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Since the outset of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Poland has been a staunch supporter of Kyiv, providing military aid and making a passionate case for this support as crucial to Poland’s own defense against Russian aggression. However, there has been a notable shift in the Polish government’s stance on Ukraine.

Recently, a change in tone has emerged, raising questions about Poland’s commitment to Kyiv. Some Polish officials have suggested that Ukraine should show more gratitude for Poland’s support. Poland’s prime minister even hinted at the possibility of ending weapons transfers to Ukraine, though others in his party tried to backtrack on that message.

Polish President Andrzej Duda made a particularly controversial statement, likening Ukraine to a drowning man who could potentially pull down his rescuers. Moscow seized upon these remarks with enthusiasm.

The downturn in relations between the two neighboring countries began over a dispute about grain imports that remains unresolved. Ukraine needs to export its harvest, and land routes are vital since Russia has been deliberately targeting ports on the Black Sea and the Danube River. However, Poland, in a bid to protect its own farmers, has restricted cheaper Ukrainian grain from entering its domestic market, only permitting it to transit to the rest of the European Union.

This shift in Poland’s stance is not occurring in isolation, as “Ukraine fatigue” is looming over election campaigns in various countries. Poland’s governing Law and Justice party (PiS), which is leading in the polls but faces tight margins, is positioning itself as the defender of Polish interests. PiS aims to attract conservative voters who may be sympathetic to the idea that Ukraine is not showing enough gratitude for Polish support.

Despite criticism from opposition politicians who label this shift as dangerous nationalism, Poland’s changing tone reflects a broader trend. Ukraine is concerned about maintaining strong Western support as it faces Russian forces, making this shift in Poland’s stance a cause for worry. However, Poland emphasizes that international aid will continue to reach Ukraine’s frontlines through Rzeszow in the east, a critical transit hub for military supplies. Talks between Ukraine and Poland regarding the grain dispute are ongoing.

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Following the surrender of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani forces, Armenia has declared its readiness to provide housing and support for displaced individuals from the region. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan assured that Armenia had made arrangements for tens of thousands of people, although he believed there was no immediate threat to the ethnic Armenians in Karabakh. On the other hand, authorities in Karabakh had raised concerns about potential ethnic cleansing.

Under a Russian-brokered ceasefire, local Karabakh forces agreed to complete disarmament and disbandment, leading to a sense of uncertainty and distress among the population. Armenia’s Prime Minister emphasized that the estimated 120,000 ethnic Armenians in the region should be allowed to stay in their homes under safe and dignified conditions. Armenia had also prepared to accommodate up to 40,000 families in case of an influx of refugees.

The situation on the ground appeared tense, with reports of sporadic violence and disputes over the ceasefire’s implementation. Delegations from Armenia and Azerbaijan convened to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh’s future, and while the talks were described as constructive, significant challenges remained unresolved.

The region of Nagorno-Karabakh, recognized as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenians, has experienced longstanding conflicts, with fears of further displacement and ethnic tensions following recent developments. The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to address the issue, and international observers had limited access to verify reported casualties due to a blockade imposed on the region.

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A French journalist, Ariane Lavrilleux, was held overnight and subjected to police questioning in connection with a 2021 investigative report that alleged French intelligence involvement in Egyptian operations resulting in civilian casualties. The incident unfolded when police conducted a search of Lavrilleux’s residence on September 19 and subsequently took her into custody. Her detention came as part of an inquiry related to potential breaches of national security.

Lavrilleux’s lawyer disclosed that she was released after spending a night in custody. Amnesty International expressed grave concerns about the journalist’s arrest, emphasizing the potential threat it posed to press freedom and source confidentiality. Katia Roux, a representative from Amnesty International, remarked on the arrest, stating, “To put in police custody a journalist for doing her job, moreover for revealing information of public interest, could be a threat to freedom of the press and confidentiality of sources.”

Ariane Lavrilleux had reportedly been questioned by officers from the French intelligence service, specifically the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI). Her 2021 report, published by the French investigative journalism website Disclose, relied on leaked classified documents to assert that French intelligence had been used by Egyptian authorities to bomb and kill smugglers along the Egyptian-Libyan border between 2016 and 2018. The report alleged French involvement in “at least 19 bombings” against civilians.

Disclose stated that French authorities, under both President François Hollande and President Emmanuel Macron, were continuously informed about these developments by personnel in “several military departments” but had disregarded their concerns. The publication of the report included national security secrets, which led to France’s armed forces ministry filing a legal complaint for “violation of national defence secrets.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned Lavrilleux’s arrest, calling for the cessation of all criminal investigations against her and advocating for the police to refrain from questioning her about her sources. Attila Mong, CPJ’s Europe representative, highlighted the importance of allowing journalists to freely report on national defense and security matters, expressing concerns that questioning reporters about their confidential sources could deter reporting on such issues.

