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In The News

Le Weekend ➡️ Aerial View For Iran’s Women, Ukrainian Lion Cubs, BTS People’s Choice

Le Weekend ➡️ Aerial View For Iran’s Women, Ukrainian Lion Cubs, BTS People’s Choice

French photographer and street artist JR organized an art performance in New York to show support for the Iranian protesters


December 10-11

  • Turkish alphabet
  • Germany’s enigmatic chancellor
  • Lion cubs and snow
  • … and much more.


What do you remember from the news this week?

1. Twenty-five people were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of plotting to overthrow what country’s government?

2. Why was Peru’s ousted president detained by the police in Lima after his impeachment?

3. Indonesia’s new criminal code included what surprising ban on personal behavior?

4. Remains of an extinct species that had gone missing were found in the cupboard of a museum. What species was it? A dodo / A Tasmanian tiger / A saber-toothed cat

[Answers at the bottom of this newsletter]


A Cuban singer has gone viral on Twitter because of his name: the musician, who lives in Venezuela, is named Pedro Castillo, like Peru’s recently ousted president. “Could Mr Elon Musk make Peruvians understand that I am not the president? You can't imagine the amount of notifications I'm receiving,” tweeted Castillo this week. The singer then reacted to the news of the impeachment of Peru’s president, saying he was “relieved,” and that his account had “calmed down a bit.” The artist had already faced a similar situation in 2021 when his namesake was elected, forcing him to pin a tweet on a profile that reads “Peruvian friends. Read well: I am not the president of Peru.”


• Zelensky named TIME’s person of the year: Time magazine has named Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as its 2022 Person of the Year, along with the “spirit of Ukraine.” The magazine's editor said the decision was “the most clear-cut in memory.

• French artist stages support for Iranian women: French photographer and street artist, JR, organized a protest in New York to show support for the Iranian protesters. Demonstrators gathered on New York’s Roosevelt Island to recreate a portrait of 16-year-old Iranian Nika Shahkarami, who died following a demonstration in Tehran.

• Europe’s largest Middle Eastern bookseller to close: London-based bookstore, Al Saqi Books, Europe’s largest Middle-Eastern specialty bookstore will close following the increase of prices of Arabic-language books, as well as the economic turmoil following Brexit. The bookstore opened in 1978, and sells books in Arabic, as well as books on the Middle East and North Africa in English.

• Google pays tribute to Kuwaiti actor: Google paid homage to esteemed Kuwaiti actor, singer, playwright and comedian Abdulhussain Abdulredha. The seventh of 14 children, the media giant celebrated his 83rd birthday with a doodle illustrated by guest Kuwait-based artist Ahmed Al-Refaie.

• BTS wins big at 2022 People's Choice Awards: K-pop group BTS took home three awards at this year's People's Choice Awards, the entertainment awards show based on public popularity. The South Korean band beat out other huge stars like Bad Bunny, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles and Lady Gaga.

🇩🇪🔍 Who is the real Olaf Scholz?

Germany chancellor Olaf Scholz, took over for Angela Merkel a year ago, but for many he remains a mysterious figure through a series of tumultuous events, including his wavering position on the war in Ukraine. In this article for German daily Die Welt, Peter Huth analyzes the ins and outs of who Scholz really is.

Read the full story: Olaf Scholz: Trying To Crack The Code Of Germany's Enigmatic Chancellor

🇸🇴 Somalia is suffering from famine, and it’s different this time

Drought has taken over Somalia, leaving the land dry and people starving. But many facts are contributing to this human tragedy including the war in Ukraine. Francesca Mannochi reports from the African nation for La Stampa about the global food crisis that has taken over, even as the rest of the world seems not to notice.

Read the full story: How Climate Change And Ukraine War Have Put Somalia On The Brink Of Famine

🇹🇷🔤 What the modern Turkish alphabet teaches us

The modern alphabet reform of 1928, which replaced the Arabic letters with Latin based ones, was a dramatic event for Turkey. Nonetheless, the national literacy campaign progressed with this new alphabet. This piece for Turkish media Oksijen the author Ali Yaycıoğlu, speaks of the issues that the alphabet evokes — on both a personal and political level.

