World News Roundup: Putin ‘in better shape than ever’, Belarus leader says; Stuck at Mexico border, anti-war Russians sweat their futures as Ukrainians enter U.S and more

Following is a summary of current world news briefs.

Putin ‘in better shape than ever’, Belarus leader says

Russian President Vladimir Putin is healthy, sane and “in better shape than ever”, his close ally Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has said in an interview with the Japanese television channel TBS. “He and I haven’t only met as heads of state, we’re on friendly terms,” Lukashenko said in a recording of the interview shared by state news agency BelTA. “I’m absolutely privy to all his details, as far as possible, both state and personal.”

Dead buildings tower over uncollected corpses in Mariupol, on the front line of Ukraine’s war

In Mariupol daily life is a series of harrowing escapes from bomb blasts and basic survival rituals, amid the rubble that lies everywhere. Uncollected corpses wrapped in blankets, coats or any available covering lie in courtyards cleared of debris. Those killed are often buried in common graves.

Pope rules any baptized lay Catholic, including women, can head Vatican departments

Pope Francis on Saturday issued a new constitution for the Vatican’s central administration, known as the Curia, stating that any baptized lay Catholic, including women, can head Vatican departments. Most Vatican departments have been headed by male clerics, usually cardinals. The new, 54-page constitution, called Praedicate Evangelium (Preach the Gospel), took more than nine years to complete.

Stuck at Mexico border, anti-war Russians sweat their futures as Ukrainians enter U.S

Russians trying to enter the United States at the Mexican border are frustrated they are not getting in like Ukrainians are, despite leaving their homeland over the invasion of Ukraine. U.S. officials have let dozens of Ukrainians through this week but Russians remain in limbo, prompting some to camp on the pavement alongside a barbed wire border fence, defying warnings from Mexican authorities to leave.

Russia uses hypersonic missiles in strike on Ukraine arms depot

Russia said on Saturday it had used hypersonic Kinzhal (Dagger) missiles to destroy a large weapons depot in Ukraine’s western Ivano-Frankivsk region. Russia’s Interfax news agency said it was the first time Russia had deployed the hypersonic Kinzhal system since it sent its troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy tells Russia to hold peace talks or suffer for generations

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on Saturday for comprehensive peace talks with Moscow to stop its invasion of Ukraine, saying it would otherwise take Russia “several generations” to recover from its losses in the war. Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the assault on Feb. 24, Russian forces have taken heavy losses and their advance has largely stalled, with long columns of troops that bore down on Kyiv halted at its suburbs.

Death toll from migrant shipwreck off Tunisia rises to 17

The death toll from a migrant shipwreck off Tunisia on Friday has risen to 17 people, most of them Syrians, as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to Italy, a civil protection official told Reuters on Saturday. He said the coastguard recovered five bodies on Saturday, after finding 12 on Friday. A search was still under way.

British royal couple starts Caribbean tour amid colonial reckoning

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate arrive in Belize on Saturday for a week long Caribbean tour that sparked controversy before it even began amid growing scrutiny of the British Empire’s colonial ties to the region. The arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge coincides with the celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 70th year on the throne, and comes nearly four months after Barbados voted to become a republic, cutting ties with the monarchy but remaining part of the British-led Commonwealth of Nations.

U.S. to provide Stryker army company to NATO battlegroup in Bulgaria

The United States has agreed to provide a Stryker mechanized infantry company for Bulgaria’s battlegroup under NATO’s drive to bolster its eastern flank after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said on Saturday. “The USA agreed to provide a Stryker company,” he told a press conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. “This is a strong sign to all of our allies in NATO.”

Meet the Ukrainian couples training for war

A generation of Ukrainians who knew of war only from history books and the stories of their grandparents has been forced to prepare to fight, and some are choosing to do it with the partners they were building their lives with only weeks ago.

In a training centre in the southern city of Odessa, young urban professionals who might normally be choosing where to meet friends for a coffee learn about handling weapons and applying emergency first aid to battlefield wounds.

(With inputs from agencies.)






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