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Category: World News (Page 1 of 27)

Did Ukraine Try To Escalate The Russia-Ukraine Conflict And Initiate World War 3?

Vladmir Putin Says He Will Respond To Nuclear Threats From The West With Nuclear Power.

Fed Ex CEO Believes A World Wide Recession Is Looming.

The numbers don’t portend well’: FedEx CEO believes a ‘worldwide recession’ is looming after company reported a sharp drop-off in shipping volume, sending its shares down 23%

  • FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam made the remarks in an interview on Thursday
  • Company reported a sharp drop in global delivery business in recent months
  • The shipper plans to slash costs by closing 90 locations and pausing hiring 
  • FedEx shares dropped sharply, opening down more than 23% on Friday 
  • World Bank also said the global economy might be inching toward a recession 

By KEITH GRIFFITH FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

PUBLISHED: 11:17 EDT, 16 September 2022 | UPDATED: 12:25 EDT, 16 September 2022

The CEO of FedEx has issued a grim warning, saying that he believes a worldwide recession is looming after the company saw a sharp decline in shipping volume in recent months.

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam said ‘I think so’ when asked whether the economy is ‘going into a worldwide recession.’

‘But you know, these numbers, they don’t portend very well,’ added Subramaniam, who blamed the company’s dismal new profit projections on a broader decline in economic conditions. 

Shares of FedEx plunged 23 percent at the opening bell on Friday, after the company said demand for shipping dropped sharply at the end of August and predicted that the slowdown would worsen in the current quarter. 

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, CEO Raj Subramaniam said ‘I think so’ when asked whether the economy is ‘going into a worldwide recession’Shares of FedEx plunged at the opening bell on Friday, after the company said a global demand slowdown accelerated at the end of August+4View gallery

Shares of FedEx plunged at the opening bell on Friday, after the company said a global demand slowdown accelerated at the end of August

FedEx shocked Wall Street on Thursday by scrapping its earnings forecast for its current fiscal year, which it had issued less than three months ago. 

In response to a sharp decline in business, the company said it will cut costs by closing over 90 FedEx Office locations and five corporate offices, pausing new hiring and operating fewer flights. 

FedEx, based in Memphis, Tennessee, warned it will likely miss Wall Street’s profit target for its fiscal first quarter that ended August 31, and warned that business would likely weaken further in the current quarter. 

‘Global volumes declined as macroeconomic trends significantly worsened later in the quarter, both internationally and in the US,’ Subramaniam said in a statement. 

‘We are swiftly addressing these headwinds, but given the speed at which conditions shifted, first-quarter results are below our expectations,’ he added. 

The warning from FedEx, considered a global economic bellwether, sent Wall Street’s main stock indexes lower on Friday. 

FedEx shocked Wall Street on Thursday by scrapping its earnings forecast for its current fiscal year, which it had issued less than three months ago (file photo)

Adding to the somber mood, the World Bank said the global economy might be inching toward a recession, while the International Monetary Fund said it expected a slowdown in the third quarter. 

World Bank Chief Economist Indermit Gill told reporters on Thursday he was concerned about ‘generalized stagflation,’ a period of low growth and high inflation, in the global economy. 

Wall Street’s main indexes were trading at two-month lows on Friday, with the S&P 500 down 0.52 percent, at 3,880.95 — breaching the 3,900 level that traders considered a key support. 

The benchmark index is now just 5.8 percent above its mid-June closing low, as a summer rally in Wall Street continues to unravel amid fears of steep increases in US interest rates and deterioration in earnings growth. 

The US Federal Reserve is widely expected to deliver the third straight 75-basis-point rate hike at its policy meeting next week after recent data showed that inflation remains stubbornly high.

Overall annual inflation dipped to 8.3 percent on the year in August, down from its June highs, but so-called core inflation rose on the month, signaling that rising prices are spreading broadly through the economy and becoming more sticky. 

