⏳ Tuesday Fix: A Callous Escalation?
Accusations of chemical weapons use in Ukraine, evidence of a violent robbery in Ashley Cole's home, and a conviction of sexually assaulting a teenage boy for a British MP.
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UKRAINE - WHAT'S THE LATEST?
- Children displaced: More than 4.8 million Ukrainian children are now displaced, according to the UN. That is more than two-thirds of Ukraine's 7.5 million children. Of the third who remain in their homes, the UN said roughly half of them are vulnerable to food shortages.
- Civilian deaths: The Mayor of Mariupol has said more than 10,000 civilians have been killed in the city.
- Keeping an eye: President Zelensky has accused Russian forces of using chemical weapons in an attack on Mariupol. British Foreign Secretary said the UK government is "working urgently" to get more details.
- Religious unity: A delegation of religious leaders - including monks, rabbis, Muslim clerics, Buddhist and Hindu leaders - will visit Ukraine today in a show of solidarity with the country.
- No optimism: Following a meeting with President Putin on Monday, Austria's Chancellor said he feels "rather pessimistic" about the possibility of any peace deal being reached.
- Mass purge? There have reportedly been as many as 150 Russian FSB agents fired - some even arrested - in what The Times described as a "sign of President Putin’s fury over the failures of the invasion". The Times cited investigators at Bellingcat, but they did not say where they sourced the information.
- Media matters: remember the Russian journalist who protested against the war live on TV? Well a German newspaper has hired her as a correspondent. She has been widely applauded for her courage in the West, but the news was also met with some mixed reviews on Twitter.
- Harrowing read: BBC News have published devastating accounts of the trauma inflicted on some Ukrainian women at the hands of Russian soldiers. Many were repeatedly raped, some were killed, others had their husbands shot dead.
"About 25 girls and women aged 14 to 24 were systematically raped during the occupation in the basement of one house in Bucha. Nine of them are pregnant...Russian soldiers told them they would rape them to the point where they wouldn't want sexual contact with any man, to prevent them from having Ukrainian children." - Ukraine's ombudsman for human rights Lyudmyla Denisova, quoted by BBC News
MONDAY'S OTHER MAIN LINES
Former England footballer Ashley Cole and his partner, Sharon Canu, were the victims of a violent home robbery in January 2020.
Cole was cable tied during the ordeal, and threatened that his fingers would be cut off with pliers, according to evidence given in court.
"The family heard a ladder clatter against the house and two men climbed up to the first-floor balcony before four others ran from the bushes in the garden towards the house. Cole told his partner to hide in a wardrobe and call police, but while she was on the phone one of the intruders opened the door and took it off her." - The Times reporting
According to Sky Sports News, the couple's two children were in the home at the time of the violent break in. The man on trial was also accused of being involved in the robbery of former Spurs midfielder, Tom Huddlestone.
An Irish priest has said the Catholic Church's stance on same-sex marriage is "out of date".
According to Independent.ie, Fr Paddy Byrne said it is "sad" he can bless cars and tractors but not a "loving same-sex couple". Fr Byrne was congratulating Olympic medallist Kelly Harrington on the recent marriage to her wife Mandy Loughlin.
A British MP called Imran Ahmad Khan was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy back in 2008.
According to evidence heard in court, Khan made the teenage boy drink alcohol, join him upstairs and reportedly asked him to watch porn before sexually assaulting him.
Following the conviction, Khan was expelled by the Conservative Party.
Another Conservative MP, Crispin Blunt, has been widely criticised for describing the conviction as a "dreadful miscarriage of justice" in a now deleted statement.
TIME TO BE HEARD?
In a second lawsuit relating to their relationship, actor Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife Amber Heard for $50 million.
Depp claims Heard defamed him, when she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” in a Washington Post piece - which didn’t directly reference Depp - in 2018.
The trial - which will be televised - is expected to last six weeks, and hear testimonies from James Franco and Elon Musk.
- BBC News: 'Russian soldiers raped me and killed my husband'
- The Guardian: Blunt's criticism of Imran Ahmad Khan verdict sparks fury among MPs
- The Financial Times: The Chinese companies trying to buy strategic islands
- Al Jazeera: UN Security Council hears rape being used as a weapon of war
- The Irish Times: Unprecedented international action taken against Kinahan crime group
BABY ONE MORE TIME!
Sorry about the cheesy headline here, we couldn't resist 😎 Britney Spears is pregnant with her third child.
The singer announced the news on her Instagram account on Monday. Spears already has two teenage sons with her ex-husband, Kevin Federline.
While testifying to the court about her controversial conservatorship last summer, Spears said she was denied the right to have a baby, and was forced to continue with birth control. The conservatorship, which was put in place back in 2008, was brought to an end last November.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
"Thank you baybeh."