Over 220 U.S. Marines and Ukrainian forces, riding in 15 Amphibious vehicles, participated in an amphibious landing operation in Odessa, Ukraine, July 27. Photo: NATO

Russia on Tuesday accused the United States of direct involvement in the Ukraine war.

Lt Gen Igor Konashenkov, spokesperson for Moscow's defence ministry said that they intercepted calls between Ukrainian officials that revealed the direct involvement of the US in the Ukraine war.

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Germany is going to allow 21 coal plants to restart or work past planned closing dates for the next two winters, according to media reports.

France, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands have also announced plans to reactivate old coal power plants, however, the plans of Germany are most extensive, according to the Washington Post.

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On 20 June 2022, the European Commission submitted a legislative proposal that would make it possible to recognise Ukrainian driving licences and certificates of professional competence for lorry, bus and coach drivers in the European Union.

The proposal was processed quickly in the EU, and the regulation entered into force as a matter of urgency on 27 July 2022.

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Among German companies, 62 percent offer their office workers the option of working from home. This is a finding of the most recent Personnel Manager Survey conducted by the ifo Institute in cooperation with Randstad. On average, companies allow their employees 6.7 days of working from home per month.

“Companies with more than 500 employees, in particular, are the ones offering remote working as an option, even after coronavirus restrictions have eased,” says ifo expert Johanna Garnitz.

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Russia central bank

The Russian economy will shrink year-on-year until mid-2023, and from the middle of next year and in 2024 it will grow at a recovery pace, according to the central bank's report on monetary policy.

"In general, by the end of 2022, according to the forecast of the Bank of Russia, GDP will contract by 4-6 per cent, which is somewhat better than the April estimates (8-10 per cent). In annualized terms, the reduction will continue until mid-2023, therefore, by the end of 2023, a decline in the range of 1-4 per cent is predicted," the regulator said.

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Russia has decided to quit the International Space Station "after 2024", the newly-appointed chief of Moscow's space agency told President Vladimir Putin on July 26, 2022. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Russian state-run space agency Roscosmos has said that it will withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024 to focus on building its own orbital outpost, media reports said.

This comes in the wake of mounting tensions due to the Ukraine conflict, where despite the flare-up both Russia's space agency Roscosmos and US space agency NASA signed an agreement for astronauts and cosmonauts for cross flights to the ISS on Russian-made Soyuz ships.

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COVID-19 patient in severe state. Photo: Mstyslav Chernov

Survey results show that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened violence against healthcare, with a documented increase of incidents in many countries.

Health personnel and their patients, as well as healthcare facilities and ambulances, are subject to persistent acts of violence in all regions of the world. The results of a global survey conducted in 2021 reveal an increase in reported incidents since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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Bilateral meeting with Finland and Sweden. Left to right: Pekka Haavisto (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Finland) with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Ann Linde (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sweden)

The accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO is a formal step, what will happen next with instructors and bases is important, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Moscow will monitor de facto the consequences of the accession of these countries to NATO.

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The EU Regulation on social security is now nationally applied in a different way than before, and therefore the liability to pay the student healthcare fee changes. Following the change, students in higher education do not have to pay the healthcare fee if they have social security coverage from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland or the United Kingdom.

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The European Commission on July 20, 2022 urged EU countries to reduce demand for natural gas by 15 percent over the coming months to secure winter stocks and defeat Russian "blackmail". LEHTIKUVA / AFP

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has further darkened the global growth outlook, with the European economy facing a serious setback given its trade, investment, and financial links with the warring countries.

In a blog post published on Tuesday, IMF officials Mark Flanagan, Alfred Kammer, Andrea Pescatori and Martin Stuermer stated that Europe is enduring a partial cutoff of natural gas exports from Russia, its largest energy supplier.

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Charles, Prince of Wales in Jersey on 18 July 2012. Photo: Dan Marsh

UK's Prince Charles, the longest-serving heir apparent to the throne in British history, accepted a donation of 1 million pounds (USD 1.21 million) from the family of Osama bin Laden in 2013.

As first reported by The Sunday Times of London, The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund received the donation in 2013 from the brothers Bakr and Shafiq bin Laden, half-brothers of Osama bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda and architect of the September 11 attacks, quoted The New York Times (NYT).

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The EU has imposed new sanctions on Russia. These sanctions extend and specify previously imposed sanctions and include new provisions on their implementation. The sanctions include a ban on imports of Russian gold to the EU.

On 21 July 2022, the European Union imposed new sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

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Flames rise from a forest near the village of Pumarejo, northern Spain, on July 18, 2022. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Extreme heat in western Europe is causing devastating wildfires in France and Spain, and unprecedented drought in Italy and Portugal, according to World Metrological Organization (WMO).

According to UN's WMO, the UK recorded its highest-ever temperature of just over 40 degrees Celsius during Tuesday, at London's Heathrow airport. With temperatures expected to remain above normal until the middle of next week, the WMO warned that heatwaves will occur more and more frequently, into the 2060s.

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An employee of the GGD Haaglanden prepares the equipment to dispense the monkeypox vaccination in a vaccination centre in Rijswijk on July 25, 2022. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

A high-level World Health Organization (WHO) official on Tuesday said the rapidly spreading Monkeypox outbreak can be stopped with the right strategies.

"We do at this moment still believe that this outbreak of Monkeypox can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups," said Dr Rosamund Lewis, WHO Technical Lead on Monkeypox at a press briefing in Geneva.

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A swab that tested positive for the Monkeypox virus is seen at the UW Medicine Virology Laboratory on July 12, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. LEHTIKUVA / Getty Images / AFP

Around 14,000 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in over 70 countries this year and a total of 5 deaths have been reported in Africa, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

The WHO chief assured that the organization will continue to do everything it can to support countries to stop transmission and save lives.

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The EU Council has agreed to allocate the fifth tranche of military assistance to Ukraine worth 500 million euros, European Council President Charles Michel said on Monday.

"I welcome @EUCouncil political agreement on the fifth tranche to #Ukraine under #EPF. #EU support in military equipment to Ukraine Armed Forces now at 2,5 billion EUR. Europe stands with Ukraine," Michel tweeted.

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