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American citizen held in Iran for more than six years released to seek medical treatment, UN spokesperson says

An elderly American wrongfully held in Iran for more than six years has been permitted to leave the country "to seek medical treatment abroad," according to a statement from UN Secretary General spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

Russia-Ukraine war: Russians flee Lyman as Ukrainian troops retake city a day after Putin’s illegal annexation – as it happened

Russian defence ministry says troops have withdrawn amid ‘threat of encirclement’Ukrainian forces perform victory dance after liberating LymanWhat we know on day 220 of the invasionPutin annexes four regions of Ukraine in major escalationIt’s 12pm in Ukraine, here’s the latest:Ukraine has encircled Russia’s forces around a bastion that is critical for Moscow at the eastern town of Lyman, in an operation that is still under way. Russia’s forces at Lyman totalled about 5,000 to 5,500 soldiers, but the number of encircled troops may have fallen because of casualties and some soldiers trying to break out of the encirclement, according to a spokesperson for Ukraine’s eastern forces.The Ministry of Defence said Russia’s expansion strategy has resulted in “killing civilians it now claims are its own citizens”.The MoD said Russia is expending “strategically valuable military assets” in attempts to gain tactical advantage.Ukraine’s president thanked his US counterpart, Joe Biden, on Saturday for signing an additional $12.35 bn (£11bn) in support for Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskiy said “This help is more important today than ever.”The Ukrainian director-general of the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been detained by a Russian patrol, according to Energoatom. The company said his detention on Friday “jeopardises the safety of operation of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.”Turkey which has been at the centre of mediation between the west and Russia, rejected Russia’s annexation of Ukraine, calling the decision a “grave violation” of international law.The World Bank said it will provide an additional US$530m in support to Ukraine, bringing the total aid by the bank to $13bn. The aid is supported by the UK ($500m) and Denmark ($30m).Lyman is important because it is the next step towards the liberation of the Ukrainian Donbas. It is an opportunity to go further to Kreminna and Sievierodonetsk, and it is psychologically very important.The occupiers trapped in Liman asked the Russian command to allow them to leave the city, but were refused. Continue reading...

Ukraine live briefing: Ukraine claims control of Lyman after Russians withdraw

Ukrainian forces said they had surrounded Russian forces in the eastern city of Lyman, advancing in one of four regions annexed by Russia.

Scores of Iraqis injured in anti-government protests in Baghdad

Teargas and stun grenades used by security forces as unrest over poverty and corruption flares up in the capital and other citiesIraqi security forces have fired teargas and stun grenades to disperse stone-throwing protesters in clashes that wounded scores of people near Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where hundreds marked the anniversary of anti-government unrest in 2019.At least 86 people were wounded on Saturday, about half of them members of the security forces, and 38 protesters were hit by rubber bullets. Continue reading...

Hurricane Ian: Florida and Carolinas comb wreckage to assess deadly toll

Twenty-seven reported dead in Florida and four in North Carolina as residents try to rebuild from one of most powerful recent stormsAs Hurricane Ian upended the lives of millions along the south-eastern United States, authorities sifting through the wreckage in Florida and the Carolinas were reporting a few dozen deaths as of Saturday, and the states’ residents were early in the stages of rebuilding from one of the strongest, most expensive hurricanes in recent American history.The storm had worked its way north after slamming into Florida and slowly weakening, gathering some of its strength back from the warm Atlantic Ocean waters before hitting South Carolina on Friday. It made its second US landfall in Georgetown, 60 miles north of Charleston, destroying parts of four popular piers, including two in Myrtle Beach. Continue reading...