Meanwhile the job market seems to remain surprisingly robust, clearing the way for further Fed rate hikes. 

There were 11.2 million job openings at the end of July, with two jobs for every person seeking work. 

A report from the Labor Department on Thursday showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 5,000 last week, to a seasonally adjusted 213,000, in the fifth straight week of declining claims.

Despite the hand wringing about a possible recession next year due to higher borrowing costs, there has not been a surge in layoffs. 

Economists say companies are hoarding workers after experiencing difficulties hiring in the past year, as people left the workforce in droves during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Monkeypox Is Mutating At 12 Times The Expected Rate Potentially Making It More Infectious Than Previous Versions Of The Virus, Experts Warn.

  • The current strain of the monkeypox virus circulating around the world is mutating at a pace faster than expected
  • Experts believe it has been in circulation since 2018, and has mutated 12 times as much of it should have since then
  • The current outbreak includes over 3,500 cases in nearly 50 countries, including just over 200 in the U.S.
  • Researchers believe that the reason this version of the virus has managed to spread to rapidly is because of its many mutations 

By MANSUR SHAHEEN U.S. DEPUTY HEALTH EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL

PUBLISHED: 17:03 EDT, 27 June 2022 | UPDATED: 19:37 EDT, 27 June 2022

The monkeypox virus strain that has emerged across the world in recent weeks may be evolving at an abnormally fast rate – making it more infectious than previous versions of the virus.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the virus has replicated up to 12 times its expected pace since 2018.

This means that the virus, which is generally believed to spread by physical touch, contaminated surfaces or very close bodily contact could be able to spread in ways atypical to the tropical viruses normal patterns.

It would explain the recent global monkeypox update, where 201 cases have been detected across 25 U.S. states and Washington D.C., with over 3,500 cases detected worldwide in countries where the virus is not endemicResearchers found that the current strain of the monkeypox virus that has caused worldwide outbreaks of the tropical virus is mutating at a speed 12 times what is expected of it. This potentially makes it more transmissible

Researchers found that the current strain of the monkeypox virus that has caused worldwide outbreaks of the tropical virus is mutating at a speed 12 times what is expected of it. This potentially makes it more transmissible

Researchers, whose findings are pending official publishing in nature, collected and studied 15 samples of the monkeypox virus for the study.

The NIH team restructured the viruses genetic information to find the number of changes the virus had undergone since this strain began its circulation.

While the virus was detected recently in human populations, experts believe this strain of West African monkeypox first began its movement through the world in 2018.

How viruses mutate and circulate is a generally known science. DNA viruses like monkeypox generally do not rapidly mutate – like COVID-19 does.

The nature of the virus allows it to fix errors that emerge when it replicates, leaving much lower room for mutations to form – and in effect limiting the number of variants.

When researchers did investigate this strain of the virus, they found that it had mutated between six to 12 times the generally believed rate for the virus.

Why exactly this is can not be determined, though the experts believe that this could be playing a role in how the virus has managed to storm the world this year.

Cases of monkeypox have appeared in nearly 50 countries where it is not endemic in recent weeks. 

While occasionally non-endemic nations will find cases – two were detected in the U.S. in 2021 – infections are usually easy to find and outbreaks can be controlled by health officials once they catch wind of circulation.

This outbreak has been different, though, with cases quickly being detected in droves around the world. This could signal a more infectious version of the virus is afoot. 

The 201 cases in the U.S. this year are believed to be a severe undercount as some experts have warned that the country does not have the necessary testing and tracking capabilities to stay on top of each new case.The version of monkeypox spreading around the world is of the West African variety, but it is mutating at a pace that would not be expected of a DNA virus (file photo)

The version of monkeypox spreading around the world is of the West African variety, but it is mutating at a pace that would not be expected of a DNA virus (file photo)

Some even fear that the virus will become endemic in the U.S., UK and other countries around the world.

