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Curated top stories of the day
- Putin win election – Vladimir Putin won a re-election on Sunday extending his rule as Russia’s president another six years. It will will give him nearly a quarter century in power. The longevity among Kremlin leaders second only to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, reports Reuters. Exit polls gave Putin about 73 percent support — nearly 10 times the backing of his nearest challenger. Voting began in the Russian far-east at 8pm GMT on Saturday, and opened in Moscow nine hours later.
- Sessions fires McCabe – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday fired Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former second in command, who has been criticized by President Donald Trump for being biased against his administration. McCabe said in a statement that he believes he is being “singled out” because of how he backed up former FBI Director James Comey’s claims that Trump tried to pressure him into dropping the Russia investigation. McCabe’s firing comes two days before he would become eligible to retire from the FBI with his full pension.
- Russia expels British diplomats – Moscow Russia retaliated against Britain a day before presidential elections expected to reconfirm Vladimir Putin’s dominance, saying it will expel 23 of London’s diplomats in a tit-for-tat reaction to Britain’s assertion that Russia was responsible for a nerve agent attack on a former double agent. UK police launched a murder investigation into the death of Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov after he was found dead at his home in New Malden, south London.
- Putin likely ordered poisoning: UK foreign secretary – Three days before the presidential election expected to be won easily by Vladimir Putin, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it was “overwhelmingly likely” that Vladimir Putin was directly behind the poisoning.
- Read WikiTribune‘s other coverage of this story: Russia changes the rules of warfare, perfecting “hybrid war,” Who is Sergei Skripal, target of the nerve agent attack in Britain, Nerve agent attack would be new chapter in Kremlin playbook, What is novichok, the nerve agent blamed for British attack?
- Cambridge Analytica suspended by Facebook after expose’ – Cambridge Analytica, already a controversial name in politics because of its connections with former allies of Donald J. Trump – Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer, has been “suspended” from Facebook over an Anglo-American journalistic investigation reported evidence of misuse of Facebook users’ data.
- Hacker who ‘turned in’ Chelsea Manning found dead at 37 – Adrian Lamo, described by his enemies as the “world’s most hated hacker “ (The Guardian), for giving evidence leading to the conviction of Chelsea Manning for a vast leak of United States diplomatic cables, has died at 37.
- Trump signs diplomatic agreement with Taiwan – President Donald J. Trump signed legislation that allows all U.S. government officials to meet with their Taiwanese counterparts. The bill is significant because the U.S. does not officially recognize Taiwan though has offered it military protection from it’s hostile Chinese neighbor. Beijing sees Taiwan as a province of China.
- EU leaders considering new Iran sanction to appease Trump – Reuters reports that Britain, France and Germany drafted a document that proposes new sanctions against Iran in attempts to keep the United States in the Iran nuclear deal, which President Donald J. Trump threatens to abandon. The proposed sanctions center on Iran’s ballistic missiles, which were not part of the nuclear agreement. The Trump administration says that these missiles are used to destabilize the region, Yemen and Syria in particular. The document advocates for increasing sanctions on individuals associated with the military and militias.
- Hong Kong’s richest man retires – Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing announced he would be stepping down as chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Asset (South China Morning Post). The rags-to-riches business magnate, whose fortune was estimated at $37.7 billion in January 2018, was born in mainland China and moved to Hong Kong at the age of 12 (FT – may be behind paywall). Li built a business empire from scratch with a portfolio that ranges from construction to banking and beauty retailers. He said he will hand over the company’s reins to his son, Victor Li, and dedicate himself to philanthropic pursuits.
- Florida bridge collapse leaves four dead – Four people died after a newly-erected pedestrian bridge collapsed at Florida International University on Thursday. The 174-feet (53-meter) long bridge was installed on Saturday in six hours using new technology. The office of Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a statement saying a company contracted to inspect the bridge was not pre-qualified by the state.
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- In a nondescript industrial estate north of London, a privately run detention center has become a focal point for the European migration crisis. WikiTribune goes to the center to speak to those that say their detention there has been “degrading”, “abusive,” and “hellish.” Campaigners ask whether this is the best way to regulate immigration or just another failed stop gap.
- It was the worst recorded U.S. war crime committed in Vietnam. More than 500 people, nearly all civilians, were shot or burned to death in a U.S. attack on a number of small villages in the Son My area of Vietnam’s central highlands. Help add any relevant information or background to WikiTribune’s piece marking the 50th anniversary of the massacre.
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- How about starting some hyperlocal coverage? This could be local stories on issues that impact you and your neighbors, but might not matter to the town, or even the neighborhood next door. This WikiProject seeks to develop hyperlocal reportage from community members.
What we’re reading and watching
- Acapulco is on the front line of gang violence with the 2017 national murder rate at an all-time high. Residents live in fear and shopkeepers are forced to pay extortion money. This video report from the Financial Times outlines the situation from the victims to the perpetrators. – Charles Anderson
- This on-the-ground investigation from the New York Times reveals that the U.S.-led battle against ISIS – hailed as the most precise air campaign in history – is killing far more Iraqi civilians than the coalition has acknowledged. – Charles Anderson
- “When we decided to devote our April magazine to the topic of race, we thought we should examine our own history before turning our reportorial gaze to others,” National Geographic editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg wrote in the editor’s letter of the magazine’s new “Race Issue“. The New Yorker looks at this rare, and brave, admission of the magazine to face its own controversial history in order to tackle the subject. Doreen St Félix writes that the issue is well-intentioned but misses the mark. – Lydia Morrish
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