The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Washington (AFP) – President Barack Obama will meet in Washington this week with Ukraine’s interim prime minister, in a show of support amid a tense stand-off with Russia over control of Crimea.

Obama will host crisis talks with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Wednesday, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said, confirming earlier reports.

“He has invited the Ukrainian Prime Minister to come to the White House on Wednesday to further demonstrate… support,” Blinken told NBC television’s Meet the Press program.

A White House statement on Sunday said the visit “will highlight the strong support of the United States for the people of Ukraine, who have demonstrated inspiring courage and resilience through recent times of crisis.”

The two leaders “will discuss how to find a peaceful resolution to Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Crimea that would respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the White House said.

“They will also discuss support the international community can provide to help Ukraine confront its economic challenges, and the importance of uniting Ukraine and working to fulfill the aspirations of the Ukrainian people as they prepare for May presidential elections.”

Yatsenyuk had earlier announced in Kiev that he would travel to the United States, but gave no details of planned meetings.

Blinken said the U.S. leader has been rallying world support for the Kiev’s beleaguered fledgling administration and against Russia’s incursion into the Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

“We’ve seen the president put together a major international support package. In terms of isolating Russia, what we’ve seen as a result of the mobilized support is the financial markets in Russia have hit lows, the ruble has hit a low, investors are wondering whether to get involved in Russia because of the instability,” Blinken said.

“All of that is exacting a real cost and a real consequence.”

He added: “The president has made clear that going forward in coordination with our partners and allies we have in place a mechanism with sanctions to raise the cost significantly.

“But this is really a choice for the Russians to make. They have to decide whether they want to resolve the diplomatically or whether they want to face growing isolation, growing economic cost.”

Photo: Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the MAGA movement and far-right Christian fundamentalists have downplayed its severity — inspiring critics to slam MAGA as a suicidal "death cult." Christian fundamentalist Joy Pullmann, in a shocking op-ed published by the far-right website The Federalist on the day of Gen. Colin Powell's death, argues that Christians should welcome death from COVID-19, like any other cause of death, as "a good thing." And she attacks the "pagan assumptions" of those who argue in favor of widespread vaccination.

"For Christians, death is good," Pullmann writes. "Yes, death is also an evil — its existence is a result of sin. But thanks be to God, Jesus Christ has redeemed even death. In his resurrection, Christ has transformed death into a portal to eternal life for Christians…. The Christian faith makes it very clear that death, while sad to those left behind and a tragic consequence of human sin, is now good for all who believe in Christ."

Keep reading... Show less

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Don Winslow, the author of several New York Times bestsellers, blasted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in a newly-released video shared on social media.

For months now, Manchin has positioned himself as one of the main roadblocks of President Joe Biden's proposed Build Back Better agenda, pushing back on key provisions including child tax credits and climate initiatives.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}