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SPOTLIGHT: SARAJEVO RUBBLE TO TRUMP TOWER

The pace of modern communication tells us that what's here today is gone ... tonight. The potential worldwide virality of any piece of digitally circulated information comes with the caveat that everything is also potentially, and eternally, invisible. The tree falling in some proverbial unseen forest of the Internet. But history teaches us that ideas — good and bad — are bound to travel and cross-pollinate, fade and reappear. And, yes, some of it will last.


That brings us to Aleksandar Hemon, an accomplished 51-year-old Bosnian novelist … and Donald Trump. We get this story by way of another transplanted U.S.-based Balkan writer named Andrej Mrevlje, whose Yonder pieces are occasionally republished on Worldcrunch. Mrevlje recounts how the Sarajevo-born Hemon refused to sign a recent petition of American writers to try to ban Trump from the presidential election.


"His message is universal," Mrevlje writes of Hemon. "Only a person who suffered that much, who saw his hometown reduced to ruins by bombs and shells, disinfected of all its smells and memories — only this kind of person can cherish democracy to the extreme of supporting Trump's right to run for office. Hemon knows that exclusion leads to segregation, revenge, violence and destruction. Hemon is not an American patriot, and he is not a Trump fan, but he defends voting as the strongest tool of democracy. Once your homeland — your courtyard, your imaginarium — has been wiped out by savages, you will defend these institutions of democracy with your own claws. It happens after every war." Here's the full piece.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY



NORTH KOREA FIRES TWO MISSILES

North Korea test-fired two missiles from its eastern coast in the direction of Japan, a move that Tokyo said shows that the "threat to Japan is intensifying." The first launch is reported to have failed, which prompted the second one. China called for calm and restraint. Read more from Yonhap.


DEADLY LIGHTNING STRIKES IN INDIA

At least 79 people have been killed by lightning strikes in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, the BBC reports. Most of the victims are believed to be farmers.


— ON THIS DAY

Two iconic actresses (one in ruby slippers, the other wearing Prada) cross paths in today's 57-second shot of History!


VERBATIM

"We are very close. I pray to God that He gives us strength to finish these accords, hopefully this very week," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said yesterday, ahead of peace talks with the FARC rebels in Cuba tomorrow that could bring the half-century conflict to an end.


EXTRA!

Iranian daily Shargh is the latest to note the near desperate situation with the food shortage crisis in Venezuela. But after a decade of anti-U.S. alliance, there may be more to the cooling relations between Tehran and Caracas. Read our Extra! feature here.


BRAZIL OLYMPIC JAGUAR SHOT DEAD

A female jaguar used during an Olympic torch ceremony in the Amazon city of Manaus was killed after it escaped its handlers, O Globoreports. The organizing committee for Rio 2016 admitted its "mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal." Read more from Reuters.


FEARING ZIKA, OLYMPIC GOLFER TO SKIP RIO

In yet another blow to the Rio Olympics, Rory McIlroy announced his withdrawal from the competition over Zika virus fears. "Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take," the golfer said in a statement.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

An estimated 150 Kenyan soldiers were killed five months ago in an al-Shabaab ambush in El Adde, Somalia. A tragedy made all the more troubling by the fact that authorities in Nairobi are mysteriously mum about it, Bruno Meyerfeld reports for Le Monde: "... none, or at least not very much of that, was talked about in Nairobi. The bodies were discreetly repatriated, often by night. Sure, there was a debate in parliament, but it took place behind closed doors. Speaking to the families of the victims, President Uhuru Kenyatta mechanically read a text condemning ‘mankind's enemies' and praising the ‘brave Kenyan patriots.' ‘Kenya will move forward,' he concluded. Time to move past El Adde, in other words. Everything's fine and calm in Nairobi."

Read the full article, The Terrorist Attack Kenya Doesn't Want You To Know About.


FRANCE BANS PLANNED DEMONSTRATION

French authorities have banned a demonstration against the controversial labor reform, planned for tomorrow, Le Monde reports. The decision, which is officially aimed at preventing the shows of violence that accompanied previous protests, has been denounced across the political spectrum. Trade union leaders said they would demonstrate anyway.


MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Laundry International — Montreal, 1994


60,000

Charlie Hebdo has seen the number of its subscribers fall from 180,000 at the beginning of 2016 to just 60,000,Libérationreports, adding that the number however seems to have stabilized. It's still six times more than before the January 2015 attack that killed 12 people.


— MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH

ZUCK HACK

Oh the irony! Mark Zuckerberg apparently tapes his laptop's webcam and mic jack.

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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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