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Wikipedia, Reddit plan blackout in SOPA protest

A handful of large websites, including Wikipedia and Reddit, have confirmed they will go dark on Wednesday to protest the SOPA anti-piracy bill that critics say will wreck the Internet as we know it.

(CNNMONEY) New York - Wikipedia, user-submitted news site Reddit, the blog Boing Boing and the Cheezburger network of comedy sites all plan to participate in the blackout. The protest is their response to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill, a piece of proposed legislation that is working its way through Congress.

Introduced in the House of Representatives in late October, the bill aims to crack down on copyright infringement by restricting access to sites that fuel it. Its targets include "rogue" overseas sites like torrent hub The Pirate Bay, which essentially operates as a trading ground for illegal downloads of movies and other digital content.

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At the Russia-Georgia border

Yelena Afonina/TASS via ZUMA
Anna Akage, Sophia Constantino, Bertrand Hauger, Chloe Touchard and Emma Albright

Russia’s neighbors — from Finland in the west to Mongolia more than 3,100 miles (5,076 km) to the east — are being flooded with the arrival of men fleeing the national draft announced last week as Moscow's invasion of Ukraine falters.

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In the first two days after Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization, 261,000 men of conscription age have left the country. Observers believe that has likely doubled since. The most popular destinations are the neighboring countries where one can enter without a visa or even without an international passport, such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia.

But Finland too has reported a major uptick, with nearly 19,000 arriving, compared to 9,000 crossing in the opposite direction. "The arrival rate is about double what it was a week ago," Mert Sasioglu of the Finnish border guard told AFP.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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