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Germany Earmarks €300 Million More To Arm Ukraine – Bloomberg

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Berlin has joined a Czech-led initiative to buy 800,000 artillery rounds for Kiev

Germany has pledged to donate another €300 million ($326 million) as part of a Czech-led initiative to purchase artillery rounds for Ukraine, Bloomberg has reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the decision. Czech President Petr Pavel unveiled the scheme at the Munich Security Conference in mid-February, setting the target at 800,000 shells.  

In recent weeks, Ukrainian officials have increasingly been sounding the alarm over the country’s dwindling ammunition stockpiles due to which Kiev’s troops have been badly outgunned on the front line.  

The shortages have intensified amid a months-long deadlock in the US Congress where the Republicans have been refusing to give the green light to President Joe Biden’s foreign aid package that envisages $60 billion for Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has also accused the EU of failing to deliver on a pledge to deliver a million shells by March.

On Thursday, Bloomberg said that Germany’s contribution to the initiative would cover the purchase of approximately 180,000 shells – the same estimate as the one given on Tuesday by the country’s defense minister, Boris Pistorius. 

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FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian soldiers prepare to fire missiles from a homemade launcher, March 5, 2024
EU approves more money for Ukraine aid fund

Berlin’s participation in the initiative was confirmed earlier this month by German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit.

A separate defense aid package for Ukraine unveiled by Pistorius on Tuesday is worth €500 million ($543 million), and includes 10,000 artillery shells from Bundeswehr (German military) stocks, as well as 100 infantry vehicles and 100 unarmored vehicles. 

Germany is Ukraine’s second-largest Western backer, second only to the US. To date, Berlin has donated €17.7 billion in military aid for Kiev, according to estimates by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. 

As for the push to purchase artillery shells spearheaded by Prague, 18 nations have so far committed to it, including Canada, the Netherlands, France, Denmark and Belgium. 


READ MORE: Russia is at war – Kremlin

Earlier this week, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky revealed that Prague had secured 300,000 artillery rounds, with media reports claiming that those could be delivered to Ukraine by June.  

Under the scheme, the Czech Republic raises money and acts as a middleman sourcing the ammunition from countries outside of the EU that are reluctant to supply the rounds directly to Ukraine.  

The Kremlin has repeatedly warned that the ever-growing involvement of Western countries in the Ukraine conflict could result in an all-out confrontation between NATO and Russia. Moscow also insists that weapons deliveries will not change the outcome of the conflict but merely prolong the hostilities.

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Victims of Domestic Violence Rally Against Proposed Joint Custody Laws in Japan, Citing Legal System Flaws

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In Japan, the debate over joint custody laws reveals deep societal concerns about family violence and its impact on victims. Critics argue the proposed joint custody laws could endanger victims by inadvertently reconnecting them with abusive ex-partners. Demonstrations have taken place, with advocates arguing that the system lacks effective measures to protect those affected by family violence.

Women, disproportionately impacted, represent a higher percentage of abuse reports. Allegations of physical abuse backed by photographic evidence and medical reports have been dismissed by the courts, leaving victims feeling helpless and ignored. On the other hand, parents deprived of their children’s presence argue the legal system fails to address their grievances or consider the emotional harm inflicted on both children and parents.

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Electricians’ Union Raises Alarm Over Unsafe Practices in Solar Industry

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In Australia, safety and employment conditions in the solar farm industry are raising concerns. There have been reports of unqualified workers, including backpackers on working holiday visas, doing electrical tasks that legally require licensed electricians. The electrical trades union has pointed out cases where trade assistants without proper qualifications or supervision performed risky electrical work.

Incidents include workers installing solar panels in water, posing a risk of electrocution. Poor working conditions have led to dissatisfaction among electricians, who feel their safety concerns and expertise are being ignored. The industry is currently facing a significant demand for electricians due to the rapid expansion of solar farm constructions, with 34 projects underway. The union is urging the renewable energy sector to invest in training a new generation of electricians to meet this demand.

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Tesla Faces Backlash from Cybertruck Owners Citing Multiple Performance Flaws

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