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Russia/Ukraine War: US secretaries of State, Defence meet Zelenskyy as Ukraine calls for powerful weapons

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A United States delegation of secretaries of state and defense met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday in what has been described as the highest-level visit to the troubled country since Russia’s invasion in February.

The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had the meeting, which was highly classified and secretive had in attendance, as reporters who accompanied Austin and Blinken to Poland were barred by Pentagon and State Department officials from reporting the Kyiv visit until the two men physically left Ukraine.

Ukraine had pressed the West for more powerful weapons against Russia’s campaign in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where Moscow’s forces sought to dislodge the last Ukrainian troops in the battered port of Mariupol.

“You can’t come to us empty-handed today, and we are expecting not just presents or some kind of cakes, we are expecting specific things and specific weapons,’’ he said.

Zelenskyy’s last face-to-face meeting with a top U.S. official was February 19 in Munich with Vice President Kamala Harris, five days before Russia’s invasion.

The visit however came with positives for Ukraine as the two US secretaries to president Zelenskyy, and his advisers that the United States would provide more than $300 million in foreign military financing and had approved a $165 million sale of ammunition.

While the West has funneled military equipment to Ukraine, Zelenskyy has stressed repeatedly that his country needs more heavy weapons, including long-range air defense systems and warplanes.

 

Musings From Abroad

Transport cleaning staff in UK to join strike train over pay – union

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As industrial actions continue to across the United Kingdom, cleaners have joined other transport workers to strike over pay in Britain, the Rail, Maritime, and Transport union.

The union made the position known on Saturday, stressing that its members, working as cleaners throughout the transport network, had voted to hold their first national strike action.

Over 1,000 contracted-out cleaners working for the likes of Churchill, Italian Servest, and Mitie are said to be eligible to strike.

The union is demanding that the cleaners be paid 15 pounds ($18.14) an hour, with sick pay, holiday entitlement, and better pensions.

Industrial actions have been on the rise in Britain lately with railway workers, nurses, doctors, and teachers, as well as emergency services, postal services, and telecoms workers have either on strike or planning action.

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Musings From Abroad

Britain introduces policy to reduce influx of international students

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Britain in an attempt to manage the influx of Africans into Europe has introduced plans to reduce the rate of immigration to the United Kingdom by limiting the number of foreign students entering the country.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that approximately 560,000 people migrated to the UK as of June. This marked a sharp increase from the comparable period last year, driven by the influx of Ukrainian refugees.

Under the new arrangement, there will be limitation on the number of family members that international students are allowed to bring into the country.

The policy move would be a reversal of the 2019 International Education strategy which sought to boost the country’s education exports to £35 billion per year.

Africa, particularly Nigeria has a large number of students in the United Kingdom. Nigerians consistitute a third non-EU country with the most students in the UK with 21,305 students currently enrolled in UK institutions, ahead of the United States with 19,220 students.

China and India with 143,820 and 84,555 students respectively have the highest number of students in the UK.

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