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Prepare for a Russian Nuclear Assault on Ukraine, Zelensky Warns

Zelensky Warns
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking from the country’s capital Kyiv, expressed concern that Russian President Vladimir Putin would potentially be willing to deploy chemical weapons against Ukraine.

When asked by CNN if he was concerned about the possibility of a nuclear assault, Mr Zelensky responded, “Not only me – all of the globe, all of the countries ought to be concerned.”

“Chemical weapons,” he added. They could do it because the lives of the people are meaningless to them. That is the reason. We should consider not to be fearful, not to be afraid, but to be prepared.

“But, I believe, it is not a question for Ukraine, but for the entire globe.”

According to Mr. Zelensky, approximately 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian forces have died and an additional 10,000 have been injured in the battle.

He is, however, unsure about the civilian death toll.

“It is very difficult to talk about civilians because we don’t know how many people have died in that area that is blocked in the south of our nation, where the towns and cities are stopped – Kherson, Berdyansk, Mariupol farther east, and the territory to the east where Volnovakha located,” he said.

He also discussed the recent sinking of Russia’s flagship Moskva battleship.

The Ukrainian president stated that the sinking was not a “tragedy,” and that the fewer weaponry the Russian Federation has, the better it is for them.

Maksym Marchenko, governor of Ukraine’s Odesa region, said his country’s soldiers attacked the ship with two Neptune anti-ship missiles. Russian officials confirmed that their flagship vessel had sunk as a result of an ammunition explosion.

According to Russia, all 500 crew members were rescued on Wednesday. According to Ukrainian officials, some of those on board died, including the ship’s captain.

Since invading Ukraine, the Russian Federation has suffered damage to two major naval assets: the Moskva and the Alligator-class landing ship Saratov, according to the Ministry of Defence in London.

In the aftermath of the incident, British defense chiefs said on Friday that Russia is likely to reconsider its maritime posture in the Black Sea.

World Art Day 2022: Revisiting Best Works of Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci
Photo: europa.eu

The globe celebrates World Art Day 2022 on April 15 to honor the legacy and work of Leonardo Da Vinci, the greatest artist of all time and creator of the Mona Lisa. It’s the one-year anniversary of his birth.

In 2012, the General Conference of UNESCO established April 15 as World Art Day to honor and promote various forms of art and artists, both well-known and unknown. Through his work, Vinci became a symbol of peace and harmony.

On the occasion of Leonardo da Vinci’s 500th birthday, we’ve compiled a list of some of his most notable works.

Mona Lisa 

It’s impossible to talk about Leonardo da Vinci without mentioning the Mona Lisa. Two complement or rather complete each other, it isn’t a stretch to suggest. Several mysteries and legends surround the Mona Lisa, but it is still considered one of Vinci’s best works.

Mona Lisa is known for its flawless color and mix, making it nearly impossible for a viewer to tell if it was painted with a brush.

The Vitruvian Man

According to critics, The Vitruvian Man is one of Vinci’s most well-known masterpieces. It represents the human body’s optimal proportions.

The picture was inspired by Vitruvius’ writings. Vinci composes the human body by arranging it in a circle and a square, with the navel and genitals in the center.

The Last Supper 

The 15th-century Milanese duke Ludovico Sforza, who commissioned Vinci to create this picture, is thought to have established him as one of the world’s greatest artists.

The Last Supper represents Jesus Christ’s last dinner. The construction of this began in 1495 and was completed in 1498.

The Last Supper is known for its innovative technique for a fresco of the time, the employment of dry paint on several preliminary layers that were normally kept wet, which has weakened the work and has been restored numerous times since.

La Vierge aux rochers

The Virgin of the Rocks, painted between 1483 and 1508, shows the meeting of Jesus of Nazareth and John the Baptist.

Only the first version, which is on display in the Louvre, can be attributed to Leonardo da Vinci with certainty. The painting was created in two versions, the first between 1483 and 1486 and the second between 1491 and 1508, but only the first version, which is on display in the Louvre, can be attributed to him with certainty.

Russia-Ukraine War Pushes US Inflation to 4-Decade High

Food prices
Photo: Pixbay

Americans paid more for gasoline, food, and other necessities last month, amid an ongoing wave of record inflation exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to US government data released Tuesday.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 8.5% in the year to March, the highest increase since December 1981 and a sign of the pressure President Joe Biden’s administration is under even as it seeks new ways to punish Moscow for the attack on its neighbor.

