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Biden meets with Ukrainian President Zelensky to discuss security challenges and bilateral ties

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza



In his first meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, U.S. President Joe Biden discussed security challenges and bilateral ties.

Biden stated at the start of their discussion in the Oval Office, “the United States remains strongly committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression, as well as our support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”

Biden pledged an additional $60 million in security aid to Ukraine, as well as the establishment of a new strategic defense framework and an energy and climate conversation.

In his remarks, Zelensky stated that he planned to discuss the security situation in Crimea and the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, and “Ukraine’s possibilities of joining NATO.”

Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014, following a popular referendum that Ukraine and the West refused to recognize.

The ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine, which began in April 2014, has taken about 14,000 lives and injured up to 40,000 people. Kiev accused Moscow of instigating the crisis. Russia, on the other hand, has refuted the allegations, claiming that they are without merit.

According to a joint statement issued by the United States and Ukraine, the $60 million security package comprised of Javelin anti-armor systems as well as “other defensive deadly and non-lethal capabilities.”

The statement also addressed the United States’ support for Ukraine’s reform and anti-corruption strategy, economic cooperation, and pandemic response.

The meeting between the two presidents was supposed to take place on Monday, but it was postponed because the Biden administration was focused on the pullout from Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Zelensky met separately with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The visit came at a time when Kiev was growing increasingly concerned about its relations with Washington.

In an interview with The Washington Post and other media outlets prior to the visit, Zelensky highlighted his unhappiness with Western friends’ reluctance to approve Ukraine’s NATO membership.

Zelensky has criticized the United States for lowering its resistance to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will bring Russian gas to Germany. Ukraine regards the initiative as a security risk.

In spite of the long-standing opposition, the Biden administration achieved an agreement with Germany that permitted the pipeline project to be completed. Berlin pledged to assist Ukraine in strengthening its energy industry and to take action against Russia if it weaponizes energy.

Source: Xinhua News Agency


Microsoft introduces new Surface products ahead of Windows 11 launch





Image: Microsoft

On the threshold of Windows 11, Microsoft has revealed the largest update to the Surface products by the company. With improved and advanced PixelSense displays, pen technology, mics and cameras, powerful silicon and versatile form factors, the new Surface devices are designed to help the new Windows operating system Windows 11’s innovation to the next level.

The brand affords Microsoft an opportunity to push the edge of what can be done with consumer hardware, generally with a focus on blurring the line between categories like a laptop, tablet and, more recently, phone. The Surface track record has been a solid one, overall, though messing around with form factors means no one gets it 100% right 100% of the time.

Surface Laptop Studio

Image: Microsoft

The newest product launched in tonight’s event was Surface Laptop Studio, a clever take on the two-in-one category that Microsoft has been bullish about forever, and the name fittingly pays homage to both the Surface Studio and Laptop, perhaps splitting the difference between the pair. Designed as an ideal product for developers, creative pros, designers and gamers, bringing users the power of a desktop, the portability of a laptop and a creative studio all in one.

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft also introduce upgraded new Surface Go, Pro and Pro X. The Go 3 gets a new Intel Core i3, which the company promises will offer up to 60% faster performance. The 10.5-inch system starts at $400 and will also add an LTE option, which is set to arrive at some point in the coming months. The Pro 8 two-in-one sports a 13-inch screen, 11th-gen Intel Core processors and two Thunderbolt 4 ports. The thin and light Surface Pro X, meanwhile, runs on a Microsoft SQ2 ARM chip.

The new Surface Pro Signature Keyboard provides storage and charging capability for the new Surface Slim Pen 2, keeping it nearby and ready whenever inspiration strikes.

Providing a simple and delightful Pen experience is one way Microsoft enable the technology to fade into the background. The intuitive ability to put Pen to screen immerses users in their productive and creative endeavors, boosts retention and offers new levels of versatility.

Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has established a long-term commitment to sustainability and adaptability and has a commitment to becoming carbon negative, zero waste and water positive by 2030. To reach this goal Microsoft regularly evaluate every piece of the product and manufacturing processes through the lens of sustainability.

Every step matter on the journey toward greater sustainability. Microsoft in collaboration with SABIC has created a high-quality resin made of 20% recycled ocean plastic recovered or washed ashore from oceans and waterways. The Ocean Plastic Mouse, made from this resin, is an eco-friendly, comfortable accessory that takes small steps to reduce waste while putting a powerful accessory at users fingertips.

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft clearly wants you to upgrade your hardware to match if the convoluted system requirements are any indication. Surface products present a further sense of refinement to the line, in anticipation of Windows 11.

The Microsoft Ocean Plastic Mouse is, admittedly, a bit gimmicky as the company is pushing hardware upgrades. In a more ideal world, all the company’s devices would be made of similar components. But hey, if it rescues plastics from the ocean, it’s a start. The Surface Adaptive Kit is a consumer-facing piece of what has been among the industry’s leading accessibility efforts.

