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Putin discusses Ukraine issue with state leaders******
Russian President Vladimir Putin held telephone conversations with leaders of several countries, the Kremlin said on Thursday.
Putin had a telephone conversation with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, explaining how the situation around Ukraine is evolving.
Raisi expressed understanding with respect to Russia's security concerns caused by the destabilizing actions of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Issues relating to the diplomatic efforts to preserve and fully implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran's nuclear program were reviewed, the Kremlin said, adding that it was noted that reaching a final agreement on the JCPOA would contribute to regional stability and security.
Putin also briefed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about Moscow's stance on the Ukraine issue.
"When discussing the situation, Putin outlined his fundamental assessments of Kiev's aggressive actions against the civilian population of Donbass, as well as about Kiev's many years of destructive policy aimed at breaking the Minsk agreements," the Kremlin said.
Modi thanked Putin for the clarification and asked for assistance in ensuring the security of Indian citizens currently in Ukraine.
Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron also discussed the situation in Ukraine during a phone conversation.
According to the Kremlin, both sides had a "serious and frank" exchange of views on the situation around Ukraine.
The Kremlin added that Putin gave "comprehensive explanations of the reasons and circumstances for the decision to conduct a special military operation."
Putin on Thursday authorized "a special military operation" in the Donbass region, and Ukraine confirmed that military targets across the country were under attack.
Germany to offer 4th COVID******
Germany on Thursday recommended a fourth coronavirus vaccine for at-risk groups, following in the footsteps of Israel and several European countries.
Germany's STIKO vaccine commission said a top-up shot for the most vulnerable was necessary after recent data showed that "protection against the currently circulating Omicron variant wanes within a few months of the first booster vaccination.
The fourth jab should be given to people over 70 and anyone over the age of five with a weakened immune system, STIKO said, as well as to those working in medical and care facilities to limit the impact of quarantine and illness on staffing.
Israel became the first country worldwide last month to start rolling out fourth COVID-19 shots, initially to the elderly and health-care workers. It has since made the additional jab available to all vulnerable people over the age of 18.
Denmark, Hungary and Spain are also offering fourth jabs to high-risk groups, as are other countries including Chile and Brazil.
The move has not been universally welcomed, with the World Health Organization repeatedly warning wealthier nations that they cannot boost their way out of the pandemic.
"Blanket booster programs are likely to prolong the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than ending it, by diverting supply to countries that already have high levels of vaccination coverage, giving the virus more opportunity to spread and mutate," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in December.
Germany's decision comes as the European Union's most populous nation is grappling with record infection numbers fuelled by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Germany recorded more than 236,000 new cases over the past 24 hours on Thursday, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
Just under 75 percent of the German population are double jabbed, a slightly lower rate than in other Western European countries such as France and Spain.
More than 53 percent of Germans are triple jabbed.
Germany only uses the mRNA vaccines made by BioNTech/Pfizer or Moderna as top-up jabs.
STIKO recommended at least a three-month gap between the two booster doses for high-risk groups, and six months for health care workers and carers.
The expert body does not recommend a fourth dose for those who caught the virus after their third shot.
Newcomers Shenzhen claim second straight win in Chinese women's volleyball league******
BEIJING, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Newcomers Shenzhen beat Fujian 3-1 in Jiangmen, Guangdong province on Saturday for their second straight win in the 2021-2022 season Chinese women's volleyball league.。
Zhang Yichan scored a game-high 28 points to lead Shenzhen to the 27-25, 19-25, 27-25, 25-21 victory, during which Yang Wenjin and Dajana Boskovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina scored 20 and 10 points respectively.。
Zheng Yixin led Fujian with 20 points.。
Later on Saturday, Jiangsu swept Beijing 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-15) to record their first win of the season.。
Wu Mengjie and Wu Han had 15 points apiece for Jiangsu with Gong Xiangyu adding 13.。
Jiangsu reaped nine points from blocking, compared to two for Beijing.。
In Saturday's other match, Kim Yeon-koung of South Korea had 17 points and Gao Yi added 16 to lift Shanghai over Liaoning 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-17). Enditem。