Since last year, the inflationary surge has dragged Biden’s approval rating down, and the president has tried to blame it on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the disruptions to global energy markets caused by the invasion.

“Putin’s price hike in gasoline accounted for 70% of the increase in prices in March,” Biden claimed during a speech in Iowa, though the Labor Department said it was closer to half.

Prices began to rise last year as the economy recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic, and while the most recent report showed costs reaching new highs for many items, it also contained indications that the spike may be leveling off.

Prices rose 1.2% in March, in line with analysts’ expectations, but “core” prices, which exclude volatile food and energy sectors, rose 0.3%, less than expected.

“The Russia-Ukraine war has added fuel to the blazing rate of inflation through higher energy, food, and commodity prices that are turbo charged by a worsening in supply chain problems,” Oxford Economics’ Kathy Bostjancic said.

The strength of the ongoing price increases has bolstered the case for the Federal Reserve to take aggressive action at its policy meeting next month, likely raising the key lending rate by half a percentage point rather than the quarter-point increase last month.

“With labor shortages pressuring firms to raise wages, we are in the midst of a wage-price inflation cycle that will necessitate extreme Fed action to rid the economy of the spreading inflation threat,” said economist Joel Naroff, reports AFP.

A confluence of factors has fueled the inflationary surge, including businesses’ struggles to find enough workers and supplies, the Fed’s low-interest-rate policies, and congressionally approved stimulus measures that increased demand among American consumers.

In response, the White House has scrambled to provide relief, including releasing strategic oil supplies to lower pump prices and lifting a prohibition on selling a lower-priced gasoline blend during the summer months, which Biden promoted during his visit to Iowa.

The Fed, on the other hand, is the most powerful anti-inflation actor in Washington. Despite the fact that rate hikes are expected to lower prices in the coming months, central bank Governor Lael Brainard stated on Tuesday that the fallout from the Ukraine conflict “probably skews risks to the upside in inflation.”

A new pandemic lockdown in China “has the potential to lengthen some of those constraints that we’ve seen in supply chains,” Brainard said in a discussion following the release of the data.

According to Labor Department data, Americans are experiencing real financial hardship when it comes to purchasing must-have items. Prices for shelter, which includes rent, increased by 0.5%, while food prices increased by 1% overall.

According to the data, grocery prices were up 1.5% month over month and 10% year over year, the largest such increase since March 1981.

However, used car prices, which were among the first to rise last year, fell 3.8% last month, pushing core CPI lower. After seeing monthly increases of more than 1% in the latter months of 2021, new car prices rose by only 0.2%.

Honda City e:HEV Hybrid Reveals New Design Highlights

Honda eHEV
Photo: Collected

Honda has recently released a teaser image of the next City-Hybrid e:HEV for the Indian market, the 2022 City-Hybrid Honda e:HEV. The hybrid vehicle is expected to be released in India soon. The teaser displays the car’s rear end with the e:HEV and ZX logo badges. The video also suggests that the new City Hybrid will be available in non-RS models.

The Japanese company intended to release the vehicle before the epidemic. However, due to the epidemic, the preparations had to be postponed. The automobile is scheduled to return to the Indian market after a two-year sabbatical. The vehicle is scheduled to be unveiled on April 14, 2022.

The automobile’s appearance will not alter significantly because it will be based on the top-end form of the car. The only noticeable modification in appearance is the addition of black highlights to the car’s exterior. However, as implied by the name, the car’s powertrain has undergone major alterations.

Honda’s i-MMD hybrid technology will power the new City Hybrid — Honda e:HEV — which is a combination of an IC petrol engine and two electric motors. The automobile will be powered by a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine producing 98hp.

One of the two optional electric motors will power the City Hybrid’s front wheels via a one-of-a-kind single-speed transmission, while the other will act as an integrated starter generator. The electric motor powering the front wheels can generate 109 horsepower and 253 Newton-meters of torque.

The complete powertrain may be operated in three modes: gasoline-only, gasoline-electric hybrid, and electric-only. In the petrol-only type, only the 1.5-litre petrol engine will supply power, whereas the battery and motor combination will provide power in the electric-only mode, giving the car a limited range based on the charge remaining in the battery.

