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Cuban Missile Crisis turns 60 | GZERO Media

Cuban Missile Crisis turns 60

Sixty years ago, the world got as close it's ever been to nuclear war.

For 13 days, the US and the USSR played a dangerous cat-and-mouse game over Soviet nuclear missiles parked in Cuba. The Cold War nearly got hot.

In the end, a shared sense of humanity allowed a diplomatic solution. The world breathed a sigh of relief.

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An artillery fire competition in North Korea.

KCNA via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: North Korea lashes out, Cuba accepts US aid, UK/EU inflation skyrockets, Madagascar FM fired, MPs want Truss out

350: North Korea has fired more than 350 rounds of artillery shells at a buffer zone that was established in 2018 to ease tensions over the disputed border with South Korea. Kim Jong Un is furious about Seoul's latest military exercises, which include joint drills with US and Japanese forces.

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Gabriella Turrisi

Hard Numbers: US rare-earth push, grow your own food in Sri Lanka, don’t protest in Cuba, Whisky Wars

120 million: An Australian company signed a $120 million deal with the Pentagon to refine rare-earth metals in Texas. The US wants to stop playing catch-up to China, which dominates the global trade of these metals crucial for modern technology.

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FILE PHOTO of a F-35C Lightning II, assigned to the Argonauts of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, launches off the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on Jan. 14, 2022.

U.S Navy/EYEPRESS

Hard Numbers: South China Sea jet search, US economy surges, Cuban protesters charged, Africa gets vaxxed

100 million: The US Navy is scrambling to find a $100 million F-35 stealth fighter jet that crashed and sank soon after taking off on Monday from an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. One expert described the Cold War-ish race to locate the remains — stocked with classified equipment — before the Chinese do as "basically The Hunt For Red October meets The Abyss."

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Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R) speaks next to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during talks at a hotel in Beijing August 19, 2011.

REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool

What We’re Watching: Biden-Xi on Zoom, Cuban protest, Duterte family drama, Qaddafi junior for prez, Steele Dossier skewered

US-China virtual summit. Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will meet face-to-face (virtually) on Monday for the first time since Biden became US president last January. The two have a lot to discuss: trade wars, the 2022 Beijing Olympics — which Biden won't attend, but probably won't boycott — and how to deliver on the joint US-China pledge on climate made at COP26. But the elephant in the Zoom room is Taiwan, an ultra-sensitive issue for China. Xi is seething at the Biden administration's recent public support for the self-governing island, which the Chinese regard as part of their own territory. The Americans insist they are simply doing what they've always done since 1979 — pledging to help Taiwan defend itself. Can Biden and Xi navigate these issues in a calm, cool way? It may help that the two leaders have known each other for more than a decade, when they were both VPs. With US-China relations getting chillier by the day, the stakes are high.

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Protesters shout slogans against the government during a demonstration, which also involved counter-protesters who are in support of the government, amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Havana, Cuba July 11, 2021.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghin/File Photo

What We're Watching: The streets of Cuba

Cuban protest. For months, Cuban activists and dissidents have been planning a fresh, island-wide, anti-government protest. Well, the day is November 15, and the stakes are high. The Cuban regime, which has refused to issue permits for any marches, says it will not tolerate any unrest, and has accused the US of being behind the demonstrations. Back in July, you might remember, Cuba witnessed the biggest anti-government protests in decades, as popular anger over shortages, poverty, and political repression boiled over into the streets. Since then some 1,200 people have been arrested, with roughly half of them languishing in jail while awaiting trial on charges of sedition or sabotage that carry sentences of up to 25 years. We're keeping an eye not only on what happens in Cuba, but also on how the Biden administration responds. The US president will be under immense pressure from the powerful Cuban-American constituency in Florida, as well as Republicans more broadly, to impose tougher sanctions on the island. But there's an argument that the interests of the Cuban people might be better served by doing just the opposite.

What We're Watching: Cuba's internet crackdown, Erdogan woos Ethiopia, Merkel's Russia-Ukraine tour

Cuba's internet crackdown: Just weeks after Cubans used social media to mobilize the biggest anti-government protests in decades, the communist regime will now criminalize using social media to criticize the government. The new law states that Cubans cannot use any telecommunications to undermine the country's "public order," and that internet providers must monitor users' activities and even shut down service when deemed necessary. Clearly, this move is a guise for the government to crack down on all dissent, and to codify what they've already been doing. But many emboldened Cubans, who only got online on their smartphones in 2018, say they will not back down on criticizing the government of Miguel Díaz-Canel for lack of food, medicine and general economic stagnation that's thrust millions into poverty. During recent mass protests, the government staged a brutal crackdown and shut down the internet, prompting the Biden administration to sanction Cuban officials and the police force for human rights abuses. The US has also said that it's looking for alternative ways to provide internet access to Cubans, possibly through VPN technology, a workaround solution that could not be penetrated by the draconian Cuban regime. But they are not there yet, the Biden administration says.

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Paige Fusco

Biden’s Caribbean surprises

All elected leaders face two problems: crises that weren't on the agenda will strike from unexpected directions, and all possible responses are less than ideal.

Hey, Joe Biden, Cuba's on line one, and Haiti's holding on line two.

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