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The soap opera in Greece is nearing its final stage:

Describing his country’s economy as “a sinking ship,” the Greek prime minister formally requested an international bailout on Friday, an unprecedented step that will test the bonds of the European Union.

….“The time has come for us to ask our partners in the E.U. to activate the mechanism we formulated together,” he said, referring to an emergency aid package arranged two weeks ago. The plan foresees up to €30 billion, or $40 billion, in loans from Greece’s euro-zone partners, as well as up to €15 billion from the International Monetary Fund.

….The announcement means that money from the I.M.F. can be expedited once the board of the fund has approved the terms. The fund is expected to provide €12 billion, according to E.U. officials. “We are prepared to move expeditiously on this request,” Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the I.M.F. managing director, said in a statement issued in Washington.

The IMF money is just a stopgap. The real question is how quickly the EU will approve its part of the rescue and whether it will fix Greece’s problems anyway. “The markets are betting on the country going bankrupt,” one Greek official told the Wall Street Journal, and once the markets do that they generally don’t stop, bailout or not. My guess is that speculators are going to start a regime of betting-with-extreme-prejudice pretty quickly, and it’s not at all clear that even €40 billion will be enough for Greece to defend itself from that. And then Portugal will be up to bat. Stay tuned.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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