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Flights suspended: How Australia will aid India’s critical shortage of medical supplies

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As Coronavirus case numbers continue to soar in India, other nations are lending support

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has today revealed an initial support package to help India, as it struggles with a critical shortage of medical supplies.

Australia will send 500 ventilators, 1 million surgical masks, 500,000 P2 and N95 masks, 1 million surgical masks, 100,000 goggles, 100,000 pairs of gloves and 20,000 face shields.

DFAT will manage the movement of the items

The crisis has also resulted in Australia suspending all flights to and from India until the 15th of may, following emergency talks today.

Australian prime minister scott morrison announces inital support package while the UK, Germany and US have already pledged medial aid.

“I stress this is an initial package, there’ll be more to follow,” 

Mr Morrison said.

Shocking scenes of overflowing hospitals and bodies being burnt in makeshift crematoriums paint a grim picture of the Covid crisis gripping India.

People bury the bodies of victims who died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a graveyard in New Delhi, India, April 16, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

In a single day the number of new infections climbed above 350 thousand, a new record.

India has more than 17.3 million infections overall and almost 200 thousand deaths.

The country has now ordered its armed forces to help tackle the soaring infection numbers

the Chief of Defence Staff says oxygen will be sent to hospitals from armed forces reserves and retired medical military personnel would join COVID health facilities.

Climate Change

Australia places honeybees in lockdown

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Honeybees in Australia are in lockdown after a deadly parasite was discovered in Sydney

A parasite has been found to weaken and kill bee colonies, which could threaten the already-scarce bee population.

Australian bees have been into lockdown, which means beekeepers are not allowed to move hives, bees or honeycombs until further notice from biosecurity.

Local authorities say swift measures are being taken to contain the disease.

“We have immediately launched an eradication plan which involved setting up a biosecurity zone, containing the infected hives and euthanising the bees.”

NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders

Until now, Australia is one of a few continents who did not have the varroa destructor, which can attach itself to the body of a bee and weaken its fat.

Nearly one-third of Australia’s food production relies on bee pollination. But the outbreak could cost the honey industry millions of dollars.

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Crypto

North Korea bears the brunt of the crypto market crash

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The crypto market crash is impacting North Korea’s weapons programme

The recent crypto market crash has made its way to North Korea, where hackers are bearing the brunt.

The isolated country relies on stolen crypto to fund part of their weapons program.

But as crypto holdings drop by millions of dollars, the nation is reportedly scrambling to find new ways to fund Pyongyang’s missile plans.

KCNA

North Korea has ramped up its stolen crypto assets in recent times leading to one of the largest cryptocurrency heists on record earlier this year.

Hackers allegedly stole $615 million worth of crypto prompting the U.S. tplace a warning about potential workers who are hiding their identities to find jobs abroad.

Meanwhile, crypto holdings have decreased in value with the market sliding below $1 trillion for the first time since January 2021.

Katerina Kostakos contributed to this report

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Ukraine Crisis

Sean Penn visits President Zelensky in Kyiv

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Sean Penn is the latest celebrity to travel to Ukraine and meet with President Zelensky

Actor Sean Penn is reportedly creating a documentary on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He is seeking to visit the war-torn areas where Russian troops have allegedly committed war crimes.

The leader thanked Penn for his support during the meeting. It comes a week after Zelensky met with Hollywood star Ben Stiller, who was visiting for humanitarian reasons.

“The whole world will soon be able to see the whole truth about the war thanks to his film. Sean, thank you for the support of our state and our people.”

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

Meanwhile, fresh vision has emerged of a Russian missile strike on a crowded shopping mall in the country’s east.

It’s understood 18 people are dead, and dozens are still missing. Moscow says it struck a nearby arms depot and is claiming the mall was empty at the time.

The blast sent shockwaves around surrounding areas, where people can be seen running away from the areas of impact.

Meanwhile, President Zelensky is calling Russia a terrorist state. He urged his U.N. counterparts to stand up and pay their respects, as he dialled in for urgent talks.

“Who of you does not agree that this is terrorism?”

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY

Zelensky named victims of the war, including a three-month-old. He also drew on the U.N. Charter for maintaining international peace and security.

Meanwhile, Russia’s representatives expressed concern about President Zelensky’s speech. Dmitry Polyanskiy says he did not receive any consultation beforehand.

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