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Xi urges world to practice true multilateralism





Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for improving global governance and practicing true multilateralism.

Xi made the appeal in his statement delivered via video at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

On various occasions, the Chinese leader has emphasized the need to practice true multilateralism. The following are some highlights of his recent remarks in this regard.

Sept. 21, 2021

“In the world, there is only one international system, i.e. the international system with the United Nations at its core. There is only one international order, i.e. the international order underpinned by international law. There is only one set of rules, i.e. the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter,” Xi stressed in his statement delivered via video at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The UN should hold high the banner of true multilateralism, Xi said.

A truck delivering containers prepares to enter the multimodal transport center in the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) local economic and trade cooperation demonstration zone in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, Nov. 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Ziheng)

Sept. 17, 2021

Xi addressed the 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization via video link.

Xi emphasized the need to practice true multilateralism and oppose actions that undermine the international order and cause confrontation and division by claiming to use so-called rules.

“We need to boost mutually beneficial cooperation, remove trade, investment and technology barriers, and promote inclusive development that delivers benefits to all,” Xi said.

Sept. 9, 2021

Xi addressed the 13th BRICS summit via video link in Beijing.

“We need to promote the practice of true multilateralism, adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and safeguard the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law,” Xi said.

He called on BRICS countries to make good use of BRICS mechanisms such as the meeting of foreign ministers and the meeting of high representatives for security, better coordinate their positions on major international and regional issues, and send out an even bigger, collective voice of BRICS countries.

Sept. 3, 2021

Xi addressed the opening ceremony of the plenary session of the sixth Eastern Economic Forum via video link.

“We need to offer each other help to overcome the pandemic challenge,” Xi said, calling for intensifying cooperation in vaccine research, development and production, providing more public goods to the international community, firmly rejecting any politicization of COVID vaccines and origins-tracing, and striving to build a global community of health for all.

Noting that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and that China has started a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country, Xi said China is ready to work with all parties to uphold true multilateralism, advocate trust and harmony, promote win-win cooperation, and march with firm steps toward the goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Herons perch on branches in Lian’ao Village of Bili Town in Luoyuan County, southeast China’s Fujian Province, June 3, 2021. (Xinhua/Wei Peiquan)

June 5, 2021

Xi sent a congratulatory letter to the World Environment Day events held in Islamabad, Pakistan.

As a participant, contributor and trailblazer in global ecological conservation, China is firmly committed to putting multilateralism into action and defending the international system with the UN at its core and the international order underpinned by international law so as to enhance global governance on the environment, Xi said.

Nov. 12, 2020

Xi delivered a speech via video at the third Paris Peace Forum.

“We need to uphold multilateralism, oppose unilateralism, hegemony and power politics, and reject all forms of terrorism and acts of extreme violence,” Xi said, calling for joint efforts to safeguard equity, justice, peace and security in the world.

Xi urged all countries to uphold international law and the basic norms governing international relations, determine their position on the merits of each matter, and rise above ideological bias and confrontation.

Aerial photo taken on Nov. 1, 2019 shows the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the second China International Import Expo (CIIE), in Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

Nov. 5, 2019

“We need to promote development through opening-up and deepen exchanges and cooperation among us. We need to ‘join hands’ with each other instead of ‘letting go’ of each other’s hands. We need to ‘tear down walls,’ not to ‘erect walls.’ We need to stand firm against protectionism and unilateralism. We need to continually bring down trade barriers, optimize global value and supply chains, and jointly foster market demand,” Xi said at the opening ceremony of the Second China International Import Expo.

BEIJING, Sept. 22 (Xinhua)

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The Chinese Ambassador is hopeful for the second shipment of the vaccine gifted from China to arrive in the Maldives soon.





Chinese Ambassador in the Maldives, Wang Lixin has said that she expects the second shipment of Covid vaccines from China to arrive in the Maldives soon. Her Excellency Wang Lixin said this in a tweet last week Tuesday after a meeting with Maldives Health Minister Ahmed Naseem.

In this meeting with the health minister, it was discussed to strengthen the relationship between the 2 countries and work together as per the agreement between President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the President of China, Xi Jinping. Discussions have been made to improve the health benefits between the 2 countries as well. On this note, the Chinese Ambassador has said that 4 there are 400,000 doses of the Sinopharm Vaccine on its way to the Maldives.

The first batch of vaccines donated by China was received at the beginning of this year with 2 lakh vaccine doses. After which, it was announced two months ago that 4 lakh doses were donated again by China. China is the one country that has donated the highest number of vaccine doses to the Maldives with a sum of 6 lakh vaccine doses to fight against Covid-19.

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