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Russia can defend new regions with nuclear weapons: Medvedev | Russia-Ukraine war News

Putin ally says Ukrainian territories that vote to join Russia will be protected by Moscow as ‘sham’ referendums near.

Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president, has said that any weapons in Moscow’s arsenal, including strategic nuclear weapons, could be used to defend territories incorporated into Russia from Ukraine.

Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, also said on Thursday that referendums being organised by Russian-installed and separatist authorities in large swathes of occupied Ukrainian territory will take place, and that “there is no going back”:

“The Donbas [Donetsk and Luhansk] republics and other territories will be accepted into Russia,” he said in a Telegram post, referring to breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine’s industrial heartland.

His comments came after President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that Moscow would use “all available means” to protect Russia’s “territorial integrity” as he moved to mobilise 300,000 reserve forces to fight in Ukraine. The thinly veiled nuclear threat drew immediate condemnation from an array of Western leaders.

Medvedev, who regularly issues aggressive statements on the West and Ukraine, added that the protection of all the territories would be significantly strengthened by the Russian armed forces.

“Russia has announced that not only mobilisation capabilities, but also any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons and weapons based on new principles, could be used for such protection,” he said.

The votes to join Russia are due to take place in the Russian-held parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia provinces, as well as part of Mykolaiv province, from Friday – and are widely expected to produce results overwhelmingly endorsing joining Russia.

The votes, which will take place under military occupation without any outside oversight, have been labelled shams by Kyiv and its Western allies.

If formally admitted to the Russian Federation, the occupied territories, where Ukrainian counteroffensives have gathered pace in recent weeks, will under Moscow’s nuclear doctrine, be entitled to protection from Russian nuclear weapons.

Moscow does not fully control any of the four regions it is expected to try to annex, with only around 60 percent of Donetsk and 66 percent of Zaporizhia currently held by the Russian army.

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King Charles III to host South African leader in state visit

King Charles III will welcome South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the U.K. for three days of high-level talks next month, celebrating the first state visit of his reign with the leader of a Commonwealth member with close ties to the royal family

LONDON — King Charles III will welcome South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the U.K. for three days of high-level talks next month, celebrating the first state visit of his reign with the leader of a Commonwealth member with close ties to the royal family.

Ramaphosa has accepted Charles’s invitation for a state visit from Nov. 22-24, Buckingham Palace said Monday. The South African leader will be accompanied by his wife, Dr. Tshepo Motsepe.

Charles has visited South Africa on several occasions since 1997. At Nelson Mandela’s funeral in 2013, he said the world would be a “poorer place” without the man who led South Africa’s transition from apartheid to a multi-ethnic democracy, adding that Mandela was owed “an enormous debt of gratitude” for his achievements.

The King and Camilla, the queen consort — then the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall — welcomed former South African President Jacob Zuma to the U.K. at the start of a state visit in 2010.

Charles’ sons, Princes William and Harry, have also visited South Africa a number of times.

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Follow all stories on the British royal family at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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With 52% of Brazil votes tallied, far-right incumbent Bolsonaro has a slight lead over ex-President Lula da Silva

With 52% of Brazil votes tallied, far-right incumbent Bolsonaro has a slight lead over ex-President Lula da Silva

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Haiti reports cholera deaths for first time in 3 years

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti’s government on Sunday announced that at least eight people have died from cholera, raising concerns about another potentially catastrophic epidemic like the one that broke out a decade ago and killed nearly 10,000 people.

The cases – the first cholera deaths reported in three years – came in a community called Dekayet in southern Port-au-Prince and in the gang-controlled seaside slum of Cite de Soleil, where thousands of people live in cramped, unsanitary conditions.

“Cholera is something that can spread very, very quickly,” warned Laure Adrien, director general of Haiti’s health ministry.

Food or water contaminated with the cholera bacteria can lead to severe diarrhea and dehydration that can be deadly.

The United Nations said in a statement that it is working with Haiti’s government to “mount an emergency response to this potential outbreak,” stressing that health teams need to be guaranteed safe access to areas where cases have been reported.

The deaths come as a lack of fuel and ongoing protests shut down the availability of basic services across Haiti, including medical care and clean water, which is key to helping fight cholera and keep patients alive.

Haiti’s most powerful gang continues to control the entrance to a main fuel terminal in the capital of Port-au-Prince, leading to a lack of fuel amid soaring prices that have unleashed widespread protests that have paralyzed the country for more than two weeks.

The absence of fuel and increasing number of roadblocks have prevented water trucks from visiting neighborhoods to provide potable water to those who can afford it. It also has prompted some companies to temporarily shut down operations.

On Sunday, Caribbean Bottling Company said it could no longer produce or distribute potable water because its diesel reserves were “completely depleted,” adding that the lack of such a vital resource would affect “all sectors of society.”

Adrien said health officials were trying to visit communities where cholera has been reported, but that his agency, too, has been affected by a lack of fuel as he called on people blocking the gas terminal and organizing protests to “have a conscience.”

“This is a real problem,” he said of how the country has virtually been paralyzed. “We’re hoping this will not spread.”

Adrien noted that all those who died were unable to reach a hospital in time.

Haiti Health Minister Alex Larsen said people have a right to protest but asked Haitians to allow potable water supplies into neighborhoods that have been cut off by roadblocks and protests.

“Water has not been in these areas for a long time, and people are not drinking treated water,” he said, adding that cholera cases could spike again. “We ask people who can afford it to add a little chlorine to the water.”

Haiti’s last cholera epidemic sickened more than 850,000 people in a country of more than 11 million, marking one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the preventable disease in recent history.

United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal were blamed for introducing cholera into Haiti’s largest river in October 2010 by sewage. The U.N. has since acknowledged it played a role in the epidemic and that is has not done enough to help fight it, but it has not specifically said it introduced the disease.

Haiti would have been declared cholera-free by the World Health Organization only after reaching three consecutive years with no new cases.

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Associated Press writer Dánica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico contributed.

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