While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 26

It will take months for the Abrams to be delivered. PHOTO: AFP

In reversal, US agrees to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine

The United States announced on Wednesday it will supply Ukraine with 31 advanced M1 Abrams tanks in a matter of months, a decision that helped break a diplomatic logjam with Germany over how best to help Kyiv in its war against Russia.

US President Joe Biden was announcing the decision in remarks at the White House. The United States had been cool to the idea of deploying the difficult-to-maintain Abrams tanks but had to change tack in order to persuade Germany to send its more easily used Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Still, the Abrams – among the most powerful US tanks – will not be heading to Ukraine anytime soon.


Unesco lists Ukraine’s Odessa historical centre as world heritage site

Unesco on Wednesday added the historic centre of Ukraine’s port city of Odessa, often described as “the pearl of the Black Sea”, to its World Heritage List despite opposition from Russia.

The 21 member states of the UN cultural body’s world heritage committee approved inscribing designated areas of the city with six votes in favour, one against and 14 abstentions.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February last year, tried repeatedly to delay the vote.


Two dead in knife attack on northern German train: Police

Two people were killed and several others wounded in a knife attack on a regional train in northern Germany Wednesday, police said, announcing that the alleged assailant had been captured.

The stabbings occurred on a train travelling between the cities of Hamburg and Kiel, a spokesman for the federal police force said.

The suspect was taken into custody at the railway station in the town of Brokstedt.


French-Canadian pleads guilty in US to ricin threat against Trump

A French-Canadian woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to sending letters containing deadly ricin to former president Donald Trump and to eight Texas law enforcement officials, the US Justice Department said.

As a result of a plea deal, Pascale Ferrier, 55, will spend nearly 22 years in prison for violating laws on possession of biological weapons.

In September 2020 Ferrier sent an envelope from Canada to the White House addressed to then-president Trump containing ricin, an extremely toxic plant protein derived from castor bean plant seeds.


Football: Uefa Nations League to have new knockout round after 2024

The Uefa Nations League will be expanded with a new knockout round after 2024, European soccer’s governing body said on Wednesday following its executive committee’s meeting in Nyon, Switzerland.

The knockout round will be played in March and create continuity between the group phase ending in November and the Finals in June.

League A group winners and runners-up will participate in home-and-away format quarter-finals, with the winners qualifying for the final four.


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