Welcome to Thursday, where Ukrainian President Zelensky says 200,000 children have been forcibly deported to Russia, and a new study shows that man’s best friend can detect COVID. Meanwhile, business magazine America Economia looks at the reasons why the U.S. should commit itself more to the upcoming Summit of the Americas.
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• 200,000 children may have been taken from Ukraine: Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that some 200,000 children are among those who have been forcibly taken to Russia amid the conflict in Ukraine. This statement comes alongside Ukrainian reports that Russia is suspected to have committed 15,000 war crimes in Ukraine.
• Denmark to join EU defense policy: After a historic vote, Denmark, which has worked to maintain its “opt-out” status, has finally decided to join the EU’s defense policy with 67% in favor. The decision comes two weeks after Finland and Sweden submitted applications to join NATO in light of Russia’s aggressive offensive in Ukraine.
— Read all the latest at War in Ukraine, Day 99 —
• Tunisian president sacks judges: Tunisian president Kais Saied sacked 57 judges in a move which gives him further control over the country’s judiciary. Corruption and defense of terrorism were among the reasons he cited for the purge, which follows other recent moves by Saied to consolidate power around himself.
• Tulsa hospital shooting: Four people are dead after a shooter opened fire at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The suspect was found dead when police arrived, and no motive has been reported.
• Yemen truce extended: As a U.N.-brokered truce in Yemen was expiring, the warring parties agreed to extend it for two more months under the same terms as the original deal.
• Dogs detect COVID: A new study offers evidence that dogs can be trained to detect positive COVID cases using human sweat samples. Trained dogs accurately identified 97% of positive COVID-19 cases, which is more effective than some antigen tests.
The Daily Express pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth who celebrates today her 70th anniversary on the throne at 96 years old. Thousands have turned out in London as four-day celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee are starting — an unprecedented event in UK history.
The German government launched on Wednesday a 9-euro monthly travel pass that allows full access to metro, bus and local and regional trains without limit across the country, aimed at fighting the rising inflation rates and getting more people to use public transportation.
Summit of the Americas: Why Washington needs to tend to its own backyard
With Washington's attention fixed on Russia, Ukraine and China, the upcoming Summit of the Americas will likely not be the “breakthrough” gathering to forge the equal ties Latin America has long sought from the United States. But Washington would be wise to invest in stronger unity in its own hemisphere, writes Ángel Alonso Arroba in business magazine America Economia.
🇺🇸 As we approach the next Summit of the Americas, the only meeting of leaders from the countries of North and South America, slated to begin in Los Angeles on June 6 , it will no doubt be hailed yet again as a unique opportunity for the United States to reboot its relations with the region. It is a cliché that has taken on new weight since the darker period of the Trump administration, when Latin America kept falling as a priority for Washington. Yet that administration, with its less-than-cordial discourse toward Latin nations, merely exacerbated a trend that was already well underway.
⚠️ As the United States returns to multilateral cooperation, it will inevitably fuel expectations. Perhaps the trick is not to fall back into the trap and sell this summit as another big start. It is already facing a threat of a top-level boycott if the summit will not invite the leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. But even if this delicate issue were solved before the meeting, expectations of a grand reset are unrealistic, when Washington's geostrategic priorities are currently with the Asia-Pacific region, China and eastern Europe.
🤝 The summit's real success would be to lay the foundations of a consistent and committed, long-term policy toward the continent. It should be respectful, realistic and above the various ideologies that have divided the hemisphere since the late 1990s. This fracture has proved to be the chief obstacle to the United States definitively shifting from restrictive to expansive policies toward the region, which was the goal of the first summit in 1994.
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It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly humiliated.
— The six-week televised defamation trial pitting U.S. actor Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard reached a verdict. Heard was found guilty and condemned to pay $15 million for portraying herself as a domestic abuse victim in a Washington Post column in 2018, which Depp says was detrimental to his career. The jury also found the Pirates of the Caribbean actor liable for defamation and ordered him to pay Heard $2 million in damages after his lawyer called her allegations a hoax. Heard wrote on Twitter that she was “heartbroken” by the verdict. “I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It’s a setback.” Here’s a viewpoint on what the trial has revealed about the state of the #metoo movement.
✍️ Newsletter by Lisa Berdet, Joel Silvestri, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger
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