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In The News

Key EU Ukraine Summit, Shanghai Reopening, Whale Lost In The Seine

Key EU Ukraine Summit, Shanghai Reopening, Whale Lost In The Seine

U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden lay flowers and pay their respects at a memorial in front of the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde

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

👋 Ahoj!*

Welcome to Monday, where EU leaders try to overcome divisions on Russian sanctions, Shanghai lifts some of its COVID-19 restrictions and a killer whale dies after getting lost in the river Seine. Meanwhile, German Die Welt reports on fears in Georgia that its breakaway territory South Ossetia might be next in the Kremlin’s crosshairs.



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• Crucial EU summit on Ukraine amid signs of “crumbling” unity: A crucial two-day summit of European Union leaders is underway to forge a new response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as German Economy Minister Robert Habek expressed fears that the unity of the European Union "is beginning to crumble."

• Shanghai to lift COVID restrictions: Shanghai’s authorities have announced that lockdown measures will be eased on the city’s businesses from Wednesday to support its hard-hit economy after two months of lockdown. Workers will be allowed to go back to work and resume production in China’s financial center.

• Monkeypox presents moderate risk to public health: The World Health Organization reports that monkeypox presents a “moderate” risk to global public health, in a statement released on Sunday. More than 250 cases have now been confirmed in 23 countries, most of them in Europe and North America.

• 31 dead in Nigeria church fair stampede: A stampede at a church charity fair in southern Nigeria killed 31 people, including many children. The annual “Shop for Free” event Saturday was aimed to bring hope to people in poverty, but quickly became overcrowded.

• Uvalde update: The U.S. Department of Justice will investigate the police response to the Uvalde school shooting following reports that officers delayed storming the school by 40 minutes because they thought the “active shooter” situation was over.

• Killer whale found dead in the Seine: The male killer whale who seemed stuck in the River Seine in northern France since May 16 was found dead this Monday morning. Authorities had asked for the animal to be euthanized after a rescue plan failed and specialists concluded it was terminally ill with mucormycosis, a disease never before seen in Europe.

• Cannes Film Festival winners: Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund won his second Palme d’Or for Triangle of Sadness, a satire about wealthy people, during the closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday evening. In second position, the Grand Prix was jointly awarded to Claire Denis’ Stars at Noon and Lukas Dhont’s Close. The best actress award went to Iranian Zar Amir-Ebrahimi while Korean star Song Kang-ho was named best actor.


The front page of Barranquilla-based daily El Heraldo reports on the upcoming “second round” of Colombia’s presidential election, after yesterday saw leftist leader and former guerrilla fighter Gustavo Petro take the lead with 40.32% of the votes, as Rodolfo Hernández, dubbed the “Trump of Colombia”, trails with 28.15%. Petro will face new challenges in the second round, scheduled for June 19, after third runner up Federico Gutiérrez made his endorsement for Hernández.


2,073 feet

The Bach Long glass-bottomed bridge in northern Vietnam, has been recognized by the Guinness World Record as the longest such structure in the world. With 2,073 ft (632 meters) in length, this new vertigo-inducing bridge has beaten the previous record of 1,726 ft held by Guangdong, China.


In Georgia, fears of being back on Putin's hit list

Vladimir Putin has not forgotten about the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, which wants to decide in July whether to join Russia. People here still remember when the Russian army invaded while the West looked on. And according to Gregor Schwung in this article for German daily Die Welt, there is growing worry that this could soon happen again.

💥 Every time Russian troops exercise in South Ossetia, people in this Georgian border village hear the artillery. The aftershock reverberations are already causing the stones in Lia Khlachidze’s house to crumble off the wall. She lives in Ergneti, only about 100 meters as the crow flies from the demarcation line. She rebuilt her house a year after it was destroyed in 2008, when Russia invaded Georgia, and within five days captured the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Both territories declared their independence following the war, which was recognized by Russia. Russian “peacekeepers” have been securing the two territories ever since.

🇬🇪 On Friday May 13, the separatist government in South Ossetia announced a referendum on annexation to Russia in July. It is unclear whether the latter will actually take place, but the signal behind the announcement is clear: Putin has not forgotten Georgia. A threat directed at the West – and at Tbilisi. In early March, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, the Georgian government applied for EU membership, and on May 18 Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili traveled to Brussels to discuss his country’s partnership with the defense alliance with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

🤝🇺🇦 In Georgia, solidarity with Ukraine is strong. The blue and yellow flag seems to be more present in Tbilisi than the Georgian flag. But Tbilisi is pursuing a more cautious policy on the matter. To date, Georgia has joined international financial sanctions against Putin’s regime, but bilateral trade continues. Russia could easily hurt the country militarily. The capitol is just 50 kilometers from the easternmost tip of South Ossetia.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


It was the most petrifying experience I’ve ever had at a football match.

BBC’s sports journalist Nick Parrott has shared his chaotic experience at the Champion’s League Final — Liverpool v. Real Madrid — held in Paris, which was delayed by 35 minutes as thousands of supporters were trying to get inside the stadium, some with fake tickets. The journalist, who was pepper-sprayed in the queue, said locals were "trying to force their way in leading to security closing the gates and keeping out legitimate fans with tickets," also lamenting the general organization of the event. Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 for its 14th top European title.

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

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Finally Time For Negotiations? Russia And Ukraine Have The Exact Same Answer

The war in Ukraine appears to have reached a stalemate, with neither side able to make significant progress on the battlefield. A number of Western experts and politicians are now pushing for negotiations. But the irreconcilable positions of both the Russian and Ukrainian sides make such negotiations tricky, if not impossible.

photo of : Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, presents a battle flag to a soldier as he kisses it

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presents a battle flag to a soldier at the Kyiv Fortress, October 1, 2023.

Ukraine Presidency/Ukrainian Pre/Planet Pix via ZUMA
Yuri Fedorov


The Russian-Ukrainian war appears to have reached a strategic impasse — a veritable stalemate. Neither side is in a position at this point to achieve a fundamental change on the ground in their favor. Inevitably, this has triggered no shortage of analysts and politicians saying it's time for negotiations.

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These conversations especially intensified after the results of the summer-autumn counteroffensive were analyzed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhny, with not very optimistic details.

Though there are advances of the Ukrainian army, it is mostly “stuck in minefields under attacks from Russian artillery and drones,” and there is a increasing prospect of trench warfare that “could drag on for years and exhaust the Ukrainian state.”

Zaluzhny concluded: “Russia should not be underestimated. It suffered heavy losses and used up a lot of ammunition, but it will have an advantage in weapons, equipment, missiles and ammunition for a long time," he said. "Our NATO partners are also dramatically increasing their production capacity, but this requires at least a year, and in some cases, such as aircraft and control systems, two years.”

For the Ukrainian army to truly succeed, it needs air superiority, highly effective electronic and counter-battery warfare, new technologies for mining and crossing minefields, and the ability to mobilize and train more reserves.

China and most countries of the so-called global South have expressed their support for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Meanwhile in the West, certain influential voices are pushing for negotiations, guided by a purely pragmatic principle that if military victory is impossible, it is necessary to move on to diplomacy.

The position of the allies is crucial: Ukraine’s ability to fight a long war of attrition and eventually change the situation at the front in its favor depends on the military, economic and political support of the West. And this support, at least on the scale necessary for victory, is not guaranteed.

Still, the question of negotiations is no less complicated, as the positions of Russia and Ukraine today are so irreconcilable that it is difficult to imagine productive negotiations.

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