The Headlines: Why Zelenskyy Met With Biden in the Oval Office

The Headlines: The only news series that will tell you that you’re smelling fresh today, even if it’s not true. But more importantly, we’ll also unpack some of today’s biggest stories. So, before you can say knife, let’s get into this Thursday.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy Met Joe Biden

For the first time since Russia illegally invaded Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has left his home country and the lands that he’s president over. However, Zelenskyy hasn’t run away. Instead, this man has travelled to Washington DC to talk with America’s President, Joe Biden, in the Oval Office. He’ll also be addressing members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

Zelenskyy is in America thanking the US for their support, asking for more assistance, and proving his country is in a strong position to push back against Russia. 

“I understand that we have very important topics, and we’ll discuss them, everything, so many challenges in Ukraine, in Europe, in the world, from energy to the situation on the battlefield. But first of all, really, all my appreciation from my heart, from the heart of Ukrainians, all Ukrainians, from our nation,” said Zelenskyy.

Meanwhile, Biden told Zelenskyy, “It’s an honour to be by your side in the united defence against what is a brutal, brutal war that is being waged by Putin.”

“The Ukrainian people continue to inspire the world. I mean that sincerely, not just inspire us, but inspire the world with their courage.”

As of December 22, Russia’s war on Ukraine has been ongoing for 301 days.

Unpacking Penny Wong’s Historic Trip to China

Speaking of trips, our Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, recently travelled to China’s capital, Beijing. This is a huge deal as China and Australia’s relationship has been rocky for the last few years, to put it mildly. China has put massive trade tariffs on Australian goods while Australia has been critiquing some of China’s policies with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. 

This is the first time that an Australian minister has been to China in three years.

During this trip, Wong met China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi. They discussed trade blockages, security matters, and how to collaborate as countries. Wong also brought up the detainment of the Australian journalist Cheng Lei and the Australian writer Dr Yang Hengjun.

Related: Why the Whole Quad Is Heading to Sydney Next Year

Related: Why Albanese and Jinping’s G20 Meeting Could Alter Australia

Port Phillip Bay Paddleboard Survivors Are Safe

On December 19, four mates went paddleboarding in Melbourne’s bay and then were dangerously swept away. Fortunately, these folks got to another shore, were rescued, and have now been released from the hospital.

One of the paddleboarders, Sally Liu, has reflected on her experience by saying, “I’m really lucky … It’s like everyone has given us the opportunity to have a second life.”

If you’re paddleboarding this summer, make sure you:

  1. Wear a life jacket. 
  2. Wear a leg leash that connects you to your board. That way, if you fall off, you can get back to your board easily. 
  3. Know the wind direction before heading out. This will make getting blown away less likely.
  4. Rethink doing this activity if nobody else is in the area.

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