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Violent riots have been taking place in Noumea since yesterday evening. Numerous shops and a number of houses have been set alight, looted or destroyed by young independantists, who reject the reform of the electoral freeze. In photo: view of Noumea, where many buildings are under fire. New Caledonia, Noumea, May 14, 2024.

Delphine Mayeur / Hans Lucas via Reuters Connect

Pas de TikTok! France cracks down on New Caledonia unrest

France declared a 12-day state of emergency and banned TikTok in its South Pacific territory of New Caledonia on Thursday after at least four people were killed and hundreds more injured in riots that broke out Monday. Members of the indigenous Kanak people are reacting to a new law passed over 10,000 miles away in Paris that would give some French citizens from the metropole local voting rights and potentially dilute Kanak sovereignty.

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Displaced Palestinian woman Mai Anseir stands with children at a school where they shelter as they prepare to flee Rafah after Israeli forces launched a ground and air operation in the eastern part of the southern Gaza City, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip May 13, 2024.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Hard Numbers: Waves of Palestinians displaced, Deadly cartel violence in Mexico, Fatal riots in New Caledonia, Biden sanctions Nicaragua, Israeli soldiers killed by friendly fire

500,000: Over half a million people have been displaced in Gaza by recent Israeli military operations in Rafah and the northern part of the enclave, according to the UN. As the Israel-Hamas war rages on, over a million people in Gaza are on the verge of starvation, and a “full-blown famine” is occurring in the north.

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Students at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens

Kyle Mazza / SOPA Images via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Segregation is back, Thai activist dies in jail, French “Fly” freed, New US arms sale to Israel

19.8: Over the past three decades, the share of US public schools where 90% of the students are non-white has nearly tripled to 19.8%, according to a UCLA report. Experts say the rise of charter schools and expansion of school choice is partly to blame for this de facto segregation. The data, crunched by the UCLA Civil Rights Project, come on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the landmark Brown vs. Boardof Education case in which the US Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation at schools.

110: A young Thai activist jailed for demanding reform of the country’s uncriticizable monarchy has died after a 110-day hunger strike. Twenty-eight year old Netiporn “Bung” Sanesangkhom had been jailed under Thailand’s severe lèse-majesté laws after asking people’s opinion of the monarchy in public spaces in 2022.

2: A manhunt is underway in France after two masked gunmen ambushed a prison van and freed a notorious drug dealer nicknamed “The Fly.” The incident is the latest in a trend of rising narco-related crime in Europe, as authorities seize record volumes of cocaine entering the EU while rival gangs fight for turf and clientele. Of course, when it comes to jailbreaks, the cinema-obsessed French gangster Rédoine Faïd remains the master of the craft.

1 billion: The Biden administration reportedly told lawmakers it’s moving forward with a new sale of roughly $1 billion worth of arms to Israel, including tactical vehicles and ammunition. This news comes as the administration continues to butt heads with Israel over the Rafah operation, and just days after President Joe Biden put a hold on a shipment of bombs to the Jewish state as concerns rise over the mounting death toll amid the war with Hamas in Gaza.

North Macedonia's EU membership bid complicated by new nationalist government

North Macedonia's EU membership bid complicated by new nationalist government

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Arizona, US.

What's the outcome and the likely result of the North Macedonia parliamentary election?

A new government, more nationalist, more rightists coming in. And the problem with that is that North Macedonia has made a number of concessions in order to make its EU path possible. First concessions through Greece in terms of the names and the number of concessions through France and a number of concessions through Bulgaria on minority and related issues. And the new government has got to say no to a lot of these things. And that further complicates the EU process, which is highly regrettable because the country in substance really deserves to move forward on that process.

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“Keep the nuclear codes away from that robot”

The United States has issued a warning to two fellow nuclear powers, in so many words telling China and Russia,Keep your nuclear weapons firmly in human control.”

In a May 2 press briefing, US State Department official Paul Dean said that the government has explicitly told France and the United Kingdom that the decision to deploy nuclear weapons must stay out of reach of autonomous artificial intelligence systems — and said it welcomes China and Russia to make the same pronouncement.

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FILE PHOTO: Chadian interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby speaks during the launch of his presidential campaign ahead of the May elections in N'Djamena, Chad April 14, 2024.

REUTERS/Israel Matene/File Photo

Chadians are voting, but don’t expect change

Chad is the first of the coup-ridden Sahel states to move toward democracy. Well, inch toward democracy.

The current frontrunner is Gen. Mahamat Déby, who has been ruling in an interim capacity since his father, former President Idriss Déby, died while fighting rebels in 2021. The elder Déby led a coup in Chad in 1990 and ruled for three decades. His death opened the possibility of a new era in Chadian politics, with the younger Déby promising to hold elections – in which he wouldn’t run – within 18 months.

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China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan disembark at Orly Airport, south of Paris, on May 5, 2024.


Xi goes on (short) European tour

This week marks President Xi Jinping’s first trip to Europe in five years. The Chinese leader will only visit France, Serbia, and Hungary – three countries where he’s likely to find the friendliest ears – and meet with EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen to discuss trade tensions and China’s support for Russia in its war with Ukraine.

Xi, who landed in Paris on Sunday, will also have a tete-a-tete with Emanuel Macron for the second time in as many years. You’ll remember that the French president raised continental eyebrows last year with a state visit to Beijing, where he declared that Europe should not be drawn into a standoff between China and the US over Taiwan. Macron’s independent foreign policy approach left a positive impression on Beijing.

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Students gather in front of the Sorbonne University in support of Palestinians in Gaza, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Paris, France, April 29, 2024.

REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Student protests go global

As police ramp up efforts to dismantle pro-Palestine encampments and demonstrations on US campuses, the student protests are going global.

Students at four universities in Australia have jumped onto what they call a “global wave” of pro-Palestinian activism, vowing to occupy areas of campus with encampments until their schools cut financial ties with Israel.

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