June 28, 2022

Nicola Sturgeon tells Scottish parliament she wants to hold second independence referendum next October – live

Scottish first minister tells MSPs she won’t allow ‘Scottish democracy to be a prisoner of Boris Johnson’Sturgeon seeks supreme court ruling on Scottish independence voteNo 10 to ditch defence spending manifesto pledgeStandards watchdog urges Johnson to appoint new ethics adviserLiz Truss, the foreign secretary, has just started giving evidence to the Commons foreign affairs committee. There is a live feed at the top of this blog.On Sunday Emmanuel Macron, the French president, came away from a meeting with Boris Johnson under the impression that the UK was enthusiastic about his plan for a “European political community” - a proposed new grouping, taking in European countries in the EU and outside it.Foreign secretary Liz Truss has distanced the UK from any links to a mooted project of the European political community.A meeting between Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit in Germany raised eyebrows, when the Elysee Palace insisted that the prime minister had expressed interest in Macron’s vision for a wider European political community incorporating non-EU states such as the UK.That this house notes that UK economic growth is forecast to grind to a halt next year, with only Russia worse in the OECD; further notes that GDP has fallen in recent months while inflation has risen to 9.1% and that food prices, petrol costs and bills in general are soaring for millions across the country; believes that the government is leaving Britain with backlogs such as long waits for passports, driving licences, GP and hospital appointments, court dates, and at airports; and calls on the government to set out a new approach to the economy that will end 12 years of slow growth and high taxation under successive Conservative governments. Continue reading...
June 28, 2022

Russia-Ukraine war: 21 people missing after shopping centre attack; G7 leaders agree to explore Russian oil price cap – live

Dig for survivors as at least 18 killed after a Russian strike on shopping centre; price cap could help prevent Russia from profiting from invasionWorld leaders condemn ‘abominable’ Russian attackKharkiv fears new Russian attackAftermath of shopping centre attack in Ukraine – in picturesAt a glance: what we know on day 125 of the invasionThe Ukrainian authorities of Mariupol have posted a message from the city’s mayor, Vadym Boychenko, expressing concern for the fate of the elderly in the city under the occupying forces of Russia. It quotes him saying:People of respectable age were taken care of in Mariupol. They created conditions for them to meet a decent old age. But the Russian occupiers took it away from them. Instead, they are forced to somehow survive without quality medical care, without medication and care. Most of them are children of World War II, for whom the Russian occupiers repeated what the whole world says “never again.” Staying in the city is dangerous for their health, because they will be the first to suffer from infectious outbreaks. Continue reading...
June 28, 2022

UK car industry calls for government help on energy bills as Brexit costs rise

Manufacturers hit by energy cost rises of up to 50% as well as Covid lockdowns and chip shortagesThe British car industry has called for help from the government with spiralling energy costs, as it also faces the prospect of further Brexit-related bills.The rising price of energy, persistent shortages of computer chips, delays in parts caused by Covid lockdowns in vital supply markets such as China, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have combined to affect manufacturers. Continue reading...
June 28, 2022

Response to Russia’s war in Ukraine dominates G7 summit

Analysis: Talks close with pledge to support Kyiv for ‘as long as it takes’ but price caps on Kremlin oil and gas remain sticking pointRussia-Ukraine war – latest updatesWestern leaders ended the three-day G7 summit in Germany promising to increase the economic and political costs to Vladimir Putin and his regime of Russia’s war in Ukraine.The German chancellor and chair of the G7, Olaf Scholz, made the vow at a closing press conference in which he said the group were united and unbreakable, adding: “It is important to stand together for this over the long distance, which will certainly be necessary.” Continue reading...
June 28, 2022

US state department spoke by phone to veteran captured in Ukraine, family says

Alexander Drueke told the state department that ‘he is OK, receiving food and water and has shelter’, Dianna Shaw, his aunt, saidThe US state department has spoken by telephone to an Alabama man who was recently captured in Ukraine while voluntarily helping the country’s armed forces fight Russian invaders, according to his family.Alexander Drueke told the state department that “he is OK, receiving food and water and has shelter and bedding”, Dianna Shaw, his aunt, said late on Monday. Continue reading...
June 28, 2022

Aftermath of shopping centre attack in Ukraine – in pictures

Photojournalist Alessio Mamo was at the scene after a Russian missile attack on a shopping centre in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, on Monday Continue reading...
June 28, 2022

Putin needs a drawn-out war – the west’s timidity gives him one | Keir Giles

President Zelenskiy and Ukraine want it finished by winter, but Russia still holds the balance of powerRussia’s latest attack on civilian targets in Ukraine, causing at least 18 deaths in a shopping centre in Kremenchuk, far from the frontline, could be interpreted as a message to the G7 and Nato meetings under way in Germany. The message is one of Russia’s indifference to condemnation of its crimes. Moscow will not back down. And that in turn may be based on confidence – whether sound or misguided – that over the long term the war is going Russia’s way.Russia has been making gains. Its eastern Ukraine offensive slowly grinds forward by destroying everything in its path, and there is a growing realisation in the west that there will be no early end to the conflict. But the war is dragged out even further by Russia successfully deterring Ukraine’s western backers from providing it with the weapons systems it needs – including more ammunition, drones, jammers, radars, and means of intercepting Russia’s long-range missile strikes like the ones seen over recent days. Continue reading...
June 28, 2022

‘The enemy is planning something’: Kharkiv fears new Russian attack

Putin’s advance on Ukraine’s second city was halted in March, but its defenders sense another offensive is loomingRussia-Ukraine war: live updatesIn the thick pine forests on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Konstantin was watching over his troops as they inspected their weapons.Some were greasing shells from the 1970s, preparing them to be used for an even older 57 mm AZP S-60 anti-aircraft gun developed just after the second world war. Continue reading...
June 27, 2022

The Guardian view on defunding the Kremlin’s war machine: more must be done | Editorial

G7 leaders are right to promote a global price cap on Russian oil and gasThe residential area of Kyiv hit by four missile strikes on Sunday was also targeted in April, as the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, visited the city. This time – after weeks during which the capital had not been attacked – Vladimir Putin doubtless aimed to fire a warning to G7 leaders gathering in Bavaria, and before a Nato summit in Madrid this week. A seven-year-old girl pulled injured from the rubble was among those who paid the price for Mr Putin’s brutal piece of symbolism.Calculated outrages such as this, and Monday’s strike on a busy shopping centre in central Ukraine, must be met with unity and renewed focus from the west. This is an ominous moment in the war. The Kremlin’s strategic refocusing of its ambitions on the eastern Donbas is now leading to significant Russian territory gains in the region. Mr Putin’s cynical blockade of the Black Sea port of Odesa is, meanwhile, driving food prices up in developing nations, creating a hunger crisis which risks being associated with western sanctions on Moscow. In the west, the politics of the cost of living crisis – in part a consequence of the war – is destabilising governments and leaders who have presented a united front since February’s invasion. Understandably, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, fears that global repugnance at Russia’s actions since February may morph into wearied resignation and acceptance of a fait accompli in the east. Continue reading...
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