Striking For Women’s Rights, Down To The Second

4:34 p.m. and 7 seconds. That’s the time thousands of French women are expected to walk out of their jobs today, and call it a year.

Led by the feminist group Les Glorieuses, an estimated 4,500 people will be protesting the fact that “at 4:34pm (and 7 seconds) on November 7, women will effectively be working ‘voluntarily’.” The calculation is based on recent data from the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat, which shows that women in France earn 15.1% less than men. Hence the group’s decision to make up for the discrepancy by calling it quits 15.1% of the year earlier.

France is hardly the world’s worst in gender inequality, ranking 17th, according to the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), but the pay gap remains a major issue.

The strike, backed by both France’s Education and Women’s Rights ministers, follows a similar move in Iceland on Oct. 24. that drove thousands of workers, women and men alike, into the streets to protest the country’s gender pay gap.

Writing for French daily Le Monde, Angela Montoya notes that this protest is part of a new wave of women-led demonstrations against what she calls: “... the resurgence of retrograde conservatism, from Donald Trump’s sexism to attempts to ban abortion in Poland.”

Linking the strike to a precise calculation of the salary inequality makes for some rather potent symbolism. On that note, the WEF recently calculated that at the current (slow) rate of improvement, salary parity between the sexes wouldn’t be achieved until 2186. Expect plenty more protests between now and then.


  • Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s final day on the campaign trail.
  • Web Summit, one of the world’s largest technology event, opens in Lisbon.


The FBI said yesterday that Hillary Clinton’s emails are fine and don’t warrant any new action against the Democratic presidential nominee. The federal watchdog had reopened the case less than two weeks before Tuesday’s election. French newspaper Les Echos reports that FBI director James Comey told Congress that the agency had “reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.”


About 15,000 negotiators, chief executives, and activists from 196 nations gathered in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh for a 12-day United Nations conference on global warming. A year after the landmark Paris Agreement, France 24 reports that the group will work on a climate deal to “save humanity from itself.”


From Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to David Guetta, here’s your 57-second shot of history.


Janet Reno, who served as Attorney General during the Bill Clinton’s presidency, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease early this morning.


Beijing blocked two elected pro-independence lawmakers from taking office after they refused to pledge allegiance to Beijing. The move underscored that Beijing is determined to decide the amount of freedom granted to Hong Kong after it was returned to China from Britain in 1997.


In the wake of the recent earthquakes that shook Italy, La Stampa’s Massimo Vincenzi reflects on the power of iconic images, likening the scenes of devastation to times of war: “Earthquakes evoke atavistic fears. They shake us awake at night when we're least expecting it, the way tales of monsters scare little children. Like in times of war, those most in need of our help among the displaced are young children and the ailing elderly. Even the smallest gesture of kindness we make can be important and decisive, because in times of crisis communities either disintegrate into disparate individuals or reunite as a collective, stronger and closer than before.”

Read the full article, Risks, Italy Must Rise United From The Rubble.


Gable Tostee, an Australian man acquitted in the death of New Zealand woman Warriena Wright after a Tinder date gone wrong, is set to appear on the Australian version of U.S. TV program 60 Minutes on Nov. 13. The interview prompted online backlash from people who said he should not profit from Wright’s death, the BBC reports.


Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group Abu Sayyaf said it kidnapped a German man and killed his female companion in the Philippines, The New York Times reports. Regional military troops are investigating the death and possible kidnapping after the woman’s body was found on an abandoned yacht docked on a remote island in the Sulu archipelago, a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf.


Balance And The Beast â€" Kete Kesu, 1991


Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab armed groups, announced that it has begun an operation to capture Raqqa, the de-facto Syrian capital of ISIS, Reuters reports. Turkey will not take part in the operation due to Kurdish involvement in the SDF.



Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Martin Garrix each took home two awards at last night’s MTV European Music Awards. The surprise was that British superstar Adele, whose hit “Hello” was one of the year’s biggest hits, went home empty handed. Er, goodbye ...

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Preparing a COVID-19 vaccine booster in Huzhou, China.

Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Ciao!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Brazil's senate backs "crimes against humanity" charges against Jair Bolsonaro, the UN has a grim new climate report and Dune gets a sequel. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt explores "Xi Jinping Thought," which is now being made part of Chinese schools' curriculum.



• Senators back Bolsonaro criminal charges: A Brazilian Senate panel has backed a report that supports charging President Jair Bolsonaro with crimes against humanity, for his alleged responsibility in the country's 600,000-plus COVID-19 deaths.

• Gas crisis in Moldova following Russian retaliation: Moldova, one of Europe's poorest countries, has for the first time challenged Russia's Gazprom following a price increase and failed contract negotiations, purchasing instead from Poland. In response, Russia has threatened to halt sales to the Eastern European country, which has previously acquired all of its gas from Gazprom.

