Kremlin crackdown silences war protests, from benign to bold:
A worker paints over graffiti saying 'Yes to Peace!' on a wall of an apartment building in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 18, 2022. (AP Photo, File)
Hundreds of Russians are facing charges for speaking out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Much of these charges stem from a law passed last month that outlaws disparaging the country’s military. According to human rights groups, at least 23 people have been brought up on criminal charges because of this law while another 500 are facing misdemeanors. One protestor was arrested for standing next to a Kyiv monument in Russia, built to commemorate the city’s stand against Nazi Germany in WW2, while holding a copy of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
Mexican president poised to win historic, polarizing referendum on his rule:
A NATO flag is seen at the Alliance in Brussels, Belgium on Oct 21, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol)
Russia is concerned by increased NATO activity in the arctic, citing fears of unintended incidents occurring in the region. Finland and Sweden, which are considering joining NATO, have held joint military drills with the organization since March. Another large military drill was held recently in northern Norway. Russia has derided these operations because holding them, “does not contribute to the security of the region.” An ally of Putin warned NATO that, if Sweden and Finland join the alliance, Russia will launch nuclear and hypersonic missiles at Europe.
In France’s election, a meaty issue unites Jews and Muslims:
French Presidential candidate Le Pen has announced that under her all animals would need to be stunned before slaughter. Her opposition argues that this is meant to target minority religious populations. It is opposed by many Jews and Muslims in the country, who believe their ritual slaughters to be more humane. According to Le Pen, “What we want is to truly stop this animal suffering, very intense, that is the consequence of slaughter without stunning.” She is, however, not opposed to other practices considered to be animal cruelty such as bullfighting and hunting. France being a major exporter of kosher meat means that a change in policy will have major consequences for Jewish people across Europe.