4 min read

⏳ Friday Fix: When, Not If?

⏳ Friday Fix: When, Not If?

Morning all,

Germany accusing Russia of 'Cold War demands', storm Eunice making landfall across Ireland and the UK, and an ice skating coach's chilling reaction caught on camera.  

Until tomorrow,

Your Fixers


GOOD LISTENER?

Click the screenshot below to access the podcast version of today's NewsFix.


UKRAINE - WHAT'S THE LATEST?

While it still remains to be seen what Russia's plans are with their troops near the border with Ukraine, Western governments are now speaking about "when" an invasion might happen, not "if".

For example, President Biden got straight to the point when speaking to reporters, saying he believed an attack would occur "within the next several days".

The Times led with a headline about British authorities being "convinced Putin is about to invade". Meanwhile, Russia continues to dismiss the speculation and insists they are withdrawing troops - something Western allies say there is no evidence of.

What changed on Thursday? In the east of the country, Russian-backed separatists "claimed they had come under fire from the Ukrainians". The British Prime Minister said Moscow was behind the shelling, which included a strike on a nursery. Important to note: No lives were lost in the nursery.    

The New York Times described that as "precisely the sort of incident Western officials have warned Russia might try to use to justify military action".

The tweet below from the British Ministry of Defence speaks to how seriously the situation is being taken.

And what is happening today? The Munich Security Conference begins later, with US vice president Kamala Harris among speakers. As Reuters noted, there will be no Russian delegation in attendance.


CLIMATE COVERAGE

Storm Eunice has led to a rare warning from the Met Office for people in the UK to stay indoors today. The Times said it "could be its worst storm in 30 years" with winds of up to 100mph.

The storm has already made landfall in Ireland according to multiple media reports, where schools and colleges have closed. RTÉ News said the storm will be a "short, sharp but very severe storm".

Here is the most helpful article we've seen for Irish readers, and here is one for UK-based readers.

Stay safe guys!


ON TODAY'S AGENDA...

London Fashion Week is expected to get underway today.


BAD SPORT?

Russian ice-skater Kamila Valieva has made headlines throughout the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Firstly, the 15-year-old dealt with news of a failed drugs test from heart medication, but was later allowed to compete.

She then fell a number of times during her routine and came in fourth.

However, it was her coach's "chilling" response to the teenager's performance that made for global headlines and expressions of concern from the International Olympic Committee's president.

Coach Eteri Tutberidze was seen on camera failing to comfort Valieva in any way, instead asking her "why did you stop fighting?" The moment went viral and sparked a lot of commentary online.

In recent days, Slate magazine published a damning piece about how the girls were coached by Eteri, and "the culture of child abuse that's poisoning figure skating".

"The Eteri girls talk openly about not being able to drink water during competitions. They do their best to delay puberty by eating only “powdered nutrients” or by taking Lupron, a puberty blocker known to induce menopause. They are subjected to daily public weigh-ins and verbal and physical abuse." - Slate magazine." - Slate magazine, a must read

END OF AN ERA?

In Ireland, the country's chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has recommended NPHET - the Irish equivalent to SAGE - be disbanded.

Meanwhile, The Irish Times noted the requirement to wear masks in shops, schools and on public transport "will end on Monday week". They will continue to be required in medical settings.


MOST READ


SOCIETAL SHIFTS

In Ecuador, legislators have approved allowing women access to abortion in cases of rape.

As The Guardian noted, previously the country only allowed abortion "when a woman's life was endangered by pregnancy".


HOW ABOUT SOME HISTORY?

Tomorrow will mark 80 years since the late US president Franklin D Roosevelt ordered the detention and internment of all west-coast Japanese-Americans.

It was a controversial policy during WWII that came a year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese - and undoubtedly had a long-lasting impact on Japanese-Americans. As History.com noted, it didn't matter their citizenship or how long they had been in America, thousands were "systematically rounded up and placed in prison camps".

"After the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in 1941, Roosevelt came under increasing pressure by military and political advisors to address the nation’s fears of further Japanese attack or sabotage, particularly on the West Coast, where naval ports, commercial shipping and agriculture were most vulnerable." - History.com

ON A LIGHTER NOTE...

Prepared to feel old? Sources say it is ten years since the Harlem Shake trend went viral. One for old times sake... anyone?