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Paul Kagame is seen by some as a liberator. But critics say Rwanda is only safe for those who toe the line

For decades, Paul Kagame has ruled Rwanda with an iron fist in the mold of the archetypal strongman African leader.

Under his rule, the East African country has emerged from the ruins of a devastating 1994 genocide that left nearly one million people dead to be hailed by Western allies as the model for growth in Africa.
In recent years, the country has forged a strong and financially rewarding alliance with Asian powerhouse China, which is also known for its authoritarian rule.
The US and the UK have also supported Rwanda with aid nobull shoes donations for many years, and US diplomat Tibor Nagy once described the country as “demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
“In the past 25 years, Rwanda has reimagined itself as a strong state that invests in good governance and the success of its people,” the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs said on his first visit to Rwanda in 2019. “In many ways, Rwanda is demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
Controversial UK deportation flight to Rwanda grounded after all asylum-seekers removed
In a recent meeting between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta, the US acknowledged it still had a strong bilateral partnership with Rwanda but also raised concerns about human rights in the country.
In a report last year detailing human rights practices in Rwanda, the US State Department identified “significant human rights issues” that range from “unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government” to “forced disappearance by the government,” among others.
Critics say the successes of Kagame’s authoritarian rule have come at the expense of human rights in the country.
Rwanda is this week hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the capital Kigali, the first gathering of Commonwealth leaders in four years. Prince Charles, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are among world leaders attending.
The UK is ermerging as one of Rwanda’s strongest allies and PM Johnson said in interviews from CHOGM that criticism of Rwanda is based on “stereotypes of Rwanda that is now outdated.” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently brokered a £120 million ($147m) deal with Rwanda to send asylum seekers to the East African country, an accord that hangs in the balance after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Opinion: Dear Prince Charles, don't shake hands with the tyrant who kidnapped our father
Patel described Rwanda as “a safe haven for refugees” as the UK vowed to push ahead with the controversial scheme.

‘No safe haven’

Far from being a “safe haven” for refugees as claimed by Patel and others in the UK government, Rwanda has been accused by human rights groups of treating refugees badly.
In 2018, at least 11 Congolese refugees were killed when Rwandan police opened fire at the Kiziba refugee camp and Karongi town as refugees protested cuts to their food rations, Amnesty International reported at the time. Rwandan authorities told CNN the country’s police resorted to shooting to control a group of violent protesters and said it was an isolated incident.
Rwanda had previously received refugees from Israel.
According to Israeli media, some of the refugees deported to Rwanda between 2014 and 2017 were struggling to survive, with some destitute. Many of the refugees have fled Rwanda while some others who chose to remain in the country have been denied official documents by Rwandan authorities, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of some, Israeli media Haaretz reported.
The UK/Rwanda asylum deal comes less than a year after the UK’s International kizik shoes Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, said she was displeased with Rwanda’s refusal to probe human rights abuses as recommended by the British government.
Lewis Mudge, the Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, told CNN recently that “the UK has cynically decided to change its position on Rwanda… it’s going to ignore the human rights abuses in Rwanda and claim that it is a safe and acceptable country to send refugees to, to justify this cruel and immoral program.”
He added that Rwanda is a safe country only for those who toe the line.
“Just because Rwanda is clean and is safe for the Westerners doesn’t necessarily translate to safety for all Rwandans. Rwanda is a safe country for Rwandans if you keep your head down and don’t ask any questions or challenge anything. The moment you step up and start to question something or have an independent opinion and express it, Rwanda becomes a very difficult country to live in. These Western countries need to recognize that,” Mudge added.
A spokesperson for the Rwandan government declined to comment on HRW’s allegations, dismissing the agency as “a discredited source.”
Mudge described the UK-Rwanda asylum deal as an affront to the Commonwealth’s values.
“The UK is ostensibly the leader of the Commonwealth and this is an abdication of one of the pillars of the Commonwealth, which is the fundamental respect for human rights,” he said.
Refugees sent from the UK would comprise various nationalities, but Rwandan Foreign Minister Biruta said the asylum program will only be for people seeking asylum in the UK who are already in the UK and would exclude refugees from Rwanda’s neighbors such as the DRC, Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The UK government had said the program was targeted at curbing people-smuggling networks and discouraging migrants from making dangerous sea journeys to the UK.

From genocide to growth

To his supporters and Western and Asian allies, President Kagame is a liberator who has modernized and transformed Rwanda, a former Belgian colony.
His party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has been in power since the end of the civil war in 1994, with Kagame serving as vice-president and defense minister until 2000 and then president for the last 22 years.
Kagame unified the country after the genocide, working to abolish the divisive terms “Hutu” and “Tutsi” and to integrate the two cultures.
The gains made in Rwanda under his rule are undeniable.
Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo told CNN the country has made remarkable progress in the last 28 years, citing increased life expectancy, near-universal healthcare, and low corruption levels in the country.
According to the World Bank, Rwanda has witnessed “strong economic growth … accompanied by substantial improvements in living standards.” A report by the World Bank in 2020 stated that the country also has been successful in “reducing administrative corruption … from an accepted practice to one that is regarded as illegitimate and, once identified, one that is punished.”
Rwanda also ranks 1st among 13 low-income economies and 7th among the 27 economies of Sub-Saharan Africa for its innovation capabilities on the 2021 Global Innovation Index.
The country has further endeared itself to the West by advancing gender equality and creating a female-dominated cabinet. Around 61% of its parliamentary seats are held by women.
Kagame has been aggressive in attracting foreign direct investment into the country. In 2018, the Rwandan government signed a three-year promotional deal with English Premier League side Arsenal “as part of the country’s drive to become a leading global tourist destination, using ‘Visit Rwanda’ messaging,” the English football club said in a statement.
Arsenal’s male and female team jerseys have featured the ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo on their left sleeve ever since.

