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Welcome to Friday, where Russia warns of more strikes on Kyiv as Ukraine claims responsibility for the sinking of the Moskva warship, hundreds are wounded in clashes at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque, and “Houston, we have a kebab.” In German daily Die Welt, Michael Brendler explores the end-of-life ethical question that has gained new attention during the pandemic: When is it better to turn off life-support equipment?
[*Sain uu - Mongolian]
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• Russian warship sinks, Moscow to step up attacks on Kyiv: Ukraine is celebrating what it says was a missile strike that caused Moskva, a Russian Cold War flagship, to sink. Although Russia did not acknowledge the Ukrainian strike, blaming the sinking on an accident on board, Russia’s Defense Ministry today vowed to ramp up attacks on Kyiv, notably by targeting a missile-repairing factory in the capital.
• Zelensky’s address after 50 days of war: In his nightly address, President Volodymyr Zelensky praised his fellow Ukrainians’ resilience, having survived 50 days of war when Russia “gave us a maximum of five.”
• Russia on edge of default: Russia may be declared in default after attempting to service its dollar bonds in rubles, according to Moody’s credit rating. If declared in default, it would mark Moscow’s first major default on foreign bonds in more than a century. The Kremlin blames the West’s sanctions for the potential default.
• Jerusalem clashes: Israeli police and Palestinians clashed at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, resulting in 152 Palestinians and 3 police injured, and some 400 Palestinians detained. The violence comes on the second Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which coincides with the first night of Judaism’s week-long Passover holiday, and Good Friday for Christians.
• Shanghai COVID eviction clashes: Shanghai citizens clashed with police after being forced to surrender their homes to be used as quarantine facilities. Residents were dragged out of their homes, some were arrested, and many accuse the police of violence, as residents begged them to stop.
• Guilty verdict of British national in ISIS beheadings: El Shafee Elsheikh, 33, faces possible life in prison after being found guilty in a U.S. court of lethal abduction and conspiracy to commit murder. The London resident was said to have participated in the abduction, torture and killing of several Islamic State (ISIS) hostages in Syria 10 years ago.
• Kebabs are out of this world: A Turkish restaurant sent a plate of Adana kebab to space with a helium balloon. After five hours and a maximum altitude of 38 kilometers, the balloon and its tasty passenger splashed back to Earth in one piece.
Stockholm-based daily Aftonbladet features a photograph of an angry Vladimir Putin as it devotes its Friday front page to the announcement that Russia would reinforce its presence in the Baltic Sea if Finland or Sweden were to join NATO. On Thursday, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council (and Russian president from 2008 to 2012) said if Finland or Sweden were to join the military alliance, it would jeopardize the “nuclear-free status of the Baltic.”
That’s the reported value of what U.S. authorities believe to be the biggest ever cryptocurrency heist allegedly pulled off by a group of hackers called “Lazarus,” linked to the North Korean government.
The ventilator question: ICU doctors struggle with end-of-life ethics
Instead of ending ICU treatment and allowing relatives to say goodbye peacefully, doctors often keep patients alive for too long. The pandemic has forced us to revisit eternal dilemmas and shown that Intensive Care Units are often unprepared to confront tough ethical questions, reports Michael Brendler in German daily Die Welt.
⚖️ The question of who should be connected to life-support devices is one of the most ethically difficult questions in medicine. Because family members understandably want their loved one's life to be saved. They are highly emotional and do not want to lose their father, mother or child. And doctors also want to save lives. But deciding when to end treatment is difficult. If a living will is available, it often does not help. Moreover, the decision involves not only medical factors but also fundamental ethical values.
❓ Politics, society and medicine must finally face up to the long-repressed question, physician Uwe Janssens says: Where do we draw the line? When is it better to turn off the equipment because the patient is facing unnecessary suffering?
⚠️ Survival in itself is not a treatment goal, Uwe Janssens says. Neither is doing everything medically possible. "It's about doing what's in the patient's best interest. To envisage a therapeutic goal that they consider desirable in that situation." And sometimes it may "only" be alleviating suffering and pain. A physician who avoids asking these questions risks not only harming their patient because there is no such thing as treatment without side effects. Said doctor also endangers the well-being of other people.
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We tried Emmanuel Macron and we didn’t like it, and Le Pen in power — we don’t even want to try it, it is a repulsive possibility.
— A French student from the prestigious political sciences institute Sciences-Po told AP, as hundreds of university students are blocking buildings on several campuses in Paris to express their anger over the choice they face in France’s presidential election. The protesters feel that neither incumbent centrist Emmanuel Macron nor far-right candidate Marine Le Pen would be able to address their concerns over environmental and social issues. “We can’t accept five more years of austerity and pollution,” the student added.
✍️ Newsletter by Lorraine Olaya, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Lila Paulou and Emma Albright
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