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Sweden and Finland soon to find out about NATO alliance application

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Turkey has been the nation that has stalled the application

For more than a month, Sweden and Finland have put their NATO applications “on ice”.

This was because of a protest in January pushed Turkey to suspend negotiations – and even suggest Sweden may never join the alliance.

All 30 NATO allies need to approve a new member.

But Finland and Sweden have been waiting for nearly a year now, after dropping a policy of military non-alignment last Spring — in the wake of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.

This week will start with Hungary’s parliament giving its final decision on whether to allow them into the alliance.

They don’t hold the same hardline as Turkey, but they’ve been skeptical of new members in the alliance. And they’re the second to last to ratify.

Of course, Budapest has historically had a friendly relationship with Moscow.

Sweden, Finland, AND Turkey will resume talks later this week, getting back to the negotiation table after several weeks, potentially with some progress.

Turkey says they could be favourable to Finland’s membership — but at this stage, Stockholm has not satisfied the conditions they want to see.

And separately, Ukraine could finally join NATO in the “long term” according to the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The WHO suggested that there would be a place in the alliance, but not until after the invasion ended.

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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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