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The Loop: Zelenskyy warns of 'brutal attack' in Ukraine, snow in Blue Mountains, and Meghan's first podcast reveals scary Archie incident — as it happened

This is The Loop, your quick catch-up for this morning's news as it happens.

Key events

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Live updates

By Peta Fuller


Let’s set you up for the day

 From a warning of a major Russian strike in Ukraine, to the former Malaysian PM in jail, and snow in the Blue Mountains, here's what you need to get going today.

By Peta Fuller

That's it for The Loop this morning

 You can keep up-to-date on the ABC's website, by watching News Channel or listening to local radio here, and by subscribing to our mobile alerts.

We'll be back tomorrow morning to cover the latest updates.

By Shiloh Payne

Usain Bolt has taken steps to trademark his famous pose

Jamaica's former 100 metres champion Usain Bolt has applied to trademark his celebration pose as a logo.

The logo is a silhouette of the sprinter pointing towards the sky, which he famously did after winning his races.

He has filed a trademark application to use the logo in connection with:

  • sunglasses
  • jewellery 
  • bags
  • clothes
  • sporting goods
  • restaurants and sport bars

You can continue reading this story with the link below.

By Shiloh Payne

Twitter whistleblower could be good news for Elon Musk's legal battle

Elon Musk might have just gotten a leg up in his effort to back out of buying Twitter.

The billionaire Tesla CEO has spent months alleging that the company he agreed to buy for $US44 billion undercounted its fake and spam accounts - and that he shouldn't have to consummate the deal as a result.

Now, a whistleblower has complained that Twitter Inc misled federal regulators about the company's security risks — and that  gives Mr Musk new angles to pursue in his legal battle.

By Shiloh Payne

Tennis fan takes legal action against Nick Kyrgios

Here's another story from late last night you might have missed.

A tennis fan is taking legal action against Nick Kyrgios following his outburst in his Wimbledon final defeat to Novak Djokovic.

The Australian asked for Polish lawyer Anna Palus to be removed from Centre Court, describing her to the umpire as the one who "looks like she's had about 700 drinks".

She claims he defamed her and caused her and her family substantial distress, and has pledged to donate any damages to charity.

By Peta Fuller

Key Event

Zelenskyy video: Ukraine will retaliate on any 'Russian terror' as Independence Day dawns

It's just gone into the early hours of Wednesday in Kyiv, but fears of strikes have put the nation on an even higher alert.

Today they're marking both independence from Soviet rule in 1991 and six months since Russian forces invaded.

President Volodymr Zelenskyy said just before midnight Ukraine time:

"This day is also, unfortunately, important for our enemy. We have to realise that tomorrow repugnant Russian provocations are a possibility. And brutal strikes," he said.

"Our armed forces, our intelligence community, security forces will do everything to protect people as far as it is possible and we are sure to retaliate against any form of Russian terror."

Zelenskyy warns of 'brutal strikes' by Russia on Ukraine's Independence Day

By Peta Fuller

Moderna and Pfizer seeking approval for targeted Omircon subvariant vaccine

Moderna has asked for US authorisation on its COVID-19 booster shot tailored against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron.

The company said if cleared, it would be ready to deliver the doses in September.

Yesterday, Pfizer also submitted their booster for the same subvariants.

By Peta Fuller

Attorney-General hopes it 'won't be necessary' to compel Morrison to appear

As we wait to hear more details on the inquiry into Scott Morrison's secret ministries, we've heard from Mark Dreyfus on News Breakfast this morning.

The Attorney-General said he hopes it isn't "necessary" to make the former PM appear:

"He's said that he'll co-operate with an inquiry, and he should," Mr Dreyfus said.

"This hiding behind the pandemic won't cut it. He kept it secret, which raises questions about what he thought he was up to."

By Peta Fuller

Tesla shares about to get *less* expensive

Tesla is splitting its stock three for one — it means investors will get two additional shares for every one they own.

But it could drop Tesla’s share price by about two-thirds.

Why do they do them?

