President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, made a surprise visit to Ukraine’s capital this week with his “shady band of conspiracy theorists,” BuzzFeed News reports, and people are not happy about his arrival.
Giuliani’s visit comes as Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky prepares to enter into peace talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin and as Ukrainians looks to distance themselves from the fact that their country is a key factor in the impeachment proceedings playing out in D.C. As BuzzFeed News points out, Giuliani is in the country to do research for a pro-Trump documentary that aims to “destroy” the Democrats’ impeachment effort.
“Giuliani’s meddling in Kyiv is what helped lead to the impeachment inquiry in the first place — a host of witnesses have told investigators how they feared his “irregular channel” of diplomacy, focused on digging up dirt on the President Trump’s political rivals, could do lasting damage to the US–Ukraine relationship,” BuzzFeed’s Christopher Miller writes.
In addition to Ukrainian officials, the US embassy was also reportedly taken aback by Giuliani’s visit. A US diplomat speaking to BuzzFeed News said Giuliani likely will not be meeting with the current top US diplomat in Kyiv, Bill Taylor, who recently testified in the House’s impeachment hearings.
“Giuliani arrived in Kyiv at the same time that Philip Reeker, an acting assistant State Department secretary who testified in closed-door hearings for the impeachment inquiry,” Miller reports. “Reeker was meeting with current Ukrainian officials as part of the State Department’s official channel ‘to discuss Ukraine’s impressive progress on reforms, including of the Prosecutor General’s Office,’ the embassy tweeted.”
Read Miller’s full report over at BuzzFeed News.
Can pets get COVID-19? It’s complicated
News surfaced yesterday that a tiger at New York's Bronx Zoo tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The discovery raises new questions about whether pets can contract the virus, and if it is contagious from pets (or zoo animals) to humans.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Nadia, a four-year-old Malayan tiger who lives at the Bronx Zoo, was suffering from a dry cough and loss of appetite, which prompted the test for novel coronavirus. Nadia's symptoms were first noticed on March 27, and zoo officials decided to test her "out of an abundance of caution," according to a statement from the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Japan to declare state of emergency over coronavirus
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a month-long state of emergency Tuesday for Tokyo and six other prefectures to ramp up defenses against the spread of the coronavirus.
Abe said Tuesday that there would be no European-style lockdowns. The state of emergency will only permit Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and heads of six other designated prefectures to do more to reinforce calls for social distancing. Virtually all of those measures will be requests that cannot be enforced with penalties for violations.
Cardinal Pell freed after winning appeal over child sex abuse
Cardinal George Pell was released from prison Tuesday, hours after Australia's High Court quashed his conviction for child sex abuse, bringing to an abrupt end the most high-profile paedophilia case faced by the Catholic Church.
The 78-year-old left Barwon Prison near Melbourne after the court overturned five counts of sexually abusing two 13-year-old choirboys in the 1990s.
Pell, who had steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout a lengthy court process, left the jail where he has been held for the last year and issued a statement saying that a "serious injustice" had been remedied by the decision.