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One of Ukraine’s steadfast supporters, Poland, has declared that it will cease its weapon supplies to its neighboring country, Ukraine, citing a diplomatic dispute regarding Ukraine’s grain exports as the primary reason. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki emphasized that Poland’s current focus is on bolstering its own defense capabilities with more modern weaponry.

Poland had already provided Ukraine with significant military assistance, including 320 Soviet-era tanks and 14 MiG-29 fighter jets. However, their willingness to continue such support has dwindled, coinciding with escalating tensions between the two nations.

The recent diplomatic rift was triggered when Poland, along with Hungary and Slovakia, extended a ban on Ukrainian grain imports. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s comments at the United Nations, characterizing their actions as political theater, added fuel to the fire. Poland viewed these remarks as unjustified, given their longstanding support for Ukraine.

In his interview, Prime Minister Morawiecki underlined that while Poland remains committed to assisting Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression, it could not allow its own markets to be destabilized by Ukrainian grain imports. He pointed out that Poland was already replacing its depleted military hardware, which had been significantly reduced through transfers to Ukraine, with modern Western-produced equipment.

While arms exports to Ukraine will not cease entirely, only previously agreed deliveries of ammunition and armaments, including those from existing contracts with Ukraine, will be fulfilled. This decision reflects Poland’s commitment to its own security and stability, while the future of its assistance to Ukraine remains uncertain.

The ongoing grain dispute arises from Ukraine’s need to find alternative overland routes for grain exports due to Russia’s full-scale invasion, which nearly closed the main Black Sea shipping lanes. Consequently, large quantities of grain flowed into Central Europe, leading the European Union to temporarily ban grain imports into several countries. Despite the EU lifting the ban, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia have maintained it, leading to Ukraine’s WTO lawsuits against these nations. Poland has signaled its intention to uphold the ban, while also hinting at the possibility of expanding the list of banned products should Ukraine escalate the grain dispute. However, diplomatic channels remain open, with discussions ongoing to seek a mutually beneficial solution.

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A day after Azerbaijan initiated an offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, ethnic-Armenian forces have agreed to a ceasefire brokered by Russia. This agreement includes the significant concession of complete disarmament by Karabakh forces. Nagorno-Karabakh, home to around 120,000 ethnic Armenians, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

Three years ago, Azerbaijan reclaimed areas in and around Karabakh and, on Tuesday, demanded an unconditional surrender. Karabakh authorities have reported at least 32 casualties, including seven civilians, and approximately 200 injuries since Azerbaijan launched what it termed “anti-terror” operations.

Azerbaijan’s leadership has announced plans to meet with Armenian representatives from Karabakh to discuss “re-integration” matters in the Azerbaijani town of Yevlakh, located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Karabakh’s regional capital, known as Khankendi to Azerbaijanis and Stepanakert to Armenians.

Mediated by Russian peacekeepers, enclave leaders have confirmed a comprehensive cessation of hostilities beginning at 13:00 local time (09:00 GMT). However, despite the ceasefire, loud explosions persisted in the regional capital, and minor clashes were reported by both sides. Azerbaijan claimed to have captured over 90 positions from ethnic Armenians since the conflict began.

Karabakh officials urged residents to remain in shelters and avoid heading to the local airport, which adjoins a Russian peacekeeping base. Nonetheless, a group of civilians gathered near the airport.

Russia revealed that its peacekeepers had evacuated 2,000 people from Karabakh villages since the offensive commenced. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan emphasized that his government played no part in crafting the ceasefire text and insisted that Russian peacekeepers bore full responsibility for the safety of the local population. On Tuesday, he accused Azerbaijan of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” in Karabakh.

The terms of the truce require complete disarmament and disbandment of local Karabakh forces, along with a commitment for Armenian forces to withdraw, despite Yerevan’s denial of any military presence there.

Azerbaijan’s presidential envoy, Elchin Amirbekov, stated that Russian peacekeepers played a crucial role in facilitating the ceasefire’s implementation.

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The majority of Spain’s national football team members have agreed to end their boycott, as confirmed by the Secretary of State for Sports, Victor Francos. This decision was reached after over seven hours of discussions that concluded at 05:00 local time on Wednesday.

Francos stated that the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has committed to implementing immediate and significant reforms. Out of the 23 players initially selected for this month’s Nations League matches, two, Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro, have chosen to leave the squad.

The boycott began when the former RFEF president, Luis Rubiales, kissed forward Jenni Hermoso without her consent following Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory over England on August 20. This incident led to Rubiales’ resignation and the dismissal of Spain’s manager, Jorge Vilda.

The Spanish team is scheduled to play against Sweden and Switzerland in their upcoming matches. Francos expressed relief that the team would participate with assurances.

