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Re-elected head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov attends an inauguration ceremony in Grozny, Russia October 5, 2021.

REUTERS/Chingis Kondarov

Pancreas vs. Putin: the Kremlin’s terminal Chechnya problem

Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-backed dictator of Chechnya, is reportedly dying inside – literally.

The Russian indy publication “Novaya Gazeta Europe” says the 47-year-old strongman is suffering from a terminal pancreatic condition, and that the Kremlin is scrambling to work out succession plans.

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President of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, dressed in the national costume, dances as part of The Day Of Chechen Language celebrations in Grozny April 25, 2010. The Day Of The Chechen Language holiday was established by Kadyrov in 2007 to promote the national language.


Hard Numbers: Chechnya bans beats, Poland’s right stays strong,  Biden cancels student debt (again),  Argentina battles dengue, “Hardest Geezer” runs Africa

116: Can you feel the beat? If you’re in Chechnya, from now on you are only rocking between 80 and 116 beats per minute. That’s because a new law bans any music faster or slower than that range. The Goldilocks move, taken by the quasi-Islamist dictatorship of Ramzan Kadyrov, aims to shield the North Caucasus republic – which is part of Russia – from insidious Western influences. But don’t worry – as GZERO design captain Ari Winkleman points out, you can still listen to Radiohead’s “Creep” (92 bpm) on repeat in the streets of Grozny.

52.5: Polish PM Donald Tusk’s centrist governing coalition won just 52.5% of the vote in Sunday’s municipal elections, a narrow victory that underscored the persistent strength of the far-right Law and Justice Party, which took close to 34%, the largest share of any single party. Tusk’s coalition ousted Law and Justice from national power in bitterly fought general elections last fall but has continued to clash with the party over rule-of-law issues and appointments ever since.

25 million: The Biden administration on Monday announced a sweeping new program of student debt forgiveness that it said would give relief to some 25 million borrowers, including those who are either facing economic hardship, owe more now than they did at the start of their payback periods, or who have had debt for more than 20 years. The new plan replaces an earlier one that was struck down by the Supreme Court but is expected to face some legal challenges of its own.

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