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Russia moves to Donbas after “ineffective efforts” thus far



After two months of battle with Ukraine, Russia is shifting their tactics to the Donbas region

Senior fellow at the National Security Institute, Lester Munson, explains that Russia was “effectively defeated” by Ukraine.

After a series of unsuccessful attacks across Ukraine’s North, Russia has been forced to re-strategise.

Vladimir Putin is recalibrating his mission to focus on Donbas, the South-East region of Ukraine.

Munson explains that Russia has been present in the Donbas since 2014.

Due to the strong history in the region, both Russians and Ukrainians are familiar with the territory.

Russian troops and pro-Russian rebels are eager to capture the strategically important city of Mariupol. (Reuters: Alexander Ermochenko)

“New weapons have been provided to Ukraine… to provide them with artillery that will be more effective,” Munson says.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said he is not willing to trade land for peace, so Munson believes it is unlikely he will compromise with the Russians.

There has also been increased willingness to support Ukraine by military alliance NATO.

Various members of NATO intend on demonstrating support by providing weapons and financial assistance.

“We’ve also seen that there are possibly two new members of NATO… Sweden and Finland have indicated that they are very interested in joining the alliance,” Munson says.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced many European countries to reevaluate their defence strategies.

“Europe is rearming, even the Germans who have been reluctant to increase their defence spending are talking about a massive increase in spending because of the invasion.”

The largest potential threat that Putin has made to Europe is his claim to utilise nuclear weapons.

“It is almost certainly a bluff, but because the stakes are so high, it must be taken seriously,” he says.

If Russia moves towards nuclear weapons, Munson believes that there is a greater likelihood of US soldiers entering Ukraine.

Attacks on Ukraine by Russia continue / Image: File

Recently the US Congress passed a $13 billion dollar assistance package for Ukraine

“The Biden administration has been dolling that out over several days, but it is not going to last forever.”

“Ukraine is going to need more military and financial assistance,” he said.

President Zelensky is currently operating at a $5 billion dollar a month deficit which the West will have to fund in the future.

“For now, Congress is going to have to step up to the plate and spend more money to help Ukraine,”

Russia’s decision to recruit armed forces from Syria demonstrates their desperation, Munson says.

“It is not the move of strong power.”

“This has been a massive failure for Vladimir Putin so far, but that doesn’t mean he is going to stop. He will become more and more desperate.”

Amanda Gunn contributed to this report.

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BREAKING: Shots ring out at Trump rally



Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after loud noises rang through the crowd.

Trump was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers when bangs started ringing through the crowd. Trump could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his neck. There appeared to be blood on his face.

He quickly ducked behind the riser as agents from his protective detail rushed the stage and screams rang out from the crowd. The bangs continued as agents tended to him on stage.

His motorcade has left the venue.

In a statement, Trump says he is “fine” and says he is being checked at a medical facility.

Donald Trump was safe, the U.S. Secret Service and his campaign said on Saturday after multiple shots rang out at a rally by the Republican presidential candidate in Pennsylvania as video showed Trump grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.
The former president had just started his speech when gunshots erupted and Trump and other rally attendees hit the deck. Secret Service agents swarmed around him and live video showed blood on the right side of Trump’s face and ear.
Trump repeatedly raised his fist in the air, with an American flag visible behind him, as security ushered him away.
“The Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former president is safe,” a spokesperson for the agency said on X after what it called an incident.
“This is now an active Secret Service investigation and further information will be released when available.”

A map of the site, showing where the alleged gunman was situated compared to Donald Trump.

CNN reported that Trump was injured, but gave no other details. It was not clear how or what injuries he may have sustained.

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NASA astronauts phone home, confident Boeing’s Starliner will return to Earth safely



Stranded NASA astronauts express confidence in Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, assuring its capability to safely transport them back to Earth from the International Space Station.

The astronauts, over a video call to NASA, highlighted Starliner’s enhanced safety features and testing protocols as reassuring factors for their safe return.

“I have a real good feeling in my heart that this spacecraft will bring us home, no problem…”, said Sunita “Suni” Williams, one of the stranded NASA astronauts.

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Franchising vs. Independent: key differences to choosing the right SMB model



With latest Australian Federal budget, many SMB’s are weighing their options when selecting a suitable business model.

Franchising provides brand recognition, operational support, and economies of scale but involves ongoing fees.

Independent businesses offer full control and profit retention but face higher costs and regulatory challenges.

For risk and reward, the franchising model reduces risk through established practices and support but involves ongoing fees and profit-sharing with the franchisor.

On the alternative, independent businesses retain full control of profits but face higher risks and responsibilities in managing the business.

Sonia Shwabsky, CEO at Kwik Kopy Australia, joins to share her key insights on SMB’s. #featured

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