© 2024 Innovation Trail

Putin wins Russian election; Supreme Court tackles misinformation, censorship case

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking on a visit to his campaign headquarters after a presidential election in Moscow, Russia, early Monday.
Alexander Zemlianichenko
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AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking on a visit to his campaign headquarters after a presidential election in Moscow, Russia, early Monday.

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At a news conference in Moscow hours after polls closed, Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked his country for its support following a three-day election. He also commented on the death of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny for the first time. Partial results show Putin easily winning a fifth term. Western countries are saying the vote was neither free nor fair.

  • The U.S. condemned the vote, noting that Putin has imprisoned political opponents and prevented others, including anti-war candidates, from running. NPR's Charles Maynes reports on Up First that election monitoring groups have raised concerns about vote rigging. Putin rejected charges that the elections were undemocratic and said Russians had rallied behind him when confronted by threats from Ukraine. Still, Maynes notes there are international divisions. Powerful nations like China congratulated Putin, as did North Korea. 


Former President Donald Trump is making headlines again for comments he made about Jan. 6 rioters, immigrants, asylum seekers and the U.S. auto industry at a campaign rally in Ohio this weekend. Trump warned that "it's going to be a bloodbath for the country" if he's not elected — referring to the auto industry and his plans to increase tariffs on foreign-made cars.

  • "This is what Trump does," NPR's Domenico Montanaro says. "He throws out this kind of violent, graphic language" because he knows it will get a rise out of people and make headlines. Then, he can "wave his hand and blame the media for creating a false narrative." Montanaro adds that while many are litigating what Trump meant by his "bloodbath" comment, his praise for the Jan. 6 rioters, whom he called "hostages" and "patriots," is going less noticed.


The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments today on a case focused on the federal government's ability to combat what it sees as false, misleading, or dangerous information online. The case will be a test of First Amendment rights in the internet age. An appeals court ruled last September that key government officials, including those in the White House, CDC and FBI, could not communicate with social media companies. The court said these officials likely violated First Amendment rights by pressuring the companies to moderate or change content about the COVID pandemic, election interference and more. The court is also expected to hear a case about government influence and First Amendment rights related to the National Rifle Association after it finishes arguments on the social media case.

Deep dive

Connie Hanzhang Jin / NPR
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NPR

When Israel launched its military response to the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks, it told Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate and head south. When the Israeli military operation moved to central Gaza, Palestinians were again ordered to move south. Now, five months into the war, Gaza's southernmost town of Rafah is seeing a mass displacement of an estimated 1.5 million people sheltering there – more than half of Gaza's population.

  • Rafah is about the size of Newark, N.J., or Arlington, Va., but its population is comparable to San Diego, which houses about 1.4 million people. However, San Diego's population is spread over an area almost 15 times larger than Rafah.
  • Most families in Gaza lack proper tents. They shelter under tarps, blankets or whatever scraps they can find to build shacks.
  • Food prices have skyrocketed, with reports of a 55-pound bag of flour costing as much as $100 — up from around $10 before the war. Severe malnutrition in young children is rising fast, according to UNICEF.
  • The situation may worsen as Israel and Hamas haven't reached a cease-fire agreement, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a plan to invade Rafah.

Picture show

Keith Haring's carousel at Luna Luna in Los Angeles.
Jeff McLane / Photo by Jeff McLane
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Photo by Jeff McLane
Keith Haring's carousel at Luna Luna in Los Angeles.

Canadian rapper Drake has helped recreate an iconic 1980s art carnival from Hamburg, Germany, in Los Angeles. The original Luna Luna festival, which was the brainchild of Austrian multimedia artist Andre Heller, featured work from the top contemporary artists of the 20th century, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Roy Lichtenstein

See photos from the revived Luna Luna festival and learn more about this amusement park of art.

3 things to know before you go

The FBI Boston Division recovered 22 artifacts stolen from Japan, including the artwork above. During World War II, various treasures from the Ryukyu Kingdom were stolen.
/ The Federal Bureau of Investigation
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation
The FBI Boston Division recovered 22 artifacts stolen from Japan, including the artwork above. During World War II, various treasures from the Ryukyu Kingdom were stolen.

  1. A Massachusetts family found 22 pieces of stolen Japanese antiques in their late father's attic last year. The artifacts were returned to Japan last week, according to the FBI. 
  2. Wendy Williams' guardian, Sabrina Morrissey, has filed a complaint against A&E Television Networks and Entertainment One Reality Productions. She alleges the filmmakers behind the docuseries Where Is Wendy Williams? exploited the talk show host, who did not have the capacity to consent to the film due to her dementia. 
  3. Ruth Bader Ginsburg's family is condemning the selection of recipients for an award in her name, saying the decision is an "affront" to the late Supreme Court justice's memory and values. 

This newsletter was edited by Majd Al-Waheidi. Mansee Khurana contributed.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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