Several states across India, including Bihar and Telangana, have seen huge protests against a government plan to hire soldiers on fixed rather than permanent contracts.

The new Agnipath scheme is aimed at people aged between 17.5 and 21. Successful candidates will join the armed services for four years, after which only a quarter of them will be retained.

Protesters say the government’s plan to hire temporary soldiers will reduce their chances of getting coveted permanent military jobs, which guarantee fixed salaries and pensions.

The government says the reforms will reduce unemployment and military spending, and it has promised to create hundreds of thousands of other jobs for India’s youth.

worldwide event that celebrates the ways music brings people together will bring people together in a number of Vermont communities June 21.

Make Music Day involves more than 120 countries and 1,000 cities, according to Big Heavy World, the Burlington-based nonprofit organization that is presenting the statewide event. More than 100 musicians in 41 locations in 17 Vermont towns are taking part.

Vermont artist David Schein is helping to coordinate the event, which began 40 years ago in France and seven years ago in Vermont. “One of the beautiful things about the Music Day phenomenon is that it is open to everyone and free to the public,” Schein wrote in an email to the Burlington Free Press. “A four-year-old can play mudbuckets as part of a library program and be on the Make Music Vermont map. A wailing rock band can play in a club or a studio.”

According to Schein, the town of Randolph will start the day with church bells ringing throughout the community. Music for the event will be heard from Enosburg in the north to Bennington in the south.Music on the schedule in northern Vermont includes:

Gazprom Neft's HAKURYU-5 drilling rig develops offshore oil field in Sea of Okhotsk.
The EU is moving to ban Russian oil imports.Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images
  • Despite tough economic sanctions, Russia’s oil exports have risen this year as India has snapped up its crude.
  • Yet analysts say Russian output is about to tumble as the EU moves to ban roughly 90% of imports by the end of the year.
  • The impending drop is setting oil markets up for an “insanely difficult” summer, according to consultancy Kpler.

Despite Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the world has not been able to reduce its desperate thirst for the pariah state’s energy.

Quite the opposite: Russia is now exporting more oil than before the war broke out, and soaring prices mean it’s raking in roughly $20 billion a month from foreign sales.

But the European Union’s agreement to ban most Russian oil imports is set to change all that. Analysts predict Russia’s production will tumble by around 1 to 2 million barrels per day, or by 10% of current levels.

Oil prices have surged over 50% this year to around $120 a barrel, which has sent US gas prices to record highs of $5 a gallon.

Yet the oil market is heading for an “insanely difficult” summer, analysts say. The drop in Russian production will make itself felt, but demand will stay high as post-pandemic travel continues to rebound.

Russia’s oil exports have risen as India steps in

While other buyers have shunned Russian crude, India has ridden to the rescue. Attracted by steep discounts on Russia’s Urals type of oil, its purchases have shot up from near-zero to more than 800,000 barrels per day.

Russia exported 7.8 million barrels a day of oil on average over the last three months, according to International Energy Agency estimates. That’s up from 7.5 million barrels daily in 2021.

 

Yet sales to Europe are about to plunge. After much wrangling, the 27-member EU agreed in May to slash Russian oil imports by up to 90% by year’s end.

The most worrying thing for the market is European governments’ plans to block ships from insuring Russian oil cargoes, according to Claudio Galimberti, a senior analyst at consultancy Rystad Energy.

President Donald Trump didn’t give a last-minute pardon for his own lawyer, John Eastman, whose request to be put on “the pardon list” shortly after the Jan. 6 insurrection was revealed by the House committee investigating the event.

But Trump – who famously prizes personal loyalty to him – Friday dangled the prospect of pardoning those who stormed and damaged the Capitol that day.

“If I become president someday, if I decide to do it, I will be looking at them very seriously for pardons,” Trump said in a nearly two-hour speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

“They’ve been treated very unfairly,” Trump said of the insurrectionists, some of whom he described as merely “parading” through the Capitol on a day House investigators are presenting as an existential threat to America’s very democracy.

Trump didn’t announce a 2024 run for the Oval Office but delighted in lengthy applause when he asked the crowd, “Would anyone like me to run for president?”

Editorial Cartoons on Donald Trump

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Eastman, who unsuccessfully pushed former Vice President Mike Pence to use his position as envelope-opener to thwart the results of the 2020 election, sent an email to another Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, asking to be put on the “pardon list.” The disclosure does not mean Eastman committed a crime but indicates he was concerned that he might be charged with a crime.

The missive also suggests there was some kind of “pardon list” at the White House. Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican and co-chairman of the Jan. 6 committee, said when the committee hearings opened that the panel has evidence of members of Congress, including Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania Republican, also asked for pardons.

Perry denounced the disclosure as a “soulless lie” but has not testified under oath before the committee, despite being subpoenaed to appear.

Trump spent much of the rest of his speech trashing fellow Republicans as insufficiently loyal to him, accusing them of weakness and fear of reprisal for not helping him overturn the election. Trump did not, notably, use the term “overturn,” as the committee says he tried to do in a seven-part plan. Instead, he said he wanted GOP support in sending the decision on state presidential electors back to GOP-controlled state legislatures in states President Joe Biden narrowly won.

Burlington

9:30 a.m.-3:30 pm., Todd Smith, Battery Park at North Avenue and Battery Street

Noon-1:15 p.m., Mary McGinniss & Juliet McVicker, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Nick Carter, City Hall Park

2:30-5:30 p.m., The Fog; 6-7:30 p.m., Sambatucada, Church Street Marketplace at Cherry Street

3 p.m., Dana Block, 4-6 p.m., Kevin O’Shaughnessy, Junktiques, 324 N. Winooski Ave.

3-5 p.m., Herb Schroeder and Linda Patterson, Lakeside Park

6:30-8 p.m., Bill Bryant, Schmanska Park

7-8 p.m., Patricia Norton, Leddy Park

Charlotte

Day-long open mic, Charlotte Public Library, 115 Ferry Rd.

Essex Junction

6-10 p.m. open mic, 1st Republic Brewing Co., 39 River Rd.

Montpelier

11-11:30 a.m., guitarist Skyler Greene; 11:30-12:30 p.m., String of Sheep; 1-2 p.m., Lynette Combs, Christ Episcopal Church courtyard

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