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U.S. rushing $200 million worth of weapons for Ukraine’s defense against Russia

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The United States on Saturday said it would rush up to $200 million in additional small arms, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine, as Ukrainian officials pleaded for more equipment to defend against heavy shelling by Russian forces.

President Joe Biden on Saturday authorized the additional security assistance, the White House said, paving the way for the “immediate” shipment of fresh military equipment to Ukraine, a senior administration official said.

Biden’s decision brings total U.S. security aid provided to Ukraine to $1.2 billion since January 2021, and to $3.2 billion since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine, according to senior administration officials.

In a memorandum to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Biden directed that up to $200 million allocated through the Foreign Assistance Act be designated for Ukraine’s defense.

Blinken said he had authorized a fourth drawdown of U.S. defense stocks, in line with Biden’s directive, “to help Ukraine meet the armored, airborne, and other threats it is facing” as the war entered a third week.

He lauded the “great skill, iron will and profound courage” being shown by the Ukrainian armed forces and citizens, and said the United States would also continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need.

“The United States and our allies and partners stand in solidarity with the people and government of Ukraine in the face of the Kremlin’s aggression,” he said in a statement. “The international community is united and determined to hold (Russian President Vladimir) Putin accountable.”

Russia says it is engaged in a “special military operation” that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its neighbour’s military capabilities and “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

The funds “will provide immediate military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-armor, anti-aircraft systems, and small arms in support of Ukraine’s front-line defenders,” one of the U.S. officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Ukraine has been asking for more Javelin anti-tank weapons and Stinger missiles to shoot down aircraft.

Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, on Saturday underscored Ukraine’s need for additional military supplies in an interview with the non-profit Renew Democracy Initiative.

The United States has drawn from U.S. weapons stocks to supply Ukraine repeatedly, beginning in the fall of 2021 and then again in December and February.

The last batch of U.S. weapons provided in February included anti-armor, small arms, body armor and various munitions, according to the Pentagon, as well as anti-aircraft systems.

On Thursday night the U.S. Congress approved $13.6 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine as part of a $1.5 trillion measure to fund the U.S. government through September.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Steve Holland; Editing by Alistair Bell, Grant McCool and Daniel Wallis)

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5 Things To Look For In A Prenup Lawyer

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Hardly anyone enters into a marriage to divorce. However, many couples find themselves in a situation where they need to have the usually uncomfortable discussion of life after a possible divorce. This is when a couple decides to sign a prenuptial agreement, a legal document outlining the distribution of assets between them in the event of a divorce.

Signing a prenuptial agreement requires a prenup lawyer as it’s a process that involves detailed information, research, and a myriad of financial possibilities after divorce. Such complex processes require legal expertise, which will guide you in the best possible direction. Here are five things to look for in a prenup lawyer should you find yourselves going your separate ways:

 

  1. Experience

The prenup lawyer you choose should have experience and be knowledgeable about the specific dynamics of a prenup agreement. A prenup lawyer from a firm such as Musson Law will be knowledgeable about the financial dynamics of a divorce, which include:

  • The protection of children’s inheritance
  • The stating and protection of inherited assets, money, and savings before or during the union
  • Protection from spouse’s debt
  • Outlining the right to say when it comes to division of property

You can tell whether lawyers are about such dynamics when you visit their website or interact with them. If you visit a firm’s website and leave with a general understanding of what a prenup agreement is, the information required to draw it up, and the general process of solidifying it, you can consider the team as experienced and able to provide you with the best possible services.

 

  1. Qualifications

A lawyer should have a degree and passed the bar exams. However, when it comes to matters concerning marriage and family, you may want to consider a prenup lawyer who’s well-versed in collaborative family law. Collaborative family law includes courses that focus on the ability to guide negotiations and manage conflicts that arise within families regarding prenup discussions and divorce proceedings.

Discussions about prenup agreements sometimes lead to intense conflict, such that one partner doesn’t see the reason why the other partner is requiring for a prenup to get signed. Issues of lack of trust regarding properties owned, for instance, may be brought up and can cause strain. A prenup lawyer qualified in collaborative law can appropriately navigate and diffuse such discussions with other family members who may be involved in the conflict. This means that the couple can enjoy their union without disgruntlement over the prenup agreement

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  1. Communication Style

A prenup lawyer should be able to communicate openly and precisely when it comes to drawing up your prenuptial agreement. If you ask for clarification, unfamiliar terms or legal jargon should be explained in non-specialist terms. If you experience uptight responses or vague suggestions, you might be putting yourself in a situation where you sign a document without fully understanding the content. You’ll then be surprised by the turn of events during the divorce proceedings. You’re probably in safe hands if you can openly ask questions or ask for clarity without pushback.

