* Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Saturday ordered the beginning of strategic nuclear workout routines involving launches of ballistic missiles, the RIA information company cited the Kremlin as saying. The workout routines are Moscow’s newest present of energy at a time of acute stress with the West over Ukraine.
* Ukrainian International Minister Dmytro Kuleba will go to Brussels and america subsequent week to coordinate with Western companions efforts to discourage Russia, Interfax Ukraine reported on Saturday.
* The Kremlin confirmed on Saturday that Russian chief Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron will communicate by telephone on Sunday, the TASS information company reported, amid hovering tensions over Ukraine.
* NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg stated on Saturday he had despatched a letter to Russian International Minister Sergei Lavrov providing extra talks to defuse a doable battle in Ukraine however warned Moscow of the hazards of creating unattainable safety calls for.
* Greece and Turkey will maintain a brand new spherical of exploratory talks on Feb. 22 in Athens, the Greek International Ministry stated on Saturday, as the 2 NATO-allies search to handle their variations within the Mediterranean.
* China’s state planner issued guidelines to advertise a quicker restoration from the pandemic within the providers sector, together with offering tax incentives to the catering, retail, tourism and aviation industries.
* A Japanese well being panel accepted a plan for extra focused curbs throughout a lot of the nation, as new infections decline however deaths rise to a document stage.
* Thailand’s property market could not return to pre-pandemic ranges till 2024 attributable to a slower-than-expected financial restoration amid a brand new outbreak and better inflation, the analysis unit of a state dwelling mortgage lender stated.
* British retail gross sales grew quicker than anticipated in January, recovering about half the losses suffered when a wave of infections precipitated many consumers to remain at dwelling throughout December.
* President Joe Biden stated on Friday the U.S. nationwide emergency declared in March 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic will probably be prolonged past March 1 as a result of ongoing threat to public well being posed by the coronavirus.
* Australia recorded 43 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, because it readies to welcome worldwide vacationers on Monday for the primary time in practically two years.
* Scrapping COVID-19 exams and isolation intervals in England may result in fast epidemic progress as individuals’s behaviour modifications extra swiftly than at earlier instances within the pandemic, authorities advisers stated in a doc.
* Germany nonetheless expects to obtain 1.4 million doses of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 21, the nation’s well being minister stated.
* Poland has made progress in talks with the European Fee on unblocking COVID-19 restoration funds, its prime minister stated, including that he believed an settlement could possibly be reached.
* Police started towing vans from central Ottawa and stepped up arrests of protesters in a bid to finish a trucker-led motion that has blockaded Canada’s capital for 3 weeks.
* Greater than 200,000 British houses have been nonetheless with out energy early on Saturday, after Storm Eunice knocked over 1 million households off the grid on Friday, a physique representing electrical energy networks stated.
* Twelve individuals are nonetheless lacking after a blaze swept via a ferry crusing from Greece to Italy early on Friday, Greek authorities stated on Saturday, as firefighters battled to manage the flames.
* Eight Malian troopers have been killed, 14 others injured and 4 are lacking following a conflict with armed Islamist militants within the northeast of the West African nation on Friday, the defence ministry stated.