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Amid War, Russia To Hold Referendum In 4 Ukrainian Regions Today – NDTV

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Amid War, Russia To Hold Referendum In 4 Ukrainian Regions Today

Russia will formally annex at least 15 Per cent of Ukrainian terrotory after the results.

London:

 Russia will on Friday begin its plan to annex around 15% of Ukrainian territory via referendums in four regions controlled by Russian forces, a move the West says is a gross violation of international law that significantly escalates the war.

After nearly seven months of war, and a critical battlefield defeat in northeastern Ukraine earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin explicitly backed the referendums after the Russian-controlled regions lined up to ask for swift votes to join Russia.

The self-styled Donetsk (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republics (LPR), which Putin recognised as independent just before the invasion, and Russian-installed administrations in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions will hold votes.

The voting, which the West and Ukraine says is a sham, is due to begin on Friday and will end on Tuesday, with results expected soon afterwards.

Russia will formally annex the areas after the results.

“The Kremlin is organizing a sham referenda to try to annex parts of Ukraine,” U.S. President Joe Biden told the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

“Ukraine has the same rights that belong to every sovereign nation. We will stand in solidarity with Ukraine,” said Biden, who cast the war as part of a global contest between democracy and autocracy.

Ukraine, whose post-Soviet borders Russia recognised under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, says it will never accept Russian control of any of its territory and will fight until the last Russian soldier is ejected.

Putin, Russia’s paramount leader since 1999, said Russia would never abandon those in the regions it controls and whom he said wanted to secede from Kyiv.

He casts the war as both a battle to save Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine from persecution and as a way to foil what he says is a Western plot to destroy Russia. Ukraine denies Russian speakers have been persecuted.

In a direct nuclear warning to the West, Putin said he would defend Russian territory – and these regions of Ukraine will be considered Russian territory by Moscow shortly – with all means at his disposal.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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17 dead in northeast China restaurant fire: Report – India Today

A fire at a restaurant in northeastern China on Wednesday killed 17 people and injured three, according to local authorities.

The blaze broke out at 12:40 pm in an eatery in the city of Changchun, the local government said in a statement posted on the Weibo social media platform.

Firefighters “rushed to the scene” and completed search and rescue work by 3 pm, the statement said.

READ | How strong is Xi Jinping’s position in today’s China?

“The injured have been sent to hospital for treatment while posthumous care for the victims is being carried out,” it added.

Authorities said the cause of the incident is under investigation.

Changchun is an auto manufacturing center and the capital of Jilin province.

— ENDS —

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Nation and world news at a glance – West Hawaii Today

Jan. 6 panel delays hearing
as Hurricane Ian aims at Florida

The House Jan. 6 committee has postponed a hearing scheduled for Wednesday as a hurricane hurtles toward the Florida coast. The committee had planned to hold what was likely to be its final investigative hearing Wednesday afternoon. But lawmakers decided at the last minute to delay it as it became clear that Hurricane Ian was churning on a collision course toward Florida, where it is expected to strengthen into a catastrophic Category 4 storm. The committee had not yet provided a specific agenda for the Wednesday hearing, but Rep. Adam Schiff said over the weekend it would “tell the story about a key element of Donald Trump’s plot to overturn the election.”

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Senate passes spending package
to help avert a government shutdown

The Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to move forward with a temporary spending package needed to keep the federal government running past Friday, drawing closer to averting a shutdown after Democrats dropped an energy proposal that had drawn bipartisan opposition. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the majority leader, had tucked the energy measure into the must-pass bill to fulfill a promise Democratic leaders made privately to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in exchange for Manchin’s vote last month for the party’s major climate, tax and health care law. But the inclusion of the proposal, which would make it easier to build oil, gas, solar and wind infrastructure around the country, had rankled lawmakers in both parties.

