While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 22

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Kremlin, in Moscow, for talks, on March 21, 2023. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Russia will ‘react’ if UK supplies uranium ammo to Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Moscow would be “forced to react” if Britain gives Ukraine military supplies, including armour piercing ammunition which contains depleted uranium.

“The United Kingdom... announced not only the supply of tanks to Ukraine, but also shells with depleted uranium. If this happens, Russia will be forced to react,” Mr Putin told reporters, after talks at the Kremlin with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Mr Putin was reacting to a written response by a UK defence minister, Ms Annabel Goldie, who was asked whether “any of the ammunition currently being supplied to Ukraine contains depleted uranium”.

She responded on Monday that “alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will be providing ammunition including armour piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium.“


US dismisses China mediation on Ukraine as not ‘impartial’

The United States said on Tuesday it does not see China as capable of being an impartial mediator between Moscow and Kyiv over the war in Ukraine.

It was the most direct US criticism yet of China’s aim to be a middleman in efforts to end the war.

In a summit rich with red carpet pomp, Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting Russia on Tuesday and met with President Vladimir Putin, with the war in Ukraine high on their agenda.


People flee homes as quake hits Afghanistan, Pakistan

A strong earthquake lasting for at least 30 seconds was felt across much of Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India on Tuesday night, with the United States Geological Survey putting the magnitude at 6.5.

“It was a terrifying tremor. I had never felt such a tremor before in my life,” Khatera, 50, a resident of Kabul, told AFP after rushing out of her fifth-storey apartment in the capital.

The USGS said the quake was centred near Jurm in northeastern Afghanistan and had a depth of 187km.


Arsenal’s Tomiyasu out for rest of season with knee injury

Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu will miss the rest of the season after having surgery for a knee injury, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

Japanese right back Tomiyasu came off nine minutes into Arsenal’s Europa League last-16 encounter with Portuguese side Sporting after he slipped awkwardly during a challenge and hurt his knee.

Arteta had said at the time that they were immediately concerned as the 24-year-old Japan international is “not one to exaggerate things”.


Paltrow defends against ‘meritless’ skiing lawsuit in US court

Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow appeared in court in the western US state of Utah on Tuesday, where she is being sued for damages by a retired optometrist over a skiing accident seven years ago.

In opening statements, Terry Sanderson’s lawyer said the alleged collision on the slopes of Deer Valley had caused him damages worth US$3.3 million (S$4.4 million).

The Shakespeare In Love actress has in turn countersued.


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