Morning brief: Kyiv’s power scare, US TikTok ban, Peru political unrest and more

After Russia launched one of its biggest missile attacks since the start of the Ukraine war, Ukraine’s national energy provider Ukrenergo on Friday (December 16) warned citizens that it may take longer to restore electricity and power cuts may get longer. The US Department of State formally launched its “China House” unit on Friday (December 16). The unit represents an internal reorganisation to help and sharpen department’s policymaking with respect to China, United States’ top geopolitical rival. Two Peru ministers have stepped down following the deaths that resulted from the protest triggered by the ousting of former president Pedro Castillo last week.

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After Russia launched one of its biggest missile attacks since the start of the Ukraine war, Ukraine’s national energy provider Ukrenergo on Friday (December 16) warned citizens that it may take longer to restore electricity and power cuts may get longer. Russian missiles battered Ukrainian power grid yet again. This worsened already dire conditions for Ukrainians and provoked accusations of “war crimes” from the European Union.

The US Department of State formally launched its “China House” unit on Friday (December 16). The unit represents an internal reorganisation to help and sharpen department’s policymaking with respect to China, United States’ top geopolitical rival. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had announced formation of such a unit in May this year. At the time, he had called it a department-wide, integrated team that would coordinate and implement US policy across issues and regions.

Two Peru ministers have stepped down following the deaths that resulted from the protest triggered by the ousting of former president Pedro Castillo last week.

Education Minister Patricia Correa and Culture Minister Jair Perez both made the announcement on Friday, citing the protest deaths.

“This morning I presented my letter of resignation from the position of education minister. The death of compatriots has no justification. State violence cannot be disproportionate and cause death,” Correa said.

As the US prepares to impose a limited ban on Bytedance-owned short video-sharing platform TikTok on the grounds of national security, the Beijing-headquartered company slammed the Biden administration for the “troubling” bipartisan legislation. The company said that the US Congress’ push for a ban on Tiktok is “politically motivated”. 

The Argentine legend Lionel Messi will be playing his second FIFA World Cup final on Sunday against defending champions France at the Lusail Stadium. Lionel Messi has been around for a long time now, having made his international debut for Argentina in 2005. Since then, the forward has achieved a lot accolades while donning Argentina’s jersey, whereas, he had suffered some of the toughest losses of his career on the way too.

‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ is finally here. The science-fiction epic is the sequel to Cameron’s 2009 original and expands the fictional extrasolar moon Pandora, in the Alpha Centauri System. The story puts fresh challenges before the Sully family. The earthlings of RDA (Resources Development Administration), who were sent back to earth, return in force with a sense of vengeance. The Sullys (with Jake Sully and Neytiri played by returning stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana) flee to protect their Omaticaya Clan. They find themselves in Metkayina’s territory. A water-loving people, they live around a reef and have aquatic qualities. 

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