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TOPIC: trump

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Here's Why Western Support For Ukraine Is Not About To End

It's undeniable that questions are being raised in the West about the cost of supporting Ukraine in its defense against Russia's invasion. But no time soon will Western powers turn their backs on Kyiv. And the U.S. in particular has one big extra reason to work against a Russian victory: China.


PARIS — There's been a buzz around the idea for some time now, linked to the lack of decisive progress in the war in Ukraine: Western allies are said to be questioning their military and financial support for Kyiv.

Two things are unquestionable: first, the Ukrainian offensive, which began some two months ago, has led to some territorial advances; but it's also true that it has not reversed the balance of power as Kyiv's generals had hoped, because the Russian defensive system is formidable.

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The other undeniable fact is that it's all very expensive: tens of billions of euros and dollars in military and economic aid over a year and a half of war. Earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of "a significant financial, diplomatic and capability investment for years to come."

Could this reality undermine the solidity of Western support? On Tuesday, conservative French daily Le Figaro ran a headline about the "first doubts" in the U.S. about aid to Ukraine. Europe, as well, is hearing voices along the same lines.

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Putin on Prigozhin, Trump’s Mug, Greek Leap

👋 Chào!*

Welcome to Friday, where Vladimir Putin offers a chilling assessment of Yevgeny Priogohzin’s life and presumed death, Donald Trump’s mug shot is prime front page material and the World Track and Field Championships in Budapest offer some soaring images. We also feature a collection from Valeria Berghinz of some of the world’s most notable defunct vacation hot spots, which evoke the memories of bygone summers years after being abandoned.


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Prigozhin Presumed Dead, Six More BRICS, Brain-To-Speech Breakthrough

👋 Aloha!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin is believed to have died in a plane crash north of Moscow, six new countries (including Iran) are invited to join the BRICS bloc, and a brain-to-speech breakthrough allows a paralyzed woman to speak for the first time in 18 years. Meanwhile, Worldcrunch’s very own Emma Albright reflects on the impacts of global warming that go beyond the natural disasters, including the added burden of working through the rising heat of summer.


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The Demagogue's Formula: How Trump Creates An Eternal Bond With His Base

If anything, the fourth indictment leveled against former U.S. President Donald Trump will only increase the fervor among his diehard fans.

People around the world — including many Americans — cannot understand why a sizeable portion of the United States population continues to support Donald Trump, despite an ever-increasing list of charges against him, including the latest indictments in Georgia.

Before the newest charges were announced, Trump was running neck and neck against President Joe Biden in a hypothetical rematch. It seems unlikely the Georgia indictments, pertaining to alleged attempts to interfere with the 2020 presidential election results, will erode the former president’s support.

This shocks people because strong backing of a man who lies, cheats and threatens the U.S. Constitution has no precedent in national politics. However, there is a precedent in state politics which almost reached the presidential level, and some comparable situations in other countries.

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In The News
Michelle Courtois and Marine Béguin.

Deadly Russian Fire, Youth Climate Case Victory, Barbie’s Algeria Ban

👋 Здравейте*

Welcome to Tuesday, where a petrol station explosion in the Russian region of Dagestan kills at least 30, young climate activists in the U.S. state of Montana score a major court victory and Algeria bans the Barbie movie for “Western deviances.” For our special Summer Reads edition of Worldcrunch Today, we feature an article by Benoît Georges in French daily Les Echos — and three other stories from around the world on technology and AI.

[*Zdraveite - Bulgarian]

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In The News
Emma Albright, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Valeria Berghinz and Laure Gautherin

Trump Heads To Court, Niger v. West Africa, One Whale Of A Whale

👋 Aang!*

Welcome to Thursday, where former U.S. President Donald Trump is set to appear in court on charges of plotting to overturn his 2020 election defeat, Niger’s coup leader remains defiant as ECOWAS leaders meet in Nigeria to discuss the crisis and there’s a new candidate for the heaviest ever animal on Earth. Meanwhile, Persian-language media Kayhan-London reports on how the leak of an Iranian senior official's gay sex tape may be a deliberate, albeit obscure bid to disgrace the Islamic Republic itself.

[*Aleut, Alaska]

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In The News
Thore Barfuss

Indicted, Again! Another Opportunity For Trump To Play The Martyr Card

The third indictment against Donald Trump raises the legal dispute between the United States and its former president to a new level. While Trump cries foul play, drawing shameful comparisons with Nazi persecution 1930s Germany, the consequences of the trial can't be predicted.


Fifteen months. That's how much time is left for Jack Smith, special investigator of the U.S. Department of Justice, if he wants to conclude the "swift trial" against Donald Trump before the next U.S. election. On Nov. 5, 2024, Trump wants to become the U.S. President again, assuming he emerges victorious.

With the latest indictment against him, it is clear that the road to that date will pose unprecedented challenges to U.S. democracy and its institutions.

Trump has been charged with four counts in a U.S. federal court in Washington: conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction of an official proceeding (Joe Biden's election), and general conspiracy against the law, among others.

