🌏 Russians Protest The War, Emma Watson Stands Up Against J. K. Rowling's Anti-Trans Tweets And More

All the world news you need to know this week.

Hello and welcome to the Almost newsletter, a weekly email to help you stay updated and make sense of important stories happening around the world including:

  • 🌏 This Week’s Top Stories
  • 👩 Women To Know
  • 🙌 Good News For Your Weekend

A journalist who worked at one of Russia’s major state-controlled TV stations crashed a live news program to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Marina Ovsyannikova had worked as an editor at Channel One for years, but on Monday Mar. 14, she interrupted the evening news program by running on holding a sign and shouting, “Stop the war. No to war.”

Her sign read: “No war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here. Russians against war.”

Russia has passed laws criminalizing anti-war protests and war reporting, with people facing up to 15 years in prison.

Ovsyannikova was later fined 30,000 ruble (US$280) for a pre-recorded video, where she called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a crime and said she was ashamed of helping to spread propaganda, and released after she was questioned for 14 hours without given access to a lawyer.

It remains unclear if she will face separate charges over her protest on live TV.

Growing Shows Of Support For Ukraine

🇷🇺 Also in Russia, police officers are arresting anti-war demonstrators for protesting with blank signs.

🇪🇺 Meanwhile, the prime ministers of Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic took a long and perilous train ride into Kyiv to visit Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and show their support for the country.

Also Happening Around The World

🇫🇷 A 70-year-old man egged a French far-right presidential candidate who was widely criticized for saying children with disabilities should go to “special schools”.

🇪🇹 A video has appeared on social media showing armed men, some dressed in military uniforms, in Ethiopia burning civilians to death in the west of the country, sparking outrage and demands of justice.

🇦🇷 An Argentine Catholic bishop has been sentenced to prison for sexual abuse within the church, despite Pope Francis initially defending him.

🇯🇵 A legendary “killing stone” in Japan said to contain an evil fox spirit has split in half.

“At first, I got confused since I couldn’t find the stone. It took a while until I understood that the stone was split into two. However, I still couldn’t believe it,” Lillian, the Twitter user whose photo of the split stone went viral, told Almost.

“I saw lots of people saying ‘ominious’, but actually, I’m thinking quite optimistically,” Lillian said. “It is possible that I got some mysterious power from the legendary stone!”

Actor Emma Watson made a statement in support of trans rights and inclusion while presenting an award at the BAFTA Awards on Sunday Mar. 13.

Watson was introduced on stage by Rebel Wilson, who said, “Here to present the next award is Emma Watson. She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch.”

When she reached the podium, Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series by British author J. K. Rowling, said, “I’m here for all of the witches, by the way.”

Many thought that Watson’s statement at the BAFTAs was a subtle dig at Rowling, who had criticized UK Labour party leader Keir Starmer for saying trans women are women the day earlier.

On International Women’s Day, Rowling also sent out this tweet.

In 2020, she had criticized an article for using the phrase “people who menstruate” instead of the word “women”.

Rowling’s tweet was widely criticized for being anti-trans and prompted several actors who played characters in Harry Potter – including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Watson – to speak out against Rowling’s views and in support of trans rights.

More Badass Women You Should Know About

🇪🇬 Egyptian lawyer Radwa Helmi became the first woman judge in the country’s history to preside over a hearing at the top court.

The Philippines has officially raised the age of sexual consent from 12 to 16.

Previously, the Philippines had one of the world’s lowest minimum ages of sexual consent, behind Nigeria’s age of 11, according to UNICEF.

According to a study in 2015 UNICEF study, seven out of 10 rape victims in the Philippines were children and perpetrators were often family members.

About 43% of children aged between 13 and 24 who had engaged in sexual intercourse also reported to have experienced pregnancy, with more than half of the pregnancies occurring when they were 15 to 19 years old.

The study also revealed that more boys than girls reported experiencing sexual violence.

The new law, which is gender neutral, states that any adult who engages in sexual contact with anyone under the age of 16 is committing statutory rape.

More Good News For Your Weekend

🇨🇱 Javier Silva and Jaime Nazar have become the first same-sex couple to tie the knot in Chile after a law legalizing same-sex marriage went into effect on Thursday Mar. 10.

🇬🇹 Guatemala’s congress has suspended a bill that would have banned same-sex marriage, increased abortion penalties and prohibited schools from teaching sexual diversity after the conservative president said he would veto it.

🇮🇷 Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian charity worker who was imprisoned for six years in Iran as a political hostage, has been released and returned home to the UK, where she was reunited with her family.

Thanks so much for opening this email. If you think a friend would like this, you can forward it to them! You can also follow Almost on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube. We also have a Chinese version.

Let us know your thoughts about this week’s news in the comments or by replying directly to this email ✨