Most infections that have been spotted as part of the current outbreak are among gay and bisexual men, both in the U.S. and across Europe.

California, America’s most populous state, has recorded 51 infections thus far – the most of any state. New York and Illinois have also logged 35 and 26 respectively.

With the way the virus has spread through sexual networks, some fear that Pride festivities across America last weekend could lead to a surge in cases.

In preparation, New York City health officials began to rollout monkeypox vaccines to the city’s population last week.

Supply of the shots quickly ran thin, though, with walk-in appointments being cut off on Friday due to high demand.

With the jab taking around four days to fully activate as well, there are questions over whether the shots came out too late to matter ahead of the city’s Pride parade which hosted around two million people.

Experts warn that monkeypox is mutating at 12 times the expected rate

Elon Musk Says He’s ‘Banging The Baby Drum’ And Warns We Could Be Like Japan Which Saw A Population Decline Of 600,000 And Adds The Country Will ‘Disappear’ If Trends Continue.

By CHRISTOPHER CARBONE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

PUBLISHED: 13:01 EDT, 24 June 2022 | UPDATED: 13:47 EDT, 24 June 2022

Elon Musk said that he’s been ‘banging the baby drum’ for a while and warns that the US could face a fate similar to Japan‘s if plunging fertility rates don’t improve. 

‘I’m always banging the baby drum,’ Musk, who has fathered eight children with multiple wives, said. ‘Where do you think people come from?’

Last year, Japan saw its population plunge by more than 600,000 due to declining fertility rates and a rapidly aging population.  

‘Some magical f**king people factory?’ the Tesla CEO joked in a conversation with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley. ‘The stork, the baby store?’ 

‘The thing that tends to happen is that once the birth rate starts to go down, it accelerates.’ 

Scroll down for videos Japan, which has seen its birthrate decline for many years, could potentially 'disappear' according to Musk. Above: Data from the Japan Bureau of Statistics reveals the decline of population and negative rate change since 2010 in Japan

Japan, which has seen its birthrate decline for many years, could potentially ‘disappear’ according to Musk. Above: Data from the Japan Bureau of Statistics reveals the decline of population and negative rate change since 2010 in Japan

‘The current trend is not good. The number of humans is not trending well,’ Musk said. 

‘Japan is a leading indicator. Last year they lost 600,000 people,’ he continued.

The country’s population dropped for the eleventh consecutive year and was down by 644,000, according to its Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. 

The overall population fell as deaths exceeded births by 609,000 and as people who moved out of the country outnumbered those who moved in by 35,000.Musk says he’s ‘banging the baby drum’ over population reduction

Worldwide, fertility rates and sperm counts have been dropping, potentially setting up some countries for population decline. Musk, who has fathered eight children, said he’s always ‘banging the baby drum’ in a recent interview (above) with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley

The official data also showed that the proportion of people age 15 to 64 stood at a record low of 59.4 percent while that of those age 65 or older hit a record high of 28.9 percent.

‘If that trend continues, Japan will flat-out disappear,’ Musk warned. ‘Hopefully it doesn’t.’  

‘China will have a problem, too,’ the SpaceX founder said, noting that country’s policies around controlling family size. 

According to one analysis, China’s fertility rate has continued to decline, even as the country has allowed families to have up to three children after abandoning its longtime one-child policy. Musk has long said that families need to have more children in order to keep populations from declining across the world. In the United States, fertility rates have been declining since the 1970s. Musk has the tweet pinned

Musk has long said that families need to have more children in order to keep populations from declining across the world. In the United States, fertility rates have been declining since the 1970s. Musk has the tweet pinned

‘A lot of people are under the impression that the current number of humans is unsustainable on the planet,’ Musk said. 

‘That is totally untrue. The population density is actually quite low,’ the tech billionaire noted.

