Ukraine crisis: Russia does not want war, Putin says after meeting Scholz:
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attend a press conference following their meeting on Ukraine and security in Moscow, February 15, 2022. -Copyright MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz met recently in Moscow. Shortly after this, Russia said that it has begun the withdrawal of its troops from the Ukrainian border and that it does not want a war around Ukraine. Putin says that he is ready for talks with the US and NATO regarding military transparency and missile deployments, though Russia has yet to receive positive answers to its security demands. Western leaders are skeptical as NATO’s chief says there have been no signs of de-escalation of Russia’s military on the ground. Though hesitant, the US and NATO have agreed to discuss some of the security measures that Russia proposed prior. Though the West has been accommodating, German Chancellor Scholz has made it clear that if Russia encroaches on Ukraine, “we are in a position any day to take the necessary decisions.”
Australia accuses China of 'act of intimidation' after laser aimed at aircraft:
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media at Melbourne Commonwealth Parliament Office, in Melbourne, Australia February 11, 2022. Darrian Traynor/Pool via REUTERS
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison accused China of an ‘act of intimidation’ after a Chinese vessel pointed a laser toward an Australian aircraft. On Thursday, a Chinese ship was sailing East with another ship from the People’s Liberation Army. A laser from one of the vessels illuminated a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The defence department said that this could have endangered the lives of the crew, leading Morrison to demand answers from the Chinese government. He referred to the incident as an unprovoked and unwarranted, “act of intimidation,” that Australians will never accept. Chinese actions have been in response to souring trade relations between the two countries.
Centre issues order to ban 54 Chinese apps:
India’s Union government recently deemed over 54 Chinese apps to be a threat to privacy and security of Indians. A number of these belong to major Chinese technology firms and are rebrandings of apps which have been previously banned. Top app stores in the country have also been directed to block these applications to prevent Indians’ sensitive data from transferring to foreign countries. The government has banned a total of 224 Chinese apps since June 2020 including popular ones such as TikTok, WeChat, and UC News. There have been attempts to hide the ownership of these apps by having them change hands and hosting them out of countries such as Singapore. According to the government, major reasons for the ban are "sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”