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NATO expansion fallout

Russia’s defense minister has pledged adequate countermeasures against Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership. Sergei Shoigu said the two Nordic countries joining NATO has led to an increase in military threats near the border. He said Russia would respond by forming 12 new units in its western military district. Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the Western military alliance on Wednesday. One Russian retaliatory measure involves cutting the export of gas. Finnish state-owned energy company says the flow of Russian gas to neighboring Finland will stop on Saturday morning. Gasum has, however, assured its customers this won’t disrupt the gas transmission network and supplies will continue from others sources in the coming months.

Call for accountability

A group of lawmakers in the European Union calls on the bloc to hold Israel accountable for the murder of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Monkeypox cases

Australia has reported its first case of monkeypox; a disease caused by a virus that is a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Australia detected the case in a man who recently arrived in Melbourne from Britain. Two of the infected patients in the UK had traveled from Nigeria. Other European countries including France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal, as well as the US and Canada, have confirmed cases too. Monkeypox was first recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s. It’s now common in western and central Africa. The disease spreads through very close contact with an infected person. It can enter the body through broken skin, eyes, nose, and mouth. The symptoms include fever, headaches, and skin rashes.

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