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March 17, 2023: Xi Jingping Moscow visit, Slovakia sends jets to Ukraine, Trump, France, California

Reuters, 17 Mar 2023
March 17, 2023: Xi Jingping to visit Moscow, Slovakia sends MIG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, Trump trial, France pension protests, California

1. Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Russia next week, officials from both countries said on Friday, weighing into the Ukraine conflict just as relations between Moscow and Washington hit a new low.

2. Slovakia became the second of Ukraine's allies to provide MIG-29 fighter jets which Kyiv believes are crucial to repel Russia's year-long invasion.

3. A new judge takes over leadership of the U.S. trial court in Washington, inheriting oversight of secret proceedings involving special counsel criminal investigations into former President Donald Trump's retention of classified documents and efforts by him and his allies to undo his 2020 election loss.

4. French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday faced the gravest challenge to his authority since the so-called Yellow Vest protests after his decision to push through a contested pension overhaul without a vote prompted violent unrest overnight.

5. The mixed blessing of California's exceptionally wet winter is likely to play out this spring with somewhat heightened flood risks in a state left largely drought free for the first time in three years, U.S. government forecasters reported on Thursday.

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