Ukraine said on Wednesday it had removed its restriction on entry and foreign travel for HIV-positive people as part of growing efforts to improve relations with Europe after decades of Moscow rule.
The ex-Soviet state’s Deputy Health Minister Igor Pereginets said the repeal of the 14-year ban was one of the conditions put forward by the European Union in the ongoing visa-free travel talks.
“This regulation was repealed (in June) for both Ukrainian citizens travelling abroad and for foreigners entering Ukraine,” Pereginets told AFP.
Kiev hopes to strike an unrestricted travel agreement with Brussels next year and apply for EU membership by 2020.
Ukraine’s human rights commissioner called the health ministry’s decision “a significant step forward in our defence of human rights.”
“Ukraine now joins some 140 progressive nations that also lifted such bans,” commissioner Valeriya Lutkovska’s office said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Ukraine, a nation of about 40 million people that has seen nearly 7,000 killed in a conflict that broke out 16 months ago, has one of Europe’s highest HIV infection rates.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that Ukraine had 290,000 people living with the virus in 2014.
It reported a prevalence rate for adults aged 15 to 49 of 1.2 percent — the same as Ethiopia’s and higher than Democratic Republic of the Congo that year.
But UNAIDS also believes the infection rate has been slowing for most of the past decade thanks to state-sponsored awareness programmes.
The global agency has congratulated Ukraine “for being the first country in eastern Europe to reduce new HIV infections between 2001 and 2012.”
‘Humiliating self-own’: Trump mocked after touting binder full of his ‘accomplishments’ — but photo shows blank page
President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted photographs of his press secretary delivering a binder full of his purported accomplishments to CBS News reporter Lesley Stahl.
“Kayleigh McEnany presenting Lesley Stahl (@60Minutes) with some of the many things we’ve done for Healthcare. Lesley had no idea!” the president tweeted.
However, many Twitter users noticed that one photograph showed Stahl opening the binder – revealing a blank page.
"Are there Nobel prizes for most humiliating self-owns? If so, Trump definitely deserves one for presenting Lesley Stahl with a blank book and claiming it's some huge gotcha moment," remarked author Steve Silberman.
Here’s how The Christian Post ‘sold its soul’ to Trump — according to its former politics editor
Political analyst Napp Nazworth watched as The Christian Post (CP) made its "gradual descent" from being anti-Trump to pro-Trump, often questioning whether or not he should jump ship from the publication. But what happened on Dec. 23, 2019, made the decision painfully clear.
"I was told by Michelle Vu, my boss at The Christian Post, to publish a pro-Trump op-ed as an editorial, meaning it was to express the position of the media organization," Nazworth wrote at Arc Digital. "'It can’t be an editorial,' I explained, 'because I don’t agree with it and I’m an editor.' Vu said she would call me back."
Republicans grow increasingly nervous over potential loss of Senate seat GOP has controlled for decades
Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) wants to fill the state's open Senate seat that been in the hands of Republicans since 1932, and was once widely expected to do so, but thanks to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the seat is more likely to be a toss-up, according to the Washington Post's Annie Gowen.
Marshall’s Democratic opponent, Barbara Bollier, 62, is a state senator who recently left the GOP, and has focused her platform on battling the pandemic and expanding health care. Gowen reports that she has racked up a "record third-quarter fundraising haul of $13.5 million, and has raised a total of $20 million. Marshall raised $2.7 million in the third quarter and has a total of $5 million."