A huge Russian attack overnight using at least 60 drones and 90 rockets targeted several Ukrainian regions: Kharkiv, Dnipro, Poltava, Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhzhia, Khmelnytskyi, Odesa, Lviv &  Ivano-Frankivsk. There are many dead & injured reported. The Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Station took two direct hits from Russian rockets and is on fire. Officials say it’s in critical condition and its return to service unknown. Traffic across the dam has been suspended. In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, the Russians sent 15 ballistic missiles. The eastern city is in total blackout - and water supply disrupted, no city transportation. The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has lost power to one of its lines. Power outages have been reported in Odesa, elsewhere. Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said the Russian attack targeted the Ukrainian the energy sector and was one of the largest ever. And the head of the Ukrainian grid operator, Volodymyr Kudrytsky, said: “Dozens of grid facilities have been hit. This is on a global scale."


Last’s night massive attack on infrastructure came just a day after another on Kyiv just hours after a visit to the city by US national security adviser Jake Sullivan. More than 25,000 people took shelter in the city’s metro stations while the attack was ongoing, with videos and images shared on social media showing crowds crammed together underground in images reminiscent of the early days of the war. Officials said Russia fired two ballistic missiles and 29 cruise missiles at the Kyiv region - all of which, they said, had been shot down. Tests will confirm exactly what missile types were fired, but a statement from the air force suggests it is possible the ballistic missiles were of North Korean origin. Authorities say about a dozen people were injured from falling debris; there were no reports of any fatalities - CNN

European Council president, Charles Michel, said European leaders have agreed on a unified statement on the Middle East. “The EU calls for an immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire. Full & safe humanitarian access into Gaza is essential to provide the civilian population with life-saving assistance in a catastrophic situation in Gaza,” he said. In the text agreed by the EU’s 27 heads of state and government, the leaders also condemn Hamas “in the strongest possible terms for its brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks across Israel on 7 October 2023, recognising Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law and international humanitarian law, and calling for the immediate release of all hostages without any precondition.” - The Guardian


The Italian government has allocated €500,000 to repair the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, which was damaged by a Russian missile in the summer of 2023. Odesa City Council said that Italy announced aid back in October 2023 and already in December determined the amount of funds to help restore the cathedral. However, the tranche was transferred to UNESCO only recently

The US Department of Justice sued Apple on Thursday, saying its iPhone ecosystem is a monopoly that drove its “astronomical valuation” at the expense of consumers, developers and rival phone makers. Washington has not ruled out breaking up one of the largest companies in the world, with a Justice Department official saying on a briefing call that structural relief was on the table if the U.S. were to win. The lawsuit claims Apple’s anti-competitive practices extend beyond the iPhone and Apple Watch businesses, citing Apple’s advertising, browser, FaceTime and news offerings. “Each step in Apple’s course of conduct built and reinforced the moat around its smartphone monopoly,” according to the suit, filed by the DOJ and 16 attorneys general in New Jersey federal court. Apple shares fell more than 4% during trading Thursday. A breakup of Apple if successful would be one of only a handful of breakups under the Sherman Act. The DOJ has considered using it in other antitrust cases, but has not done so since the breakup of the Bell System in 1982. The Justice Department said in a release that to keep consumers buying iPhones, Apple moved to block cross-platform messaging apps, limited third-party wallet and smartwatch compatibility, and disrupted non-App Store programs and cloud streaming services - CNBC

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