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NATO’s secretary-general meets with Zelenskyy to discuss ‘ending Russia’s aggression’

NATO Sec. Gen meets ZelenskyNATO’s secretary-general met with Ukraine’s president to discuss the status of the war and needs of troops on Thursday, the day after Russia accused Ukraine’s Western allies of helping plan and conduct last week’s missile strike on the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters in the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg agreed to make efforts to get NATO members to help provide additional air defense systems to protect Ukraine’s power plants and energy infrastructure that were badly damaged by Russian attacks last winter.

Zelensky also reminded the secretary-general of the persistent drone, missile and artillery attacks that often strike residential areas and were blamed Thursday for at least three civilian deaths in the past day.


Boy, 16, arrested after felling of famous Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall

Sycamore felled

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage in connection with the felling of the 300-year-old Sycamore Gap tree in the north of England.

Officers arrested the teenager amid an outpouring of sadness over the destruction of the landmark, which has been a feature of the site at Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland for hundreds of years. The boy is in custody and assisting officers with their inquiries, Northumbria police said on Thursday.

Locals and national park authorities said they were “struggling to see the logic” in the destruction of a sycamore which had long become “part of this area’s DNA” and had gone through thousands of changes of seasons.


Ukraine strikes deep inside Crimea, cuts through Surovikin Line

Ukraine strikes deep in Crimea

Ukraine scored devastating deep strikes against Russian-occupied Crimea in the 83rd week of the war, as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy toured Europe and the United States picking up pledges of new long-range weapons and financing.

At the same time, Ukrainian and Western sources confirmed that Ukrainian troops had broken through the first and strongest line of Russian defence on the southern front, known as the Surovikin Line after the general who devised it. That success could accelerate their march towards the cities of Tokmak and Melitopol.


Norway pledges $92 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine to cope with winter

Ukraine winterNorway pledged 1 billion Norwegian kroner (US $92 million) for humanitarian funding to Ukraine to help the country make it through another winter of war, the Norwegian government announced in a news release Tuesday.

Funding "is being channeled via the UN, including the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement," the government said.

The key support will be provided to local civil society organizations in Ukraine as well as to “the most vulnerable people, children, refugees and the internally displaced, helping to ensure that they have access to shelter, food, water and sanitation, education, health care, and psychosocial support, as well as protection against sexual and gender-based violence,” the news release noted.

The provision of aid was announced at the Third Humanitarian Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of Ukraine in Oslo, co-hosted by Norway and the European Union.


Ukraine says it killed top Russian admiral in Crimea missile attack

Russian Admiral Viktar Sokolov

The commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, died in Ukraine’s barrage on occupied Crimea last week, Kyiv said Monday.

“After the defeat of the headquarters of the Russian armed forces, 34 officers died, including the commander of the Russian armed forces. Another 105 occupiers were wounded. The headquarters building cannot be restored,” Ukraine’s special operations forces said Monday.

In an initial statement after the attack, the Russian defense ministry said it had shot down five incoming missiles and only one serviceman was killed, though the fleet’s headquarters were damaged.

In an initial statement after the attack, the Russian defense ministry said it had shot down five incoming missiles and only one serviceman was killed, though the fleet’s headquarters were damaged.


Ukraine: Drone attack south of Moscow after two killed in Kherson shelling

Drones over TulaRussia’s air defence systems repelled a drone attack over the Tula region near Moscow, Russia’s RIA news agency reported early on Monday.

Two of Moscow’s major airports, Vnukovo and Domedovo, directed flights to other destinations, the TASS state news agency said.

The incident came after two people were killed and at least eight injured when Vladimir Putin’s forces shelled southern Ukraine’s Kherson region on Sunday.


Pablo Neruda: Chilean poet's death still shrouded in mystery

Pablo Nerudo's death still a mystery.

Half a century after he died and 12 years after allegations first surfaced that he was murdered on the orders of the dictatorship of Gen Augusto Pinochet, the death of Chile's most famous poet, Pablo Neruda, remains shrouded in mystery.

An investigation into it has run for more than a decade and has yet to reach a conclusion. Forensic experts in Canada, Denmark and elsewhere have pored over the poet's remains in a bid to establish what killed him, but have been unable to provide a definitive answer.

Meanwhile, the man who first made the allegation - the poet's former driver and personal assistant, Manuel Araya - himself died in June this year, aged 77, without ever seeing an end to the case.

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