Diplomacy efforts continue on Ukraine, Trudeau calls for an end to the trucker protests, and Biden blasts a "hateful" bill in Florida.
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ON TODAY'S AGENDA
The UK is well and truly focused on international diplomacy today.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to Brussels and Warsaw today in support of NATO allies. Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer will also be in Brussels, to have a meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO.
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace will meet with their Russian counterparts in Moscow later.
As BBC News noted, Johnson said NATO must "draw lines in the snow" when it comes to Russia's demands.
Anything else new? Russia and Belarus are set to begin ten days of joint military exercises, in what has been described as "Russia's biggest deployment to ex-Soviet Belarus since the Cold War". The drills are understood to include 30,000 Russian troops. It is also worth noting that Ukraine's capital of Kiev is less than 100km south of the border with Belarus.
In terms of helpful content on this, we have two options for you. First is the podcast below from The New York Times which makes for a really interesting discussion.
Second is a super insightful piece by The Economist. If you have less time, we would recommend 👇🏽
In Ireland, the government will today outline their support measures to tackle the rising cost of living.
According to RTÉ News, the level of support will be "in excess of €400 million", but includes the €200 million already set aside for the €113.50 credit on electricity bills. The Irish Times framed it as being worth "up to €450 million".
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for an end to the truckers protests, as roads continue to be blocked, causing chaos in cities.
Remember: This began as a protest against mandatory vaccinations for any truckers crossing the US-Canada border for work. It later branched out, with protesters now demonstrating against all pandemic restrictions, and calling for the removal of Trudeau's government.
Below is a very helpful piece.
In Paris, the key suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks told the court he didn't kill or hurt anyone, adding "I didn't even make a scratch".
Salah Abdeslam has acknowledged his support for ISIS during the complex trial that has been ongoing for months. He argued he backed out of detonating his explosive vest, saying he had a last-minute change of mind. Investigators believe his explosive vest malfunctioned.
He is understood to be the only surviving member of the group who actually carried out the attacks. All of the others who are on trial are accused of assisting in the attacks.
Remember: 130 people were murdered in the horrific attacks, which Al Jazeera described as "the deadliest in post-war France".
KEEPING AN EYE...
Prime Minister Johnson is said to be among 50 people the police are expected to question, in relation to their ongoing investigation into multiple rule-breaking gatherings in Downing Street.
As The Times noted, Johnson is understood to have attended six of the 12 events the police are looking at.
In the US, the White House has criticised a Florida bill that proposes a ban on speaking about sexual orientation to primary school students.
The bill is now widely being referred to as "Don't Say Gay". Supporters of the bill argue it protects parental rights, while critics say it will add stigma to LGBTQ+ people and issues.
It is understood the bill has enough support in the Republican-led state, but President Biden described it as a "hateful bill".
- BBC News: Russia to begin military drills with Belarus
- The Guardian: Bob Saget cause of death was accidental blow to the head, family says
- The Financial Times: European scientists in 'landmark' nuclear fusion breakthrough
- Al Jazeera: 'Targeted harassment": Muslim girls in India denounce hijab ban
- The Irish Times: Estranged son awarded €225,000 from birth mother's estate
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
Hey, if it works for them.