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Germany confirmed Wednesday that it was sending battle tanks to help Ukraine in the war — which Russia called a “disastrous plan” that it said was part of wider “blatant provocation” led by the US.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that his government would provide Ukraine with one company of Leopard 2 A6 tanks, which comprises 14 vehicles, from its own stocks.
Scholz said Germany was “acting in close coordination” with its allies — chiefly the US — with the aim of providing two battalions, or 88 tanks.
US officials said a preliminary agreement had been struck to send M1 Abrams tanks, while Poland, Finland, France and the UK are also expected to send comparable military vehicles.
It is seen as a major turning point in Western support as it is the first supply of weapons that have a mainly offensive rather than defensive purpose.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday dismissed German and US intentions with the tanks as “a rather disastrous plan.”
“I am convinced that many specialists understand the absurdity of this idea,” Peskov told reporters Wednesday.
“These tanks will burn down just like all the other ones. … Except they cost a lot, and this will fall on the shoulders of European taxpayers,” he added.
Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador in Washington, said deliveries of US battle tanks would be a “another blatant provocation.”
“It is obvious that Washington is purposefully trying to inflict a strategic defeat on us,” Antonov said on the embassy’s Telegram messaging channel.
Russian propagandists on state TV reacted even more angrily — calling it time to use nukes.
“Not using nuclear weapons is a dangerous trend,” said Vladimir Solovyov, a host who is close to warmongering Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We have a superiority in tactical nuclear weapons. Why have them if we can’t use them?” he added Wednesday, according to a clip translated by Russian Media Monitor.
He credited the threat of nukes for slowing the supply of tanks from the West, whom he called “Ukro-Nazis” and “Nazi dirtbags” meddling in a “holy war.”
“We’re at war with the entire NATO bloc, against 50 Satanic countries,” he said, suggesting that every country sending tanks should be “deemed a lawful military target.”
“They fear nothing,” he said, saying the only answer must be “escalation.”
Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev is among those who have also openly called for nuclear weapons to be unleashed.
Western officials who support sending the tanks have dismissed Moscow’s threats as bluster, arguing that Russia is already waging war at full tilt in Ukraine, and has been deterred from attacking NATO or using nuclear arms.
German military officials, meanwhile, noted the painful historic significance for Germany, given the horrors of World War II.
“German-made tanks will face off against Russian tanks in Ukraine once more,” said Ekkehard Brose, head of the German military’s Federal Academy for Security Policy.
It was “not an easy thought” for Germany — “and yet it is the right decision,” Brose said, arguing that it was up to Western democracies to help Ukraine stop Russia’s military campaign.
Recent opinion polls showed German voters split on the idea, and two opposition parties criticized the move.
The far-right Alternative for Germany party called the decision “irresponsible and dangerous,” saying that “Germany risks being drawn directly into the war as a result.”
The Left party also warned of a possible escalation in the conflict.
“The supply of Leopard battle tanks, which ends a further taboo, potentially takes us closer to a third world war than in the direction of peace in Europe,” the party’s parliamentary leader, Dietmar Bartsch, told German news agency dpa.
Mark Hertling, a former commander of US ground forces in Europe, estimated Leopards could be on the battlefield in Ukraine as soon as March. The US tanks, which need more logistical support, could be more than eight months away.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, made clear late Tuesday that he hoped to receive a more substantial number of tanks from Western allies.
“It is not about five, or 10, or 15 tanks. The need is greater,” he said.
With Post wires
By: Ny Post
Kenya Barris served by his sister at ‘You People’ premiere
Hot Hollywood director Kenya Barris’ latest film, “You People,” is all about family drama — but the “Black-ish” creator had some of his own at the film’s star-studded premiere.
“You People” stars Eddie Murphy and Jonah Hill in what Netflix calls an “outrageous romantic comedy” with “a seemingly endless supply of family land mines.” And things got a bit explosive off-screen at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, Calif., we hear, when Barris’ sister served him with court documents during his big moment.
A source said that after the screening, when Barris was basking in the adulation of the audience, he was surrounded by photographers snapping his picture. However, one of the seeming paparazzi skulking around was actually a process server, we hear, who hit Barris with court docs and said, “You’ve been served.”
Also at the red carpet premiere was Murphy, along with costars Nia Long, Lauren London, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny. Guests also included Elliott Gould, Anthony Anderson, Cedric the Entertainer, rapper Yung Miami and more.
Court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court show Barris was served at the Westwood movie theater on the night of the premiere, Jan. 17, at 9:54 p.m.
The papers stem from a legal dispute between Barris and his sister, Colette Barris.
In court docs seen by Page Six, Colette has accused Kenya of “breach of contract.”
Her court filing says that on Feb. 22, 2021, the siblings entered into a legal agreement, adding, “The parties in pertinent part agreed ‘not to communicate any disparaging remarks about each other or about any matters that led to this Agreement.’”
The papers go on to allege, “In or around June 2022, [Kenya] stated to a third party that (1) Plaintiff was a ’70-year-old no talent hack’ and (2) Plaintiff had not earned the ‘right to be a show creator’ but instead ‘ wanted to go to the front of the line.’”
However, the bad blood stretches back further, as they’ve reportedly been in at least one previous legal dispute.
A rep for Barris did not immediately return Page Six’s request for comment, and Colette’s rep did not comment.
Kenya’s credits also include the hits “Grown-ish,” “Girls Trip,” “Coming 2 America” and the Disney Plus reboot of “Cheaper By the Dozen.”
