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FILE PHOTO: An image of Cuba's former President Raul Castro and Cuba's President and First Secretary of the Communist Party Miguel Diaz-Canel is seen beside a Turkish powership, in Havana, Cuba, April 17, 2023.

REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Cubans cry for electricity and food in rare protests

Extended blackouts and food scarcity drove Cubans into the streets of Santiago, the Caribbean country’s second-largest city, on Monday, in rare and risky protests. President Miguel Díaz-Canel blamed the US trade embargo for shortages and warned that American “terrorists” were fomenting dissent.

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Jess Framptom

GZERO Wrapped 2023

‘Tis the Spotify Wrapped season! (Or Apple Music replay season, for those of us out of step with the cultural zeitgeist). In the spirit of everyone sharing their most-played tracks of the year, the GZERO team decided to look back at some of our top-viewed articles of 2023. You’ll never guess who wrote our top pick …

Plus, check out GZERO’s totally real and definitely not photoshopped 2023 Spotify Wrapped playlists from some of your favorite politicians.

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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov walks with Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez during a meeting in Havana, Cuba, April 20, 2023

Reuters

Cuba tells Russia to back off

Russia needs soldiers, and it hasn’t been picky about where it gets them. That’s the backdrop for an extraordinary announcement this week from Cuba’s foreign ministry that Cubans, some from the island and others living in Russia, have been coerced into fighting in Ukraine.

Cuban authorities say they are working to neutralize and dismantle “a human trafficking network that operates from Russia to incorporate Cuban citizens living there, and even some from Cuba, into … war operations in Ukraine.”

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Hunter Biden's crimes won't impact 2024 election
GOP will leverage Hunter Biden's crimes in the 2024 elections | World In: 60 | GZERO Media

Hunter Biden's crimes won't impact 2024 election

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Will Hunter Biden's tax crimes impact Joe Biden's reelection in 2024?

No, I don't think it will, but certainly it is impacting the continued erosion of US democratic institutions. I mean, this will be used by the GOP to say that, "There's differential treatment between the Biden crime family and the Trump crime family." My personal belief is that these are not equivalent, and I'll be talking about that later in the week. But what that means is the DOJ and the FBI are going to be seen as increasingly politicized as organizations. That's really unfortunate for the US, but it doesn't have much impact on 2024.

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Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: How does El Salvador's prison rate stack up?

El Salvador made headlines in recent days after President Nayib Bukele released photos of gang members being corralled into the country’s new mega-prison – a sprawling complex that will eventually hold 40,000 inmates. It’s the latest development in Bukele’s massive – and very popular – crackdown on gangs, in which Salvadoran authorities have locked up almost 2% of the adult population. (Never mind that US officials have recently accused Bukele of colluding with the very gangs he says he’s trying to stamp out!) El Salvador now has the highest prison rate per 100,000 people in the world – but how does that compare globally? Here we take a look at the countries with the highest official prison rates.

Photo composite of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Luisa Vieira

What We’re Watching: China’s budding diplomacy, Biden’s border control, Russia’s big plans

What’s next for Russia & China?

Russia and China broadcast their friendship to the world on Wednesday as the West freaked out about the possibility of Beijing turning to arm Moscow’s troops in Ukraine. After meeting Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin said that strong Russia-China ties are “important for stabilizing the international situation.” (A tad rich coming from the guy who upended geopolitics by invading Ukraine a year ago.) Putin also confirmed that Xi Jinping would visit Moscow for a summit in the coming months. Wang, for his part, clarified that while their famous partnership “without limits” is not directed against any other nation, it certainly should not be subject to external pressure. He said both countries support “multipolarity and democratization of international relations” – in other words, not a US-led liberal international order. Still, no matter what Western governments say, the Chinese are not so willing to break ties with the US and its allies, mainly because Beijing's trade relations are too important. Meanwhile, we wonder whether the current status of the Russia-China relationship — friends with benefits but complicated — will blossom into a marriage (of convenience) or end in a bad breakup. What we know for sure is that China is getting more involved in the Ukraine conflict generally. Learn more here.

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Cuban Missile Crisis turns 60
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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