Musk also said that as societies tend to become wealthier and less religious, couples have fewer children. Elon Musk speaks on losing ‘billions’ from Tesla factories

Putin Accuses The U.S. Of Playing God With Its ‘Sacred Interests’, Accuses Them Of Treating Countries Like ‘Colonies’ And Slams ‘Stupid’ Western Sanctions

Putin accuses the US of playing God with its ‘sacred interests’, accuses them of treating countries like ‘colonies’ and slams ‘stupid’ Western sanctions

  • Vladimir Putin today accused the US of treating states like ‘colonies’ in address
  • Russian tyrant said ‘nothing will be as it used to be’ in speech at ‘Russia’s Davos’ 
  • The address was delayed more than 90 minutes following ‘massive’ cyber attack 
  • Russia’s flagship economic forum kicked off on Wednesday. Attendees include representatives of the Taliban and separatist authorities from eastern Ukraine

By CHRIS JEWERS FOR MAILONLINE and AFP

PUBLISHED: 07:14 EDT, 17 June 2022 | UPDATED: 13:30 EDT, 17 June 2022

Russian president Vladimir Putin today accused the US of playing God and treating countries like ‘colonies’ as he brushed off the impact of sanctions in a speech to an economic forum dubbed ‘Russia‘s Davos’.

Amid a lengthy denunciation of the US and its allies, Putin, 69, warned ‘nothing will be as it used to be’ as he delivered the St Petersburg Economic Forum address more than 90 minutes later than expected after the event suffered a cyber attack.   

When he eventually took to the stage, Putin issued a thinly-veiled threat to oligarchs thinking of quitting his regime. 

‘It’s safer in your own house,’ he said. ‘Those who didn’t want to listen to this have lost millions abroad.’

Putin spent much of the 73-minute address focussing intently on his notes, as he warned Russians ‘are strong people and can cope with any challenge’.

He said: ‘Like our ancestors, we will solve any problem, the entire thousand-year history of our country speaks of this.’

Putin drew applause from the hall when he reaffirmed his determination to continue the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine that has unleashed what he said was an ‘unprecedented’ barrage of Western economic sanctions.

Putin warned the US and its allies ‘think they have won’ and said Moscow’s war in Ukraine had become a ‘lifesaver for the West to blame all the problem on Russia.’ 

He added that the US considers itself ‘God’s emissary on Earth’, and that Western sanctions were founded on a false premise that Russia had no economic sovereignty.

Russia’s flagship economic forum kicked off on Wednesday, with attendees including representatives of the Taliban and separatist authorities from eastern Ukraine. The event is scheduled to run until Saturday.

The Russian leader is set to be be joined by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Kazakhstan’s Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik.Russian president Vladimir Putin today accused the US of treating countries like 'colonies' as he brushed off the impact of sanctions in a key speech to an economic forum dubbed ' Russia 's Davos'+12View gallery

Russian president Vladimir Putin today accused the US of treating countries like ‘colonies’ as he brushed off the impact of sanctions in a key speech to an economic forum dubbed ‘ Russia ‘s Davos’Amid a lengthy denunciation of the US and its allies, Putin warned 'nothing will be as it used to be' as he delivered the St Petersburg Economic Forum address more than 90 minutes later than expected after the event suffered a cyber attack

Amid a lengthy denunciation of the US and its allies, Putin warned ‘nothing will be as it used to be’ as he delivered the St Petersburg Economic Forum address more than 90 minutes later than expected after the event suffered a cyber attackPutin accuses the West of ‘Russophobia’ in combative speech

Putin declared the end of 'the era of the unipolar world'. He said: 'When they won the Cold War, the US declared themselves God's own representatives on earth, people who have no responsibilities - only interests'

Putin declared the end of ‘the era of the unipolar world’. He said: ‘When they won the Cold War, the US declared themselves God’s own representatives on earth, people who have no responsibilities – only interests’Putin addressed Russia's political and economic elite at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, a showcase event this year being held with almost no Western participation

Putin addressed Russia’s political and economic elite at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, a showcase event this year being held with almost no Western participationPutin warned the US and its allies 'think they have won'

