KIEV – Two of the Ukrainian Azov Sea ports, Mariupol and Berdyansk, are known to be under blockade by Russia as vessels are being barred from entering as well as leaving, Infrastructure minister of Ukraine, Volodymyr Omelyan, told on Thursday.
A total of 35 vessels have been barred from carrying out usual operations and only vessels that are moving toward Russian ports on the Azov Sea are allowed entry, he told on Facebook.
“The goal is quite simple – by placing a blockade over the Ukrainian ports on the Azov Sea, Russia is hoping to drive Ukraine out of our own territory – territory which is ours in accordance will all known international laws,” he told.
Omelyan said that 18 vessels were actually awaiting entry into the Azov Sea, which included four to Berdyansk and 14 to Mariupol. Not only that, but there is also a nine vessel line to leave the Azov Sea and eight other vessels that are standing by close to the port berths.
As of now, Grain and steel is dominating the Azov ports shipments.
Russia has seized three navy ships from Ukraine and their crews on Sunday close to the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow took possession of in 2014, over what it told was their illegal entry into the Russian waters – a charge Ukraine strongly disapproves.
The seizure of the navy vessels drove high tensions since the year 2015, when Moscow-backed rebels who rose against the Kiev government in the region of eastern Donbass, sparking a war that is known to have killed tens of thousands.
North Carolina to Target Robocalls and Scammers With Penalties
Phone prankers usually mask their real number to pass robocalls to consumers. To take action against them, North Carolina lawmakers passed legislation on Monday to make it mandatory for callers to use their real name and number of the business they are representing. The legislation bill passed by 45-0 in the state senate. It was passed by the House last month and now it is waiting for the sign of Gov. Roy Cooper.
Telephone scammers usually block or trick caller ID to send spam calls to people. They make their calls in such a format that they are from a local number or from a family member. When the bill will be signed by the state Governor, people who do so will be fined up to $5,000.
Federal law has already declared the practice of using fake numbers illegal in all states. But this bill will give states’ authority an extra power to go after the scammers. The bill also would apply on fake messages and mobile posts.
Consumers can also enroll with the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry, which stops companies to send telemarketing sales calls to the consumers. And if they violate the regulation, consumers can complain against them. Alternatively, consumers can detect the identity of spammers with the use of Glasscaller that identifies the suspicious caller.
Tim Moore sponsored the bill in State House Speaker, and said that these fake and robocalls are at a top concern for his constituents. When he went out campaigning last year, he heard about more people getting scammed phone calls.
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