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EU foreign ministers and US announce sanctions against Russian banks and individuals

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US President Joe Biden has described the ongoing situation around Ukraine as “the beginning of a Russian invasion” but he says there is still time for diplomacy.

US Imposes harsh sanctions

Biden says America will sanction Russian oligarchs in retaliation for the country’s action against Ukraine, while also warning of further measures if a full-scale war does break out.

According to the president, the sanctions on Russia will be “far beyond” anything ever imposed in the past.

When Putin made his address, he called Ukraine a US colony with a “puppet regime” and now Biden has an unmistakable message to send back.

Biden says this is “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine” as he announced harsh new sanctions to punish Moscow.

Biden says he will be full blocking sanctions on two large Russian financial institutions, cutting off Russia’s government from Western financing.

He says the US will target some members of the nation’s elite and block a vital European gas pipeline.

A Biden administration official says that the White House was “quite deliberate” on minimalising the disruption of US energy prices.

“The pain of our sanctions is targeted at the Russian economy, not ours,”

he says.

Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech on Monday a “twisted rewrite of history”.

The US will be deploying a thousand troops and several F-35 fighter jets to the Baltic members of NATO.

Biden says Putin “explicitly threatened war” and the President said that there’s no question that Russia is “the aggressor” against Ukraine. 

He wrapped his address by telling the world that there is “still time” for diplomacy to “avert the worst-case scenario” in Ukraine.

Foreign ministers unite

The European Union foreign ministers agreed on Tuesday to a sanction package to include “351 members of the Russian State Duma who voted for the recognition of the so-called LPR and DPR” and 27 Russian individuals and entities, according to High Representative Josep Borell Fontelles.

US President Joe Biden announced a “first tranche” of sanctions against two financial institutions, in addition to existing sanctions.

He also said the US will be sending troops to the Baltic states to assist NATO allies.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomes the latest US sanctions against Russia and says that Ukraine believes the time for sanctions is now.

“The world must respond with all its economic might to punish Russia for the crimes it has already committed, and ahead of the crimes it plans to commit,”

he says.

What you need to know:

– The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that it is pulling its diplomatic staff from Ukraine “to protect their lives and safety”. 

– G7 foreign ministers agreed to a “strong package” of sanctions against Russia, UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss said on Tuesday.

– Chancellor Olaf Scholz also announced that Germany is halting the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia.

– Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK is imposing sanctions on five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals.

– On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he is considering breaking off diplomatic relations with Russia, according to the BBC.

Savannah Pocock contributed to this report

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Six dead in Sydney shopping centre stabbing

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Six people have lost their lives in a horrific attack at Westfield in Sydney’s Bondi Junction.

The incident, which unfolded at approximately 3:20 pm on Saturday afternoon, saw a man in an NRL jersey randomly stabbing shoppers, leaving many more injured.

The chaos and panic that ensued as families ran for their lives were captured in the harrowing scenes.

Hero mother

Amidst the terror, a heroic mother, who fought to save her nine-month-old baby’s life, tragically succumbed to her injuries in the hospital.

Witnesses described the assailant as a man in his 30s, wearing an Australian Rugby League team jersey, wielding a 15cm-long knife.

His indiscriminate attacks left a trail of devastation, with five people confirmed dead at the scene.

The sixth victim, the mother of the nine-month-old baby, battled to save her child despite her own injuries, ultimately succumbing to them later.

The situation could have been even more catastrophic if not for the courageous actions of a senior female police officer, who bravely confronted the attacker alone and ultimately brought him down with a single shot to the chest.

Witnesses recounted stories of bravery and resilience, with some throwing tables and chairs at the assailant and others engaging in physical confrontations with improvised weapons like bollards.

As emergency services worked tirelessly to save lives, the scene inside the mall was one of horror and desperation, with blood splattered across multiple stores.

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Specialists highlight importance of water in daily routine

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Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being.

From regulating body temperature to aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption, water plays a crucial role in keeping our bodies functioning optimally. However, many of us often overlook the importance of staying hydrated throughout the day. Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to incorporate more water into your daily routine.

