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In The News

Trump In Court, Finland Joins NATO, Moon Crew Unveiled

Photo of ​NASA revealed the crew of 2024's Artemis II moon mission. The group will crew the Orion spacecraft on the first manned mission to orbit the moon since the Apollo program. This team includes the first woman (Hammock Koch), the first person of color (Victor Glover) and the first Canadian (Jeremy Hansen) assigned to a lunar mission.

NASA revealed the crew of 2024's Artemis II moon mission. The group will crew the Orion spacecraft on the first manned mission to orbit the moon since the Apollo program. This team includes the first woman (Hammock Koch), the first person of color (Victor Glover) and the first Canadian (Jeremy Hansen) assigned to a lunar mission.

Ginevra Falciani, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Inès Mermat

👋 Rojbaş!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Donald Trump is set to appear in court to become the first U.S. president (current or former) to face criminal charges, Finland is officially welcomed into NATO and NASA introduces the four astronauts expected to shoot for the Moon in 2024. Meanwhile, Mykhailo Krygel in Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda writes about how certain cities in Ukraine have been so completely destroyed that its former residents struggle to remember life in it before the war.

[*Northern Kurdish]


Donald Trump: the third act of an American tragedy

Donald Trump’s indictment is an unprecedented opportunity for him to rally his supporters — almost a godsend. But it could also be good news for U.S. President Joe Biden. What it means for the nation is another story. A view from a French political scientist in business daily Les Echos.

New York City police officers have been placed on high alert — though the threat to the global city, painfully stricken on 9/11, does not come this time from Islamic fundamentalists, or some kind of revival of gang warfare like in the old days of Prohibition.

This time, the potential enemies are Donald Trump's strongest supporters. Will they take to the streets and try to stop the functioning of a justice system set on proving that no one is above the law, not even a former U.S. president?

Since Trump’s indictment, we've witnessed what could be described as the third act of an American tragedy. The first act took place in Nov. 2016, with the election to the U.S. presidency of the man least fit for the job in the country's history.

The second, even more spectacular act, was the attempted coup of Jan. 6, 2021, when fanatical supporters of the defeated president marched on the U.S. Capitol. The third act now unfolds before our eyes, with the indictment of a former president for the first time in U.S. history.

Will he be arrested and handcuffed, like the then-president of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, more than 10 years ago? Donald Trump's lawyers say they can rule out this humiliating scenario. But whatever happens, the polarization of American society will only increase, and risks stealing America's attention away from other news stories.

Forget Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, or global warming and its immediate consequences, like the tornadoes hitting the United States with exceptional frequency and violence. Like a popular TV series, the "Trump" show is likely to monopolize the attention of an America fascinated by its own internal disputes.

Obviously, justice must proceed, freely and without regard to political expediency. But by indicting Trump, the judge might offer a gift to America's adversaries. [...]

— Read the full Les Echos article by Dominique Moïsi, translated into English by Worldcrunch.


• Trump faces day in court, expected to plead not guilty: Donald Trump, the former U.S. president and frontrunner to be the Republican nominee in 2024, will appear in court on Tuesday to be formally charged, finger-printed and have a mugshot taken in a watershed moment in American history. Trump was indicted last week, becoming the first sitting or former president ever to face criminal charges, over a case involving a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. He has said he is innocent and is due to plead not guilty.

• Finland officially joins the NATO alliance: Finland is being formally welcomed into NATO today after Turkey’s recent ratification of the Nordic country’s accession to the Western defense alliance. The move, which ends decades of Helsinki’s neutrality over NATO, has been driven by Moscow’s invasion of another neighbor, Ukraine, as Finland shares a 1,300 kilometers-long (800 miles) border with Russia.

• U.S. kills ISIS commander: A U.S. strike in Syria has killed Khalid Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri, a senior ISIS leader who’d planned attacks into Europe. United States Central Command announced the killing in a statement, adding that no civilians were injured in the strike.

• Tesla to pay $3.2m over “racial bias”: The electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has been ordered to pay $3.2 million in a lawsuit that alleged the company allowed for racial harassment – including racial slurs, insulting caricatures and swastikas etched onto toilet walls – to go unchecked at its flagship assembly plant in the United States. The federal jury awarded $175,000 for emotional distress and $3 million in punitive damages to Owen Diaz, a Black employee who worked at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, and alleged that Tesla failed to respond when he reported enduring consistent harassment from 2015 to 2016.

• One dead as Dutch train derails: At least one person has been killed and some 30 injured after a passenger train derailed overnight in the western Netherlands. Emergency services say the crash happened at about 3:25 a.m local time, after the train transporting about 50 people hit a construction crane near the village of Voorschoten.

