Morning mail: fears of wider Ukraine invasion, AGL says closing coal by 2030 ‘unrealistic’, Maggie Beer’s favourite things

Good morning. Vladimir Putin has ordered his forces to enter eastern Ukraine to perform “peacekeeping duties” and confirmed that Russia has recognised the expanded borders of the two Russian-controlled territories there, dramatically increasing the likelihood of a larger war in the near future. Britain and the US say Putin’s order amounts to the “beginning of an invasion”. The UK and EU will impose sanctions against Russians and entities and Germany has halted the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline approval in reaction to Russia’s “grave breach” of international law. The situation is moving fast – here’s what could happen next.

AGL Energy says a premium of at least 30% on its share price will be needed for an extraordinary takeover bid by the tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and the Canadian investment firm Brookfield to succeed. Markus Brokhof, AGL’s chief operating officer, dismissed Cannon-Brookes’ proposal to shut the company’s coal-fired power plants by 2030 as unrealistic. Responding to the consortium’s offer of a 4.7% premium on the Friday share price, Brokhof said any investment banker would advise a full company takeover required the suitors “to offer a premium of 30-40%”.

NSW police are investigating a complaint after the Liberal MP Fiona Martin was allegedly confronted by a pro-Russia anti-vaccine mandate activist. Martin was labelled a “coward” and a “rat from a sinking ship” by self-styled “independent journalist” Simeon Boikov, who arrived with a camera in tow at the MP’s pop-up campaign stall at Cabarita Park on Monday. Martin claims that on Monday Boikov and his associates twice blocked her car as she attempted to leave Cabarita Park.

The federal immigration minister Alex Hawke, failed to appear or send legal representation, to a NSW supreme court despite being named as the first defendant in a case that will determine whether the NSW Liberal party branch can continue to operate beyond 28 February….

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Read full story at the guardian.com

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