Main article: Mariupol situation remains desperate
Good Wednesday morning from me, Warren Murray.
The US Senate passed a unanimous resolution condemning Vladimir Putin as a war criminal, a rare show of unity in the deeply divided congress, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the Russian side sounded “more realistic” in the negotiations to end the war. was. The talks are scheduled to resume via video link today. Earlier, Zelenskiy acknowledged that Ukraine would not become a NATO member, in a significant concession.
As the war approaches its third week, heavy bombardment of Ukrainian cities continues. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that “the worst situation remains in the Mariupol area, where the opponent tries to blockade the city on the eastern and western outskirts of the city.” There have been reports of Russian troops taking over a hospital in Mariupol and taking some 500 people hostage. The leaders of three European Union countries — Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia — met Zelenskiy in kyiv on Tuesday, arriving by train in a bold show of support amid danger.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told the Ukrainians: “Europe is with you… The main purpose of our visit and the main message of our mission is to tell our Ukrainian friends that they are not alone.” The leader of Poland’s ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said an international peacekeeping mission should be sent to operate in Ukraine. Joe Biden has signed $13.6 billion in US aid and Zelenskiy is addressing the US Congress today. Meanwhile, NATO commanders are meeting in Brussels, where they are expected to draw up plans for new ways to deter Russia, including more troops and missile defenses in Eastern Europe. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov is expected to advocate for more weapons from individual NATO countries. Stay up to date with more developments on our live blog.
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Referee End – Silicon Valley executives will no longer be the “ultimate arbiters” of online discourse, according to the culture secretary. Nadine Dorries said “unelected” tech leaders had become some of the most powerful people in the world due to a lack of strong regulation, which would change under the revised online security bill due to be published on Thursday. It requires platforms like Facebook, Twitter and TikTok to prevent the proliferation of illegal content like child sexual abuse and terrorist material; and forces the biggest tech firms to protect adults from legal but harmful content, like cyberbullying. Social media platforms face heavy fines for violations. There are protections for journalistic content and content of “democratic importance.” Dorries said, “We would never pursue legislation that threatens free speech… nor can we maintain the current status quo, where a handful of West Coast executives are the ultimate arbiters of online discourse.”
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catch up during the week
> Hopes are high that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, dual British-Iranian nationals, can be released and allowed to return to London within days under a deal in which the UK agrees to pay a £400 million in debt and freeing an Iranian prisoner.
> Few teachers are aware that equality legislation applies to their school’s hair policies, despite high-profile court cases involving black students who have been penalized or excluded for their hairstyles, according to a poll.
> The Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) has called for the surveillance of a soil analysis kit with radioactive material stolen from a van in the Community of Madrid.
> New Zealand is reopening its borders. From April 13, vaccinated people from Australia without isolation will be allowed to enter; followed on May 2 by vaccinated people from other visa-exempt countries, including the US, UK, Germany, Canada, Japan and Singapore.
> The UK’s most prestigious children’s book award, the Carnegie Medal, and its sister illustration award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, highlight books that can help young readers. Here is the list of this year’s finalists.
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‘Truly unfortunate’ – A 15-year-old black girl was stripped naked by police at school in a procedure that involved the exposure of private body parts, according to an official investigation that found racism likely influenced the officers’ actions. The boy is now in therapy and is self-harming, according to family statements. Details of her treatment emerged in a review launched by Hackney council after the incident in December 2020. Teachers called police and told the review they believed she smelled strongly of cannabis and suspected she was carrying drugs. None were found during the subsequent search. The Metropolitan Police have apologized for what a senior officer described as “truly disgraceful” treatment. A separate report from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is nearing completion.
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grave find Archaeologists have discovered several tombs and a lead sarcophagus likely dating to the 14th century at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris as reconstruction continues after the devastating 2019 fire. The coffin is believed to have been made for a high-ranking dignitary in the 16th century. XIII, the century after the construction of the cathedral.
The team used a mini endoscopic camera to look inside: “You can glimpse pieces of cloth, hair and a pillow of leaves on top of the head, a well-known phenomenon when religious leaders are buried,” said Christophe Besnier, the chief archaeologist. “The fact that these plant elements are still inside means that the body is in a very good state of preservation.”
Today in Focus podcast: Abramovich’s long fall from grace
When Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, he transformed the club’s fortunes and ushered in a new era of billionaire ownership in the Premier League. But as David Conn explains, the problems that led to the government imposing sanctions on him last week have been on display for years.
Lunchtime reading: ‘By 10 I knew all about nuclear explosions’
From CND marches to books, movies, and music, fear of the bomb was everywhere in the 1980s. Now, for many, the war in Ukraine has brought that sense of dread back. By Zoé Williams.
A reinvigorated England set 135 to beat India and secure their first Women’s World Cup victory in New Zealand. Ralf Rangnick said the referee’s failure to award a free kick in the build-up to Atletico Madrid’s winning goal was decisive as Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League round of 16 in a match which shed light on the status of the team too run. Chelsea withdrew a request for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors after causing exasperation and disbelief in the sport and Downing Street with its desperate attempt to gain permission to sell tickets.
The roar of 70,000 horse racing fans was a welcome sound on the first day of a Cheltenham Festival capped off by Honeysuckle’s repeat victory in the Champion Hurdle. England have been preparing for Saturday’s final Six Nations game, against France, perfecting their tackling to avoid another nightmarish red card scenario in Paris. Harriet Dart’s surprise advance into the second week of the BNP Paribas Open came to an end in the fourth round in Indian Wells with a tough loss against Madison Keys. And Lancashire fast bowler Saqib Mahmood will make a much-anticipated debut for England when the second Test begins against the West Indies on Wednesday.
The US Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates today for the first time since 2018, adding a quarter percentage point in line with actions by peers including the Bank of England to fight inflation, the impact of the war in Ukraine and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Asian stock markets have risen today in anticipation of the Fed’s decision. A rebound can also be expected in the FTSE, while the British pound is worth $1,304 and €1,190 at time of writing.
from today guardians the print edition heads with “NATO Award of Ukraine as Air Raid Bombing Capital” – the cover image space goes to the hope that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is about to be released. the I has “Putin resorts to Plan C,” saying the Russian ruler is about to wage a “war of attrition” with long-range bombing of cities and infrastructure, and expand the war to western Ukraine.
“Zelenskiy – we can’t join NATO” – that’s the Times while the daily express calls Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s comments a “ray of hope for peace.” the Telegraph he takes a semantic step further, judging Zelenskiy for having accepted that Ukraine can “never” join NATO. “A city of fear and defiance” – the daily mail offers a report from kyiv.
the financial times says “The West increases pressure on Moscow with moves against the oligarchs and the military.” the subway sports a colorful phrase regarding the mounting sanctions against Abramovich and his ilk: “Oli lolly crackdown… You’re not shining anymore.” And Woody Johnson, the former US ambassador to the UK, is making a £2bn “attack” for Chelsea, according to the Sun.
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