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Mamuka Mdinaradze, leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party's parliamentary faction, is punched in the face by opposition MP Aleko Elisashvili during discussion of the bill on "foreign agents" in the Parliament, Tbilisi, Georgia, April 15, 2024 in this still image taken from a live broadcast video.

Parliament of Georgia/Handout via REUTERS

Georgia’s parliament advances divisive foreign agents bill

Georgia’s ruling party, Georgian Dream, on Wednesday advanced a controversial “foreign agents” bill that rights groups say could be used to stifle civil society and silence political opponents.

The bill, which has sparked street violence and a parliamentary fistfight, would require any organization receiving 20% of its funding from abroad to register as a foreign agent.

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File photo - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at National League at the Democracy (NLD) headquarters, address journalists and supporters in Yangon, Myanmar on April 2, 2012.

Jazz Editions/ABACA via Reuters Connect

Hard numbers: Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi moved to house arrest, Hugh Grant settles Sun case, Russian death toll in Ukraine, Boeing whistleblowers testify

3,000: Myanmar’s detained former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 78, has been moved from prison to house arrest in a bid to protect her health amid severely hot weather. The junta also granted amnesty for more than3,000 prisoners to mark this week’s traditional Thingyan New Year holiday.

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Croatian Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party chief Andrej Plenkovic attends an election rally in Zagreb, Croatia, April 14, 2024.

REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

Croatia heads to the polls in contentious election

Croatians vote on Wednesday in one of the most contentious parliamentary elections that the Balkan country, an EU member, has seen in years – and Russia is at the heart of the kerfuffle.

The governing center-right Croatian Democratic Union party, or HDZ, which has held power almost continuously since Croatia’s independence in 1991, is facing a stiff challenge from a center-left coalition led by the Social Democrat Party.

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Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi (R), the Commander of the Defense of Kyiv.


Ukraine waits for help as Russia advances

Oleksandr Syrskyi, Ukraine’s top general, has issued a stark warning: The battlefield situation in Ukraine’s east has “significantly worsened” in recent days. Russian forces outnumber and outgun Ukrainian defenders, the grinding battles over cities like Bakhmut and Avdiivka are expanding to other towns in the Donetsk region, and Ukraine’s depleted air defenses leave its cities increasingly vulnerable to Russian attack.
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Nigeriens gather in a street to protest against the U.S. military presence, in Niamey, Niger April 13, 2024.

REUTERS/Mahamadou Hamidou

Niger Pivots from the Eagle to the Bear

Hundreds demonstrated in Niger's capital, Niamey, on Saturday to demand the removal of US troops, much as they called for the exit of French forces last year. Niger’s military coup in July 2023 has brought changes to the central African nation, including a shift in military alliances. The nation is deepening its relationship with Moscow, as evidenced bythe arrival last week of Russian military trainers tasked with bolstering Niger’s air defenses.

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FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian servicemen of the 28th Separate Mechanized Brigade fire a 120-mm mortar towards Russian troops at a frontline, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, near the town of Bakhmut, Ukraine March 15, 2024.

REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak/File Photo

Ukraine’s struggles multiply on the battlefield

Ukraine’s situation on the eastern front line has “significantly worsened,” wrote the country's top military commander, Oleksandr Syrskyi, on Saturday. Kyiv fears that Moscow might be planning an assault on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city in the north-east, as well as a major attack in late spring or summer in the regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia.

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Russia launched new drone attacks against the energy system of the Odessa and Mikolayiv oblasts, both located in southern Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian Army in a statement.

Ukraine tightens military conscription laws as Russia bombards energy infrastructure

Russia bombarded Ukraine’s energy infrastructure overnight Thursday, destroying Kyiv’s largest power plant and leaving thousands without power. Ukraine’s Air Force reported that it downed fewer than half of an estimated 42 missiles volleyed at the country, as it finds itself ill-prepared to fend off the Kremlin’s intensifying attacks on its infrastructure and energy supplies.

Volodymyr Zelensky is appealing to Western allies for more air defenses. On Tuesday, the US approved an emergency sale of $138 million worth of air defense equipment to Ukraine, but the $60 billion aid package remains stalled in Congress.

In another sign of growing urgency, the Ukrainian parliament approved a controversial mobilization law that narrows eligibility for military exemptions and introduces penalties for evaders. The law does not address how many soldiers will be drafted and whether those who have served since the start of the invasion, over two years ago, should be discharged. It comes after Zelensky lowered the minimum age for male military conscription from 27 to 25 earlier this month.

Zelensky has been reluctant to expand conscription out of fear of domestic backlash, but he is expected to sign the bill, which would go into effect a month later.

Ukraine needs fresh recruits to hold thinning frontlines, rotate exhausted troops off the battlefield, and deal with growing casualties and fresh Russian offensives along the eastern front.
Putin does your taxes
Putin Does Your Taxes | PUPPET REGIME

Putin does your taxes

Tired of the government taking your hard-earned money? Worried about that April 15th deadline? Relax, the President of Russia's new accounting firm has you covered.


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