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In The News

Wagner Pulls Out Of Bakhmut, Korean Military Drills, RIP Tina Turner

Wagner Pulls Out Of Bakhmut, Korean Military Drills, RIP Tina Turner

A South Korean tank fire during South Korea-U.S. joint military drills in Pocheon, South Korea.

South Korean Defence Ministry
Emma Albright, Yannick Champion-Osselin, Sophie Jacquier and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Ha’u!*

Welcome to Thursday, where the Russian Wagner paramilitary group says it has started withdrawing from the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the U.S. and South Korea launch live fire military drills near the North Korean border and “the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” Tina Turner dies at age 85. Meanwhile, Bartosz T. Wielinski in Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza shows how Poland’s ruling PiS party is up to its old scapegoating antics again, this time with Ukraine as its target.

[*Hopi, Arizona, U.S.]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Wagner forces begin withdrawal from Bakhmut: Wagner forces have begun withdrawing from Bakhmut and will hand over positions to the Russian army, according to the mercenary group’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, claiming to have captured Ukraine’s city. Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that U.S. sources believe a drone attack on the Kremlin earlier this month was probably orchestrated by a Ukrainian special military or intelligence unit.

• South Korea, U.S. troops to hold live-fire drills near border with North Korea: The South Korean and U.S. militaries conducted large live-fire drills near the border with North Korea on Thursday, despite the North’s warning that it won’t tolerate what it calls an invasion rehearsal on its doorstep. The drills mark 70 years since the establishment of the military alliance between Seoul and Washington.

• DeSantis joins White House race, tripped up by chaotic Twitter launch: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had a rocky start to his 2024 presidential election campaign on Wednesday when glitches plagued an online forum announcing his candidacy hosted by Twitter owner Elon Musk. The Twitter broadcast of the hour-long launch interview lost sound for extended stretches and thousands of users were either unable to join or were dropped.

• Iran successfully launches ballistic missile: Iran successfully test-launched a ballistic missile with a potential 1200 mile-range on Thursday, two days after the chief of Israel's armed forces raised the prospect of "action" against Tehran over its nuclear program.

• UN celebrates 75 years of peacekeeping: The United Nations is marking the 75th anniversary of U.N. peacekeeping on Thursday, with a ceremony honoring the more than 4,200 peacekeepers who have died since 1948 when the U.N. Security Council first voted to send military observers to the Middle East.

• Suez canal traffic returns to normal after a ship was stranded: Tugboats refloated a large ship that had been stranded for several hours in the Suez Canal on Thursday. Sources said shipping traffic through one of the world's busiest waterways had returned to normal around six hours after the incident began and three-and-a-half hours after the vessel was refloated.

• Tina Turner dies at 83: Queen of Rock’n’roll, Tina Turner has died at age 83. Turner had suffered a number of health issues in recent years including cancer, a stroke and kidney failure. After escaping an abusive marriage with her husband Ike Turner, she went on to find great success as a solo artist in the 1980s.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Like many other international newspapers (Brazil’s Folha de S. Paulo, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine or Italy’s La Repubblica) French daily Libération pays frontpage homage to music royalty Tina Turner, who died yesterday at 83. One of the most influential pop icons, whose career spanned six decades, including a legendary comeback in the 1980s, the “Queen of Rock 'n' Roll” was known for her dynamic stage presence and hits including “Proud Mary”, “We Don’t Need Another Hero” or “What's Love Got to Do With It”.

#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS

$950 billion

Shares in California-based technology company Nvidia surged nearly 30% as demand for its AI hardware booms. Its forecast revenue was also 50% higher than Wall Street estimates, as its artificial-intelligence chips are being purchased to power services like ChatGPT. This has solidified its place as the world's most valuable chipmaker and one of Wall Street's most prized companies with a current stock market value of $950 billion.

📰 STORY OF THE DAY

Why Poland's ruling party has suddenly turned on Ukraine — with the wounds of history

The Polish government has recently demanded official apologies from Kyiv (which is busy fighting off the Russian invasion) for historic war crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists against ethnic Poles during World War II. The ruling PiS party is up to its old tricks of scapegoating for votes, writes Bartosz T. Wielinski in Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.

🇵🇱 In the midst of rising tensions between the otherwise close allies, Lukasz Jasina, the spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry unequivocally demanded that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issue a public apology to Poland for historic crimes in the Volhynia region. In that ugly chapter of World War II, Ukrainian nationalists killed up to 100,000 ethnic Poles, including many women and children, in what is widely considered an act of ethnic cleansing.

🇺🇦 Jasina's statement, which appeared on May 19 in Onet.pl, Poland's largest online news platform, resulted in exactly what he wanted: a declaration that Poland has stopped unconditionally supporting the Ukrainian war effort, and a forecast that Polish-Ukrainian relations will emerge as a new issue ahead of this coming fall's national elections.

🗳️ The current ruling party is not guaranteed to win a Parliamentary majority. That has left longtime PiS party leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, to once again reach for his tried-and-true methods. A new scapegoat has been found. For PiS, it is the ungrateful Ukrainians, who Poles have helped from the very first days of Russia’s invasion — taking in refugees, sending its own tanks and planes — who now do not want to account for their own criminal history towards Poland.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

“A year has passed and not much has changed.”

A year after the school shooting in southern Texas, where two teachers and 19 children were murdered, Berlinda Arreola, the 50-year-old grandmother of Amerie Jo Garza, a 10-year-old victim, told Al Jazeera: “We want justice and accountability for all law enforcement involved.” Victim's family members have been requesting changes in gun regulations for a year, without much success. “I’m angry. We’re angry,” Belinda Arreola added.

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Yannick Champion-Osselin, Sophie Jacquier and Anne-Sophie Goninet


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Geopolitics

Make No Mistake, The Hawks Are Running China

China released a new map where it borrows strips of lands from its neighbors. Although this is far from being the first time the country is involved in territorial disputes, Beijing's growing military shows it has the power (and will?) to try to make it a reality.

Photo of a phone showing the new controversial map of China, with a Chinese flag as a backdrop

China's 2023 edition of its ''standard map''

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Imagine if tomorrow, one of France's neighbors published a map that showed entire swathes of French territory as its own. And did the same with many other neighbors. That is, in simple terms, what China did last week — and as you can image, its neighbors are not pleased at all.

The map, published by China's Ministry of Natural Resources and circulated on social media, has drawn condemnation from all of China's neighbors: Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and of course the special case of Taiwan, which Beijing considers to be a stray part of its own territory.

But the strongest reaction came from India, after two disputed Himalayan regions were presented as being part of China. Narendra Modi's government responded yesterday with a show of military force on the borders with Pakistan and China.

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