Mar 25, 2017

Spotted in Moscow: Marine Le Pen, with Vladimir Putin

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool / AP

Buzzfeed News has a roundup of right-wing French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's day in Moscow, which had a twist that you could probably see coming from a mile away…

  • Le Pen was visiting the Russian parliament via an invite from Leonid Slutsky, who chairs the foreign affairs committee of its lower house, where she called for an end to European Union sanctions against Russia.
  • She bailed on a press conference, ostensibly to view a French art exhibit on display at the Kremlin.
  • And she conveniently ran into Putin! The two discussed next month's French election and security against terrorism, per RT.

Don't forget that there have been rumblings that — much like during the 2016 presidential election — Russia is attempting to wage an influence campaign in France in support of Le Pen. That's not surprising, given her expressed admiration for Putin and her pro-Russia stance on the annexation of Crimea.

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South Korea and Italy step up measures as coronavirus cases spike

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy in particular scramble to deal with spikes in their countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korean President Moon Jae-said country would increase its infectious disease alert to red, the highest level possible, the New York Times reports, as the number of cases in the country soared to 556 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures Sunday after infections rose to 79.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

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Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

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Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).