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Sudan security forces skirmish with demonstrators after protest deaths

A Sudanese anti-coup protester clashes with security forces during a demonstration against military rule, in Khartoum on June 30, 2022.

Russia’s Navalny asks court to end prison security checks

MOSCOW (AP) — Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny asked a court Monday to brooks shoes halt the hourly night-time checks he has been subjected to in his penal colony.

Speaking to the court in a video link from prison, Navalny charged that he has done nothing that would warrant the authorities’ decision to designate him as a flight risk that has resulted in checks.

“I just want them to stop coming to me and waking me up at night-time,” he told the judge in remarks that were broadcast by the independent Dozhd TV. “What did I do: Did I climb the fence? Did I dig up an underpass? Or was I wringing a pistol from someone? Just explain why they named me a flight risk!”

He argued that the hourly night-time checks “effectively amount to torture,” telling the judge that “you would go mad in a week” if subjected to such regular wake-ups.

The court later adjourned the hearing until Wednesday.

Navalny, the most determined political foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was arrested in January upon his return from Germany, hey dude shoes where he had spent five months recovering from a nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin — accusations that Russian officials reject.

In February, he was handed a 2 1/2-year sentence for violating terms of a suspended sentence stemming from a 2014 embezzlement conviction, which he says was politically motivated.

He went on a 24-day hunger strike in prison to protest the lack of medical treatment for severe back pain and numbness in his legs, ending it last month after getting the medical attention he demanded.

While he still was on hunger strike, Navalny was moved from a penal colony east of Moscow where he was serving his sentence to the hospital ward of another prison in Vladimir, a city 180 kilometers (110 miles) east of the capital. He still remains at that prison, where he said the night-time checks continued, although they were less intrusive.

With Navalny in prison, prosecutors have asked a Moscow court to designate his Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his network of regional offices as extremist groups. A bill, which has sailed quickly through the Kremlin-controlled lower house of Russian parliament, bars members, donors and supporters of extremist groups from seeking public office.

The parallel moves have been widely seen as an attempt to keep any of Navalny’s associates from running in September’s parliamentary election.

You Absolutely Shouldn’t Wait Until 70 to Claim Social Security in This Situation

You Absolutely Shouldn’t Wait Until 70 to Claim Social Security in This Situation

Most people know that Social Security checks increase if you delay claiming them.

While you become eligible for retirement benefits as early as age 62, waiting until at least your full retirement age (FRA) grows your benefit because you avoid early filing penalties. And waiting even longer to get started until after FRA will also increase the size of your monthly checks until age 70 due to delayed retirement credits you can earn.

Because of these rules, retirees hoping for the largest monthly benefit should wait until age 70 to claim it — in most cases. But there is an important exception to this rule, and you need to know what it is so you don’t leave money on the table.

Retirees shouldn’t wait until 70 to claim Social Security benefits in this situation

If you are claiming spousal benefits, rather than claiming Social Security on your own work record, there is absolutely no reason to delay the start of your checks until 70 if you are eligible for them earlier.

That’s because you are not able to earn delayed retirement credits for spousal benefits under any circumstances.

Spousal benefits are based on your spouse’s work history. You’re entitled to them if you’re married, or if you are divorced after a marriage that lasted at least 10 years. They can be an invaluable source of income if you didn’t earn enough work credits to qualify for benefits on your own, or if your earnings were very low and your own benefit isn’t worth very much.

Your spousal benefit can equal up to half of the amount of your husband or wife’s benefit at their full retirement age. If you claim your spousal benefit before your full retirement age, you’ll shrink the amount and get less. But once you’ve reached your FRA, there is no reason to delay beyond that until 70 before starting your benefits, since you won’t get a monthly income boost for doing so.

Of course, you need to be eligible for spousal benefits at your full retirement age in order to claim them then. If you’re still married, this eligibility hinges not just on your marital status but also on your spouse having claimed his or her own retirement benefits already. This rule doesn’t apply to those who are divorced, though. Divorced individuals can claim their spousal benefits on their own schedule regardless of what their ex does.