He said Moscow's war in Ukraine had become a 'lifesaver for the West to blame all the problem on Russia'

Putin warned the US and its allies ‘think they have won’ and said Moscow’s war in Ukraine had become a ‘lifesaver for the West to blame all the problem on Russia’Kremlin announces Putin’s speech will be delayed due to cyberattack

 Putin, speaking at the event on Friday, declared the end of ‘the era of the unipolar world’. He said: ‘When they won the Cold War, the US declared themselves God’s own representatives on earth, people who have no responsibilities – only interests. 

‘They have declared those interests sacred. Now it’s one-way traffic, which makes the world unstable’.

Putin went on to blame the West for trying to damage the Russian economy with ‘crazy’ and ‘reckless’ sanctions.  

‘Their intention is clear to crush the Russian economy by breaking down the chain the logistical chains, freezing national assets and attacking the living standards, but they were not successful,’ he said. 

‘It has not worked out. Russian business people have rallied together working diligently, conscientiously, and step-by-step, we are normalising the economic situation.’

He said the main aim of the incursion was to defend ‘our’ people in the largely Russian-speaking Donbas region of eastern Ukraine – a justification that Kyiv and the West dismiss as a baseless pretext for a war that has already led to the occupation of parts of southern Ukraine far beyond the Donbas.

Putin said the Russian soldiers in the Donbas were also fighting to defend Russia’s own ‘rights to secure development’.

‘The West has fundamentally refused to fulfil its earlier obligations, it turned out to be simply impossible to reach any new agreements with it,’ Putin said.

‘In the current situation, against a backdrop of increasing risks for us and threats, Russia’s decision to conduct a special military operation was forced – difficult, of course, but forced and necessary.’

The Kremlin had earlier been forced to postpone the speech following a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack that began on Thursday, government spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a call with reporters.

‘Problems arose with the distribution of badges and confirmation of access to the main plenary session,’ Peskov said. ‘We will fix it, but it will take time.’

As Russian forces moved into Ukraine on February 24, Kyiv called on hacktivists to help. There was no immediate reponse from Ukraine to the cyberattack. 

Putin has been seeking to ramp up ties with Asia and Africa after he sent troops to pro-Western Ukraine in February and the West pummelled the country with devastating economic sanctions.

The annual forum (SPIEF), often dubbed the Russian Davos, has been the country’s main showcase for investors, attracting global leaders and business elites.

This year delegations from more than 40 countries are expected to be in attendance, including those from China, Turkey, Egypt and a number of countries in Asia and Africa. But there was a notable lack of the Western investors and investment bankers who turned up in previous years.

‘Officials from unfriendly countries will not be coming,’ Putin’s top foreign policy advisor, Yuri Ushakov, said ahead of the forum in the Russian president’s hometown, using a term to describe states that have imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, a close Moscow ally, is expected to take part in the forum via video link.

Putin is also expected to meet with the leaders of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine that Moscow recognised as independent before sending troops into its pro-Western neighbour.

Food security is expected to be a major topic on the agenda after Moscow’s military campaign and sanctions disrupted deliveries of wheat and other commodities from Russia and Ukraine.  Putin calls on ‘patriotic’ oligarchs to invest money in Russia

Pictured: Employees wearing personal protective equipment walk through the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 17, 2022

Pictured: Employees wearing personal protective equipment walk through the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 17, 2022

Representatives of Afghanistan’s Taliban arrived at the forum on Wednesday and are expected to discuss wheat supplies with Russia.

‘The situation is not easy, rather it can be described as difficult given the unprecedented economic war,’ Peskov said Tuesday.

‘But there is no evil without good. This situation pushes us and friendly countries to search for new way of cooperation,’ he added. 

Western sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine combined with related supply chain issues have starkly altered Russia’s export-import dynamics, with the country now looking to the likes of China and India and turning away from the West.