• New UN climate report finds planned emission cuts fall short: The Emissions Gap Report 2021 concludes that country pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions aren't large enough to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 °C degrees this century. The UN Environment Program predicts a 2.7 °C increase, with significant environmental impacts, but there is still hope that longer term net-zero goals will curtail some temperature rise.

• COVID update: As part of its long-awaited reopening, Australia will officially allow its citizens to travel abroad without a government waiver for the first time in more than 18 months. Bulgaria, meanwhile, hits record daily high COVID-19 cases as the Eastern European's hotel and restaurant association is planning protests over the implementation of the vaccination "green pass." In the U.S., a panel of government medical advisors backed the use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for five to 11-year-olds.

• U.S. appeals decision to block Julian Assange extradition: The United States said it was "extremely disappointed" in a UK judge's ruling that Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, would be a suicide risk of he traveled across the Atlantic. In the U.S., he faces 18 charges related to the 2010 release of 500,000 secret files related to U.S. military activity.

• Deposed Sudan prime minister released: Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has been released from custody, though remains under heavy guard after Sudan's military coup. Protests against the coup have continued in the capital Khartoum, as Hamdok has called for the release of other detained governmental officials.

Dune Part 2 confirmed: The world will get to see Timothée Chalamet ride a sandworm: The second installment of the sci-fi epic and global box office hit has officially been greenlit, set to hit the screens in 2023.


Front page of the National Post's October 27 front page

Canadian daily National Post reports on the nomination of Steven Guilbeault, a former Greenpeace activist, as the country's new Environment minister. He had been arrested in 2001 for scaling Toronto's CN Tower to unfurl a banner for Greenpeace, which he left in 2008.


Chinese students now required to learn to think like Xi Jinping

"Xi Jinping Thought" ideas on socialism have been spreading across the country since 2017. But now, Beijing is going one step further by making them part of the curriculum, from the elementary level all the way up to university, reports Maximilian Kalkhof in German daily Die Welt.

🇨🇳 It's important to strengthen the "determination to listen to and follow the party." Also, teaching materials should "cultivate patriotic feelings." So say the new guidelines issued by the Chinese Ministry of Education. The goal is to help Chinese students develop more "Marxist beliefs," and for that, the government wants its national curriculum to include "Xi Jinping Thought," the ideas, namely, of China's current leader. Behind this word jam is a plan to consolidate the power of the nation, the party and Xi himself.

📚 Starting in September, the country's 300 million students have had to study the doctrine, from elementary school into university. And in some cities, even that doesn't seem to be enough. Shanghai announced that its students from third to fifth grade would only take final exams in mathematics and Chinese, de facto deleting English as an examination subject. Beijing, in the meantime, announced that it would ban the use of unauthorized foreign textbooks in elementary and middle schools.

⚠️ But how does a country that enchants its youth with socialist ideology and personality cults rise to become a world power? Isn't giving up English as a global language the quickest way into isolation? The educational reform comes at a time when Beijing is brutally disciplining many areas of public life, from tech giants to the entertainment industry. It has made it difficult for Chinese technology companies to go public abroad, and some media have reported that a blanket ban on IPOs in the United States is on the cards in the next few years.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


"I'm a footballer and I'm gay."

— Australian soccer player Josh Cavallo said in a video accompanying a tweet in which he revealed his homosexuality, becoming the first top-flight male professional player in the world to do so. The 21-year-old said he was tired of living "this double life" and hoped his decision to come out would help other "players living in silence."


Why this Sudan coup d'état is different

Three days since the military coup was set in motion in Sudan, the situation on the ground continues to be fluid. Reuters reports this morning that workers at the state petroleum company Sudapet are joining a nationwide civil disobedience movement called by trade unions in response to the generals' overthrow of the government. Doctors have also announced a strike.

Generals in suits At the same time, the military appears firmly in control, with deposed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok allowed to return home today after being held by the coup leaders. How did we get here? That's the question that David E. Kiwuwa, a professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham, takes on in The Conversation:

"Since the revolution that deposed Omar el-Bashir in 2019, the military have fancied themselves as generals in suits. They have continued to wield enough power to almost run a parallel government in tension with the prime minister. This was evident when the military continued to have the say on security and foreign affairs.

Economy as alibi For their part, civilian officials concentrated on rejuvenating the economy and mobilizing international support for the transitional council. This didn't stop the military from accusing the civilian leadership of failing to resuscitate the country's ailing economy.

True, the economy has continued to struggle from high inflation, low industrial output and dwindling foreign direct investment. As in all economies, conditions have been exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19. Sudan's weakened economy is, however, not sufficient reason for the military intervention. Clearly this is merely an excuse."

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


471 million euros

Rome's Casino di Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi, better known as Villa Aurora, will be put up for auction in January for 471 million euros ($547 million). The over-the-top price tag is thanks to the villa having the only known ceiling painting by Renaissance master Caravaggio.

✍️ Newsletter by Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

Who wants to start the bidding on the Caravaggio villa? Otherwise, let us know what the news looks like from your corner of the world! info@worldcrunch.com!

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