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Basketball star Brittney Griner to spend nine years in a Russian jail

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Brittney Griner has

Women’s basketball star Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years behind bars

Brittney Griner has been convicted of deliberately smuggling drugs into Russia.

The 31-year-old American will be imprisoned for nine years and pay 1 million rubles after she was found guilty of bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into Russia.

Judge Anna Sotnikova said she considered Griner’s admission of guilt and remorse, following an apology from the basketball star.

Sotnikova also said Griner’s time in custody will count towards the sentence.

“I want the court to understand that this was an honest mistake that I made while rushing, under stress, trying to recover from COVID and just trying to get back to my team.”

BRITTNEY GRINER

Griner told the court she had no intention of breaking any laws.

She was arrested at a Russian airport in February as the war in Ukraine began. “I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that is far from this courtroom,” she said.-

The White House said authorities are working to free all Americans who have been detained abroad.

“Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. She never should have had to endure a trial in the first place,” said White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre.

It’s understood the Biden Administration offered to swap Griner and the former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan for a Russian arms dealer.

“As you all know, we have made a substantial offer to bring her and Paul Whelan home. We urge Russia to accept that proposal.”

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, White House Press Secretary

President Biden has described the situation as “unacceptable”, and urged Russia to free Griner so “she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates”.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the Biden Administration has offered a deal to Russian authorities.

“It’s a serious proposal. We urge them to accept it. They should have accepted it weeks ago when we first made it.”

JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESPERSON

The details of the proposal have not been made public. Russian officials are yet to comment on the matters.

Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and an NBA champion.

She was detained as she arrived in Russia to play with UMMC Ekaterinburg during the U.S. league’s off-season.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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Are U.S. voters rebuking Joe Biden over his Israel policy?

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The Israel-Hamas War is entering a sixth month.

During a recent trip in New York, President Joe Biden was asked when a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas might start.

He said he hopes a pause in hostilities can take effect in the coming days to allow for remaining hostages to be released.

Jonathan Tobin, the editor-in-chief of Jewish News Syndicate joins Veronica Dudo. #IN AMERICA TODAY #featured #IsraelHamas #war #Israel #Hamas #ceasefire

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Putin threatens West with nuclear strike

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a direct threat to employ nuclear weapons against the West, accusing NATO and the United States of preparing to strike Russia.

Putin delivered this ominous warning during his annual address to the nation, raising global tensions to unprecedented levels.

During his speech, Putin accused NATO and the US of deceptive maneuvers, alleging their intentions to launch an attack on Russian territory.

He emphasised Russia’s readiness to defend itself, boasting of its modernized nuclear arsenal and asserting the capability to defeat any potential aggressors on their own soil.

The Russian leader’s words carried a chilling reminder of the destructive power at his disposal, stating, “They have to understand that we also have weapons, weapons that can defeat them on their own territory.”

Such rhetoric underscores the grave risk of escalating conflict and the potential catastrophic consequences of nuclear warfare.

Nuclear war

Putin warned that the deployment of troops to Ukraine by NATO countries could lead to a real risk of nuclear war.

He emphasised Russia’s determination to strengthen its military presence in response to perceived threats from neighboring nations aligning with Western alliances.

In addition to military concerns, Putin criticized Western efforts to engage Russia in an arms race, vowing to bolster Russia’s defense capabilities while accusing the West of attempting to weaken the country economically and politically.

Despite escalating tensions and global condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Putin sought to rally support domestically, praising Russian unity and resilience in the face of adversity.

He portrayed Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine as a defensive measure to safeguard national interests and protect Russian citizens.

Putin’s aggressive stance towards the West underscores the deepening rift between Russia and Western powers, raising fears of a potential conflict with far-reaching consequences.

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FAA gives Boeing 30 days to fix 737 MAX program

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The Federal Aviation Administration has issued Boeing a 90-day deadline to devise a comprehensive plan for enhancing quality control procedures after a recent incident involving a 737 Max aircraft.

Less than two months following an alarming occurrence where a door plug blew out of a 737 Max aircraft just nine minutes into an Alaska Airlines flight, the FAA has demanded Boeing to present a thorough strategy to address quality control deficiencies.

The incident, which took place on Flight 1282, revealed that essential bolts required to secure an unused door panel on the nearly new aircraft were missing, according to a preliminary investigation conducted earlier this month.

The door plug had been removed and reinstalled at Boeing’s Renton, Washington, factory where the 737 Max is manufactured.

This incident adds to a string of production issues plaguing Boeing’s flagship aircraft.

Action plan

In response to the FAA’s directive, Boeing affirmed its commitment to developing a comprehensive action plan with measurable benchmarks.

The aerospace giant assured that its leadership is fully dedicated to meeting this challenge head-on.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker emphasized the need for Boeing to implement substantial and enduring improvements, emphasizing that foundational changes will necessitate ongoing commitment from the company’s leadership.

The FAA intends to hold Boeing accountable at every stage of the process, ensuring that mutually agreed milestones and expectations are met.

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