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Ukraine Crisis

Environmental crisis looms large for Singaporean container ship



MV X-Press Pearl in flames.

An environmental crisis is unfolding off the coast of Sri Lanka.

Local authorities are dousing the flames on a Singaporean container ship, which is carrying chemicals and oil.

The container ship, MV X-Press Pearl, has been burning off the country’s west coast for over a week.

Dharshani Lahandapura is the chairperson of the Marine Environment Protection Authority, who said the fire intensified overnight.

“The fire has intensified and spread across the ship by Wednesday evening.”

Authorities have found oil spills around the vessel. But they are struggling to contain the fire due to the extreme heat and strong winds.

The container ship was carrying 300 tonnes of fuel, and over 25 tonnes of nitric acid. It was also carrying 1,486 containers.

Sri Lanka’s navy has deployed special patrols along the coast to avoid a further environmental crisis. But containers have fallen into the ocean and debris has started washing up over 10 kilometres away.

“We have warned the public not to collect items washed ashore from the ship as they could be mixed with chemicals,” Ms Lahandapura said.

But hundreds have already gathered across coastal areas to collect items that have washed ashore.

The fire broke out in the upper deck of the ship. But it has since spread to the quarterdeck, where a bridge is situated.

The vessel was travelling from the Indian port of Hazira back to Singapore. All crew members have safely arrived back on shore.

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.

Ukraine Crisis

Russia takes control of pivotal eastern Ukraine city



Russia has taken control of the Ukrainian city of Lysychans’k

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has been briefed on the latest military moves. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military says it has been “forced to withdraw” from the critical city.

Ukraine’s President Zelensky says the retreat away from the city was done to save the lives of troops.

Fresh videos have also emerged of Ukraine’s drones in action.

Pro-Russia separatists had already claimed a victory in the area, saying the town has been “liberated.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Albanese is the first Australian Prime Minister to visit Ukraine.

During a briefing with President Zelensky, the new P-M says Australia will provide 100 million dollars in military and technical might, as well as banning Russian gold imports.

He says Australia will support Ukraine for as long as it takes the win the war.

Albanese traveled to the towns of Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel, which were some of the first victims of the war.

Surrounded by heavy security, the P-M witnessed first-hand the “devastating” atrocities carried out.

Although Russia denies the attacks, Albanese says they’re “a war crime”.

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Ukraine Crisis

Russia abandons Black Sea outpost ‘Snake Island



Russia has departed the strategic Black Sea outpost ‘Snake Island’ with many viewing this as a win for Ukraine

The abandonment of this outpost could loosen Russia’s grip over Ukrainian ports.

Russia says the withdrawal is a “gesture of goodwill” demonstrating it is not obstructing U.N. efforts to open a humanitarian corridor.

But Ukraine disputes this, saying its military forces have driven Russia away, following an artillery and missile assault.

The chief of staff to Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted “KABOOM!”,confirming no Russian troops are on the Snake Island anymore.

This of course comes as Sweden and Finland join NATO, with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noting the strategic alliance is ready for all eventualities.

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Ukraine Crisis

How much financial aid can the U.S. provide Ukraine?



The U.S. and NATO will stick by Ukraine for ‘as long as it takes’ continuing to aid the nation as it stands up to Putin’s war machine

As the historic summit wraps up, the military alliance has promised to deliver hundreds of thousands of additional troops to defend eastern Europe.

Joe Biden also announced a further $800 million in military aid for Ukraine.

When pressed about just how much financial aid the U.S. can provide, Biden remained firm in his support for the war-torn country.

The war is now in its fifth month, and not even the U-S President is game to predict how the conflict is going to end, but he is confident it won’t end with a Russian defeat of Ukraine.

Biden labeled the NATO summit ‘historic’ as the West reacts to ongoing Russian aggression and the ever-increasing global dominance of China.

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