Russian Air Strikes, Sudan Ceasefire Talks Continue, Seismic “Rock” Music
Welcome to Monday, where Russia launches a new series of air strikes on Ukraine ahead of Moscow’s World War II Victory Day, Sudan’s warring sides meet again for ceasefire talks in Saudi Arabia and a computer program gives a new meaning to “rock” music. Meanwhile, Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda features exclusive testimony from children who managed to escape Russia’s so-called “filtration camps.”
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🌎 7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW
• Russia steps up strikes on Ukraine ahead of Victory Day: Russia has launched a series of drone, missile and air strikes on Kyiv, injuring five people, and other Ukrainian cities through the night, escalating attacks ahead of Victory Day, that celebrates Moscow’s defeat of Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said Russian military officials “promised” more ammunition and weapons to continue the fight for Bakhmut, appearing to backtrack on his threat to withdraw from the flashpoint city in eastern Ukraine.
• Texas mall shooting gunman identified: The gunman who opened fire at a crowded mall in Allen, Texas, on Saturday, killing at least eight people and wounding at least seven others, has been identified as Mauricio Garcia, aged 33. Authorities are investigating the man’s motive, with possible far-right links. The latest mass shooting has prompted U.S. President Joe Biden to renew his call on Congress to pass gun control bills. Meanwhile, eight people were killed and nine others injured after a car ran into a group outside a shelter housing migrants in a Texas border town on Sunday, with the cause still being investigated.
• Fighting continues in Sudan amid ongoing ceasefire talks: Battles continue raging in Khartoum as Sudan’s warring sides meet again on Monday in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah for talks to end the conflict that has left nearly 600 people dead. A Saudi diplomat told AFP that the ceasefire talks that started over the weekend have yielded “no major progress” so far.
• Arab League readmits Syria after 12 years: The Arab League has agreed to reinstate Syria’s membership after the country was suspended in 2011 for its brutal repression of pro-democracy protests that spiraled Syria into civil war. The U.S. and UK have criticized the move, which comes ahead of a summit in Saudi Arabia on May 19, that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may now attend.
• Death toll from Congolese floods surpasses 400: The death toll from floods and landslides in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has risen to 401. A day of national mourning will be observed on Monday, the government has announced.
• Boat capsizes in south India, at least 22 die: Rescue efforts are underway at the coastal town of Tanur in southern India, after a double-decker tourist boat capsized, killing at least 22 people. The boat was reportedly carrying over 40 passengers — double its capacity.
• “Rock” music, literally: As part of the 2023 Internet2 Community Exchange conference in Atlanta, Georgia, seismic activity recorded at the Yellowstone National Park will be turned into a musical score and played live on stage, thanks to a computer program developed by a British researcher.
🗞️ FRONT PAGE
“Between commemoration and propaganda,” titles German daily Die Tageszeitung, reporting on how Moscow is using Victory Day, marking the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender at the end of World War II, to “justify the war against Ukraine.” On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed that “Russia will be defeated just as Nazism was defeated.”
#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS
Vietnam has recorded its highest ever temperature of 44.1°C (111.38°F). Measured at Hoi Xuan station, in northern Vietnam, the temperature breaks the 2019 record of 43.4°C. Officials of the region warned people to stay indoors during the hottest times of the day. Other Southeast Asian countries have also been experiencing intense heat: Thailand reached 44.6°C in the Mak province last month.
📰 STORY OF THE DAY
Inside Moscow's scheme to kidnap and “Russify” Ukrainian children
In Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, an estimated 19,000 children have been abducted and put in so-called "filtration camps," Soviet-era-like facilities where they are being "re-educated" in brutal conditions. For Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda, Victoria Roshchyna gets exclusive testimony from several victims who managed to escape.
🇷🇺 Sashko is one of the thousands of children taken to the Russian Federation from the occupied regions of Ukraine under the guise of evacuation and ensuing rehabilitation, to teach them to "love Russia." According to the Office of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General, at least 19,000 minors have been taken to Russia and annexed Crimea since the beginning of the full-scale war. Only 364 have been returned.
🧒 "On New Year's Eve, we had to watch Putin's address, and some of us left the room and started shouting 'Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!" says Taisiya, 16. She says that children who disobeyed their teachers were locked up for several days in an "isolation room." Teenage children mostly resisted Russian propaganda in the camps. However, children of primary school age were more easily influenced.
⚖️ Russia adopted separate legislation specifically for Ukrainian children, with Russian President Vladimir Putin signing two laws: one simplifying the acquisition of Russian citizenship by children and their legal representatives; and one streamlining the procedure for Russians to adopt Ukrainian children. The adoption process in Russia is secretive, meaning finding such children will be de facto impossible.
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📹 THIS HAPPENED VIDEO — TODAY IN HISTORY, IN ONE ICONIC PHOTO
➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
“Pa, we are all so proud of you.”
— The day after the Coronation of King Charles III, his son, the Prince of Wales, spoke to the crowd at a special concert at Windsor Castle, saying that the late Queen Elizabeth II would have been a "proud mother," and praising the new King’s decades of service.
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✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet and Sophie Jacquier
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