Read the full story: Alphabets & Politics: Reflections On The Modern Turkish Language


Waste and pollution are not simply an Earthly affair. Currently, there are between three and four thousand decommissioned satellites still in orbit around our planet that are now classified as space junk. To spot the abandoned pieces of tech gravitating around us, Norwegian company SINTEF is developing a super performant 3D camera robotable to identify and remove them. It will still be several years before it’s sent into space, but with the increasing number of low-tech satellites launched by companies like Elon Musk’s Starlink, space environmentalism should be spreading down to Earth people.


CBS Minnesota shared footage of lion cubs playing in the snow for the first time in Sandstone, Minnesota after they had been rescued from Ukraine. Yes, lion cub cuteness crosses all borders.


• President Joe Biden will host leaders from the African continent in Washington DC for the second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit on Dec. 13-15.

• Chile’s foreign minister will travel to Brussels to sign a modernization of a 2002 bilateral agreement with the European Union next week, which includes a free trade deal.

• The semifinals of the 2022 World Cup are slated for Tuesday and Wednesday, with the finals next Sunday, Dec. 18.

News quiz answers:

1. The 25 suspects were reportedly planning a violent overthrow of the German state, with the intention of installing a former member of a German royal family as national leader.

2. Peru’s former president Pedro Castillo was arrested for trying to illegally dissolve Congress after he faced an impeachment trial, in a last bid to cling to power.

3. Indonesia’s parliament has approved a new criminal code that includes a ban on sex outside marriage and cohabitation, which also applies to foreign residents and tourists.

4. The remains of the last known Tasmanian tiger were found in the cupboard of a museum in Tasmania, after they had gone missing in the 1930s.

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*Photo: JR Artist

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The Endless War

Inside Israel's Plans To Transfer Palestinians From Gaza To Egypt's Sinai

Dubbed by some as the 'Eiland plan,' after a retired Israel general, Egypt is vehemently opposed to any attempt to transfer Palestinian refugees from Gaza, which could turn Sinai into a launch pad for operations against Israel, and ultimately redraw the map of the Middle East again.

Inside Israel's Plans To Transfer Palestinians From Gaza To Egypt's Sinai

Palestinians at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip.

Lina Attalah


CAIRO — On October 24, a document leaked from Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel detailed that a durable post-war solution for Gaza has to include the transfer of Palestinians to Sinai, Egypt. According to the document obtained by the Israeli Calcalist news website, the move would include three steps: Establishing tent cities in Sinai, creating a humanitarian corridor, and constructing cities in North Sinai for the new refugees. In addition, “a sterile zone” several kilometers wide would be established in Egypt south of the border with Israel to prevent Palestinians from returning.

The ministry, according to observers, doesn’t have a strong weight in government, with intelligence apparatuses operating outside its framework. “The existence of the document and the formal idea is not a surprise. But that it is leaked and the proof it is out there, is interesting,” says Daniel Levy, president of the London-based Middle East Project and former peace negotiator with Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Rabin.

Shortly before that, on October 18, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivered an improvised speech about the ongoing Israeli military assault against the Gaza Strip that followed Hamas’ incursion into Israel nearly two weeks earlier.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

“Transferring [Palestinian] refugees from the Gaza Strip to Sinai would simply amount to relocating their resistance… turning Sinai into a launch pad for operations against Israel and granting Israel the right to defend itself and its national security by conducting strikes on Egyptian land in retaliation.”

Sisi’s vehement rejection of a “second nakba,” especially after U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to pressure Egypt to create a humanitarian corridor, was turned into a quest to elicit public support for his government. With less than a month to go before a presidential election that was hastily announced amid a crippling economic crisis, Sisi then called for popular demonstrations to support his position. His appeal resulted in a few thousand people turning out for protests on October 20, primarily in Cairo.

Sisi’s position is also consistent with a stance long held by previous Egyptian rulers who have historically rejected any Israeli attempts to displace Palestinians into Sinai. Whether or not Israel’s current military campaign against Gaza succeeds in making the relocation plan a fait accompli is yet to be determined.

Against this backdrop, Egyptian media outlets, owned by security apparatuses close to Sisi, have been publishing and airing detailed reports about an earlier Israeli blueprint to relocate Palestinians from Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula. Most of them claim to have revealed what they call the “Eiland plan,” named after a retired major general, Giora Eiland, who served as the head of the Israeli National Security Council between 2004 and 2006. State-aligned media have made sure to highlight Sisi’s uncompromising opposition to the plan, even if it includes offers for debt relief or financial aid packages from the Joe Biden administration.

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