Ukraine says Russia dropped phosphorus bombs on Snake Island | News

Russian Su-30 fighter jets flew two sorties over Snake Island dropping phosphorus bombs a day after ‘goodwill’ retreat.

Ukraine’s military has accused Russia of finishing up assaults utilizing incendiary phosphorus munitions on Snake Island, only a day after Moscow withdrew its forces from the rocky outcrop within the Black Sea.

Two sorties of Russian Su-30 fighter jets dropping phosphorus bombs had been flown over the island from the Russian-controlled Crimean Peninsula, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian military, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, mentioned on Telegram on Friday.

“Right now at round 18:00 … Russian air drive Su-30 planes twice carried out strikes with phosphorus bombs on Zmiinyi island,” the Ukrainian military mentioned in a press release, utilizing one other title for Snake Island.

The Russian defence ministry described its retreat from the island on Thursday as “a gesture of goodwill” meant to show that Moscow is not going to intervene with UN efforts to organise protected grain exports from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian military on Friday accused Russia of being unable to “respect even their very own declarations”.

Video footage accompanying the Ukrainian assertion confirmed a aircraft drop munitions a minimum of twice on the island, and what gave the impression to be white streaks rising above it.

Phosphorus weapons, which go away a signature white path within the sky, are incendiary weapons whose use towards civilians is banned below a world conference however allowed for navy targets.

Ukraine has accused Russia of utilizing phosphorus bombs a number of occasions because it invaded in late February, together with on civilian areas, allegations Moscow has denied.

Ukraine has claimed that Russian navy personnel had been compelled to retreat from the island after coming below a barrage of artillery and missile hearth.

Snake Island lies off the Ukrainian coast, some 35 kilometres (22 miles) off the Danube delta, and was already a restricted navy space as a Ukrainian border outpost earlier than the warfare started.

A satellite image shows an overview of Snake Island, Ukraine on May 12, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]
A satellite tv for pc picture exhibits an outline of Snake Island, Ukraine on Might 12, 2022 [Maxar Technologies/Handout via Reuters]

Rise of the dinosaurs traced back to their adaptation to cold | Dinosaurs

Fossil hunters have traced the rise of the dinosaurs again to the freezing winters the beasts endured whereas roaming across the far north.

Footprints of the animals and stone deposits from north-west China counsel dinosaurs grew to become tailored to the chilly in polar areas earlier than a mass extinction occasion paved the way in which for his or her reign on the finish of the Triassic.

With a protecting of fuzzy feathers to assist hold them heat, the dinosaurs have been higher in a position to cope and to benefit from new territories when brutal situations worn out nice swaths of extra weak creatures.

“The important thing to their eventual dominance was quite simple,” stated Paul Olsen, the lead creator on the research on the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia College. “They have been essentially cold-adapted animals. When it obtained chilly in all places, they have been prepared, and different animals weren’t.”

The primary dinosaurs are thought to have emerged within the temperate south greater than 230m years in the past, when most of Earth’s land made up a supercontinent known as Pangaea. The dinosaurs have been initially a minority group, dwelling primarily at excessive altitudes. Different species, together with ancestors of contemporary crocodiles, dominated the tropics and subtropics.

However on the finish of the Triassic, about 202m years in the past, greater than three-quarters of land and marine species have been worn out in a mysterious mass extinction occasion linked to huge volcanic eruptions that despatched a lot of the world into chilly and darkness. The devastation set the stage for the reign of the dinosaurs.

Writing in Science Advances, a global group of researchers clarify how the mass extinction could have helped the dinosaurs rise to dominance. They started by analyzing dinosaur footprints from the Junggar Basin in Xinjiang, in China. These confirmed that dinosaurs lurked alongside shorelines at excessive latitudes. Within the late Triassic, the basin lay properly throughout the Arctic Circle, at about 71 levels north.

However the scientists additionally discovered small pebbles within the usually effective sediments of the basin, which as soon as held a number of shallow lakes. The pebbles have been recognized as “ice-rafted particles”, which means they have been carried away from the lakesides on sheets of ice earlier than falling to the underside when the ice melted.

