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Timoshenko pushing for impeachment of incumbent Ukrainian president

Timoshenko pushing for impeachment of incumbent Ukrainian president

According to Article 111 of Ukraine’s Constitution, the Ukrainian president can be ousted from his post through an impeachment process in the event of committing high treason or another crime

Leader of Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna Party Yulia Timoshenko

© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, February 26. /TASS/. Leader of Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna Party and presidential contender Yulia Timoshenko has said that she had embarked on initiating impeachment proceedings against the country’s current President Pyotr Poroshenko.

“We declare that we are beginning impeachment proceedings against the president along with other factions that support us,” she said in the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday.

Timoshenko added that journalists earlier published an investigation, which revealed the involvement of Poroshenko and his entourage in allegedly smuggling spare parts for the Ukrainian army from Russia at over-inflated prices.

“This is actually assisting the enemy and destroying the Ukrainian army. This is a cognizable case. We believe this falls under Section 111 of the Criminal Code (high treason),” she asserted.

According to Article 111 of Ukraine’s Constitution, the Ukrainian president can be ousted from his post through an impeachment process in the event of committing high treason or another crime. However, to do that, a special mechanism is required, which should be enshrined in a special impeachment law that Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has been unable to pass since 1996.

Timoshenko earlier said that the law on the head of state’s impeachment would be approved if she became president.

 

Pakistan shoots down 2 Indian warplanes, parades captured pilot on video

5 million tons of smoke created by 100 Hiroshima-size nuclear weapons

 

40 CRPF Men Killed In Worst Terror Attack On Forces In Kashmir, India Condemns Pakistan

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Pakistan shoots down 2 Indian warplanes, parades captured pilot on video

Tensions between two of the world’s nuclear powers were raised dramatically Wednesday after Pakistan’s air force said it shot down two Indian warplanes that crossed the disputed Kashmir border and captured each of the aircraft’s pilots.

Police officials in Indian-occupied Kashmir told Reuters two Indian pilots and a civilian on the ground died when the planes crashed. The officials did not confirm the planes were shot down by Pakistani forces.

One of the pilots, named as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was subsequently shown in a video. India’s government said it objected to “Pakistan’s vulgar display”.

He was seen in two videos, one where he appeared blindfolded and bloodied, and then a second one showing him in custody with the blindfold removed, appearing visibly more relaxed, even complimenting his captors on a “fantastic” cup of tea.

Raveesh Kumar, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, also claimed an Indian plane shot down a Pakistani fighter jet — although Pakistan denied any of its jets had been hit and photographic evidence had yet to emerge.

INDIA LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKE IN PAKISTAN-CONTROLLED KASHMIR TARGETING ‘TERROR CAMPS’

Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations released this photo of the pilot after he was shot down

Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations released this photo of the pilot after he was shot down (ISPR)

The Pakistani official said one of the Indian planes crashed in the Pakistani part of Kashmir and the other went down in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor told the Associated Press one of the pilots was injured and was being treated in a military hospital. He did not elaborate on the pilot’s injuries. Ghafoor said the other pilot was in custody.

News sites out of Pakistan posted unconfirmed pictures and videos of one of the pilots who appeared blindfolded and with a bloody nose. Pakistan’s information ministry also tweeted out apparent footage of one of the downed Indian jets as well as a message congratulating the Pakistan Air Force.

An Indian army soldier walks past the wreckage of an Indian aircraft after it crashed in Budgam area, outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Feb.27, 2019. 

An Indian army soldier walks past the wreckage of an Indian aircraft after it crashed in Budgam area, outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Feb.27, 2019.  (AP)

A senior Indian police officer said earlier that an Indian Air Force plane crashed in the Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir. No information about injuries or deaths was immediately available.

INDIA WARNS OF ‘CRUSHING RESPONSE’ AFTER KASHMIR SUICIDE BOMB ATTACK

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority said later it closed its airspace to all commercial flights as tensions with India escalated.

Indian air force spokesman Anupam Banerjee in New Delhi told the Associated Press he had no information on Wednesday’s incident.

Tensions have been simmering between the two nuclear-powers after India launched an airstrike Tuesday following a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 soldiers in India’s section of the disputed territory of Kashmir earlier this month.Tensions have been simmering between the two nuclear-powers after India launched an airstrike Tuesday following a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 soldiers in India’s section of the disputed territory of Kashmir earlier this month. (AP)

In a televised address, Imran Khan, the Pakistani prime minister, warned against further escalation between the two countries.

