First Factor: stress mounts on UN to offer pressing help in Syria | US information

Military analysts are sceptical that Russia has enough infantry units to advance rapidly into Ukrainian territory. They acknowledge, however, that some sections of the Ukrainian-Russian border are lightly defended.

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Stress is mounting on the UN to offer pressing help to north-western Syria, which is but to obtain significant assist 5 days after the earthquake that devastated the area, and with the prospect of discovering any survivors beneath the rubble virtually gone.

The primary convoy of humanitarian help for victims of Monday’s earthquake crossed into the area on Thursday, because the demise toll in Turkey and Syria climbed to greater than 21,000 folks.

Six vehicles handed by means of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing from Turkey carrying tents and hygiene merchandise, as Turkey mentioned it was working to open two extra border crossings with Syria to permit in additional humanitarian assist.

The World Well being Group (WHO) warned that with out fast assist, tens of 1000’s of individuals residing within the open might be beneath risk from the cruel circumstances, with the demise toll prone to rise considerably larger.

UN particular envoy for Syria addresses media as earthquake demise toll continues to rise – watch reside

Russia has begun main offensive in jap Ukraine, Luhansk governor claims

Military analysts are sceptical that Russia has enough infantry units to advance rapidly into Ukrainian territory. They acknowledge, however, that some sections of the Ukrainian-Russian border are lightly defended.
Army analysts are sceptical that Russia has sufficient infantry models to advance quickly into Ukrainian territory. They acknowledge, nonetheless, that some sections of the Ukrainian-Russian border are evenly defended. {Photograph}: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Pictures

Russia has launched a significant offensive in jap Ukraine and is attempting to interrupt by means of defences close to the city of Kreminna, the governor for the Luhansk area has mentioned.

Serhiy Haidai instructed Ukrainian TV that Russian troops had gone on the assault and had been attempting to advance westwards throughout a winter panorama of snow and forests. There had been “most escalation” and a giant enhance in taking pictures and shelling, he mentioned.

“These assaults are virtually a every day prevalence. We see small teams [of Russian soldiers] attempting to advance, generally with the help of heavy armour – infantry preventing automobiles and tanks – and generally not. There may be steady firing.”

  • Russia plans main assault? Western governments imagine it might come presumably as early as subsequent week earlier than the 24 February anniversary of the full-scale invasion. Its most important purpose is believed to be to seize the Donbas area, together with Luhansk, which Ukraine partly controls.

Mike Pence subpoenaed in Trump particular counsel investigations – reviews

Mike Pence has been subpoenaed by the special counsel leading investigations into classified documents found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Mike Pence has been subpoenaed by the particular counsel main investigations into categorized paperwork discovered at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. {Photograph}: Ryan M Kelly/AFP/Getty Pictures

The previous US vice-president Mike Pence and the previous nationwide safety adviser Robert O’Brien have been subpoenaed by the particular counsel main investigations into categorized paperwork discovered at former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and efforts to overturn the 2020 election end result, based on media reviews on Thursday.

Pence was issued a subpoena by particular counsel Jack Smith, although the character of the request was not instantly identified, ABC Information reported, citing sources. The motion follows months of negotiations involving federal prosecutors and Pence’s attorneys.

O’Brien has been asserting govt privilege in declining to offer among the data that prosecutors are looking for from him, based on CNN.

  • Domino impact. In late January, Pence mentioned he was not conscious although he takes “full accountability” after categorized paperwork had been discovered at his Indiana dwelling after a assessment performed within the wake of categorized materials being discovered at Joe Biden’s dwelling in Delaware.

In different information …

An Oldowan percussive tool dating from roughly 2.9m years ago and found at the Nyayanga site in Kenya. An analysis of wear patterns on 30 of the stone tools showed that they had been used to cut, scrape and pound animals and plants.
An Oldowan percussive software relationship from roughly 2.9m years in the past and located on the Nyayanga website in Kenya. An evaluation of damage patterns on 30 of the stone instruments confirmed that they’d been used to chop, scrape and pound animals and vegetation. {Photograph}: Reuters
  • Stone instruments as much as 3m years previous have been unearthed in Kenya, placing unsure the belief that homo sapiens created the so-called Oldowan toolkit. The newly found artefacts are actually considered the oldest identified particular set of stone instruments for butchery.

  • The Republican-led Missouri state home has voted in opposition to banning minors from overtly carrying firearms on public land with out grownup supervision. “Whereas it might be intuitive {that a} 14-year-old has no reliable goal, it doesn’t really imply that they’re going to hurt somebody,” mentioned a GOP lawmaker.

  • Australian researchers have discovered a protein within the lungs that sticks to the Covid-19 virus like Velcro and immobilises it, which can clarify why some folks by no means turn into sick with the virus whereas others undergo critical sickness.

  • Nigeria’s election on 25 February has been described as pivotal to the progress of democracy in Africa, the place army coups and makes an attempt by longstanding rulers to cling to energy have raised fears of a “democratic retreat” from advances made for the reason that finish of the chilly conflict.