Collectively, the proof suggests dinosaurs not solely lived within the polar area, however thrived regardless of freezing situations. Having tailored to the chilly, the dinosaurs have been poised to take over new territories as dominant, cold-blooded species perished within the mass extinction.

Stephen Brusatte, a professor of palaeontology on the College of Edinburgh, who was not concerned within the analysis, stated dinosaurs have been usually typecast as beasts that lived in tropical jungles. The brand new analysis confirmed they’d have been uncovered to snow and ice at excessive latitudes, he stated.

“Dinosaurs would have lived in these frigid, icy areas and would have had to deal with snow and frostbite and all of the issues that people dwelling in related environments must take care of in the present day. So how have been dinosaurs in a position to do it? Their secret was their feathers,” he stated.

“The feathers of those first, primitive dinosaurs would have supplied a downy coat for retaining them heat within the high-latitude chill. And it appears these feathers then got here in useful when the world all of the sudden and unexpectedly modified, and big volcanoes started to erupt on the finish of the Triassic, plunging a lot of the world into chilly and darkness throughout repeated volcanic-winter occasions.”

After COVID, African countries vow to take the fight to malaria

A worker looks for holes in mosquito netting at A to Z Textile Mills in Arusha, Tanzania.

Checking for holes in mosquito netting at a textiles manufacturing unit in Arusha, Tanzania.Credit score: Jim Younger/Reuters/Alamy

Greater than US$4 billion of latest funding has been pledged by African nations, worldwide donors and pharmaceutical firms at a world summit held in Rwanda to finish malaria and uncared for tropical illnesses.

The commitments have been introduced on the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Uncared for Tropical Ailments held on 23 June in Kigali, Rwanda. Uncared for tropical illnesses (NTDs) are a gaggle of 20 illnesses together with dengue, leprosy, yaws and trypanosomiasis, which have an effect on largely the poorest folks, together with ladies and youngsters. In line with the World Well being Group (WHO), at the very least 1.7 billion folks worldwide are contaminated with at the very least one NTD every year. Till now, these illnesses have acquired comparatively little consideration from funders.

Earlier than the summit, complete funding for malaria management and elimination stood at $3.3 billion. That is just below half of the $6.8 billion that the WHO stated it wanted to succeed in a goal of decreasing malaria instances by 90% by 2032.

Rising instances

Malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and NTDs have been on the rise prior to now few years, largely from disruptions in prognosis and remedy brought on by the COVID pandemic. In 2020, there have been an estimated 241 million instances of malaria and 627,000 deaths. African nations accounted for an amazing 95% of those instances. This was 14 million extra instances and 69,000 extra deaths in contrast with 2019. Round two-thirds of the extra deaths in 2020 (47,000) have been brought on by COVID-related disruptions to malaria prognosis and remedy, in keeping with the 2021 World Malaria Report.

On the similar time, there was some encouraging information. “Even in the course of the COVID pandemic, Bhutan and Sri Lanka remained malaria-free and a number of other nations in southeast Asia remained on observe in direction of malaria elimination,” Poonam Singh, WHO’s regional director for southeast Asia, instructed the summit.

Malaria brought on by Plasmodium falciparum is essentially the most extreme type, in keeping with the WHO. It’s current throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and is answerable for greater than 90% of world malaria instances and deaths. The most typical remedy is artemisinin-based mixture therapies.

Some 500 delegates attended the summit, which was organized by Rwanda and the worldwide public-health teams RBM Partnership to Finish Malaria and Uniting to Fight NTDs. The brand new funding is meant in order that nations can get again on observe by considerably decreasing new instances of malaria by the tip of the last decade. Since 2015, the WHO has licensed 9 nations as malaria-free, bringing the full to 40.

“The R&D pipeline is in the perfect form than it has ever been,” with new medicine for [malaria] resistance and new vaccine applied sciences, Philip Welkhoff, director of malaria on the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis based mostly in Seattle, Washington, instructed the summit.

