US House passes $95 bn aid package for Ukraine, Israel : The Tribune India

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US House passes $95 bn aid package for Ukraine, Israel

Kyiv targets Russian power, fuel stations; Kremlin downs 50 drones

US House passes $95 bn aid package for Ukraine, Israel

US House of Representatives’ Speaker Mike Johnson walks to the floor from his office prior to a vote on a legislation regarding security aid to Ukraine and Israel at Capitol Hill in Washington. Reuters

Washington/Kyiv, April 20

The US House of Representatives on Saturday with broad bipartisan support passed a $95 billion legislative package providing security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, over bitter objections from Republican hardliners. The legislation now proceeds to the Democratic-majority Senate, which passed a similar measure more than two months ago. US leaders from Democratic President Joe Biden to top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell have been urging embattled Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to bring it up for a vote. The Senate is expected to pass the measure next week, sending it to Biden to sign into law.

A dozen or so Democratic lawmakers waved small Ukrainian flags as it became clear that element of the package was headed to passage. Johnson told lawmakers that was a "violation of decorum."

Johnson this week chose to ignore ouster threats by hardline members of his fractious 218-213 majority and push forward the measure that includes some $60.84 billion for Ukraine as it struggles to fight off a two-year Russian invasion. The unusual four-bill package also includes funds for Israel, security assistance for Taiwan and allies in the Indo-Pacific and a measure that includes sanctions, a threat to ban the Chinese-owned TikTok and the potential transfer of seized Russian assets to Ukraine.

Ukraine attacked eight Russian regions with dozens of long-range strike drones, setting ablaze a fuel depot and hitting three power substations in a major attack early on Saturday, an intelligence source in Kyiv said. At the same time, Russia’s defence ministry claimed it shot down 50 Ukrainian drones, including 26 in the Belgorod region, 10 in Bryansk, eight in Kursk, two in Tula as well as one in each of Smolensk, Ryazan, Kaluga and Moscow.

The overnight attack comes amid a Russian airstrike campaign that has battered Ukraine’s energy system and pounded its cities in recent weeks. Facing mounting pressure on the battlefield more than two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine has tried to find a pressure point against the Kremlin by targeting oil refineries and energy facilities inside Russia using drones.

“At least three electrical substations and a fuel storage base were hit, where fires ignited,” the Ukrainian source said. — Agencies

Tiktok faces ban as Washington passes legislation

  • The US House passed a legislation on Saturday that will ban TikTok in the US if the popular social media platform's China-based owner doesn't sell its stake within a year.
  • Even if it becomes law, the firm will have a year to find a buyer. It may challenge the law, arguing the move will deprive millions of users of their First Amendment rights.

#Israel #Russia #Taiwan #Ukraine #United States of America USA #Washington

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