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Nearly two dozen European parliament leaders urge Johnson to act on Ukraine aid

Foreign leaders ask Johnson to allow funds for Ukraine

The leaders of 23 European parliaments are imploring Speaker Mike Johnson to take up and pass additional assistance for Ukraine amid its ongoing war with Russia.

"We believe that thanks to your personal leadership, the Congress will demonstrate historic bipartisan unity in support of the collective effort to assist Ukraine," they wrote in an open letter. Supporting passage of further aid would "provide Ukraine with the necessary funds to continue its fight," the leaders added.

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Kyiv troops withdraw from villages as Nato says no plans for soldiers on the ground

Ukrraine wihdraws from wo villagesUkraine's military said on Tuesday it had withdrawn from two more villages near the eastern town of Avdiivka which was captured earlier this month by Russian forces, losing more territory as support from its Western allies runs short.

A senior commander said troops had consolidated new defensive positions west of Avdiivka, whose capture was the biggest Russian battlefield gain in nine months.
Ukrainian military spokesperson Dmytro Lykhoviy said troops had pulled back from Sieverne and Stepove, a day after Kyiv announced it had abandoned the village of Lastochkyne.
"Our forces withdrew from the small villages of Sievierne and Stepove... Heavy battles for Sievierne went on yesterday in the evening and night," Lykhoviy said, adding that Russia had taken significant losses in that fight.

Airdrop by Jordan and France Underscores the Urgency of Gazans’ Need

Airlift into Gaza by Jordan and FranceJordan and France airdropped food and other supplies to people in Gaza on Monday, parachuting some packages of aid into the sea, a challenging effort that underlined the desperate need in Gaza as aid groups have warned of growing restrictions on their ability to distribute supplies.

Video footage showed a cluster of parachutes falling into the sea near Deir al Balah, a city in central Gaza. Men in small boats paddled out through choppy water to retrieve the aid, watched by a crowd of hundreds who scrambled for the packages once they had reached the shore.

Alaa Fayad, a veterinary student who shot footage of the scene on the beach that he posted online, said the aid did not amount to much. “It was sad seeing people I know well running and crowding to get aid that’s not nearly enough,” he said.

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Hungary has approved Sweden's bid to join NATO, the final hurdle to membership

Swedish and Hungarian PM'sHungary's parliament has approved Sweden's bid to join NATO, clearing the way for the Nordic country's accession to the military alliance after almost two years of intense negotiations.

Getting approval from the Hungarian parliament was the final hurdle for Sweden to joining NATO. In Hungary's parliament on Monday, 188 voted in favor and six against it, with five abstaining.

"Today is a historic day. The parliaments of all NATO member states have now voted in favour of Swedish accession to NATO. Sweden stands ready to shoulder its responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security," a tweet from the office of Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Monday.

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Zelensky says 31,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed since invasion

31,000 Ukranians killed in war so farUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday that 31,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed since Russia invaded two years ago, marking the first time he has provided an official estimate of Ukraine’s military losses during the conflict.

Zelensky gave the figure at a news conference in Kyiv to mark the second anniversary of the war.

“I don’t know if I have a right to tell you the numbers of our losses. Every single person is a tragedy,” he said, adding, “31,000 [members] of Ukraine’s military were killed during this war.”

TVNL Comment: For Heaven's sake, get rid of these heartless Republicns who are holding up aid to Ukraine.

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US worries grow over Netanyahu’s expected Rafah invasion

US worries about Rafah invasionThe White House is continuing to sound the alarm bells over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to invade the Gaza city of Rafah — where more than one million civilians are estimated to be seeking refuge at Israel’s direction.

The expected Israeli invasion into Rafah has been anticipated for weeks after Netanyahu ordered evacuations out of the southern city earlier this month. Netanyahu’s plan appears to be at odds with the Biden administration, which has repeatedly urged Israel to not move forward with the operation in Gaza.

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Israeli officials to meet on a proposed pause in Gaza while the Cabinet is set to OK a Rafah plan

Plan for pause in fighting possibleIsraeli officials will meet Saturday night on the next steps after the latest talks with the United States, Egypt and Qatar in search of a deal on pausing the fighting in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

But Netanyahu announced that he'll convene the Cabinet early next week to “approve the operational plans for action in Rafah,” including the evacuation of civilians, despite widespread warnings from the international community about a military ground operation in the southern city where more than half of Gaza's population shelters. "Only a combination of military pressure and firm negotiations” would achieve Israel's aims in the war, he said.

A senior official from Egypt, which along with Qatar is a mediator between Israel and the Hamas militant group, said mediators were waiting for Israel's official response to a draft deal that includes the release of up to 40 women and older hostages held in Gaza in return for up to 300 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, mostly women, minors and older people.

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