Representatives of some 65 African nations have been on the convention and collectively they pledged $2.2 billion in direction of ending malaria and NTDs. The rest has been pledged by high-income nations, philanthropic organizations and pharmaceutical firms.

For large pharma, London-based GSK has pledged analysis and improvement (R&D) investments value $1.23 billion over ten years for malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, NTDs and antimicrobial resistance. Novartis, based mostly in Basel, Switzerland, introduced $250 million over the following 5 years for analysis on new therapies for malaria and NTDs; and Pfizer, based mostly in New York Metropolis, has pledged $1 billion to the Worldwide Trachoma Initiative, which fights the blinding bacterial an infection trachoma.

Among the many philanthropies and charities, the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis has introduced $140 million to help African establishments’ analysis on malaria and NTDs; Wellcome, based mostly in London, will present $80 million for R&D in snakebite therapies and extra NTD analysis; and the UK-based charity Sight Savers, which works on preventable blindness brought on by infections, has pledged $25 million over the following 4 years.

Some progress has already been made. Benin, Rwanda and Uganda have eradicated some types of trypanosomiasis, and lots of different nations have eradicated yaws, Guinea worm and onchocerciasis (river blindness).

Classes learnt

The convention heard how some nations have utilized classes learnt from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic to controlling different infections. “COVID-19 taught us resilience and new methods to manoeuvre by way of the pandemic”, together with the best way to use present well being techniques to deal with infections, stated Russel Tamata, director normal on the ministry of well being in Vanuatu.

Nigeria leveraged the swap to digital consultations and digital know-how to attach caregivers with docs in the course of the pandemic to regulate malaria and NTDs, the nation’s well being minister Osagie Ehanire stated. Regardless of restrictions as a result of pandemic, the nation distributed 17 million insecticide-treated mattress nets and scaled up preventive chemotherapy for NTDs to 23 million kids, Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari instructed the summit. Rwanda is making an attempt to mix malaria remedy with optical and dental-care providers, the convention heard.

Corine Karema, who heads the RBM Partnership to Finish Malaria, instructed Nature that if malaria and NTDs will not be stopped of their tracks, “billions of individuals worldwide will proceed to endure or die from these illnesses”. This can “trigger better pressure on well being techniques”, which, in flip will impede their skill to answer present and future well being threats.

Trial of WNBA star Brittney Griner begins in Russia | Russia-Ukraine war News

Washington considers Griner ‘wrongfully detained’ and has known as for her launch.

The trial of United States skilled basketball participant Brittney Griner, who was arrested in Russia in February after authorities discovered vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her baggage, has begun in Moscow.

Griner, a Girls’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (WNBA) all star and two-time Olympic gold medallist, arrived at a courtroom on the outskirts of the Russian capital on Friday for the trial, during which she faces as much as 10 years in jail.

Arriving at Khimki Metropolis Court docket in handcuffs, the 31-year-old athlete wore a T-shirt exhibiting guitar icon Jimi Hendrix and was accompanied by three individuals. US embassy employees have been in attendance on the proceedings. Cameras weren’t permitted within the courtroom.

The US State Division has labelled Griner “wrongfully detained” and is negotiating for her launch amid tanked relations with Russia within the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. Griner’s arrest got here simply days earlier than Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into the neighbouring nation on February 24.

On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the case was politically motivated.

“I can solely function with identified info, and the info point out that the eminent athlete was detained with unlawful medicine that contained narcotic substances. There are articles in Russian laws that present for punishment for such crimes,” he advised reporters.

“Solely the courtroom can cross a verdict.”

Griner’s detention has prompted issues that Moscow might use the athlete to hunt the discharge of a high-profile Russian in US custody, with Senator Tim Kaine warning the ahead for the Phoenix Mercury may very well be used as a “negotiating chip”.

A few of Griner’s supporters have known as on the US to supply such a swap.

Excessive-profile figures throughout the sports activities world have additionally known as for Griner’s launch, with NBA gamers carrying T-shirts that say “We’re BG” at some video games.

