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News Making International Headlines: 19 April 2022

The War on Ukraine Has Intensified


PHOTO: DRONE FOOTAGE OF DAMAGED AZOVSTAL STEEL PLANT, PLUME OF SMOKE RISING

INTERNATIONAL: After withdrawing troops from near Kyiv and the north of Ukraine late last month, Russian forces have now started the battle of Donbas.

Footage showed large-scale destruction in the Azovstal plant, which contains a myriad of buildings, blast furnaces, and rail tracks.

Russia has been trying to take full control of the southeastern port city of Mariupol, which has been besieged for weeks, and which would be a huge strategic prize, linking territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with the Crimea region that Moscow annexed in 2014.

The city council said at least 1,000 civilians were hiding in underground shelters beneath the vast steelworks.

Mariupol resident Olga said the priority at present was solving the lack of water.

"We can't do the laundry because we don't have water. We don't have electricity. Now, we have to carry water from afar," she told Reuters.

Major Serhiy Volyna, the commander of Ukraine's 36th marine brigade, which is still fighting in Mariupol, appealed for help in a letter to Pope Francis on Monday, saying women and children were trapped among fighters in the city's steelworks.

"This is what hell looks like on earth ... It’s time (for) help not just by prayers. Save our lives from satanic hands," the letter said, according to excerpts tweeted by Ukraine's ambassador to the Vatican.

Meanwhile, Russian missile strikes killed at least two people in Ukraine's Kharkiv city on Monday (18 April).

An eyewitness, Ihor, who would only provide his first name, said that he saw both missiles hit a residential area.

Russia also sent missiles attacks in Lviv which killed seven people, the first civilian victims in the western city bordering Poland.

Maksym Kozytskyy, the governor of Lviv, a city which lies 60 km (40 miles) from the Polish border, said preliminary reports suggested there were four strikes, three on warehouses that were not in use by the military and another which hit the car tire service point.

Andriy Sadoviy, the Mayor of Lviv, said the youngest victim among the dead was aged 30. He said the blast also wounded 11 and shattered windows of a hotel housing Ukrainians who had evacuated from elsewhere in the country.

Russia denies targeting civilians and rejects what Ukraine says is evidence of atrocities, saying Ukraine has staged them to undermine peace talks.

Moscow calls its action, launched almost two months ago, a special military operation to demilitarize Ukraine and eradicate, what it calls, ‘dangerous nationalists’.

Peru’s President Proposes Chemical Castration for Rapists


PHOTO: PEOPLE PROTESTING TO DEMAND JUSTICE FOR 3-YEAR-OLD KIDNAPPED AND RAPED CHILD SOUNDBITES FROM PROTESTERS SOUNDBITES FROM PERUVIAN PRESIDENT PEDRO CASTILLO AND FROM POLICE REPRESENTATIVE PEOPLE CHASING POLICE VEHICLE TRAN

INTERNATIONAL: Peruvian president Pedro Castillo said on Monday (18 April) that he would make a law proposal to provide chemical castration for rapists.

Castillo said he expected support from Congress after the case of a 3-year-old girl who was kidnapped and raped in the town of Chiclayo, which shook the country.

In the streets of Lima on Sunday (17 April), groups of protesters demanded justice for the child, chanting, "Children shouldn't be raped."

"It's unthinkable this government is not doing anything to put an end to all of this," an unidentified protester told local media as she cried and held her baby in her arms.

On 13 April, Chiclayo police detained a 48-year-old man accused of kidnapping and raping a 3-year-old girl.

The chief of the Lambayeque region police, General Fernando Rios Zavala, said the man admitted to the police he had kidnapped the girl after being stopped in his vehicle by the authorities.

PROTESTERS DEMAND JUSTICE FOR CHILD ABUSE VICTIMS


PHOTO: PROTESTERS MARCHING IN THE STREETS OF TORONTO PROTESTERS HOLDING HEARTS WITH INDIGENOUS NAMES OF ABUSE VICTIMS INDIGENOUS PEOPLE DANCING PROTESTERS SPEAKING ABOUT THE POPE'S APOLOGY AND DEMANDING JUSTICE

INTERNATIONAL: Protesters gathered in Toronto on Monday (18 April) to demand justice for Canada's indigenous children that suffered abuse in residential schools, many of them run by the Catholic Church.

Canada's state-sanctioned schools forcibly separated about 150,000 indigenous children from their families, subjecting many of them to physical and sexual abuse.

The country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called the practice "cultural genocide."

On 1 April, Pope Francis issued an apology for the Catholic Church's role. "For the deplorable behavior of those members of the Catholic Church, I ask forgiveness from God and I would like to tell you from the bottom of my heart that I am very pained," he said.

But protesters say the Pope's apology does not go far enough. Protesting outside St Michael's Cathedral Basilica, they hung up the names of abuse victims on the cathedral's fence.

As part of a 2006 settlement agreement, an entity incorporated by the Catholic Church agreed to pay US $63.2 million to an Aboriginal healing foundation for survivors, through services such as counseling, and further fundraising.

According to the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, a 2015 court ruling let the Catholic Church off the hook with tens of millions from the 2006 settlement unpaid.


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