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KYIV – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said personnel changes were being carried out at senior and lower levels, following the most high-profile graft allegations since Russia’s invasion that threaten to dampen Western enthusiasm for the Kyiv government.

Reports of a new scandal in Ukraine, which has a long history of shaky governance, come as European countries bicker over giving it German-made Leopard 2 tanks – the workhorse of armies across Europe that Ukraine says it needs to break through Russian lines and recapture territory.

“There are already personnel decisions – some today, some tomorrow – regarding officials at various levels in ministries and other central government structures, as well as in the regions and in law enforcement,” Zelensky said in his nightly video address late on Monday.

Zelensky did not identify the officials to be replaced. Several Ukrainian media outlets have reported that cabinet ministers and senior officials could be sacked imminently.


Ukrainian servicemen and a dog gather in a trench on a frontline position in the Donetsk region on Jan. 23, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian servicemen and a dog gather in a trench on a frontline position in the Donetsk region on Jan. 23, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
AFP via Getty Images

The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, later said he had asked Zelensky to relieve him of his duties. He did not give a reason but media reported earlier that he might be part of a shake-up.

On Sunday, anti-corruption police said they had detained the deputy infrastructure minister on suspicion of receiving a $400,000 kickback over the import of generators last September, an allegation the minister denies.

A newspaper accused the Defence Ministry of overpaying suppliers for soldiers’ food. The supplier has said it made a technical mistake and no money had changed hands.

David Arakhamia, head of Zelensky Servant of the People party, said officials should “focus on the war, help victims, cut bureaucracy and stop dubious business”.


Ukrainian servicemen evacuate their brothers-in-arms who were wounded during shelling at the frontline on Jan. 23, 2023.
Ukrainian servicemen evacuate their brothers-in-arms who were wounded during shelling at the frontline on Jan. 23, 2023.
REUTERS

“We’re definitely going to be jailing actively this spring. If the humane approach doesn’t work, we’ll do it in line with martial law,” he said.

‘SPRING WILL BE DECISIVE’

Front lines in the war have been largely frozen in place for two months despite heavy losses on both sides.


Ukrainian servicemen are seen near the frontline, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, near Soledar in Donetsk region, Ukraine Jan. 23, 2023.
Ukrainian servicemen are seen near the frontline, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, near Soledar in Donetsk region, Ukraine Jan. 23, 2023.
REUTERS

Ukraine says Western tanks would give its troops the firepower to break Russian defensive lines. But Western allies have been unable to reach an agreement on arming Kyiv with tanks, wary of action that could trigger Russian escalation.

Germany, which must approve Leopard re-exports, has said it is willing to act quickly if there is a consensus among allies.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw would seek permission to send Leopard tanks to Kyiv and was trying to get others on board.

Germany was not blocking the re-export of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the European Union’s top diplomat said on Monday.

American lawmakers have pressed their government to export M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, saying even a symbolic number would help push European allies to do the same.

Britain has said it will supply 14 Challenger 2 tanks. French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not rule out the possibility of sending Leclerc tanks.

Russia has sought to apply its own pressure.

“All countries which take part, directly or indirectly, in pumping weapons into Ukraine and in raising its technological level bear responsibility” for continuing the conflict, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.


By: Ny Post

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Will ‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ Return For Season 2?

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Criminal Minds: Evolution aired its Season 1 finale on February 9, and though the eventful episode gave fans of Paramount+‘s Criminal Minds revival series closure on Elias Voit (Zach Gilford) and David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), a few lingering questions — like what the heck is Gold Star?! — remain. So will Criminal Minds: Evolution return with answers in another season?

After a 15-season run, the beloved original series concluded on CBS in 2020, but Evolution welcomed back fan-favorite cast members including Mantegna as Rossi, A.J. Cook as Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Aisha Tyler as Tara Lewis, Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez, and Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss. This time around, the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit was on the hunt for Voit, a skillful UnSub who assembled a team of serial killers during COVID-19 lockdown.

So will our favorite BAU agents return to screens again for Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2? Here’s everything we know about the future of the Paramount+ series.

Joe Mantegna as David Rossi in Criminal Minds: Evolution
Photo: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Will Criminal Minds: Evolution Return For Season 2?

Good news, Criminal Minds fans. Evolution is returning with another batch of new episodes!

Back in December 2022, Criminal Minds: Evolution showrunner Erica Messer told Decider’s Raven Brunner that she and the writers had already started talking about a potential Season 2. “Hopefully there will be good news on that in the new year, but we can’t stop thinking about it,” she shared. “I love this group of actors and I think we have such a fondness for one another. They’re huge fans of this. I mean, they were fans of the original, but they’re huge fans of this serialized version.”