WNBA gamers, who’re paid significantly lower than their male counterparts, are sometimes provided profitable contracts by the Russian Girls’s Basketball Premier League to play throughout the US low season.

Some have now left the Russian league, amid Griner’s detention and Russia’s army intervention in Ukraine.

US officers say Griner is considered one of two residents wrongfully detained by Russia. Paul Whelan, a former US marine, has been held in Russia since 2018 after being convicted of spying. He has denied the allegation.

Australia’s 10,000 deaths and the paradox of ‘Covid normal’ | Health

In August 2020, workers on the Menarock Rosehill aged care facility in Melbourne informed Kam Atkins that his 92-year-old mom had contracted Covid and was very unwell.

However they may not inform him the place she was.

After phoning close by hospitals, Atkins finally discovered that his mom, Norma, had been admitted to the Epworth hospital in Richmond. It was there, at 9pm on 30 August, that she died.

In these chaotic weeks because the virus swept by means of aged care houses, workers and residents turned sick, administration struggled to create makeshift Covid wards, and overwhelmed hospitals have been full of aged sufferers.

Kam Atkins at his mother Norma Atkins’ grave at Brighton cemetery
Kam Atkins at his mom Norma Atkins’ grave at Brighton cemetery. Norma died of Covid aged 92. {Photograph}: Ellen Smith/The Guardian

There have been no vaccinations or remedies. A scarcity of workers meant primary care – feeding, bathing and medicines – was uncared for in lots of aged care houses, even for these with out Covid.

Norma’s dying was not the top of her household’s nightmare, because the unprecedented stress unfold past the well being system to different important providers.

Norma Atkins
Norma Atkins died at 92 after getting Covid-19 on the Menarock aged care facility in Rosehill. {Photograph}: Kam Atkins

Employees on the crematorium have been working till 4am to handle all of the our bodies coming in, principally individuals who died from or with Covid.

“They misplaced her physique,” Atkins says. “They only informed me, ‘We are able to’t discover her,’ and it wasn’t till three weeks later I acquired a name to say, ‘We discovered her.’ I didn’t get a correct clarification however apparently she bought taken to the mistaken crematorium after her physique was launched from hospital.”

Norma, who cherished portray her nails, listening to nation music and watching TV together with her pals, and who was adored by her grandchildren, was one among about 900 deaths from Covid-19 in Australia in 2020, even amid lockdowns and restrictions.

Because the nation approaches 10,000 Covid deaths, the paradox is stark. There have been greater than 4 instances as many deaths in 2022 as in 2020 and 2021 mixed, but the confusion and concern of the early months of the pandemic have largely subsided, as has engagement from political leaders and the media.


The rise in deaths was not sudden, given the reopening of borders and lifting of virtually all public well being restrictions. However as Australia surges previous one other milestone that may have appeared surprising two years in the past, the teachings of the pandemic are nonetheless coming into focus.

Lives lower quick

Australians have been inundated with numbers throughout the pandemic – every day instances, hospital and ICU admissions, deaths, vaccination charges, vaccine doses secured.

State governments are nonetheless publishing this knowledge and the media sometimes studies it, however these numbers now not decide whether or not folks could be imminently locked down, out of labor or separated from household and pals. What these numbers imply – 10,000 new instances, and even 10,000 deaths – is just not the identical.


Australians at the moment are one of the vital extremely vaccinated populations towards Covid-19 on this planet. Healthcare methods, whereas nonetheless struggling, are now not coping with a sudden inflow of residents from aged care amenities. Earlier than vaccination and coverings, dying typically got here extra swiftly, ravaging the guts and lungs of probably the most weak.



Now, deaths are nonetheless disproportionally affecting weak and deprived folks. However inside these teams it’s those that are unvaccinated, who haven’t had their booster, or have vital co-morbidities resembling diabetes or superior most cancers, who’re most certainly to die.

The severely unwell might keep in hospital longer, or might recuperate from Covid however die a short while later as a result of present well being circumstances that Covid exacerbated. It might be troublesome to ascertain whether or not somebody died of or with Covid, however that doesn’t scale back the ache for the households of these whose lives have been lower quick.

