Arizona state senators have said the Phoenix Police Department stopped an insurrection with their actions during a protest outside the state Capitol complex on Friday night.

Riot police deployed tear gas as protesters banged on doors and windows during the demonstration. Despite the apparent seriousness of the protest, no arrests were made.

According to a statement from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, there were around 8,000 people present at the protest in the hours after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, stripping abortion rights from millions in the process.

Arizona is one of eight states where abortion clinics stopped performing procedures after the decision was released Friday.

The police accused the protesters of defacing state memorials on the capitol grounds, known as Wesley Bolin Plaza.

It came as millions of people across the country took to the streets to protest the decision with most of the rallies remaining peaceful.

In a press release, the Arizona Senate Republicans said ‘violent pro-abortion protesters attempts of an insurrection’ were thwarted ‘thanks to the swift action from local and state law enforcement.

The Arizona GOP said local law enforcement called for backup and dispersed the crowd before they could breach the capitol  building.

The statement refers to the whole situation as ‘terrifying’ and said that senators and staff had to evacuate to a secure location. The lawmakers were working to complete their 2022 session when the protest occurred.

Despite the crowd being dispersed, senators were still unable to complete their work as some of the tear gas was sucked into the senate chambers’ making the air quality unhealthy.

Senate President Karen Fann said in a statement: ‘We are incredibly thankful for our local law enforcement who quickly intervened during that could have been a destructive and dangerous situation for our members, staff and public inside the senate.’

Fann continued: ‘Violence is never the answer, and we will not camouflage what was a blatant attempt at an insurrection as a ‘rally’ or ‘peaceful protest.’ We are calling on lawmakers to condemn these acts. There is a way to make your voice heard and violence is never the answer.’

appointed a commandant. But the city is so destroyed that it will be difficult for people to cope with this situation,” said military administration chief Oleksandr Striuk.
Regional military officials said Friday that the last troops in Severodonetsk had been ordered to leave, as it was impossible to keep defending their positions. This effectively ceded the city to Russia and put the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk almost fully under Russian control.
Severodonetsk was one of the last major Ukrainian strongholds in the area. Serhiy Hayday, a top military commander in east Ukraine, said the military made the decision to evacuate “because the number of dead in unfortified territories may grow every day.”
Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) on Saturday confirmed its forces have taken control of the entire left bank of the Siverskyi Donets, the eastern side of the river, and all the borders of pro-Russian breakaway Luhansk People’s Republic.
Russian forces “as a result of successful offensive actions, completely liberated the cities of Severodonetsk and Borivske, the settlements of Voronove and Syrotyne of the Luhansk People’s Republic,” MOD spokesperson Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
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“Currently, there is no possibility to leave the city, people can try to leave only in the direction of the occupied territory. We will facilitate the evacuation, but so far there is no such opportunity,” Striuk said.
Several hundred civilians had taken shelter at the Azot chemical plant and rejected pleas to leave. Earlier on Saturday, Hayday said Russian forces were still shelling the plant.
“Civilians are leaving the territory of the Azot plant, they [the Russians] shoot propaganda videos with them. People spent almost 3 months in basements, shelters. At the moment, they need physical and psychological help,” Striuk added.
Konashenkov said in the statement “the territory of the Azot plant in Severodonetsk is controlled by the LPR forces” and the attempt of Ukrainian forces to “turn the industrial zone of the Azot plant into a hotbed of resistance has been thwarted.”