On January 12, Paramount+ announced that Criminal Minds: Evolution was officially renewed for a Season 2, noting that it’s one of the platform’s top five original series.

“We’re thrilled to bring even more twisted storylines to our loyal fans of Criminal Minds: Evolution with the order of another season,” Tanya Giles, Paramount Streaming’s chief programming officer, said in a statement. “There are still many dark twists and turns yet to come for the BAU…”

Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss in Criminal Minds: Evolution
Photo: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

What Will A Season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution Look Like?

If you have yet to watch the Season 1 finale and want to avoid spoilers, consider this your chance to stop reading. But if you’re all caught up on Episode 10, “Dead End,” you know that although Voit is now in custody, he has crucial knowledge of a secretive project or organization called Gold Star. BAU agents are even in the dark on Gold Star, so their whispers of the curious words in the finale will likely lead to a larger Season 2 investigation. The final seconds of the Season 1 finale also show a mystery person entering the room to talk to Voit. Who is that? What is Gold Star? And will Zach Gilford’s role carry over into Season 2? We’ll have to wait to find out.

Though we’re not yet sure when Season 2 will premiere, we’re excited to see what’s in store for this fresh reboot series that’s familiar in all the best ways.

Season 1 of Criminal Minds: Evolution is now streaming on Paramount+.




By: Ny Post

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Volvo Cars braces for challenging 2023 after quarterly profit falls – One America News Network

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By Marie Mannes

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Volvo Cars said on Thursday 2023 was likely to be another challenging year, despite healthy demand for its vehicles, as the Swedish carmaker reported a fall in quarterly profit.

Volvo Cars, which is majority-owned by Chinese automotive company Geely Holding, said its fourth-quarter operating profit dropped to 3.4 billion crowns ($322.2 million)from 3.7 billion crowns a year earlier.

Profits were hit by high lithium prices, and having to buy semiconductors and logistics in the spot market, which can be more expensive than under long term contracts.

Volvo Cars and its peers have faced lingering chip shortages over the past year that have periodically hit manufacturing, with the Sweden-based company forced at times to halt production at some factories temporarily.

Other supply chain issues, the energy crisis and red-hot inflation have also made life tougher for the company.

“While 2023 looks to be another challenging year, we are hopeful that the COVID-related supply shortages from China are behind us and that we continue to see steady improvement in the supply of semiconductors,” it said in a statement.

“Despite the global turbulence, uncertainty and our recent price increases, we continue to see healthy demand for our cars,” Volvo Cars said, adding it expected a “solid” double-digit growth in retail sales during 2023.

However, Volvo Cars reaffirmed its mid-decade targets, which include selling cars at an annual run-rate of 1.2 million, with half of them electric. Some analysts had said ahead of the report that target was too ambitious.

“We remain doubtful whether the company will be able to achieve these targets before 2027 and think the company will have to significantly stretch its definition of ‘mid-decade’,” Bernstein said.

Volvo Cars shares fell over 3% at the market open, but were flat at around 0954 GMT.

CEO Jim Rowan defended the targets in an interview with Reuters, saying demand, new models and the easing of supply constraints would make it easier for the company to hit them.

    He also said the company did not plan to reduce the price of its vehicles, despite other electric carmakers such as Tesla doing so.

Toyota Motor, which also reported results on Thursday, cut its annual manufacturing target in November and again on Thursday. This, like Volvo, is despite its vehicles sales rising.

December was the strongest month ever in cars produced for Volvo.

The company once again proposed not paying a dividend, but confirmed in a call to analysts that it would pay a bonus to its employees this year, and that it had no plans for job cuts

“If you look at our electrification journey and our growth ambitions … we’re going to be pretty comfortable in keeping our people busy,” Rowan said.

(Reporting by Marie Mannes, additional reporting by Agata Rybska; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Mark Potter)

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By: OAN

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Kenya Barris served by his sister at ‘You People’ premiere

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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.

Kenya Barris
Kenya Barris was served with court documents at his own movie premiere.
Getty Images for MNRK Music Group
"You People" cast
The cast of “You People” on the red carpet in Westwood, Calif.
AFP via Getty Images

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.”

Colette Barris
Barris’ sister, Colette, is accusing the director of “breach of contract,” court docs say.
claretta_street/Instagram

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.’”

Kenya Barris
Barris’ credits also include “Coming 2 America.”

Kenya Barris, Nia Long
Barris’ credits also include “Coming 2 America.”


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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

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