When Atkins celebrated his mom’s 92nd birthday together with her, the day earlier than her nursing house went into lockdown and simply days earlier than she contracted Covid, he stated: “We’ll be celebrating your a centesimal someday.”

“I perceive life is transferring on and folks need to get again on the market,” Atkins says now. “I do know our losses haven’t been as a lot because the losses in different international locations. However the carnage left behind from the deaths we now have had in Australia remains to be horrific.

“Ten thousand folks. For the households of these folks, there are questions and ache that received’t go away even with the event of vaccines and coverings and all of that.”

Transferring past the numbers

Some deaths in Australia might have been preventable if early remedies that forestall Covid from changing into extreme have been extra accessible, and if extra funding had been put into the well being system, which was struggling lengthy earlier than Covid.

However many well being staff, together with epidemiologists, clinicians and nurses who labored by means of the pandemic, say the numbers must be put into the context of the worldwide expertise.

The top of Royal Melbourne hospital’s division of respiratory and sleep drugs, Dr Megan Rees, who additionally works within the hospital’s post-Covid clinic, recollects watching with alarm the excessive variety of deaths amongst well being staff abroad.

“Our hospital hasn’t had any workers members die from Covid,” Rees says. “The US Thoracic Society had a global assembly final 12 months, they usually opened it with an inventory of all of the respiratory physicians who died from Covid. It was very unhappy. Healthcare staff listed below are exhausted however we did have much more assist than these abroad.”

The director of Doherty Epidemiology, Prof Jodie McVernon, says reaching 10,000 deaths solely now highlights the success of the technique to delay reopening borders and maintain restrictions in place till excessive vaccination charges have been reached.

In international locations that reopened earlier than vaccines have been extensively rolled out, deaths should not solely increased and persevering with to rise, however are occurring in several demographics. Within the US, Covid deaths have exceeded 1 million. As Omicron spreads, and charges of each vaccinations and booster pictures stay low in lots of states, younger and beforehand wholesome persons are dying at alarming charges.

“I feel if we study something from our 10,000, it have to be the benefit of our technique which has been important for minimising the affect and burden of dying,” McVernon says. “These deaths are tragic, however we’re seeing very totally different and worrying situations in international locations that didn’t have the identical technique we did of shopping for time.”

Whereas different international locations nonetheless wrestle to boost vaccination charges and even to entry vaccines, issues for Australia embrace the supply of early remedies that forestall weak folks from changing into severely unwell, and the potential for long-term results amongst those that have had Covid.

McVernon says deaths and case knowledge is now extra complicated to interrogate. Early within the pandemic, earlier than vaccination and coverings existed, it was extra easy to establish what Covid was doing to the physique, and to find out whether or not somebody died from or with the virus. Almost all infections have been being captured, giving researchers are clearer thought of how the virus behaved. The info was extra significant.

“As numbers change into extra overwhelming, and vaccination is added in, it’s more durable and more durable to know what precisely causes what, and what’s linked to what, and to even seize all instances and deaths,” she says.

She says it is very important transcend the bald determine of 10,000 to ask what is understood about those that died. What have been their present medical circumstances, if any? What number of vaccinations had they’d? What remedies have been they supplied? This knowledge is essential to grasp the present burden of illness and to plan for what may occur subsequent.

Having offered the federal authorities with modelling to plan its pandemic response, McVernon is now engaged on fashions to discover the place inhabitants immunity in Australia is headed, on condition that most individuals now have a hybrid mixture of vaccination and an infection.

“What can be the affect of variants on that hybrid immunity?” she asks. “How will we plan for that? We at the moment are attempting to do a few of this ahead pondering. We’re additionally attempting to coach folks globally to have the abilities to ask these questions and put together. We’re working to take proof and switch it into information to information infectious illness coverage and preparedness.”

She says the transfer away from every day reporting of case numbers and deaths is just not essentially a nasty factor.

“Covid is appropriately transferring from centre stage to backdrop.

