Gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons on a car carrying a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday, in what officials said was an attempted assassination in response to his crackdown on oligarchs.
Sergiy Shefir, a 57-year-old former scriptwriter and longtime associate of comedian-turned-politician Zelensky, was reported to have escaped without serious injury.
An adviser to the interior minister, Anton Herashchenko, said on Facebook that the attack took place around 10 am (0700 GMT) on Wednesday near the village of Lisnyky south of the capital Kiev.
He said Shefir’s driver was “seriously injured” and that police had launched a special operation in the area.
“Unidentified individuals fired about 10 shots from a 7.62 calibre automatic weapon,” Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said on Facebook.
She said the authorities had opened an attempted murder investigation.
Photos published by officials showed a black Audi with bullet holes along its bonnet and on the driver-side door.
Official reports did not say whether Shefir was injured, but a lawmaker representing Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” party said he was fine.
“I briefly spoke to him, everything is fine, he is alive and well,” Davyd Arakhamia was quoted by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency as saying.
He said police had taken Shefir to a “safe” location.
– ‘Shadowy oligarchs’ –
Another aide in Zelensky’s office said the attack was an attempt to “demonstrably kill a key member of the team”.
Mykhailo Podolyak told the Interfax-Ukraine news agency the attack was in response to “politics directed at limiting the traditional influence of shadowy oligarchs”.
Zelensky’s spokesman said on Facebook that the president, who was on a working visit to the United States, would soon make a public statement.
Sergiy Nykyforov said no “insidious actions” would affect the president’s plans to “de-shadow and de-oligarch” Ukraine.
Shefir was born in the industrial central city of Kryvyi Rig and studied to be a metallurgist, but as a student began doing comedy for the popular KVN show with his brother, Boris.
In 2003 he co-founded a production company called “Kvartal 95” with Boris and Zelensky, who was elected president in 2019.
Shefir produced and wrote the “Servant of the People”, a show in which Zelensky portrayed a schoolteacher who becomes president and which eventually launched his political career.
Taiwan death from COVID-19 vaccination exceeds death from COVID-19
Taiwan death from COVID-19 vaccination exceeds death from COVID-19. Taiwan’s death toll from COVID-19 vaccination exceeds death toll from COVID-19 for the first time.
(Observer Network News) As of the 7th, the death toll after vaccination in Taiwan reached 852, while the death toll after the COVID-19 was diagnosed was 844. The number of deaths after vaccination exceeded the number of confirmed deaths for the first time.
According to a “Notice of Adverse Events after COVID-19 Vaccination” issued by Taiwan’s health department, on March 22 this year, Taiwan began vaccination. From that day to October 6, the death toll after vaccination in Taiwan has reached 849.
Among them, the death toll after vaccination with AZ was the largest, reaching 643; the death toll after vaccination with Moderna was 183, and the death toll after vaccination with Taiwan’s self-produced “Medigen” vaccine was 22.
As of the 6th, since the epidemic, the number of deaths due to the confirmed COVID-19 in Taiwan was 844. This is the first time that the number of deaths after vaccination has exceeded the number of confirmed deaths.
According to data released by the Taiwan Epidemic Command Center, on the 7th, there were 4 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 pneumonia in Taiwan, all of which were imported from abroad, and there were no new deaths among the confirmed cases. However, there were 3 new deaths after vaccination. The number of deaths after vaccination still exceeds the number of deaths after diagnosis.
On October 7, the Kuomintang “legislator” Ye Yulan bluntly stated in a Facebook post that the vaccine given to save lives has also nearly doubled the number of deaths due to the COVID-19, which is indeed very ironic and confusing.
She mentioned that recently, some hospitals in Taiwan have reported that 25 people were vaccinated with undiluted vaccine stock solution, or the vaccination dose was insufficient. It should have been given 0.5cc, but only 0.1cc was given. Netizens mentioned that the original appointment to go to the National Taiwan University Hospital for the second dose of Moderna was changed to a “high-end” vaccine. This series of vaccine problems can be clearly felt. The number of vaccination deaths has caught up with the COVID-19 diagnosis. The death toll is not accidental, nor is it accidental.
She said that many people would actively vaccinate to survive, and relevant departments should not turn life-saving vaccines into life-threatening vaccines because of negligence in control. People who are vaccinated in accordance with the island’s policies have become inexplicable victims under the epidemic.
In fact, as early as two weeks ago, the Kuomintang “legislator” Wu Yizhen had questioned that the mortality rate after vaccination in Taiwan was higher than that in other regions. At that time, Chen Shizhong said that “the judgment has not been completed” and death may not be related to vaccination. Wu Yizheng had no choice but to say that she could not get any information from Chen Shizhong, so she went to the health department and the legal department. Unexpectedly, all parties have been “playing the ball” all the time.
The statement “not necessarily related” is a consistent statement that Chen Shizhong has always used in the face of all doubts about vaccines, such as adverse reactions and deaths after vaccination. As mentioned earlier, in the “Notice of Adverse Events after COVID-19 Vaccination” issued by the Taiwan authorities yesterday, the authorities have also been emphasizing that “(this document) itself cannot explain or be used to derive the existence or seriousness of vaccine-related problems. Conclusion of degree, frequency or incidence.”
URUGUAY: Man sets himself on fire in front of the presidency building protesting COVID vaccines
China has won AI battle with USA, Pentagon’s ex-software chief says
Reuters – China has won the artificial intelligence battle with the United States and is heading towards global dominance because of its technological advances, the Pentagon’s former software chief told the Financial Times.
China, the world’s second largest economy, is likely to dominate many of the key emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics within a decade or so, according to Western intelligence assessments.
Nicolas Chaillan, the Pentagon’s first chief software officer who resigned in protest against the slow pace of technological transformation in the U.S. military, said the failure to respond was putting the United States at risk.
“We have no competing fighting chance against China in 15 to 20 years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,” he told the newspaper. “Whether it takes a war or not is kind of anecdotal.”
China was set to dominate the future of the world, controlling everything from media narratives to geopolitics, he said.
Chaillan blamed sluggish innovation, the reluctance of U.S. companies such as Google to work with the state on AI and extensive ethical debates over the technology.
Google was not immediately available for comment outside business hours.
Chinese companies, Chaillan said, were obliged to work with their government and were making “massive investment” in AI without regard to ethics.
He said U.S. cyber defences in some government departments were at “kindergarten level”.
Chaillan announced his resignation at the beginning of September, saying military officials were repeatedly put in charge of cyber initiatives for which they lacked experience.
A spokesperson for the Department of the Air Force said Frank Kendall, secretary of the U.S. Air Force, had discussed with Chaillan his recommendations for the department’s future software development following his resignation and thanked him for his contributions, the FT said.
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