Extra tanks for Ukraine
The Biden administration plans to send up to 50 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, U.S. officers mentioned yesterday, in what could be a significant step in arming Kyiv because it tries to grab again its territory from Russia. It might take years earlier than these tanks attain Ukraine, however the announcement would clear the way in which for Germany and different nations to ship their battle tanks.
The plan to ship the Abrams tanks comes after a testy confrontation final week, throughout a NATO protection chiefs’ assembly, over the refusal by Germany’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, to ship Leopard tanks, which many navy specialists imagine might be a decisive weapon in Ukrainian arms.
German officers have privately insisted that the nation would ship the tanks provided that the U.S. agreed to ship its personal M1 Abrams tanks. Publicly, American and German officers have denied that the 2 points had been linked, however the German information media reported final night time that Scholz had determined to ship the tanks. The chancellor will handle Parliament as we speak.
In different information from the conflict: A number of prime Ukrainian officers had been fired yesterday amid a ballooning corruption scandal, the largest upheaval within the nation’s authorities since Russia’s invasion started 11 months in the past.
Can Germany be a fantastic navy energy once more?
When Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, German navy planners started to contemplate the sudden risk of a big land conflict in Europe — one that might require German troopers to defend European territory. These fears have grown extra acute, ensuing, final 12 months, within the announcement of plans for the largest jump in German military spending since World Warfare II.
Earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, skepticism of the deserves of navy energy had enabled an extended post-Chilly Warfare strategy of disarmament in Germany. Now, German leaders are vowing to rework the nation right into a navy energy able to taking duty for Europe’s safety. However German society, during which the nation’s Nazi previous looms giant, stays hesitant.
The truth that German troopers have repeatedly been implicated in high-profile instances of right-wing extremism has not helped ease this discomfort. Russian propagandists had been clearly attempting to hit a nerve once they responded to Germany’s present plans by suggesting that the nation was returning to Nazism.
Background: Each latest U.S. administration tried, and principally failed, to get the Germans and different European allies to strengthen their militaries and meet the NATO defense-spending goal of two p.c of gross home product, a aim Germany has lengthy undershot.
California reels from mounting gun violence
The dying toll from two mass shootings in California in the previous few days rose to at least 18 people. These tragedies had been solely two in a sequence of shootings this month in a state that, total, has a number of the nation’s lowest mortality charges from gun violence, in addition to a few of its hardest gun legal guidelines.
In Northern California, a 66-year-old man was in custody after the capturing deaths of seven folks on Monday. An eighth sufferer was hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Officers mentioned the suspect, Zhao Chunli, was an worker at one of many places of the shootings. And in Southern California, investigators continued their seek for a motive within the bloodbath on Saturday night time at a ballroom dancing venue in Monterey Park.
The instances, which bracketed celebration of the Lunar New Yr, claimed the lives largely of immigrant victims: older Asian People on the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, and Asian and Latino agricultural employees round Half Moon Bay. The suspects in these two shootings had been immigrant Asian males of their 60s and 70s — a uncommon age bracket for assailants in mass shootings.
Context: Simply over per week in the past, in an assault that the authorities in comparison with a drug-cartel-style execution, six folks had been shot lifeless in rural central California. And on Monday night time, one particular person was killed and 7 folks had been wounded in a gun battle in Oakland.
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Across the World
On the world’s most elusive browsing occasion, the Eddie Aikau Massive Wave Invitational, an area lifeguard, Luke Shepardson, beat out the top pro surfers for the trophy.
“I’ve acquired to get again to the tower,” Shepardson, who collected his prize in his uniform, mentioned after a quick celebration. “I acquired to get again to the tower to verify everyone seems to be OK till the tip of the day.”
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From The Occasions: Mikaela Shiffrin made snowboarding historical past, securing the 83rd World Cup victory of her profession, the most of any female skier in the history of the sport. On the Australian Open, Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul squared off in the first all-American Grand Slam quarterfinal in 16 years.