Aaron Deane
Nurse Aaron Deane: ‘My physique began to break down as a result of I wasn’t coping mentally and emotionally.’ {Photograph}: Jessica Hromas/The Guardian

“So, OK, it’s nonetheless there, however so are many different challenges and circumstances we have to reply to. We have now modified an infection management and procedures all through our well being system. How has this affected the supply of different well being providers? How can we have a look at what we now have realized and carried out throughout Covid and use that to reply to these different challenges?

“I feel we’re essentially standing again and searching extra broadly now. I feel it’s the time for that.”

‘Don’t minimise the trauma’

Aaron Deane can now not deal with listening to about Covid numbers and deaths. He switched off all his Covid information alerts. Deane, a nurse who lives in Sydney, travelled to Victoria to assist nursing houses struggling to deal with Covid outbreaks in 2020.

Deane felt livid when he would learn information studies quoting politicians together with the then prime minister and well being minister saying that those that died from Covid have been “palliative” or “aged”.

“I simply thought, ‘Have some respect.’

“Don’t minimise the toll, don’t minimise the trauma of deaths, and all the pieces everybody went by means of similtaneously these deaths, like being locked of their houses. It was simply terrible.”

In Victoria Deane noticed aged folks with festering bedsores and infections, their wounds having been left untreated for days. He and different workers struggled to offer the care they knew residents deserved, all whereas carrying heavy PPE for hours at a time, on low wages.

“I might barely afford my hire,” Deane says.

He additionally recollects the issue attempting to maintain the few uninfected residents away from the contaminated ones.

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“There was one woman with dementia and he or she didn’t have Covid however she was so confused and distressed, all of her routine was gone and I used to be attempting to cease her from wandering into the infectious areas of the house. And he or she cherished music. So generally to distract her, I might placed on music and simply dance together with her to cease her from wandering away.”

On the finish of gruelling shifts he would return to his resort alone, residing underneath lockdown.

As soon as he completed serving to in Victoria, he labored with outreach groups at St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney to seek out and vaccinate homeless and different weak folks.

“It was so traumatising as a result of I used to be in that resort on my own in Melbourne to cope with what I used to be seeing at work, and I might look out the resort window and everyone in Melbourne had masks on and have been solely actually allowed out throughout the day.

“Then I went again to Sydney and folks weren’t carrying masks in any respect, strolling across the streets in teams, and it was similar to probably the most surreal feeling of dissociation as a result of it was a very totally different world. After all, Covid then unfold in Sydney as nicely.”

Deane is struggling to maneuver on from Covid. He has left scientific nursing and can quickly begin working for a pharmaceutical firm.

“I simply couldn’t do it any extra,” he says. “My physique began to break down as a result of I wasn’t coping mentally and emotionally. There was no resilience left or capacity to bounce again, as a result of I used to be nonetheless dealing with these demons of what I labored by means of day-after-day.”

Deane is just not alone. A examine led by tje Melbourne psychiatrist and lawyer Dr Marie Bismark, revealed in June, reveals the outcomes of a survey of healthcare staff performed between August and October 2020. Of the 7,795 staff who responded, 262 (3.4%) reported frequent ideas of suicide or self-harm within the previous two weeks.

The dying toll from Covid in Australia could seem enviable to different international locations with deaths within the thousands and thousands.

However the trauma felt by households and well being staff, lots of whom are leaving a harassed and breaking well being system, stays.

Extra deaths, together with preventable ones from causes aside from Covid, are inevitable with out vital funding in preventive healthcare.

A vaccination nurse in Victoria who labored all through the height of the pandemic however who has since left her job as a consequence of exhaustion, says: “Ten thousand deaths, whereas not wishing to decrease that quantity, shouldn’t be the main target.

“Everyone is sick to dying of studying about Covid numbers, and persons are simply determined to do some regular actions like journey, and I don’t blame them. I feel we now have to maneuver on from the numbers now, we actually do.

“We’d like as a substitute to ask laborious questions on what we’re doing to speculate into our well being methods, put money into prevention, and particularly make investments into aged care in order that we maintain our populations more healthy and are higher in a position to cease preventable deaths, irrespective of the trigger.”