 

  1. Start your day right: Begin each morning with a refreshing glass of water. After hours of sleep, your body needs hydration to kickstart its systems and replenish fluids lost overnight. This simple habit can set a positive tone for the rest of your day.
  2. Stay equipped: Invest in a reusable water bottle and carry it with you wherever you go. Having water readily available makes it easier to stay hydrated on the move, whether you’re at work, running errands, or exercising.
  3. Set reminders: In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to forget to drink water regularly. Set reminders on your phone or computer to prompt you to take regular water breaks throughout the day. These gentle nudges can help you stay on track with your hydration goals.
  4. Make smart swaps: Replace sugary beverages like soda and juice with water during meals. Not only does this reduce your sugar intake, but it also ensures that you’re hydrating your body with the purest form of liquid it needs.
  5. Get creative with flavor: If you find plain water boring, experiment with natural flavorings like lemon, cucumber, or mint. Infusing your water with fresh fruits or herbs adds a burst of flavor without any extra calories or additives.
  6. Pre- and post-workout hydration: Before and after physical activity, be sure to drink plenty of water to support your body’s performance and recovery. Hydration is especially crucial during exercise, as you lose fluids through sweat.
  7. Keep it accessible: Make water easily accessible by keeping a pitcher or dispenser filled in your home or workplace. Having water within reach encourages you to drink more throughout the day.
  8. Eat your water: Incorporate water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and strawberries into your diet. These hydrating foods not only contribute to your daily fluid intake but also provide essential vitamins and minerals.
  9. Listen to your body: Sometimes, feelings of hunger are actually signs of dehydration. Whenever you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water first and see if your cravings subside. Your body might just be asking for hydration rather than food.
  10. End your day on a hydrated note: Finish off your day with a glass of water before bedtime. Hydrating before sleep helps replenish fluids lost throughout the day and ensures that your body stays hydrated overnight.

 

 

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Nature calls for urban dwellers looking for something new

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Celebrating the less commonly featured destinations alongside popular ones.

There’s been a collective yearning to reconnect with nature, to rediscover the beauty and tranquility that lie beyond our concrete jungles in recent months.

In this quest for solace and serenity, travelers are venturing off the beaten path, seeking refuge in destinations that offer a respite from the bustling crowds and frenetic pace of modernity.

From the serene lakes of the United Kingdom’s Lake District to the untamed wilderness of Australia’s Kimberley region, each of these locations beckons with the promise of natural splendour and rejuvenation. Join us on a journey to explore these hidden gems, where the rhythms of nature reign supreme and the soul finds solace amidst towering mountains, pristine coastlines, and ancient forests. It’s time to escape the chaos and embrace the timeless beauty of the great outdoors.

 

1. United Kingdom: Instead of the bustling streets of London or the historical charm of Edinburgh, let’s focus on the serene beauty of the Lake District. Nestled in northwest England, this region boasts stunning landscapes of lakes, mountains, and forests. Visitors can explore picturesque villages, embark on scenic hikes, or simply unwind amidst nature’s tranquility. The Lake District offers a peaceful retreat away from the usual tourist crowds.

2. Singapore: While Singapore is often associated with its futuristic skyline and vibrant city life, Pulau Ubin offers a delightful escape from the urban hustle. This small island, located off Singapore’s northeast coast, is a haven of rustic charm and natural beauty. Visitors can cycle through lush greenery, spot wildlife in its natural habitat, and experience the simple pleasures of island living. Pulau Ubin provides a glimpse into Singapore’s quieter side, away from the glitz and glamour of the city.

 

3. New Zealand: While cities like Auckland and Queenstown often steal the spotlight, the Catlins region on New Zealand’s South Island offers a lesser-known but equally enchanting experience. Characterized by rugged coastlines, dense forests, and abundant wildlife, the Catlins is a nature lover’s paradise. Visitors can explore hidden waterfalls, encounter seals and penguins, and marvel at dramatic coastal vistas. With its unspoiled beauty and peaceful atmosphere, the Catlins offers a truly off-the-beaten-path adventure in New Zealand.

 

4. Ireland: Instead of Dublin’s bustling streets or the iconic Cliffs of Moher, let’s shine a spotlight on the charming town of Westport. Located on Ireland’s west coast, Westport combines scenic beauty with rich history and lively culture. Visitors can stroll along the picturesque harbor, explore historic landmarks such as Westport House, and enjoy traditional music in cozy pubs. Surrounded by stunning countryside and the rugged coastline of County Mayo, Westport offers a quintessentially Irish experience without the crowds.

 

 

5. Australia: While Sydney and Melbourne are popular destinations, the Kimberley region in Western Australia offers a rugged and remote adventure unlike any other. Covering vast expanses of wilderness, the Kimberley is renowned for its ancient landscapes, dramatic gorges, and vibrant Aboriginal culture. Visitors can embark on epic road trips along the Gibb River Road, cruise through the stunning gorges of the Kimberley coast, and encounter unique wildlife in its natural habitat. With its raw beauty and sense of adventure, the Kimberley is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered in Australia.

 

 

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