News Updates

Lithuania decries “energy blackmail,” calls Moscow’s demand for payment in rubles “meaningless” 

Lithuania’s government said on Saturday that it has halted all purchases of Russian natural gas, making irrelevant President Vladimir Putin’s demand that all “unfriendly states” pay for the fuel in rubles amid heavy sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. “In these circumstances, Russia’s demand to pay for gas in rubles is meaningless, as Lithuania no longer orders Russian gas and

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Ukraine in its “current state” has long been an openly hostile country toward Russia, the Kremlin’s spokesman has said  

Ukraine became an openly hostile country to Russia long before the ongoing conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. “Ukraine is a very difficult country for us. It is in its current state a country hostile towards us,” Peskov told the Belarus-1 TV channel in an exclusive interview aired Saturday. Over the past several years, Kiev has been taking consistent hostile

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has cut its global trade growth forecast for 2022 due to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and its immediate consequences – sanctions on Russia. 

While previously set at 4.7%, the global growth forecast was nearly halved this week to 2.5% due to “the impact of the war and related policies,” the WTO’s director general, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, told the BBC. According to the official, while Russia and Ukraine make up only about 2.5% of global merchandise exports, they “are very, very significant in certain

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Third man charged over alleged plots to import 100kg of meth and 1 tonne of prohibited precursor 

A 39-year-old freight forwarding worker has been charged over his alleged role in a plan to import 100 kilograms of methamphetamine from Canada. He is the third Sydney man charged following a joint Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force investigation into a transnational drug trafficking syndicate. The investigation has also resulted in the seizure of 1 tonne of Methylamine – a

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Mormons Inc: Church accused of multinational tax rort 

The Mormon Church has been accused of engaging in significant tax evasion in Australia, allowing its adherents to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in tax exemptions that are not lawfully available to followers of other religions. Some of its tax activities are run through a shell company, with no paid employees, that could be in breach of Australian tax

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Trump supporters in the US Congress opposed aid to Ukraine 

The wing of the Republican Party of the United States, which supports former President Donald Trump, opposed the provision of assistance to Ukraine. This was reported by the newspaper Politico on April 2 following an “extraordinary” meeting convened by politicians on Thursday. “Using American power to do the dirty work for Europe is a pretty bad idea,” Republican spokesman J.D. Vance said, warning

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Winter booster rollout to start on Monday. An estimated 4.7 million people will be able to get the fourth dose but its expected less than 200,000 of them will be eligible at the start of the rollout.

Older and vulnerable Australians can receive a second COVID-19 booster dose ahead of a predicted surge of winter infections. The groups will include those 65 or older, Indigenous Australians aged at least 50, disability care residents and the immunocompromised. People can have a second booster shot four months after receiving their first. A Senate estimates hearing was told on Friday

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Cleo abductor denies WA police assault 

The man who has admitted abducting four-year-old Cleo Smith from a West Australian campsite will fight a police assault charge. Terence Darrell Kelly, 36, faced Carnarvon Magistrates Court on Friday to answer one charge of assaulting a public officer in November last year. Court records indicate Kelly pleaded not guilty to the charge in an appearance via videolink from custody.

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Liberals’ preselection brawl gone to court

Scott Morrison, Dominic Perrottet and a third Liberal Party official didn’t have the power to preselect three sitting MPs, a NSW court has been told yesterday as the federal election looms. Rank and file members should be making the decisions rather than the prime minister, NSW premier and former federal party president Chris McDiven, argued barrister Scott Robertson on Friday.

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No country will be “respected” unless it “stands on its own two feet,” Imran Khan said 

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has complimented regional rival India for maintaining an “independent foreign policy” amid US and allied pressure to adopt a harsher stance toward Russia. Speaking Friday after accusing Washington of “interference” in Pakistan’s internal affairs, Khan went on to praise New Delhi’s unwillingness to go along with a barrage of sanctions and economic restrictions against Moscow. “They protect their independent

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