5 min read

⏳ Monday Fix: Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

⏳ Monday Fix: Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

Morning all,

As talks resume, tensions escalate, and energy prices continue to soar, top Chinese and US officials are set to meet in Rome.

As always, we keep a close eye.

Until tomorrow,

Your Fixers


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


Over the weekend, Russian missile strikes hit a Ukrainian base. According to POLITICO, at least 35 people were killed and more than 130 were injured.

Worth noting: The reason this made headlines everywhere was because the base was just ten miles away from the Polish border. Poland is a NATO member.

Remember: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization - NATO - is a defence pact between many European countries, the US and Canada. It was established in 1949 to counter Soviet aggression. Ukraine has for years wanted to join NATO. The alliance considers an attack on one member state an attack on all, and President Biden has repeatedly said "every inch" of NATO territory will be defended against Russian aggression.

What else is going on?

"It appears to be a tactical move, to put pressure on China; presumably to either confirm or deny it. The bigger aim could be to try to make Xi Jinping weigh up the pros and cons to his current position of what was last week called a "rock solid" relationship with Moscow." - BBC analysis
  • A US journalist called Brent Renaud was shot and killed by Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Irpin over the weekend. As CNN noted, he "is the first foreign journalist known to be killed in the war". Renaud was a "filmmaker, producer and journalist".
  • Talks and negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian representatives are expected to resume today, via video link.
  • A woman who went viral following a Russian attack on a maternity hospital last week has died, according to The Associated Press.


Ukraine's President Zelensky participated in a very interesting interview with VICE News.

In it, he talks about the world seeing the reality of what Russia are doing, and his views on NATO's position.


As we reported last week, President Biden imposed bans on importing Russian energy in a move to severely punish Russia's economy for the invasion of Ukraine.

To avoid oil price hikes, the US administration sent representatives to Venezuela, and talks of a possible Biden visit to Saudi Arabia circulated in the media. However, it appears Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is keen to meet at the negotiating table.

Here is a fascinating analysis piece all about the geopolitics at play in this. It is well worth a read.

"The standoff involves far more than oil. In Riyadh, Prince Mohammed feels snubbed by Biden’s refusal to engage with him ever since he took office. The murder of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi by the crown prince’s security aides, the war on Yemen, the jailing of rights activists and the boycott of Qatar have made him a pariah to the administration." - Analysis in The Guardian

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia made headlines separately over the weekend - after reports emerged 81 men were executed in one day. NBC News described it as "the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom in its modern history".


  • The annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey takes place today. However, over the weekend Buckingham Palace announced the Queen would not be attending. As many UK media outlets reported, the decision is understood to have been made because of concerns about the Queen's comfort travelling to the event.
  • Ireland's Taoiseach Micheál Martin will travel to Washington DC today "for a series of engagements". On Thursday, Martin will meet President Biden in the White House to mark St Patrick's Day.


  • France is set to lift "most of its restrictions" today. The move comes weeks ahead of a presidential election, and as case numbers begin to increase. France 24 reported some are considering it "a premature move dictated by political imperatives ahead of the country’s presidential election".
  • Former US President Barack Obama has tested positive for coronavirus.



In Tokyo, a number of strict rules for students are set to be lifted in April.

What are the rules? A majority of students are forced to have black hair, and wear certain shades of underwear.

As The Guardian noted, a few years ago a Japanese student sued her school when she was told to either dye her naturally brown hair black, "or face exclusion".



The Irish golfer got an amazing hole-in-one over the weekend. Well worth a watch!


Why? Because after a matter of weeks, Brady made a u-turn on his decision to retire from American football. He is now back to play another season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As Sky News noted, Brady is "considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history".

A Twitter poll has gone viral over the weekend - are there more doors or wheels in the world?

Nearly a quarter of a million people have voted, and you can here.


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Monkeyin' around.