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That’s where we’ll leave tonight’s live blog.
If you’re just catching up, here’s a summary of this afternoon’s main stories.
Smoke rises after an explosion in Lviv, western Ukraine, on Friday. The mayor of Lviv said missiles struck near the city’s airport.Credit:AP
Zachary Rolfe flanked on his right by defence barrister David Edwardson, QC, leaving court last week after being acquitted of all charges. Credit:AAP
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited a wounded 16-year-old girl in a Kyiv hospital overnight and received some welcome news: He is a star on the TikTok video app.
After handing Katya Vlasenko a bunch of white and pink flowers as she lay in bed, Zelensky said: “It is not easy, but we do the right thing.”
resident Volodymyr Zelenskyy, shakes hands with a wounded Katya Vlasenko , 16, a refugee from Vorzel who covered her junior brother with her body during Russian shelling as they ran from their home town in a hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine. Credit:Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP
Vlasenko, who was wounded when her family’s car came under fire as they fled Russian forces, replied: “And everybody supports you on TikTok,” prompting a smile from the president and members of his entourage.
“So we have occupied TikTok?” he asked.
“All talk about you, it is all about you.”
Shane Warne’s son Jackson tossed the coin for St Kilda’s game against Collingwood a few minutes ago, with his sister Brooke in tow.
Jackson donned a St Kilda scarf to show his support for his father’s favourite team at the Saints’ first match of the AFL season, while Brooke wore a Collingwood jumper.
Jackson Warne tosses the coin.Credit:Getty Images
Jackson managed to land his first attempt at the toss on its side, possibly between some blades of grass and, on his second toss, it came up as heads, which was the call made by Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury.
Both Warnes were greeted warmly by the two captains.
St Kilda players are wearing black armbands on the field this evening to pay tribute to Warne, and a photo and video montage of the cricketer will be played at half-time.
You can follow the game live over at our dedicated AFL blog here.
Jackson posted photos of the special moment to his Instagram page a few minutes ago, along with the caption: “For dad. Go saints.”
Brooke, also posting photos to Instagram, said it felt good to smile on the field with her brother.
“Such a special game to our family, honouring our dad tonight has been such an amazing feeling, thank you to everyone involved,” she wrote.
Britain’s media regulator said on Friday it has revoked Russian-backed television channel RT’s licence to broadcast in the UK with immediate effect after a probe into the impartiality of its coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The regulator, Ofcom, said in a statement it was not satisfied that RT could be a responsible broadcaster.
RT is a Russian state-controlled network funded by the tax budget of the Russian government. It’s directed to audiences outside Russia and provides content in multiple languages. Credit:Getty
“Freedom of expression is something we guard fiercely in this country, and the bar for action on broadcasters is rightly set very high. Following an independent regulatory process, we have today found that RT is not fit and proper to hold a licence in the UK,” Ofcom Chief Executive Dame Melanie Dawes said.
RT is currently off air in Britain due to sanctions brought on by the European Union since Moscow’s invasion late last month.
RT responded by saying the regulator had shown itself to be nothing more than a tool of the British government.
The Kremlin on Friday described Britain’s decision to revoke the broadcast licence of Russian state-backed television channel RT as “madness”.
Fox Footy reporter Tom Morris has apologised for offensive comments that leaked out into social media following his confrontation with AFL Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge on Wednesday night.
In a tweet on Friday evening, Morris said he wanted to apologise unconditionally for his “disgusting” and “disgraceful” comments.
“I am especially sorry to the person involved,” he wrote.“No one should ever, in any place, or at any time, be spoken about in that way.
I am deeply ashamed at my behaviour. My comments were hurtful to many and I will now take the time to listen, learn and work to improve myself, ensuring that I become a better person.
I am truly sorry to everyone.”
Fox made the decision to sack Morris on Friday, the reporter having made offensive comments about a female co-worker and further homophobic and racist remarks in a private setting that were released after he was castigated by Beveridge at a media conference.
You can read more here.
Several missiles have hit an aircraft repair plant in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Friday morning, destroying its building, city mayor Andriy Sadovy said.
The plant had been stopped and there were no casualties from the strike, he said.
A cloud of smoke raises after an explosion in Lviv, western Ukraine, Friday, March 18, 2022. The mayor of Lviv says missiles struck near the city’s airport early Friday. (AP Photo)Credit:AP
Separately, Ukraine’s military said the plant was struck by cruise missiles launched from the direction of the Black Sea.
The type of the missile was likely Kh-555, the military said, which are launched from heavy strategic bombers. Similar missiles struck the Yavoriv military base in western Ukraine on Sunday.
The BBC is reporting a big explosion near Lviv International Airport around 40 minutes ago.
At least three blasts were heard shortly after 6am with air raid sirens sounding across the western city.
Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovy confirmed Russian missiles have struck an area near the airport, and added that the airport itself had not been attacked.
Authorities are assessing the situation and will issue updates, he said.
“Several missiles hit the aircraft repair plant. [The] buildings were destroyed by the blows.
The active work of the plant was stopped in advance, so there are no casualties now,” he said.
The ASX 200 has risen for a third consecutive day, closing 0.6% higher at 7294.4 with local energy stocks rising on the back of oil breaking above $US100 a barrel overnight.
Australia recorded 29 deaths and 48,799 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday as the Omicron sub-variant continues to spread across the country.
As reported earlier, Victoria recorded nine deaths and 3,163 cases. In New South Wales, six people died with 20,050 new cases.
South Australia recorded three deaths and 4,274 new cases while Tasmania recorded 1,779 new cases.
Cases have dropped below 7,000 in West Australia, with the state reporting 6,176 new cases. The state now offers free Rapid Antigen Tests at petrol stations.
Queensland recorded 6,103 new cases and 11 deaths while the Northern Territory reported 258 new cases.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for their annual leaders’ get-together on Monday when they may sign a trade deal years in the making.
The official agenda for the talks includes trade, “harnessing new economic opportunities”, the conflict in Ukraine and the security implications for the Indo-Pacific region.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen
Trade Minister Dan Tehan said last Monday he expected the trade deal with India to be finalised “by the end of this week or early next week”. He said he was meeting daily with India’s trade minister but cautioned the agreement wasn’t done until it was signed.
Negotiations on the trade deal first started in 2011 but were suspended in 2017 after it became clear they were stuck. Mr Morrison and Mr Modi agreed in 2020 to resume the talks.
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