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Desperate, and Cursed

NEED TO KNOW Desperate, and Cursed SRI LANKA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/d469a690-58fa-4bcb-9cd4-16e56a24386f.png"] Schoolteacher Agnes Felician has been protesting lately against the policies of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. But she also took to the streets recently to demand justice for the estimated 270 people who died when bombers attacked three churches and numerous...

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Coming Together, Coming Apart

NEED TO KNOW Coming Together, Coming Apart UKRAINE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/879da9e8-c310-d6a2-ee6f-8b86fc30a91d.png"] It's been two months since Russia invaded Ukraine to push back against alleged NATO encroachments and bring back into the fold an important region of the former Soviet Union and the late Czarist Russian Empire. Of course, some say that...

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Wanted: Redemption

NEED TO KNOW Wanted: Redemption RUSSIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/db8acf88-8b4f-4b1c-bf9a-1e71d4eee94b.png"] A few years before the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian satirist Vladimir Voinovich imagined a story about a former KGB agent who became head of state, created a class of corrupt oligarchs around him, draped himself in the mantle of...

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Zeitenwende

NEED TO KNOW Zeitenwende GERMANY [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/96d66e57-2644-40b9-aed7-fc66370c3077.png"] Are homeowners in Frankfurt to blame for the atrocities in Ukraine? Some critics think so. “Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression runs on the money Russia gets by selling fossil fuels to Europe,” wrote New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently. “Germany…has in effect...

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On a High Wire

NEED TO KNOW On a High Wire TURKEY [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/c729e5f1-8c42-44f8-a040-a59baad60df0.png"] Turkish leaders have said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is illegal. They have delivered drones and ammunition to Ukraine that have been key to helping Ukrainian forces repel Russia’s invasion. The drones have been used in “pop-up attacks on...

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Looky, Looky

NEED TO KNOW Looky, Looky SOMALILAND [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/3acb250d-c8fb-ab06-e014-2db36946b098.png"] Though technically part of war-torn Somalia, Somaliland declared independence in 1991, has governed itself for 30 years as a democracy and avoided the bloodshed that has plagued the rest of Somalia. Now Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi thinks it's time for...

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Twilight of the Gods

NEED TO KNOW Twilight of the Gods RUSSIA-UKRAINE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2aaf5c8d-a4e6-42cf-9dd9-f761d6bfed83.png"] The island of Jersey, a British territory and tax haven in the English Channel, recently froze $7 billion of assets owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. That’s around half the Chelsea football club owner’s wealth, noted Fortune. He’s been...

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Talk Abroad and at Home

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW Talk Abroad and at Home SLOVENIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/91af5831-13d6-a440-6055-3beb55c4774a.png"] Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa recently joined the premiers of the Czech Republic and Poland in Kyiv to show their support for Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian invasion. The trip into a war zone took even their families by...

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Fear and Vindication

NEED TO KNOW Fear and Vindication BALTICS [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/5076fedd-d931-e5b0-6e53-8d829a873c67.png"] Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have become the first European countries to cut off gas imports from Russia, a move that seeks to curtail Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main revenue source. Lithuania described the move as a “response to Russia’s energy blackmail...

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Sovereignty Un-Stifled

NEED TO KNOW Sovereignty Un-Stifled FINLAND [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/91b0da4b-efc6-40c2-a405-00e958404c77.png"] Finlandization has been proposed as a final status for Ukraine after Russia concludes its ongoing brutal invasion. But the Finns might counsel against it. The Finns are themselves considering joining NATO rather than continuing to accept what the New York Times described...

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Shopping Around

NEED TO KNOW Shopping Around AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b8aca45b-1687-4d5b-b62c-09186470d8a2.png"] Around 45 percent of the European Union’s gas comes from Russia. In the next few months, EU officials expect to unveil a plan to phase out those and other fossil fuel imports over the next four years in response to Russian...

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The Wages of the Toady

NEED TO KNOW The Wages of the Toady BELARUS [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/3dffa11e-ac63-436f-a4ed-735a6dabc4a6.png"] Russian soldiers retreating from Ukraine to Belarus are selling goods that they have looted while fighting. They’re also filling up hospitals and, in some cases, overwhelming morgues in the former Soviet republic that lies to the north of...

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Ça Marche

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW Ça Marche FRANCE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/d78d9fd2-f0df-4e59-9bd4-334bffdc4974.png"] Folks in the small town of Moissac in southern France are on edge. The ethnic composition of the medieval town has changed dramatically in the past decade. Around 2,000 Bulgarians – mostly Roma – have settled in Moissac. Last year, concern over...

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The Game of Neutrality

NEED TO KNOW The Game of Neutrality WORLD [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/486ddb7e-3777-4543-ab44-3536360a3ce9.png"] As his soldiers fight Russian forces, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently pledged that his country would become permanently neutral – that is, aligned neither with NATO nor Russia – in exchange for security guarantees designed to prevent more fighting in...

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Bullets and Choices

NEED TO KNOW Bullets and Choices MOLDOVA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/a19755da-0385-95db-b607-df0d274fdb27.png"] Moldovans looking to the east can see smoke on the horizon as Ukrainian troops fend off Russia’s invasion, the Scotsman newspaper recently reported. As a result, one can understand why many in the former Soviet republic wedged between Romania and...

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Green Fields, Orange Apes

NEED TO KNOW Green Fields, Orange Apes INDONESIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/ec0c6f24-24ad-434b-bf1d-56e472da6e67.png"] Indonesians are talking about their government’s plan to move their capital from the metropolis of Jakarta on the island of Java to a new city under construction, Nusantara, on the island of Borneo. Expected to be completed in 2045, the...

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Push, Pull

NEED TO KNOW Push, Pull CENTRAL ASIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2e2ef13c-a42d-db72-25cb-edaa084a6043.png"] A radio talk show host in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan recently posted a troubling note on Facebook. Noting how Kazakhs have strong feelings about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lyubov Panova warned that criticism of the war could be...

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Little Brother

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW Little Brother SERBIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/fd16e594-c67c-41ff-beb7-977236001063.png"] American and Western European diplomats recently expressed their disappointment at Kosovo’s decision to disallow people to vote in neighboring Serbia’s elections on April 3. “Such an attitude of the Kosovo government is not in line with our values and principles and...

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Russkiy Mir

NEED TO KNOW Russkiy Mir RUSSIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/db8acf88-8b4f-4b1c-bf9a-1e71d4eee94b.png"] Artur and Vsevolod fled to Istanbul, Turkey from their hometown of Moscow fearing that they might face conscription into the Russian military as the country’s brutal but botched invasion of Ukraine continues. “The atmosphere of fear in Russia is unprecedented,” said Vsevolod,...

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Between a Hammer and an Anvil

NEED TO KNOW Between a Hammer and an Anvil HUNGARY [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/f77307e3-d12d-4a63-bcb5-407e519df6dc.png"] Most Central and East European leaders have been outspoken in their condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin and support of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Polish, Czech, and Slovenian leaders made a risky visit to Kyiv earlier this...

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