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Military presence at the Tajik-Afghan border increases

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Tajik-Afghan border

Counterterrorism drills led by a Russian organisation ended on Saturday after six days of demonstrations

Aggressive tanks paired with loud bangs… these were the scenes at the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan for the past six days. 

In a show of military power, the Russian-led exercise acted as a warning to prevent the Taliban from entering Tajik territory. 

Carried out by the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and backed by multiple former Soviet countries, more than 4,000 troops were present during the exercise that ended on Saturday.

Tanks, artillery and assault aircrafts were seen in support of Tajikistan and the Russian military base nearby.

Secretary General of the CSTO says they “will not leave Tajikistan alone in the face of danger”.

Afghanistan is home to millions of Tajiks, making up the second largest ethnic group in the country.

According to Russian media reports, the Taliban has allied with an ethnic Tajik militant group that seeks to overthrow Tajikistan’s president.

For now, the relationship between the two countries remains strained.

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AUKUS meetings wrap up as Australia eyes off nuclear submarines

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Australia's defence minister

The first AUKUS meetings wrap up in Washington as Australia eyes off nuclear submarines

The first round of AUKUS meetings have wrapped up, with U.S. Defence Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin praising the talks as an “historic endeavour”.

Following an agreement made in Washington, Australia will have nuclear-powered submarines at the “earliest possible date”.

Defence Secretary Austin joined Australia’s Richard Marles and the UK’s Ben Wallace at the Pentagon. The leaders discussed key challenges and opportunities confronting the world right now.

High on the agenda was the contentious Indo-Pacific region, in response to “ongoing Chinese aggression”.

The meeting comes as Australia looks to move away from its conventional Collins-class subs and invest in nuclear-powered vessels.

The U.S. reaffirming its commitment to ensure its pacific partner will acquire this capability at the earliest possible date.

Australia’s Deputy PM and Defence Minister Richard Marles says the submarines are “central” to advancing the military capabilities of the alliance.

“There is an enormous sense of shared mission and momentum across all three countries, in having Australia acquire a nuclear powered submarine,” Marles said.

“The significance of that step shouldn’t be lost on people. There’s only been one occasion where a country has shared that capability with another. That was the United States with the United Kingdom a long time ago.”

But while we’ve heard the meetings went well, leaders are remaining tight-lipped about the exact details and any deals that have been made.

AUKUS has set a target of March 2023 to figure out a plan for Australia to acquire the nuclear subs.

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Arrests made in Germany over a suspicious plan

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Well arrests have been made in Germany over suspicious activity to overthrow the nation’s government.

Twenty-five people have been arrested as part of the raids across the country.

The group reportedly includes far-right and ex-military figures.

It’s understood they were planning to storm the nation’s parliament and take over control.

Suspects include racists and conspiracy theorists, and Q-Anon believers.

Three thousand officers took part in the sting involving 150 operations in 11 of Germany’s 16 states.

Arrests were also made in Italy and Austria.

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Twist in trial over the crash of a Rio to Paris flight in 2009

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There’s been an unusual development in the trial of Airbus and Air France over the crash of a Rio to Paris flight in 2009

Ticker’s Europe Correspondent Ryan Thompson has more from Paris

After weeks in court, prosecutors have decided NOT to ask for a conviction of the two French companies – even as they acknowledge that’s not what victims families would want.  

French prosecutors said they were unable to prove the companies were guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Their guilt “appears to us to be impossible to prove. We know that this view will most likely be difficult to hear for the civil plaintiffs,” prosecutors said.

Prosecutors initially dropped charges against the companies in 2019. This sparked anger in families of the victims.

A Paris appeals court overturned this decision in 2021 and ordered the trial to go ahead. 

“We have a prosecutor who is supposed to defend the people who in the end is defending the multinational Airbus,” Daniele Lamy, the head of victims’ association Entraide et Solidarite AF447, told reporters.

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