Stock splits are used by companies when their stock price gets too high for retail investors to buy individual shares, or when a company wants more shares in the marketplace to make them easier to trade. 

Tesla joins stock market heavyweights Amazon and Google parent Alphabet in splitting their high-priced shares — even meme-stock darling GameStop has done one.

By Peta Fuller

Key Event

Some more on the snow in NSW

The SES says a few inches of snow has fallen across Leura, Katoomba and Lithgow in NSW.

And it's causing some pain for commuters.

The Great Western Highway is closed between Katoomba and Mount Victoria, while Bells Line of Road is also closed between Bell and Lithgow.

Dangerous black ice has formed on the highway, with snow falling between Orange and the upper mountains last night.

Trains on the Blue Mountains Line are running late due to heavy snow and ice on the tracks.

And this is how cold it was — below zero across a lot of the state:

By Shiloh Payne

An update on John Farnham's health

Overnight, John Farnham's family released an update on his condition after it was revealed yesterday that he has been diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery in Melbourne.

The statement said the procedure was a success:

"John’s surgery began at 8.00am this morning and was successfully completed at 7.30pm tonight," The statement says.

"He has now been transferred to ICU and is in a stable condition."

By Shiloh Payne

Eight children dead as flooding destroys homes in Afghanistan

The United Nation's children's agency says at least eight children have been killed in floods that swept away houses in Afghanistan this week.

UNICEF's spokesperson in Afghanistan, Samantha Mort, says the child death toll could rise, and more children were missing and injured in the chaos wrecked by the floods.

Taliban administration disaster authorities have said at least 20 people were killed and appealed to the international community for help.

In rural areas, villages have been destroyed and thousands have lost their livestock and crops, exacerbating the country's hunger crisis. 

By Peta Fuller

Key Event

One thing from overnight: Ukraine warns of 'brutal attack' today

Ukraine's president is warning Russia could be planning a major strike to coincide with his country's independence day.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued this warning this morning:

"We have to realise that tomorrow repugnant Russian provocations are a possibility. And brutal strikes. Our armed forces, our intelligence community, security forces will do everything to protect people as far as it is possible and we are sure to retaliate against any form of Russian terror," he said.

Ukraine's already banned public gatherings on Wednesday – and the US has told its citizens to get out of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the UN wants immediate demilitarization at a Russian-controlled nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

Both Russia and Ukraine are blaming each other for recent shelling near the plant.

Mr Zelenskyy said this morning that Russia's presence there was a "danger to the entire world".

"We need to exert pressure there, we need to put forward an ultimatum from the international community that they are to leave the power plant," he said.

By Peta Fuller

Key Event

More news while you snoozed: Snow in Blue Mountains as cold snap hits

Cold this morning? An icy blast has swept through the south-east of the country, with parts of Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales seeing snow falls.

And it's here to stay (for a bit) — below-average temperatures are expected in most of these states and minimums will be in the single digits for most of the week.

Here are some beautiful shots from the Blue Mountains:

By Peta Fuller

News Australia is searching for

  • Najib: That's the news that Malaysia's former PM Najib Razak has spent his first night in jail after the country's top court rejected his appeal against a conviction on corruption charges and a 12-year sentence
  • Only Murders in the Building:  Fans of this series are getting a new famous face for season three — Paul Rudd will join the cast (after a cameo at the end of season 2)

By Peta Fuller

Key Event

One more thing: Meghan reveals Archie incident in first podcast

Yes, the Duchess of Sussex has a podcast. And who would she call on for the first episode? None other than famous friend Serena Williams.

The pair talked about balancing high-profile careers and motherhood — so of course, some scary incidents involving their kids came up.

Meghan recounted being shaken after a fire broke out in Archie's room while they were on tour in South Africa — her son was supposed to be napping there, but his nanny had taken him out.

She said she wanted to spend time with her son, but she and Prince Harry had to go and do another official engagement.

"The focus ends up being on how it looks instead of how it feels," she said.

"Because we did — we had to leave our baby."

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