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Biden says he is working to secure release of Evan Gershkovich on anniversary of Russian detention

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President Biden said Friday, on the one-year anniversary of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s detention in Russia, that the U.S. government is working every day to secure his release and is “not giving up.”

Gershkovich, 32, was arrested on espionage charges for allegedly collecting secret military information while he was on a work trip to the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. The Federal Security Service said he was acting on U.S. orders to obtain state secrets, but no evidence was provided to support the accusation.

The U.S. government, The Wall Street Journal and Gershkovich all reject accusations that he was working for the U.S. government to collect Russian secrets, with U.S. officials saying he was wrongfully detained.

“Journalism is not a crime, and Evan went to Russia to do his job as a reporter —risking his safety to shine the light of truth on Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement Friday. “Shortly after his wholly unjust and illegal detention, he drafted a letter to his family from prison, writing: ‘I am not losing hope.'”

WALL STREET JOURNAL LEAVES FRONT PAGE PORTION BLANK IN HONOR OF EVAN GERSHKOVICH: ‘HIS STORY SHOULD BE HERE’

Evan Gershkovich

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands inside an enclosure for defendants before a court hearing to consider an appeal against his pre-trial detention on espionage charges in Moscow, Russia, October 10, 2023.  (REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/ File Photo)

“As I have told Evan’s parents, I will never give up hope either,” he continued. “We will continue working every day to secure his release. We will continue to denounce and impose costs for Russia’s appalling attempts to use Americans as bargaining chips. And we will continue to stand strong against all those who seek to attack the press or target journalists — the pillars of free society.”

The Wall Street Journal on Friday left a blank space on the front page of its newspaper with Gershkovich’s image in the space where the image of an article’s author would be and a headline that read: “His Story Should be Here.”

A recent court hearing offered little new information in Gershkovich’s case. He was ordered to remain behind bars pending trial until at least June 30, the fifth extension of his detention.

“I admire the hell out of him,” Biden told reporters Friday when asked about Gershkovich’s case before traveling from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to the Camp David presidential retreat. “We’re not giving up.”

FOX NATION’S ‘PRISONER OF PUTIN’ EXAMINES EVAN GERSHKOVICH’S LIFE, RESILIENCE WHILE DETAINED IN RUSSIA

Gershkovich makes Moscow court appearance

At a recent court hearing, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was ordered to remain behind bars pending trial until at least June 30, the fifth extension of his detention. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden said in his statement that the U.S. government was working to free all Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, including Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, a corporate executive from Michigan who is also locked up in Russia on espionage charges.

Whelan was arrested in 2018 in Russia and, two years later, was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Whelan, who said he traveled to Moscow to attend a friend’s wedding, has denied the allegations.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Gershkovich and Whelan have “remained resilient despite the circumstances of living in Russian detention.”

“People are not bargaining chips,” Blinken said in a statement. “Russia should end its practice of arbitrarily detaining individuals for political leverage and should immediately release Evan and Paul.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Barcelona 1-4 Paris St-Germain (Agg: 4-6): Kylian Mbappe scores twice as PSG reach last four

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PSG players celebrate
Paris St-Germain are into their first Champions League semi-final in three years

Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris St-Germain thrashed Barcelona to turn around a first-leg deficit and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

PSG had trailed 3-2 after the first leg in France but took advantage of an early Barcelona sending off to secure their place in the last four for the first time since 2021.

Luis Enrique’s side face a semi-final against Borussia Dortmund, who beat Atletico Madrid 5-4 on aggregate in a thrilling encounter in Germany.

The semi-final first leg takes place on 30 April with the second leg on 7 May.

More to follow.

