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An Eye on the Fence

[announcement] NEED TO KNOW An Eye on the Fence DOMINICAN REPUBLIC [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ae32d602-c1f9-4efc-a9cc-527c8df8f863.png"] When President Luis Abinader of the Dominican Republic assumed office in 2020, the Caribbean country’s economy had contracted 7 percent amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the succeeding three years, a tourism wave propelled economic growth increases of...

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Fronts and Faults

NEED TO KNOW Fronts and Faults MOLDOVA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/a19755da-0385-95db-b607-df0d274fdb27.png"] A few months ago, photos surfaced of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko standing next to a map depicting battles that had occurred in Ukraine, battles that had yet to occur in Ukraine and, curiously, another former Soviet republic: Moldova. Specifically, reported the...

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Silencing the Music

NEED TO KNOW Silencing the Music HONG KONG [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ed89ce6f-df7c-493b-809a-681d51fa4904.png"] The chairwoman of Hong Kong’s weightlifting and powerlifting association mistakenly referred to “13 countries” in her sport’s Asian conference recently. That conference includes Hong Kong, a former British colony where Chinese officials have been expanding their control, and Taiwan,...

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Naming and Shaming

NEED TO KNOW Naming and Shaming UGANDA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/eae01c28-7782-4a11-9e2b-886217499c6a.png"] Barred from staging street protests, Ugandans are leveraging social media to shine a light on the misdeeds of their corrupt and incompetent leaders. The latest online protest, or “exhibition,” is trending under #UgandaParliamentExhibition on X (formerly Twitter), and it details...

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Drawing in Pencil

NEED TO KNOW Drawing in Pencil ISRAEL/ GAZA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/a7853464-ef94-4b48-96b9-d7badbef5e55.png"] Rebuilding Gaza after Israel’s devastating military operations in the Palestinian territory since Oct. 7 could cost $50 billion. “We have not seen anything like this since 1945,” said United Nations development program director Abdallah Al Dardari, according to Al Jazeera....

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Proximity Politics

[announcement] NEED TO KNOW Proximity Politics LITHUANIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/e7852ed7-2760-4e7e-a300-0fc715ec1ca8.png"] Few countries have supported Ukraine’s fight against Russia more than Lithuania, a former Soviet republic on the Baltic Sea bordering Russia whose leaders have made eminently clear that they will live free of Moscow’s influence or die. For example, earlier this year,...

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Guns, Bombs and Morality

NEED TO KNOW Guns, Bombs and Morality IRAQ [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/7f5678d9-eac3-49b9-9755-dcad8927e883.png"] Iraq has regained a semblance of stability since the defeat of the Islamic State, the departure of most foreign troops, and the growth of Iranian influence in the capital of Baghdad in recent years. To counter that influence, Saudi...

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Wish You Weren’t Here

NEED TO KNOW Wish You Weren’t Here EUROPE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/f9c83d42-7d43-4e2f-a6d6-f7bf04744b7d.png"] International tourism is arguably the fundamental building block of globalization. Visiting a foreign country, meeting different folks, soaking in the sites, and experiencing a new culture, are for most people the first steps in understanding the world beyond their...

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Coups and Crowing

NEED TO KNOW Coups and Crowing BRAZIL [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/f7cee1e0-dcb8-68eb-6ed9-13e370771cbb.png"] Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes conducted a five-year investigation into so-called “digital militias” who support former right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. As part of that probe, the judge banned 150 accounts on X, the social media app formerly known...

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The Last, Wobbly Domino

NEED TO KNOW The Last, Wobbly Domino CHAD [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b08925fb-4623-40c3-9563-de5bd3009fa5.png"] When polls in the landlocked central African country of Chad open on May 6, it will be the first of coup-hit states across Central and West Africa to use the ballot box to try to emerge from years of...

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Staying in the Ring

[announcement] NEED TO KNOW Staying in the Ring UKRAINE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/16e65182-4bbd-d2e9-5056-d970ee1ccd24.png"] More than two years after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to invade his western neighbor, Ukrainian forces are showing signs of breaking. In recent months, the Russians have reclaimed territory that Ukraine had seized back. Putin has been striking...

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Mining Discontent

NEED TO KNOW Mining Discontent PANAMA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/337297fc-0711-4678-8ee9-a8aa69435261.png"] Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals is waiting for the results of Panama’s presidential election on May 5 before deciding what to do with the shuttered Cobre Panama copper mine. As the Canadian Press reported, First Quantum Minerals closed the mine in...

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A Wan Smile

NEED TO KNOW A Wan Smile THAILAND [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/9aed0fb0-f5eb-4eda-ae64-69e423143eb5.png"] A single clinic on Thailand’s border receives 500 refugees fleeing neighboring Myanmar’s civil war every day as Myanmar’s military fights pro-democracy and local ethnic rebels, reported Sky News. Critics told Nikkei Asia that the Thai government was not prepared to handle...

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The Lost and the Found

NEED TO KNOW The Lost and the Found NIGERIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/6c258edc-b123-4d47-98e3-f42e226ea64f.png"] Nigerian military forces recently found one of the 276 schoolgirls abducted 10 years ago from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok in the West African country’s Borno State. Troops rescued Lydia Simon, who was pregnant, and her three...

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Silent Treatment

NEED TO KNOW Silent Treatment KOSOVO [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/0999f062-2356-43ad-b3b8-f915c7878425.png"] Responding to a request from Serbia for a boycott, only around 1 percent of the ethnic Serb voters in the towns of Leposavic, Zubin Potok, Svecan, and North Mitrovica in the tiny Balkan country of Kosovo turned out last week to...

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Plows to Swords

[announcement] NEED TO KNOW Plows to Swords JAPAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ab764327-df98-4918-badd-17c2c79d5685.png"] A recent survey found that more than 92 percent of Japanese respondents held unfavorable views of China, an increase of almost 5 percent compared with last year, reported the Japan Times. The findings hold lessons about geopolitics in Asia, specifically...

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Goodbye, Utopia

NEED TO KNOW Goodbye, Utopia DENMARK [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/19f78c1e-e0c6-49d6-b264-eb1779028db9.png"] In 1971, hippies began squatting on an abandoned naval base in Copenhagen, Denmark, creating a community called Freetown Christiania. Denizens of the 84-acre commune flouted drug laws, refused to pay their electricity bills, and regarded themselves as bohemians living alternative lifestyles. They...

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Finding a Foothold

NEED TO KNOW Finding a Foothold NORTH MACEDONIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/25d11fad-43db-4a14-978b-f58e4707a26b.png"] A symbol of international solidarity, University Hall, recently burned down in the North Macedonian capital of Skopje. The hall was built after a major earthquake in 1963 using donations from 35 countries, Euronews explained. The incident was ironic given how...

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Breeding Ground

NEED TO KNOW Breeding Ground MOZAMBIQUE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/145ea551-3c3e-4af3-915f-9d349351d3b2.png"] A jihadist insurgency with links to the Islamic State terror group has plagued Mozambique’s lawless Cabo Delgado region for more than six years. Recently, however, an upsurge in violence has forced more than 70,000 people to flee the area, reported News...

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My Enemy, Myself

NEED TO KNOW My Enemy, Myself RUSSIA/ TAJIKISTAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b8f7d5f0-07a4-8321-beba-45c71027a713.png"] Life in Russia has become difficult for migrants from Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries since four Tajiks were among those arrested for allegedly killing 145 people in a terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow on...

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