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The Latest: EU Sanctions On Belarus, George Floyd One Year On, Sputnik Unplugged

Two of Spain’s wealthiest families united through marriage yesterday at Liria Palace in Madrid
Two of Spain’s wealthiest families united through marriage yesterday at Liria Palace in Madrid

Welcome to Tuesday, where EU leaders impose sanctions on Belarus following brazen Ryanair arrest, the U.S. marks one year since George Floyd's murder and the brother of all viral YouTube videos goes the way of the NFT. Les Echos also looks at the drama featuring Netflix and French cinema.

• EU leaders impose sanctions on Belarus, as airlines shun airspace: European leaders have agreed to sanction Belarus after the country's agents "hijacked" a Ryanair plane to arrest Raman Pratasevich, a journalist critical of the regime. In addition to sanctions, the EU has also banned its airlines from flying over Belarusian airspace.

• Malian president detained by army: Malian military officers arrested the interim President and Prime Minister. The United Nations and African Union have demanded their "immediate and unconditional release."

• Death toll rises to at least 32 after volcanic eruption in Congo: Thousands have been displaced by Mount Nyiragongo's eruption on Saturday. UNICEF reports that at least 100 children are missing, with dangerous tremors continuing.

• One year since George Floyd's death: Amid marches and protests commemorating the one year anniversary of George Floyd's death, his family will meet with President Joe Biden at the White House. Floyd's murder at the hands of Minneapolis police officers sparked protest movements against racism and police brutality across the world.

• Shining Path militants in Peru kill 14: The Peruvian government says that the rebel group, Shining Path, has killed 14 people in what they refer to as a terrorist incursion intended to discourage people from voting in the upcoming election.

• U.S. Secretary of State arrives in Israel to support ceasefire: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel this morning to begin his Middle East tour. The visit is intended to fortify last week's ceasefire after the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence in recent years.

• 1,000 doses of vaccine lost after storage fridge unplugged ... to charge phone: A clinic in Kyrgyzstan lost 1,000 precious doses of the Sputnik coronavirus vaccine after an unknown person unplugged the refrigerator storing them in order to use the outlet to charge their phone. The incident occured in April, but has taken several weeks to be released publically.

The Minneapolis-based daily Star Tribune marks the one year anniversary of George Floyd's killing at the hands of a police officer in the Minnesota city, featuring testimonies of locals who reflect on how his death has affected them.

Netflix and French cinema: Love-hate sequel of a Hollywood past

After a rocky start, relations between the streaming giant and the French film ecosystem have improved thanks to Netflix investments in local production. But ensuring long-term independence of French films from the Hollywood system is still a battle, report Nicolas Richaud and Nicolas Madelaine in Paris-based daily Les Echos.

One of Netflix's key strategies is to produce original local content. So it began working hand in hand with French cinema producers and a pool of filmmakers. "They were meant to become business partners," notes Lauren Creton, Associate Professor of Film Economics at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. "Netflix really needs French cinema to expand its offering, especially since film lovers are often disappointed with its portfolio."

This new venture for the film production ecosystem has undoubtedly enticed a part of the industry at a time when its finances are dwindling. "Netflix has been a breath of fresh air," says Matthias Weber, a producer of a film (La Grande Classe, or Back to School in English) for Netflix, which also bought the video-on-demand rights to several of his feature films. "It looks for different typologies of works from the traditional players and enables us to introduce genre films that are hard to pay off in theaters."

But from basic flirting to real love story there's only one step that yet hasn't been taken between Netflix and French cinema. Why? Because in France, the system of public support to cinema is based on distribution in theaters first. For lack of anything better, distribution in theaters is still the very definition of a film in this country. However, a new era is opening up. Even though Netflix has never made exceptions to its model, reserving its contents to its subscribers, tough negotiations are now underway in order to bring the platform into the traditional French system.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


Lingala for "volcano" as Mount Nyiragongo, one of the the world's most active and dangerous volcanoes has erupted, killing at least 32 people and leaving thousands forced to move. Many children are also missing.

In Mexico, drop in life expectancy linked to drug cartel violence

Crime in Mexico related to gangs and drug cartels is believed to have shortened the lifespan of the country's residents, according to a new study.

The National Police report has found that life expectancy fell by one to six months in the five-year period beginning in 2005, as a veritable war began between the government and drug traffickers, Milenio newspaper reported this week. The report also found that life expectancy dropped six months to one year in 10 of the country's 32 states that are most affected by gang-related violence.

Though the report did not clarify whether crime had continued to cut life expectancy in the subsequent 10 years, the World Bank put life expectancy in Mexico at just over 75 years in 2019, confirming a decline from 75.3 years in 2005. The figure was just under 78 for the United States. In Colombia, another country that has grappled with crime, life expectancy rose steadily from 74 to 77 years between 2005 and 2019.

Milenio cited a poll by Inegi, the national statistics office, that found that 40% of all Mexicans could hear "frequent gunfire" in their locality in late 2020, though this hovered around 75% in crime hotspots like the districts of Iztapalapa and Chimalhuacán on the edge of Mexico City.

Likewise, while guns were used in only 15% of homicides in 1997, the proportion had risen to 69% in early 2021. The statistics office counted just over 17,000 criminal killings in 2020.

Violence in Mexico rose sharply from 2006 after the conservative president Felipe Calderón declared war on the cartels. His approach was criticized but several changes of strategy have yet to bring crime back down.


The classic YouTube video "Charlie Bit My Finger," which featured a baby biting his brother's finger, has sold as an NFT (non-fungible token, a unique, blockchain-certified file) for $760,999. The parents who posted the video, which collected 883 million views since its publication in 2007, announced they will take down the original from the video platform.

We are afraid to even think about it, but it's possible he could be beaten and tortured.

— Dmitri Protasevich, father of the 26-year old dissident journalist who was arrested following the "hijacking" of a plane by the Belarusian authorities, told the BBC in an interview.

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How I Made Homeschooling Work For My Mexican Family

Educating children at home is rarely accepted in Mexico, but Global Press Journal reporter Aline Suárez del Real's family has committed to daily experiential learning.

How I Made Homeschooling Work For My Mexican Family

Cosme Damián Peña Suárez del Real and his grandmother, Beatriz Islas, make necklaces and bracelets at their home in Tecámac, Mexico.

Aline Suárez del Real

TECÁMAC, MEXICO — Fifteen years ago, before I became a mother, I first heard about someone who did not send her child to school and instead educated him herself at home. It seemed extreme. How could anyone deny their child the development that school provides and the companionship of other students? I wrote it off as absurd and thought nothing more of it.

Today, my 7-year-old son does not attend school. Since August of last year, he has received his education at home, a practice known as home-schooling.

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