helpHow to play

Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

Rating range key1 = Give it up10 = Pure perfection

Barcelona

  1. Squad number1Player nameter Stegen

  2. Squad number23Player nameKoundé

  3. Squad number4Player nameAraujo

  4. Squad number33Player nameCubarsí

  5. Squad number2Player nameJoão Cancelo

  6. Squad number8Player namePedri

  7. Squad number22Player nameGündogan

  8. Squad number21Player nameF de Jong

  9. Squad number27Player nameYamal

  10. Squad number9Player nameLewandowski

  11. Squad number11Player nameRaphinha

  1. Squad number5Player nameMartínez

  2. Squad number7Player nameF Torres

  3. Squad number14Player nameJoão Félix

  4. Squad number32Player nameLópez

Paris Saint Germain

  1. Squad number99Player nameG Donnarumma

  2. Squad number2Player nameHakimi

  3. Squad number5Player nameMarquinhos

  4. Squad number21Player nameHernández

  5. Squad number25Player nameNuno Mendes

  6. Squad number33Player nameZaïre-Emery

  7. Squad number17Player nameVitinha

  8. Squad number8Player nameRuiz

  9. Squad number10Player nameDembélé

  10. Squad number7Player nameMbappé

  11. Squad number29Player nameBarcola

  1. Squad number4Player nameUgarte

  2. Squad number11Player nameAsensio

  3. Squad number19Player nameLee Kang-in

  4. Squad number23Player nameKolo Muani

Line-ups

Barcelona

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 23Koundé
  • 4AraujoBooked at 29mins
  • 33Cubarsí
  • 2CanceloSubstituted forJoão Félixat 82′minutes
  • 8PedriSubstituted forF Torresat 62′minutes
  • 22GündoganBooked at 64mins
  • 21F de JongSubstituted forLópezat 82′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 27YamalSubstituted forMartínezat 34′minutesBooked at 40mins
  • 9LewandowskiBooked at 50mins
  • 11RaphinhaBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 5Martínez
  • 7F Torres
  • 13Peña Sotorres
  • 14João Félix
  • 17Alonso
  • 18Romeu
  • 19Roque Ferreira
  • 26Astralaga
  • 30Casadó
  • 32López
  • 38Guiu
  • 39Fort

PSG

Formation 4-3-3

  • 99G DonnarummaBooked at 87mins
  • 2Hakimi
  • 5MarquinhosBooked at 62mins
  • 21Hernández
  • 25Nuno Mendes
  • 33Zaïre-EmerySubstituted forUgarteat 80′minutes
  • 17Vitinha
  • 8RuizBooked at 45minsSubstituted forAsensioat 77′minutes
  • 10DembéléSubstituted forKolo Muaniat 88′minutes
  • 7MbappéBooked at 40mins
  • 29BarcolaSubstituted forLee Kang-inat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Navas
  • 4Ugarte
  • 9Gonçalo Ramos
  • 11Asensio
  • 15Danilo
  • 19Lee Kang-in
  • 23Kolo Muani
  • 26Mukiele
  • 28Soler
  • 35Lopes Beraldo
  • 37Skriniar
  • 80Tenas

Referee:
István Kovács

Live Text





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Magnitude 2.8 earthquake reported in View Park-Windsor Hills

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A magnitude 2.8 earthquake was reported Tuesday at 8:19 a.m. Pacific time in Los Angeles’ View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake‘s epicenter was 7.1 miles beneath the intersection of Overland Drive and Northridge Drive, near Windsor Hills Elementary School. .

In the last 10 days, there have been no earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.

An average of 59 earthquakes with magnitudes between 2.0 and 3.0 occur per year in the Greater Los Angeles area, according to a recent three-year data sample.

Did you feel this earthquake? Consider reporting what you felt to the USGS.

Are you ready for when the Big One hits? Get ready for the next big earthquake by signing up for our Unshaken newsletter, which breaks down emergency preparedness into bite-sized steps over six weeks. Learn more about earthquake kits, which apps you need, Lucy Jones’ most important advice and more at latimes.com/Unshaken.

This story was automatically generated by Quakebot, a computer application that monitors the latest earthquakes detected by the USGS. A Times editor reviewed the post before it was published. If you’re interested in learning more about the system, visit our list of frequently asked questions.



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Justice Thomas returns to Supreme Court after 1-day absence

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is back on the bench after an unexplained one-day absence.

Thomas, 75, was in his usual seat, to the right of Chief Justice John Roberts as the court met to hear arguments in a case about the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

Thomas has ignored calls from some progressive groups to step aside from cases involving Jan. 6 because his wife, Ginni, attended then-President Donald Trump‘s rally near the White House before protesters descended on the Capitol. Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist, also texted senior Trump administration officials in the weeks after the election offering support and reiterating her belief that there was widespread fraud in the election.

On Monday, Roberts announced Thomas’ absence, without providing an explanation. Justices sometimes miss court, but participate remotely. Thomas did not take part in Monday’s arguments.

He was hospitalized two years ago with an infection, causing him to miss several court sessions. He took part in the cases then, too.

Thomas is the longest serving of the current justices, joining the Supreme Court in 1991.



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