Crackdown on opposition

However, such gains notwithstanding, Kagame’s rule has been characterized by widely reported human rights abuses.
The Freedom in the World 2022 Report by Freedom House found that “while the regime has maintained stability and economic growth, it has also suppressed political dissent through pervasive surveillance, intimidation, torture, and renditions or suspected assassinations of exiled dissidents.”
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire was the presidential candidate of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) party in the 2010 Rwanda presidential elections and says she is a victim of Kagame’s crackdown on dissent.
She told CNN she had left the Netherlands, where she lived with her family, to play an active role in Rwandan politics but ended up being jailed on what she says were trumped-up charges of terrorism and threatening national security by the Kagame regime.
“I was arrested in 2010 and spent eight years in prison. In 2018, I was released by a presidential pardon which came with the condition that I couldn’t leave Rwanda freely without government permission. Three times I have asked for permission to visit my family in the Netherlands but the government did not respond to my request,” Ingabire said.
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire pictured in a Kigali court in 2011.
Rwandan government spokesperson Makolo told CNN Ingabire “was tried and convicted of serious crimes including complicity in acts of terrorism and promoting genocide ideology.”
Makolo added that: “Ingabire had her conviction commuted after she appealed for clemency, however her criminal record remains because her crimes were proven beyond doubt.
“As part of this deal, she has to request to leave the country, as does anyone else in the same situation.” Makolo did not comment further on the status of Ingabire’s requests to leave the country.
Ingabire said she challenged her imprisonment at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights — established by the African Union — in 2014 and was acquitted three years later after the court found that the Rwandan government had violated her rights.
Ingabire says she now lives in fear.
“I am afraid for my life … because you don’t know what can happen to you if you’re a member of the opposition,” she told CNN via a phone call.
“If you criticize the government, you are labeled as an enemy of the state, and then you’re arrested and put in prison … President Kagame does not tolerate criticism against his regime.”
Makolo did not respond to the specific incidents Ingabire spoke about. She, however, accused Ingabire of making “baseless claims” against Rwandan authorities.
“Despite being labeled as an opposition politician, she (Ingabire) has no discernible policy platform, she doesn’t offer solutions that would help improve our country. She only uses her platform to make baseless claims about the government. This doesn’t help advance our nation’s progress,” Makolo said.
A hostel that housed Rwanda genocide survivors prepares to take in people deported by the UK
Responding to the widespread reports of abuse, Makolo said Rwanda could not be characterized as a country with no respect for human rights.
“This characterization bears no relation to the country I know … A central principle of Rwanda’s reconstruction has been ensuring that every single person is treated … as a human being — that means that we do not tolerate discrimination of any form. This is enshrined in our constitution and upheld by our commitment to the rule of law,” Makolo told CNN.
Another outspoken critic of Kagame is Paul Rusesabagina, who was last year convicted of terrorism-related charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison by a court in Kigali. Rusesabagina, who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” was renowned for saving more than a thousand Rwandans during the country’s genocide by sheltering them in the hotel he managed.
He was accused by Rwandan prosecutors of being involved with the National Liberation Front (FLN), an armed wing of the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD). Rusesabagina admitted to having a leadership role in the MRCD but denied responsibility for attacks carried out by the FLN.
His family says he was not given a fair trial and was kidnapped while overseas and oncloud shoes returned to Rwanda in August 2020. Rusesabagina told the New York Times in a video interview he was en route to Burundi on a private plane to speak to churches on August 28 but found himself surrounded by soldiers in Rwanda when he woke up.
Speaking to CNN at the time, Kagame denied claims that Rusesabagina was kidnapped and renditioned to Rwanda.
“It was very proper and legal,” Kagame said of Rusesabagina’s arrest.
“If he was working with somebody in Burundi in the same plot of destabilizing our country, and the same person, for example, decided to drive him to Kigali — the person he was working with, and he had trusted — and the government was working with that person he trusted, how does the government become culpable for that operation?” he added.

‘Rwanda is a poor country’

In addition to raising human rights concerns around the asylum deal, opposition politician Ingabire says that high unemployment rates in Rwanda will prevent the refugees deported by the UK from building lives there.
“There is a high rate of unemployment in Rwanda, especially among the youth. … What will happen to the refugees when the British government stops funding their accommodation? They don’t have a future in Rwanda,” Ingabire said.
She also considers Rwanda’s economic growth a myth, as poverty remains prevalent in the country’s rural areas. According to the UN’s Multidimensional Poverty Index, poverty rates in rural parts of the country stand at 42%, far higher than in cities at 15%.
“Outside Kigali, there are no infrastructures as what you see in Kigali. The Rwandan government has not increased employment across the country, that is why we have the majority of poverty in the rural areas,” Ingabire told CNN.
The government declined to comment on Ingabire’s claims.

Paul Kagame is seen by some as a liberator. But critics say Rwanda is only safe for those who toe the line

For decades, Paul Kagame has ruled Rwanda with an iron fist in the mold of the archetypal strongman African leader.

