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The Maastricht Diplomat

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At the Turning Points of History

A new week ended in Maastricht today, a synonym for the end of resits for some students, and the beginning of new courses for others. Although we were all focused on our university life and winter temperatures coming back in our tiny city, many things happened around the world. So let me introduce you to the weekly news through this Sunday Summary!

The situation in Ukraine is getting worse

It is not without horror that Western countries discovered this week the remains of a massacre in Boutcha, a city situated not far away from Kyiv. 410 citizens were found dead and exterminated by the Russian army. Shocked, Polish officials qualified what happened as a ‘genocide’ and asked for an investigation committee. To respond to the war crimes, Russia’s opponents launched their 5th round of sanctions against Moscow. An embargo against Russian coal was decided, as well as a ban on Russian ships accessing European ports. Russia got suspended from the United Nations Human Rights Council. However, while protests against the war in Ukraine are occurring worldwide, the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, declared that the war is far from over and may last several more months or even years.

The last IPCC recommendations published

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gathers 195 member states of the UN. After the August 2021 and February 2022 reports, the third and last part was published this Monday. The aim is to settle solutions to face the rapid evolution of climate change and its consequences. Indeed, greenhouse gas must be reduced by 50% by 2030 to possibly reverse our earth’s destiny. Among the given solutions, there is firstly the 76% reduction of coal by 2030 and its cessation by 2050. Then, we must diminish by at least 70% the use of gas and oil by 2050. Renewable energies must be developed, the use of cars and planes must be reduced, to privilege train, bike and common transports. Concerning the good news, the costs of solar energy and lithium-ion batteries decreased respectively by 55% and 85%. In addition, we should develop more digital technology, however being careful that people do not consume more.

Through elections and nominations in France, Hungary and the USA

In France, the first round of the presidential elections takes place this Sunday. According to polls, Marine Lepen and Emmanuel Macron (the actual President of the French Republic) may oppose once again in the second round, similarly to the former 2017’s elections. After the Yellow vests and Coronavirus crises, French citizens are impatient to discover the results this weekend. In Hungary, Viktor Orban and his party Fidesz won for the fourth time in the legislative elections, with 56% of the vote. Finally, in the United States of America, the 51 years-old American jurist Ketanji Brown Jackson obtained on Thursday the green light from the Senate to become the first black woman in the Supreme Court of Justice. It was an electoral campaign promise that Joe Biden, the actual President of the USA, kept. During the 232 years of the institution’s existence, only two black men were appointed, but no Afro-American woman. Ketanji Brown Jackson will replace the progressist magistrate Stephen Breyer, and become in this way a historical symbol of feminist advances in the USA.

A ‘Pixel War’ on Internet ended

To talk about a less sensitive topic, streamers from all around the World clashed on the Internet from the 1st of April until this Tuesday. Indeed, the so-called ‘Pixel War’ is a virtual work of art, created based on pixels (points of light that make up an electronic image). Every five minutes, the internauts could place one pixel on the colorful ‘canvas’. French streamers were highly engaged in this project, succeeding in ‘drawing’ a French flag in the bottom-left corner, with many French symbols.

This is all for your weekly Sunday Summary. I wish you all the luck for the upcoming week, see you again on Sunday!


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