US envoy did not link Biden probe to aid: Ukrainian FM Nov 15, 2019 0 1731 12345 AFPKievUkraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko on Thursday said US envoy Gordon Sondland did not tell him aid to Kiev depended on opening a probe into Donald Trump’s potential 2020 rival Joe Biden.Democrats accused Trump and his allies of freezing some $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to get President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Biden and his son.Trump has dismissed the allegations that led to the opening of an impeachment inquiry into his presidency as a “witch hunt”.Sondland, America’s Trump-appointed ambassador to the European Union, this month gave key testimony to the impeachment inquiry that he told a Ukraine official US military aid was contingent on Kiev investigating Biden.“Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and for sure did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigations,” Prystaiko told journalists in Kiev.Sondland told Ukrainian officials in Washington on July 10 that a summit between Zelensky and Trump was conditional on the desired investigations into Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who served on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma, witnesses told the inquiry.On Wednesday, William Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, during televised hearings in the Democratic-led House of Representatives said he had become aware of a telephone call between Trump and Sondland, which a member of Taylor’s staff overheard.The staffer said Trump was interested in getting Kiev to investigate Biden and his son and reiterated the understanding that US aid to Kiev would be suspended until it launched the probe.“I have never seen a direct relationship between the investigations and help in the security sphere,” Prystaiko was quoted as saying by Interfax-Ukraine news agency.“Yes, the investigations were mentioned, you know, in conversation between the presidents. But there was no clear connection between these events.” RELATED ARTICLES US ‘will continue to lead’ against IS, says Pompeo Nov 15, 2019 0 736 EU launches legal case against UK over commission post Nov 15, 2019 0 214 Philippines deports 312 Chinese over telecom fraud Nov 15, 2019 0 1190 MH17 calls show ties between Russian officials, rebels: Probe AFP The Hague Investigators looking into the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine released intercepted phone calls on Thursday showing close links between “high-ranking” Russian officials and rebel suspects facing .. Taliban say still holding two Western hostages Kabul: A Taliban spokesman said on Thursday the insurgents were still holding two Western hostages, as officials stayed tight-lipped over the outcome of an apparent prisoner swap announced by Afghan President Ashraf .. Pakistan leads censor requests sent to Facebook Islamabad: Of the 17,807 content restrictions made by Facebook globally, the highest number — over 31 percent — of the requests originated from Pakistan between January and July 2019, according to the platform’s latest .. Medicines pose global environmental risk: Experts AFP Paris Residues from billions of doses of antibiotics, painkillers and antidepressants pose a significant risk to freshwater ecosystems and the global food chain, a new analysis said on Thursday. There are growing .. Nobel winners call on Modi to restore critic’s citizenship New Delhi: Nobel prize winners Margaret Atwood, Orhan Pamuk and John Coetzee led more than 250 literary and journalist luminaries who called on Thursday on India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke an order .. Key Catalan party withholds support to Spanish PM Madrid: A Catalan separatist party whose support is key to the investiture of Spain’s new government on Thursday refused to offer its backing in a blow to Socialist premier Pedro Sanchez. For Sanchez, securing the .. Germany approves law making measles vaccine compulsory for children Berlin: Germany’s lower house of parliament on Thursday approved a law that will make measles vaccinations obligatory in kindergartens and schools from March 1, 2020. In the Bundestag, 459 lawmakers voted in favour of .. One killed, four injured in California school shooting, suspect in custody AFP Santa Clarita, United States One person was killed and least four others injured in a shooting at a high school north of Los Angeles on Thursday, triggering a police hunt for a student who was found wounded and taken into ..