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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, in a visit marked by Russian strikes hitting the Ukrainian capital.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, in a visit marked by Russian strikes hitting the Ukrainian capital.

Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Chào!*

Welcome to Friday, where a journalist is killed as strike hits Kyiv during UN chief visit, China pledges more help to support its locked-down economy, and a tennis legend may end up in jail. Meanwhile in French daily Les Echos, Anna Lippert looks at how open-source intelligence has turned into a weapon in the fight against disinformation.

[*Vietnamese]

🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Journalist killed in Kyiv missile strike during UN chief’s visit: Radio Liberty reported Friday that one of its journalists was killed during Russia’s missile strike in Kyiv that coincided with the visit of UN Secretary General António Guterres. Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, who met with Guterres on Thursday, said the attack showed that Russia wants to “humiliate” the UN.

• Biden’s $33-billion aid package to Kyiv marks turning point: U.S. President Joe Biden conceded that his $33-billion military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine was “not cheap,” but necessary as part of a shift from the U.S. over the past 10 days to support the Ukrainian military, in an effort to defeat Russia on the battlefield.

— Read all the latest at War in Ukraine, Day 65

• China pledges more COVID help: China has announced it will deploy new economic measures to support small firms and industries affected by the pandemic, but vowed to carry on with its Zero-COVID policy. The country’s recent severe lockdowns have caused a decrease in production and consumption alike, causing financial markets turmoil.

• British Virgin Islands Premier arrested on cocaine charges: The British Virgin Island Premier Andrew Fahie and his chief port official have been arrested at Miami airport by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. They are accused of accepting $700,000 from undercover agents posing as Mexican cocaine traffickers.

• Sri Lanka president agrees to remove brother as prime minister: Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has agreed to remove his older brother as prime minister, amid a cabinet shuffle. The country is going through its worst economic crisis in decades, nearing bankruptcy.

• More than 40 Palestinians injured in Jerusalem holy site raid: Israeli police forces have injured at least 42 Palestinians in a raid at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The violence, on the final Friday of the Muslim month of Ramadan, follows weeks of unrest at the holy site.

• Boris Becker awaits sentence: German tennis legend Boris Becker could face jail time, after he was found guilty of flouting the terms of his 2017 bankruptcy. Becker was already sentenced to two years suspended for tax evasion in Germany in 2002.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Istanbul-based daily Milliyet fears that the recent spreading of the Ukraine war in Transnistria, a breakaway Russian-controlled region in Moldova that borders Ukraine, might trigger a “domino effect” and open a new front in the conflict.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

$3.8 billion

American tech giant Amazon has announced its lost $3.8 billion in profits due to slower-than-expected growth in revenues in the first quarter of 2022. The loss, the first of its kind since 2015, caused a 10% drop in the online retailer’s shares.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Open-source methodes, the cyber weapon anyone can use in Ukraine war

Ever since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, journalists and citizens have used open source intelligence to help the war effort and fight disinformation. As Anne Lipert reports for French daily Les Echos, NGOs and amateur investigators are even using it to look for evidence of human rights abuses.:

#️⃣ OSINT: Five mysterious letters and a hashtag that have flourished on social media since Russia’s offensive in Ukraine. Behind the acronym, which stands for “Open Source Intelligence” is a set of methods allowing the exploitation of open sources on the Internet: videos or photos posted on social media, location data, satellite images or the positions of planes and ships shared by a number of websites.

✅ Journalists, NGOs and even anonymous citizens have seized these techniques in the context of the conflict in Ukraine to fight against disinformation, to inform about military positions, or to look for evidence of war crimes. Using open source data may help to find the origin of a social media post, to geolocate, date or authenticate a photo or a video, or to spot the location of troops. It combines fact-checking and data analysis.

🛰 In the course of the months preceding the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, OSINT made it possible to geolocate some troops’ moves. Once these videos and photos are authenticated, they are also used by NGOs to search for evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses. Finding such information requires resorting to a wide range of tools and resources as a complement to images and testimonies. The evidence gathered might indeed be transmitted to an international judicial authority in the context of a procedure against human rights violations in Ukraine.

⚠️ Many OSINT investigations were conducted by specialized journalists, some of whom work for fact-checking services. Others work for NGOs or recognized collectives of investigators. But all must remain vigilant in a context where every conflict is also an information war between stakeholders.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

NATO has messed up Europe. Is it now trying to mess up the Asia-Pacific?


Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in response to British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss renewed call that the West must “double down” on Ukraine support.

✍️ Newsletter by Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger


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Ideas

Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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