• Catalonia faces worst drought in decades: Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia is experiencing its driest spell in decades. The Sau reservoir, which supplies water to Barcelona and other towns in the region, has not seen sustained rain in two-and-a-half years, dropped to 8% of its capacity.

• NASA reveals crew for Artemis II Moon mission: NASA has unveiled the four-member crew for its upcoming mission orbiting the Moon: Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch and Jeremy Hansen are expected to take part in the Artemis II mission for a 10-day flight scheduled in 2024. A subsequent mission planned for 2025 will include a moon landing.


“Today the blue and white flag is raised at NATO headquarters — Sweden can only watch,” writes a Swedish journalist for Stockholm-based Svenska Dagbladet as Finland officially becomes the 31st member of the military alliance. Sweden had applied to join NATO at the same time as its Nordic neighbor, but Turkey is still blocking the country’s membership, arguing it has failed to crackdown on groups seen by Ankara as terrorists.


$2.5 billion

French retail giant L’Oréal is acquiring Australian luxury skin & body care brand Aesop, in a $2.5 billion deal, the largest brand acquisition ever made by the French beauty and cosmetics group. The deal tops L’Oréal’s $1.7 billion purchase of YSL Beauté in 2008, according to data from Dealogic. Aesop’s parent group, Brazil’s biggest beauty and cosmetics company Natura & Co, also owner of The Body Shop and Avon, announced the sale late Monday.


Maryinka as memory: How a city in Ukraine has been blown out of existence

Citizens of the now destroyed Ukrainian city of Maryinka are left struggling to remember what their town used to look like, reports Mykhailo Krygel in Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda.

🇺🇦 When people began to share photos of the completely destroyed city, where seemingly not one building remained untouched, the Russian military boasted of the "impressive" results of what it calls the "denazification" project in Ukraine. Today, Maryinka only exists on maps. Its streets still have names. But in reality, it is all only rubble. On Jan 1, 2014, 9,829 people lived in Maryinka. By Jan. 1, 2023, that number was zero.

💥 Since 2014, citizens of Maryinka have been under regular Russian fire. Still, they did not flee. Not even in July 2014, when the city was shelled by Russian militants, or in the summer of 2015 when fierce battles swamped the city. They did not leave until the full-scale invasion in 2022.

🇷🇺 All these years, Maryinka remained the last border between the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donetsk region and the territory annexed by Russian proxies. As shells rained down, the city gradually became a ghost. It’s not the only one: there are dozens of these settlements in Ukraine which remain only on maps — and sometimes, if it pleases the Russians, they disappear from maps altogether. This is the result of Putin’s war.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com



Kenya is preparing to launch its first-ever earth observation satellite in what is being described as a landmark achievement in the country’s space exploration efforts. Nation-1, or Taifa-1 in Swahili, is scheduled to be launched next week aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The satellite is designed to provide earth observation data for use in agriculture, food security and environmental management, the defense ministry and Kenya Space Agency said in a joint statement.


NASA revealed the crew of 2024's Artemis II moon mission. The group will crew the Orion spacecraft on the first manned mission to orbit the moon since the Apollo program. This team includes the first woman (Hammock Koch), the first person of color (Victor Glover) and the first Canadian (Jeremy Hansen) assigned to a lunar mission. — Photo: Josh Valcarcel/NASA/ZUMA

✍️ Newsletter by Ginevra Falciani, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Inès Mermat

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New Study Finds High Levels Of Anti-LGBTQ+ Discrimination In Buddhism

We tend to think of Buddhism as a religion devoid of commandments, and therefore generally more accepting than others. The author, an Australian researcher — and "genderqueer, non-binary Buddhist" themself — suggests that it is far from being the case.

Photo of a Buddhist monk in a Cambodia temple, walking away from the camera

Some Buddhist spaces can be highly heteronormative and show lack of understanding toward the LGBTQ+ community

Stephen Kerry

More than half of Australia’s LGBTQIA+ Buddhists feel reluctant to “come out” to their Buddhist communities and nearly one in six have been told directly that being LGBTQIA+ isn’t in keeping with the Buddha’s teachings.

These are some of the findings from my research looking at the experiences of LGBTQIA+ Buddhists in Australia.

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

I’m a genderqueer, non-binary Buddhist myself and I was curious about others’ experiences in Australia since there has been no research done on our community before. So, in 2020, I surveyed 82 LGBTQIA+ Buddhists and have since followed this up with 29 face-to-face interviews.

Some people may think Buddhism would be quite accepting of LGBTQIA+ people. There are, after all, no religious laws, commandments or punishments in Buddhism. My research indicates, however, this is not always true.

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