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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that ultimately an agreement would need to be struck to end fighting in Ukraine, nine months after the Kremlin launched its "special military operation" there.
"Trust, of course, is almost at zero... but ultimately, in the end, an agreement will have to be reached," Putin told a summit of regional leaders in the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
"I have said many times that we are ready for these agreements, and we are open (to them)," he added.
Putin comments came in response to remarks from former German chancellor Angela Merkel about the Minsk agreements, negotiated with Paris and Berlin to end fighting between Russia and Ukraine.
Merkel told Die Zeit newspaper that the 2014 accords were an "attempt to give Ukraine time" and that Kyiv had used it "to become stronger".
Putin in Bishkek said he was "disappointed" by Merkel's comments, adding he "always assumed that the government of Germany was acting honestly".
"After such statements, the question becomes: how can we agree? And is there anyone to agree with? What are the guarantees?" Putin said.
© 2022 AFP
Former President Donald Trump has spent the week losing both in court and at the ballot box, and The Atlantic's David Graham wasted no time mocking him for his misfortune.
In his latest column, Graham likened Trump to the legend of King Midas, except instead of gold, everything Trump touches "turns to crime."
He was particularly struck by the way Trump seemingly engages in criminal behavior out of sheer habit, whether it's owning a business rife with fraudulent accounting or hiding away top-secret government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
"These two news items show the sweep of Trump’s lawlessness, from the mundane to the unique," he argued. "The business crimes are a classic small-time offense. The only remarkable thing about that case is that it happens to involve the former president’s company. Meanwhile, in the case of classified documents, the evidence suggests he committed a crime that nearly no person other than a former president could commit."
Graham also found himself in awe of the fact that there was yet another stash of government documents located on a Trump property this week, despite the fact that Trump was already in legal jeopardy for his refusal to willingly hand over the government documents that were seized at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year.
All of this led Graham to conclude that "no trespass is too large -- or too small -- to tempt him."
A Republican congresswoman who went viral for her tearful speech against same-sex marriage was shamed afterward by her gay nephew.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) broke into tears as she urged her House colleagues to vote against protections for same-sex marriage, which eventually passed with Republican support and heads to President Joe Biden's desk for signing.
“This is yet another step toward the Democrats’ goal of dismantling the traditional family, silencing voices of faith and permanently undoing our country’s God-woven foundation,” Hartzler said in the speech.
Her nephew Andrew Hartzler posted a video afterward on TikTok calling her out after she claimed the Obergefell ruling was not in danger but faith institutions were.
"Aunt Vicky that's just not right," he said. "Institutions of faith like religious universities are not being silenced. They're being empowered by the U.S. government to discriminate against tens of thousands of LGBTQ students because of religious exemptions but they still receive federal funding. It's more like you want the power to force your religious beliefs onto everyone else, and because you don't have that power you feel like you're being silenced, but you're not."
Andrew Hartzler, who's a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit seeking to end those exemptions, graduated in 2021 from the deeply conservative Oral Roberts University, where he was nearly expelled for being gay as a junior and said he attempted suicide his sophomore year.
Hartzler graduated a year ago from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He says it was the only college his father would pay for him to attend. In that bastion of evangelical Christianity, being gay was a violation of the school’s honor code and could get a student expelled. Hartzler attempted suicide during winter break of his sophomore year and barely escaped expulsion his junior year.
"You're just going to have to learn to coexist with all of us," he said, "and I'm sure it's not that hard."
Watch the video below or at this link.
\u201cVicky Hartzler\u2019s gay nephew Andrew posted about his aunt crying over gay marriage on the House floor\u201d— Marjorie Gaylor Queen \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08 (@Marjorie Gaylor Queen \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08) 1670597252