Sri Lanka Defaults on all External Debt

Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Phoro: Collected

Crisis-stricken Sri Lanka is a country in South Asia. On Tuesday, it stated that it would default on its $51 billion external debt in the absence of an IMF bailout.

Creditors, including foreign governments that had lent to the South Asian nation, were free to take advantage of any interest payments due to them beginning Tuesday afternoon or opt for repayment in Sri Lankan rupees, according to the finance ministry.

World Cup 2022 Fixtures, Dates, Kick-off Times and Full Schedule

Trophy
Photo is taken from Internet

The World Cup 2022 schedule is now out – or as close to it as we can get before we know who will qualify.

We now know who each country will meet when they will face them, and who they might face in the knockout rounds now that the World Cup 2022 group draw is complete.

We don’t yet know the times or locations for the group stage games, except that Qatar vs Ecuador will be the first match of the day, and will begin earlier than the other matches.

The first two rounds of group games will begin at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. GMT.

Kickoff times for the remaining group stage games and all knockout games will be 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

GROUP STAGE

World Cup 2022 fixtures: the group stage

1st matchday

the 21st of November

Ecuador vs. Qatar

Iran vs. England

Netherlands vs. Senegal

Ukraine/Scotland/Wales vs. United States

the 22nd of November

Saudi Arabia vs. Argentina

Tunisia vs. Denmark

France vs. United Arab Emirates, Australia, and Peru

Mexico takes on Poland.

the 23rd of November

Belgians versus. Canadians

Japan vs. Germany

Croatia vs. Morocco

Costa Rica/New Zealand vs. Spain

the 24th of November

Serbia vs. Brazil

Ghana vs. Portugal

Cameroon vs. Switzerland

Uruguay vs. South Korea is a matchup between two teams.

Day 2 of the tournament

the 25th of November

The United Kingdom vs. the United States

Ecuador vs. the Netherlands

Senegal vs Qatar

Iran against. Ukraine, Scotland, and Wales

On the 26th of November

Mexico vs. Argentina

Denmark vs. France

Saudi Arabia vs. Poland

Tunisia vs. United Arab Emirates, Australia, and Peru

the 27th of November

Morocco vs. Belgium

Croatia takes on Canada.

Costa Rica/New Zealand vs. Japan

Germany vs. Spain

the 28th of November

Switzerland vs. Brazil

Serbia vs Cameroon

Ghana vs. South Korea

Uruguay vs. Portugal

3rd matchday

On the 29th of November

Senegal vs. Ecuador

Iran and the United States are at odds.

Qatar vs. Netherlands

England against. Ukraine, Scotland, and Wales

the 30th of November

Argentina vs. Poland

Mexico vs. Saudi Arabia

Tunisia vs. France is a matchup between two countries.

Denmark vs. UAE, Australia, and Peru

Wednesday, December 1st

Morocco vs. Canada

Belgium vs. Croatia

Spain vs. Japan

Germany vs. Costa Rica/New Zealand

Saturday, December 2nd

Cameroon vs. Brazil.

Uruguay vs. Ghana

Portugal vs. South Korea

Switzerland vs. Serbia

ROUND OF 16

Saturday, December 3

Group A Winner vs Group B Second Place

Group C Winner vs Group D Second Place

Sunday, December 4

Group D Winner vs Group C Winner

Group B Winner vs Group A Second Place

Monday, December 5

Group E Winner vs Group F Second Place

Group G Winner vs Group H Second Place

Tuesday, December 6

Group F Winner vs Group E Second Place

Group H Winner vs Group G Winner

QUARTER-FINALS

Friday, December 9

Round of 16 5 Winner vs Round of 16 6 Winner

Round of 16 1 Winner vs Round of 16 2 Winner

Saturday, December 10

Round of 16 7 Winner vs Round of 16 8 Winner

Round of 16 3 Winner vs Round of 16 4 Winner

SEMI-FINALS

Tuesday, December 13

Quarter-Final 1 Winner vs Quarter-Final 2 Winner 

Wednesday, December 14

Quarter-Final 3 Winner vs Quarter-Final 4 Winner

THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF

Saturday, December 17

Semi-Final 1 Loser vs Semi-Final 2 Loser

FINAL

Sunday, December 18

Semi-Final 1 Winner vs Semi-Final 2 Winner

Sri Lanka Runs Out of Diesel, Faces Longest-Ever Blackout

Sri Lanka fuel
Photo: AFP

Diesel was no longer available in Sri Lanka, hampering transportation as the country’s 22 million residents endured record-breaking power outages on Thursday. The South Asian country is experiencing its worst economic crisis since independence, owing to a severe scarcity of foreign currency to pay for even basic goods.

