President Zelensky describes what happened in Bucha as 'genocide', with Biden saying Putin should be tried for war crimes.
Meanwhile, the Taliban bans opium in Afghanistan, San Marino becomes the first in the world to have a gay head of state, and Britney Spears is writing a memoir...
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THE BUCHA MASSACRE
President Zelensky is expected to address the UN Security Council today, where he will likely call for new sanctions on Russia over what he described as "war crimes" and "genocide" in Bucha.
Russian response: Their authorities claim - without evidence - that videos have been faked and staged by Ukraine.
Civilian casualties: According to RTÉ News, Ukrainian authorities have said as many as 20,000 people have been killed in the country since the invasion began on February 24. BBC News - citing President Zelensky - said more than 300 people were understood to have been killed in Bucha.
Western reaction: President Biden said President Putin should be tried for war crimes, adding he believes Putin is a "war criminal" and "brutal".
The images below of President Zelensky on February 23 and after visiting Bucha has been widely circulated online.
MONDAY'S MAIN LINES
- June Brown, the actor who played the role of the beloved Dot Cotton on Eastenders for more than three decades, died at the age of 95.
- Elon Musk has bought 9.2% passive stake in Twitter - worth almost $3 billion, and making him one of the company's largest shareholders. As many media outlets noted, a passive stake means he may be involved in some high-level decisions, but not in the day-to-day running of the company.
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
The European Court of Justice is today expected to give its judgement on a case brought by one of Ireland's most notorious convicted murderers, Graham Dwyer.
Remember: In 2015, Dwyer - an architect married with children and living in Dublin - was convicted of the murder of Elaine O'Hara in 2012. At the time, it was thought O'Hara had taken her own life in the years prior, after her car was found near a graveyard. It was a case that gripped the country, largely because of how the police detective work cracked the case.
*Apologies, there was a typo originally stating Elaine O'Hara's murder occurred in 2021 rather than 2012.
Okay, so what is happening now? A huge amount of the evidence against Dwyer came from mobile phone data police accessed. Dwyer took a case, arguing the retention of his phone data breached EU law. The High Court found there was indeed a breach, and based on reports we have read this morning - Europe's top court is expected to do the same.
What could this mean? Ireland's Court of Appeal would ultimately decide if such a ruling would have an impact on Dwyer's conviction.
Last week, we reported the UK government's double u-turn on conversion therapy - something they pledged to ban back in 2018.
Conversion therapy is a practice used - in many cases by religious organisations - to suppress a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. ITV News revealed the government were planning to scrap the expected ban. Within hours of that news emerging, the government said they were actually going ahead with the ban, but excluding trans conversion therapy from the legislation.
Okay, so what's the latest news? This summer a three-day Safe To Be Me LGBTQ+ conference was due to be held in the UK. According to BBC News, more than 100 organisations have pulled out of attending in protest over the government's exclusion of trans people in the conversion therapy ban. Some reports suggest the conference may now be scrapped entirely.
Jamie Wallis - the UK's first trans MP - said they were "bitterly disappointed" by the government's decision.
A WORLD FIRST
The "world's oldest republic", San Marino, has just appointed a gay man as its head of state - the first in the world to do so.
As The Guardian noted, there have been a few openly gay heads of government in recent years - including former Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar - but this is the first gay head of state.
Worth noting: For context on how significant this is, up until 2004 homosexuality was punishable by jail time in San Marino.
Where is San Marino? It is a tiny state surrounded by Italy, and with a population of roughly 35,000 people. In 2021, CNN described it alongside Monaco as "two of the world's wealthiest countries".
In Afghanistan, the Taliban has introduced a ban on harvesting poppies for opium, saying those who defy the ban will be sent to jail.
Did you know? Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium and heroin. The Times said the country produces more opium "than all other countries combined". The Taliban has a complex relationship with the drug. During the first period in power (1996-2001), they banned it in part for international recognition, but later did a u-turn and ultimately relied on the revenue it generated.
Want to know more about this? Read our recent 👇🏽 or by clicking here.
Britney Spears has confirmed she is in the process of writing a memoir.
According to BBC News, Spears said she will address life events she has "never been able to express openly".
Worth noting: Back in February, Page Six reported Spears - who was freed from her controversial conservatorship in November - had signed a deal with publishers Simon & Schuster for a reported $15 million.
There has been no indication given of when the memoir might be released, but we'll keep an eye 👀
- BBC News: Ferry routes suspended after ship plugs P&O gap
- The Guardian: Explainer: could Vladimir Putin be prosecuted for war crimes?
- The Financial Times: EU prepares more sanctions against Russia after apparent atrocities near Kyiv
- Al Jazeera: US, EU plan Russia sanctions as outrage grows over Bucha killings
- The Irish Times: Some Irish families 'unable to cope' with housing Ukrainian refugees
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
What in the...