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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.

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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