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REUTERS, ABC, WALL STREET JOURNAL

Worldcrunch

TOKYO — Radiation readings near tanks holding toxic waters at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant have jumped to a new high, according to Japan's nuclear regulator, as the government prepares to step in to help contain leaks.

According to Reuters, this new rise in the radiation levels and leaks at the plant have prompted international alarm. The Japanese government said on Tuesday it would step in with almost $500 million of funding to fix the growing levels of contaminated water at the plant.

The government's plan involves spending $320 million on an underground "ice wall" to prevent toxic water from flowing out to sea, ABC reported — while authorities also announced a $150 million plan to upgrade the area's water treatment plants, in an effort to remove radioactive elements.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the International Olympic Committee that leaks of radioactive water in Fukushima would not be an obstacle in Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Fukushima nuclear power plant on March 6, 2013 - Photo: Issei Kato - Jana Press/ZUMA

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Geopolitics

Bulgaria And Hungary: Risks Of A Pro-Russian Alliance Inside The EU

Bulgaria had sworn off Russian gas imports, but then its government collapsed. Now pro-Russian politicians are in power, which for the European Union means there is much more at stake than just energy supply.

Bulgarians are split between pro-Western and pro-Russian politics.

Philip Volkmann-Schluck

The letter Z, a symbol of support for Putin’s war in Ukraine, has appeared on Bulgarian government buildings in Sofia. Last week, demonstrators fixed a Z in black tape to the entrance of the Ministry of Energy’s headquarters.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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They were protesting their government’s announcement that it would reopen negotiations with Russia about importing gas – although Bulgaria had declared public support for Kyiv and subsequently stopped all Russian imports. “Putin’s gas is a trap,” one of the placards reads.

These scenes have been growing more common in the Bulgarian capital since the reformist government led by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov was ousted last month in a no-confidence vote. Petkov had pledged to tackle corruption and taken a strong stance against Russia's invasion. But his coalition government fell after just seven months in office when an ally quit.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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