If you’re still married and your partner hasn’t yet started getting Social Security retirement checks, you’ll need to wait for them to do so before you can get your monthly spousal benefit — even if you’ve already reached your own full retirement age. Unfortunately, if this means you end up having to wait beyond your FRA, you still won’t see your monthly checks go up due to the delay.

The bottom line is, if you are married and claiming spousal benefits, then as soon as you hit full retirement age, it’s time for you to claim your monthly Social Security money if you can. Otherwise, you’re needlessly missing out on income you’re owed with no benefit to you later.

Stimulus checks: Lawmakers demand prompt payments to Social Security recipients

Many Social Security recipients and other beneficiaries still haven’t received the third round of stimulus payments, according to a letter from lawmakers calling for quick distribution, even though millions of payments have already been made.

“We were alarmed to learn recently that most Social Security, SSI, RRB, and VA beneficiaries who are not required to file a tax return have not yet received their payments and the IRS is unable to provide an expected timeline for these payments,” the chairs of the House Ways and Means Committee wrote in a letter on Monday. “Some of our most vulnerable seniors and persons with disabilities, including veterans who served our country with honor, are unable to pay for basic necessities while they wait for their overdue payments.”

The Internal Revenue Service hasn’t announced when federal benefits recipients who don’t file taxes will get their payments, promised a timeline would be provided “as soon as it becomes available,” the agency said on Monday in a press release.

The IRS didn’t respond to Yahoo Money’s requests for an updated timeline. The Social Security Administration also did not respond to Yahoo Money’s request about when those payments will be available.

El nombre del presidente Donald Trump en un cheque de estímulo emitido por el IRS para ayudar a combatir los efectos económicos adversos del brote de COVID-19. (Archivo)
Photo: Getty

Recipients of those benefits should get the third payment the same way as their regular benefits, according to the IRS. Those who don’t file taxes but receive benefits would also automatically receive the stimulus payment. Some recipients may need to file their 2020 taxes to get a payment for qualifying dependents.

“People in this group should file a 2020 tax return to be considered for an additional payment for their dependent as quickly as possible,” the IRS said.

The latest round is $1,400 per eligible individual plus a $1,400 bonus per dependent. Around 158.5 million households are expected to receive a payment under the new stimulus deal, according to the White House.

Trump-appointed Social Security Administration officials test Biden’s ability to forge new agenda

Donald Trump and Joe Biden. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: AP)
Donald Trump and Joe Biden. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: AP)

President Biden is facing increasing pressure to remove two Social Security Administration officials appointed by his Republican predecessor, a standoff that could test the limits of his ability to undo Donald Trump’s legacy.

The brewing controversy surrounds Andrew Saul and David Black, the agency’s commissioner and deputy commissioner, whom Trump appointed to fixed-term positions that don’t end until 2025. As term appointees, they can’t be removed by Biden except for cause, but unions and Capitol Hill alike are demanding that Biden find a way to remove them, accusing them of creating a toxic work environment, contributing to low morale due to staff cuts, and sidelining the agency’s administrative law judges.

The continued presence of the Trump appointees underscores the difficulties the Biden administration faces when trying to roll back some of the previous administration’s efforts to reshape the federal government. While traditional political appointees must resign or face being fired when a new administration comes in, presidents are also able to install fixed-term employees to boards and other government positions that can outlast their administration.

Saul, a New York businessman and Republican donor, and Black, a former Bush administration staffer, have been in their positions since 2019. According to critics, the two officials have engaged in “no-holds-barred union busting” and eliminated the agency’s pre-pandemic telework program, forcing over 10,000 employees to commute to work — a rule change that continues despite the onset of COVID-19. (That did not apply to Saul, who reportedly continued to work from home as thousands of his employees commuted during the onset of the pandemic.)

Andrew Saul and David Black. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP, SSA.gov)
Andrew Saul and David Black. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP, SSA.gov)

In December 2020, two major unions representing thousands of Social Security Administration employees called for Biden to take decisive action to remove the pair after he took office, believing that Saul and Black actively worked to “undermine the agency’s mission” through intentionally hamstringing internal operations and allegedly violating major ethics rules.

