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Visegrad defence ministers’ meeting cancelled over Hungary’s stance on Russia

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A defence ministers’ meeting in Hungary has been cancelled after Poland and the Czech Republic decided not to attend due to Budapest’s stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Polish and Czech ministers had said they would not travel to Hungary for the planned meeting on Wednesday.

Hungary confirmed that it had cancelled the planned summit of the so-called Visegrád Group (V4), featuring the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.

“A meeting of the so-called V4 defence ministers will be held at a later date,” the Hungarian defence ministry told AFP on Tuesday.

Polish defence minister Mariusz Błaszczak had earlier announced that he would “not go” to Budapest.

His decision was welcomed by the leader of the Polish opposition New Left party’s parliamentary group, Krzysztof Gawkowski, who said that “the Hungarians must be punished for their pro-Russian stance.”

Meanwhile, Czech defence minister Jana Cernochova said it was “not fair” to attend amid Hungary’s election campaign.

“I have always supported the V4 and I am really sorry that Hungarian politicians now find cheap Russian oil more important than Ukrainian blood,” she added on Twitter.

The office of Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner — who was invited — also confirmed he would not attend.

Differences within the Visegrad group have emerged following Russia’s war in Ukraine, with Hungary stating its intentions to remain neutral.

Hungary’s nationalist prime minister Viktor Orbán has condemned the invasion but has repeatedly stated that the country will not support Ukraine with military equipment.

He has also refused to support an embargo on Russian oil and gas imports.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy openly criticised his neighbouring EU country in an impassioned speech to European Union leaders last week.

“You have to decide for yourself who you are with,” Zelenskyy said, directly addressing Orbán.

But foreign minister Péter Szijjártó responded to Zelenskyy that “for us, the security of Hungary and the Hungarian people is paramount.”

The Hungarian prime minister is seeking a fourth term in office in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.





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Landmark national security trial of Hong Kong democracy activists begins. Here's what you need to know

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Some were seasoned politicians and veteran protest leaders. Others were academics, unionists and health care workers. They hailed from different generations and held a range of political views, but were brought together by what they say was a shared commitment to Hong Kong’s democratic future.



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Texas deputies stop driver hauling 13 illegal immigrants wearing camouflage clothing

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Deputies in Zavala County, Texas, caught nearly two dozen illegal immigrants during four separate traffic stops early Sunday, including 13 migrants smuggled in a pickup truck while cloaked in camouflage clothing, authorities said.

In total, the sheriff’s office said it apprehended 22 illegal immigrants, while 10 others fled after bailing from the vehicles.

In one case, the sheriff’s office said a deputy stopped a black Chevy pickup for a traffic violation on U.S. 57 east of La Pryor. As the deputy went to speak with the driver, he spotted multiple individuals wearing camouflage clothing lying in the bed of the truck.

The deputy then found more individuals inside the vehicle with the driver, who claimed they were all her cousins, according to officials.

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Illegal immigrants dressed in camouflage were being smuggled into the country by a Texas woman on Highway 57, police said.

Illegal immigrants dressed in camouflage were being smuggled into the country by a Texas woman on Highway 57, police said. (Zavala County Sheriff’s Office)

The driver, Samantha Renee Dela Fuente of San Antonio, was charged with smuggling, FOX29 San Antonio reported. Officials said the 13 undocumented individuals were turned over to Uvalde Border Patrol.

In a second incident, a deputy pulled over a Chrysler van for a traffic violation. When the deputy exited his cruiser to approach the vehicle, it sped away and prompted a short pursuit.

Deputies found 13 illegal immigrants dressed in camouflage in a pickup truck.

Deputies found 13 illegal immigrants dressed in camouflage in a pickup truck. (Zavala County Sheriff’s Office)

The driver eventually bailed, and three illegal immigrants were apprehended. Deputies said five other undocumented individuals had fled the scene.

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Deputies said two other illegal immigrants were found hidden in the back of an SUV during a traffic stop on U.S. 57 east of Batesville. The driver had bailed and fled.

Deputies arrested the driver, who was not immediately identified, and turned over the illegal immigrants to Border Patrol officials.

Deputies arrested the driver, who was not immediately identified, and turned over the illegal immigrants to Border Patrol officials. (Zavala County Sheriff’s Office)

A fourth traffic stop on a blue Chevy Malibu resulted in another short chase until the driver and other individuals bailed from the vehicle into the brush at the West Wind Ranch, the sheriff’s office said.

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Deputies apprehended three individuals while about five other suspected illegal immigrants escaped.

All the apprehended illegal immigrants were turned over to Border Patrol, the sheriff’s office said.



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Britishvolt: UK battery start-up set to be bought by Australian firm

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Building this battery plant is seen as absolutely vital to securing the future of UK car manufacturing. But the last time an ambitious start-up, with unproven technology led by people unheard of in the battery and car world, attempted this it ended up in the spectacular failure of Britishvolt, which collapsed into administration last month.



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