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

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would not be transferring control of the arms to Minsk. PHOTO: AFP

Putin says Russia to station nuclear weapons in Belarus

Russia will station tactical nuclear weapons in neighbouring Belarus, President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday, marking the first time since the mid-1990s that Moscow will have based such arms outside the country.

Mr Putin made the announcement at a time of growing tensions with the West over the war in Ukraine and as some Russian commentators speculate about possible nuclear strikes.

Mr Putin told state television that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had long raised the issue of stationing tactical nuclear weapons in his country, which borders Nato member Poland.

“Tactical” nuclear weapons refer to those used for specific gains in the battlefield.


General says situation in embattled Bakhmut stabilising

Ukrainian forces have managed to blunt Russia’s offensive in and around the embattled eastern city of Bakhmut, where the situation is stabilising, commander in chief General Valery Zaluzhniy said on Saturday.

Separately, Britain’s defence ministry said the months-long Russian assault on the city had stalled, mainly as a result of heavy troop losses.

Bakhmut is a major Russian target as it bids to fully capture Ukraine’s industrialised Donbas region.


Brazil’s Lula, ill with pneumonia, postpones China trip

Brazil’s leftist leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was due to head to China for key talks with President Xi Jinping, has indefinitely postponed his trip to recover from pneumonia, the government said on Saturday.

Mr Lula, who succeeded the far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro at the start of the year, had hoped to use the trip next week to reclaim his country’s role in global diplomacy, with discussions in Beijing expected to focus on reinforcing trade and the war in Ukraine.

No new date was given for the 77-year-old Mr Lula’s trip, the government said, adding that Chinese authorities had already been told of the decision.


Tuchel ‘dumbstruck’ by Bayern appointment

Newly-appointed Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel said on Saturday he was “dumbstruck” at being offered the position, after replacing the sacked Julian Nagelsmann.

Tuchel, 49, has been appointed on a two-and-a-half year contract after Nagelsmann was dismissed in just his second season in charge of Bayern.

Nagelsmann lost his job with the six-time European champions on Friday with the club second in the Bundesliga, but he had guided them through to the Champions League quarter-finals.


Kanye says no longer anti-Semite after watching Jonah Hill

Kanye West said he was renouncing anti-Semitism in a new Instagram post on Saturday in which he wrote that watching actor Jonah Hill in the film 21 Jump Street made him “like Jewish people again.”

The rapper – known formally as Ye – has shocked and alarmed former supporters in recent months with a series of threats against Jewish people that drove sportswear giant Adidas and other fashion houses to dump him, and saw him locked out of most social media platforms.

His latest Instagram post on Saturday appeared to be an attempt to reverse his earlier declarations of “love” for Nazis and admiration for Adolf Hitler.


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