Under his rule, the East African country has emerged from the ruins of a devastating 1994 genocide that left nearly one million people dead to be hailed by Western allies as the model for growth in Africa.
In recent years, the country has forged a strong and financially rewarding alliance with Asian powerhouse China, which is also known for its authoritarian rule.
The US and the UK have also supported Rwanda with aid donations for many years, and US diplomat Tibor Nagy once described the country as “demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
“In the past 25 years, Rwanda has reimagined itself as a strong state that invests in good governance and the success of its people,” the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs said on his first visit to Rwanda in 2019. “In many ways, Rwanda is demonstrating the true potential of Africa.”
Controversial UK deportation flight to Rwanda grounded after all asylum-seekers removed
In a recent meeting between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta, the US acknowledged it still had a strong bilateral partnership with Rwanda but also raised concerns about human rights in the country.
In a report last year detailing human rights practices in Rwanda, the US State Department identified “significant human rights issues” that range from “unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government” to “forced disappearance by the government,” on cloud shoes among others.
Critics say the successes of Kagame’s authoritarian rule have come at the expense of human rights in the country.
Rwanda is this week hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the capital Kigali, the first gathering of Commonwealth leaders in four years. Prince Charles, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are among world leaders attending.
The UK is ermerging as one of Rwanda’s strongest allies and PM Johnson said in interviews from CHOGM that criticism of Rwanda is based on “stereotypes of Rwanda that is now outdated.” UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently brokered a £120 million ($147m) deal with Rwanda to send asylum seekers to the East African country, an accord that hangs in the balance after a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Opinion: Dear Prince Charles, don't shake hands with the tyrant who kidnapped our father
Patel described Rwanda as “a safe haven for refugees” as the UK vowed to push ahead with the controversial scheme.

‘No safe haven’

Far from being a “safe haven” for refugees as claimed by Patel and others in the UK government, Rwanda has been accused by human rights groups of treating refugees badly.
In 2018, at least 11 Congolese refugees were killed when Rwandan police opened fire at the Kiziba refugee camp and Karongi town as refugees protested cuts to their food rations, Amnesty International reported at the time. Rwandan authorities told CNN the country’s police resorted to shooting to control a group of violent protesters and said it was an isolated incident.
Rwanda had previously received refugees from Israel.
According to Israeli media, some of the refugees deported to Rwanda between 2014 and 2017 were struggling to survive, with some destitute. Many of the refugees have fled Rwanda while some others who chose to remain in the country have been denied official documents by Rwandan authorities, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of some, Israeli media Haaretz reported.
The UK/Rwanda asylum oncloud shoes deal comes less than a year after the UK’s International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, said she was displeased with Rwanda’s refusal to probe human rights abuses as recommended by the British government.
Lewis Mudge, the Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, told CNN recently that “the UK has cynically decided to change its position on Rwanda… it’s going to ignore the human rights abuses in Rwanda and claim that it is a safe and acceptable country to send refugees to, to justify this cruel and immoral program.”
He added that Rwanda is a safe country only for those who toe the line.
“Just because Rwanda is clean and is safe for the Westerners doesn’t necessarily translate to safety for all Rwandans. Rwanda is a safe country for Rwandans if you keep your head down and don’t ask any questions or challenge anything. The moment you step up and start to question something or have an independent opinion and express it, Rwanda becomes a very difficult country to live in. These Western countries need to recognize that,” Mudge added.
A spokesperson for the Rwandan government declined to comment on HRW’s allegations, dismissing the agency as “a discredited source.”
Mudge described the UK-Rwanda asylum deal as an affront to the Commonwealth’s values.
“The UK is ostensibly the leader of the Commonwealth and this is an abdication of one of the pillars of the Commonwealth, which is the fundamental respect for human rights,” he said.
Refugees sent from the UK would comprise various nationalities, but Rwandan Foreign Minister Biruta said the asylum program will only be for people seeking asylum in the UK who are already in the UK and would exclude refugees from Rwanda’s neighbors such as the DRC, Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The UK government had said the program was targeted at curbing people-smuggling networks and discouraging migrants from making dangerous sea journeys to the UK.

From genocide to growth

To his supporters and Western and Asian allies, President Kagame is a liberator who has modernized and transformed Rwanda, a former Belgian colony.
His party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has been in power since the end of the civil war in 1994, with Kagame serving as vice-president and defense minister until 2000 and then president for the last 22 years.
Kagame unified the country after the genocide, working to abolish the divisive terms “Hutu” and “Tutsi” and to integrate the two cultures.
The gains made in Rwanda under his rule are undeniable.
Rwandan government spokesperson Yolande Makolo told CNN the country has made remarkable progress in the last 28 years, citing increased life expectancy, near-universal healthcare, and low corruption levels in the country.
According to the World Bank, Rwanda has witnessed “strong economic growth … accompanied by substantial improvements in living standards.” A report by the World Bank in 2020 stated that the country also has been successful in “reducing administrative corruption … from an accepted practice to one that is regarded as illegitimate and, once identified, one that is punished.”
Rwanda also ranks 1st among 13 low-income economies and 7th among the 27 economies of Sub-Saharan Africa for its innovation kizik shoes capabilities on the 2021 Global Innovation Index.
The country has further endeared itself to the West by advancing gender equality and creating a female-dominated cabinet. Around 61% of its parliamentary seats are held by women.
Kagame has been aggressive in attracting foreign direct investment into the country. In 2018, the Rwandan government signed a three-year promotional deal with English Premier League side Arsenal “as part of the country’s drive to become a leading global tourist destination, using ‘Visit Rwanda’ messaging,” the English football club said in a statement.
Arsenal’s male and female team jerseys have featured the ‘Visit Rwanda’ logo on their left sleeve ever since.

