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Is the U.S & its allies prepared if Russia invades Ukraine?

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Following high-stakes talks between US President Joe Biden and Russian president Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin says Russian troops at the border of Ukraine threaten “no-one” with Biden and his European allies backing Ukraine’s “territorial integrity”

This of course follows the two leaders speaking via a secure video call for two hours.

The Kremlin has labeled the summit as “frank and professional” and says Putin requested Biden for ‘guarantees’ that NATO will not expand eastwards.

The White House says Biden “voiced the deep concerns of the United States and European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine”.

The administration has made it clear that the US and its allies will respond with both economic and other measures “in the event of military escalation”.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wolpe from the U.S. studies centre reaffirmed that Biden was very clear about the sanctions that America will take if Russia invades Ukraine.

Is it going to be a repeat of the Crimean peninsula takeover in 2014? 

Russia and the US have longstanding differences over Syria, U.S. economic sanctions, and alleged Russian cyber attacks.

“I think this is a different crisis and a different year and a different precedent. Biden is ready to act, what the object of what President Biden is trying to do is to get Russia to de escalate, dial the tensions down,” Biden told tickerNEWS.

Wolpe says United States has been working to build the alliance with European allies this year and Biden is consulting with them closely.

“Their feelings (European allies) on Russia is that Russia should not if Ukraine wants to join NATO, NATO wants to consolidate its position. That’s that is their objective. That’s what they want, they will do it,” Wolpe said.

Wolpe says European allies don’t want Russia to invade “at all” and want to deter it, and there’s two things threatening it.

First, there could be an escalation of military forces in Europe, that would be a really dangerous situation. Wolpe says “Because if there is an invasion of Ukraine, no one wants a wider war. But to deter it, there’s this economic package being developed, which essentially would decouple Russia from the world economy, cut it off.”

“We’re at a moment where Putin has some important decisions to make, do I go forward? Or do I try other ways to increase my influence over Ukraine without going to war?”

Is the object to remove Russia from the world economy and make them pay a very heavy economic price?

Wolpe says you can stop Russia from using the swift system in the banking system, so international transactions can’t be executed. But that also means that where does Russia go?

“Well, Russia can have a stronger alliance with China, and create other problems in other areas of the world, and more problems in Europe, if China also plays its economic cards, with the Belt and Road Initiative and other ties it has in Europe,” Wolpe said.

“So it really is a moment for people to step back and say, Okay, what are the consequences here? And what do we want to achieve? Biden’s object is stability.”

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan says Pres. Biden and Vladimir Putin’s phone conversation on Tuesday was “direct and straightforward”

“I will look you in the eye and tell you as President Biden looked President Putin in the eye and told him today that things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now,”

said National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

“We still do not believe Pres. Putin has made a decision” on whether to invade Ukraine, national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters after Biden-Putin call

“In listening to Jake Sullivan, it was just quite clear that Biden knows exactly what he will do,” Wolpe said on the press breifing.

“If Russia invades Ukraine and the consequences it will have and he’s prepared to do it. Half of deterrence is, is having the other side believe you actually will do it? Well, I believe Biden has been very clear on that.”

What does Russia want?

Wolpe says Putin feels at the end of the Cold War was humiliating for his country, and he wants to rebuild it.

“The control over Belarus, he really is angry that the Baltic States, of course, join NATO. We’ve got Crimea back. There’s a whole thread of nationalism here and pride, which is important, and that is important to any country and its destiny,” Wolpe says.

“So the question really is, can these arrangements be worked out without the resort to war?”

“You know, we talk about a a note normal world post COVID. You have a war over Ukraine and the normal world retreats for a long time to come. So really, all of our welfare is at stake here in this. I wouldn’t call it a crisis yet. In this developing situation, which really poses challenges to how we want this world to be in 2022.”

World

North Korea fires short-range ballistic missile

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The launch continues a provocative streak in weapons testing as a US aircraft carrier visits South Korea

The launch was detected by South Korean and US militaries, who are currently conducting their annual joint military exercises in the region.

The US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is also taking part in the exercises, in a show of force against North Korea’s continued nuclear and missile testing.

North Korea's push to improve the lives of citizens

North Korea’s push to improve the lives of citizens

North Korea has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in recent months, despite international condemnation and UN sanctions.

The latest launch comes just days after North Korea test-fired a new type of anti-aircraft missile, and as the US prepares to deploy its THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea.

The US has also sent a naval strike group to the region in a show of force, and is reportedly considering additional sanctions against North Korea.

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World

Super Typhoon Noru smashes into the Philippines

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Super Typhoon Noru is continuing to strengthen as it approaches the northern Philippines.

The storm is expected to make landfall late Sunday afternoon local time and could bring damaging winds and heavy rains to the region.

Noru is currently a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 km/h).

The typhoon is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the Philippines, which could lead to significant damage.

If you are in the path of Super Typhoon Noru, be sure to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and your property from the storm.

Stay tuned to local news and weather reports for the latest information on the typhoon’s path and expected impacts.

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Tech

Iran cuts internet access over “hijab violation”

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Iranian authorities say they will restrict internet access in the country until calm is restored to the streets

Protests over the death of a young woman in the custody of the morality police continue to rock the Islamic Republic.

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in protest since the death last week of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was apprehended in Tehran and taken to a “re-education center,” apparently for not wearing her hijab properly.

Amini’s death has sparked outrage among Iranian women, who have long been subject to repressive rules mandating their dress and behavior.

In recent years, the government has stepped up its enforcement of these rules, with morality police attacking women for offenses such as wearing loose headscarves or talking to men in public.

The death of Amini, who was reportedly beaten in custody, has galvanized young Iranians who are fed up with the repression they have faced for their entire lives.

In addition to taking to the streets, they are using social media to spread the word about the protests and to call for an end to the government’s oppressive policies.

It remains to be seen whether the current wave of protests will lead to lasting change in Iran. But one thing is clear: the country’s young people are no longer willing to tolerate the status quo.

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