Martial Law in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden’s NATO bid, and Voluntary Assisted Dying laws

Good morning. It’s Thursday 19th May, and here’s a round-up of the latest news.

Martial law in Ukraine set to continue

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reportedly plans to extend both martial law and conscription in Ukraine for a further three months, until at least 23 August, the eve of Ukrainian Independence Day.
Martial law was first imposed on 24 February just hours after Russian tanks first rolled over its borders, and it has since been extended twice by 30 days.
Experts consider the planned length of time martial law is imposed as a good indicator of how long the government expects the fighting to last.
More than a day after Ukraine announced it had ordered its garrison in , the ultimate outcome of Europe’s bloodiest battle for decades remains unresolved

Finland and Sweden officially apply to join NATO

Finland and Sweden have officially applied to join NATO, the world’s biggest military alliance.
The move has been driven by security concerns over Russia’s war in Ukraine, with Finland sharing a border with Russia.
It’s also being viewed by some as a symbolic end to hundreds of years of neutrality from Sweden.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the applications are a historic step.


Scott Morrison clarifies China relationship

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says there is a difference between the relationship Australia has with the Chinese government and that of Chinese Australians, as Australia’s position with China continues to sour after the signing of its security deal with the Solomon Islands.
Mr Morrison has told SBS about where he sees the future relationship with China going and what needs to be done to ensure an improvement in relations.

The prime minister says he thinks the people-to-people relationships between Australia and China are very strong.


“There is great desire and interest for Chinese people to be able to come to Australia, have a holiday, study here, have great connections, be it cultural connections, and ensure of course business connections and trade,” he said.

“And this is what we want to see happen into the future. But at the same time, Australia will always stand up to the liberties and the freedoms and the things that are very important to us, and we can’t have a situation where any other government from any other country, including the Chinese government, would seek to coerce Australia.”

Officials discuss journalist shooting

Palestinian officials have met a delegation from the Netherlands to discuss the killing of an Al Jazeera journalist at the centre of the talks.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki received his Dutch counterpart, Wopke Hoekstra, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where they spoke about Dutch support for a two-state solution, and the investigation into the
A woman standing outside

Veteran journalist Shireen Abu Aqla. Credit: Al Jazeera

The Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank and cooperates with Israel on security matters, has condemned what it said was a “shocking crime” committed by Israeli forces.

Mr Hoekstra says an independent investigation is essential.

Voluntary Assisted Dying law debates to continue

Debate on voluntary assisted dying laws will resume in the New South Wales Parliament, after a marathon session in the Upper House.

Debate on the bill was adjourned at midnight last night in the Legislative Council, reportedly after a marathon session of eight hours to consider amendments.


Member of Legislative Council Penny Sharpe says there is a final set of amendments to vote on this morning ahead of a third and final vote on the legislation.

The bill will then return to the Legislative Assembly for final endorsement.

Workers killed in India factory

At least 12 workers have been killed after a wall collapsed in a salt packaging factory in India.
Thirteen more workers were injured in the incident, which occurred in the western state of Gujarat.
Their injuries are said to be not life-threatening.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the collapse, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his thoughts are with the bereaved families.

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