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Following weeks of planning, the operation finally began this morning before daybreak: It was time to dismantle the infamous Calais "Jungle." Again. The Jungle is home to an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 migrants, most of them are young men from Africa and the Middle East, living in squalid conditions who wish to cross the Channel to the UK. Buses started to leave Calais this morning, transporting the migrants to refugee centers scattered across France. Britain, meanwhile, has agreed to take in part of the 1,300 unaccompanied minors from the camp.


But many are already suggesting that the move, which required some 1,250 French police, will do little to solve a situation that often seems Sisyphean. Opponents in France say the move is too little, too late, and have denounced the distribution of the migrants across the country, which in various cases has been the subject of protests in towns and villages.


This isn't the first time the Jungle has been dismantled. Another attempt happened earlier this year, but the very first operation of this kind took place back in 2002. Though Europe's migration crisis has made for major worldwide headlines the past two years, the issue is hardly new. And Clare Moseley, the British founder of Care4Calais, says it won't be different this time around: "I think people will still come. With refugees, deterrents don't matter because a refugee by definition is fleeing something," The Guardian quoted her as saying. "In February, they demolished over half of the camp and yet here we are seven months later, with a camp bigger than it's ever been."


Whether it is permanently eliminated or rises again, Calais is no doubt destined to be a symbol of the desperation and intractability of these mass movements of people. The same could be said for another emblematic location, the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa. According to La Stampa, Italian coast guard boats rescued 4,292 migrants who were trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa, in various operations over the past day. Eighteen people died.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



TURKEY JOINS MOSUL BATTLE

The Turkish air force carried out airstrikes against ISIS positions around Mosul yesterday, after Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters requested their assistance, Al Jazeera reports. The anti-ISIS coalition is now reported just three miles from the city.


WALLONIA REJECTS EU ULTIMATUM ON CETA

An EU ultimatum for Belgium's federal government to secure Wallonia's backing of a proposed EU-Canada trade deal expires late today with little chance of a change. Paul Magnette, the leader of the Wallonia region which is blocking the deal, rejected the ultimatum yesterday and said that such an approach "is not compatible with the exercise of democratic rights."


— ON THIS DAY

The United Nations was founded on this day 71 years ago. But there's more, in your 57-second shot of history.


SPAIN WILL HAVE A MINORITY GOVERNMENT

Spain's caretaker Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will be able to form a minority government, after his Socialist rivals decided yesterday not to block him and his Popular Party from a second term in office, El País reports. The decision puts an end to 10 months of a political stalemate and removes the prospect of a third general election in less than a year.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Nobody expects parents to be 100% available for their children, all the time. But with the rise of smartphones and tablets, German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung's Werner Bartens asks if the internet is bad for your parenting skills. "Parents ... say they feel overwhelmed by the information overload, that they're under constant pressure to spend time at work and with their children, and cultivate a social life as well.

Parents also described how mobile communication influences their mood. If bad news concerning work trickles in, the parent gets annoyed and starts focusing on his or her phone screen. Children increasingly try to attract the parent's attention, which may prompt the parents — even more annoyed — start yelling at them."

Read the full article, Parenting In Our Digital Age, Kids Suffer From Your Distraction.


HANJIN SHIPPING CLOSES EUROPE OPERATIONS

Hanjin Shipping, one of the world's largest container carriers, announced today it would soon close its European business, in what The Wall Street Journal says is "the latest sign that the troubled company is heading toward liquidation." The South Korean company's shares plunged after the announcement.


— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Infernal Dante — Ravenna, 1969


$2,233

The Chicago Cubs will be going to the World Series for the first time since 1945, so ticket prices are naturally going through the roof. The cheapest ticket for Game 3 on Friday, the first one in Chicago, has already reached $2,233, with the average ticket costing more than $8,600.


MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH

A SPLASH ODDITY

Check out this expand=1] timelapse video of a seriously talented Seattle artist painting a giant portrait of David Bowie as Major Tom, in the bottom of a swimming pool.

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Coronavirus

Will China's Zero COVID Ever End?

Too much has been put in to the state-sponsored truth that minimal spread of the virus is the at-all-cost objective. But if the Chinese economy continues to suffer, Xi Jinping may have no choice but to second guess himself.

COVID testing in Guiyang, China

Cfoto/DDP via ZUMA
Deng Yuwen

The tragic bus accident in Guiyang last month — in which 27 people being sent to quarantine were killed — was one of the worst examples of collateral damage since the COVID-19 pandemic began in China nearly three years ago. While the crash can ultimately be traced back to bad government policy, the local authorities did not register it as a Zero COVID related casualty. It was, for them, a simple traffic accident.

The officials in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, of course, had no alternative. Drawing a link between the deadly crash and the strict policy of Zero COVID, touted by President Xi Jinping, would have revealed the absurdity of the government's choices.

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