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Polish commission again accuses Russia over 2010 Smolensk plane crash

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Polish officials have reiterated claims that Russia was behind a 2010 plane crash that killed the country’s president.

A special government commission has once again alleged that the accident was a result of an assassination plan by Moscow.

Two separate reports by Polish and Russian experts have concluded that the aircraft crashed due to human error amid dense fog.

The Soviet-made Tupolev Tu-154 Polish air force plane went down on its approach to the Russian Smolensk airbase on 10 April 2010.

President Lech Kaczynski, Poland’s first lady and 94 others — including senior military officers, and 18 members of the Polish Parliament — died in the crash, on their way to the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.

In the latest Polish report — released 12 years after the disaster — Russia has been accused of detonating two planted “explosives” in the plane.

The death of Kaczynski was the result of an “act of unlawful interference by the Russian side,” the commission’s head Antoni Macierewicz told a news conference on Monday.

“The main and indisputable proof of the interference was an explosion in the left wing… followed by an explosion in the plane’s centre,” he added.

Macierewicz — a former defence minister — denied that any mistakes were made by the Polish pilots or crew members, despite poor weather conditions at the time of the crash.

The latest report repeats many previous allegations made by the commission, appointed by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the twin of the late president.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski currently serves as Poland’s deputy prime minister and leader of the ruling conservative Law and Justice party and has always claimed that his brother’s plane crashed due to “sabotage”.

Suspicions are additionally fuelled by Russia’s refusal to return the wreckage, which has complicated Poland’s investigation.

Kaczynski also accused former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk of covering up the events.

The latest allegations come amid heightened tensions between Warsaw and Moscow following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.



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Former New Zealand rugby player Johnstone becomes first All Black to come out as gay

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Former New Zealand rugby player Johnstone becomes first All Black to come out as gay



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Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence awarded to Julie Otsuka, Ed Yong

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Novelist Julie Otsuka has strong memories of libraries from her childhood California — the bike rides with her best friend to the local branch; the soft, firm sound of librarians closing books; the shopping bags she and her friend would fill with science fiction and other stories.

“It seemed like I lived at the library,” she says. “I felt very free to explore there, and explore away from adult eyes.”

The library community also has warm feelings about Otsuka. Her novel “The Swimmers,” in which a group of swimmers collectively narrate their daily routines and what happens when those routines are disrupted, has won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, a $5,000 honor presented by the American Library Association. Ed Yong’s “An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us” won the nonfiction medal, which also comes with a $5,000 cash prize.

CARNEGIE HERO FUND COMMISSION ANNOUNCES 20 MEDAL WINNERS

“Julie Otsuka proves herself a master of narrative voice, thrillingly balancing the incredible vitality of community life with the myriad challenges faced by individuals and families within that community,” Stephen Sposato, chair of the medals’ selection committee, said in a statement released Sunday.

Japanese-born U.S. author Julie Otsuka, above, has been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Ed Yong won the same award for nonfiction. 

Japanese-born U.S. author Julie Otsuka, above, has been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Ed Yong won the same award for nonfiction. 
(MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP via Getty Images)

“And, standing out even during a recent golden age of nature writing, Ed Yong dazzles with a deeply considered exploration of the many modes of sensory perception that life has evolved to navigate the world, written with exhilarating freshness.”

COLSON WHITEHEAD NOVEL A CARNEGIE MEDAL FINALIST

Otsuka, 60, has also written the novels “The Buddha in the Attic,” winner of the PEN/Faulkner award in 2011; and “When the Emperor Was Divine.” Her other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The 41-year-old Yong, a native of Malaysia who emigrated to the United Kingdom in his teens, is a staff writer for The Atlantic. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for his reporting on the coronavirus pandemic. Like Otsuka, Yong was influenced early by libraries. “Strangely enough for indoor spaces, libraries for me were gateways to the natural world,” he told The Associated Press. “As a kid, I spent a lot of time reading books that expanded my knowledge — and love — of nature, and I can only hope that ‘An Immense World’ does the same for people today.”

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The Carnegie Medals were established in 2012, with help from a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Previous winners include James McBride, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Matthew Desmond.



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Teacher accused of abuse at Edinburgh schools arrested

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Man accused of abuse by BBC broadcaster Nicky Campbell set to appear in court in South Africa.



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