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Why the U.S. is failing to address Russia’s main concerns

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The White House has confirmed Joe Biden will talk with Ukrainian President Zelensky as tensions on the border remain volatile

This comes as the US urges China to use its influence over Russia to discourage an invasion.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki says the virtual meeting between Biden and Zelensky is standard practice and the world shouldn’t expect any significant announcements.

The United States is failing to address Moscow’s primary concerns, but Russia is keeping the door open for further negotiations

The written responses provided to Moscow by Washington don’t address Russia’s fears of an expansion of the NATO military alliance into Ukraine.

Fears of an invasion of Ukraine remain high, with over 100,000 Russian troops stationed at the border, braving the icy conditions.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov says there is “no positive reaction on the main document”… arguing a NATO expansion will threaten the territory of the Russian Federation.

Russia is continuing to deny it is planning an invasion of Ukraine, but America and its Western allies are preparing for any eventuality.

NATO has been increasing its support towards Ukraine, providing increased weapons supplies and military training.

Russia says, constitutes a growing threat on its western flank.

Russia and Ukraine agree to ceasefire

Russia and Ukraine have agreed to an unconditional ceasefire on the eastern border following talks in Paris.

The announcement came after a meeting of the so called Normandy format – a four way conversation between Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France.

President Vladimir Putin has read the written responses from both the US and NATO, but is declining to rush to any immediate conclusions.

Meanwhile, EU Commission President Ursula Vonn Der Leyen says the situation is at crisis point, but diplomacy is still on the table.

World

Ghislaine Maxwell placed on suicide watch

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Former socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been placed on suicide watch, even though her lawyers say she isn’t suicidal

The 60-year-old’s legal team is are seeking to postpone her sentencing for sex trafficking if she remains in isolation.

Maxwell has been denied access to important legal documents and any time to meet with her lawyers.

The former lover of Jeffrey Epstein was convicted for helping her late husband sexually abuse girls.

It’s understood she is on suicide watch without a psychological evaluation.

Prosecutors are asking for a sentence between 30 and 55 years in jail.

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World

Outcry at the Supreme Court after Roe ruling

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Protesters have gathered at the U.S. Supreme Court to voice their opposition to the controversial Roe Versus Wade ruling

President Joe Biden says his administration will fight any attempts by states who ban a pill used for medication abortion.

Hundreds of protesters descended on the U.S. Supreme Court Saturday to denounce the justices’ decision to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade precedent that recognized women’s constitutional right to abortion.

The crowd featured both abortion rights supporters…

ABORTION RIGHTS SUPPORTERS:

“My body my choice.”

…and anti-abortion activists.

ANTI-ABORTION ACTIVIST:

“We are the post-Roe generation.”

Meanwhile, tensions were high at Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic.

The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, nicknamed the “Pink House” because of its bubble gum-colored paint, was named in the Supreme Court case.

The clinic was still operating Saturday morning but is set to close in nine days.

Both supporters of abortion rights and those that want to see them curtailed were looking ahead to what comes next.

COLEMAN BOYD, ANTI-ABORTION ACTIVIST, SAYING:

“We need to work in states like New York, in Colorado, New Mexico, those places that have really liberal abortion laws in California. Now, we do need to be working there.”

LAUREN SPIGNER, ABORTION RIGHTS ACTIVIST, SAYING:

“I think Clarence Thomas made it pretty clear his opinion that this is just the beginning of the rights they want to take away.”

U.S. President Joe Biden said Saturday his administration would look to police how states enforce bans and signaled that the White House will fight attempts by states to ban a pill used for medication abortion.

“A decision is implemented by states. My administration is going to focus on how they administer and whether or not they violate other laws, like deciding not to allow people across state lines to get public health services.”

And when asked if he thought the Supreme Court was broken after the Roe decision and a recent one on gun rights, he had this to say:

“The Supreme Court has made some terrible decisions.”

The court’s ruling is at odds with broader public opinion – a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that about 71% of Americans said the decisions about terminating a pregnancy should be left to a woman and her doctor and not regulated by the government.

Twenty-six percent of respondents polled said abortion should be legal in all cases while 10% said it should be illegal in all cases, with the majority supporting some limits.

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Ukraine Crisis

Russia targets Ukrainian capital of Kyiv during G7

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Russia has targeted the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, as leaders of the G7 meet in Germany

A missile strike left one dead, and six wounded after a residential apartment was hit. It’s the first such strikes on the capital in three weeks.

The city’s Deputy Mayor says four people were admitted to local hospitals, as authorities continue their search and rescue efforts.

It’s believed a 7-year-old girl is among those who are injured in the complex. Meanwhile, a missile funnel has been found in the backyard of a nearby kindergarten.

U-S President Joe Biden says the strikes are barbaric, but declined to comment on whether they were deliberately occurring because of the G7 meeting.

The Group of Seven leaders will ban imports of gold from Russia, the latest in a series of sweeping sanctions against the nation for its war in Ukraine.

Leaders will also discuss rising energy costs and inflation.

President Biden is also pledging 200 billion dollars as part of a global infrastructure package to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Meanwhile, Russia maintains the invasion is a special military operation.

The nation’s Defence Minister has paid a visit to Russian troops and giving medals to soldiers.

President Vladimir Putin says his nation will transfer nuclear-capable missile systems to Belarus in the coming months.

Belarus has been a close ally to Russia. The nation’s President travelled to St Petersburg for a series of meetings at the weekend.

Meanwhile, the G7 says there is one world leader who is missing from their high-stakes talks.

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