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Putin in Mariupol

The Russian president has made a surprise visit to Mariupol, his first trip to the Ukrainian city since it was captured after a lengthy siege at the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. Vladimir Putin flew to Mariupol by helicopter and took a tour of the city. He visited several sites and spoke with residents. Putin's stop in Mariupol comes after his surprise visit to Crimea to mark the ninth anniversary of the peninsula's annexation. The trips came after an arrest warrant was issued for Putin by the International Criminal Court, over Russia's alleged deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children. The Kremlin has dismissed the validity of the warrant as void and null.

France clashes

French police have clashed with protesters for the third consecutive day, as anger mounts over President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms. Rallies were held in several cities across the country. In the capital Paris, police banned protests outside the parliament after gatherings there the two previous nights led to clashes between demonstrators and security forces. On Thursday, Macron invoked a controversial executive power to force through a bill on the state pension age without a parliamentary vote. The move has also angered the political class, presenting the 45-year-old leader with one of his biggest challenges less than a year into his second and final mandate. Opposition lawmakers have filed two motions of no confidence in the government, which are to be debated in parliament on Monday. 

Ecuador, Peru quake 

At least 13 people are killed in a strong earthquake that jolted a coastal region in southern Ecuador. The government said the 6.8 magnitude earthquake left 11 people dead in the province of El Oro and two fatalities in Azuay province. It added that multiple homes, educational buildings, and health centers were also damaged. The earthquake also shook Peru. Peruvian authorities said that the quake was felt in the country's northern region, claiming the life of a four-year-old girl. 

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