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Air Raid On Kyiv, COVID Surge In Beijing, Most Expensive Cities

Air Raid On Kyiv, COVID Surge In Beijing, Most Expensive Cities

Kyiv has been targeted by a wave of violent Russian airstrikes, which killed at least 11 people.

Renate Mattar, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Hugo Perrin

👋 Zdravo!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where a new round of heavy Russian strikes kills at least 11 civilians in Ukraine, China faces a new spike in COVID-19 cases, and there’s a tie for the new most expensive city in the world. Meanwhile Roman Romaniuk of Ukrainska Pravda provides exclusive details of how Ukraine achieved its most spectacular strike of the war: the April sinking of the pride of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the Moskva.

[*Serbian]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Ukraine rocked by airstrikes: Multiple explosions shook Ukraine this morning, as Russian airstrikes targeted the capital Kyiv and other cities. Ukrainian emergency services report at least 11 people killed and 64 wounded.

• New COVID surge in China: Following the sudden dropping of its Zero-COVID measures, China is now facing a new surge in cases, with the infection numbers spiking in Beijing. President Xi Jinping and senior officials are expected to meet to try to find new strategies to relaunch China’s economy, which has been weakened by COVID and its lockdown restrictions.

• FTX founder denied bail: A judge denied bail to disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, citing a high flight risk, a day after the crypto entrepreneur was arrested in the Bahamas. The billionaire will remain in custody until at least February, as he faces allegations of massive fraud.

• Bosnia to receive EU candidate status: Bosnia and Herzegovina has been given the green light to become a candidate for EU membership. It joins a long list of countries, including Serbia, Ukraine, and Turkey (a candidate since 1999) of countries hoping to meet the requirements to join the EU, which today counts 27 members.

• Facebook sued for role in Ethiopia civil war: A legal case filed in Kenya’s High Court blames Facebook’s algorithm for fanning hate and violence during Ethiopian’s civil war. Families of victims who were shot after being identified in Facebook posts are suing Facebook’s parent company Meta, seeking more than $2 billion.

• Moderna cancer vaccine shows promise: A cancer vaccine jointly developed by U.S. pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Merck, is showing promising preliminary results in the treatment of an aggressive type of skin cancer. The vaccine, based on the MRNA technology previously used against COVID-19, reportedly cut the risk of recurrence or death by 44%.

• The world’s most expensive city to live in: And the award for most expensive city to live in goes to … New York and Singapore, tied for first place. Perhaps surprisingly, this is the first time the Big Apple makes it to the top of the annual Economist Intelligence Unit list. Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Zurich, Geneva, San Francisco, Paris and Copenhagen complete the top 10.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

La Plata-based daily Diario Hoy joined virtually every Argentine daily in featuring a front page of Argentina’s 3-0 World Cup semifinal victory over Croatia. The team and its legendary captain Lionel Messi will face off in the finals Sunday against the winner of tonight’s France-Morocco match.

💬  LEXICON

갓생

Instagram’s South Korean office has revealed the keyword its users mentioned the most often this year: “Godsaeng,” a portmanteau of the English word “god” (which is pronounced “gat” in Korea, and is used as prefix to mean “excellent” or “awesome”) and the Korean word “saeng” which means “life.” The newly-coined word is used by young people to designate an industrious and productive life focused on self-development and achieving one’s goals — a more pragmatic version of the previously trending “You Only Live Once” (YOLO).

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

How Ukraine sank the Moskva, the never-before-told story of Russia’s most humiliating loss of the war

Details of Russia's devastating naval defeat in April are revealed for the first time, contradicting claims in Western media at the time that the U.S. or NATO provided the coordinates to strike the cruiser. Kyiv relied on its own radar — and some luck from the weather, reports Roman Romaniuk for online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda.

⛴️ On April 13, the Russian military suffered its worst naval defeat in modern times when the flagship of Moscow’s fleet, the cruiser Moskva based in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, was sunk. Russia still actively avoids any public references to the Moskva, and there are relatives of dead sailors who still have not received any information about the fate of their loved ones. The Russian Defense Ministry has offered no details about the causes of the sinking, claiming that the ship suffered "surfacing failure," after a fire. Moscow has made allusion to bad weather and claimed that all crew members had been rescued.

☁️ The day after the accident, Western media was quick to report that Moskva had been hit by Ukrainian operated Neptune missiles, thanks to the coordinates of the U.S. intelligence. However, Ukrainian military officials, speaking to Ukrainian Pravda, dismiss this version: the Ukrainian gunners got help from the terrible weather, not foreign intel. The operator of the southern missile complex in the Odessa region had only conventional radars at hand, which were not equipped to see targets further than 18 kilometers.

🎯 This reality was known by the Moskva crew, which turned out to be the fatal mistake. "At the time of the invasion, we had no over-the-horizon radars, and Russia knew it. But since the clouds were very low and the signal in this corridor between the water and the clouds had nowhere to go, the radar suddenly reached (and identified) Moskva,” the source explains. According to our sources, the Russians were so confident in their invulnerability that they probably hadn’t activated air defense systems.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

“They have kept famine outside the door, but nobody knows for how much longer.”

— Speaking to reporters, spokesman for UN humanitarian agency OCHA Jens Laerke says that although the worst has so far been avoided, if aid is not stepped up soon, an estimated 8 million people in southern Somalia will face famine in the coming months.

✍️ Newsletter by Renate Mattar, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Hugo Perrin


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My Wife, My Boyfriend — And Grandkids: A Careful Coming Out For China's Gay Seniors

A series of interviews in Wuhan with aging gay men — all currently or formerly married to women — reveals a hidden story of how Chinese LGBTQ culture is gradually emerging from the shadows.

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A friendly game of Checkers in Dongcheng, Beijing, China.

Wang Er

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"Becoming gay is nothing special, I found it very natural." Grandpa Shen says he discovered his homosexuality at the Martyrs' Square in Wuhan, a well-known gay men's gathering place.

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

Wuhan used to have different such ways for LGBTQ+ to meet: newspaper columns, riversides, public toilets, bridges and baths to name but a few. With urbanization, many of these locations have disappeared. The transformation of Martyrs' Square into a park has gradually become a place frequented by middle-aged and older gay people in Wuhan, where they play cards and chat and make friends. There are also "comrades" (Chinese slang for gay) from outside the city who come to visit.

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