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In The News

Russia Targets Kyiv Again, G7 In Hiroshima, NYC Cabbie On Royal Chase

Buddhist monks stand in front of the Kenothap Memorial in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Buddhist monks stand in front of the Kenothap Memorial in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on the eve of the May 19-21 G7 summit in Hiroshima, which will host the seven members of the G7: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States.

Marine Béguin & Jeff Israely

👋 Hæ hæ!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Russia launched its ninth missile barrage of the month on Kyiv, world leaders converge on Hiroshima for the G7 and a New York City taxi driver has the real scoop on the Harry and Meghan paparazzi “chase.” Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt’s Jan Küveler obtained exclusive access to Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky, who is on the run in Europe after harshly criticizing Vladimir Putin.



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• Kyiv targeted with more Russian missile attacks, with most intercepted: At least one person was killed as Russia launched its ninth wave of missile attacks of the month on Kyiv. According to authorities in the Ukrainian capital, 29 of the 30 missiles launched by Russia were intercepted in the sky, but debris is also dangerous.

• Thai opposition parties form coalition to take on military: Opposition parties in Thailand have joined forces to create a coalition to challenge the decade-long rule of the military establishment. After the leader of Thailand's Move Forward party Pita Limjaroenrat emerged victorious in Sunday's elections, seven other parties announced Thursday that they’ve joined his coalition that would constitute the necessary majority to rule.

Central Asia summit in China: Central Asian heads of state converged in China's historic city of Xian on Thursday for one-on-ones with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to seal pledges of "enduring" friendship, paving the way for a summit expected to result in a regional pact with Beijing.

• Ecuador President Guillermo dissolves Congress: Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the parliament to avoid impeachment, pledging to hold new elections within six months. Lasso is accused of embezzlement in a country already facing ongoing political crisis and social unrest.

• Four children found after a plane crash in the Amazon: Seventeen days after a plane crash in the Amazon, reports indicate that four children, including a baby, have been found alive. Three adults appear to have been killed in the crash.

• Deutsche Bank agrees to pay $75 million to settle Epstein lawsuit: Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay a $75 million settlement in response to a lawsuit brought by women who accused Jeffrey Epstein of sex trafficking, which Deutsche Bank is alleged to have facilitated.

• Tiktok banned for the first time in the U.S.: Montana is about to become the first U.S. state to ban the use of the TikTok app on personal devices. The law signed by Governor Greg Gianforte will go into effect on January 1, banning the app for hundreds of thousands of users according to a statement from Tiktok.


"Underwater" titles Rome-based daily newspaper La Repubblica, as deadly flooding continues to plague northern Italy. Evacuations are still underway after two days of extreme rainfall caused landslides and flooding. At least nine people have been killed, with estimates of billions of euros of damage. Formula One has canceled this weekend’s nearby Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.


$38 million

In New York, a Hebrew Bible that is more than 1,100 years old, dating from between 880 and 960, and one of the oldest surviving biblical manuscripts was sold for a record $38 million at a Sotheby’s auction. This nearly complete Hebrew Bible was purchased by a former U.S. ambassador to Romania, Alfred H. Moses. The bible will be sent to Tel Aviv to become part of the collection of the American Friends of ANU - Museum of the Jewish People.


"The Idiot Has Started A War" — A Secret Meeting With Exiled Russian Author Dmitry Glukhovsky

Dmitry Glukhovsky, author of acclaimed futuristic fiction including Metro 2033, is currently standing trial in absentia in Moscow after blasting Vladimir Putin just after the invasion of Ukraine. Glukhovsky has gone into hiding, but German daily Die Welt’s Jan Küveler managed to meet up with him in a secret location in Berlin.

📖 Glukhovsky’s Metro novel series and the computer games based on them have sold millions of copies and made the 43-year-old famous. They take place in a future version of Russia, after a nuclear apocalypse. The first novel was published in 2007, when Putin had been in power for seven years.

⚖️ When the Russian invasion started, he wrote an online piece expressing his anger towards those who’d started this war. In response, his apartment in Moscow was seized. Since last June, he has been the subject of an international manhunt. His trial in absentia began in March.

❓ The whole world is wondering what is going on inside Putin’s mind, why he is doing this. Glukhovsky believes it is a combination of cowardice and the fear of not having achieved anything that will secure him a legacy.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“There's police stations, cops on every corner. There's no reason to be afraid in New York.”

— Following a statement about a "relentless … near catastrophic car chase" from a spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the BBC spoke with Sukhcharn Singh, a New York taxi driver who had driven the royal couple in Manhattan during a portion of the would-be “chase” Tuesday evening. Singh confirmed that paparazzi did surround his cab at one point when it was blocked behind a garbage truck. "They looked nervous, I think they were being chased the whole day or something.” But Singh downplayed the supposed life-threatening drama. “I think that's all exaggerated,” he said. "New York City's the safest place to be.”

✍️ Newsletter by Marine Béguin & Jeff Israely

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Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

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