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Cluster bombs are about to arrive in Ukraine



Ukraine is about to receive a shipment of cluster bombs to Ukraine. But it’s not just the Russians unhappy about it.

As the weapon is banned by over 100 countries, the move is likely to draw intense criticism from human rights groups.

What is the reason for their prohibition?

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, an international treaty signed by over 100 countries including the UK, France, and Germany, prohibits the use and stockpiling of cluster munitions due to their indiscriminate impact on civilian populations.

These weapons pose a significant danger to children who may mistake the bomblets for small toys and handle them out of curiosity. Human rights organizations have strongly condemned cluster munitions, labeling them as “abhorrent” and even constituting a war crime.

Who continues to employ them?

In a hypothetical scenario, both Russia and Ukraine have been utilizing cluster munitions since the commencement of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. Neither of these countries has ratified the treaty that bans such weapons.

While the United States has also not signed the treaty, it has previously criticised Russia for its extensive use of cluster munitions.

It has been reported that Russian cluster munitions have a high “dud rate” of 40%, meaning a significant number of unexploded bomblets pose hazards on the ground. In contrast, the average dud rate for cluster munitions is believed to be around 20%. According to the Pentagon, the dud rate for its own cluster bomblets is less than 3%.

Why does Ukraine seek their acquisition?

In this hypothetical context, Ukraine’s military forces are facing a severe shortage of artillery shells. Both Russia and Ukraine have been depleting their ammunition supplies at an extraordinarily high rate due to the ongoing conflict, and Ukraine’s Western allies are unable to replenish them at the required pace.

Artillery has become a crucial weapon in the stagnant battlefronts of southern and eastern Ukraine.

With the challenge of dislodging the invading Russian forces from well-fortified defensive positions spanning a 1,000km (621-mile) battlefront, Ukraine finds itself in a daunting task.

Due to the insufficient availability of artillery shells, Ukraine has approached the US to restock its cluster munition supplies, intending to target the Russian infantry entrenched in defensive trenches.

This decision has not been easy for Washington and has faced significant opposition from many Democrats and human rights advocates. The debate surrounding this matter has been ongoing for at least six months.

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Streaming wars: can Apple compete with Spotify?



Spotify’s 2023 Wrapped has dropped prompting listeners to review their top artists, genres, and songs of the year.

Many are taking to social media platforms to share their listening trends with family, friends, coworkers, and even other fans on the internet.

While Apple Music, a rival platform, has its own year-end campaign—it hasn’t quite ignited the same online response.

Seth Schachner, the Managing Director at StratAmericas and a former Sony Music Executive joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #Spotify #music #Apple #AppleMusic #SpotifyWrapped #streaming #featured #IN AMERICA TODAY

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What Australia can learn from NZ’s supermarket inquiry



Coles and Woolworths, two of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, are about to face a Senate inquiry that aims to scrutinise their market dominance and business practices.

The inquiry’s parallels with a past New Zealand investigation highlight the growing concern over the duopoly’s impact on consumers and smaller businesses.

The Senate inquiry, set to begin next month, comes as a response to mounting public pressure and allegations of anti-competitive behavior in the grocery sector.

New Zealand example

Similar concerns led New Zealand to conduct its own inquiry into the supermarket industry back in 2019, resulting in recommendations for increased regulation and transparency.

The central question here is whether Coles and Woolworths wield too much power in the Australian market, potentially stifling competition and limiting choices for consumers.

With the New Zealand example as a cautionary tale, many are wondering if this inquiry will result in meaningful changes to the Australian grocery landscape.

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Elon Musk: Nikki Haley’s ‘campaign is dead’



Elon Musk has thrown a verbal jab at former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, declaring her political campaign as “dead” on X.

The unexpected comment from the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has ignited a new wave of discussion within the political sphere, leaving many wondering about the implications for Haley’s political future.

In a tweet that garnered significant attention, Musk criticized Haley’s recent policy stance, writing, “Nikki Haley’s campaign is dead on arrival if she continues to ignore the urgency of climate change.

We need leaders who prioritize the planet’s future.” The tech mogul’s remarks come as Haley, a prominent Republican figure, has been exploring the possibility of running for president in the upcoming election cycle.

Musk’s statement has reignited the debate over climate change within the Republican Party, with many conservatives emphasizing economic interests over environmental concerns.

This raises questions about whether Musk’s endorsement or critique could influence the GOP’s stance on climate issues and potentially impact the 2024 presidential race.

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