Having a Cow

NEED TO KNOW Having a Cow NETHERLANDS [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/50b9b3d5-1234-443a-9402-f9f624fae487.png"] Near the prime minister’s office in The Hague, the seat of the government of the Netherlands, lies the Koediefstraat, or ‘Cow Thief Street’. Perhaps it was the Koediefstraat that inspired the Dutch government’s latest measure to combat climate change and reach...

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War-Life Balance

NEED TO KNOW UKRAINE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/25f6c507-5013-1f57-bcbe-a295d2d6dac9.png"] An emergency worker recently proposed to his girlfriend. Dressed in his first responder gear as his colleagues watched, he went on bended knee and presented his sweetheart with a ring. The moment would not have been a big deal, except that it occurred...

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Il Duce’s Smile

NEED TO KNOW Il Duce’s Smile ITALY Europe’s first fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, once said that “Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice, it is a fallacy.” Democracy might be bringing fascism back to Italy again, however, almost 80 years after Il Duce was executed. That’s because when Italian...

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The Revanchist’s Folly

NEED TO KNOW ­ The Revanchist’s Folly UKRAINE/ RUSSIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/2aaf5c8d-a4e6-42cf-9dd9-f761d6bfed83.png"] Russia plans to hold elections in the occupied Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and others as early as September, paving the way for Russian President Vladimir Putin to annex those regions in the same way he did...

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Neighbor Versus Neighbor

NEED TO KNOW Neighbor Versus Neighbor UKRAINE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/25f6c507-5013-1f57-bcbe-a295d2d6dac9.png"] For months, rumors have spread in Ukraine about locals collaborating with the Russians. As the Washington Post reported, patriotic Ukrainians believe only a treasonous neighbor would give Russian troops information about where residents might store their guns or who among...

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After the Party

NEED TO KNOW After the Party UNITED KINGDOM [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/db250264-45f9-48fa-be6e-ab4d2ef0d6a5.png"] It’s as if Britons are girding for the hangover that is sure to follow the end of the heady, chaotic government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Everyone is wondering what will happen to Britain and the ruling Conservative Party after...

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Mirror Image

NEED TO KNOW Mirror Image CHECHNYA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/675d9955-4c1c-aa9a-399d-43cd447db84d.png"] The Russian republic of Chechnya is intimately intertwined with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Having battled Russian forces in an unsuccessful bid for independence in the 1990s, Chechens know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of Moscow’s military might. But...

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An Exclave’s Tale

NEED TO KNOW An Exclave’s Tale KALININGRAD [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/00202c3b-0617-6588-2d5c-ea134119139e.png"] Happenings today surrounding Kaliningrad echo a bygone era when European statesmen standing around an enormous map on a table negotiated borders over cigars and sherry. Kaliningrad was born in that era. As the Guardian explained, Teutonic knights founded the region in...

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RSVP, Please

NEED TO KNOW RSVP, Please EUROPEAN UNION [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/597ff6f5-aa2a-4913-81c8-7a38f364a41b.png"] Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already resulted in proposals to expand NATO. Now, in a move to counter Russian threats, the European Union might also add Ukraine, Moldova and, eventually, Georgia, three former Soviet republics where Russian President Vladimir Putin...

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Crimes of Thought

NEED TO KNOW Crimes of Thought RUSSIA [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/db8acf88-8b4f-4b1c-bf9a-1e71d4eee94b.png"] Along with other activism to promote democracy and respect for the law in his native Russia, Sergei Davidis spoke in the defense of Alexei Navalny in court earlier this year. He told the i (inews.co.uk), a British news outlet, that...

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Stuck in Neutral

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 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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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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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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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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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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Closing the Circle

NEED TO KNOW Closing the Circle NATO [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/6c767d49-d4bd-b3d7-9222-6eec1d541361.png"] If Finland joins NATO, the Western Alliance will have opened a potential 800-mile-long front in a war against Russia. What’s more, as the Washington Post illustrated, this new front would come very close to Russia's nuclear submarine and Arctic navy...

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Moving Out

NEED TO KNOW Moving Out NORWAY [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/65102137-137a-414d-a10e-0cd0d00c7aa4.png"] Norway has become a key supplier of energy as Europe seeks out alternatives to Russian oil and gas. As the Financial Times explained, the EU imported 40 percent of its gas supplies from Russia before the war in Ukraine erupted. Now that...

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The Grim Reaper’s Harvest

NEED TO KNOW The Grim Reaper’s Harvest UKRAINE [map url="https://mcusercontent.com/a2e22d7f24f6d1e3464d05be4/images/b04f8892-ad2c-9be1-f2b6-ab5ebd3fe894.png"] The Russo-Ukrainian War has now crossed the three-month mark. So far, it’s a stalemate. At the Brookings Institution, researchers see “a war of attrition, with neither side capable of a decisive military breakthrough.” How the war will end remains unclear....

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