Avalanche of missile strikes

Ukraine has been hit by an avalanche of missile strikes, with official accounts there estimating that Russia fired more than 40 missiles at targets in Ukraine in the past 24 hours.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian military said there was more shelling around Kharkiv, and the Russians had tried to launch an assault near the settlement of Uda, north of Kharkiv, but “were decisively suppressed by our soldiers.”
Ukraine may have endured its worst week since the fall of Mariupol
North of Sloviansk, the Ukrainian military reported continuing battles in areas that have been on the front lines for months. The Russians used artillery and air strikes against Ukrainian positions some 20 kilometers north of the city.
On the southern front, the Ukrainian military reported that a Russian assault to recover previously lost ground in Kherson had been repulsed. Ukrainian forces have been pushing into Kherson, with limited success, from Mykolaiv region.
The mayor of the city of Mykolaiv, Oleksandr Sienkevyck, reported explosions there overnight. On Friday, he urged “everyone who wants to stay alive to leave the city,” and said it was being “shelled every day,” with 111 people killed so far.
Explosions were also reported by the regional military administration in Zhytomyr in central Ukraine, killing one soldier and wounding another, although the city’s mayor said Zhytomyr itself was “not hit.” The head of the military administration said “about 10 missiles” had been shot down by Ukrainian defenders. Regional authorities in Lviv in western Ukraine also reported missile strikes against military facilities.

Offensive continues in eastern Ukraine

Two US officials with direct knowledge of US intelligence assessments told CNN Russian forces were gaining an advantage in eastern Ukraine as they learned from mistakes made during the earlier stages of their invasion of the country, including better coordination of air and ground attacks as well as improvements to logistics and supply lines.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops in the eastern city of Lysychansk are under growing pressure from Russian forces that have taken territory to the south of the city. Hayday said Russian forces tried to enter Lysychansk from the south and to surround the city — and had also carried out an airstrike on the city.

A local resident walks in front of an apartment building destroyed in a missile strike, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Bakhmut, Ukraine, June 13, 2022.

The Ukrainian military’s General Staff said Saturday that Russian efforts to cut off the main route from Bakhmut to Lysychansk continued. It said Ukrainian soldiers had stopped the advance of Russian infantry near Volodymyrivka, which is 5 kilometers from the highway. But the General Staff acknowledged the Russians had advanced 1 kilometer as they close in on Bakhmut.
The Russian goal appears to be to cut off Ukrainian forces in a pocket of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. If they capture Bakhmut they would be able to prevent most resupply efforts to Ukrainian defenders in Lysychansk and surrounding districts.

Ukraine claims attacks launched from Belarus airspace

As Ukrainian authorities assessed the damage from dozens of missile strikes overnight, the Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate said that many of the missiles were fired from Belarusian airspace.
The Directorate said that “missile strikes from the territory of Belarus are a large-scale provocation of the Russian Federation in order to further involve Belarus in the war against Ukraine.”
It said ‘”Russian bombers hit directly from the territory of Belarus. Six Tu-22M3 aircraft were involved, which launched 12 Kh-22 cruise missiles.” The Directorate said the missiles had been launched from airspace above the district of Petrikov in southern Belarus.

The Labor government won a national election in May after nine years in opposition, and Chalmers said he will deliver a statement on the economy when parliament sits in July, before an October budget.

Chalmers said in a television interview on Sunday a review of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), whose terms of reference are yet to be released, would also look at the composition and size of its board.

“Whether it is broad enough in geographic terms and gender, all the other important considerations, but to also make sure that the right voices are represented around the table,” he said on ABC’s Insiders program.

Representing all parts of the economy would include “making sure workers are represented”, he added, when asked if former union officials should be considered for upcoming vacancies to the board.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe warned in a speech on Tuesday that price pressures continued to build both globally and domestically and inflation was now seen reaching 7% by the end of the year, the highest pace in decades and far above the RBA’s long-term target band of 2-3%.

“This inflation problem will get more difficult before it starts to ease,” Chalmers said on Sunday.

“I will update that forecast towards the end of July and will take into consideration the most recent information that we have about the economy, but the Reserve Bank has said something around 7% – that doesn’t seem to me to be wildly off the mark.”

He added he hoped inflation would moderate next year, and declined to nominate a preferred figure for wages growth, saying only that the government wanted “sustainable wages growth”.

The budget, in structural deficit, would be impacted by the pressure of rising interest rates and volatility in commodity prices, he said.

A 12% drop in iron ore prices last week – Australia’s biggest export earner – “has implications for the budget”, he said. (Reporting by Kirsty Needham; Editing by Michael Perry)

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