“If we let it happen, it will remain neither in my nor [Indian prime minister] Narendra Modi’s control,” he said.

Referring to air strikes by Pakistan earlier Wednesday, he said Pakistan had been obliged to respond to Tuesday’s action by India.

Kashmiri villagers and Indian army soldiers gather near the wreckage of an Indian aircraft after it crashed in Budgam area, outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Feb.27.

Kashmiri villagers and Indian army soldiers gather near the wreckage of an Indian aircraft after it crashed in Budgam area, outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Feb.27. (AP)

“Our action is just to let them know that just like they intruded into our territory, we are also capable of going into their territory.”

Sushma Swaraj, the Indian foreign minister, said India “does not wish to see further escalation of the situation.”

Residents on both sides of the de-facto frontier, the so-called Line of Control, said there were exchanges of fire between the two sides through the night. In Pakistan’s part of Kashmir, hundreds of villagers have fled border towns.

Asian News International reported that commercial flights between Indian and Pakistani airspace are affected. Its report said Pakistan immediately stopped domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed

Pharma execs offer Senate ideas to lower drug costs – except actually cutting prices

Pharma execs offer Senate ideas to lower drug costs – except actually cutting prices

  • Executives from seven pharmaceutical companies — AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi — are testifying before the Senate Finance Committee.
  • The pharma executives have a number of ideas to reduce drug prices for patients, except lowering list prices.
  • High drug prices has become a rare bipartisan issue, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demanding change.

Ken Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer of Merck & Co., left, speaks as Robert Bradway, president and chief executive officer of Amgen Inc., center, and Joaquin Duato, executive vice president and worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson, listen during a news conference outside the White House following a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Ken Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer of Merck & Co., left, speaks as Robert Bradway, president and chief executive officer of Amgen Inc., center, and Joaquin Duato, executive vice president and worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson, listen during a news conference outside the White House following a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

Executives from seven drugmakers laid out their ideas for lowering drug prices to the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. One idea was noticeably absent: lowering drug prices.

The companies — AbbVieAstraZenecaBristol-Myers SquibbJohnson & JohnsonMerckPfizer and Sanofi — threw their support behind a number of Trump administration proposals and pitched some of their own ideas in written testimony submitted ahead of the hearing. Executives championed the investments their companies make and the lives they save, while acknowledging patients cannot benefit if they can’t afford medication.

They criticized middlemen, including pharma’s favorite target, pharmacy benefit managers, for pocketing discounts instead of passing them along to patients. They suggested changes to Medicare, including capping the amount seniors would pay for on their own at the pharmacy counter every year.

But none of the seven drugmakers committed to, or even suggested, lowering the list prices of their drugs. Some referenced these prices as simply the price that’s advertised, not what consumers actually pay.

“We’ve all seen the finger pointing,” Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in his prepared remarks. “Every link in the supply chain has gotten skilled at that. But, like most Americans, I’m sick and tired of the blame game. It’s time for solutions.”

High drug costs have become a rare bipartisan issue with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demanding something be done. President Donald Trump has made lowering prices one of the key issues of his administration. Democrats are jockeying to prove they can lead reform.

Senators are expected to press executives during Tuesday’s hearing about recent drug price increases. AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot, Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit Executive Vice President Jennifer Taubert, Merck CEO Ken Frazier, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt are scheduled to testify.

Executives threw their support around a Trump administration proposal that would pass an estimated $29 billion in rebates paid to pharmacy benefit managers to consumers. Drug manufacturers pay PBMs the rebates for getting their drugs covered by Medicare’s Part D prescription plan.

“Today’s current drug rebate system is good for two things: driving up both drug list prices and consumer out-of-pocket costs,” Pfizer’s Bourla said, according a transcript of his prepared remarks.

A day before the hearing, JC Scott, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the PBM lobbying group, said PBMs “are the primary advocate for consumers in the fight to lower prescription drug costs.”

The health insurance lobby on Monday blasted drugmakers, saying, “many drug treatments now come with six-figure price tags.”

“Drug prices are out of control, and drug manufacturers are working relentlessly to eliminate the mechanisms in our system that hold down costs for patients,” America’s Health Insurance Plans spokeswoman Kristine Grow said in an email. “The problem is the price.”

The pharmaceutical executives said they were not in favor of another Trump administration proposal that would permit Medicare to create a new payment model that would bring drug prices in line with what other nations pay. Drugmakers are not required to negotiate prices with the federal government like in other countries, and some believe that has led to “sky high” prices.