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Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands behind a glass wall of an enclosure for defendants before a court hearing

Reuters

Hard Numbers: Gershkovich to remain in Russian prison, Myanmar refugee camp airstrike, Micheal Jordan pumpkin breaks records, fall of the Argentine peso

9: Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter detained by Russian authorities earlier this year, lost his appeal on Tuesday and will remain in a Russian prison until at least Nov. 30. At that point, he will have spent 9 months behind bars for allegations of espionage. Espionage trials in Russia can be lengthy, and the country’s Foreign Ministry says it will not consider a prisoner swap until after a verdict is reached.

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Visitors attend a night market in Shanghai, China

Reuters

Hard Numbers: China’s post-zero bump, diamonds for Hezbollah, Gershkovich bail bust, seafloor surprise

4.5: China’s economy grew at a 4.5% annual clip in the first quarter this year as the world’s second-largest economy dropped its “zero-Covid” restrictions and roared back to life. This beat analyst expectations but still fell short of President Xi Jinping’s 5% growth target for 2023. That rustling sound you hear is millions of Chinese bureaucrats and businesses scrambling to figure out how to close that half-point gap before December.

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Undated photo posted by Jack Teixeira\'s mother on Veterans Day Nov 11, 2021 on her Facebook page.

Photos: Facebook via EYEPRESS Images via Reuters Connect

What We're Watching: Pentagon leaker suspect arrested, Gershkovich swap chatter, Uruguay’s free trade ambitions

And the suspected leaker is ...

On Thursday afternoon, the FBI arrested a suspect in the most damaging US intel leak in a decade, identifying him as Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Teixeira was reportedly the leader of an online gaming chat group, where he had been allegedly sharing classified files for three years. If convicted of violating the US Espionage Act, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars. Teixeira will appear in a Boston court on Friday.

We know that the chat group was made up of mostly male twentysomethings that loved guns, racist online memes, and, of course, video games. We don’t know what motivated the leaks, what other classified material the leaker had, or whether any of the docs were divulged to a foreign intelligence agency.

Arresting a suspect, though, is just the beginning of damage control for the Pentagon and the Biden administration. Although the content of the leaks surprised few within the broader intel community, many might not have realized the extent to which the US spies on its allies.

Uncle Sam obviously would’ve preferred to have intercepted the message this scandal sends to America’s enemies: US intel is not 100% secure.

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Russia and the global order
- YouTube

Russia and the global order

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Lots of Russia news, as is so often the case over the last year. A little bit less frankly about Ukraine and more about Russia's position vis-a-vis the US and the global order, and I fear/suspect that that is increasingly going to be what we're going to be talking about going forward. One big piece of news, of course, this American journalist for the Wall Street Journal arrested on charges of espionage, Evan Gershkovich, it's going to be a secret trial. The Russians, having picked him up, said that they caught him red-handed. There is no presumption of innocence when you're grabbed on espionage in Russia.

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The Wall Street Journal reporter, Evan Gershkovich.

Reuters

US reporter charged with espionage in Russia: Will foreign reporters now flee?

Evan Gershkovich, an American reporter working in Moscow for the Wall Street Journal, was arrested last week. One day after co-authoring a bombshell report on how Western sanctions were finally taking a toll on the Russian economy, Gershkovich was pulled last Wednesday from a restaurant in Yekaterinburg, near the Ural Mountains, by Russian authorities. He was charged with espionage and could face up to 20 years in jail.

This marks the first time since 1986 that a US journalist has been accused of spying in Russia. The Journal, along with dozens of other media outlets, the Biden administration, and the Committee to Protect Journalists are demanding Gershkovich’s immediate release. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken with his Russian counterpart on the matter. But things look bleak for the 31-year-old, whose parents fled the former Soviet Union, before settling in New Jersey.

GZERO sat down with New York-based Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, to get her take on what comes next, how Western media firms might react to this event, the risks journalists face in Russia, and what this means for future coverage of the war in Ukraine. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Reporter for U.S. newspaper The Wall Street Journal Evan Gershkovich, detained on suspicion of espionage, leaves a court building in Moscow, Russia March 30, 2023.

REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

What We’re Watching: Moscow’s muscle flex, Bolsonaro’s return, Lasso losing his grip

Russia nabs US journalist

A Wall Street Journal reporter apprehended by Russia’s notorious Federal Security Bureau in the city of Yekaterinburg Thursday has appeared in court in the Russian capital on espionage charges, which the Journal has dismissed as bogus.

Evan Gershkovich, who works out of the Moscow bureau for the New-York based outlet and earlier this week penned a bombshell feature on how sanctions are hurting the Russian economy, was on a reporting trip when he was seen being escorted into an FSB van in scenes reminiscent of the Soviet era. Indeed, he’s the first US journalist to have been arrested by Russian authorities since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. The Committee to Protect Journalists has demanded his immediate and unconditional release.

The Kremlin claims that the 31-year-old reporter was “collecting state secrets” on behalf of the US government. But many analysts say this is likely an attempt by President Vladimir Putin to flex his muscles and gain some leverage amid reports that Russia is stalling in Ukraine, with one US general claiming that ongoing fighting in Bakhmut is a “slaughter-fest” for Moscow.

Putin may be looking to secure some sort of trade deal with the US, like he did last fall when Washington agreed to swap WNBA star Brittney Griner, held in a Russian prison, for Viktor Bout, a Russian citizen and notorious arms dealer held in US custody since 2008. But Griner was held for the lesser offense of possessing a small amount of weed oil. Espionage is a whole other ballgame.

We’ll also be watching to see whether US media outlets now respond by pulling reporters out of Russia. After all, the US State Department has urged all US citizens to leave the country fearing a situation just like this.

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