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World first climate ruling in Australia

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A coal mine.

A world first climate ruling has found Australia’s Environment Minister has a duty of care to protect young people from climate change.

The Federal Court found Susan Ley should protect young people from the future harms caused by a changing climate.

But Justice Mordecai Bromberg did not grant an injunction, as he was satisfied the minister would not break her duty of care.

Australia’s Minister for the Environment, Susan Ley.

Eight teenagers and a nun in her eighties brought the case forward to prevent Minister Ley from approving a proposed coalmine in the state of New South Wales.

David Barnden is the lawyer who represented the children. He said the climate ruling was an “amazing decision”, which could create a series of potentially significant consequences.

Proposed coalmine at the centre of court case

But the company in charge of the coalmine, Whitehaven Coal, saw the judgement as a victory. “Our consistent position has been that this legal claim was without merit,” a spokesperson said.

Whitehaven Coal said there is strong demand for the proposed coalmine’s products.

“The company sees a continuing role for high quality coal in contributing to global CO2 emissions reduction efforts while simultaneously supporting economic development in our near region. There is strong market demand for the high quality product of the type Vickery will produce.”

Whitehaven Coal

The coalmine will create around 500 jobs. Additionally, around 450 jobs will be created once it is operational. The mine received approval from the state’s Independent Planning Commission in August last year.

The world first climate ruling was a significant step, according to Mr Barnden. He believes it is especially significant in a common law country like Australia.

Climate change was hot on the agenda at last month’s Federal Budget. Greens Leader Adam Bandt described the Federal Government’s environment policy as only good for “the billionaires and big corporations”.

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.

Ukraine Crisis

Zelensky’s hometown in Russian crosshairs

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Ukraine said on Wednesday that Russia might be building a strike force to target Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s hometown

Ukraine has warned that Moscow could be preparing new offensive operations in southern Ukraine.

Russia occupies broad stretches of Ukrainian territory in the south of the country,

Much of which Russia captured early on in the war after it launched its February 24 invasion.

Ukraine has also said that Russia has begun to assemble a military strike force – and may be aiming for Kryvyi Rih – the hometown of the Ukrainian president.

“It’s also quite likely that the enemy is preparing a hostile counter-offensive with the subsequent plan of getting to the administrative boundary of Kherson region”

Ukraine southern military command

However, Ukraine has also said it was to mount a counter-offensive to regions of Ukraine that Russia currently holds.

Kryvyi Rih is a steel-producing town around 50km (30 miles) from the southern frontline of the war.

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Ukraine Crisis

Grain vessel allowed to leave Ukraine waters

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A cargo vessel carrying grain for export has been permitted to leave Ukrainian waters via the Black Sea in a rare Russia-Ukraine agreement

The vessel, named “Razoni” under a Sierra-Leone registration left the port of Odesa bound for Lebanon, carrying 26,000 tonnes of grain on board.

It’s the first cargo vessel that’s been permitted to carry cargo on the Black Sea following an export agreement between Ukraine and Russia that was brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.

Russia and Ukraine account for a third of the world’s global wheat supply between them.

But Russian blockades of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast as well as the ongoing war have meant exports have plummeted – leading many nations to worry over interrupted food supplies.

Crew aboard the vessel spoke of their concerns about sea mines.


“To be honest, I am scared from the fact that there are naval mines. This is the only thing that I fear during this trip, as for the other things, we are used to them as sailors.”

Abdullah jendi, junior engineer aboard razoni

But they also spoke of their joy at being allowed to sail through.
Junior engineer Abdullah Jendi said it was a great feeling.

“Everyone on the ship was very happy,” he said. “I can say that it was the best feeling we have had in 2022.”

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Ukraine Crisis

Russia cuts down European gas supply

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Russia cuts gas capacity to Europe to a fifth of normal supplies, sending prices soaring and EU nations agreeing to voluntary rationing

Russia has cut down supplies of gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to a fifth of its usual capacity.

Gazprom, Russia’s state run energy and gas firm, has blamed the current reduction on a turbine that was undergoing repairs in Canada.

But the German government has said there’s no technical reason for the current supplies to be limited.

It comes as the European Union member states agreed to voluntary rationing of gas supplies – aiming for a 15 per cent reduction in gas usage between August and March next year.

But the agreements have been messy, with many exemptions being granted for several EU nations where a 15 per cent reduction is not feasible.

Moscow says that the recent spike in gas prices is down to Western sanctions, and that it’s not responsible for the price hike – insisting it is a reliable business partner when it comes to gas.

But critics of Moscow say that it’s using blackmail, holding supplies of gas hostage as a weapon of war.

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