Five people have died after a parachute failed on an aid package dropped by air into Gaza, reports say. An eyewitness and the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said the five were killed on Friday when at least one parachute failed to deploy. AFP news agency quoted a Gaza doctor as saying five people were killed. On Friday the EU, UK, US and others said they planned to open a sea route to Gaza to deliver aid that could begin operating this weekend. The US has said it will construct a temporary harbour to ship aid directly into Gaza, but US officials have said it will take weeks to make - BBC

President Biden and his team plan to fan out after the State of the Union address to amplify his message and sell his agenda with visits to key battleground states, the start of a month of campaign-style barnstorming now that the general election contest has begun in earnest. Mr. Biden will head to Philadelphia on Friday and Atlanta on Saturday for campaign speeches, hitting two of the half-dozen swing states that he won in 2020 and is counting on to defeat former President Donald J. Trump again in November. Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Arizona and Nevada, two other states in that same category - NYT


Two young Indian men who were expecting to work as "helpers" in the Russian army have instead died fighting in Ukraine, their families have said. They are among around 35 young Indians tricked by promises of a job, only to find themselves trafficked to the frontline of the war, according to investigators in New Delhi. The death of one of the men has been confirmed by the Indian embassy in Russia. India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), said on Thursday that it has broken up a "major human-trafficking network" operating across several states and targeting people using social media platforms and through local agents. The CBI said in a statement: "The trafficked Indian nationals were trained in combat roles and deployed at front bases in Russia-Ukraine War Zone against their wishes." Some of the victims were also "grievously injured", it said. - Sky News


"There was a ballistic missile strike 300-400 meters away. The missile came very quickly” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says of the Russian attack on Odesa during his visit March 6. Says he does not know where exactly Russians were aiming and whether this strike was specifically aimed at him - Suspilne

More than 46,000 Russian military servicemen have been identified as victims killed in the war against Ukraine since February 2022, BBC Russian Service reported on March 8, referencing a joint investigation with independent Russian outlet Mediazona. According to the report, 5,565 of the dead were mobilized troops, and 8,599 were convicts who were recruited into the Russian military. In the investigation, which collects data from open sources, journalists note that the largest number of losses in the Russian army are among volunteer fighters, mobilized personnel, and recruited prisoners. On Jan. 12, they wrote about more than 42,000 Russian military personnel killed in the war against Ukraine.

Former President Donald Trump has secured a bond sufficient to support an $83.3 million jury award granted to writer E. Jean Carroll during a January defamation trial stemming from rape claims she made against Trump, his lawyer said Friday as she notified the federal judge who oversaw the trial that an appeal was underway. Attorney Alina Habba filed papers with the New York judge to show that Trump had secured a $91.6 million bond from the Federal Insurance Co. She simultaneously filed a notice of appeal to show Trump, the 2024 Republican presidential front-runner, is appealing the verdict to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals - NPR


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

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