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Ukraine navigates financing war without $30bn foreign aid



Ukraine is grappling with a pressing financial dilemma.

Despite promises of substantial financial and military aid from its primary backers, the United States and the European Union, these commitments have been cast into uncertainty due to internal disagreements in Washington and Brussels.

While political leaders maintain that these aid packages will eventually be approved, the timing is of utmost importance for Ukraine.

The country is confronted with a financial shortfall of over $40 billion this year, only slightly less than the gap observed in 2023.

Approximately $30 billion of this deficit was anticipated to be covered by funding from the U.S. and the EU.

This crucial funding is indispensable for sustaining the government, financing salaries, pensions, and subsidies for the population.

Efforts have been made to address the situation, including the introduction of a windfall tax on banks, reallocation of certain tax revenues, and an increase in domestic borrowing, which is projected to cover budgetary expenditures until February, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance.

Urgency for additional funding

However, these measures are considered insufficient, and the sense of urgency for additional funding is widely shared among Ukraine’s partners.

If foreign aid does not arrive promptly, the government may be compelled to take drastic measures to conserve cash.

Such measures could include delaying salary payments or increasing borrowing from domestic banks and investors.

Ultimately, Ukraine may be pushed into the perilous strategy of printing more money, a path that has led to economic crises in countries like Venezuela.

Ongoing conflict

Ukraine’s financial stability is closely linked to its ability to continue fighting the ongoing conflict.

Russia, with its significantly larger economy, initially felt the pinch of Western sanctions but subsequently rebounded by finding new oil buyers and prioritizing military production.

In contrast, Ukraine’s struggle to maintain economic stability poses a significant challenge when combating a more substantial adversary.

The concerns over Ukraine’s financial stability have had a detrimental effect on its national currency, the hryvnia.

The central bank’s efforts to stabilize the currency have resulted in a net expenditure of $3.6 billion in December, marking the most substantial monthly intervention since the early stages of the war.

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.

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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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