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Ukrainian servicemen fire a shell from a M777 howitzer, in Ukraine's Donetsk Region. PHOTO: REUTERS

US announces more missiles, ammunition for Ukraine

The Pentagon announced on Friday US$820 million (S$1.1 billion) in additional weapons and ammunition for Ukraine as it battles Russian forces along the eastern and southern fronts.

The 14th package of armaments for Ukraine forces includes two air defence systems, more ammunition for the Himars precision rocket launchers the US began supplying in June, up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition, and four additional counter-artillery radars.

The air defence systems, known as NASAMS, are a short and medium-range surface-to-air missile system developed by Raytheon and Norway's Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

The remote-operated launchers are to help Ukraine forces defend against piloted and drone aircraft and cruise missiles.


Political pawn? Basketball's Griner goes on trial in Russia

Brittney Griner arrived in Russia in February to play basketball, one of the sport's biggest stars. She arrived in a courtroom outside Moscow on Friday as something else entirely - a potential bargaining chip in Russia's tense standoff with the West over the war in Ukraine, described by supporters as a hostage of the Kremlin.

After more than four months languishing in a Russian prison, and speaking no Russian, Griner, 31, went on trial, accused of carrying into the country vape cartridges with traces - 0.7 grams, the prosecutor said - of cannabis oil. In a legal system that rarely finds defendants anything but guilty, she faces up to 10 years in a penal colony if convicted.

Griner's arrest on Feb 17 - a week before the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine - pulled her into the maw of geopolitics as President Vladimir Putin faced a determined Western effort to help Ukraine fight back. She has been touted in Russian state media as an asset who could be traded for a Russian arms dealer imprisoned in a the United States.


Biden predicts arrests for women who travel for abortions

President Joe Biden predicted on Friday that some US states will try to arrest women for crossing state lines to get abortions after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to the procedures nationwide.

Thirteen Republican-led states banned or severely restricted the procedure under so-called "trigger laws" after the court struck down the landmark 1973 Roe versus Wade ruling last week.

Women in those states seeking an abortion may have to travel to states where it remains legal.


UK lawmaker suspended over sexual misconduct allegations

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party has suspended a lawmaker who has become the party's latest politician to become embroiled in accusations of sexual misconduct.

Christopher Pincher, whose role as Deputy Chief Whip involved enforcing party discipline, resigned from the government saying he had drunk too much, embarrassed himself and "caused upset" to people.

Pincher was suspended from the parliamentary party on Friday, said a spokesman for the party's chief whip, who oversees discipline.


Football: Liverpool's Salah signs contract extension

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah on Friday signed a long-term contract extension, putting an end to a lengthy saga about his future at the Premier League club.

The Egypt international has signed an extension until 2025, with the deal coming after strike partner and Senegal forward Sadio Mane left to join German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich on a three-year deal last month.

“I feel great and (I am) excited to win trophies with the club. It’s a happy day for everyone,” Salah said in a statement on the club website.


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