Welcome to Tuesday, where U.S. President Joe Biden calls for the protection of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, China calls for a ceasefire between Myanmar and rebel fighters, and Nepal cracks down on social media. We also feature a story of an unlikely library opening on the tiny Italian island of Capraia.
[*Hopi, Arizona, U.S.]
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• Gaza hospital’s “catastrophic” situation: Conditions at the Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s largest, are “catastrophic” with essential units collapsing and dozens of patients dying due to a lack of power, hospital director Mohammad Abu Salmiya told CNN. U.S. President Joe Biden said the Al-Shifa hospital “must be protected” and that he hoped to see Israel take “less intrusive action” as fighting rages close to the facility, where hundreds of patients and staff remain trapped inside. The Israeli military said it was co-ordinating the transfer of incubators into Gaza for newborn and premature babies.
• Biden & Xi to discuss communication, competition at APEC summit: U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will discuss strengthening communication and managing competition, the White House said, when the two leaders meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit on Wednesday. The encounter will be the leaders’ first face-to-face meeting in a year.
• Liberians head to polls in tight presidential run-off: Liberians are voting in a presidential run-off election that will oppose incumbent and former footballer George Weah and former Vice-President Joseph Boakai. The two candidates, who faced off in 2017, were separated by just over 7,000 votes in the first round a month ago.
• Myanmar fighting intensifies, China calls for ceasefire: Anti-junta fighters have claimed new territory in Myanmar’s northwest near the border with India, two weeks into the offensive launched to restore civilian rule in the country. Myanmar’s junta is facing its biggest test since taking power in a 2021 coup. China has called for a ceasefire and urged the regime to ensure security of the border region.
• Mexico's first openly non-binary magistrate found dead: Jesús Ociel Baena, Mexico's first openly non-binary member of the judiciary and prominent LGBTQ+ activist, was found dead on Monday in the central city of Aguascalientes, alongside their partner. Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez said it was unclear if the deaths were “a homicide or... some kind of accident.”
• Drilling begins to rescue Indian workers in collapsed tunnel: Excavators have begun drilling with heavy machinery on Tuesday to fix a wide steel pipe that will help pull out almost 40 Indian workers trapped inside a collapsed Himalayan road tunnel. The three-mile tunnel was being built in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand when it caved in on Sunday after a landslide.
• Nepal bans TikTok over disruption of “social harmony”: Nepal has banned TikTok because its content “disturbs social harmony and disrupts family structures and social relations,” the government said. The decision comes days after Nepal introduced a new rule requiring social media firms to set up offices in the country. The popular Chinese video-sharing platform has been banned by several countries, including India.
Like most of the British dailies (The Guardian, The Independent…), free daily Metro lends its front page to the firing of UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman and former Prime Minister David Cameron’s comeback in the government as Foreign Secretary. A “Rishi reshuffle,” as Metro calls it, that saw Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sack Bravermen after she accused the British Police of political bias, replacing her with James Cleverly. On its front page, Metro also bids a final farewell to Sir Bobby Charlton, as a public funeral service was held for the soccer great who died last month aged 86. Charlton helped England win the World Cup in 1966 and led Manchester United to national and European glory in the late 1960s.
Since its launch in early 2022, former President Donald Trump‘s social media platform Truth Social has lost $73 million, a new financial disclosure from Trump Media & Technology Group’s SPAC merger partner Digital World Acquisition Corp has revealed. The form shows that Truth Social lost $50 million on just $1.4 million of net sales in 2022 and another $23 million within the first six months of this year. Trump had launched the platform “stand up to Big Tech” companies such as Twitter and Facebook that previously barred him.
When a library is born on a tiny Italian island
Inside an old watchtower dangling over the crashing waves of the port of Capraia, dwell 6,000 books and their keeper: 33-year-old Viola, a librarian who took the time during the COVID-19 pandemic to ask herself, “What makes you truly happy?,” reports Federico Taddia in Italian daily La Stampa.
📖 Viola Viteritti, the librarian of Capraia, explains how the tower, built by the Genoese in 1540 to defend against pirates, is now home of what the Center for the Book and Reading has dubbed the most extraordinary library in Italy. "I've spent four months a year on this island since I was born," she explains. "It's my home; it's the place where I feel good, where I am myself. As a child, I devoured books, but on the island, there was no place for books. When I chose to move here permanently, the library project started simultaneously."
💬 Four hundred loans since the beginning of the year; tourists entering incredulously to seek information or something to read among the rocks, girls and boys flipping through a comic book. In the summer, the tower is a reference point for everyone, but especially for vacationers. In winter, it becomes an exclusive privilege for the residents. "We're open on weekends; we have reading groups, we discuss new arrivals or some donated books while having something warm to drink."
🎙️ Viola is also one of the collaborators, along with the manager Elisa Casagrandi Montesi, of the "Human Library" project, a kind of living library: over the next four years, all the island's inhabitants who agree to participate will be interviewed to talk about themselves, their traditions, customs and practices. These meetings will be open to the public and recorded, from which a book and a possible podcast will be created.
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“They are killing innocent people without any criteria.”
— Brazil’s President Lula da Silva accused Israel of “killing innocent people without any criteria” in Gaza, deeming its actions there “as grave” as the Oct. 7 attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas. The Brazilian leader also said Israel was “dropping bombs where there are children, hospitals, on the pretext that a terrorist is there.” Lula's comments came as he welcomed 22 Brazilians and 10 members of their families who left Gaza on Sunday via the land border with Egypt, after more than a month of waiting in the conflict zone.
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✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Michelle Courtois and Emma Albright
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