The Russian-Chinese conference of the Valdai Discussion Club, titled “Russia and China: Contemporary Development Challenges,” continues in Shanghai on Thursday, April 26.

RUPTLY is live from a panel titled “Mutual Perception of the Elites, Media and Society of China and Russia.” Speakers include Alexey Volin, Deputy Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of Russia, and Sheng Shiliang, Senior Research Fellow at Xinhua News Agency’s Global Challenges Studies Centre.

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US Senate Floor considers CIA Director Mike Pompeo nomination as the Secretary of State on Wednesday, April 25, in Washington D.C.

Pompeo is US President Donald Trump's choice for the position and received a favorable recommendation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after a dramatic party-line vote. Now he needs only a simple majority of the Senate to have his nomination confirmed.

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SOT, Mohsen Rezaei, Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran (Farsi): "[If US President Donald Trump exits the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action)] we announce that we will exit NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and show serious behaviour towards any disorderliness about JCPOA, because we have paid too much for the JCPOA and now other than turning these costs into a benefit, now we are going to face greater costs. Exiting JCPOA means threatening Iran, and it states inside the NPT that if countries' interests are not served, they can exit the NPT. So our exit from the NPT will be legal we will exit the NPT based on its content and will punish Mr. Trump."

SOT, Mohsen Rezaei, Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran (Farsi): "I reckon that Mr. [Donald] Trump is one of the most cowardly persons throughout the entire world. That means I have never seen any president as cowardly as Trump. If he was brave enough, he would come and clearly announce to his nation that those words that he said during election were completely false and through the consultations that he had with world elites he realised that this is not the right work, this indicates that he is a cowardly person and doesn't have enough bravery to come and admit he was wrong when he makes a mistake."

SOT, Mohsen Rezaei, Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran (Farsi): "We will answer to Israel, but when and where, we will choose it ourselves, in addition we think completely about what we want to do."

SOT, Mohsen Rezaei, Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran (Farsi): "JCPOA was the third test of the relationship between U.S and Iran where Americans again broke their promises that unfortunately it was started at the end of the Obama's administration by posing sanctions, but the final bullet is being shot by Mr. Trump towards this trust."

SOT, Mohsen Rezaei, Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran (Farsi): "It's obvious that Europe cannot make an agreement with the Americans regarding the JCPOA. The reason is that Europe doesn't want to sacrifice its long-term and international interests for a person [Trump] who is looking for his individual benefits, not even the U.S nation's interests"



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SOT, Natalia Antonova, Daughter of Hero of Soviet Union Ivan Antonov (Russian): "I headed here in a very calm and cheerful mood. But when the ship's launch kicked off, I did not hold back and I broke into tears. I certainly wish the ship, its crew and our country all the best."

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One resident said that "it is necessary to remind everyone that Ukraine is a state and we, as citizens, must remember that it is our territory, that it was stolen, that it must be returned sooner or later because it is illegal and unfair."

Another resident discussed a study, which according to him shows "a growing number of citizens who are again inclined to an alliance with Russia," with the number growing "from 22 percent to 29 percent of those who support an alliance with Russia." He went on to say that "if people are not constantly reminded [of the past], then they literally have a period when everything is forgotten and displaced; and that period is very short."

There will be a reported 45,000 coins in circulation, with the coin's denomination equaling five hryvnia.

The obverse of the coin shows the Ayu-Dag Mountain, which is said to symbolise Crimea, the antique ship on the waves, the gazebo in Chersonesus, where Vladimir the Great was reputedly baptised, and the Bakhchisaray Palace.

The reverse of the commemorative coin shows the map of Ukraine and the inscription reading "The Autonomous Republic of Crimea" and "Ukraine."

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At the centre of their discussions was Albania's aspirations to become a European Union member state. Merkel spoke of the progress that Albania had made, and needed to make, in order to become a member of the union.

She said, "There are certain requirements for initiating membership negotiations and - in the coming weeks - we will work to build our final opinion, whether the are still some things to deal with, whether there is already enough progress. We will consult our European colleagues on this."

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"Millions of people are still in need, suffering inside Syria or far away from their home. I repeat what I said last year in this room, we must not let down the people of Syria" Stylianides said. He then announced that the delegations at the conference agreed to "a collective pledge of $4.4 billion (3.61 billion Euro) for this year alone, 2018."

"We must fight to help secure a better future for the people of Syria. We want to make sure that the next generation of Syrians will live in peace and prosperity. Today dear colleagues, we affirm our great commitment to these objectives", Stylianides continued.

The conference was co-hosted by the EU and the UN. It focussed on "a political solution in support of the UN-led talks in Geneva", which Stylianides dubbed the EU's "number one priority", as well as providing more immediate humanitarian support to those in need both inside Syria and those who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

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Thousands chanted with rifles as well as held Yemeni flags and banners, calling for freedom against the US policy in the region.

"We came to Hodeidah to confront the American Zionists and the Saudis with our weapons and we will confront them to liberate Hodeidah," one demonstrator said.

Saleh al-Samad was allegedly killed in an air raid with his six companions on the way to meeting with local officials last Thursday in Hodeidah.

The Saudi-led bombing campaign continues in Yemen with US backing. The United Nations estimated that more than 10,000 have been killed and more than three million people have been displaced since beginning of the war in March 2015.

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What began as a hobby two years ago has almost become a part-time job as a recent spike in interest in her work has resulted in Karina receiving orders from all over Russia. However, she has strict rules as to where her materials are sourced.

"These are animals that died naturally. I don't take trophies or buy them from hunters. I only take what Mother Nature gives," she said, adding "I try to use as much organic material in my work as possible to be closer to nature."

Karina admits that her work is not to everyone's taste and she has received a mixed reaction. "The attention [I have received] really surprises me. Some people have written to me, saying it's cool and interesting, and that they would like to have something similar at home."

However, members of Russia's orthodox population were not so impressed. Karina says that they sometimes call her "derogatory names" and say "it's ungodly, and that I'm ungodly, judging by my appearance, and that I should burn in hell."

Karina takes any criticism all in her stride, saying, "I don't understand why religious people treat me like this if we're all supposed to be kind to one another."

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