The indictment, which will be heard for the first time this Thursday, brings a new level of complexity to the legal dispute between the U.S. and its former president. The indictments admitted so far have been far less spectacular: one of them is also being negotiated at the federal level, but deals exclusively with Trump's handling of classified documents. A criminal case at the New York state level is primarily directed against the "Trump Organization" company. In addition, Trump faces another indictment at the state level for alleged election fraud in Georgia. The 77-year-old repeatedly claimed his innocence in all cases.

In addition to the complex legal level, there is also the political level, which is becoming increasingly important. Trump and his campaign team are using the legal disputes to circulate conspiracy stories of the so-called Deep State against him. A spokesman for the team responded to the latest indictment by comparing the U.S. judiciary to Hitler's Germany. The lawless manner in which the ex-president and his supporters are being prosecuted is "reminiscent of 1930s Nazi Germany, the former Soviet Union and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes," the statement said.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Sevhil Musaeva

Alexander Vindman: An Urgent Warning For Ukraine About A Second Trump Presidency

Former Director for European Affairs for the U.S. National Security Council, Alexander Vindman is the Ukrainian native who got ensnared in Donald Trump's first impeachment investigation. Since the Russian invasion of his native Ukraine, he has been urging more Western support for Kyiv. The coming NATO summit is key, but so to are the 2024 U.S. elections.

KYIV — The story of Alexander Vindman could become the plot of a Hollywood movie. Born in Kyiv, he and his twin brother immigrated to the United States at the age of three and a half years, alongside their family. Later, he pursued higher education and a career in the military, serving in the Iraq War where he suffered a severe injury and was subsequently awarded the Purple Heart. He then shifted his focus to a diplomatic career, working in U.S. embassies around the world.

In 2019, as the Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council of the White House, Vindman was one the few officials allowed to participate in a conversation between the then-U.S. President Donald Trump and newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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It was during this conversation that the then U.S. president asked Zelensky for a "favor," calling on him to help with an investigation into Trump’s primary electoral rival, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden.

Vindman decided to testify about the attempt to pressure the Ukrainian president, and became one of the key witnesses in the impeachment case against Trump. In February 2020, the Republican-majority Senate voted against the impeachment. A few months later, Trump lost the election to Joe Biden.

Vindman's testimony in the Senate cost him his career. He has since focused on academia, recently completing a doctoral program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Vindman has been serving as an expert and commentator on Ukraine and Russia, consistently advocating for the West to provide Ukraine with long-range missiles and aircraft.

Vindman arrived in Kyiv ahead of the NATO summit in Vilnius, where he spoke with Ukrainska Pravda:

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eyes on the U.S.
Ronald S. Sullivan Jr.

Trump Indicted: The High Stakes Of Prosecuting A Former President

Prosecuting a former president is never an easy decision. A criminal law professor at Harvard University, Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., explains why.


WASHINGTON — The question of whether to indict a former U.S. president is a difficult one.

And yet, a state prosecutor has charged Donald Trump with violating New York business laws. And a federal prosecutor has charged Trump with violating national security laws as well.

On one hand, the U.S. judiciary system is based on a basic principle of English law that dates back to the early 1200s, that no one is above the law. As medieval jurist Henry de Bracton explained in “On the Laws and Customs of England,” the law makes the king, and thus, the king must be subject to the law.

“The king should be under no man, but under God and the law,” de Bracton wrote.

In his brief public statement, Special Counsel Jack Smith paraphrased that concept in announcing his decision to indict Trump on charges of violating national security laws as well as participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice.

“We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone,” Smith said. “Adherence to the rule of law is a bedrock principle. … And our nation’s commitment to the rule of law sets an example for the world.”

But a strong case can be made for a prosecutor to exercise discretion and not charge a former president.

Part of that argument is based on the perception such a decision would have among some of the American public, that the criminal justice system had been weaponized to punish political rivals.

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In The News
Emma Albright, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Chloé Touchard

Russia Strikes Odessa, 32 Die As Migrant Boat Capsizes, RIP Cormac McCarthy

👋 Haaahe!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Russia launches missiles on the southern port city of Odessa, at least 32 die after a boat carrying migrants capsizes off Greece and the U.S. mourns the death of The Road author Cormac McCarthy. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg lays out a day-to-day account of Ukraine’s counteroffensive to liberate Russian-occupied regions.


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Pierre Haski

Soft Power, Hard Ball: Why The U.S. Wants Back In UNESCO

The U.S. is set to rejoin UNESCO, after Donald Trump pulled the country out in 2017, accusing it of being biased against Israel. The reasons for the return include artificial intelligence and pure geopolitics.


PARIS — When the U.S. takes a diplomatic initiative in the current climate, China is never far from its thoughts. This is partly the case with Washington's decision, announced yesterday, to rejoin UNESCO after several years of absence. A decision made all the more spectacular in that the U.S. has even pledged to pay its arrears of dues — hundreds of millions of dollars.

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This Happened

This Happened — June 9: Donald Trump At The G7

On this day in 2018, the G7 summit was held in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada. It brought together Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The European Union was also represented at the summit. And Donald Trump's stubbornness would steal the show.

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