Brazil's elections test the political power of religion
The World's Carol Hills and reporter Michael Fox explore institutional religion in Brazil, how President Jair Bolsonaro tapped into religion in his rise to the presidency, and the ripple effects of his alliance with evangelicals throughout the country. This special edition of The World is part of our reporting series called, Sacred Nation, focused on the intersection of religion and nationalism around the globe.
Russia illegally annexes 4 Ukrainian regions
In Moscow, inside the halls of the Kremlin, Russian officials, led by President Vladimir Putin, celebrated the annexation of four Ukrainian regions. The move is being justified based on referendum votes staged this month by Russia. Across the globe, nations are not recognizing the land grab and they're condemning it as a violation of Ukraine's sovereign rights. And a recent census report shows that Catholicism has emerged as the top identified religion in Northern Ireland, a Protestant-formed and Britain-aligned country, for the first time in its 101-year history. With this new declaration, some worry about the possibility of a referendum that would determine if Northern Ireland would stay aligned with Britain or join the Republic of Ireland as one Ireland. Also, Yemen's eight year civil war has been on pause since April. The truce expires this weekend, but many people want the ceasefire extended. Plus, Brazil’s election system is a model for the rest of the world.
Russia’s deja vu referendums
In 2014, after pro-Russian forces took control of the Crimea peninsula, Kremlin-backed officials there oversaw a chaotic referendum without credible international observers. This week, we’re seeing a page from that same playbook in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine. And Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen from Maryland has been leading an effort for accountability on the death of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu-Akleh, who was shot by Israeli security forces while reporting in the West Bank. Also, in Iran, a mapping app called Gershad allows users, mostly women, to mark the location of the country’s morality police, so others can avoid them. Now, the app has been updated to include the location of riot police and tens of thousands of people have downloaded it. Plus, Kolkata’s biggest religious festival, Durga Puja, gets reframed as an international art experience.
Nord Stream pipelines leak after blasts in Baltic Sea
Both Nord Stream pipelines connecting Russia to Germany are leaking, after a pair of explosions went off in the Baltic Sea on Monday off the coast of Denmark. Blame remains unclear, but many European leaders are pointing the finger at Russia. And, the Biden administration is trying to aid suppressed protesters in Iran, at the same time that it’s attempting to cut a deal with Iranian officials to revive the 2015 nuclear accord. Some see this as a contradiction in US foreign policy. Also, when about 50 migrants were flown to Martha's Vineyard from Texas and Florida, they realized they’d been part of a publicity stunt. Now, their lawyers argue that the migrants may qualify for visas reserved for crime victims, which will allow them to stay in the US. Plus, we hear a musical flashback to an undemocratic Brazil with Caetano Veloso.
Russia stages elections in Ukraine
Today marks the final day of voting in the so-called referendums taking place in parts of Ukraine that are occupied by Russian forces. These votes are taking place under military occupation — and they’re also illegal under international law. Meanwhile, a call by Russia for more men to help fight its war in Ukraine has sent many people fleeing the country to avoid conscription. And in Lebanon, bank heists have become so common that the government has ordered banks to be shut. Customers have been trying to retrieve their own savings that are stuck in the banking system. Also, over the past seven days, the British pound has dropped to a record low against the US dollar. Plus, we hear from three violinists of the Scandinavian group Lodestar Trio, who take their music from baroque to folk.