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Ukraine remains on edge as it marks independence day

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Ukraine is marking 31 years since it broke free from the Soviet Union, as the war wages into its sixth month

Public gatherings are banned in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv and a curfew remains in place in some cities as the country marks 31 years of independence.

The nation of 41 million people has been in the grips of a waging war against Russian forces for six months.

President Volodymyr Zelensky is warning Russia’s worst may be yet to come, and expects attacks to ramp up this week.

The wartime leader is pushing back against making any territorial concessions to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

“We are fighting against the most terrible threat to our statehood and also at a time when we have achieved the greatest level of national unity,” he said.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in the war as people flee their homes, and leave loved ones behind.

A virtual summit was held on Tuesday with 60 states and international organisations to discuss the situation in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

“In my remarks to the Crimea Platform Summit, I urged the international community to keep raising the costs and pressure on President Putin and his enablers until all Russian troops leave Ukraine,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The cost of war

The war in Ukraine has shaken global markets and shot up the price of basic goods, including grains and fuel.

Corporate giants have also responded with McDonald’s and Nike becoming some of the big companies to depart Russia as a result of its invasion.

The Kremlin maintains the war is a “special military operation” designed to “denazify” Ukraine.

However, western allies have banded together with sanctions against Russian institutions and oligarchs.

“I pay tribute to the brave Ukrainian women and men fighting for their freedom and their country.”

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL

The U.S. has contributed $10.6 billion in assistance to Ukraine, with another $3 billion expected this week.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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TikTok implements stricter guidelines on weight-loss drug promotion

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TikTok is tightening its regulations on influencers who promote weight-loss drugs like Ozempic.

With over 170 million users in the US, the app aims to prevent the spread of potentially harmful content related to rapid weight loss.

Starting in May, TikTok will prohibit influencers from posting “before-and-after” photos and restrict minors from accessing weight-loss content deemed risky. The crackdown extends to any content promoting drastic weight loss methods, aiming to combat the promotion of unrealistic body standards.

However, some influencers, like Dave Knapp and Kim Carlos, criticise the move, arguing it discriminates against those with health conditions. Others fear losing their income as TikTok takes down their content, prompting concerns about the platform’s future amid potential US bans.

As TikTok enforces stricter guidelines, influencers may seek alternative platforms to share weight-loss content. Despite the popularity of drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, the crackdown reflects growing concerns about the impact of such promotions on user health.

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Game on with indie devs celebrated by Nintendo

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Nintendo Switch fans rejoice! The recent Indie World Showcase unveiled 17 new titles coming in 2024.

Including in the rundown is the adorable “Little Kitty, Big City” and explosive platformer “Anton Blast.” In other news, “Stellar Blade” confirms an uncensored release on PlayStation 5, Fallout’s TV adaptation gears up for Season 2, and Keanu Reeves joins the cast of Sonic 3 as Shadow. New releases this week include “Tales of Kenzera: Zau” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants,” while “Fallout 4” gets a next-gen update. With “Stellar Blade” topping the list, gamers have plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks.

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What are the major takeaways from day one of Trump’s trial?

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The first day of Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial that the former president broke the law and corrupted the 2016 election, while his defence lawyer said he committed no crime.

On this episode of Ticker Today – Former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial is officially underway, President Joe Biden makes cannibal claims, TikTok US ban enters the next phase and Gen Z’s are dropping degrees and picking up tools to become blue-collar workers.

Ticker’s Ahron Young and Veronica Dudo discuss.

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