Sedition trial of Oath Keepers gets underway

Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, and four other members of the far-right group prepared to present a novel defense as they went on trial Tuesday for seditious conspiracy in the attack on the Capitol last year. They intend to tell the jury that when armed teams of Oath Keepers made plans to rush into Washington from Virginia on Jan. 6, 2021, they believed they would be following legal orders from the president. Lawyers for the five defendants are set to argue that the Oath Keepers were waiting Jan. 6 for President Donald Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, which grants the president wide powers to quell unrest.

Senators push to reform
police’s cellphone tracking tools

Civil rights lawyers and Democratic senators are pushing for legislation that would limit U.S. law enforcement agencies’ ability to buy cellphone tracking tools to follow people’s whereabouts, including back years in time, and sometimes without a search warrant. Concerns about police use of the tool known as “Fog Reveal” raised in an investigation by The Associated Press published earlier this month also surfaced in a Federal Trade Commission hearing three weeks ago. Police agencies have been using the platform to search hundreds of billions of records gathered from 250 million mobile devices, and hoover up people’s geolocation data to assemble so-called “patterns of life,” according to thousands of pages of records about the company.

Meta removes Chinese effort
to influence US elections

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, said on Tuesday that it had discovered and taken down what it described as the first targeted Chinese campaign to interfere in U.S. politics ahead of the midterm elections in November. Unlike the Russian efforts over the past two presidential elections, however, the Chinese campaign appeared limited in scope — and clumsy at times. The fake posts began appearing on Facebook and Instagram, as well as on Twitter, in November 2021. They mangled the English language and failed to attract many followers. Two Meta officials said they could not definitively attribute the campaign to any group or individuals.

Kremlin announces vote,
paves way to annex part of Ukraine

Pro-Moscow officials say that residents in all four occupied areas of Ukraine voted to join Russia. The Kremlin-orchestrated votes have been dismissed by the U.S. and its Western allies as illegitimate. According to Russia-installed election officials, 93% of the ballots case in the Zaporizhzhia region were in support of annexation, as were 87% of ballots in the southern Kherson region and 98% in Luhansk. The preordained outcome sets the stage for a dangerous new phase in Russia’s seven-month war in Ukraine because it is expected to serve as a pretext for Moscow to annex the four areas. That could happen within days.

By wire sources

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Live Heathrow Airport traffic updates today as tunnel to terminals closed due to issue with roof panel – Berkshire Live

Passengers travelling to Heathrow Airport by road face disruption this morning due to a closed tunnel. The tunnel leading to Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 is currently shut due to an ‘issue’ with a roof panel.

Traffic congestion is reported on roads in the area as a result of the closure. Safety checks are being carried out and people are being urged to consider travelling in by rail instead.

A Heathrow Airport spokesperson said: “There is congestion across Heathrow’s road network due to an issue with a panel in the roof of the tunnel leading to Terminals 2 & 3. The tunnel is currently closed while we conduct safety checks. We advise avoiding travel by road and instead use the rail network.

Read More: Crash involving car and cyclist leaves Berkshire A-road shut

“Passengers may also use the free terminal transfer service via Heathrow Express from Terminals 4 & 5. If you are travelling by road, please allow extra time for your journey. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Inrix, the traffic data company, said: “Long delays and queueing traffic due to emergency tunnel repairs on M4 Heathrow Spur Road inbound from main M4 carriageway J4 (Heathrow / Uxbridge) to the Airport. Congestion to Stockley Road back across the M4, queues on Sipson Road south to Heathrow, and both sides on the A4 Bath Road. Travel time is 30 minutes.”

The inbound tunnel is shut, with all traffic using a contraflow through the outbound tunnel.

BerkshireLive will bring you further updates as they become available. Follow our feed below for the latest.

Do you want the latest traffic news from across Berkshire as it comes in? Our traffic and travel Facebook group has the latest information for anyone on the road across the county every day. You can join here for the latest updates on the M4, A34, A329, A404 and other key routes across the entire county and nearby areas. You can also sign up for our free traffic and travel email newsletter here for the latest Berkshire road news straight to your Inbox.

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