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Midterm voting is continuing across the United States

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Voting is continuing right across the United States for the 2022 midterm elections.

The Democrats are staring down the barrel of a red wave.

For two years, the party has held the House and the Senate, both of which could flip to the Republican party.

Polls suggest the Republicans will almost certainly take the House, while the the result in the Senate will come down to the wire.

More than 45 million Americans have already had their say in pre-election polling.

All 435 seats in the House are up for grabs, as well as 35 seats in the 100-member Senate, 36 state governorships, three U.S. territory governorships and a large number of city mayorships and local offices.

In a further 37 states, issues including laws on abortion, marijuana and voting rights are also up for a vote.

Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s key races to watch.

The state’s attorney general, Democrat Josh Shapiro, is facing off against Doug Mastriano for governor. Mastriano is a Trump-backed senator.

The winner in this race will be able to choose the state’s election officials for 2024 and alter voting restrictions.

Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz battling for the state’s all-important Senate seat.

In Georgia, Democrat Raphael Warnock is up against Trump-backed football star Herschel Walker.

Walker stands by his anti-abortion views, despite claims from two women that he has paid for them both to terminate a pregnancy.

Republican Senator Lindsay Graham says there hasn’t been another candidate who has been dehumanised and bullied like Walker.

Trump-backed Republican and former TV news anchor Kari Lake is facing off against Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs for governor.

Lake is a Democrat who rose to prominence after fighting back against Trump’s election fraud claims.

In Texas, at the top of the ticket is the state’s current governor, Republican Greg Abbott.

Abbott is running for his third term against Democrat hopeful Beto O’Rourke.

O’Rourke has broken fundraising records against Abbott and has set up a tough challenge.

He wants to see marijuana legalised in the state.

Sport

Australian Football League ditches white uniform for women and girls

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The women’s football league in Australia has made a landmark move to scrap white shorts on field

The AFL has decided to ditch the white on field uniform for women and girls, in a bid to ease their anxiety surrounding periods.

It’s hoping the decision will ease feelings of anxiety for women and girls about their menstrual cycle when playing.

“I’m proud of the position the AFL has taken with this decision and thank our players for their leadership and passion…

Whilst this is a policy change for women and girls in AFL-run competitions, the ripple effect for community sport for women and girls is immense…

We want to lead to remove any barriers that prevent women and girls participating in Australian football.”

Nicole Livingstone- AFL general manager of women’s football
Credit: Traveller.com.au

The bold ban inspired by Wimbledon, means females will now wear coloured shorts.

The AFL received numerous reports of women and girls not wanting to participate in the sport because of worry tied to their period.

Now, they’re breaking down those barriers.

“Australian football has progressed since the introduction of AFLW, and this change of policy showcases the commitment to the integration of women’s football and its unique needs.”

NICOLE LIVINGSTONE- AFL GENERAL MANAGER OF WOMEN’S FOOTBALL

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Saudi Arabia signs Huawei deal during historic visit by President Xi

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Saudi Arabia and China are deepening their ties during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Kingdom

Chinese President Xi Jinping received a lavish welcome as he forged a fresh partnership with King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

The pair signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei Technologies, which covers cloud computing, and the possibility for high-tech infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. has raised concerns over security risks linked to the Chinese company’s technology.

Xi said Beijing sees Riyadh as “an important force in the multipolar world”.

He explained China and the Arabian region will “continue to hold high the banner of non-interference in internal affairs”.

President Xi’s vehicle was escorted to the king’s palace by members of the Saudi Royal Guard.

They were carrying Chinese and Saudi flags, before the two leaders sat down for a banquet.

U.S. National Security spokesperson, John Kirby said it is “not a surprise” that President Xi is travelling abroad, after his recent visit to Indonesia for the G20 Summit.

“We are mindful of the influence that China is trying to grow around the world. The Middle East is certainly one of those regions where they want to deepen their level of influence,” he said.

The two nations also signed 34 historic deals in relation to green energy, information technology, transport, and construction.

It is understood the agreements amount to $30 billion.

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Brittney Griner-Viktor Bout exchange leaves former U.S. Marine in Russia

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Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan left behind by Biden administration during two separate prisoner exchanges with Kremlin

The United States government on Thursday completed a prisoner exchange with Russia after months of negotiations that resulted in the release of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for American women’s basketball athlete Brittney Griner.

The professional athlete was arrested in Russia in February 2022 after airport officials discovered cannabis oil in her vape cartridges.

Meanwhile, Bout is known as the ‘Merchant of Death’ and many critics say he is still a very dangerous man and was too great a prize to give Russia.

Additionally, former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan has been left behind by the Biden administration for a second time. Initially, the Biden administration was working to release both Griner and Whelan for the Bout who has served 11 years of a 25-year conviction.

But, the Kremlin ultimately handed the U.S. the choice of only Griner’s return or no deal at all.

In Russian custody for nearly four years, Whelan was convicted on charges of espionage and spying for the U.S. government. The 52-year-old was sentenced to 16 years in prison and remains imprisoned at a labor camp.

Both Whelan and the U.S. deny the charges.

U.S. President Joe Biden was asked about why Whelan was left behind. He said, “

Whelan’s brother told media outlets he is hopeful the Biden administration will also secure the release of his brother soon.

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