He mentioned that the decision was the result of “amicable” discussions in Valencia involving players, RFEF officials, the CSD (Spanish government’s national sports agency), and the women’s players’ union Futpro. A joint commission will be established to oversee the agreed-upon changes, with the signing set to take place soon.

Leon and Guijarro will not face penalties for their decision to leave, which Francos described as “fully respectable.” They had previously boycotted the national team along with 15 other players before the World Cup, citing issues with Coach Vilda. They did not participate in this year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Regarding the situation, Leon stated, “We already knew this was not the right way to return, and we are not in the right state,” and Guijarro added, “It’s quite difficult and quite hard. Mentally we are not right to be here.”

The new head coach, Montse Tome, included 15 players from the World Cup squad in her selection for the Nations League games, but the players reaffirmed their boycott in a statement, expressing their reluctance to participate and exploring potential legal implications.

Tome excluded Hermoso from the squad “to protect her,” but Hermoso argued that this decision indicated that “nothing has changed” at the RFEF.

The CSD announced the establishment of a commission to oversee the agreed-upon changes, focusing on equality policies, equal pay advancements, and improvements to women’s sports infrastructure.

Furthermore, the RFEF confirmed plans to merge the men’s and women’s Spanish national teams under a single logo and branding known as “Seleccion Espanola de Futbol” (Spanish national team). This move aims to promote equality in football.

Amanda Gutierrez, the president of Futpro, stated that most players had chosen to stay in the interest of the agreement, calling it the beginning of a long journey.

The Spain players arrived at their training camp in Valencia on Tuesday. When asked about her feelings regarding the situation, midfielder Alexia Putellas, a two-time Ballon d’Or winner, responded, “Well, bad.”

Rubiales has been ordered to stay at least 200 meters away from Hermoso after she filed a legal complaint against him. In his first court appearance, Rubiales denied the allegations of sexual assault.

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Germany has taken action to prohibit Hammerskins, a neo-Nazi group infamous for organizing far-right concerts and distributing racist music. This move is seen as a strong stance against racism and antisemitism, with 28 leading members’ residences being raided across the country.

Hammerskins, which originally originated in the United States in the late 1980s, is believed to have around 130 members in Germany. The German authorities have labeled this ban as a significant blow to organized right-wing extremism and the cruel activities of an internationally active neo-Nazi organization.

Nancy Faeser, Germany’s interior minister, emphasized that right-wing extremism remains a substantial threat to democracy and that they will continue to take decisive action. The group’s primary objective was to use concerts as a platform to propagate their far-right ideology.

Hammerskins played a significant role in establishing neo-Nazi music labels, selling antisemitic music, and arranging covert music events. They were linked to venues like Hate Bar in Saarland, where arrests were made for displaying prohibited symbols during far-right concerts as recently as April of this year.

The German authorities collaborated closely with their counterparts in the United States in advance of this ban. Hammerskins, founded in Texas in 1988, expanded its presence across the US and several other countries, operating under a global umbrella known as the Hammerskin Nation.

In Germany, the group had been active since the early 1990s and was regarded as one of the most influential far-right organizations in Europe. It was divided into 13 regional chapters, some of which used names referencing Nazi Germany, and operated similarly to biker gangs. New members were required to complete initiation steps through their supporting group, Crew 38, which has also been banned.

The recent police raids aimed to target leaders of the group in 10 German states and seize the group’s assets. Several members were reported to have licenses to carry weapons. They referred to each other as “brothers” and considered themselves the “elite of the right-wing extremist skinhead scene.”

The group was responsible for organizing Germany’s largest far-right martial arts event, Fight of the Nibelungs, which was banned in 2019. Despite bans on certain activities, Hammerskins continued to organize concerts featuring various neo-Nazi bands.

This ban marks the 20th time that a right-wing extremist association has been outlawed in Germany, according to the interior ministry. Hammerskins was the last major right-wing skinhead organization in Germany following the outlawing of another group, Blood and Honour, in 2000. Blood and Honour had close ties to a neo-Nazi group responsible for 10 racially motivated murders in Germany.

In 2020, Germany also banned Combat 18, another neo-Nazi group associated with far-right concerts. The country’s domestic intelligence agency estimated that there are 38,800 individuals in the right-wing extremist scene, with over a third of them considered “potentially violent.”

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Azerbaijan’s defense ministry has initiated “anti-terrorist” operations in regions of Nagorno-Karabakh controlled by Armenia. Tensions have remained elevated for several months concerning the disputed ethnic-Armenian enclave, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

In Karabakh’s main city, air raid sirens and mortar fire were heard. Tragically, eleven Azerbaijani police and civilians lost their lives in a mine explosion and another incident.