Key banks have lost access to the global payments system SWIFT, Western brands are shunning the country and selling up in a hurry, writing off billions of dollars in assets – and the European Union has promised an embargo on Russian oil.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko lamented Russia’s backwardness in technology, and said the ‘painful process’ of Russia switching to its own technology was under way.

‘You are competing with global companies that have overtaken you by whole generations,’ he told an audience of Russian business representatives.

Organizers of the gathering have been telling foreign participants to be sure to bring cash – not necessarily for making investments, but for spending money. 

The advice is a quiet acknowledgment of the economic difficulties Russia faces as it tries to promote itself to international businesses.Participants attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 17

Participants attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 17

With Russia under wide sanctions after sending troops into Ukraine, most foreign bank cards don’t work in the country. 

The attendance list is another sign of Russia’s uncertain economic prospects. As of early June, about 2,700 business representatives from 90 countries were expected to attend – far below the 13,500 participants from 140 countries reported last year.

Organizers did not provide a list of foreign businesses attending, but the program for the more than 100 panel discussions showed few speakers from outside Russia.

Some were from China, and the trade minister of the United Arab Emirates was scheduled. Denis Pushilin, leader of the Ukrainian separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, announced he plans to attend.

The forum aims to portray the country as orderly and full of attractive opportunities for clever and adventurous investors. This year’s program carries the theme to an extent that is overly optimistic for Russia’s straitened circumstances.

It comes less than four months after wide-ranging sanctions were imposed and hundreds of foreign companies pulled out of Russia, and the full effect these sanctions have had on the Russian economy is unclear.

Shuttered storefronts give Moscow’s shopping malls a foreboding atmosphere, but officials claim Russian entrepreneurs can step in to revive the consumer economy – as shown over the weekend when a Russian tycoon opened the first of the restaurants he bought from McDonald’sPictured: The scene was ready for Russian President Vladimir Putin to address a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 17, 2022, however it was delayed due to a cyberattack

Pictured: The scene was ready for Russian President Vladimir Putin to address a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 17, 2022, however it was delayed due to a cyberattack

There was another reminder of how economic ties to the West have been cut Wednesday as Swedish furniture giant Ikea – which suspended its Russia operations in March – said it would now seek to ‘find new ownership’ for its four factories there.

The ruble, after losing half its value in the early days of the Ukraine conflict, has strengthened to levels not seen in several years after Russia imposed strict financial measures like capital controls, a heartening image for Russians but possibly a long-term problem making exports more expensive.

One of the most closely watched sessions at the forum is likely to be Thursday’s panel on Russia’s economic prospects featuring heavyweights including Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Elvira Nabiullina, head of Russia’s central bank.

Nabiullina so far has given ambiguous assessments, saying recently that ‘the effects of the sanctions are less acute than we feared… but it is premature to say that the full effect of the sanctions has manifested itself.’

One of the forum’s most popular events won’t be held: Putin’s question-and-answer session with executives of major international news organizations. 

Instead, he will meet with the heads of Russian news media and ‘front-line reporters’ from Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Peskov said prior to the event.

A representative of the Taliban also is expected, although Russia formally designates the Taliban as a terrorist group. Kremlin spokesman Peskov said this didn’t mean Russia would recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

‘There is no talk of recognizing (the Taliban),’ Peskov said Wednesday. ‘However, there are many humanitarian problems that obligate many countries to come into contact with representatives of the Taliban,’ he added.

Video Of Two Captured Americans Who Were Fighting Alongside Ukrainians Surfaces.

The family of one of three U.S. service members who have gone missing in Ukraine believes he may have been captured following a clash with Russian forces in eastern Ukraine earlier this month. 

U.S. servicemen Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, were reported missing earlier this week following the June 9 skirmish with Russian forces, and the State Department announced Thursday that a third U.S. citizen is also nowhere to be found. 

