French “yellow jacket” protests initially against fuel tax increases turned violent after right-wing supporters and hooligans infiltrated the once-peaceful protest, prompting police to respond with tear gas and water cannons. Although President Emmanuel Macron won international hearts and minds with his promises to reform France’s economy, it increasingly seems like those reforms have not won the hearts and minds of France’s own citizens.
Russian forces claimed that Ukrainian navy vessels illegally entered Russian territorial waters as they passed through the contested Kerch Strait, between Crimea and the Russian mainland, after a firefight left several sailors dead or injured. The move sparked an emergency UN Security Council meeting, a declaration of martial law in Ukraine, and new worries about the state of the Ukrainian-Russian relationship especially after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbass area.
Considered the very best and quite possibly ‘’only’’ solution to the Brexit deal, the European Council and UK’s prime minister Theresa May have openly backed the most recent plan for UK’s exit out of the customs union. Right away, the European Council has taken a protective stance towards its people and its economy, especially with regards to the fishing sector. France has been especially tense on this issue, forewarning of the difficulty of all other negotiations if this one does not succeed briskly.
Bruno Le Marie, economy minister of France, in a recent meeting with the Dutch minister of economics noted that he is concerned by the common economic front of 10 Northern European countries. In doing so, he argued that the Eurozone does not benefit from economic “clubs” in decision making. He added that a theoretical economic alliance of Southern countries is an example of how parts of the EU could be economically pitted against one another, to the detriment of everyone.
In Moscow, a provincial court jailed a prominent Russian rapper, implying that the Rap genre promotes social behaviors looked down upon by the Kremlin, and is against the family values agenda promoted by the Kremlin. This arrest is seen by many as a means to impress the Kremlin as opposed to instituting any real change and as a part of the culture war going on in the country.
Sister Cecylia Roszak, a Polish nun believed to be the oldest nun in the world, passed away at the age of 110. She was one of the several nuns who created a convent in Lithuania that sheltered Jews who had escaped the nearby Ghetto, and was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by the Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance institute of Israel for actions that saved Jews and put her at risk of execution by Germans.