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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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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• 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.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

“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.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

100,023

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.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

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

📣 VERBATIM

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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Society

"Stranger Things" Resurrects The U.S. Satanic Panic Of The 1980s

One of the major plotlines of the fourth season of Netflix's hit show, set in 1986, takes inspiration in the real satanic panic that swept the United States in the 1980s.

In Stranger Things' fourth season, Eddie Munson gets accused of flirting with the occult

Michael David Barbezat

From Kate Bush to Russian villainy, Season Four of Stranger Things revives many parts of the 1980s relevant to our times. Some of these blasts from the past provide welcome nostalgia. Others are like unwanted ghosts that will not go away. The American Satanic Panic of the 1980s is one of these less welcome but important callbacks.

In Stranger Things, season four, some residents of the all-American but cursed town of Hawkins hunt down the show’s cast of heroic misfits after labelling them as satanic cultists. The satanism accusation revolves around the game Dungeons and Dragons and the protagonists’ meetings to play it with other unpopular students at their high school as part of the Hellfire Club.

Keep reading...Show less

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