Tag Archives: us congress

My hero of the year – Volodymyr Zelenskyy

For many Ukrainians, this year’s Christmas will be held by candlelight Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Congress yesterday. In what may have been his first outing outside Ukraine since the war started 300 days before, Zelenskyy didn’t don a suit for the occasion. Ever the role player, he turned up on Capitol Hill wearing his signature khaki fatigues.

I watched President Zelenskyy’s speech to Congress in the early hours (UK time). I couldn’t help welling up at times. Here was a man once dismissed as a comedian that once pretended to be a president and incredulously became the real thing. Now he is standing on the world stage. Leading the fight for peace against Putin and Russia’s generals.

The war in Ukraine is not just about Putin’s manic ambition for recreating the USSR with all its threats to the rest of the world and its suppression of internal dissent. It is not just about a bitter, bloody and deathly conflict. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have been killed. One in four of Ukraine’s population has been displaced. Several towns, cities, and villages have been destroyed. Maybe 70,000 or more Russian soldiers have died.

It is a fight for freedom. Zelenskyy’s nation is fighting a proxy war against a dictator on behalf of the rest of the free world.

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Daily View 2×2: 4 March 2010

Good morning and welcome to Thursday’s Daily View.

There’s a huge chunk of exciting things that happened today in history, so it’s an auspicious day to welcome a baby Cullen. Our technical editor Ryan has been tweeting progress, and as I write this there’s a lot of pushing going on. Best wishes from all at LDV to the Cullen family – I’m sure LDV Towers will soon get used to night feeds. I’m dusting off my copy of Gina Ford as I type.

Male swans from Matthew Bourne's Swan LakeSo, today in history: the US Congress met for the first time in 1789. In 1790, France was divvied into départements. In 1797, John Adams succeeded George Washington, the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times. Chicago was founded in 1837; Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake premiered in Moscow in 1877 and in 1882, East London saw Britain’s first electric trams. The first Daimler car was unveiled and in 1933, the first woman joined the US Cabinet.

March 4th birthdays include Vivaldi, in 1678, Sir Patrick Moore, and Nottingham novellist Alan Sillitoe (I was at the meeting of Nottingham City Council that made him an honorary freeman of the city, incidentally)

2 Big Stories

Evil Gays update

Civil partnerships – gay marriages – could soon be registered in places of worship – something currently expressly banned by statute, which is particularly unfair on those faiths which don’t have a problem with gay relationships, including Quakers and Reform Judaism. The Times has one version of the information; the Telegraph on the other hand manages to paint a far more bleak version of the havoc that could be wrought by litigious homos.

Meanwhile, David Cameron has averred that his party’s tax breaks, maternity and paternity rights planned for married couples will also be available to their civilly partnershipped brethren. Not quite sure how this tallies with last month’s pronouncement that would be no new gay rights under the Tories.

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