According to officials and media reports, diesel, the major fuel for buses and commercial vehicles, was unavailable at stations around the island. Petrol was available for purchase, but supplies were limited, causing motorists to abandon their vehicles in long lines.

“We’re siphoning diesel from buses in the garage for repairs and using it to run functioning vehicles,” Sri Lanka Transport Minister Dilum Amunugama stated.

Private bus owners, who make up two-thirds of the country’s fleet, warned they were already out of oil and that even skeleton services might not be available after Friday. “We’re still utilizing outdated diesel stockpiles,” Gemunu Wijeratne, chairman of the private bus operators association, told AFP. “If we don’t obtain supplies by this evening, we won’t be able to run.”

Because they don’t have enough diesel for generators, the state electrical monopoly warned they’ll have to impose a 13-hour power outage starting Thursday, the longest ever.

“We have been promised additional supplies in two days, and if that happens, we will be able to shorten the duration of the power outages,” Ceylon Electricity Board chairman M. M. C. Ferdinando told reporters. He added that hydro reservoirs, which supply more than a third of the country’s electricity, were also dangerously low. The Colombo Stock Exchange was forced to reduce trading hours by half to two hours due to the prolonged power outages, and several offices advised non-essential employees to stay at home.

Mobile phone base stations were also affected by the electricity rationing, which impacted call quality, according to operators, who also reported their stand-by generators were out of diesel.

The shortages have generated fury across Sri Lanka, with hundreds of motorists blocking important roads in numerous towns, according to local television. Several state-run hospitals have halted operations due to a shortage of life-saving drugs, while the majority have halted diagnostic procedures that require imported chemicals in low supply, reports AFP.

In March 2020, Colombo announced a comprehensive import ban to save foreign currency required to service its $51 billion foreign debt. However, this has resulted in severe shortages of vital products as well as significant price increases.

The administration has stated that it is seeking a rescue from the IMF, as well as more loans from India and China.

The Covid-19 outbreak, which crippled tourism and remittances, aggravated Sri Lanka’s position. Many economists point to government mismanagement, such as tax cuts and years of budget deficits, as a contributing factor.

Rihanna’s See-through Black Gown Sizzles Maternity Fashion at Oscars

Rihanna
Rihanna. Photo: Instagram

Rihanna, the Barbadian pop and rhythm-and-blues (R&B) singer, is known for being comfortable in her own skin, as evidenced by her appearance at the 94th Academy Awards, where she proudly flaunted her baby bump at Beyoncé and Jay-star-studded Z’s Oscars after-party in a belly-baring black floor-length Valentino gown that sparked maternity fashion.

Rihanna stole the event by catching eyeballs and making jaws drop with her sexy appearance that showcased her developing baby bump at the notorious Chateau Marmont hotel, which hospitality union workers have reportedly been boycotting due to complaints of staff harassment.

Despite not being nominated for an Oscar, photographs of Rihanna in attendance have been circulating on the Internet ever since. The photos show the diva in a black organza turtleneck gown with a bustier that finished in a long organza skirt with sequin embroidery all over.

Pierpaolo Piccioli, the Italian fashion designer and creative director of Valentino, created it especially for her. Rihanna wore a pair of bedazzling black opera gloves that were visible through the mesh fabric of her maternity wear beneath the sheer black gown with its bandeau-baring top and sequined skirt, which came with voluminous organza sleeves under which she wore a pair of bedazzling black opera gloves that were visible through the mesh fabric of her maternity wear.

Rihanna wore her long silky tresses open down her back in a unique zig-zag parting style reminiscent of the 1990s, and finished her look with a pair of white sneakers. Rihanna accessorized her ensemble with a pair of black-and-white statement earrings, styled by Jahleel Weaver, an American fashion designer and stylist who also serves as the deputy creative director of her fashion label ‘Fenty,’ and the fashion police couldn’t stay calm.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Valentino (@maisonvalentino)

“Right now I’m really into pushing the idea of sexy. When women get pregnant, society tends to make it feel like you hide, hide your sexy, and that you’re not sexy right now [but] you’ll get back there and I don’t believe in that shit. So I’m trying stuff that I might not have even had the confidence to try before I was pregnant. The strappiest, the thinnest, and the more cut-outs the better for me,” Rihanna remarked in a February interview with Refinery29 about her thoughts on maternity clothes. 

