Stuck in Neutral

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW Stuck in Neutral SCOTLAND [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/e059648e-a464-410c-a812-d6debee7d46c.png"] Scotland’s first minister and leader of the ruling Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, wants to precipitate a political fight over Scottish independence from the rest of the United Kingdom – she thinks she and the country’s independence cause have been...

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The New Opium

NEED TO KNOW The New Opium INDIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1ac703d1-8192-40be-95ea-427a8f7ed9ee.png"] Does India have a problem with Muslims? Many say yes, after a recent political firestorm caused by high-ranking Hindu nationalists. Earlier this month, Nupur Sharma, a spokeswoman for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and other party officials...

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Back to the Future

NEED TO KNOW Back to the Future BOLIVIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/8ed01a1e-5cea-4b63-b4c0-c3727f7de51c.png"] Bolivian President Luis Arce and dozens of others recently attended a ritual at the Tiwanaku pre-Inca religious complex near La Paz, one of the South American country’s two capitals. Dressed in the traditional, alpaca-and-llama-wool multicolored ponchos of the indigenous...

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Crackdown, Meet Backlash

NEED TO KNOW Crackdown, Meet Backlash MYANMAR [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/9ef34308-9cd1-4a8e-a2b3-e7a7ab6846ed.png"] The military junta that controls Myanmar recently put deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi into solitary confinement. She has been imprisoned since February 2021 when the junta overthrew her elected government, the BBC reported. Suu Kyi, 77, is a Nobel...

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The Disappeared

NEED TO KNOW The Disappeared RUSSIA/ UKRAINE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2aaf5c8d-a4e6-42cf-9dd9-f761d6bfed83.png"] Russian lawmaker Oleg Morozov of the pro-government United Russia political party, the largest in the country, was recently sharing his thoughts on a Rossiya-1 state television talk show. Speaking to pro-Kremlin TV host Olga Skabeyeva, he asked: what if Russian...

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Second Spring

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW Second Spring TUNISIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1f262cf6-0ed8-4367-aeca-5f0f2b6684d0.png"] Commerce and public services ground to a halt in Tunisia recently as the country’s massive Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) went on strike to protest President Kais Saied’s economic plan. Saied has proposed wage freezes, subsidy cuts and other steps that the...

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Loathed, Loved

NEED TO KNOW Loathed, Loved UNITED KINGDOM [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/db250264-45f9-48fa-be6e-ab4d2ef0d6a5.png"] When he announced his resignation as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ethics advisor, Lord Christopher Geidt complained that Johnson had put him in the “impossible and odious” position of trying to justify how to break the rules of conduct for...

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Drawing in Pencil

NEED TO KNOW Drawing in Pencil KASHMIR [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/90dd5b26-68ab-4da8-9ee5-e4e856464e0d.png"] Three years ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unilaterally abolished the limited autonomy that India’s portion of the disputed region of Kashmir enjoyed. At the time, Modi claimed the move would reduce violence in the region. Kashmir is the only Muslim-majority...

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Country First

NEED TO KNOW Country First SOUTH AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/5516b8d6-0af4-46a7-8454-a3339ff1009f.png"] At a recent demonstration against foreigners in South Africa, Mary Lowe said she was marching because an undocumented immigrant killed her nephew. "We are basically fighting against all the crime committed by foreigners who are illegally in the country," Lowe,...

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The Book of Executioners

NEED TO KNOW The Book of Executioners RUSSIA-UKRAINE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2aaf5c8d-a4e6-42cf-9dd9-f761d6bfed83.png"] Ukrainian prosecutors claim that Russian forces have committed more than 15,000 war crimes while waging Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war to push back against Western influence and reconstitute the Russian-Soviet empire, Sky News reported recently. That’s a rate of...

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No Place Like Home

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW No Place Like Home AFRICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b8aca45b-1687-4d5b-b62c-09186470d8a2.png"] Khady Sene, 53, has a problem – rising seawater claimed her ancestral home in Saint-Louis, Senegal four years ago. It happened to be located on the Atlantic coast of the country, a place the United Nations has determined is...

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Truth and Consequences

NEED TO KNOW Truth and Consequences RUSSIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/db8acf88-8b4f-4b1c-bf9a-1e71d4eee94b.png"] Renowned historian Timothy Snyder recently warned in his Substack newsletter that giving Russian President Vladimir Putin an “off-ramp” to quit the war in Ukraine after, say, a military challenge or a diplomatic or economic inducement, is folly. If he wants...

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New World Order

NEED TO KNOW New World Order MEXICO/ LATIN AMERICA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/96171786-dbde-0ef3-51b8-efb48e2520c3.png"] The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, skipped the recent Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. The move was considered a snub against American leaders who convened the summit to tackle migration and other serious issues...

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Going, Going, Gone

NEED TO KNOW Going, Going, Gone KAZAKHSTAN [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/d52e63cf-06bb-47d0-b573-377bff5ae37c.png"] Kazakhs overwhelmingly voted in favor of decentralizing government, reducing the power of the president, rescinding former president Nursultan Nazarbayev's status as "Leader of the Nation," and banning his family from official positions. "We have shown that we are united in building...

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The War on Grain

NEED TO KNOW The War on Grain INDIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1ac703d1-8192-40be-95ea-427a8f7ed9ee.png"] India and other nations are banning exports of wheat as the price of the vital commodity skyrockets due to supply chain shocks from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “As the war continues, there is a growing likelihood that food shortages, particularly...

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The Makeover

[featurecontent] NEED TO KNOW The Makeover CHILE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/baed026e-8c02-42fc-8c27-383b8bf87a6c.png"] Chilean President Gabriel Boric recently apologized to thousands of women who were forcibly sterilized over the years because they were HIV positive. As Al Jazeera reported, activists greeted the apology with a massive sigh of relief and a sense of vindication. The...

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All In

NEED TO KNOW All In DENMARK [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/19f78c1e-e0c6-49d6-b264-eb1779028db9.png"] Two important developments in Denmark illustrate the new geopolitical landscape in Europe. Because Danish officials refused to pay for Russian gas in rubles, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently cut off natural gas supplies to the Northern European country. As the Associated Press...

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Stumbling Ahead

NEED TO KNOW Stumbling Ahead UKRAINE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b04f8892-ad2c-9be1-f2b6-ab5ebd3fe894.png"] The residents of Bucha, the Ukrainian town where Russians allegedly committed some of the worst war crimes of the conflict, have been cleaning up their streets. They’ve hauled ruined tanks, military vehicles and civilian cars and trucks to a lot on...

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Too Many Cooks

NEED TO KNOW Too Many Cooks MALI [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/1f6bfc52-cbc4-4acf-9a51-d98604de3d93.png"] Armed men riding motorcycles shot and killed two Red Cross workers in western Mali recently, according to the international humanitarian organization. Their killers were not identified. Still, for the past decade, Islamist militants with ties to Al Qaeda and also...

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Dairy and Dictatorship

NEED TO KNOW Dairy and Dictatorship CUBA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/934b8716-56c1-487d-ba72-11a855fa10c6.png"] Years ago, the late Fidel Castro promised that Cuba’s communist government would subsidize a liter of milk a day for every child under the age of seven. He even showcased a prized Cuban milk cow, Ubre Blanca, to highlight his...

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