Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

U.S. retaliates against Russia, orders closure of Consulate, annexes

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, September 1st, 2017

The United States has told Russia to close its Consulate in San Francisco and buildings in Washington and New York that house trade missions, the state department said on Thursday, in retaliation for Moscow cutting the U.S. diplomatic presence in Russia.

“These closures have to be completed by September 2nd. We’ve taken a firm and measured action in response to Russia’s unfortunate decision earlier this year. We want to halt the downward spiral and we want to move forward to build towards better relations. We’ll look for opportunities to do that but we also want to have equity in the decisions,” said White House Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee.

The announcement was the latest in tit-for-tat measures between the two countries that have helped to drive relations to a new Post-Cold War low.

Last month, Moscow ordered the United States to cut its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia by more than half, to 455 people, after the US Congress overwhelmingly approved new sanctions against Russia. — Beverly Sayson | UNTV News & Rescue

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Google workers walk out to protest office harassment, inequality

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2018

 

Aerial of employees walking out of Google | REUTERS

Hundreds of Google employees and contractors in New York and Washington, D.C. staged brief midday walkouts on Thursday, (November 1) with more expected to follow at offices worldwide, amid complaints of sexism, racism and unchecked executive power in their workplace.

In a statement late on Wednesday, the organizers called on Google parent Alphabet Inc to add an employee representative to its board of directors and internally share pay-equity data. They also asked for changes to Google’s human resources practices intended to make bringing harassment claims a fairer process.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in a statement that “employees have raised constructive ideas” and that the company was “taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”

The workers who filed out of its New York headquarters shortly after 1100 local time were hoping for “real change” and to be treated equally. — Reuters

Tags: ,

Bomb threat greeted with skepticism by New Yorkers

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2018

 

Bomb Squad at Time Warner Building | REUTERS

In speaking to Reuters, New Yorkers took in stride the events in their city Wednesday (October 24) after police intercepted suspected bombs mailed to former U.S. President Barack Obama, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and other high-profile Democrats, in what New York officials described as an act of terrorism.

With the country deeply polarized, the packages brought a new level of tension to Nov. 6 political contests that will decide whether Democrats can challenge the majorities now held by Trump’s Republicans in Congress.

The CNN bureau in New York also received a device looking like a pipe bomb, leading police to evacuate the building, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said his office also received a suspicious package. CNN reported that Eric Holder, who was U.S. attorney general under Obama, was also among those targeted.

“We’re used to it a bit. Since 9/11, it’s sort of a routine thing. This happens every few months now. I just want to get my lunch, go on with my day,” Dildeepal Galesa, an employee of Universal Music, told Reuters.

U.S. President Donald Trump condemned what he called “despicable acts” and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

“In these times, we have to unify, we have to come together, and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” Trump said at the White House.

“We’re extremely angry, upset and unhappy about what we witnessed this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it,” Trump said.

A similar pipe bomb was delivered earlier this week to the home of George Soros, a major Democratic Party donor.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

All of the targets are frequently disparaged by right-wing critics and Trump, whose spokeswoman condemned the acts.

“Our condemnation of these despicable acts certainly includes threats made to CNN as well as current or former public servants. These cowardly acts are unacceptable and won’t be tolerated,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter.

Alexander Soros, the son of George Soros, said in an opinion piece published by The New York Times that his father had long faced verbal criticism and threats over his involvement in politics, “but something changed in 2016” when Trump was elected.

“Before that, the vitriol he faced was largely confined to the extremist fringes, among white supremacists and nationalists who sought to undermine the very foundations of democracy. But with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, things got worse,” Alexander Soros wrote.

He placed direct responsibility with those who sent the devices, but added: “I cannot see it divorced from the new normal of political demonization that plagues us today.” — Reuters

Tags: ,

Space crew survives plunge to Earth after Russian rocket fails

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018

A plane carrying astronauts landing on the tarmac in Baikonur, Kazakhstan | NASA via REUTERS

A two-man U.S.-Russian crew of a Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station was safe following a dramatic emergency landing on Thursday (October 11) shortly after lift-off in Kazakhstan when their rocket failed in mid-air.

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely and rescue crews who raced to locate them on the Kazakh steppe quickly linked up with them, according to the U.S. space agency NASA and Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.

The emergency occurred as the first and second stages of a booster rocket separated shortly after launch from Kazakhstan’s Soviet-era cosmodrome of Baikonur.

“It just reemphasizes that this is a dangerous business,” NASA’s deputy chief assistant, Reid Wiseman, said during a briefing at the Johnson Space Center.

The Soyuz capsule carrying the two men separated from the malfunctioning rocket and made what NASA called a steep ballistic descent to Earth with parachutes helping to slow its speed. A cloud of sand billowed up as the capsule came down on the desert steppe.

The capsule took 34 minutes to reach the ground after it separated from the faulty rocket, NASA said.

Rescue crews then raced to the scene to retrieve them, including paratroopers parachuting to their landing spot, helicopters and all-terrain vehicles, NASA said.— Reuters

Tags: , ,