 

  1. Fee Structure

The lawyer’s fee structure should be transparent to decide whether you can afford the services or meet the payment structures and processes. You should know whether you get billed hourly or if you’re expected to pay a flat fee, for example. Additional charges should also be outlined so that you’re not in a position where you thought you already covered all the service fees when you hadn’t.

 

  1. Media Presence

Nowadays, digital space is the track record that you need to consider whether you’d want to engage with a service provider or not. If a prenup lawyer has a media presence in blogs, podcasts, television shows, or videos, you get a feel of their brand, legal handling style, and expertise. The advice, tips, and caution that come from the experts will help you in the particular prenup agreement, as well as when you may find yourself in a situation where the prenup has to come into effect. Generally speaking, lawyers who share general advice regarding such dynamics are authentic in their work.

 

Conclusion

When looking for a prenup lawyer, some factors to consider are experience and knowledgeability. Specific qualifications such as specializing in collaborative family law are a plus when diffusing conflict that may arise. Also, the fee structure has to be transparent so you can decide whether you can engage their services. Furthermore, the media presence of the lawyer will help educate you more on the dynamics of divorce, which will help you navigate it should you find yourself in that position.

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British Virgin Islands’ new Premier vows to secure the country’s ports

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BVI’s new Premier, Dr. Natalio Wheatley, has vowed to ensure the country’s ports are secure and free of corrupt officials.

The remarks by the Premier follow the resignation of the BVI Ports Authority Board chairperson, Kelvin Hodge.

Hodge’s departure, and the rest of the board’s replacement, comes two weeks after the BVI Ports Authority’s executive head, Oleanvine Maynard was arrested alongside former Premier Andrew Fahie, and her son Kadeem Maynard, on drug smuggling and money laundering charges in Miami, United States following a sting operation that began in October.

“I want to reassure you that the ports will continue to operate. The soon-to-be appointed board will be tasked with the appointment of an interim managing director while the recruitment of a substantive managing director is underway. I want to remind everyone what I said before. The change will be hard. It will be painful. People we know and care about will be affected. However, in the end, it will be for the better.

The National Unity Government is fully committed to good governance and will be making reforms accordingly. Let us stay hopeful. We are at the beginning of our march to renew our democracy and build the Virgin Islands into the society that we all want. Together we can achieve whatever we put our minds to,” said the Premier.

In addition, Dr. Wheatley also promised situations that lead to having one person sit on multiple boards will be avoided in the future, as necessary changes are being made in accordance with good practice.

“In several cases, change is urgently needed in terms of their current composition and how we deal with appointments more generally. It is not good practice to have the same person sitting on multiple statutory boards and we will make the necessary changes in accordance with best practice,” said Dr. Wheatley.

Last week, Governor, John Rankin, appointed Dr. Wheatley to serve as the BVI’s fourth Premier following a no-confidence vote by the House of Assembly against then Premier Andrew Fahie.

 

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UK PM calls for the release of 90 000 civil servants

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Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK has told his Cabinet that to ease the cost of living in the country, Minister has to cut off some of their staff resulting in the loss of around 90 000 jobs.

Johnson is understood to have tasked the Cabinet with cutting staff by a fifth, ordering it to return civil servant numbers to those of 2016 in the coming years, with staffing having increased by almost 25 percent to 475 000 full-time equivalent jobs, telling them every bit of cash saved on government spending could be better used elsewhere.

He also hinted at future tax cuts, suggesting the billions saved from reducing civil servant numbers could help fund such measures.

According to the Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the government is trying to get the civil service back to normal after taking on extra people for specific tasks including COVID-19 and Brexit.

“The only bit that is ideological is that we should spend taxpayers’ money properly and not wastefully.

It’s about doing things properly. It’s about governing effectively and recognizing that every penny we take in tax has to come off the backs of people working hard.

Moreso, there will be efficiencies that you can get in some departments through increased automation, increased use of technology, which is something that all sensible businesses will be doing perfectly reasonable,” said the Minister.

However, Mike Clancy, the General Secretary of the Prospect Union said the PM’s proposal was outrageous and damaging.

“Through Brexit and then the pandemic we have never been more reliant in peacetime on our civil service. Our members are highly skilled and there is a real risk to government delivery from losing their vital expertise.

They are vital to what the government wants to do, whether that is levelling up or pandemic recovery. For them, these cuts to jobs come on the back of significant real-term cuts in pay. The big cuts to public services since 2010 have often proved an expensive error these proposals risk doubling down on the mistake,” said Clancy.

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