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What is the Russian Wagner group of mercenaries?

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Is Russia using mercenaries in Ukraine? A recent report from the British military intelligence has revealed that Russia has used the private military contractor called the Wagner group to reinforce its frontline forces in the Ukraine war

According to reports, Wagner has made advances in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.

And a recent revelation from foreign policy Magazine says:

Wagner may get involved in Burkina Faso next as a military coup in January has left the country vulnerable.

And its fighters are already present in neighbouring Mali which means that it is very possible.

For some, Russia is simply using Wagner to secure access to ports and natural resources.

Other analysts say Russia is trying to capitalise on the rising anti-French sentiment in the Sahel.

In March. There were protests against French Military presence in a number of countries including in Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso.

France has been withdrawing its military presence in the region and now mainly operates out of Niger and Chad.

The Wagner Group has been called “Putin’s shadow army,” although the Kremlin has denied responsibility for any knowledge of their activities.

And The U.S. government has called Wagner a Proxy Force of Russia’s defense ministry.

Alongside their mercenary work, the group has also been accused of spreading disinformation.

But using mercenaries is not new.

Another controversial group is the American Private Milirtary contractor: Blackwater.

Which was led by the notorious Eric Prince.

Blackwater made billions of dollars during U.S.led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan before renaming itself.

The Intercept has also reported that Erik Prince has provided military services to Wagner in at least two African conflicts citing a report from “three people with knowledge of the efforts”.

Recently the European Union imposed sanctions on the Wagner group.

Experts say the war in Ukraine has forced the Kremlin to focus on Donbas, and less on Africa.

Small groups of Wagner fighters remain active in the Sahel, but more importantly; they remain influential.

World

Judge sides with Trump in Mar-a-Lago investigation

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A United States Federal Judge has sided with former President Donald Trump amid the ongoing Mar-a-Lago investigation

In a move that will likely come as a relief to Donald Trump, a federal judge has ruled that the former president does not have to provide a sworn declaration regarding claims the FBI “planted” evidence in his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Previously, Trump had been required to provide the declaration as part of the review process for the investigation.

But Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the Mar-a-Lago investigation, has now pushed back several key deadlines, extending the final date of completion from November to December.

“There shall be no separate requirement on Plaintiff at this stage, prior to the review of any of the Seized Materials, to lodge ex ante final objections to the accuracy of Defendant’s Inventory, its descriptions, or its contents.”

Judge Aileen cannon
Judge Aileen Cannon & Donald Trump

This means that Trump will not have to confirm, under oath, his recent claims the FBI manufactured evidence against him

These are assertions which could be used against him if he is charged with any crimes.

Trump’s lawyers had argued that the president should not be required to provide a declaration, and it seems Judge Cannon has sided with them.

For now, Trump will not have to put his claims on the record.

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World

Ian carves path of utter destruction

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After devastating Florida, Hurricane Ian is headed for Carolinas, Georgia

A grim picture of Hurricane Ian’s horrific wreckage emerged Thursday, as millions of people in Florida faced destroyed homes, completely flooded streets and power outages.

The storm’s power turned out to be worse than many had predicted.

Unfortunately, families who did not evacuate have been left stranded as rising water tore through their homes.

So far, hundreds have been rescued from floodwaters, and emergency crews are still struggling to reach some of the most devastated areas.

According to the National Hurricane Center, a storm surge of 12-18 feet hit as destructive waves struck the coast.

Officials say the hurricane knocked out power to more than 2.6 million customers, mainly in southwest and central Florida.

Meanwhile, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) says that the next 72 hours will certainly be the most critical when it comes to rescue missions.

President Biden said there were ‘early reports of what may be substantial loss of life’ saying, that the numbers are still unclear but there are early reports of fatalities.

The President added, “water rescue is critical—Coast Guard deployed 16 rescue helicopter, six fixed wing aircraft and 18-rescue boats and crews. That’s just one element of the many federal search and rescue teams that were pre-staged in Florida.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis detailed the state’s “monumental effort” to help aid recovery and eventually rebuild.

“Those were really difficult images to see but we’re committed to restoring the infrastructure as needed. That is not going to be an overnight task. That is going to require a lot of love and care—it’s going to require a lot of resources, but we’re going to do it because we understand how important it is.”

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Climate Change

Hurricane Ian could be Florida’s deadliest storm

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Hurricane Ian could be Florida’s deadliest storm as it continues north towards South Carolina

U.S. President Joe Biden says Hurricane Ian could be the deadliest storm in the region’s history, with early reports suggesting substantial loss of life.

Biden spoke at an afternoon briefing at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema).

Ian made landfall on Wednesday local time near the city of Fort Myers. It has led to severe flooding, high winds and storm surges.

Several areas remain submerged, and more than 2.5 million homes are without power.

Many residents are trapped in their homes and unable to escape. Search and rescue teams are working around the clock to provide assistance where they can.

5,000 Florida National Guard troops and 2,000 Guardsman from surrounding states have been deployed.

Eight teams with 800 members are carrying out search and rescue operations.

More than 200 public shelters have now been opened, housing around 34,000 people.

The National Hurricane Centre has downgraded Ian to a tropical storm for now but warns it will likely become a hurricane again later.

The entire coast of South Carolina is just the latest region to be placed on high alert as the storm continues north on its path of destruction.

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