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Russia softens tone on Ukraine, Storm Ana deaths rise in Africa, Ethiopia's Tigray region faces food shortage

Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita breaks down world headlines that include Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov saying Russia does not want a war with Ukraine, the death toll from Tropical Storm Ana rising to 88 in Africa, and an extreme lack of food in Ethiopia's Tigray region.

Video transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: In our worldview today, Russia is softening its rhetoric and its ongoing standoff with the West over that military buildup in Ukraine. In an interview with the local radio station, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia does not want wars and added that written responses submitted by the US and NATO contained some viable proposals.

The West has warned about the potential for an imminent Russian attack on Ukraine, with more than 100,000 Russian troops deployed along their shared border. The US has threatened to sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin and halt the opening of a key gas pipeline between Russia and the US or in Europe if the Kremlin moves forward with any attack. Lavrov said he's set to meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken again in the next few weeks as both sides seek a diplomatic resolution.

The death toll continues to rise in Eastern Africa after a powerful storm swept through the region. Nearly 90 people have now been confirmed dead with floodwaters leading to widespread destruction. Storm Ana first made landfall in Madagascar last weekend before sweeping through Malawi and Mozambique, bringing intense rainfall with it. The region has been reeling from severe storms and cyclones brought on by climate change in recent years. Another storm is now headed towards the East Coast, bringing additional rainfall with it.

And the UN is warning of an extreme lack of food in Ethiopia's embattled Tigray region. In a new report published, the World Food Program says more than a third of people are now relying on just one meal a day, following 15 months of civil war. The agency warned that 3/4 of the population is using extreme coping strategies to survive.

The Ethiopian military and Tigray forces have been locked in an intense battle for more than a year now with aid groups unable to deliver critical supplies to the region. The local Health Bureau earlier this week saying 1,500 people, including more than 350 young children, have died from malnutrition over a four-month period last year.

BRAD SMITH: Meantime, here in the US, a major bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh. The bridge is just a few miles from where President Biden is set to visit later today to promote his $1 trillion infrastructure package. So far, this incident not affecting the president's plans. There were some minor injuries from the collapse. And rescuers had to create a human chain to get people off of the dangling bus.

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