NEWS DIGEST 19.02.2022: Ukraine conflict, Canada ‘freedom convoy’ crackdown and the aftermath of Storm Eunice

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Biden says Putin will attack Ukraine within days. ‘We’re calling out Russia’s plans’: Biden says Moscow has no excuse for invading Ukraine but is ‘convinced’ Putin will attack within days. Joe Biden said yesterday he was “convinced” Vladimir Putin had decided to invade Ukraine and assault the capital. The conflict in eastern Ukraine has reignited in recent days, leading to fears that Russia may use it to justify an invasion. Kamala Harris, who is leading the American delegation to the Munich Security Conference, will use the platform to warn Russia of huge financial costs if it invades Ukraine and herald for the unity of European allies on Saturday – Ukraine-Russia news – live: Biden ‘convinced’ Putin will attack Kiev in days as explosions heard in Donetsk (Independent ~ News – World – Europe)

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on

Canadian police have started arresting so-called Freedom Convoy protesters in a bid to end their three-week occupation of Ottawa. At least eight people have been detained without the use of force – including two of the protest leaders, who were apprehended late on Thursday and face charges of mischief and obstructing police. Why are Canadian truckers protesting, and where else is their action affecting outside Ottawa? Police made it clear they were preparing to end the protest and remove the more than 300 trucks on site. After police were accused of failing to tackle the protests, Mr Trudeau invoked emergency powers on Monday which allowed law enforcement to declare the blockades as illegal, tow trucks, arrest the drivers, suspend their licences and freeze their bank accounts – Freedom Convoy protests: Canadian police start making arrests in Ottawa in bid to end occupation (Sky News ~ World)

Police in Ottawa have begun arresting protesters from the so-called “freedom convoy” which has paralysed Canada’s capital for weeks. Dozens of police moved in on the protest camp near Parliament Hill on Friday morning, arresting protesters and attempting to remove people from the vehicles that have blockaded the city since late January. The city’s interim police chief warned that “action is imminent,” and two prominent protest leaders were arrested on Thursday night. With temperatures hovering around -13C, protesters had started their day digging out their vehicles from a heavy overnight snowfall. A bitter wind blew through the protest camps as dozens of protesters huddled around fires and watched warily as the police numbers grew – Canadian police arrest at least 100 protesters in bid to break up Ottawa truck blockade (The Guardian UK edition ~ World – Americas – Canada)

Storm Eunice is causing severe travel disruption across Donegal this morning. People are being urged to exercise extreme caution following a number of cars reportedly off the road in various parts of the county. Donegal County Council say that the Back of Errigal Road is currently impassable with Drivers advised to use the N56 route instead via Glenties. The Council will update when the route is clear. The road at Meenaroy is currently blocked with vehicles caught in the snow. Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible – Storm Eunice: Latest travel updates here (Highland Radio ~ News & Sport)

Fierce winds from Storm Eunice toppled trees and sent debris flying, causing the deaths of a woman in her 30s in London, a man in his 20s in Hampshire, and a man in his 50s in Merseyside. Police in Highgate, north London, said they were called to reports of a tree falling on a car at 16:00 GMT. The woman, a passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver, a man in his 30s, was taken to hospital. A driver in Wiltshire was in a serious condition and two passengers were taken to hospital after a car collided with a fallen tree, while others were injured in south London and Henley-on-Thames by falling trees and debris. With many railway lines blocked by trees and other debris, major train operators – including Chiltern Railways, Avanti West Coast and Great Western Railway – were forced to suspend services, while in Wales all trains were cancelled. In Ireland, a man in his 60s was killed by a falling tree in County Wexford – Storm Eunice: Three people killed as strong winds sweep across UK (BBC News ~ UK)


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