Crackdown on opposition

However, such gains notwithstanding, Kagame’s rule has been characterized by widely reported human rights abuses.
The Freedom in the World 2022 Report by Freedom House found that “while the regime has maintained stability and economic growth, it has also suppressed political dissent through pervasive surveillance, intimidation, torture, and renditions or suspected assassinations of exiled dissidents.”
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire was the presidential candidate of the Unified Democratic Forces (UDF) party in the 2010 Rwanda presidential elections and says she is a victim of Kagame’s crackdown on dissent.
She told CNN she had left the Netherlands, where she lived with her family, to play an active role in Rwandan politics but ended up being jailed on what she says were trumped-up charges of terrorism and threatening national security by the Kagame regime.
“I was arrested in 2010 and spent eight years in prison. In 2018, I was released by a presidential pardon which came with the condition that I couldn’t leave Rwanda freely without government permission. Three times I have asked for permission to visit my family in the Netherlands but the government did not respond to my request,” Ingabire said.
Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire pictured in a Kigali court in 2011.
Rwandan government spokesperson Makolo told CNN Ingabire “was tried and convicted of serious crimes including complicity in acts of terrorism and promoting genocide ideology.”
Makolo added that: “Ingabire had her conviction commuted after she appealed for clemency, however her criminal record remains because her crimes were proven beyond doubt.
“As part of this deal, she has to request to leave the country, as does anyone else in the same situation.” Makolo did not comment further on the status of Ingabire’s requests to leave the country.
Ingabire said she challenged her imprisonment at the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights — established by the African Union — in 2014 and was acquitted three years later after the court found that the Rwandan government had violated her rights.
Ingabire says she now lives in fear.
“I am afraid for my life … because you don’t know what can happen to you if you’re a member of the opposition,” she told CNN via a phone call.
“If you criticize the government, you are labeled as an enemy of the state, and then you’re arrested and put in prison … President Kagame does not tolerate criticism against his regime.”
Makolo did not respond to the specific incidents Ingabire spoke about. She, however, accused Ingabire of making “baseless claims” against Rwandan authorities.
“Despite being labeled as an opposition politician, she (Ingabire) has no discernible policy platform, she doesn’t offer solutions that would help improve our country. She only uses her platform to make baseless claims about the government. This doesn’t help advance our nation’s progress,” Makolo said.
A hostel that housed Rwanda genocide survivors prepares to take in people deported by the UK
Responding to the widespread reports of abuse, Makolo said Rwanda could not be characterized as a country with no respect for human rights.
“This characterization bears no relation to the country I know … A central principle of Rwanda’s reconstruction has been ensuring that every single person is treated … as a human being — that means that we do not tolerate discrimination of any form. This is enshrined in our constitution and upheld by our commitment to the rule of law,” Makolo told CNN.
Another outspoken critic of Kagame is Paul Rusesabagina, who was last year convicted of terrorism-related charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison by a court in Kigali. Rusesabagina, who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” was renowned for saving more than a thousand Rwandans during the country’s genocide by sheltering them in the hotel he managed.
He was accused by Rwandan prosecutors of being involved with the National Liberation Front (FLN), an armed wing of the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD). Rusesabagina admitted to having a leadership role in the MRCD but denied responsibility for attacks carried out by the FLN.
His family says he was not given a fair trial and was kidnapped while overseas and returned to Rwanda in August 2020. Rusesabagina told the New York Times in a video interview he was en route to Burundi on a private plane to speak to churches on August 28 but found himself surrounded by soldiers in Rwanda when he woke up.
Speaking to CNN at the time, Kagame denied claims that Rusesabagina was kidnapped and renditioned to Rwanda.
“It was very proper and legal,” Kagame said of Rusesabagina’s arrest.
“If he was working with somebody in Burundi in the same plot of destabilizing our country, and the same person, for example, decided to drive him to Kigali — the person he was working with, and he had trusted — and the government was working with that person he trusted, how does the government become culpable for that operation?” he added.

‘Rwanda is a poor country’

In addition to raising human rights concerns around the asylum deal, opposition politician Ingabire says that high unemployment rates in Rwanda will prevent the refugees deported by the UK from building lives there.
“There is a high rate of unemployment in Rwanda, especially among the youth. … What will happen to the refugees when the British government stops funding their accommodation? They don’t have a future in Rwanda,” Ingabire said.
She also considers Rwanda’s economic growth a myth, as poverty remains prevalent in the country’s rural areas. According to the UN’s Multidimensional Poverty Index, poverty rates in rural parts of the country stand at 42%, far higher than in cities at 15%.
“Outside Kigali, there are no infrastructures as what you see in Kigali. The Rwandan government has not increased employment across the country, that is why we have the majority of poverty in the rural areas,” Ingabire told CNN.

The human body is often seen through a male lens. 30 female photographers present a different view

Wind Form" (2014) by Prue Stent and Honey Long

Before film was invented, early portrait photographers first discovered the titillating pleasure of exposing images of nudes on silver copper plates. Since then, the male gaze has largely shaped how bodies are visualized in printed media.
Many of the most iconic images of the coach outlet body have been taken by men — think Edward Weston’s gentle black-and-white photograph of his muse, or Mario Sorrenti’s erotic campaign of Kate Moss for Calvin Klein. Meanwhile, less space has been given to female pioneers like Imogen Cunningham or Ana Mendieta, who turned their lenses on themselves.
But a new exhibition at Fotografiska New York features 30 contemporary female artists who offer new perspectives on the naked form as a symbol of beauty, self-expression, identity, eroticism or politics — and not just the slender female forms overrepresented in media, but a range of cis, non-binary and trans figures of all skin tones and body types.
"Jackie & Megane" (2019) by Bettina Pittaluga
Linking the myriad imagery is a sense of human connection, from French photographer Bettina Pittaluga’s inviting portraits that welcome the viewer into her subjects’ homes, to Israeli-American photographer Elinor Carruci’s candid documentation of her marriage as she and her husband age.
“Historically the female perspective has been precluded in this narrative of what the nude body means and how it should be shown,” said Amanda Hajjar, the museum’s director of exhibitions, in a phone interview. The show previously ran at the museum’s Stockholm location and was curated by Johan Vikner.
In “Nude” the body isn’t just an object of desire, but a vessel for strength, wisdom and intimacy; a marker of transition; and a site of history and violence.
"Tranquilo" (2016) by Dana Scruggs
Australian photographers Prue Stent and Honey Long depict vivid, playful images of women wrapped in billowing cotton-candy fabric, tapping into the magic and vivacity of life. Japanese photographer Momo Okabe takes intimate nude portraits of her transgender friends and acquaintances using intense neon lighting to heighten swarovski jewelry emotion. American photographer Dana Scruggs focuses on the beautiful subtleties of dark skin and the elegance of the naked male form, both of which are less seen in fine art and editorial imagery. And Swedish photographer Arvida Byström questions how objects and colors are coded as feminine through cheeky, social media-literate images.
A 2016 photo by Arvida Byström appears in the 'Nude' exhibition.
There are installations, videos and works around performance too, the last of which includes photographs of Nigerian artist Jenevieve Aken, who rallies against violence and injustice toward women by taking on the spirit form of “La bella Elvira,” a 22-year-old Italian girl who was murdered in a village near Pisa 75 years ago, and whose case was never solved.
Overall, the women represent 20 nationalities, with their ages ranging from mid-20s to mid-50s.
“What really stands out is how global this show is. There is a real understanding that Western ideals of nudity are not necessarily what everybody is experiencing in the world,” Hajjar said.
“We need more African artists, Asian artists (and) South American artists at the forefront of contemporary photography.”