Drueke, a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who served two tours in Iraq and a Ukrainian Army volunteer, was part of a Ukrainian platoon that came under heavy fire on June 9 while holding a strategic position, and when the platoon dropped back, everyone was accounted for except Dureke and Huynh, Drueke’s family said in a statement to Fox News Digital. 

Ground and drone surveys have not displayed any sign of Drueke thus far. 

Alexander Drueke traveled to Ukraine to help with the fight against Russian invaders and was later reported missing. 

Alexander Drueke traveled to Ukraine to help with the fight against Russian invaders and was later reported missing.  (Lois “Bacunny” Drueke/Diane Williams)

STATE DEPARTMENT MONITORING REPORT OF US FIGHTERS CAPTURED IN UKRAINE

“This could mean they are in hiding or it could mean they have been captured,” Drueke’s mother, Bunny Drueke, said in a statement. 

The last time she spoke to her son on the phone was June 5, and the last time she received a text was on June 8. 

“[G]oing dark for almost all of tomorrow. Possibly the next day too,” his last text read, according to his family. 

Drueke, a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who served two tours in Iraq and a Ukrainian Army volunteer, was part of a platoon that came under heavy fire on June 9.

Drueke, a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who served two tours in Iraq and a Ukrainian Army volunteer, was part of a platoon that came under heavy fire on June 9. (U.S. military veteran Alexander Drueke of Tuscaloosa, Ala. Drueke)

On June 13, she received a text from another platoon member informing her of her son’s and the other missing U.S. serviceman’s disappearance. 

BIDEN ANNOUNCES $1.2B IN ADDITIONAL UKRAINE AID

Drueke left the U.S. in mid-April and entered Ukraine through Poland. He made contact with Ukrainian forces from there and helped train soldiers operating drones and other weaponry before being assigned to a platoon.

“When Russia invaded Ukraine, Alex immediately told me he wanted to go use his skills to train Ukrainians in how to operate American weaponry,” Bunny Drueke said. “He isn’t married, he doesn’t have kids, and he has the training and the experience. He felt it was his duty to help defend democracy, wherever needed.” 

Ukrainian emergency service personnel work outside a damaged building following shelling, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, June 4, 2022.

Ukrainian emergency service personnel work outside a damaged building following shelling, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, June 4, 2022. (Sofiia Bobok)

Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., have assisted the family in contacting the State Department, U.S. Embassy of Ukraine and International Red Cross. 

PENTAGON OFFICIAL: PUTIN LIKELY STILL WANTS ‘SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF UKRAINE, IF NOT THE WHOLE COUNTRY’

Drueke will be 40 on June 24. He had been hiking the Appalachian Trail in early 2020 before it was shut down due to COVID-19 and had been living in rural West Alabama until leaving for Ukraine. 

Huynh, a former Marine, also reportedly traveled from his home state of Alabama to fight in Ukraine in April, has not been heard from since June 8 when he told his fiancee, Joy Black, that he would be unreachable for the next “few days.”

Andy Huynh hasn't been heard from in days according to relatives and are considering missing. 

Andy Huynh hasn’t been heard from in days according to relatives and are considering missing.  (Jeronimo Nisa/The Decatur Daily)

“He was telling me for a few days that ‘I’m going to be busy soon,'” Black previously told Fox News Digital. “He didn’t tell me what specifically because I don’t think he wanted to worry me.”

The State Department told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that it was aware of unconfirmed reports of the two missing Americans. The Department is urging Americans not to travel to Ukraine. 

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Friday that “there are reports of one additional American whose whereabouts are unknown,” but he could not “speak to the specifics of that case.”

“We have not raised this yet with the Russian Federation. If we feel that such outreach through our embassy in Moscow or otherwise would be productive in terms of finding more information on the whereabouts of these individuals, we won’t hesitate to do that,” he said. 

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer, Jacqui Heinrich, Caitlin McFall and Ashley Pappa contributed to this article report.

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