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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.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY

  • 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.


FBI OKs CLINTON EMAILS

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."


MOROCCO CLIMATE TALKS

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."

— ON THIS DAY

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


FIRST FEMALE U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL DIES

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


BEIJING BARS HONG KONG LAWMAKERS FROM OFFICE

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.

— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

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.


TINDER DEATH

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.


ABU SAYYAF CLAIMS TO HAVE KIDNAPPED GERMAN

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.

— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Balance And The Beast — Kete Kesu, 1991

U.S.-BACKED SYRIAN ALLIANCE LAUNCHES RAQQA ATTACK

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.

MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH

ADELE SNUBBED BY MTV

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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Ideas

Joshimath, The Sinking Indian City Has Also Become A Hotbed Of Government Censorship

The Indian authorities' decision to hide factual reports on the land subsidence in Joshimath only furthers a sense of paranoia.

Photo of people standing next to a cracked road in Joshimath, India

Cracked road in Joshimath

@IndianCongressO via Twitter
Rohan Banerjee*

MUMBAI — Midway through the movie Don’t Look Up (2021), the outspoken PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is bundled into a car, a bag over her head. The White House, we are told, wants her “off the grid”. She is taken to a warehouse – the sort of place where CIA and FBI agents seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in Hollywood movies – and charged with violating national security secrets.

The Hobson’s choice offered to her is to either face prosecution or suspend “all public media appearances and incendiary language relating to Comet Dibiasky”, an interstellar object on a collision course with earth. Exasperated, she acquiesces to the gag order.

Don’t Look Upis a satirical take on the collective apathy towards climate change; only, the slow burn of fossil fuel is replaced by the more imminent threat of a comet crashing into our planet. As a couple of scientists try to warn humanity about its potential extinction, they discover a media, an administration, and indeed, a society that is not just unwilling to face the truth but would even deny it.

This premise and the caricatured characters border on the farcical, with plot devices designed to produce absurd scenarios that would be inconceivable in the real world we inhabit. After all, would any government dealing with a natural disaster, issue an edict prohibiting researchers and scientists from talking about the event? Surely not. Right?

On January 11, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), one of the centers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), issued a preliminary report on the land subsidence issue occurring in Joshimath, the mountainside city in the Himalayas.

The word ‘subsidence’ entered the public lexicon at the turn of the year as disturbing images of cracked roads and tilted buildings began to emanate from Joshimath.

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