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Russian fighter jet and US drone collide over the Black Sea

Russian fighter jet and US drone collide over the Black Sea

A Russian Su-27 fighter jet has collided with an American MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea. The collision rendered the drone "unflyable" according to the Pentagon, forcing the U.S. to crash the drone into the sea. Before the collision, Russian jets are said to have dumped fuel into the path of the drone which the US says was in international airspace. The confrontation between the drone and the fighter jet is said to have lasted between 30-40 minutes, with the collision happening at 07.03 CET. The collision occurred approximately 200km south of Ukraine's southern port city of Odesa. Russia has denied its two Su-27 fighter jets made any contact. In a statement, U.S. Air Force General James Hecker, commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, said "Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9." "In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash," Hecker said.
Saudi-Iran agreement: Welcome to the age of pragmatism
On Friday (10 March), it was announced in Beijing that with the mediation of China, Iran and Saudi Arabia had agreed to end decades of hostility, re-establish diplomatic relations that had been broken in 2016, re-open embassies in their respective capitals within two months, and work towards resolving all disputes between them through dialogue. The diplomatic world appeared taken by surprise, both by the Iranian-Saudi reconciliation, as well as by China’s involvement. The sight of a Sunni Kingdom, a Shia revolutionary republic, and a Communist state cosying together was somewhat unsettling for some. Many rushed to welcome the deal, others, especially among the chattering classes in Washington, rushed to criticise it. Diplomatic contacts have been ongoing between Tehran and Riyadh for some time, held mainly in Baghdad and Muscat with Iraqi and Omani facilitation. After the UAE normalised relations with Iran some months ago, it was assumed that sooner or later Saudi Arabia will follow. But the timing and context of the deal announced in Beijing last week remains a very significant development, with wide-ranging consequences. It also appears to herald a new age of pragmatism in international relations, with considerable implications.
patrickn97 Tue, 03/14/2023 - 12:09
EU extends sanctions on Russia for another six months
The European Council has announced that it will extend sanctions on Russia for another six months, until 15 September 2023. In a statement released on Monday (13 March), the Council announced: "The existing restrictive measures provide for travel restrictions for natural persons, the freezing of assets, and a ban on making funds or other economic resources available to the listed individuals and entities. Sanctions will continue to apply to 1,473 individuals and 205 entities, many of which are targeted in response to Russia’s ongoing unjustified and unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine."The statement continued: "After 24 February 2022, in response to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, the EU massively expanded sanctions against Russia with the aim of significantly weakening Russia's economic base, depriving it of critical technologies and markets, and significantly curtailing its ability to wage war."
patrickn97 Tue, 03/14/2023 - 09:34
Over 500,000 people take to Israeli streets in protest against judicial reform

​​On Saturday (11 March), Israel witnessed what organisers have called one of the biggest protests in the country’s history. Rallying in protest against a law reforming the judiciary, protesters are believed to have numbered over 500,000 nationwide.

patrickn97 Mon, 03/13/2023 - 13:30