International news brief: Senate okays gun violence bill, Zelenskyy calls for heavy arms
Washington, Jun 24: Following the deadly mass shooting in New York, the Senate on Thursday easily approved a bipartisan gun violence bill that seemed unthinkable just a month ago, while President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged urged Ukraine's allies to accelerate the shipment of heavy weapons to match Russia on the battlefield. OneIndia news brings you the top headlines to kick start your day from around the World.
Senate okays landmark gun violence bill
The Senate on Thursday easily approved a bipartisan gun violence bill that seemed unthinkable just a month ago, clearing the way for final congressional approval of what will be lawmakers' most far-reaching response in decades to the nation's run of brutal mass shootings.
After years of GOP procedural delays that derailed Democratic efforts to curb firearms, Democrats and some Republicans decided that congressional inaction was untenable after last month's rampages in New York and Texas.
Ukraine's Zelenskyy calls for heavy arms
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Moscow's massive air and artillery attacks were aimed at destroying the entire Donbas region and urged Ukraine's allies to accelerate the shipment of heavy weapons to match Russia on the battlefield.
On the diplomatic front, European leaders on Thursday (Jun 23) will formally set Ukraine on the long road to EU membership at a summit in Brussels.
Germany can last 2.5 months without Russian gas
German energy official Klaus Müller, the head of the Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, said Germany could manage for 2.5 months without Russian gas this winter.
"If the storage facilities in Germany were mathematically 100% full... we could do without Russian gas completely... for just about 2.5 months and then the storage tanks will be empty," he told the Maybrit Illner program Thursday on the German ZDF channel.
Afghan quake adds to emergencies in country
The devastating earthquake this week in Afghanistan is one more emergency facing the country, which is also confronting its worst drought in 30 years and massive poverty. Afghanistan also has the highest number of people in the world facing the risk of famine and there are increasing human rights violations by the country's new Taliban rulers, senior UN officials said Thursday.
Row between Russia and Lithuania heats up
Anyone traveling by train from Moscow to Kaliningrad must show their passport at three state borders: the Russian, Belarusian and Lithuanian. Belarus and Lithuania lie between the Russian heartland and its exclave, Kaliningrad. Belarus is still allowing all Russian trains through, but Lithuania recently banned the transit of Russian trains laden with goods that Russia is banned from importing.
EU makes Ukraine a candidate for EU membership
The European Union agreed on Thursday to put Ukraine on a path toward EU membership, acting with uncharacteristic speed and unity to pull the embattled country further away from Russia's influence and bind it more closely to the West. Meeting at a summit in Brussels, leaders of the EU's 27 nations mustered the required unanimous approval to grant Ukraine candidate status.