Myanmar a ‘war zone’ as security forces open fire on peaceful protesters, killing 38

At least 38 people were killed after Myanmar’s security forces opened fire on young peaceful protesters in towns and cities across the Southeast Asian nation Wednesday, in scenes described as “a war zone.”

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in the weeks since a military coup on February 1. Security forces have intensified their response in recent days, opening live fire into crowds and using tear gas, flash bangs and stun grenades on demonstrators.
Images and footage from Wednesday show bodies lying in the street surrounded by pools of blood as protesters run to take cover.
The United Nations said the total death toll since the coup had risen to 50, though activists put that total as higher.
“Today was the bloodiest day since the coup happened,” Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener told a briefing Wednesday. About 1,200 people have been detained, with many relatives unsure where they are being held, she added.
“Every tool available is needed now to stop this situation,” Burgener said. “We need a unity of the international community, so it’s up to the member states to take the right measures.”
CNN reached out to the ruling military regime via email but has not yet received a response.
Protesters run from police firing tear gas during a pro-democracy demonstration in Mandalay, Myanmar, on Wednesday.

Protesters have for weeks demanded the release of democratically elected officials — including the country’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi — who are in detention. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party won a landslide victory in November elections; military leaders allege voter fraud but have provided no proof for their claim.
Burgener said in discussions with the military, she had warned that the UN Security Council and member states were likely to take strong measures. “The answer was: ‘We are used to sanctions, and we survived those sanctions in the past’,” she said.
“When I also warned they will go in an isolation, the answer was: ‘We have to learn to walk with only few friends’.”
Security forces — including members of the military’s Light Infantry Divisions long documented to be engaged in human rights abuses in conflict zones throughout the country — escalated their deadly crackdown on peaceful demonstrators this week.
“Today, the country is like the Tiananmen Square in most of its major cities,” the Archbishop of Yangon, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, said on Twitter.
In one instance, Myanmar security forces were caught on camera beating emergency service personnel with the butts of their guns, batons and kicking them in the head, according to activist group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
The AAPP released the video on Wednesday and said in a statement it was from North Okkalapa, in Yangon. The video provides a glimpse into the brutal methods deployed the security forces.
In the footage, three charity workers are asked to get out of their ambulance van at gunpoint, and then made to kneel on the floor with their hands behind their heads.
Two uniformed police officers start hitting the men in the head with their guns and batons and also kick them. A few moments later a group of police officers with shields and members of the military join in, violently hitting the charity workers.
“The military is treating peaceful protestors in Yangon as a war zone. The military is creating terror, again,” AAPP said.
CNN does not know why the charity workers were stopped by the security forces.
The AAPP said live ammunition was used against protesters in at least seven towns and cities Wednesday.
Among those killed was a 19-year-old girl in the second-biggest city Mandalay. Her image flooded social media sites, showing her wearing a T-shirt that read “Everything will be OK.” Reuters reported she was shot in the head by security forces.
In Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon, witnesses told Reuters at least eight people were killed when security forces opened fire with automatic weapons in the early evening.
“I heard so much continuous firing. I lay down on the ground, they shoot a lot and I saw two people killed on the spot,” protester Kaung Pyae Sone Tun, 23, told Reuters.
Another heavy toll was in the central town of Monywa, where six people were killed, the Monywa Gazette reported. Others were killed in various places including Mandalay, the northern town of Hpakant and the central town of Myingyan, according to Reuters.
Rights group Fortify Rights said Thursday that “the similar use of excessive and lethal force by security forces in towns and cities throughout the country demonstrates coordination between units and an overarching national strategy.”
“This isn’t a non lethal tactic to disperse protesters. This is an attack on peaceful protesters throughout the country,” said John Quinley, Senior Human Rights Specialist at Fortify Rights. “And these are not crowd control techniques, this is an attack on civilians and people protesting against the military takeover.”
The rights group said photographs and videos from Wednesday show soldiers holding automatic weapons, long-range sniper rifles, and other firearms.
World leaders have called for Myanmar’s elected leaders to be restored.
“The use of lethal force against peaceful protestors and arbitrary arrests is unacceptable,” read a February 28 statement by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ spokesman, which also urged the international community to “send a clear signal to the military that it must respect the will of the people of Myanmar as expressed through the election.”
A protester uses a fire extinguisher as others holding homemade shields run during a demonstration in Yangon on Wednesday.

