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First Russia War Crimes Trial, China Eastern Plane Crash Intentional?, Menstrual Leave

First Russia War Crimes Trial, China Eastern Plane Crash Intentional?, Menstrual Leave

Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

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

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]


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• Man pleads guilty in first Russia war crimes trial: The first war crimes trial of a Russian soldier begins in Kyiv today. The 21-year-old has pleaded guilty of shooting an unarmed 62-year-old Ukrainian civilian while he spoke on the phone.

• Mariupol defenders fate in limbo: At least 694 Ukrainian fighters who were holed up at the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol have surrendered in the past 24 hours. It is unclear what will befall the fighters, 1,000 in total, who were sent to a prisoner camp in Russian-controlled territory in Donbas.

— Read all the latest at War in Ukraine, Day 84

• India top court frees ex-PM Rajiv Gandhi's killer: The Indian Supreme Court has released AG Perarivalan, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1991 for taking part in the suicide bombing that killed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and 14 others. Perarivalan has always claimed his innocence.

• China Eastern plane crash likely intentional: U.S. investigators suggest that the crash of the China Eastern plane in March was caused by someone in the cockpit who put the plane into a nosedive. The Boeing 737-800 plunged inexplicably into a mountainside in southern China, killing all 132 people onboard. Chinese authorities deny that the crash was deliberate.

• Kim Jong-un blames COVID outbreak on “lazy” officials: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has condemned the negligence and laziness of state officials who did not do enough to contain the spread of the pandemic. The country reported its first ever COVID-19 case last week, which rose to 1.72 million cases and 62 deaths.

• Netflix job cuts: Netflix has decided to let go 150 (2%) of its employees, most of them in the U.S., as the company suffers from a drastic decline in subscribers since the start of the year. The streaming giant has been looking for ways to cope with its slowing revenue growth, including cracking down on password sharing.

• Spain approves menstrual leave bill: The Spanish government cabinet has approved a bill allowing workers with severe period pain to take medical paid leave financed by the state. If the bill is approved by the Spanish parliament, it would become the first country in Europe to grant such leave.


“Wheat, a luxury good,” titles Austrian daily Kleine Zeitung, reporting on prices of wheat that hit a new record high in Europe, jumping to 435 euros ($453) per ton, up from the previous record of 422 euros last week. Prices have soared since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which previously accounted for 12% of global exports.



Mexico has recorded more than 100,000 people as missing or disappeared since 1964, according to new data from the Interior Ministry's National Registry of Missing People — with the figure rising by 20,000 in the past two years alone. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said only 35 of disappearances registered have led to a conviction.


Fall of the empire? Ethnic separatism on the rise in Russia

Far from being a unified state, Russia is full of federal subjects — many of which have spawned separatist movements. Moscow, far from Siberia or the Caucasus and focused on Ukraine, is finding it harder to contain them, writes Pavel Lysyansky in Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg.

🇷🇺➗ The Russian Federation consists of 85 federal subjects. Each one has its own head, a Parliament and Constitutional Court. The system is an attempt made in Soviet times to solve the problem of the country's ethnic and economic diversity by forming national republics. So, the population of the Russian Federation does not consider a federal center or federation as a core value. For that reason, in some territories people may perceive their separation from Russia as quite possible.

🤝 In the Russian regions, traditionally inhabited by Muslim ethnic groups, Islamic radicalism and ethno-national separatism are closely related. For example, in the Russian Altai in southern Siberia, the idea of creating a common ethnic state of all Turkic peoples is widespread. Siberian regional separatism is also actively developing near Russia. It is based on Siberian Russians as a distinct nation suppressed by the federal center and the European part of the Russian Federation.

💥 Since the Kremlin launched the large-scale military aggression against Ukraine, socio-economic and political tensions have been growing in Russia, increasing the probability of a revolutionary situation. Russian political and business elites in the regions are not consolidated in solving general national problems because some of them have long been waiting for the possibility of confederalism or separatism processes with the subsequent secession of some territories.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


We are in total political isolation and the whole world is against us.

— Former Russian colonel and military analyst Mikhail Khodarenov publicly criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Russian state TV and conceded that the country is losing in Ukraine, adding “An armed conflict with Ukraine is not in Russia’s national interest.”

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

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What's Spoiling The Kids: The Big Tech v. Bad Parenting Debate

Without an extended family network, modern parents have sought to raise happy kids in a "hostile" world. It's a tall order, when youngsters absorb the fears (and devices) around them like a sponge.

Image of a kid wearing a blue striped sweater, using an ipad.

Children exposed to technology at a very young age are prominent today.

Julián de Zubiría Samper


BOGOTÁ — A 2021 report from the United States (the Youth Risk Behavior Survey) found that 42% of the country's high-school students persistently felt sad and 22% had thought about suicide. In other words, almost half of the country's young people are living in despair and a fifth of them have thought about killing themselves.

Such chilling figures are unprecedented in history. Many have suggested that this might be the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but sadly, we can see depression has deeper causes, and the pandemic merely illustrated its complexity.

I have written before on possible links between severe depression and the time young people spend on social media. But this is just one aspect of the problem. Today, young people suffer frequent and intense emotional crises, and not just for all the hours spent staring at a screen. Another, possibly more important cause may lie in changes to the family composition and authority patterns at home.

Firstly: Families today have fewer members, who communicate less among themselves.

Young people marry at a later age, have fewer children and many opt for personal projects and pets instead of having children. Families are more diverse and flexible. In many countries, the number of children per woman is close to or less than one (Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong among others).

In Colombia, women have on average 1.9 children, compared to 7.6 in 1970. Worldwide, women aged 15 to 49 years have on average 2.4 children, or half the average figure for 1970. The changes are much more pronounced in cities and among middle and upper-income groups.

Of further concern today is the decline in communication time at home, notably between parents and children. This is difficult to quantify, but reasons may include fewer household members, pervasive use of screens, mothers going to work, microwave ovens that have eliminated family cooking and meals and, thanks to new technologies, an increase in time spent on work, even at home. Our society is addicted to work and devotes little time to minors.

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