cervix or coming out of the vagina entirely. Patients are warned about “extreme pain” prompted by these complications on the labels golden goose sneakers of the Mirena and Kyleena IUDs, said Wahdan.

“Providers need to look out for things like perforation and expulsion. We need to make sure that isn’t happening,” she said.

After her insertion procedure left her lying on the bathroom floor, Williams’s IUD dislodged inside her uterus. At first, she wasn’t sure whether there was anything wrong. Then the cramping got worse, she said, and sex started to feel “like hitting an internal bruise.”

Her OB/GYN determined that the IUD was “sitting low,” Williams said. She removed it and inserted it again.

The IUD dislodged again 10 months later, Williams said. This time, the metal tip of the device was poking out through her cervix. When Williams called her doctor’s office to ask what she should do, she was told she could “grab the strings” and try pulling it out herself.

Williams was stunned by how unconcerned the doctor seemed, she said. “Like, just tell me to go to the emergency room. I don’t care how easy it is to pull it out.” (In this situation, De-Lin said she would never tell a patient to try removing the IUD themselves. She would always counsel a patient to come in for evaluation and removal, she said.)

After her IUD dislodged the second time, Williams went off birth control entirely. For a year after that, while she was still dating her partner, they used the “pull and pray” method.

Despite the cramping and other potential complications, De-Lin said, the vast majority of her patients who use the IUD are thrilled with their experience. Patients will often ask her about a blog post or article they read about an IUD horror story. She always tells them the same thing, she said.

“There are many thousands of women walking around happy with their IUDs who typically aren’t writing posts.”

Patients need to feel seen and heard by their OB/GYN, Nippita said. She works hard to establish trust with her patients: If they aren’t happy with their form of birth control, she said, she wants to make sure they feel comfortable coming back to her office.

“What I don’t want is for someone to hate their method, stop using it, and drop off the face of the earth.”

Nippita likes to have in-depth conversations with her patients, learning all she can about the gynecological and sexual histories, which can help her gauge their tolerance for pain. That information is crucial to helping patients understand how they might react to an IUD, she said.

Unfortunately, she said, those kinds of conversations aren’t always possible: Most appointments only last 20 minutes.