A speech by Myanmar’s Ambassador to the UN, Kyaw Moe Tun, prompted rare applause last week, after he said he represents the country’s civilian government and called on the international community to use “any means necessary” to help end the coup.
On Wednesday, a deputy ambassador from Myanmar, U Tin Maung Naing, resigned after military rulers named him to replace Kyaw Moe Tun.
The US State Department condemned the violence, saying Washington is reviewing policy options to respond to the recent escalations.
“We are appalled and revulsed to see the horrific violent perpetrated against the people of Burma for their peaceful calls to restore civilian governance. We call on all countries to speak with one voice to condemn brutal violence by the Burmese military against its own people and to promote accountability for the military’s actions that have led to the loss of life of so many people in Burma,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a briefing.
Pope Francis also appealed for an end to the violence on Wednesday.
“I appeal also to the international community to act so that the aspirations of the people of Myanmar is not suppressed by violence. That the young people of that beloved land get the opportunity of hope in a future where hate and injustice be replaced by meeting and reconciliation,” he said during his weekly audience.

Shocking New Capitol Security Footage Shows How Close Rioters Came To Lawmakers

Democrats shared U.S. Capitol security video from the Jan. 6 insurrection showing rioters entering the building and Officer Eugene Goodman directing Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) away from the protesters.

The footage, part of their presentation during day two of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, was made public for the first time Wednesday. It offered another perspective of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which resulted in five deaths, including that of a police officer, that day. Two more police officers died by suicide in the days after the riot.

Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) presented the never-before-seen security footage, filmed from inside the Capitol, which showed rioters pounding and beating the windows until they broke open.

Scroll down or click for live updates on the impeachment trial.

Dozens of rioters can be seen pouring into the hallways, in an apparent search for the Senate chamber. Some of the first people who broke into the Capitol wore tactical gear, and one was holding a baseball bat.

One rioter could be seen in a QAnon shirt, while another was holding a Confederate flag.

A lone officer responds to the scene and attempts to pepper spray the first person to enter the building, though he is quickly overwhelmed by the incoming rush of rioters.

He quickly turns around as more people climb through the broken windows and into the halls of the Capitol.

In separate security footage filmed from another angle, Officer Goodman can be seen running to redirect Sen. Romney away from the searching mob.

Another angle of security footage shows Vice President Mike Pence being evacuated from the Senate chamber, fleeing the mob that was looking for him.

In one security video, staff members for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can be seen running down a hallway and into an office, where they barricaded themselves and hid.

Moments after they run into the office, a mob walks down that same hall.

One clip shows the mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” whom Trump had been attacking on Twitter.

“He further incites the mob against his own vice president, whose life is being threatened,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas).

In another presentation, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) showed a separate round of never-before-seen security footage of the chaos inside the Capitol.

One video showed rioters rushing through a different entrance on the east side of the Capitol. One of the first people to breach that entrance was holding a large flag bearing Trump’s name.

Swalwell played one security clip twice in an attempt to show lawmakers how close they came to the violent mob.

In the footage, senators can be seen running down the hall as the Capitol Police ran down another hall, using their bodies to shield the lawmakers from the mob, as seen in the far-right corner of the hall.

Another video shows Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) walking down a hallway only to quickly turn around and run back through a set of doors that are protected by two officers.

Democrats also showed Capitol Police body camera footage to illustrate officers’ perspectives as violent mobs attacked them.

In the footage, one rioter runs toward and attacks a line of officers protecting the Capitol building. Other people join in, kicking and assaulting the officers with their own sticks.

