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Yemen Chaos, Remembering Germanwings, Chewie's Home

AL-QAEDA GAINS AMID YEMEN CHAOS

Airstrikes from the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen’s Houthi rebels have “indirectly helped empower al-Qaeda in ways the group had not enjoyed before” because the focus elsewhere leaves them “unopposed,” The New York Times writes. The jihadist group has seized a major airport, a military base and a significant oil terminal, expanding the territory it controls in southern Yemen. Meanwhile, coalition warplanes have continued to target Houthi positions, killing at least 36 people, including three civilians.


MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR GERMANWINGS CRASH VICTIMS

Photo: Jurgen Corveleyn via Instagram

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other officials are attending a memorial service for the 150 victims of last month’s Germanwings plane crash. About 1,500 people are expected to gather in Cologne’s Gothic Cathedral.


WIKILEAKS RELEASES ALL SONY EMAILS

WikiLeaks has published more than 30,000 documents and 170,000 emails stolen from Sony Pictures at the height of last year’s hacking scandal that was blamed on North Korea. According to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the archive belongs in “the public domain” because Sony is an “influential multinational corporation” that is “at the center of a geopolitical conflict.”


ON THIS DAY


The Cambodian civil war ended 40 years ago today. Time for your 57-second shot of history.


PRO-RUSSIAN JOURNO KILLED IN KIEV

Pro-Russian journalist Oles Buzina was killed yesterday by two masked gunmen outside his home in Kiev, Ukraine. Sky News reports the circumstances of his killing were similar to those of opposition politician Oleg Kalashnikov’s murder the previous day. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko called the crimes “a conscious provocation” meant to “destabilize” the Ukrainian government. According to Russia’s Sputnik News, Ukrainian nationalist politicians applauded Buzina’s murder, calling him a “degenerate” who had led a “bastard life.” This comes as 300 U.S. paratroopers arrived in Ukraine to train the country’s National Guard. Canada is also preparing to send 200 troops.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

It's an untold story that offers hope during troubled times in Europe, the Middle East and beyond. Anna Boros survived the Holocaust thanks to a courageous Egyptian doctor, Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Zweiter Weltkrieg reports. “The Jewish teenager he saved visited Dr. Mohammed Helmy because she wasn't allowed to go to a white doctor, his descendents say. Helmy stayed voluntarily in Berlin during the Nazi reign because ‘he wanted to help to treat the sick and wounded.’ While doing so, the Egyptian Helmy walked a very fine line between adaptation and subversion from 1933 onward. But he succeeded in executing a brilliant plan to save Anna’s life.”

Read the full article: When A Muslim Doctor Saved A Jewish Teenager From The Nazis.


AFRICAN MIGRANTS DROWN CHRISTIANS

Italy’s migrant crisis was made worse yesterday after Sicily police arrested 15 African migrants accused of killing 12 other migrants by throwing them off a boat for being Christian.


EXTRA!

TIME Magazine revealed, as it does every year, its list of the 100 most influential people in the world, with five different covers. Kanye West was chosen as head of the “Titans” category. Read more about it on our 4 Corners blog.


590 KPH

Central Japan Railway Co.’s magnetic levitation bullet train has set a new world speed record of 590 kilometers per hour (367 miles per hour), smashing the previous record it set 12 years ago. The train operator said it would attempt to reach 600 kph as early as next year.


VETERAN CHINESE JOURNALIST JAILED

Gao Yu, one of China’s top journalists, has been sentenced to seven years in prison after a court found her guilty of “leaking state secrets abroad,” South China Morning Post reports. The 71-year-old will also be stripped of her political rights for a year after her release. Amnesty International characterized the sentence as “deplorable,” saying it was “nothing more than blatant political persecution.”


MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD



VERBATIM

“No amount of frustration or anger can ever justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops,” South African President Jacob Zuma said as a wave of violent anti-immigrant protests spread to Johannesburg. The unrest has already killed six people and led hundreds of foreigners to flee.


CHEWY’S HOME

The latest trailer for the upcoming Star Wars movie The Force Awakens will please fans of the original trilogy. And is Darth Vader still alive? Watch it here.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Fight Over Tourist Visa Ban For Russians Is Taking Everyone For A Ride

High on the agenda of the Prague summit of Europe’s foreign ministers this week was a proposal to ban tourist visas for Russians, as punishment for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. But it is ultimately a way to change the subject, and recalls Zelensky’s iconic remark after the war began.

Passengers arrive at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Russia

TASS
Anna Akage

It’s not a new question. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had called for a ban on tourist visa for Russian soon after the war began, and this week it became the center of the Prague summit of European Union foreign ministers.

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Some European Union nations voiced their support soon after it was mentioned by Zelensky, including former Soviet republics and current Russia neighbors, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. They were followed by Finland and the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Poland. Hungary, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus. Germany and France are looking for a compromise that would allow for visas for students, workers of culture and science, as well as people who need entry for humanitarian reason. Perhaps most importantly, however, the U.S. took an unambiguous position against the restrictions.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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TRENDING TOPICS

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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