Rihanna is expecting her first child with boyfriend A$AP Rocky and is currently in the third trimester of her pregnancy.

Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks Begins in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: AP

As he convened discussions in Istanbul on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan encouraged Russian and Ukrainian delegates to “put an end to this tragedy”.

The face-to-face discussions at Istanbul’s Dolmabahce palace are intended at putting an end to a war that has killed an estimated 20,000 people and displaced more than 10 million people.

The two delegations, who arrived in Turkey on Monday, met for the first time following numerous rounds of videoconference conversations.

“Both parties have valid concerns, and a solution acceptable to the international community is feasible,” Erdogan added, AFP reports.

“It is up to the two parties to bring this tragedy to a close,” he insisted, adding that “the conflict’s continuance is in no one’s interest.”

On March 10, the Turkish city of Antalya hosted the first meeting between Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers since Ukraine’s invasion last month.

Oscars 2022: Full List of Winners

Oscars 2022

The 94th Academy Awards began off-camera on Sunday, with the first eight awards of the night being presented at the Dolby Theatre before the broadcast began.

The Dolby was nearly sold out for the pre-show at 7 p.m. EDT, nicknamed the “golden hour” by the academy. The winners were revealed by hosts Jason Momoa and Josh Brolin, whose speeches will be incorporated into the show beginning at 8 p.m.

Dune won the inaugural award for best sound. It was likely to be the first of many for Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction epic, which is expected to win numerous technical honors.

Check out the whole winner’s list:

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter

Ariana DeBose – West Side Story

Judy Dench – Belfast

Kristen Dunst – The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Coming 2 America

Cruella

Dune

The Eyes of Tammy Faye – WINNER

House of Gucci

Best Cinematography

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Best Original Score

image-8

Nicholas Britell – Don’t Look Up

Hans Zimmer – Dune

Germaine Franco – Encanto

Alberto Iglesias – Parallel Mothers

Jonny Greenwood – The Power of the Dog

Best Visual Effects

Dune

Free Guy

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Best Animated Feature Film

Encanto

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Flee

Luca

Raya and the Last Dragon

Best Animated Short Film

the-windshield-wiper

Affairs of the Art

Bestia

Boxballet

Robin Robin

The Windshield Wiper – WINNER

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

Troy Kotsur – CODA

Ciaran Hinds – Belfast

Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog

J.K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos

Best International Feature Film

Drive My Car

Flee

The Hand of God

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

The Worst Person in the World

Documentary Short Subject

Audible

Lead Me Home

The Queen of Basketball – WINNER

Three Songs for Benazir

When We Were Bullies

Best Costume Design

Cruella

Dune

Nightmare Alley

West Side Story

Cyrano

Best Original Screenplay

Kenneth Branagh – Belfast

Adam McKay – Don’t Look Up

Zach Baylin – King Richard

Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier – The Worst Person in the Worst

Best Adapted Screenplay

Sian Heder – Coda

Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe – Drive My Car

Jon Spaihts – Dune

Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Lost Daughter

Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Best Live Action Short Film

Ala Kachuu – Take and Run

The Dress

The Long Goodbye – WINNER

On My Mind

Please Hold

Best Sound

Belfast

Dune – WINNER

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

No Time to Die

Best Documentary Feature

Ascension

Attica

Flee

Summer of Soul

Writing With Fire

Best Original Song

“Be Alive” – King Richard

“Dos Orugitas” – Encanto

“Down to Joy” – Belfast

“No Time to Die” – No Time to Die

“Somehow You Do” – Four Good Days

Best Production Design

Dune – WINNER

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Best Directing

Kenneth Branagh – Belfast

Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car

Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

Best Film Editing

Don’t Look Up

Dune – WINNER

King Richard

The Power of the Dog

Tick, Tick… Boom!

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem – Being the Ricardos

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog

Andrew Garfield – Tick, Tick…Boom!

Will Smith – King Richard

Denzel Washington – The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter

Penelope Cruz – Parallel Mothers

Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart – Spencer

Best Picture

Belfast

CODA

Don’t Look Up

Drive My Car

Dune

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog