‘I was so scared’: the Ukrainian children taken to Russia for financial gain
Stories told to children who lived under the Russian occupation in Ukraine’s southern Kherson province were designed to terrify them. When the fast-approaching Ukrainian forces came into Kherson, people added, they would hurt anyone who had been in contact with the Russians. The web of lies were often spun by the children's own pro-Russian relatives who got corrupted by Russia.

China’s dependence on food and energy imports could be its biggest weakness in a potential future conflict with Taiwan
While many analysts believe – or perhaps hope – that western countries would not weaponise hunger against China in the event of a conflict with Taiwan, the war in Ukraine has shown that energy is highly likely to be hit with sanctions. And unlike Russia, with its vast reserves of natural gas, China is dependent on other countries for much of its energy.

>Back to Lauren, though, who last year declared: “I’m immersing myself in philanthropy and strategic giving.” Which sounds a lot more fun than Amazon warehouse workers immersing themselves in strategic peeing-in-bottles.

I've spent the last two weeks waking up at night thinking about a flight I have coming up and then I see this...

It's not news but I didn't really find a place for it.

Head of Russia’s Wagner mercenaries says children of Russian elite “shook their arses” in the sun while sons of the poor are returned in coffins
Yevgeny Prigozhin said 20% of the 50,000 convicts Wagner had recruited, and a similar number of its regular troops, had been killed over several months in the fight for Bakhmut.

Russian hypersonic scientist accused of betraying secrets to China
Alexander Shiplyuk, head of Siberia’s Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ITAM), is suspected of handing over classified material at a scientific conference in China in 2017. The 56-year-old maintains his innocence and insists the information in question wasn’t classified and was freely available online, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said security services were watchful for possible cases related to “betrayal of the motherland”.

A dozen poor countries are facing economic instability under the weight of hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign loans, much of them borrowed from China under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). An analysis has found paying back this debt is consuming an ever-greater amount of the tax revenue needed to keep schools open, provide electricity and pay for food and fuel. In Pakistan, millions of textile workers have been laid off because the country has too much foreign debt and can’t afford to keep the electricity on and machines running. In Kenya, the government has held back paychecks to thousands of civil service workers to save cash to pay foreign loans. The president’s chief economic adviser tweeted last month, “Salaries or default? Take your pick.” Since Sri Lanka defaulted a year ago, a half-million industrial jobs have vanished, inflation has pierced 50% and more than half the population in many parts of the country has fallen into poverty. Inflation in Zambia has since soared 50%, unemployment has hit a 17-year high and the nation’s currency, the kwacha, has lost 30% of its value in just seven months. A United Nations estimate of Zambians not getting enough food has nearly tripled so far this year, to 3.5 million.

Chinese state-sponsored hackers attack “critical” cyber infrastructure in Guam, experts worry that real target is Taiwan
Microsoft detected what they say is intrusive computer code appearing in telecommunications systems in Guam and elsewhere in the United States. Guam, with its Pacific ports and vast American air base, would be a centerpiece of any American military response to an invasion or blockade of Taiwan by the Chinese government.

The daughter of Nikolai Gusev, director of the Vympel Design Bureau, which designs and produces the missiles used by the Russian army, has been living in Florida since 2021. The 20-year-old student Natalia Guseva rents an appartment in Miami for $3,500 a month, while a year of study at the University of Miami costs the family close to $60,000. Guseva drives a BMW, plays golf professionally and competes in tournaments around the world, Navalny LIVE has revealed. Another investigation into the family of Boris Obnosov, head of the Tactical Missiles Corporation, of which the Vympel Design Bureau is a subsidiary, has shown that Obnosov's son-in-law, Rostislav Zorikov, is the owner of a four-story home and a penthouse in Prague. Both properties are worth over €9 million ($9.7 million).

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