January 29, 2014
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Welcome to Monday, where Gaza’s Indonesian hospital is targeted by Israeli airstrikes while premature babies are evacuated from the al-Shifa hospital, far-right candidate Javier Milei gets elected as Argentina’s new president, and Spain takes drastic measures to combat olive oil shoplifting. Meanwhile, Milan-based daily La Stampa has an interview with Omar Di Felice, the Italian “extreme cyclist” as he sets off to cover 963 miles of Antarctic ground in winter on his own.
[*Tswana, Botswana and South Africa]
This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.
• Israel ramps up airstrikes on Gaza, Chinese diplomacy steps up: The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says an Israeli air strike on the Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza has killed at least 12 people, adding to the overall death toll that the local health ministry says now exceeds 13,000. Meanwhile, 28 premature babies who left al-Shifa hospital during the weekend are on their way to Egypt. The world must “must act urgently” to stem the conflict in Gaza, China’s top diplomat said Monday during a meeting with officials from Arab and Muslim majority nations, as Beijing steps-up its efforts to play a role in seeking a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
• Libertarian outsider Milei wins Argentine presidency:Argentina elected right-wing libertarian Javier Milei as its new president on Sunday, with a wider-than-expected margin with 56% of the votes versus just over 44% for his rival, outgoing Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who conceded. The election comes at a difficult time for Argentina with rising inflation and an economy in crisis. Milei, who espouses personal freedom at all costs, has been compared to both Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro.
• Japan seeking talks with Houthi hijackers of cargo ship: Japan says it is “directly approaching” the Houthi rebels who have hijacked a cargo ship in the Red Sea. Tokyo said on Monday that it is also “communicating with Israel” as it seeks to secure the release of the Galaxy Leader. The ship is owned by an Israeli businessman and operated by a Japanese firm. The Yemeni rebel group attacked the vessel the previous day while it was traveling to India from Turkey due to the “heinous acts” being committed by Israel in Gaza.
• OpenAI’s fired CEO Sam Altman to join Microsoft: Sam Altman, who was fired as the CEO of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, will join Microsoft to lead a new team focused on artificial intelligence, the tech giant has announced. Microsoft CEO and Chairman Satya Nadella said on Monday that Altman, fellow OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman and other former OpenAI employees will oversee a “new advanced AI research team” at the company. Meanwhile, ex-Twitch CEO Emmett Shear will become OpenAI's new boss.
• At least 21 dead after heavy rain in Dominican Republic: At least 21 people have died in the Dominican Republic after heavy rain over the weekend, including nine killed when a highway tunnel wall collapsed in the capital Santo Domingo. More than 13,000 people have been evacuated.
• Australia beat hosts India to win sixth Cricket World Cup title:Australia notched its sixth Cricket World Cup victory in a six-wicket win over host team India. The final match was played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad in the western Gujarat state in front of a crowd of 92,000 people.
• Spain locks up olive oil as shoplifting surges: In Spain, the world's biggest olive oil producer, supermarkets are locking up bottles of the oil as prices surge and theft increases. One-liter bottles of extra-virgin olive oil are selling for as much as 14.50 euros ($15.77) in some supermarkets, propelling olive oil into the category of products retailers fit with security tags, alongside spirits, cosmetics and appliances.
"Milei is the next president". Mendoza-based daily Los Andes went for a very straightforward headline alongside an unusually placid photo of Javier Milei, the candidate from La Libertad Avanza (LLA) who emerged victorious from Argentina's presidential runoff on Sunday with 55.6% of the votes. A "liberal outsider" for some, a "far-right libertarian" for others, the 53-year-old economist won by a wider-than-expected margin, beating his rival, current Economy Minister and Peronist Sergio Massa who earned 44.3% of the votes. "Today, the reconstruction of Argentina begins," Milei promised as he celebrated his victory, vowing to end "Argentine decadence" and restore the nation to economic growth and stability.
One of Napoleon Bonaparte’s trademark bicorne hats went under the hammer for 1.9 million euros ($2.07 million) at an auction in Paris. The auction also featured other personal items of Napoleon’s such as silver toothbrushes and razors. This comes as Ridley Scott’s much-anticipated biopic centered on the French emperor, Napoleon, is set for release across Europe on Nov. 22.
The Italian cyclist, Omar Di Felice, is setting out across Antarctica in the ultimate test of athletic endurance and mental fortitude. In an interview with Italian daily La Stampa, Di Felice shares how he keeps himself going during the endless hours of total solitude as well as the activism that fuels his extreme adventures.
🚴 Designer. Writer. Graphic artist. Promoter. Video-maker. Activist. At 42, Omar Di Felice has done it all and continues to do it all. But if his profession had to be given a name, it would be this: "Superman on wheels." "Extreme cyclist," he suggests, but that wouldn't do justice to the past six years in which his deep love for bicycles has become his full-time job. He was the first person in history to cycle to Everest base camp. He completed the Arctic Tour in 2022 and won the longest and most iconic self-supported ultra-cycling race, the Trans America (4350 miles) last June.
🗺️ His next great adventure began this week when he departed by plane for Chile, the first leg of a journey that will take him on the "most extreme and challenging adventure ever undertaken on a bicycle": crossing the Antarctic in winter, covering 963 miles of ascents, katabatic winds, and temperatures dropping as low as -40 °C. And to add to this: he's doing it all on his own.
📸 Di Felice doesn't like the label "influencer": "I've got nothing against it, but that doesn't really capture what I am." What about activist? "I suppose I am an activist , but not in the Italian sense. In Italy, we define 'activists' only as those who take to the streets, protestors: that's not how I raise awareness." Perhaps, he is both an activist and influencer. "I set out, I pedal, I show those who follow me what I see," he says. "I highlight causes that, in my opinion, deserve more attention." Many of his stories seem to contain a fable-like moral, often directed towards societal issues.
➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com
➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
“Our priority is to save 41 lives.”
— India’s Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari commented on the race to save 41 workers who have now been trapped for nine days in an under-construction road tunnel in the northern Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. Gadkari told reporters that excavators are now preparing to dig a new shaft after previous efforts failed. The workers have access to medicine, food and water through a pipe, but there’s a growing risk of dysentery.
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