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Smoke rises from the White House parliament building as Yeltsinist troops storm the Russian parliament October 4, 1993.

REUTERS/Petr Josek

Hard Numbers: Yeltsin’s defense/undermining of “democracy,” Gaetz's ouster bid, Pandas’ exodus from the US, Bangladesh’s dengue crisis, UK’s minimum wage boost

30: Tuesday marks 30 years since Russian President Boris Yeltsin launched a military assault on Russia’s parliament building. Yeltsin made the move to end months of constitutional deadlock with a Communist-led opposition that wanted to slow the painful and chaotic post-Soviet transition to capitalism. After deadly clashes in which opposition forces tried to take over a Moscow TV tower, Yeltsin ordered the army to fire on parliament. US officials commended Yeltsin’s handling of the episode, but it permanently soured many Russians’ views of “democracy.”
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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina attends a joint press remarks with Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida (not pictured) in Tokyo.


Blinken threatens, Bangladesh promises

In response to direct pressure from the US, Bangladesh has vowed to hold free and fair elections by January 2024. The announcement came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday threatened to deny US visas for Bangladeshi officials who obstruct the democratic process.

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A chart comparing countries with the largest Muslim populations with corresponding food inflation rates.

Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: Ramadan celebrations now cost more

The holy month of Ramadan has begun for the world's roughly 1.9 billion Muslims. But for many, the joyous feasting with family before and after the Ramadan fast will be overshadowed by inflated food prices thanks to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Majority-Muslim populations in Asia and the Middle East, where many countries rely on food imports, will feel the economic pinch most. We take a look at countries with the largest Muslim populations and their corresponding food inflation rates.

Bangladesh's PM Sheikh Hasina speaks with reporters during the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.

REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

In Bangladesh, a powerful premiership is transforming into a brutal dictatorship

The world’s longest-ruling female leader is facing the most serious threat to her power in years.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has run Bangladesh since 2009 and has been lauded as the Iron Lady of South Asia for her firm decision-making and economic prowess, faces a united opposition, an economic downturn , and international pressure against her regime’s deteriorating human rights record as fresh protests have swelled in the country over the past few days.

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Paige Fusco

Hard Numbers: More good food news, runaway Argentine inflation, Ivorian pardon, Bangladesh fuel price hike

170,000: Four more ships carrying almost 170,000 metric tons of grain left Ukraine's Black Sea ports on Sunday, the same day the first foreign-flagged vessel arrived there since the Russian invasion in February. More welcome news for mitigating the global food crisis, although it'll take months to reach pre-war export levels.

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Police detain a man on the 33rd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China.

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Hard Numbers: Hong Kongers arrested, British cucumber shortage, Japan’s dwindling population, deadly blaze in Bangladesh

6: Six Hong Kongers were arrested over the weekend for publicly marking the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Beijing bans commemorating the event on the mainland, but Hong Kong was, until recently, one of a few Chinese territories where it was allowed. That changed in 2020, when Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on the city.

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In El Salvador, security forces continue with the massive arrests of alleged gang members, during an operation called "war against the gangs."


Hard Numbers: Bukele goes after gangs, Banglade​shis sentenced to death, NZ's inflation woes, COVID death toll milestone

10,000: According to President Nayib Bukele, 10,000 suspected gang members have been arrested by police in El Salvador, where officials have declared a state of emergency due to gang violence. This news has alarmed human-rights advocates, who accuse Bukele of authoritarian tactics.
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What We're Watching: Bangladesh religious violence, Ecuadorian drug emergency, Lebanese to vote, Russia ditches NATO

Religious tension rising in Bangladesh: Clashes between Hindus and Muslims in Bangladesh have surged over the past week, leaving at least four people dead. After an image was posted on Facebook showing the Quran at the feet of a statue at a Hindu temple, Muslims burned Hindu-owned homes and attacked their holy sites. Both sides have taken to the street in protest, with Hindus saying that they have been prevented from celebrating Durga Puja, the largest Hindu festival in the country. Such acts of sectarian violence are not uncommon in Bangladesh, a majority-Muslim country where Hindus account for nine percent of the population. Indeed, as Eurasia Group's Kevin Allison recently warned , unverified social media content stoking inter-ethnic conflict is a massive problem throughout South Asia, where for many people Facebook is synonymous with the internet.

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