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Ukraine Crisis

Bold action – Russia suspended from UN human rights body

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The United Nations General Assembly has officially voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.

The vote on Thursday local time saw 93 countries in favour, 24 against and 58 abstentions.

The draft resolution says the General Assembly will “suspend the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of a member of the Council that commits gross and systematic violations of human rights.”

Russia has responded to the move, with the country’s deputy ambassador to the UN labelling it “an illegitimate and politically motivated step.”

This comes as NATO foreign ministers continue their high-stakes talks in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirming the West has agreed to further “strengthen and sustain” its support for Ukraine.

Ukraine’s foreign minister has also addressed the media following the NATO agreement.

He says Ukraine is not only fighting to protect itself, but “also the security of NATO members”, adding it’s only fair the alliance provides his country with what they need to win this bloody war.

The increasing support of the West for Ukraine comes at a time when China is refusing to condemn Russian aggression.

At the UN meeting, China’s ambassador says removing Russia from the Human Rights Council “in such a way” will “set new dangerous precedent” and “produce serious consequences”.

Meanwhile, NATO and its Asia-Pacific partners are step[ping up their “practical and political cooperation”.

As China refuses to condemn Russia, Stoltenberg says now more than ever the West needs to stick together.

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine and Moldova on the edge of EU membership

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Ukraine and Moldova have officially been granted EU candidate status, moving the nations one step closer to joining the union

The decision comes nearly four months after Ukraine’s Zelensky launched his country’s bid to join the bloc, and deals a major blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But Russia’s President Putin claims he has “nothing against” the possible membership, saying it’s Ukraine’s “sovereign decision” to join or not.

But some analysts are doubting whether Russia’s comments are genuine.

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Ukraine Crisis

Russia targets Ukrainian capital of Kyiv during G7

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Russia has targeted the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, as leaders of the G7 meet in Germany

A missile strike left one dead, and six wounded after a residential apartment was hit. It’s the first such strikes on the capital in three weeks.

The city’s Deputy Mayor says four people were admitted to local hospitals, as authorities continue their search and rescue efforts.

It’s believed a 7-year-old girl is among those who are injured in the complex. Meanwhile, a missile funnel has been found in the backyard of a nearby kindergarten.

U-S President Joe Biden says the strikes are barbaric, but declined to comment on whether they were deliberately occurring because of the G7 meeting.

The Group of Seven leaders will ban imports of gold from Russia, the latest in a series of sweeping sanctions against the nation for its war in Ukraine.

Leaders will also discuss rising energy costs and inflation.

President Biden is also pledging 200 billion dollars as part of a global infrastructure package to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Meanwhile, Russia maintains the invasion is a special military operation.

The nation’s Defence Minister has paid a visit to Russian troops and giving medals to soldiers.

President Vladimir Putin says his nation will transfer nuclear-capable missile systems to Belarus in the coming months.

Belarus has been a close ally to Russia. The nation’s President travelled to St Petersburg for a series of meetings at the weekend.

Meanwhile, the G7 says there is one world leader who is missing from their high-stakes talks.

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Body behind Eurovision “understands the disappointment” over next host city

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Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision contest in May, capturing the hearts of the world

After taking out the win, that would mean Ukraine would host the competition next year.

But the European Broadcasting Union announced last week it could not be held in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.

The body behind Eurovision now says it “understands the disappointment” over its decision not to hold next year’s song contest in Ukraine.

The EBU said it was in talks with the BBC to host the contest in the UK.

That’s because British entrant Sam Ryder came second in this year’s contest with his single Spaceman.

The announcement was met with disappointment by Ukrainians but the E-B-U doubled down on its position, saying in a statement that it “fully understands the disappointment that greeted the announcement”.

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