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India’s PM backs down on farm reforms in surprise victory for protesters

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the repeal of three controversial farm laws after a year of protests

Farmers in the thousands have been camping at Delhi’s borders since last November and dozens died from heat, cold as well as COVID-19.

Farmers say the laws will allow the entry of private players in farming and should that go ahead, it will hurt their income.

But Friday’s surprise announcement marks a major U-turn as the government had not taken any initiative to talk to farmers in recent months.

Mr Modi’s ministers have been previously insisting that the laws were good for farmers and there was no question of taking them back.

PM Modi backflips on farm reform

Farm unions are seeing this as a huge victory

Experts are confident that the upcoming state elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh – both have a huge base of farmers – may have forced the decision.

The announcement on Friday morning came on a day Sikhs – the dominant community in Punjab – are celebrating the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Vladimir Putin announces changes to his mobilisation orders

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Vladimir Putin announces

Vladimir Putin announces changes to his mobilisation orders during a televised address

Vladimir Putin has appeared on state television to announce changes to his mobilisation orders.

The Russian leader has made “corrections” to the decree, meaning students at universities and postgraduates don’t have to fight in the war.

The Russian President has also signed a new law to claim the “annexed” regions of Ukraine are now officially a part of the nation.

He stopped short of defining where the borders of these so-called regions are though.

It follows, reports suggesting Russia’s military might on the frontline is dwindling, as wounded troops retreat from key areas.

Ukraine’s military is continuing to make territorial gains in the south and east, pushing into these areas Russia claims to have “annexed.”

Putin appeared to concede Russia would “stabilise” the situation in these areas.

“We are working on the assumption that the situation in the new territories will stabilise,” Putin said during a televised video call.

New images emerging online show Ukrainian troops in the Luhansk region.

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Liz Truss pledges to get her country through the stormy days ahead

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Liz Truss pledges to get her country through the stormy days ahead during Tory Party address

Liz Truss has pledged to get the UK through the stormy days head.

It comes comes against a backdrop of financial and political turmoil following the government’s mini-budget.

Markets reacted badly to the plans for 45 billion pound tax cuts funded by borrowing.

Meanwhile, the government’s U-turn on plans to slash the 45 per cent tax rate led to criticism from within the party.

In the address, Truss admitted her policies will cause “disruption”. But she says “the status quo is not an option” and her party “must stay the course”.

“I’m determined to get Britain moving, to get us through the tempest and to put us on a stronger footing as a nation,” Truss said.

Truss also vowed to take on the “anti-growth coalition” and “enemies of enterprise”. This includes opposition parties, “militant unions” and environmental campaigners.

The speech was an attempt to reassert the government’s commitment to its economic plans, in the face of criticism from both inside and outside the party.

There were a number of protestors at the conference hall during the event.

Two Greenpeace demonstrators were removed after holding up a sign which read ‘who voted for this’.

The reaction to Liz Truss’s speech was mixed.

Some commentators praised her for her “straight talking” and for her willingness to take on the “anti-growth coalition”.

Others criticised her for her lack of detail and failure to address concerns about the government’s economic plans.

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OPEC+ agreed to its deepest cuts to oil production since 2020

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OPEC+ agreed its deepest cuts to oil production since the 2020 COVID pandemic at a Vienna meeting

OPEC has agreed to the biggest cuts in oil output since the height of the global health crisis.

Ministers from the group of oil-producing nations, and allies including Russia, met in Vienna on Wednesday.

That marked their first in-person get-together since lockdowns made them impossible.

They agreed to slash production by 2 million barrels per day. This move could spur a recovery in oil prices.

They’ve fallen from $120 per barrel three months ago, to about $90 now.

But the decision is unlikely to go down well in Washington.

After OPEC+ agreed to cut oil production, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States is working to ensure energy supply is on the market and that prices are low.

Asked if he was disappointed in U.S. ally Saudi Arabia agreeing to the cuts, Blinken said Washington has a “multiplicity of interests with regard to Saudi Arabia.”

“We are working every single day to make sure to the best of our ability that, again, energy supply from wherever is actually meeting demand in order to ensure that energy is on the market and the prices are kept low,” Blinken said.

It wanted OPEC to pump more oil, to help reduce prices ahead of U.S. midterm elections.

The Biden administration also wants to limit revenues for Russia, as part of moves to punish it for the conflict in Ukraine.

However, Saudi Arabia has refused to condemn Moscow, which is part of the broader OPEC+ grouping.

Market watchers at JPMorgan expect Washington to react with countermeasures by releasing more oil stocks.

The UAE energy minister said Wednesday’s decision was technical, not political.

The Saudis and other OPEC members say it’s aimed at calming market volatility, not targeting any particular price for oil.

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