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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 robot able 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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Toy Guns And Dolls, And My Pink-Loving Son

The father of a four-year-old boy thought the idea of colors and toys for boys and girls was a thing of the past. Turns out he was wrong.

Photo of a boy wearing blue and a girl wearing pink running toward a body of water

"Conventions about the meanings of each color are arbitrary, and changing over time.”

Ignacio Pereyra

“Papá, is pink for girls?” asked Lorenzo, my four-year-old son.

Lorenzo usually listens attentively to the stories we read at home. Sometimes, I think it seems like a paradox, because the rest of the time he can't sit still (literally, I'm not exaggerating). I wonder if it's that, as he listens to the stories, his body is relaxed but his head is doing somersaults.

He often interrupts his night-time stories — I suspect in the hopes of stretching the ritual out as long as possible so as not to fall asleep. “I don't want to sleep anymore, I just want to play,” he told me last Sunday, as we were walking home at night after having spent the whole day playing with his friends.

But back to pink. This time, his interruption of the reading had an edge of concern — his frown and serious tone showing a mix of sadness and distress.

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