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Sri Lanka’s President flees the country after airport mishap

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Sri Lanka’s president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled the country, following mass protests over the island’s economic crisis

The President had been in hiding since crowds stormed his palace on Saturday.

Earlier, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was blocked from departing Sri Lanka after refusing to join a public queue at the Bandaranaike International Airport in order to have his passport checked by immigration.

His brother, the former Finance Minister, has also left the crisis-hit country.

Rajapaksa is due to formally leave office on Wednesday, after being forced to resign in the wake of months-long protests over the nation’s crippling economic crisis.

Protesters had demanded the president and his prime minister go over the island’s worsening economic crisis.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s younger brother was at first prevented from leaving the country but is now said to be heading to the US.

Sri Lanka defaults

Sri Lanka has defaulted on its debt for the first time in its history.

It comes after a 30-day grace period expired on Wednesday. The nation was forced to come up with 78 million dollars of unpaid debt interest payments.

Sri Lanka is struggling with its worst financial crisis in more than 70 years.

A debt default happens when governments are unable to meet some or all of their debt payments to creditors.

It can damage a country’s reputation with investors, and makes it harder to borrow the money it needs on international markets.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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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World

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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World

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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