News Briefs…

Luhansk region of Ukraine in the hands of Russian forces

Russia is claiming to have taken control of Lysychansk, the last city in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine that was still under Ukrainian control. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that the military had taken over Lysychansk and a number of nearby settlements, according to the country’s Ministry of Defense.

Storms in Sydney, Australia

Thousands of residents have been ordered to evacuate southwest Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, with torrential rain and damaging winds pounding the east coast and threatening floods in areas that were hammered in March.

2nd hearing in Russia for detained US basketball player

A second hearing is scheduled for two-time US Olympic basketball gold medalist and WNBA star Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia on drug smuggling charges since her arrest at a Moscow airport on February 17. Griner, who plays in Russia during the WNBA’s off-season, went on trial at a court near Moscow last Friday and potentially faces up to 10 years in prison.