A view shows a tank, which was destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine May 20, 2022. (REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko) KYIV/OSLO — Russia stopped providing gas to Finland in an escalation of a row over energy payments with the West on Saturday and intensified an offensive in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. After ending weeks of resistance by the last Ukrainian fighters in the strategic southeastern city of Mariupol, Russia is waging what appears to be a major offensive in Luhansk, one of two provinces in Donbas. Russian-backed separatists already controlled swathes of territory in Luhansk and the neighboring Donetsk province before the Feb. 24 invasion, but Moscow wants to seize the last remaining Ukrainian-held territory in Donbas. The end of fighting in Mariupol, the biggest city Russia has captured so far, could be crucial to that ambition and gives Russian President Vladimir Putin a rare victory after a series of setbacks … [Read more...] about Russia cuts gas flow to Finland, intensifies push for Donbas
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Eva Green showed support to Johnny Depp on social media amid his defamation trial against Amber Heard. Green and Depp starred together in Tim Burton's 2012 fantasy horror comedy Dark Shadows , an adaptation of the television soap opera of the same name. Depp is suing Heard for defamation for US$50mil after she alluded to their alleged abusive relationship in an op-ed written for The Washington Post. "I have no doubt Johnny will emerge with his good name and wonderful heart revealed to the world, and life will be better than it ever was for him and his family," Green wrote on Instagram. The post was accompanied by a photo of her with Depp on a red carpet for Dark Shadows . Green is one of several actors who have publicly voiced support for Depp during the trial, which has been taking place in Virginia since April 11. ALSO READ: Johnny Depp finishes testimony in defamation case, says ex-wife left him 'broken' View this post on Instagram … [Read more...] about Eva Green supports Johnny Depp: ‘No doubt he’ll emerge with his good name’
Margot Robbie wants to rob. The actor is attached to star in a prequel to Ocean's Eleven , a heist comedy about con artists who rob hundreds of millions from a Las Vegas casino. The upcoming film is still in development at Warner Bros. and has not been greenlit. Jay Roach, who previously worked with Robbie on 2019's workplace sexual harassment drama Bombshell , is directing the film. Carrie Solomon is working on the screenplay, which is expected to take place far away from Sin City, in 1960s Europe. The title has yet to be confirmed, but Ocean's Eight has already been claimed by 2018's gender-swapped reboot, led by Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway, so the studio may have to settle on another numeral for Robbie's mission. Since the film does not officially have the go-ahead, there's always a chance it will not come to fruition. But if all goes to plan, the next Ocean's installment will go into production in spring of 2023. Complicating the timeline, … [Read more...] about ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ prequel in the works with Margot Robbie
US President Joe Biden (File image: Reuters) As Americans deal with the highest inflation in decades, President Joe Biden has declared that combating rising costs is a priority for his administration. Lately, he has cited one policy in particular as an inflation-fighting tool: shrinking the nation’s budget deficit. “Bringing down the deficit is one way to ease inflationary pressures in an economy,” Biden said this month. “We reduce federal borrowing and we help combat inflation.” The federal budget deficit — the gap between what the government spends and the tax revenue it takes in — remains large. But Biden has pointed out that it shrank by $350 billion during his first year in office and is expected to fall more than $1 trillion by October, the end of this federal budget year. Rather than stemming from any recent budget measures by his administration or Congress, the deficit reduction largely reflects the rise in tax receipts from strong economic growth and the winding … [Read more...] about Biden’s curious talking point: Lower deficits offer inflation relief
Crude oil price has rocketed upward since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 (Image: Reuters) India is in talks with Russia over a deal to buy oil at discounted rates, the chairman of India's state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp. said on Thursday, at a time when much of the West is shunning Russian crude over the conflict in Ukraine. India, the world's third biggest oil importer and consumer, is struggling like much of the rest of the world with inflation at multi-year highs, and is keen to cut its import bill and protect consumers from soaring fuel prices. The country has already bought more than twice as much crude from Russia since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 as it did in the whole of 2021, according to Reuters calculations, with sources saying Indian buyers were getting discounted prices. Also Read: India buying Russian oil: I will put my country's national interest, energy security first: FM Sitharaman But the comments from HPCL … [Read more...] about Indian government in talks with Russian over cut-price oil deal: HPCL
The capture of Mariupol would represent the Kremlin’s biggest victory yet of the war in Ukraine. It would help Moscow secure more of the coastline, complete a land bridge between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia seized in 2014, and free up more forces to join the larger and potentially more consequential battle now underway for Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, the Donbas. (Image: AP) The Ukrainian forces who made a determined last stand in a Mariupol steel mill against Russian troops were a mixture of seasoned soldiers, border guards, a controversial national guard regiment and volunteers who took up arms in the weeks before Russias invasion. As Russia announced it had completed its takeover of Mariupol with the surrender of the fighters who served as the final obstacle, Ukraine's government did not confirm the city's fall. Earlier in the week, Ukrainian officials said its combantants in the Azovstal steel plant had completed their mission and were being … [Read more...] about Explainer: Who were Mariupol’s last defenders?