Officials from the breakaway region of Karabakh stated that the Azerbaijani military breached the ceasefire by launching missile and artillery attacks along the entire line of contact. Representatives from Karabakh described it as a “large-scale military offensive.”

Azerbaijan and Armenia, neighboring nations, have previously engaged in two conflicts over Nagorno-Karabakh: first in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union and again in 2020. Three years ago, Azerbaijan successfully regained territories surrounding Karabakh, which had been held by Armenia since 1994.

Since December, Azerbaijan has imposed an effective blockade on the only route into the enclave from Armenia, known as the Lachin Corridor.

On Tuesday, Baku’s defense ministry accused Armenian forces of “systematically shelling” its military positions and claimed to have responded by launching “local, anti-terrorist activities” aimed at disarming and securing the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijani territories. They emphasized that their targets were strictly military and not civilians or civilian infrastructure.

Armenia’s defense ministry denied claims of Armenian military fire, stating that they did not correspond to reality.

The sounds of artillery and gunfire were reported from Khankendi, the regional capital of Karabakh, known as Stepanakert to Armenians. An estimated 120,000 ethnic Armenians reside in this mountainous enclave.

Journalist Siranush Sargsyan reported that residential areas of the city had been struck, including a neighboring building.

Armenian officials noted that, as of 14:00 (10:00 GMT), the situation along Armenia’s own borders was “relatively stable.”

Russia’s foreign ministry disclosed that it had been informed of the Azerbaijani offensive only moments before it occurred, urging both nations to respect the ceasefire that was signed after the 2020 war. The EU’s regional special representative, Toivo Klaar, emphasized the “urgent need for an immediate ceasefire.”

The fragile truce that ended the six-week war in 2020 had been under increasing strain in recent months. Approximately 3,000 Russian peacekeepers were deployed to monitor the ceasefire, but Russia’s attention has been redirected to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan recently stated that Russia was “spontaneously leaving the region.”

Azerbaijan had denied increasing troop numbers in the region. On Monday, it permitted aid from the International Committee of the Red Cross to enter Karabakh via two routes, one through the Lachin Corridor from Armenia and the other on Azerbaijan’s Aghdam road.

Hopes for tensions to ease were dashed when Azerbaijani officials reported six casualties, including four police officers, in an incident where their vehicle hit a landmine in the Khojavand area, which had been retaken during the 2020 war. Meanwhile, ethnic Armenian officials in Karabakh asserted that it was Azerbaijan’s military that had violated the ceasefire.

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An exceptionally well-preserved 150 million-year-old camptosaurus, affectionately named “Barry” after its discoverer in Wyoming, is slated for auction at Hotel Drouot in Paris on October 20th. This remarkable specimen from the late Jurassic period, standing at 2.1 meters tall and stretching 5 meters long after undergoing two rounds of restoration in 2000 and 2022, is expected to command bids of up to €1.2 million ($1.2 million, £970,000).

Experts note the rarity of encountering such an intact dinosaur skeleton, with Alexandre Giquello of Hotel Drouot highlighting the completeness of Barry, particularly its 90% complete skull and 80% complete rest of the body.

Dinosaur fossil sales remain infrequent, with only a small number occurring globally each year. Nevertheless, concerns have been raised by experts about valuable specimens potentially ending up in private collections. This concern was brought to attention in April when a Tyrannosaurus rex was auctioned in Europe for the first time, prompting worries that such scientifically valuable relics could vanish into the private holdings of collectors.

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In a tragic incident, a collision on the road claimed the lives of at least three Greek rescue team members and three members of a Libyan family. The accident occurred as the rescue team was en route to the flood-stricken city of Derna, with their bus colliding with the family’s car. A Libyan official reported that two individuals in the car and eight others on the bus sustained serious injuries. Investigations into the incident have been initiated.

Othman Abdeljalil, the health minister of the eastern Libyan administration, stated that the team had been traveling from Benghazi when the crash occurred. Discrepancies exist in the reported death toll, with Greek armed forces confirming three fatalities and two individuals missing, while Libyan sources reported four deaths.

Libya remains divided between two rival governments, one backed by the UN in Tripoli and another supported by Egypt in Benghazi. Greek authorities indicated that a bus carrying medical personnel collided with an oncoming vehicle, leading to the loss of three members of Greece’s humanitarian mission, with two team members still unaccounted for. They expressed uncertainty about the precise circumstances and pledged to collaborate with Libyan authorities. Additionally, efforts were underway to repatriate their personnel.

A diplomatic source revealed that the team consisted of 16 Greek rescuers and three interpreters, en route to join other international teams, including those from France and Italy. The devastating floods in Derna resulted in thousands of casualties when two dams ruptured during a powerful storm a week prior. According to the UN, the death toll currently stands at approximately 11,300, with over 10,000 officially listed as missing, based on figures from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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