At one point, someone throws a Trump flag on a tall pole into the fight. In a separate security video of that same scene, a person farther away in the mob can be seen throwing that flag.

Swalwell ended his presentation with a chilling video showing Capitol Police Officer Daniel Hodges smashed and stuck in a doorway as a mob pushed against him and beat him until he was bloodied.

“I’m sorry I have to show you the next video,” Swalwell warned the chamber.

During a call with reporters Wednesday morning, senior aides on the impeachment managers’ team called the footage “quite extraordinary.”

“It will provide new insight into both the extreme violence that everyone suffered, the risk and the threat that could have led to further violence and death,” one aide said. “It shows really the extent of what Donald Trump unleashed on our Capitol.”

Democrats also aired audio recordings of Capitol Police officers calling for help on the radio as rioters attacked them, with some of the rioters apparently using poles.

“You’ve got a group of about 50 charging up the hill on the West Front,” a police dispatcher can be heard saying in one recording. “They’re throwing poles at us,” an officer responds.

Lydia O’Connor contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Read live updates on the impeachment trial below. (Note: An ad blocker may prevent you from seeing the blog, so if you’re using one, please pause or turn it off.)

Japan refuses to join a statement accusing China of Hong Kong’s security law

On May 29, at the regular press conference of the Ministry of foreign affairs of China, a foreign media reporter asked that on May 28, the four foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada issued a joint statement saying that the legislative decision on Hong Kong related national security adopted by the National People’s Congress of China violated the international obligations stipulated in the principles of the joint statement of China and Britain and damaged the framework of one country, two systems. What is China’s comment on this ?

In response, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman, said that the countries concerned made comments and accusations and interfered in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs roughly. China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this and has made solemn representations to relevant countries.

“In any country in the world, whether it is a single system or a federal system, the national security legislation belongs to the national legislative right. It has always been the central authority to maintain national security, which is the case in any country.” Zhao Lijian said that looking around the world, no country is allowed to engage in actions endangering national security such as splitting the country on its own territory. “With the resumption of China’s exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, all the rights and obligations related to the UK stipulated in the China UK Joint Declaration have been fulfilled.” He said.

Zhao Lijian pointed out that after Hong Kong’s return, the legal basis for the Chinese government to govern the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is the constitution of the people’s Republic of China and the basic law of Hong Kong. “The countries concerned do not have any legal basis, nor are they entitled to invoke the China UK Joint Declaration to make a statement about Hong Kong affairs.” “Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong. No one is more concerned about the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and the fundamental well-being of Hong Kong residents than the central government. No one is more determined than the central government to fully and accurately implement the principle of one country, two systems and the basic law,” he said

Trump said it would announce measures in response to Hong Kong’s national security law this week

U.S. President trump said he was ready to take action in response to China’s adoption of Hong Kong’s national security law. He will release details later this week, describing it as a strong and powerful measure. White House economic adviser kurdrow pointed out that what China has done to Hong Kong is very disturbing, thinking that China is making a big mistake.

Trump was asked about Hong Kong’s national security law when he met with reporters in the rose garden of the White House. He said he would release the details of the response measures later, but the notice would be a powerful measure.

A White House spokesman said earlier that Trump was dissatisfied with China’s actions and believed that once Hongkong’s national security law was implemented, Hongkong would be difficult to maintain its position as a financial center.

Bloomberg quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Washington is considering sanctions against Chinese officials, as well as against institutions that assist China in implementing its national security law in Hong Kong, including freezing assets and banning financial transactions, but there is no decision at present.

In an interview, White House economic adviser Andy Kudrow also said that what China has done to Hong Kong is very disturbing, believing that China is making a big mistake. He said if U.S. companies want to return to the United States from Hong Kong and China, Washington will welcome them, pay for their relocation, and provide tax relief.

After holding a video conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Michelle, President of the European Council, pointed out that he and Abe share common ideas about China and attach great importance to how China can maintain a high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong in accordance with the basic law and international commitments. Michelle also said that the EU supports Hong Kong’s autonomy based on the principle of one country, two systems.