By: Ny Post
Chrishell Stause shares pic from hospital bed after removing ovarian cyst
Chrishell Stause spent her Wednesday in a hospital, revealing she underwent a “minor surgery” to have an ovarian cyst removed.
The reality TV star, who is best known for starring in the hit Netflix show “Selling Sunset,” shared a snap from the hospital bed shortly after the operation took place.
Stause told her 3.6 million Instagram followers that the cyst had caused her major discomfort, forcing her to have it removed.
“Had minor surgery today and had a large ovarian cyst removed,” the 41-year-old wrote on her Instagram Story. “Thank you Dr. Hakakha for taking such good care of me.”
Stause went on to issue a suggestion to her fans, urging them to get a check-up if they experience “bad, unexplained cramps.” She went on to tell followers, “Don’t ignore it.”
The “All My Children” alum added that she was “feeling good” and was “being looked after by my 💜,” possibly in reference to her partner, G Flip.
Stause revealed in May 2022 on a reunion episode of the hit Netflix show that she was in a relationship with G Flip, 28, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.
The pair first laid eyes on one another at a Halloween party in LA in 2021 but reconnected at another gathering months later.
Stause – who was fresh off her breakup with her “Selling Sunset” boss and co-star, Jason Oppenheim – said she shared a kiss with G Flip at the bash, but initially didn’t think much of it.
The lovebirds later had the chance to get to know each other while filming a steamy music video for G Flip’s single “Get Me Outta Here.” Stause played G Flip’s love interest in the clip.
After sparks flew, the pair decided to go public with their romance on the “Selling Sunset” Season 5 reunion.
Days after Stause went public with the relationship, G Flip got a tattoo on their leg of the song’s title.
As well as her ill-fated romance with Oppenheim, Stause was previously married to “This Is Us” star Justin Hartley. The pair tied the knot in 2017 but called it quits just two years later.
By: Ny Post
Elon Musk’s Neuralink may have illegally transported pathogens, animal advocates say – One America News Network
By Rachael Levy
(Reuters) – An animal-welfare organization said it plans to ask a U.S. government agency on Thursday to investigate Elon Musk’s brain-implant company Neuralink over records it said show potentially illegal movement of hazardous pathogens.
The Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine (PCRM) said in a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which was shared with Reuters, that it has obtained emails and other documents that suggest unsafe packaging and movement of implants removed from the brains of monkeys. These implants may have carried infectious diseases in violation of federal law, PCRM said.
The letter said records that the group obtained showed instances of pathogens, such as antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus and herpes B virus, that may have been transported without proper containment measures.
PCRM’s letter adds to the scrutiny facing Neuralink, which is developing a brain implant it hopes will help paralyzed people walk again and cure other neurological ailments.
In December, Reuters reported that Neuralink has been under a federal investigation over potential animal welfare violations and that some of its staff made internal complaints about experiments being rushed, causing needless suffering and deaths.
The incidents that involved potential breaches of hazardous material transportation regulations happened in 2019, when Neuralink relied on University of California, Davis to help carry out its experiments on primates, according to the documents cited by PCRM.
While Neuralink’s partnership with UC Davis ended in 2020, PCRM said the company continues to employ the neurosurgeon who oversaw the experiments and other staff involved may also still be employed.
Reuters reviewed the UC Davis records cited by PCRM in its letter. It is unclear whether further records exist that provide a different or fuller account of what happened. PCRM obtained the records from UC Davis through public information requests. Neuralink messages and records not shared with UC Davis are not subject to such information requests.
Representatives for Neuralink, including Musk, and the Department of Transportation did not respond to comment requests. A UC Davis spokesperson would only say that the university abides by all biohazard and lab safety regulations.
PCRM’s letter said pathogens were carried on removed implants from monkeys after improper sanitization and packaging. The group said those pathogens could cause serious health issues in infected humans, such as bloodstream infections, pneumonia and severe brain damage, among other problems.
PCRM, which opposes the use of animals in medical research, did not identify any harm as a result of these incidents, but said Neuralink’s actions “may pose a serious and ongoing public health risk.”
“The company’s documented track record of sloppy, unsafe laboratory practices compel DOT to investigate and levy appropriate fines,” PCRM said in the letter.
PCRM said it also found instances that appear to describe UC Davis employees urging immediate biohazard training for Neuralink employees following incidents that had caused contamination concerns. On one occasion in April 2019, a UC Davis employee wrote in an email that the university’s primate center is “at risk” for “monkey contaminated hardware.”
“This is an exposure to anyone coming in contact with the contaminated explanted hardware and we are making a big deal about this because we are concerned for human safety,” wrote the employee, whose name was redacted from the records.
PCRM has raised concerns about Neuralink in the past. Last year, it wrote to federal officials about alleged animal-welfare issues during Neuralink’s research partnership with UC Davis, citing another set of records it obtained. A federal prosecutor in the Northern District of California referred PCRM’s complaint to the USDA Inspector General, which later launched the federal probe into Neuralink, Reuters previously reported.
During its partnership with UC Davis, Neuralink grew frustrated with what it regarded as the slow pace of testing on primates, current and former company employees told Reuters, and has since built out extensive in-house animal testing facilities. The company has missed deadlines set by Musk to proceed to human trials, however. His pressure on Neuralink’s staff to make progress contributed to mistakes plaguing some experiments, Reuters reported.
(Reporting by Rachael Levy in Washington, D.C.; Editing by Greg Roumeliotis and David Gregorio)
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