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CERRO DE PASCO — More than 2,000 children in Peru's Pasco region have blood lead levels far higher than what the World Health Organization says is a safe range for children, and at least 70 of them are suffering from resulting physical illnesses and disabilities, Lima-based daily El Comercio reports.

The culprit is mining, and to protest the environmental and physical damage that it has wrought on their city, 58 activists from the central Peruvian city of Cerro de Pasco recently began a long "march of sacrifice" to the capital of Lima, 320 kilometers away. Cerro de Pasco is the region's capital and has been a center of global silver production since the Spanish colonial era.

The primary goal of the march is to pressure the Peruvian government to provide medical care to the children and to open a clinic to treat those suffering from mining-related illnesses.

Cerro de Pasco is home to a large open pit polymetal mine, and the Pasco region is rich with mineral deposits.

El Comercio writes that a local construction company stored hazardous residue from open pit mining for several years, contaminating local communities in the process. The Peruvian Health Ministry announced in a press statement that it treated 250 children from Pasco, but the Pasco Regional Hospital's director said that none of the patients showed signs of lead poisoning.


The villagers, activists and environmentalists will continue the march nonetheless and plan to reach Lima by Oct. 3.

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Announcing results of DPR referendum on joining Russia

Anna Akage, Sophia Constantino, Chloe Touchard and Emma Albright

The so-called referendums that have been going on for the past five days in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine have come to an end. With all votes reportedly counted, the results show exactly the kind of majority in favor of joining Russia that has prompted many to consider the referendums a “sham” that violated international law.

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The head of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, said on his Telegram channel that 99.23% of votes cast were for "joining the Donetsk People's Republic to the Russian Federation.” Elena Kravchenko, the head of the election commission of the self-declared Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), said 98.42% favored annexation by Moscow. In Kherson, 87.05% were in favor of the motion; and in Zaporizhzhya, the head of the election commission said the final tally was 93.11% voting to join Russia.

James Kariuki, the UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, has urged the United Nations to reject the results of the referendums in Ukraine. Speaking during a United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the war, Kariuki called the votes "an egregious violation" of the principles of the UN Charter.

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