Welcome to Thursday, where a shooting leaves two dead in Auckland as the soccer Women’s World Cup kicks off in New Zealand and Australia, Russia launches new attacks on Odessa and Mykolaiv and Italy’s got some 15th-century mail. Meanwhile, Persian-language media Kayhan-London reports on the murder of a 15-year-old girl by her parents, in the context of so-called “honor killings” in Iran.
[*Namaskār - Marathi, India]
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• Deadly shooting in Auckland before Women’s World Cup: At least two people were killed and five others wounded in a shooting in New Zealand’s largest city yesterday. The shooter, a 24-year-old-man, stormed a construction site in an attack that occurred just hours before the opening match of the soccer Women’s World Cup, near hotels where several soccer teams are staying. The shooter was found dead after a police shootout. New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the tournament would take place as scheduled and confirmed that “there is no wider security threat” after the attack. Security will be tightened for the duration of the World Cup.
• New Russian strikes on port cities; Putin to miss BRICS summit: Russia launched new overnight attacks on the Ukrainian port cities of Odessa and Mykolaiv, wounding at least 20 people. Russia’s repeated attacks on Odessa and its withdrawal from the Black Sea grain deal, which guarantees safe passage for Ukrainian grain through Russian-controlled waters, could create a “huge food crisis,” the European Union warns. Meanwhile, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the BRICS summit next month, amid speculation that he could be arrested under an International Criminal Court warrant.
• Swedish embassy stormed in Baghdad over burned Koran: Hundreds of protesters stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad and set it alight to protest the upcoming burning of a Koran in Sweden. A few weeks ago, a lone man set fire to pages of the Koran in front of Stockholm’s main mosque, leading to widespread condemnation, including by Iraq.
• Six dead in Kenya protest: Six people were killed in clashes between protesters and the Kenyan police, and some 300 people were arrested around the country. Several people were injured and more than 50 children were admitted to the hospital after tear gas was fired into their classroom in Nairobi, while many businesses in major cities were closed. Demonstrators took to the street weeks ago to protest rising inflation and high taxes. This week, opposition leader Raila Odinga called for three days of anti-government protests.
• New prime minister vote scheduled in Thailand: Thailand’s Parliament will hold another vote for a prime minister next week, after the nomination of Pita Limjaroenrat, whose party won national elections in May, was blocked. The Move Forward party leader was declared ineligible on Wednesday by the country’s constitutional court, after a case accused him of violating election laws by holding shares in a media company. Pita denied the charges but is respecting the court order, as his supporters protested the court’s ruling in the streets.
• Kissinger’s surprise visit to Xi Jinping: Henry Kissinger was hailed as “an old friend” by Chinese leader Xi Jinping during a surprise visit in Beijing. The 100-year-old former U.S. Secretary of State also met with Chinese defense minister Li Shangfu at the beginning of the week. Henry Kissinger was the first high-ranking U.S. official to visit Communist China in 1971, paving the way for a better relationship between the two countries. His visit comes as John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, is in Beijing to discuss cooperation on confronting the climate crisis with Chinese officials.
• Return to sender: A 15th-century letter written by Christopher Columbus was sent back to Italy. The letter, one of the 30 surviving first editions of the explorer’s correspondence announcing his discovery of the American continent, was discovered in the U.S. in 2020 and is believed to have been stolen from the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice, Italy. The precious document, valued at more than $1.3 million, was sold to a collector through a rare book dealer in 2003.
Perth, Australia-based daily The West Australian endorses the national women's soccer team on its front page, as the ninth Women’s World Cup kicks off in New Zealand and Australia. The team, nicknamed “the Matildas” (from the Australian folk song “Waltzing Matilda”), will face Ireland for the tournament’s first game, in front of around 70,000 fans at Stadium Australia in Sydney — a record attendance for a women’s soccer match in the country.
Netflix has announced that its recent crackdown on password sharing is “exceeding expectations,” as the streaming giant gained 5.89 million paid subscribers over three months, ending in June. The most recent country to be affected by Netflix’s single-household rule is India, where the streaming service already has millions of subscribers.
Honor killings in Iran: Parents suffocate “child bride” daughter
A 15-year-old girl has been murdered by her parents in Iran, three years after her arranged marriage, in yet another possible "honor" killing the Islamic Republic is loath to punish, reports Persian-language media Kayhan-London.
🇮🇷 The girl was killed by her parents, just outside the northwestern town of Khoy, near the borders of Turkey and Azerbaijan. The gruesome case was another case of both femicide and filicide in Iran, and of underage marriage, a phenomenon that appears to be both prevalent and increasingly approved by Iran's government.
🚨 According to Etemaad, Raheleh had been married off at the age of just 12 to a man in his 20s, and then moved to live with him in the city of Orumieh. Days before her death, which was reported to be July 12, she had returned to her parents' home without her husband. Police investigating the death immediately doubted the parents' version of events upon arriving at the house. They were arrested and ultimately confessed, the daily reports.
⚖️ There are few reliable statistics in Iran on femicides, though they often occur in relation to the 'honor' of conservative or poorer families. As a phenomenon, honor killings are broadly rejected by society, but there has not been a firm response from the judiciary or legislature of the Islamic Republic.
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“What happened with the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven.”
— Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally spoke about the rape of two women in Manipur and ongoing ethnic clashes in the area, breaking his silence more than two months after violence began. A video showing two women being paraded naked by a mob in the violence-hit northeastern state of Manipur has sparked outrage in India. Originally shared online on May 4, the video only went viral and triggered widespread condemnation recently. The horrific video shows the two women being dragged and groped by a mob of men, who then push them into a field, where they were allegedly gang-raped. The rare statement from Modi also acknowledged ethnic violence in the region, where at least 130 have died and 60,000 have been displaced because of clashes that started in May between the Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur.
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✍️ Newsletter by Chloé Touchard, Valeria Berghinz, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Katarzyna Skiba
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