Welcome to Tuesday, where Vladimir Putin visits two Russian-annexed regions of Ukraine, the leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda opposition party Rached Ghannouchi is arrested, and things get caliente in Spain. Meanwhile, Ukrainska Pravda analyzes the security and geopolitical consequences of Poland’s ban on Ukrainian food imports.
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• Putin visits Kherson region: Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited two regions of Ukraine that Moscow now claims as its own after unilateral annexation. The Kremlin said Putin had attended a military command meeting in Ukraine’s Kherson region and visited a national guard in Luhansk. Meanwhile, Russian forces continue to step up ground attacks and air strikes in the city of Bakhmut.
• Lula meeting with Lavrov: Russia’s foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met in Brazil, as the the Brazilian leader has come under fire after accusing the United States of “encouraging the war” in Ukraine.
• American journalist appears in court in Moscow:The Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich appeared in a Moscow courtroom on Tuesday at an appeal hearing against his detention in a former KGB prison on charges of espionage. He is the first U.S. journalist to be detained in Russia on espionage charges since the end of the Cold War, and could face a 20-year sentence. Washington has said it considers Gershkovich illegally detained.
• Sudan fourth day of violence: The U.S. spoke to rival Sudanese commanders as battles in Khartoum continue for a fourth day, telling them to stop fighting and to protect civilians after a U.S. diplomatic convoy came under fire. Meanwhile, Sudan’s paramilitary force, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), said it was fighting a battle to restore “the rights of our people” and reaffirmed the approval of a 24-hour armistice to ensure the safe passage of civilians and evacuation of the wounded.
• Tunisia police detains opposition leader: Tunisian police have detained opposition leader Rached Ghannouchi and raided the headquarters of his Ennahda party. Police raided Ghannouchi’s house, carrying out a search before taking him to what party officials called an “unknown destination,” in the latest sign of authoritarian crackdown by the government of President Kais Saied.
• India begins historic debate into same-sex marriage: The Indian Supreme Court is hearing final arguments on a number of petitions seeking to legalize sans-sex marriage. The hearings are being “live-streamed in public interest,” and come amid a heated debate between LGBTQ+ activists conservative government and religious leaders who strongly oppose same-sex union.
• Spain says ¡sí! to more sex: Spring has arrived, and Spaniards appear to be warming to the idea of open relationships. According to a survey Spain’s Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, more than 47% of respondents said they agree that a person can have more than one active sexual relationship at once. The poll also found that 41% of Spaniards believe that partners can have sex with other people outside their relationship without getting romantically involved with them.
“Not budging,” titles French daily La Voix du Nord after French President Emmanuel Macron’s much anticipated televised address. Though Macron said that he understood people’s anger against the recent pension reform which has sparked nationwide protests, he insisted the measure was “necessary,” and that France needed to move on to tackle other challenges.
Strong upturn marked the beginning of the year for China’s economy, as the National Bureau of Statistics reported a 4.5% growth in the country’s GDP in the first quarter from last year. The lifting of rigorous COVID-19 restrictions imposed on the country for the past three years generated a surge in consumer spending, despite a sharp increase in youth-unemployment pushed it to the second-highest level ever recorded.
Poland's ban on Ukrainian agriculture must not stand
Poland's unilateral decision to ban imports of Ukraine's agricultural products, in violation of EU agreements, has caused shock among Ukrainians. Nazar Bobytsky, head of the Ukrainian office of the Polish Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers, writes in Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda that Brussels must show Kyiv it is serious about Ukraine joining the EU.
🇵🇱❌ The negative consequences of Poland's ban on grain imports for the Ukrainian economy are clear and immediate: the ban on imports, as well as on transit, threatens to disrupt hard-won export contracts, forces a revision of plans for the planting season, and disrupts the logistics supply chains built up with such difficulty as a much-needed alternative to the sea route.
🇪🇺 The security and geopolitical implications are also becoming evident: the Kremlin will seize the moment to begin trying to sabotage the grain corridor agreements with Ukraine. However, Ukraine should pay extra attention to the systemic damage that this ill-conceived move by the Polish economic ministry causes to trade relations between Ukraine and the EU. Hungary quickly followed this precedent and introduced a similar ban, and Bulgaria is on the way.
🗳️ The decision of the Polish side was made in an atmosphere of a heated election campaign in the country and in the context of comprehensive political agreements reached during President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Warsaw. The Polish side is counting on Kyiv's "understanding" of the problem in the agricultural sector of its key ally on the eve of the election cycle. However, is such a tradeoff worth it to Ukraine?
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“All that remains of these 14 years of waiting is despair, dismay and anger.”
— A French court has acquitted Air France and Airbus over the 2009 crash of a Rio-Paris flight, ruling that it couldn’t be proven that errors from the airline and airplane manufacturer caused the disaster that killed all 228 passengers of AF447. Prosecutors said it was “impossible” to convict Air France and Airbus, which maintained that the crash was due to pilot error, and dropped the charges of involuntary manslaughter filed against both companies. The decision puts an end to 14 years of legal procedures, and was met with “despair, dismay and anger” from surviving families, said Daniele Lamy, president of the association that represents the victims.
• Violence In Sudan, And One More Democratic Uprising In Vain — FRANCE INTER
• Which Countries Have The Best Paternity Leave — WORLDCRUNCH
✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Inès Mermat and Anne-Sophie Goninet
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