Damage to Snake Island, where Ukrainian troops defiantly rejected surrender, seen in satellite photo

The first clear satellite image has emerged of Snake Island, where Ukrainian defenders famously responded to the threat of Russian invasion with the words: “Russian warship, go f*** yourself.”

The image, taken on Sunday by Maxar Technologies, shows damage to some buildings from Russian military strikes, as well as a Russian naval vessel anchored in the Black Sea. It backs reports from the beginning of the Russian invasion that the island came under assault after its Ukrainian garrison rejected Russian surrender demands.
The Ukrainian troops were all killed — and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said they would be “awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine posthumously” — but later the Ukrainian military said they were “alive and well” and taken prisoner.
According to the Ukrainian Navy, the garrison on the island repelled two attacks by Russian forces but in the end was forced to surrender “due to the lack of ammunition.”
A Ukrainian statement said that Russian attackers oofos shoes destroyed the island’s infrastructure, including lighthouses, towers and antennas — some of the damage that can now be seen in the new satellite photo.
In the image, some of the red-roofed buildings in the island’s center are shown to have been significantly damaged by Russian shelling. Although parts of the island are snow-covered, impact craters can be seen dotting the island.
The ship seen offshore was identified by Maxar as a Ropucha-class landing ship.
Snake Island, also known as Zmiinyi Island, sits about 30 miles (48 kilometers) off the Ukrainian mainland’s southern tip in the northwestern Black Sea. It’s about 185 miles west of Crimea, the Ukrainian territory that Russia annexed in 2014.
Though it is only about 46 acres (18 hectares) in size, a report last year from the non-partisan Atlantic Council think tank called it “key to Ukraine’s maritime territorial claims” in the Black Sea.
Highlighting its strategic importance, Zelensky chose Snake Island last year as the spot for an interview with Ukrainian media in advance of a summit to try to reverse Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the Atlantic Council report said.

John Kerry: COP26 is creating ‘more climate ambition than the world has ever seen’

The US climate envoy says he’s heading to the Glasgow summit as an “optimist.”

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John Kerry, the US special envoy for climate, calls COP26 the “last, best chance” for solve the climate crisis.

With four days to go until the UN climate summit known as COP26, John Kerry, the US special envoy for climate, has already declared the conference a success — at least when it comes to ambition.

“Glasgow has already summoned more climate ambition than the world has ever seen,” said Kerry, speaking at an event at the London School of Economics on Thursday. “And in that regard, Glasgow has achieved success.”

Kerry has already called COP26, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, the world’s “last, best chance” to solve the climate crisis. The goal of the summit is to gather the world’s leaders together to support the goal of hoka shoes ensuring temperature change remains “well below” the 2 degrees Celsius agreed to by UN signatories in the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Kerry conceded that not all of the world’s countries are fully aligned with what the science says they must do to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis, but added that more countries than ever before are stepping up. He had previously stated that he thought it was possible that countries may not be able to meet the target for cutting fossil fuel emissions at the summit, but said on Thursday that he’s heading into Glasgow “an optimist.”

The former US secretary of state spoke of how being in public life meant making hard decisions every day, where cost and benefit are often closely balanced. “This, my friends, is not a hard choice,” he said. “Addressing the climate crisis is the only choice, and in every way, the cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of action.”

Reiterating President Biden’s commitment to helping developing countries meet climate targets with a $100 billion fund and increasing support sixfold by 2024, Kerry said it’s important for wealthy countries to stand together with those in the most vulnerable nations. “They did not create this crisis, but they and their people are on the front lines,” he said.

Without equitable, inclusive adaptation plans, said Kerry, it may be that 150 million people a year by 2030 need international humanitarian assistance as a result of climate-related disasters. If those plans are put in place, that number could be hey dude shoes cut to 10 million by 2050 — which, he conceded, is still “too many.”

Kerry also spoke of his own roots as a climate activist back in the 1970s, and “having doors slammed in my face.” He appealed to today’s young climate activists to not let the fight stop after COP26.

“Glasgow is the new beginning of this decisive decade,” he said. “The day after Glasgow, we need you to keep this fight going. And together my friends, let’s get this done. It’s doable.”

Rising Prices, Once Seen as Temporary, Threaten Biden’s Agenda

Container ships wait to enter the Port of Los Angeles on Oct. 17, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)
Container ships wait to enter the Port of Los Angeles on Oct. 17, 2021.

WASHINGTON — At least once a week, a team of President Joe Biden’s top advisers meet on Zoom to address the nation’s supply chain crisis. They discuss ways to relieve backlogs at U.S. ports, ramp up semiconductor production for struggling automakers and swell the ranks of truck drivers.

