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Mona Lisa caked at the Louvre museum.

The Louvre museum has filed a complaint after a man, wearing a wig and using a wheelchair, smeared cake frosting over the glass panel protecting Da Vinci’s world-famous “Mona Lisa” painting. Social media footage shows the man, who had reportedly tried to smash the protective window, saying “Think of planet Earth, there are people destroying it” as he was being escorted out.

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

👋 Xin chào!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where EU leaders agree on a partial embargo on Russian oil, Canada proposes a total freeze on handgun ownership, and the Mona Lisa gets smeared with cream. Meanwhile, Jacques Attali in French daily Les Echos asks: Are we ready for the return of Donald Trump?

[*Vietnamese]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• EU agrees on Russian oil ban: European Union countries have approved the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes an embargo on 90% of oil by the end of the year. Ukrainian officials had hoped for a complete, and more immediate shutdown of Russian oil imports.

• China entered Taiwan’s air defense zone: Taiwan’s defense ministry announced that 30 Chinese warplanes entered the country’s air defense zone on Monday. Taiwan had to scramble its own defense aircraft following China’s second-largest incursion, which the U.S. declared as a provocation.

• Canada introduces strict ban on handguns: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the implementation of a law freezing sales, transfers and imports of handguns in Canada, including a control on some toys looking like guns. The move came as a response to the May 24 Texas school shooting.

• Australian Prime Minister secures parliamentary majority: One week after the federal elections, new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor government will form a parliamentary majority after securing at least 76 of the 150 House seats. The party will be able to govern on its own, although it might form an alliance with some opposition political parties.

• Israel and UAE free trade deal: Israel signed an historic free trade deal with the United Arab Emirates, its first trade deal with an Arab country, eliminating customs duties on 96% of products. According to UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani al Zeyoudi, this deal “will push the value of our non-oil bilateral trade beyond $10 billion within five years.”

• Olaf Scholz under fire for “Nazi comparison”:German Chancellor Olaf Scholz faces backlash after allegedly comparing climate protestors who interrupted his speech in Stuttgart, to Nazis. The government spokesperson reacted saying these accusations are “completely absurd.”

• Running Up Those Charts: Kate Bush’s 1985 hit “Running Up That Hill” goes n.1 on iTunes charts thanks to the Season 4 of Netflix’s series Stranger Things, in which the song features prominently.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Brazilian daily Correio pays tribute to television icon Milton Gonçalves who died at 88 in Rio de Janeiro. One of the most famous black actors in Brazil, Gonçalves starred in dozens of soap operas since his debut on TV Globo in 1965.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

1,037

A Kyiv School of Economics study shows that more than a thousand western companies have left Russia since the start of the war with Ukraine — amounting to an estimated $32.5 billion in revenue and $19.9 billion in capital.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Europe must prepare now for Donald Trump's return

There is now a strong likelihood that Donald Trump will return to the White House in 2025. Europe must act now to be ready to protect its democracy without relying on its U.S. ally, Jacques Attali writes in French daily Les Echos.

🇺🇸 The most recent events, in France as much as anywhere else in the world, should have convinced even the most optimistic that the worst is not impossible. The best approach is to be prepared. It is not too late then to prepare for a hypothesis that is more likely every day: the return of Donald Trump to the White House following the next U.S. election on Nov. 5, 2024. To understand the importance of such an event, just imagine what the world situation would be like today had he been re-elected in November 2020 regarding Ukraine, foreign policy or abortion rights in the U.S.

🌪 The hypothesis of a return of Trump to the Oval Office is now more than likely. President Biden is deeply unpopular. The Democrats will lose the interim elections next November. Trump is already choosing who will run for governor and senator among the Republicans and he has gladly confided to his most recent private visitors that he will be a candidate in 2024. But make no mistake: President Trump of 2025 would be very different from President Trump of 2017. He would hold the power over the two executive chambers, the Supreme Court and most of the media. And he might refuse this second term to be his last.

🦅 Of course, nothing has happened yet, and many things can happen between now and then. Of course, we Europeans cannot intervene in such an election. But we can — actually, we must — prepare for such a possibility. We are absolutely not prepared to live in a world where the United States would become a totalitarian country, threatened by civil war, and refusing any solidarity with the other continents, let alone with Europe.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

There is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives.

— In response to the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde in neighboring U.S., Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has introduced a new legislation aiming to cap the number of personally owned handguns in Canada. The bill will make it illegal to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns, and will also remove the firearms licenses of people involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment. “Other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives,” Trudeau said.

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


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Geopolitics

A Ukrainian In Belgrade: The Straight Line From Milosevic To Putin, And Back Again

As hostilities flare again between Serbia and Kosovo, the writer draws connections between the dissolutions of both the USSR and Yugoslavia, and the leaders who exploit upheaval and feed the worst kind of nationalism.

On the streets of Belgrade, Serbia

Anna Akage

-Analysis-

At high school in Kyiv in the late 1990s, we studied the recent history of Yugoslavia: the details of its disintegration, the civil wars, the NATO bombing of Belgrade. When we compared Yugoslavia and the USSR, it seemed evident to us that if Boris Yeltsin or Mikhail Gorbachev had been anything like Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, bloody wars would have been unavoidable for Ukraine, Belarus, and other republics that instead had seceded from the Soviet Union without a single shot being fired.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Fast forward to 2020, when I visited Belgrade for the first time, invited for a friend's wedding. Looking around, I was struck by the decrepit state of its roads, the lack of any official marked cabs, by the drudgery, but most of all by the tension and underlying aggression in society. It was reflected in all the posters and inscriptions plastered on nearly every street. Against Albania, against Kosovo, against Muslims, claims for historical justice, Serbian retribution, and so on. A rather beautiful, albeit by Soviet standards, Belgrade seemed like a sleeping scorpion.

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