Stat of the day: UK narrowly avoids recession after figures present progress flatlining

The Confederation of British Industry said a recession in 2023 was likely and the chancellor needed to take ‘a bolder approach to tackling labour and skills shortages and falling business investment’.
The Confederation of British Business mentioned a recession in 2023 was seemingly and the chancellor wanted to take ‘a bolder strategy to tackling labour and expertise shortages and falling enterprise funding’. {Photograph}: Andy Rain/EPA

The UK narrowly prevented getting into a recession on the finish of final yr, official figures have revealed, after financial progress flatlined within the remaining three months of 2022. Adverse progress within the fourth quarter would have signalled recession, after the UK financial system shrank by 0.3% within the third quarter.

The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, mentioned the figures underscored Britain’s resilience, including that they confirmed the financial system was the quickest rising within the G7 group of wealthy nations final yr. Nevertheless, the financial system stays 0.8% under its pre-pandemic peak in 2019, in distinction to the US, which has skilled progress of 5.1% over the identical interval, and the two.4% enchancment among the many 19 members of the eurozone.

Don’t miss this: 12 methods to meditate – with out really meditating

Feeling awe is an established element of mindfulness … but you don’t have to go to a national park to do it.
Feeling awe is a longtime aspect of mindfulness … however you don’t need to go to a nationwide park to do it. {Photograph}: Andrii Lutsyk/Ascent Xmedia/Getty Pictures

Meditation isn’t for everybody, writes Amy Fleming. Or a minimum of not when life has taken you so removed from calm that your mind is soup. “It’s the character of the thoughts to have this ongoing dialog within the background,” says Pleasure Rains, a mindfulness practitioner and writer of Meditation Illuminated: Easy Methods to Handle Your Busy Thoughts. “I name this ‘Stuff’, which is an acronym for tales, ideas, urges, frustrations and emotions. While you’re in a meditative state, you’re within the right here and now and also you’re releasing your Stuff. You’re not getting caught up in judgments, ideas in regards to the previous, worries in regards to the future.”

There’s a rising physique of proof that “releasing our Stuff” like that is an efficient antidote to Twenty first-century life, serving to us to pay attention, bear in mind issues and turn into extra self-aware, whereas decreasing anxiousness, melancholy and stress. The excellent news is that we don’t need to be sensible at sitting nonetheless and specializing in our breath to get meditation’s recuperating advantages, says psychologist Suzy Studying.

… or this: ‘No extra skewed historical past’: why Black households homeschooling grew fivefold

At Sankofa Homeschool Community, DeLise Bernard has her three children enrolled in writing and drama courses that meet once a week. Sankofa provides a curriculum with an emphasis on African American/Pan-African history and culture.
At Sankofa Homeschool Group, DeLise Bernard has her three youngsters enrolled in writing and drama programs that meet as soon as per week. Sankofa gives a curriculum with an emphasis on African American/Pan-African historical past and tradition. {Photograph}: The Washington Submit/Getty Pictures

Since she started homeschooling her youngsters in Louisiana within the early 90s, Joyce Burges has watched the observe explode in recognition amongst households like hers. “Dad and mom these days – this woke technology of 25- to 40-year-old dad and mom – their eyes are open. They’re simply not having that whitewashed, skewed historical past any extra,” she says.

Again when she began homeschooling, it was in opposition to the recommendation of family and friends who questioned how she might educate successfully with no school diploma. “Right here I’m, Black lady, and our youngsters are usually not welcomed into the system. So homeschooling was the one possibility at the moment that we had.”

Local weather verify: ‘monster income’ reveal self-destructive fossil gasoline resurgence

Offshore oil and gas production in the Cook Inlet Oilfield of Alaska
The sale of oil and fuel stays so attractive that BP this week introduced it’s scaling again its local weather ambitions, retaining its fossil gasoline property for longer than it beforehand anticipated. {Photograph}: PA Lawrence, LLC./Alamy

Whereas 2022 inflicted hardship upon many individuals world wide resulting from hovering inflation, climate-driven disasters and conflict, the yr was profitable on an unprecedented scale for the fossil gasoline business, with the 5 largest western oil and fuel corporations alone making a mixed $200bn in income.

In a parade of annual outcomes launched over the previous week the “massive 5” – Exxon, Chevron, Shell, BP and TotalEnergies – all revealed that final yr was probably the most worthwhile of their respective histories, because the rising value of oil and fuel, pushed partly by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, helped turbocharge revenues, writes Oliver Milman.

Final Factor: ‘Brian Eno left a word’: how destiny intervened for ambient music pioneer Laraaji

The sidewalk performances led to Gordon and his autoharp being booked to play meditation centres, yoga classes and spiritual conferences.
The sidewalk performances led to Gordon and his autoharp being booked to play meditation centres, yoga lessons and religious conferences. {Photograph}: no credit score

Laraaji wears the mantle of recent age pioneer evenly. “I can relate to folks not with the ability to relate to new age music,” he says. “Name it what you want. Experimental music. Psychedelic expertise integration music. I name it lovely and groovy music. To listen to folks use it how they do lets me say hiya to that baby inside me that wished to be like Jesus and encourage folks’s spirits to soar – I really feel as if I’m nonetheless connecting with my childhood imaginative and prescient.”

An opportunity encounter whereas enjoying on the streets of New York with Brian Eno led to an album, Day of Radiance, which stays certainly one of his most identified works. Within the years since, he has constructed an eye-wateringly voluminous discography, carried out for meditation teams, studied with gurus equivalent to Swami Satchidananda and developed a profitable sideline as a laughter therapist, writes Stevie Chick.


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