Donald Trump does not have presidential immunity and can be prosecuted on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, a US court has ruled. Mr. Trump had claimed in the landmark legal case that he was immune from criminal charges for acts he said fell within his duties as president. But Tuesday's ruling in Washington DC struck down that claim. It is a setback for Mr. Trump who has for years cited presidential immunity while battling multiple cases - BBC

The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned against further escalation in the Middle East. In a statement issued Tuesday, the ICRC said: “We are deeply concerned by the waves of escalating violence in the Middle East and strongly warn against the further regionalization of the conflict in Gaza and Israel. This region has been mired in a humanitarian crisis for decades, with civilians in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere paying the highest price. Intensifying hostilities are likely to cause yet more suffering and exacerbate existing humanitarian emergencies. What people in the region need and deserve above all is a respite from violence.”


Israel's government said that it would bring in 65,000 foreign workers from Uzbekistan, India, and Sri Lanka to resume construction stalled since October 7 when Palestinian workers were sent home in the wake of the attack on Israel by Hamas, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the EU. Some 72,000 Palestinian workers were employed on construction sites in Israel before the attack, which prompted the government to lay them off and exclude them from Israel for security reasons. A Housing Ministry spokesperson said new groups of foreign workers were expected to arrive in the coming weeks - RFE/RL

Due to a massive early morning Russian missile and drone attack on Ukraine, 21 injured people in Kyiv, Mayor Vitaliy Klychko said. Also, several dead according to President Volodymyr Zelensky. Multi-story apartment buildings damaged. Industrial complex hit in Lviv. Mykolaiv and Kharkiv oblasts were also targeted. Ukraine telegram channels posted images of what’s been described as a “transportation apocalypse” in Kyiv due to power outages and other disruptions. In all 44 of 64 missiles and drones were intercepted by Ukrainian defense systems.


Senegal's President Macky Sall's announcement to postpone general elections has sparked protests in the country - DW

Russia has allowed the release of millions of dollars in frozen North Korean assets and may be helping its isolated ally with access to international banking networks, assistance that has come after the North’s transfer of weapons to Moscow for use against Ukraine, according to American-allied intelligence officials. The White House said last month that it had evidence that North Korea had provided ballistic missiles to Russia, and that the North was seeking military hardware in return. Pyongyang also appears to have shipped up to 2.5 million rounds of ammunition, according to an analysis by a British security think tank. While it is unclear whether Russia has given North Korea the military technology it may want, new banking ties would be another sign of the steady advancement in relations between the two countries. The expanding partnership has most likely emboldened the North, as it has issued a stream of belligerent threats in recent months, U.S. officials say. Russia has allowed the release of $9 million out of $30 million in frozen North Korean assets deposited in a Russian financial institution, according to the intelligence officials, money that they say the impoverished North will use to buy crude oil - NYT


Karolina Shiino, the Ukraine-born winner of last month’s Miss Japan contest, has relinquished her title, the contest organizer said Monday, following a magazine report that she was having an affair with a married man. It is the first time a Miss Japan winner has relinquished their title. The organizer said the post will be vacant for the year. Shukan Bunshun reported last Wednesday that Shiino, 26, was dating a doctor who is married. However, the Miss Japan organizer rebutted the claim on Thursday, saying he had claimed he was single and that she was unaware he was married. “Miss Japan Association believes there was no fault on the part of Karolina Shiino,” it said on its website. But the association said Monday it had come to light that she'd dated him knowing he was married, and that she had apologized for lying about it. The association accepted Shiino’s offer to step down as Miss Japan. Her agency Free Wave said in a statement on its website on Monday that the doctor initially said he was single, but Shiino continued the relationship even after she came to know that he was married. The agency has accepted Shiino's offer to terminate her contract with it. Shiino posted a message on her Instagram on Monday saying she had been "unable to speak the truth due to confusion and fear” - Japan Times


A Ukrainian military leader is asking Canada to hand over tens of thousands of rockets that are awaiting demolition at a Saskatchewan military base. In an exclusive interview with Global News, Lieutenant General Kyrylo Budanov urged the government to let Ukraine have the decommissioned CRV7 rockets. Doing so would help Ukraine fend off Russian forces and save taxpayers the cost of destroying them, said Lt. Gen. Budanov, chief of the Ukrainian defense ministry’s intelligence directorate. “We hope it will be a win-win situation,” he said - Global News

More details have emerged of the €50-billion Ukraine Facility support mechanism approved by EU leaders last week. The bulk - €33-billion - will consist of low-interest loans to be later repaid by Ukraine. “Under the agreement, the EU will establish the Ukraine Facility to provide the war-torn nation with €50 billion between 2024 and 2027 to keep its economy afloat and sustain essential services, such as healthcare, education, and social protection. The pot will combine €17 billion in non-repayable grants and €33 billion in low-interest loans, meaning member states will only subsidize the former. The money for the loans will be borrowed by the Commission on the markets and later repaid by Ukraine. Brussels will roll out the Facility in gradual payments to guarantee reliable and predictable financing. In return, Kyiv will be asked to carry out structural reforms and investments to improve public administration, good governance, the rule of law, and the fight against corruption and fraud – all of which can help the country advance its EU membership bid. In a small concession to Viktor Orbán, the only leader who opposed the Ukraine aid, leaders will hold a debate every year to assess the Facility's implementation, but this high-level discussion will not be subject to a vote (or possible veto). "If needed," the deal says, leaders might invite the Commission to review the package in two years. If the co-legislators agree swiftly on the regulation that underpins the Facility, Brussels will send Kyiv the first tranche in early March” – Euronews


This review is reprinted with the author’s permission from his World Briefing blog. See the original here.

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