Wednesday Morning News Notes
New york times

A helicopter crash in the Kyiv suburbs on Wednesday morning left at least 18 people dead, including Ukraine’s minister for internal affairs and his deputy, according to the head of the country’s national police service.

Ukraine’s new push for arms like tanks and air defense missiles began in earnest on Tuesday, when General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, held his first face-to-face meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, in Poland, nearly 11 months after the Russian invasion.

On Wednesday and Thursday, NATO defense ministers will meet in Brussels to take stock of assistance for Ukraine. On Friday, they will be joined at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany by officials from a broader group of nations that have coordinated aid to Ukraine. The U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, will lead those discussions, including the crucial question of whether to send Western tanks.

James Cleverly, Britain’s foreign secretary, defended his country’s decision to provide Ukraine with 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks, which would be the first Western tanks in Ukraine’s forces

The Pentagon is tapping into a vast but little-known stockpile of American ammunition in Israel to help meet Ukraine’s dire need for artillery shells in the war with Russia,

Israel has consistently refused to supply weapons to Ukraine out of fear of damaging relations with Moscow

The Russian military and the Wagner Group, a private mercenary group, contradicted each other publicly about who should get credit for capturing the eastern town. Ukraine’s military, meanwhile, has rejected Russia’s claim of victory, saying its troops are still fighting there.

Israel has imposed a near-total embargo on selling weapons to Ukraine, fearing that Russia might retaliate by using its forces in Syria to limit Israeli airstrikes aimed at Iranian and Hezbollah forces there.

And while other places understand that immigrants, who often work in the service sector and agriculture, two of Florida’s main industries, are vital to replenishing aging populations, Mr. DeSantis and the state G.O.P. are not exactly immigrant-friendly, enacting legislation to limit the ability of people with uncertain legal status to work in the state.

Guardian

Sixteen people including Ukraine’s interior minister and other senior officials were killed when a helicopter crashed outside Kyiv in the town of Brovary, the national police chief said.

Wagner group: Andrey Medvedev, 26, said that in Ukraine he had witnessed the summary killing of Wagner fighters accused by their own commanders of disobeying orders, sometimes in pairs.
After fleeing his unit, he crossed the border into Norway near the Pasvikdalen valley shortly before 2am local time last Friday, where he was arrested and detained by border guards.

The prisoners are used as cannon fodder, like meat. I was given a group of convicts. In my platoon, only three out of 30 men survived,” he said. “We were then given more prisoners, and many of those died too.”
Medvedev, who grew up in a Siberian orphanage and spent at least four years in prison for robbery, also claimed he knew of at least 10 killings of Wagner soldiers who had disobeyed, and had witnessed some personally.
“The commanders took them to a shooting field and they were shot in front of everyone. Sometimes one guy was shot, sometimes they would be shot in pairs,” he said.
Medvedev described how he grew disaffected with Wagner after witnessing the killing and mistreatment of Russian prisoners who were brought to the front by Wagner.
“It shocked us to the core, it was so fucked-up.”
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Crime laws

David Coulson was imprisoned in California under draconian ‘tough on crime’ laws stemming from the 1990s. Now campaigners are calling for reform, reports Sam Levin
In California, if a person commits two felonies that are classed as ‘serious’ or ‘violent’, and then goes on to commit a further serious felony, they will be given a life sentence. It’s a law stemming from a tough crackdown on crime in the 1990s when a wave of crime in the state caused public outcry and was used by politicians determined to respond in kind.


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