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'US hindering talks'

Day 28 of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. The Defense Ministry says it has hit an arms depot near Ukraine’s northwestern city of Rivne. The spokesman said Russia has hit nearly a hundred military assets of the Ukrainian armed forces near the capital Kiev. In another development, the two sides have agreed on nine humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from Ukrainian cities. They exclude the southern port city of Mariupol where Ukrainian authorities say around 100,000 people are trapped. President Volodymyr Zelensky says they are living in inhumane conditions, facing starvation. According to the UN, more than 900 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the conflict began. Over three-million more have fled the country. 

UK cost of living crisis

UK inflation hits 6.2%, the highest level in three decades, as soaring food, fuel, and energy costs continue to deepen the country’s cost of living crisis. The Office for National Statistics says that Consumer Prices Index inflation was up 0.7 percent in February from 5.5 percent in January. The current rate is the highest level since March 1992, when it stood at 7.1 percent. Meanwhile, Britain unveiled a budget update aimed at easing a cost of living crisis. Experts, however, have warned that prices will rise further. The Bank of England blames the surge on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine which has sparked major price gains for crude oil, domestic energy, and food prices.

Iran-Syria relations

Iran’s foreign minister hails strategic ties between his country and Syria, saying the two nations are on the same front. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the comment upon arrival in Damascus. He is on an official visit there and was welcomed by his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mikdad. Amir-Abdollahian added that Iran continues to support the Syrian government and people. The top diplomat also said economic and trade cooperation is a priority for the two West Asian nations. Mikdad, for his part, said Iran and Syria are keen to boost ties to serve bilateral and regional interests.

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