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Zelensky opens forum in bid to attract arms makers

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky inaugurated Kyiv’s inaugural International Defence Industries Forum with the aim of attracting more arms manufacturers to establish production facilities in Ukraine.

Since Russia’s invasion last year, Kyiv has heavily relied on Western assistance. However, it is now increasingly focused on strengthening its domestic arms industry, as there are concerns that support from its allies may diminish.

During the opening ceremony on Friday, Zelensky stated, “Our primary objective is to win this war and bring about a long-lasting and, more importantly, dependable peace for our people. We will achieve this goal through our collaboration with you.”

He went on to express Ukraine’s interest in localizing the production of essential defense equipment and advanced defense systems used by its soldiers, which have proven to be highly effective on the front lines.

The forum brought together representatives from more than 30 countries and 250 defense companies. This event coincides with Zelensky’s efforts to secure additional military support from Western nations for a counteroffensive against Russia.

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In June, Kyiv initiated a campaign to reclaim territory that had been occupied, but progress has been slow due to the formidable Russian defenses that Ukrainian troops have encountered.

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World Leaders React To Biden’s Withdraw From Presidential Race

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Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has paid tribute to President Joe Biden on Sunday, saying he had made “democracy stronger” following the United States leader’s decision to drop out from the White House race.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the President Biden announced his withdrawal from the 2024 race for another tenure as president on Sunday amid concerns over his age and health conditions.

Tusk, who served as the European Council’s president from 2014 to 2019, said in March that it was important to “nurture transatlantic relations, regardless of who the US president is”.

“You’ve taken many difficult decisions, thanks to which Poland, America, and the world are safer, and democracy stronger,” Tusk wrote on X.

“I know you were driven by the same motivations when announcing your final decision. Probably the most difficult one in your life,” he added.

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Israeli President Isaac Herzog also thanked Biden for his decades of supporting “the Israeli people” after the US leader’s move.

“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to @POTUS Joe Biden for his friendship and steadfast support for the Israeli people over his decades-long career,” Herzog, whose role is largely ceremonial, wrote on social media.

Germany’s Scholz added that Biden’s decision deserves ‘respect’

Meanwhile, German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz praised Biden after he announced his decision to drop out of the 2024 US presidential election.

“My friend @POTUS Joe Biden has achieved a lot: for his country, for Europe, for the world,” Scholz wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “His decision not to run again deserves respect.”

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Similarly, newly elected UK Prime Minister, Keir Starmer said he respected the US President’s decision to withdraw from the race for the White House, paying tribute to a “remarkable career”.

“I respect President Biden’s decision and I look forward to us working together during the remainder of his presidency,” Starmer wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“I know that, as he has done throughout his remarkable career, he will have made his decision based on what he believes is best for the American people,” he added.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also thanked Biden for his years of service.

“I’ve known President Biden for years,” he wrote on X.

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“He’s a great man, and everything he does is guided by his love for his country. As President, he is a partner to Canadians — and a true friend. To President Biden and the First Lady: thank you.”

CREDIT: L

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Putin: This is not free, fair election – British official criticises Russia poll

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British Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, has denounced the election in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin solidified his control over power by stifling any genuine opposition.

Preliminary results released on Sunday indicated that Putin secured nearly 88% of the vote in the election.

If confirmed, this outcome from Russia’s Central Election Commission would mark a record victory for Putin, prolonging his rule for another six-year term.

Only three candidates ran against the president in the election.

According to reports, these candidates refrained from criticizing Putin’s leadership or his intervention in Ukraine.

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It is alleged that any serious contenders were removed before the voting began.

prominent critic Alexei Navalny died in an Arctic prison last month, while other opponents of the president’s regime are either imprisoned or in exile.

Meanwhile, the election underwent minimal independent monitoring, as the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was not invited to observe the three-day voting process.

Responding to the election’s conduct, Cameron took to his official Twitter account to express his dismay, stating, “this is not what free and fair elections look like.”

He added, “The polls in Russia have closed amid illegal elections held on Ukrainian territory, limited voter choice, and the absence of independent OSCE monitoring. This does not resemble free and fair elections.”

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In 25 Minutes, 13 Earthquakes Hit California

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Overnight, California experienced a sequence of 13 earthquakes within just 25 minutes, as confirmed by the National Weather Service (NWS).

According to US authorities, the initial earthquake occurred shortly after midnight on Monday, striking northwest of El Centro, a city situated in the southern border region. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported the quake as registering a magnitude of 4.8 and causing significant shaking across San Diego County.

A 4.5 magnitude aftershock followed merely six minutes later, originating west of the Salton Sea, as stated by the USGS. This was succeeded by a series of smaller aftershocks.

Meteorologists attribute these seismic events to the San Jacinto fault system, recognized as one of the most active faults in southern California.

The initial quake struck at 12:36 am on Monday, with its epicenter located 11.7 miles deep, as revealed by the USGS. The occurrence of this quake, along with twelve subsequent ones, triggered a shake alert issued by the USGS.

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