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A police officer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia stands guard at a drug burning ceremony
A police officer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia stands guard at a drug burning ceremony

Welcome to Monday, where an international probe reveals spyware has been used to target thousands of journalists and activists around the world, South Korea's president is protesting the Olympics after a diplomatic spat and a Slovenian cyclist wins the Tour de France for the second time in a row. The Initium also looks at how "fatalistic suicides' in Hong Kong are perceived as terrorist acts by the Chinese regime.

• Pegasus spyware used to target journalists, activists: Pegasus technology, a spyware used to "infect" mobile devices and gain access to users' private information, has been connected to more than 50,000 phone numbers, many belonging to prominent journalists, politicians, and activists, according to a new international investigative journalism project. The Israeli surveillance company behind Pegasus denies allegations that its technology has been used by authoritarian governments.

• South Korean president to skip Tokyo Olympics in protest: South Korean President Moon Jae-in's office announced that he has dropped plans to attend the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after evidence surfaced that a senior Japanese official used sexual innuendo to describe Moon's efforts to improve relations between the two nations. There had been hope that the international event might be an opportunity for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and President Moon to address the countries' complicated history.

• More than 30 killed after torrential rain in Mumbai: At least 31 people in India's financial capital, Mumbai, have died as a result of heavy rain, flooding and landslides over the weekend. Meanwhile, the death toll after last week's flooding in Western Europe has risen to at least 190 people, with dozens still missing.

• Tokyo court sentences two Americans in Ghosn trial: In Japan, U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son Peter were sentenced to two years and 20 months, respectively, for helping Carlos Ghosn, former Nissan chief, flee the country. The pair posed as musicians, managing to smuggle Ghosn out of Japan in a luggage box on a private jet to avoid prosecution on financial impropriety charges.

• Australia deports UK columnist who breached quarantine: British right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins is set to be deported from Australia after boasting online about breaking the country's quarantine rules. Hopkins shared a video saying that she has been answering her hotel door naked and maskless, which goes against Australia's hotel quarantine regulations.

• Danish Mohammed cartoonist dies: Kurt Westergaard, the Danish artist known for having drawn controversial caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, has died at the age of 86. One of his illustrations was featured with the headline "The Face of Mohammed" in 2005, which sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world, as depictions of the prophet are strictly forbidden.

• Spike Lee slip-up: U.S. filmmaker Spike Lee shocked the Cannes audience by accidentally announcing the winner of the Palme d'Or at the beginning of the closing ceremony. French director Julia Ducournau took home the prize for her thriller film Titane, becoming only the second woman in history to win the top honor.

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Economy

Food Shortages Around The World, Product By Product

The war in Ukraine and the climate crisis have been devastating for food production. Here's a look at some of the traditional foods from around the world that might be hard to find on supermarket shelves.

A customer walking along the aisle of empty shelves in a supermarket

Lila Paulou and McKenna Johnson

The consequences of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia have been far-reaching. A Russian blockade of the Black Sea has meant Ukraine, known as “Europe’s breadbasket,” has been unable to export much of its huge harvests of wheat, barley and sunflower oil.

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

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So even those thousands of miles from the battlefields have been hit by the soaring prices of basic necessities.

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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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