FOCUS on Ukraine: Refugees

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, an estimated 3.1 million Ukrainians have fled the country, reported by the Brookings Institution as of March 18.  It is currently estimated that the number may reach 4 million if Russia’s military offensive continues at its current rate.  

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Four Mexican Journalists Killed in First Four Weeks of 2022

A recent uptick of violence against journalists in Mexico has helped solidify its status as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, reports The Guardian. The January 31 murder of Roberto Toledo, a videographer for the news website Monitor Michoacan, was the final straw that sparked protests across the country from journalists, advocating for more protection, adds The New York Times.

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New Abortion Laws in Texas Place the United States at a Moral Crossroad

Texas’ new abortion laws, which ban abortions six weeks post-conception with no exceptions for rape or incest, were signed into effect by Governor Greg Abbott on September 1, 2021. The laws are setting a dangerous precedent in the U.S., causing other states like Florida to propose increasingly restrictive laws. Meanwhile, Mexico’s laws are prohibiting judges from charging women who receive abortions, even in regions where abortion has not yet been decriminalized. The contrasting approach toward abortion between Mexico and Texas shows a dangerous trend that could lead the U.S. down a rabbit hole of restricting reproductive rights.

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Turkish President Erdogan Expels Ten Ambassadors for Backing Jailed Philanthropist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared ten ambassadors “persona non grata” after they advocated for the release of a jailed philanthropist, reports The New York Times. Businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala has been in jail in Turkey since 2017, despite having never been convicted of a crime.

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Israel to Require Booster Shots for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Israel has invalidated approximately 2 million vaccine passports after requiring individuals to have a COVID-19 booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated. The country is now requiring the third dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination for those 12 years of age or older, with the exception of those who received their second dose or tested positive for COVID-19 within the last six months.

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