Hello and good morning.
Russia has resorted to “nuclear terror”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said after Russian bombing sparked fires at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
Fires burned for hours at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant overnight after shelling by Russian forces sparked widespread concern over the safety of Ukraine’s atomic infrastructure.
The reactors are safe and the fire was extinguished at 6:20 a.m. local time. But the incident underscored the dangers for a nuclear power plant amid the conflict. The Russian army now controls the site.
“Europe must wake up now,” said Zelenskiy. “No country other than Russia has ever fired on nuclear power plants…This is the first time in our history. In the history of mankind. The terrorist state is now resorting to nuclear terror.
What’s the situation with radiation? The International Atomic Energy Agency said shortly before 4 a.m. Ukrainian time that it had been informed by Ukraine’s nuclear regulator that there was no change in radiation levels. at the central.
How have world leaders reacted? President Joe Biden called Zelenskiy at 3:40 a.m. Kyiv time, urging Russia to “cease military activities in the area and allow firefighters and emergency responders access to the site.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it “reckless” and echoed calls for a ceasefire.
What is Putin thinking? The “worse is yet to come”, France said yesterday, after Russia’s Vladimir Putin and France’s Emmanuel Macron spoke for 90 minutes – as Putin said Kiev’s “refusal to accept Russia’s terms “means that he will continue to pursue his war in Ukraine.
What about the talks? Ukraine and Russia yesterday agreed to temporary local ceasefires to allow the evacuation of civilians as well as the delivery of aid through safe corridors. Zelenskiy asked Putin for face-to-face talks.
‘They tricked us’: Demoralized Russian soldiers tell of their anger at being ‘cheated’ in the war
Eight days after Vladimir Putin’s invasion, it is clear that a significant number of his military are demoralized and unwilling to fight, reports Luke Harding from Lviv. Some surrendered. Others abandoned their vehicles and walked back towards the Russian border, dragging their weapons and bags, videos suggest. These episodes do not mean that the Kremlin will fail in its attempts to conquer Ukraine, as its tactics shift to brutal shelling of civilian targets.
Low morale among the invading troops could be one reason why Russia’s blitzkrieg plan to overwhelm Ukraine does not appear to have progressed at the speed Putin would have liked.
“Frankly, they deceived us,” a Russian officer says in a video, referring to his military superiors sitting in Moscow. “Everything we were told was a fake.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine has announced that it will issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to fund its armed forces, as cryptocurrency becomes an increasingly popular way to support the government in Kyiv.
What’s going on in Chernihiv? Russian forces killed at least 33 civilians in a single airstrike in a residential area yesterday, Ukrainian forces said. The city was bombed, alongside Kharkiv.
What’s going on in Kyiv? Ukraine retains control. A US defense official has suggested the Russian advance appears to have “stalled”, but there are also reports that around 15,000 troops attached to a huge column of nearby Russian military vehicles may be huddled together, waiting to attack.
What’s going on in southern Ukraine? Russian forces appeared to want to cut Ukraine off from the sea via its main southern ports, claiming the capture of Kherson and tightening the siege of Mariupol.
Trump strikes a deal to evade deposition in New York investigation — for now
Donald Trump has reached a deal with the New York Attorney General’s Office that will temporarily spare him from having to answer questions under oath as part of an investigation into his business. Trump was ordered last month to appear for deposition, alongside two of his children, over allegations of fraud within the Trump Organization. Trump will not have to appear while he appeals the decision.
In other news…
House select committee investigating Jan. 6 Capitol attack subpoenas fiancéee of Donald Trump’s eldest son, Kimberly Guilfoyle. House investigators issued the subpoena after Guilfoyle abruptly ended a voluntary interview with the panel last week.
Novak Djokovic is set to play at Roland Garros in May with an easing of French vaccination restrictions. The 34-year-old tennis player is unvaccinated and failed in his bid to play at the Australian Open.
Hong Kong stores are rationing food and medicine to curb panic buying amid Covid lockdown fears. Soaring Covid cases and fears of a lockdown have triggered mass departures of people from the city.
The spread of white supremacist propaganda in the The United States remained at historically high levels in 2021 despite a small recent decline, a study by the Anti-Defamation League found. Throughout 2021, white supremacist propaganda was reported in every US state except Hawaii.
A Kentucky jury has cleared a former cop who fired shots in the 2020 drug raid that ended in Breonna Taylorit’s death. Brett Hankison was found not guilty on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots that tore through a nearby apartment.
Today’s stat: Dinosaur Bashanosaurus lived about 168 million years ago, fossils show
A dinosaur that sported spine-like plates along its back is one of the earliest stegosaurs yet discovered, fossil hunters have revealed, and they say the discovery could shed light on the evolution of some of the most famous dinosaurs to roam the Earth. Stegosaurus, which was named Bashanosaurus primitivus in a nod to the ancient name of the region of China it was found in in 2016 and its position on the stegosaurus family tree, it is thought to have lived around 168 million years ago years.
Don’t Miss This: Director Jane Campion on The Power of the Dog
The director discusses Oscar nominations, filming during the pandemic — and what it’s like for a woman to do a Western with Catherine Shoard. The film has 12 Oscar nominations, the most of any film this year. “It’s quite erotic. That rope, man! Campion said. Was she afraid to overdo the leather, ropes and leggings? “I encouraged him!”
…or this: NASA’s Webb Telescope mirror alignment continues
NASA has completed three of seven steps to align the 18 hexagonal segments of the main mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope, reports Robin McKie. This means that the separate images produced by the segments have been united to form a single image. The Webb Telescope is the largest and most powerful space telescope ever built and will allow astronomers to study the beginning of the universe shortly after the Big Bang.
Climate control: Agribusiness giants tried to lobby to thwart EU deforestation plan
Five of the world’s biggest agribusinesses have sought to weaken a proposed EU law banning food imports linked to deforestation, eight days after pledging at Cop26 to step up efforts to protect forests, reports Arthur Neslan. The CEOs of 10 major food companies pledged to ‘accelerate sectoral action’ against deforestation, but a week later five of them warned of soaring prices and food shortages if the EU was pursuing its own plan.
Last Thing: How Mushroom Magic Connects the Plant World
Mushrooms are sometimes compared to icebergs because most of the activity actually takes place below the surface, out of sight. Here, networks of ‘mycelium’, the vegetative part of the fungus, twist in the soil and weave bonds between plants. It is now known that more than 90% of plants depend on mycorrhizal fungi to enhance their water and nutrient uptake, leading to these networks being called the “Wood Wide Web”, writes Tim Lewis.
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