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PENTAGON: China remains greatest security challenge for the U.S. despite Russia’s war

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Vladimir Putin accuses the West of playing a “dangerous and dirty game” and seeking to escalate the war in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at length on Thursday about the war in Ukraine in his speech to a Moscow-based thinktank.

He accused the West of playing a “dangerous and dirty game” and seeking to escalate the war in Ukraine—adding that the West is blinded by colonialism.

In a long ramble, Putin railed against “arrogant” Western leaders who he said were set on imposing their values on the rest of the world—but, said that Russia does not consider itself an enemy of the West.

Meanwhile, on the same day, back in Washington D.C. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the Pentagon that China remains the greatest security challenge for the United States despite Russia’s war in Ukraine.

China “is the only competitor out there with both the intent to reshape the international order, and increasingly the power to do so,” Austin said.

According to a new Pentagon defense strategy, the threat from Beijing will determine how the U.S. military is equipped and shaped for the future.

While conflict with China “is neither inevitable nor desirable,” the document also describes an effort to prevent Beijing’s “dominance of key regions” — which is believed to be a reference describing China’s aggressive military buildup in the South China Sea as well as its continued desire for Taiwan.

The 80-page, unclassified report also warns that the People’s Republic of China is working in the Indo-Pacific to undermine American alliances while harnessing its ever-expanding military to intimidate and threaten regional neighbors.

Additionally, the report notes Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine saying that Moscow is a serious threat to the U.S. and its allies, sue to nuclear weapons, long-range missiles, and cyber operations.

Tying both geopolitical threats together—the document warns that is China and Russia continue to grow as partners, they are posing “more dangerous challenges to safety and security at home, even as terrorist threats persist.”

Veronica Dudo is the U.S. Correspondent for Ticker News covering America’s biggest headlines. As an Emmy® Award nominated global journalist, Veronica has traveled across the country and around the world reporting on historical events that connect all citizens. Lauded as an award-winning international journalist, Veronica has executed stellar news coverage for NBC News, CBS News, The Hill, ME-TV Network and AOL. Her stories have highlighted a plethora of topics ranging from breaking news and politics to economic affairs across the USA, European Union, and Asia; cultural affairs; globalization; governance; education; and sustainability.

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Boston Dynamics’ electric marvel or robot contortionist?

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Boston Dynamics has recently unveiled its latest creation, the electric Atlas robot, boasting enhanced agility and strength.

However, with its uncanny ability to contort and rise from the ground with an almost eerie grace, one might wonder if we’re witnessing the birth of the world’s first robot contortionist.

As this technological marvel flaunts its capabilities, one can’t help but ponder if we’re on the brink of a future where household chores will be effortlessly handled by robots moving like a fusion of ballet dancers and horror movie monsters.

With its cadaver-like movements and illuminated head, it’s hard not to speculate whether Atlas is destined to revolutionise robotics or simply rehearsing for a techno-horror rendition of The Nutcracker. As Boston Dynamics continues to push the boundaries of robotics, the line between science fiction and reality becomes increasingly blurred.

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The Coffee confusion causing health concerns

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As the morning sun peeks through the curtains, many reach for that familiar brew, kickstarting their day with a comforting cup of coffee.

It’s a ritual ingrained in cultures worldwide, offering a jolt of energy to combat the grogginess of dawn.

But when is the optimal time for that caffeine fix? According to registered dietitian Anthony DiMarino, RD, LD, the answer isn’t crystal clear.

Some experts suggest delaying that first sip until mid-morning or later. However, DiMarino reassures coffee lovers that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this dilemma.

Meanwhile, the science behind coffee production unveils fascinating insights into its instant variant. Whether produced through freeze-drying or spray-drying methods, instant coffee offers convenience without sacrificing flavor.

Yet, beyond convenience, recent studies delve deeper into coffee’s impact on our bodies. Research exploring the acute effects of decaffeinated versus caffeinated coffee reveals intriguing findings on reaction time, mood, and skeletal muscle strength.

Moreover, investigations into the gut microbiome shed light on coffee’s influence on liver cirrhosis patients. A study analyzing the duodenal microbiome in this population found correlations between coffee consumption and microbial richness and evenness.

So, as you sip your coffee and ponder the day ahead, consider not just the flavour in your cup but also the subtle impacts it may have on your body and mind.

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Laughing in limbo Canadian Just for Laughs cancelled

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The renowned Montreal-based Just for Laughs comedy festival, one of the world’s largest international comedy events, will not grace the calendar in 2024.

The Canadian company overseeing the festival announced its cancellation this year, citing efforts to steer clear of bankruptcy. Having marked its 40th anniversary in 2023, Just For Laughs has long been a beloved fixture on the city’s cultural landscape.

With its absence raising questions about which event will inherit the title of the biggest comedy festival, speculation arises whether Melbourne will seize the mantle, given its burgeoning comedy scene and the success of its own Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

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