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U.S. denies claims it was behind drone attack over Kremlin

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The accusation came from Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov

Russia claims that the United States was behind what it says was a drone attack on the Kremlin that aimed to kill President Vladimir Putin.

That accusation came from Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Thursday who said, without providing any evidence, that Ukraine had carried out the alleged drone strike acting on orders from Washington.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby called that claim “ludicrous.”

“The United States has nothing to do with it. We don’t even know exactly what happened here, but I can assure you the United States had no role in it whatsoever,” Kirby said.

Footage from Wednesday shows what appears to be a flying object nearing the domed roof of the Kremlin before exploding.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Kyiv did not target Putin and denied involvement.

But Wednesday’s alleged strike isn’t the first time suspected Ukrainian drones have hit targets deep inside Russia.

“It’s technically possible,” Samuel Bendett from the Centre for a New American Security said.

“If it was, in fact, a Ukrainian drone that was able to penetrate all the way into the Kremlin speaks volumes about the strengths and the gaps and the problems within the air defence and electronic warfare defences if, in fact, they failed to stop this drone.”

Next week, Moscow is set to hold a massive Victory Day parade, a Soviet-era military display commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Were Ukraine able to hit the Kremlin in the run-up, it could send a powerful message.

“It’s interesting that the Ukrainians have probably been trying to do this for many, many months at this point – to strike out at a critical strategic target, not from a military standpoint. This isn’t going to win the war, but from a messaging standpoint that Russia can’t just go on attacking Ukrainian cities and not suffer some sort of blowback or some sort of consequence,” Alexander Vindman from Johns Hopkins University said.

Before dawn on Thursday, Russia fired two dozen combat drones at Ukraine. Kyiv’s air defences claimed to have shot down 18 of 24 drones fired at the capital.

There were no reports of any casualties.

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Big tech caught in political drama

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Nine Google employees were escorted out of company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, following a sit-in protest against a cloud contract with Israel’s government.

The protest in Sunnyvale targeted Thomas Kurian’s office, CEO of Google’s cloud division, while in New York, it occupied a common area on the tenth floor.

Videos showed Google security staff and local police involved in the removal. Four workers in New York and five in Sunnyvale were reportedly detained, but details of any charges remain unverified.

 

The protest aimed to pressure Google to drop a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract known as Project Nimbus, citing concerns about its involvement with the Israel Defense Forces.

The protesters included software engineers and activists from groups opposing tech contracts with Israel. This incident reflects ongoing activism within tech companies regarding political issues, such as Israel’s actions in Gaza.

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Antitrust concerns arise for streaming sports venture

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U.S. lawmakers Jerry Nadler and Joaquin Castro expressed competition concerns regarding the planned sports streaming joint venture involving Walt Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros Discovery.

They addressed these concerns in a letter to the CEOs of the media companies, questioning the impact on access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market.

Voicing apprehension about potential consumer price hikes and unfair licensing terms for sports leagues and distributors, they requested responses by April 30, urging the companies to also send their replies to the Department of Justice.

Despite the companies’ announcement in February of launching a joint sports streaming service in the autumn to attract younger viewers, the deal faces DOJ scrutiny and an antitrust lawsuit from FuboTV. While Disney and Warner Bros remained silent on the matter, Fox declined to comment.

The joint venture encompasses a broad range of professional and collegiate sports rights, including NFL, NBA, MLB, FIFA World Cup, and college competitions, offering non-exclusive access to sports networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and TNT via a new streaming app.

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Trump trial: will the jury selection impact the trial’s outcome?

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The Trump hush money trial has progressed with the selection of the first seven jurors, marking a significant step in the legal proceedings.

  • Seven jurors were selected

  • Defense and prosecution lawyers questioned potential jurors for impartiality

  • The judge warned lawyers he would not tolerate disruptions after he said Former US President Donald Trump audibly muttered during a prospective juror’s questioning

The selection of jurors is a crucial step in ensuring a fair trial, as they will ultimately decide Formers US President Donald Trump’s fate in this legal battle, as reported by Reuters.

The process of jury selection involves careful vetting of potential jurors to ensure impartiality and fairness.

Each juror’s background, beliefs, and potential biases are scrutinised to ensure they can render an impartial verdict based solely on the evidence presented in court.

With seven jurors already chosen, the selection process is expected to continue as both the prosecution and defence seek individuals who can objectively weigh the evidence.

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