The conversations are aimed at one goal: taming accelerating price increases that are hurting the economic recovery, unsettling American consumers and denting Biden’s popularity.

An inflation surge is presenting a fresh challenge for Biden, who for months insisted that rising prices were a temporary hangover from the pandemic recession and would quickly recede. Instead, the president and his aides are now bracing hoka shoes for high inflation to persist into next year, with Americans continuing to see faster — and sustained — increases in prices for food, gasoline and other consumer goods than at any point this century.

That reality has complicated Biden’s push for sweeping legislation to boost workers, expand access to education and fight poverty and climate change. And it is dragging on the president’s approval ratings, which could threaten Democrats’ already tenuous hold on Congress in the 2022 midterm elections.

Recent polls shows Americans’ concerns over inflation are eroding their economic confidence and dimming their view of Biden’s performance. National surveys by CNBC and Fox News show a sharp decline in voter ratings of Biden’s overall performance and his handling of the economy, even though unemployment has fallen quickly on his watch and economic output has strengthened to its fastest rate since Ronald Reagan was president. Voter worry over price increases has jumped in the last month.

Administration officials have responded by framing Biden’s push for what would be his signature spending bill as an effort to reduce costs that American families face, citing provisions to cap child care costs and expand subsidies for higher education, among other plans. And they have mobilized staff to scour options for unclogging supply chains, bringing more people back into the workforce, and reducing food and gasoline costs by promoting more competition in the economy via executive actions.

“There are distinct challenges from turning the economy back on after the pandemic that we are bringing together state and local officials, the private sector and labor to address — so that prices decrease,” Kate Berner, the White House deputy communications director, said in an interview.

Biden’s top officials stress that the administration’s policies have helped accelerate the U.S. economic rebound. Workers are commanding their largest wage gains in two decades. Growth roared back in the first half of the year, fueled by the $1.9 trillion economic aid bill the president signed in March. The country’s expansion continues to outpace other wealthy nations around the world.

Inflation and shortages are the downside of that equation. Car prices are elevated as a result of strong demand and a lack of semiconductors. Gasoline has hit its hey dude highest cost per gallon in seven years. A shift in consumer preferences and a pandemic crimp in supply chains have delayed shipments of furniture, household appliances and other consumer goods. Millions of Americans, having saved up money from government support through the pandemic, are waiting to return to jobs, driving up labor costs for companies and food prices in many restaurants.

Much of that is beyond Biden’s control. Inflation has risen in wealthy nations across the globe, as the pandemic has hobbled the movement of goods and component parts between countries. Virus-wary consumers have shifted their spending toward goods rather than services, travel and tourism remain depressed, and energy prices have risen as demand for fuel and electricity has surged amid the resumption of business activity and some weather shocks linked to climate change.

But some economists, including veterans of previous Democratic administrations, say much of Biden’s inflation struggle is self-inflicted. Lawrence H. Summers is one of those who say the stimulus bill the president signed in March gave too much of a boost to consumer spending, at a time when the supply-chain disruptions have made it hard for Americans to get their hands on the things they want to buy. Summers, who served in the Obama and Clinton administrations, says inflation now risks spiraling out of control; other Democratic economists agree there are risks.

“The original sin was an oversized American Rescue Plan. It contributed to both higher output but also higher prices,” said Jason Furman, a Harvard economist who chaired the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama.

That has some important Democrats worried about price-related drawbacks from the president’s ambitious spending package, complicating Biden’s approach.

Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a centrist, has repeatedly cited surging inflation in insisting that Biden scale back what had been a $3.5 trillion effort to expand the social safety net.

Biden has tried to make the case that the investments in his spending bill will moderate price increases over time. But he has struggled to identify things he can do right away to ease the pain of high-profile price spikes, like gasoline. dr martens boots Some in his administration have pushed for mobilizing the National Guard to help unclog ports that are stacked with imports waiting to be delivered to consumers around the country. Biden has raised the possibility of tapping the strategic petroleum reserve to modestly boost oil supplies, or of negotiating with oil producers in the Middle East to ramp up their output.

During a CNN town hall last week, Biden conceded the limits of his power, saying, “I don’t have a near-term answer” for bringing down gas prices, which he does not expect to begin dropping until next year.

“I don’t see anything that’s going to happen in the meantime that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices,” he said.

Janet Yellen, the Treasury secretary, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that she expects improvement in the overall inflation rate “by the middle to end of next year, second half of next year.”

With an American public that had gone nearly 40 years without seeing — or worrying — about inflation, the issue provides an opening for the opposition. Republicans have turned price spikes into a weapon against Biden’s economic policies, warning that more spending would exacerbate the pain for everyday Americans.

“It’s everywhere,” said Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, in an interview. “You can’t live your life without seeing your paycheck buy less.”

White House officials have monitored inflationary pressure for months. They remain convinced, as they were in April, that price increases will not spiral out of control and force abrupt interest-rate increases from the Federal Reserve that could slam the brakes on growth.

The president and his top advisers remain confident that price growth will start to fall well before the midterms. They defend the size of the rescue plan and say Americans are focused on inflation right now because the success of the stimulus bill accelerated economic and employment growth and took a larger issue — the availability of jobs for people who want them — off the table.

“It is a highly incomplete view to try to assess the economy, and even people’s views about the economy, by looking at inflation alone,” Jared Bernstein, a member of Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in an interview. “You also have to appreciate the robustness of the expansion, and how it’s lifting job and earnings opportunities.”

Bernstein and other advisers say many of the causes of inflation are already improving. They point to calculations by Mark Zandi, a Moody’s Analytics economist, that suggest Americans who have left the labor force will begin flocking back into the job market by December or January, because they will likely have exhausted their savings by then.

The advisers are also continuing to explore more actions they could take, including efforts to increase the number of truck drivers near ports and to force lower prices and more competition in the food industry.

