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New Russia Sanctions, Roe v. Wade Leak Legit, Taller Than Christ

New Russia Sanctions, Roe v. Wade Leak Legit, Taller Than Christ

A protest in Kyiv to call on world leaders to guarantee safe passage to civilians and soldiers trapped in the Azovstal plant in Mariupol

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Manao ahoana!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the EU unveils plans for new sanctions targeting Russian oil, the Roe v. Wade leak is confirmed as authentic and Christ the Redeemer’s got competition. Meanwhile, Chinese-language digital media The Initium looks at the key differences between China and Russia on how they approach Taiwan and Eastern Ukraine, territories they consider their own.

[*Malagasy - Madagascar]


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• EU unveils proposals for new sanctions, including ban on Russian oil: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled a sixth package of proposed sanctions against Russia, which include a ban on Russian oil imports by the end of 2022 and the removal of Sberbank, the country’s largest bank, from the international payments system SWIFT. The measures will require unanimous approval from member states before coming into effect.

• Kremlin says it won’t declare war on May 9: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed the speculation that Russian president Vladimir Putin was planning on officially declaring war on Ukraine on Victory Day, Russia’s biggest public holiday, saying it was “nonsense.”

— Read all the latest at War in Ukraine, Day 70

• Roe v. Wade leak confirmed as genuine: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the document that leaked earlier this week on the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, adding it was not a reflection of the U.S. Supreme Court’s final decision. An investigation is underway to know the origins of the leak.

• Haitian gang leader extradited to U.S.: Germine “Jonyon” Joly, the leader of Haiti’s 400 Mawozo gang, has been extradited to Washington by the FBI. The U.S. had issued an international warrant for his arrest in April for smuggling weapons as well as the kidnapping of 17 U.S. citizens.

• North Korea’s 14th missile test: North Korea fired a ballistic missile off its East Coast. It is the 14th missile test launched by the country since the beginning of the year, just days before a new Conservative president takes office in South Korea.

• Trial over Greek LGBTQ+ activist death: A Greek court sentenced two men for the beating and death of Zacharias Kostopoulos, an LGBTQ+ activist, in Athens in 2018. The men have been charged with “fatal bodily harm” and sentenced to 10 years in jail, but the victim’s family wants them to be charged with homicide.

• Robot chef: Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a robot chef trained to imitate the human eating process and “taste” food, with abilities to check if the flavors are balanced and modify the seasoning if needed.


American daily The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the public outcry following the revelation that the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade. Overruling the 1973 court decision would make abortion illegal in several states across the country.


43 meters

Move over, Christ the Redeemer: Here cometh Christ the Protector! The town of Encantado in southern Brazil is building a statue of Christ that’s taller than Rio de Janeiro’s iconic landmark. Encantado’s statue, which will open to the public next year, will be 43-meter high (141 ft), compared with 38 meters (125 ft) for Christ the Redeemer.


The war in Ukraine should force China to rethink its Taiwan narrative

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has put China's stance on Taiwan back in the spotlight. But despite shared narratives of national unity, there are key differences in how Beijing and Moscow approach territories they consider their own, writes Shi Qingye in Chinese-language digital media The Initium.

🇹🇼🇨🇳 Beijing's claim to national unity has long been based on two aspects. The first is historical and nationalistic. China argues that Taiwan "historically belongs to China" and "was developed by the Chinese". The other side of Beijing's claim is to rely on the fact that the Beijing regime is widely recognized internationally as the sole legitimate government and representative of "China" under the current international law framework.

🇺🇦🇷🇺 Yet China's failure to openly distance itself from Russia in the face of Russia's irrefutable aggression in the Russian-Ukrainian War makes both narratives awkward. In Putin's Feb. 21 speech, he strongly disparaged Ukraine as an independent nation and state with a culture different from Russia's. He described the country as a purely artificial one created by Soviet Russia and claimed "Ukraine is an inseparable part of our [Russia's] historical, cultural and spiritual space."

⚠️ It is notable that the Chinese Communist regime never really ruled Taiwan itself, while Eastern Ukraine is unarguably within Ukrainian territory. Beijing’s refusal to admit that Russia violated Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and its equivocation on siding with Moscow’s support of secession will undoubtedly further undermine China's position to make similar claims on Taiwan.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


We want Ukraine to win this war.

— In an address to the European Parliament, President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced a sixth package of sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. In addition to a progressive embargo on Russian oil, the EU will start working on an “ambitious recovery package for our Ukrainian friends.”

✍️ Newsletter by Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

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The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*


BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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