“We are always all in on everything,” Berner said.

To which many officials add a caveat: Almost anything the White House could do now will take time to push prices down.

Bow-and-arrow killings in Norway seen as an ‘act of terror’

KONGSBERG, Norway (AP) — The bow-and-arrow rampage by a man who killed five people in a small town near Norway’s capital appeared to be a terrorist act, authorities said Thursday, a bizarre and shocking attack in a Scandinavian country where violent crime is rare.

Police identified the attacker as Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old Danish citizen, who was arrested on the street Wednesday night about a half-hour after authorities were alerted.

They said he used the bow and arrow and possibly other weapons to randomly target people at a supermarket and other locations in Kongsberg, a town of about 26,000 where he lived.

Witnesses said their quiet neighborhood of wooden houses and birch trees was turned into a scene of terrifying cries and turmoil.

“The screaming was so intense and hoka shoes horrifying there was never any doubt something very serious was going on,” said Kurt Einar Voldseth, who had returned home from an errand when he heard the commotion. “I can only describe it as a ‘death scream,’ and it burned into my mind.”

Four women and a man between the ages of 50 and 70 were killed, and three other people were wounded, police said.

Andersen Braathen is being held on preliminary charges and will face a custody hearing Friday. Police said they believe he acted alone.

“The whole act appears to be an act of terror,” said Hans Sverre Sjoevold, head of Norway’s domestic intelligence service, known as the PST.

”We do not know what the motivation of the perpetrator is,” Sjoevold said in English. “We have to wait for the outcome of the investigation.”

He said the suspect was known to the PST, but he declined to elaborate. The agency said the terror threat level for Norway remained unchanged at “moderate.”

Regional Police Chief Ole B. Saeverud described the man as a Muslim convert and said there “earlier had been worries of the man having been radicalized,” but he did not elaborate or say why he was previously flagged or what authorities did in response.

Norwegian media reported the suspect had a conviction for burglary and drug possession, and last year a court granted a restraining order for him to stay away from his parents for six months after threatening to kill one of them.

Svane Mathiassen told broadcaster NRK the suspect will be examined by forensic psychiatric experts, which is “not unusual in such serious cases.”

Police were alerted to a man shooting arrows about 6:15 p.m. Regional prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen, told The Associated Press that after his arrest, the attacker “clearly described what he had done. He admitted killing the five people.”

She said the bow and arrows were just part of his arsenal. Police have not said what else he used, hey dude but Voldseth told the AP that when he ran toward the sound of screams, he saw a woman being stabbed by a man with some kind of weapon.

Voldseth said he recognized the attacker, saying he lived nearby and “usually walks with his head down and headphones on.”

“I have only spoken to him a few times, but I have had the impression he might be a person with problems,” he said.

Mass killings are rare in low-crime Norway, and the attack recalled the country’s worst peacetime slaughter a decade ago, when a right-wing domestic extremist killed 77 people with a bomb, a rifle and a pistol. Memorials were held in July on the 10th anniversary of those slayings.

People have “experienced that their safe local environment suddenly became a dangerous place,” King Harald V said. “It shakes us all when horrible things happen near us, when you least expect it, in the middle of everyday life on the open street.”

New Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere called the attack “horrific.”

Dozens of people saw the killings. Erik Benum, who lives on the same road as the supermarket that was attacked, told AP he saw shop workers taking shelter in doorways.

“I saw them hiding in the corner. Then I went to see what was happening, and I saw the police moving in with a shield and rifles. It was a very strange sight,” Benum said.

Police, along with reinforcements from elsewhere, flooded into Kongsberg and blocked several roads. The blue lights of emergency vehicles and spotlights from a helicopter illuminated the scene.

On Thursday morning, the whole town was eerily quiet, Benum said.

“People are sad and shocked,” he said.

Flags were lowered to half-staff, and residents placed flowers, candles and stuffed animals around a makeshift memorial in a central square.

Mayor Kari Anne Sand described the last 24 hours as a “nightmare.”

“The town was attacked dr martens boots last night and five people died. I think most of the inhabitants are in quite a shock that such a thing could happen here. This is a quiet town, a quiet municipality,” she said, adding that health and social services officials are working to care for those who need assistance.

The main church in Kongsberg also was open for those needing comfort.

“I don’t think anyone expects to have these kinds of experiences. But nobody could imagine this could happen here in our little town,” the Rev. Reidar Aasboe told the AP.

Forensic nurse who examined woman accusing Trevor Bauer of sexual assault: ‘I had never seen that before’

Trevor Bauer
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer. 
  • Medical experts took the stand in the LA Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer’s restraining-order hearing.
  • Kelly Valencia, the nurse who examined the woman accusing Bauer of sexual assault, testified.
  • “I had never seen that before,” she said about injuries to the woman’s genitals. “It was frankly alarming.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A judge on Tuesday heard testimony from a nurse who examined the woman accusing Trevor Bauer of sexual assault.hey dude  It was the second day of hearings related to allegations against the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher.

Kelly Valencia, a forensic nurse examiner who had been called by the woman’s legal team to testify about her injuries, said she administered a Sexual Assault Response Team exam, or SART exam, to the woman in May.

“I had never seen that before,” Valencia told the court, describing “red and purple” bruising around the woman’s genitals.

“It was frankly alarming,” she said.

On June 29, the woman filed an ex parte restraining order against Bauer accusing the MLB pitcher of assaulting her during two sexual encounters in April and May. She is seeking a five-year extension to the restraining order.

Bauer has denied all wrongdoing. His lawyer, Jon Fetterolf, denied allegations of sexual abuse and said the encounters between Bauer and the woman were consensual.

Bauer is on leave from the Dodgers, and the Pasadena Police Department has said it’s investigating the allegations, CBS Los Angeles reported.

In the restraining order and during sworn testimony in court this week, the woman alleged that during the second encounter, Bauer strangled her with her own hair until she lost consciousness and repeatedly punched her in the face, buttocks, and genitals, which she said led her to seek medical treatment.

Valencia testified that she treated the woman at Palomar Health on May 16 after the San Diego Police Department referred her. The SART exam is an evidentiary medical assessment for people alleging sexual assault conducted in coordination with medical professionals, law enforcement, and advocates.

“When she walked in, I noticed visible facial injuries,” Valencia told the court, adding that during the exam she noted that the woman also had injuries to her genitals and buttocks. She said the woman also described being choked by her own hair.

Valencia said the woman appeared to have balenciaga shoes “raccoon eyes” and explained that it’s a common bruising reaction to strangulation. Valencia declined to connect the observation with the woman’s testimony about being choked, saying it was “beyond my scope.”

Valencia testified that she did not believe the woman needed further treatment but that the woman did have a follow-up appointment scheduled with a nurse.

During cross-examination, the defense focused on the nature of the woman’s injuries.

Fetterolf asked if ibuprofen, which the woman had taken, could “exacerbate bruising.” Valencia agreed that it could but said she could not testify that the photos of bruising may look worse.

Fetterolf also asked about the possibility of “intentional self-harm.” Valencia said the woman did not self-harm.

Valencia told the court that during her SART exam she recalled the woman saying Bauer sexually assaulted her in their first encounter. Valencia said the woman told her during the exam that “it was like the first time but with marks.”

In the initial restraining order and in her testimony, the woman said she connected with Bauer after tagging him in an steve madden shoes Instagram Story. She testified that after they talked, he invited her to his home in Pasadena. She told the judge that there they talked for hours and began kissing but that he soon strangled her to the point that she lost consciousness. She said that she woke up to Bauer anally penetrating her and that she did not consent.

She also testified that the second time they met, Bauer again strangled her to the point of unconsciousness and then punched her all over her body. She told the court that it made her feel “like a rag doll” and “like my soul left my body.”

Bauer’s attorneys have argued that the encounters were wholly consensual, citing text messages sent by the woman, and claimed that she had previous sexual encounters with other baseball players.

The hearing is set to resume on Wednesday with additional witnesses.

Newly reopened South Florida seen as an emerging coronavirus hotspot

WASHINGTON — Federal officials responding to the coronavirus pandemic are concerned about the rapidly rising number of cases in Palm Beach County, Fla., according to an internal Trump administration document reviewed by Yahoo News.

The document, a May 15 daily interagency update on the nation’s coronavirus response circulated by the Department of Homeland Security, notes new areas of concern for coronavirus. It was provided to Yahoo News by one of its recipients under the condition that that recipient not be identified.

“As most states have begun phased re-opening, several COVID-19 hotspots continue to emerge,” the notice says. Three counties are then listed: Palm Beach; San Bernardino County, Calif.; and Marshall County, Ala.

The Gardens Mall food court opened Friday morning for the first time in nearly two months. (Damon Higgins/Palm Beach Post via Zuma Wire)
The Gardens Mall food court opened Friday morning for the first time in nearly two months. (Damon Higgins/Palm Beach Post via Zuma Wire)

“Palm Beach County, FL reported a 71% increase in new cases the last 7 days compared to the previous 7 days,” the document explains. “The state authorized Palm Beach County to begin Phase 1 of reopening on 11 May, which includes the reopening of barbershops, salons, restaurants, and other businesses.”

President Trump recently changed his primary residence from Manhattan to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort, which is located in Palm Beach County.

The information in the document is attributed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and was collected on May 12, which means cases were rising even before the county began to reopen on May 11. Other parts of the state had begun to reopen earlier, on May 4.

Neither FEMA nor the DHS responded immediately to a request for comment.

The DHS document says that San Bernardino County in California “reported an increase of 782 cases in the last 7 days, nearly doubling new cases reported in the previous 7 days. County officials recently began Phase II of the county’s reopening plan, lifting requirements for mask use on 8 May.”

Marshall County, Ala., the document says, “reported 217 cases in the last 7 days, a 517% increase over the previous 7 days. Marshall County is home to several poultry plants and the meat packing industry accounts for 8% of the county’s employment. On 11 May, additional businesses were reopened.”

Public health officials have warned that lifting stay-at-home orders would lead to more infections and, inevitably, more deaths. Some governors have either discounted or dismissed such warnings, as has President Trump.

Encompassing the beachfront and inland communities north of Miami, Palm Beach County has a population density about four times that of Marshall County, which is in the northeastern corner of Alabama, and seven times that of San Bernardino County, which encompasses the desert region east of Los Angeles. Population density is thought to contribute to the spread of the coronavirus, which causes the lung disease known as COVID-19. That disease has killed more than 87,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The coronavirus also tends to strike older people. The average age of a Palm Beach County resident is 45 years old, whereas the average Marshall County resident is 39 years old and the San Bernardino County resident is only 33 years old.

Palm Beach is home to many retirement communities, a fact that worries health officials. The county has recorded 263 coronavirus deaths, three more than the entirety of South Korea, which recorded its first coronavirus case on the same late January day as the United States.

Neither the governor’s press secretary nor county officials responded on late Friday afternoon to Yahoo News requests for comment.

Florida was one of the first states to reopen, at the urging of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had also been slow to close his state, effectively waiting for permission from Trump to do so. DeSantis’s faltering and confusing response to the coronavirus made him among the nation’s least popular governors, according to a national survey conducted in April.

In recent days, however, DeSantis has been celebrated by some for Florida’s seeming success in battling the coronavirus. But a good part of that success appears to have come from shelter-in-place orders by mayors who acted ahead of DeSantis.