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Blinken In Kyiv, Queen’s Doctors Concerned, New iPhone

Blinken In Kyiv, Queen’s Doctors Concerned, New iPhone

Apple unveiled its new iPhone 14 Pro during the fall press event at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard and Lila Paulou

👋 Witéj!*

Welcome to Thursday, where U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken makes an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Albania blames Tehran for a cyberattack, and there’s a new iPhone in town. Meanwhile, Les Echos’ journalist Jean-Marc Vittori tries (and mostly fails) to reinvent the way we holiday.

[*Kashubian, Poland]


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• Blinken in Kyiv: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced trip to Ukraine, his second visit to the country since the start of the war, and announced that the U.S. intends to provide an additional $2-billion aid package to Ukraine and 18 other countries in the region.

• Queen doctors “concerned,” family on their way: Queen Elizabeth II is under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, as her doctors are reportedly “concerned for her health.” Prince Charles and his wife Camila, as well as Prince William are on their way to be with the Queen, 96.

• Human progress regresses: The UN’s Human Development Index has shown a global decline for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the impact of climate change. Last year, 2021, marked the first time the global trend went downwards since the Index’s creation in 1990.

• Albania severs diplomatic ties with Iran: Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has announced that the country was cutting all diplomatic ties with Iran and that their embassy staff would be expelled in response to a cyberattack allegedly carried out by Tehran on government websites two months ago.

• Second Canada stabbings suspect dies: Myles Sanderson, the second suspect in the stabbing attacks that killed 10 people in Saskatchewan on Sunday, went into “medical distress” after he was arrested on Wednesday and died in hospital. His brother Damien Sanderson, also suspected, was found dead a day after the attacks from apparently non self-inflicted injuries.

• Egyptian journalists accused of “false” report: Egyptian authorities have detained and interrogated the editor-in-chief and three journalists from the independent media outlet Mada Masr after it published a report on a corruption probe in Egypt’s ruling party. They have been accused of spreading false information for publishing an article in which they said some pro-government politicians were involved in “grave financial violations.”

• Apple announces new products: As part of its yearly fall iPhone event, Apple announced the release of four new iPhones, new Apple Watches, a satellite emergency service for iPhones and new AirPods pro. All products will be available for order by the end of September, and their prices have not been increased from last year’s models.


“Bolsonaro gathers crowd and monopolizes 7th of September,” titles Brazilian daily Correio Braziliense, writing about President Jair Bolsonaro using the country’s bicentennial Independence Day to campaign for his re-election in the cities of Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, one month ahead of the presidential vote.


$176 trillion

A report published by the Force for Good Initiative (FFGI) reveals that the cost to hit the series of 2030 sustainable targets — to fight poverty and global warming among others — rose by 25%, meaning $176 trillion in a year. This is mainly due to the inflation and the soaring costs of reaching a net-zero carbon emissions.


My failed attempt at an eco-friendly summer vacation

Mass tourism developed by taking advantage of cheap and abundant energy. But those days are over and we are all going to have to reinvent how we holiday. But as Les Echos’ journalist Jean-Marc Vittori found out, that is no easy task.

🚗😳 “I had a wonderful vacation, thank you for asking. At the same time, I couldn't let go and relax fully because one question has been on my mind all summer. Is my vacation sustainable? In other words, will my kids be able to take the same kind of vacation 20 years from now? The preparation was rather encouraging. I unplugged everything in my flat except for the refrigerator. But then, it turned nasty. I traveled by car. And it was not even electric — worse, it was a high-polluting diesel vehicle. Yes, I am blushing as I write these words.

✈️❌ “Well, at least I did not travel by plane. I did that to limit my carbon footprint, of course, but also to limit my spending because prices have skyrocketed, not to mention that the cost of car rentals on the island of Corsica has doubled. But to reach an island, the only solution is the boat. And for now, there is no sailing ferry. When the old ferry moves away from the quay, in the port of Marseille in the south of France, black smoke reminds us that its motor is not electric, even if said smoke is filtered.

❓ “What could a cleaner vacation look like? First, we would have to give up jet-skiing. Jet skis consume a lot of energy, make a terrible racket and are not very reassuring for swimmers. I don't like it, so it's not a big sacrifice. Then it gets complicated because the smallest effort seems gigantic. Driving is essential because choosing between my parents and my mother-in-law is inconceivable. Not going to the beach anymore… would it still be a vacation?”

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


National security professionals inside the government [...] are shaking their heads at what damage might have been done.

— John Brennan, former CIA director, told MSNBC, as the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence is conducting a damage assessment review over highly classified documents reportedly stored by former President Donald Trump at his Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago for 18 months since leaving the White House. One of the documents described an unspecified foreign government’s nuclear capabilities, The Washington Post reported. “I’m sure Mar-a-Lago was being targeted by Russian intelligence and other intelligence services over the course of the last 18 or 20 months,” Brennan added.

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard and Lila Paulou

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Smaller Allies Matter: Afghanistan Offers Hard Lessons For Ukraine's Future

Despite controversies at home, Nordic countries were heavily involved in the NATO-led war in Afghanistan. As the Ukraine war grinds on, lessons from that conflict are more relevant than ever.

Photo of Finnish Defence Forces in Afghanistan

Finnish Defence Forces in Afghanistan

Johannes Jauhiainen


HELSINKI — In May 2021, the Taliban took back power in Afghanistan after 20 years of international presence, astronomical sums of development aid and casualties on all warring sides.

As Kabul fell, a chaotic evacuation prompted comparisons to the fall of Saigon — and most of the attention was on the U.S., which had led the original war to unseat the Taliban after 9/11 and remained by far the largest foreign force on the ground. Yet, the fall of Kabul was also a tumultuous and troubling experience for a number of other smaller foreign countries who had been presented for years in Afghanistan.

In an interview at the time, Antti Kaikkonen, the Finnish Minister of Defense, tried to explain what went wrong during the evacuation.

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“Originally we anticipated that the smaller countries would withdraw before the Americans. Then it became clear that getting people to the airport had become more difficult," Kaikkonen said. "So we decided last night to bring home our last soldiers who were helping with the evacuation.”

During the 20-year-long Afghan war, the foreign troop presence included many countries:Finland committed around 2,500 soldiers,Sweden 8,000,Denmark 12,000 and Norway 9,000. And in the nearly two years since the end of the war, Finland,Belgium and theNetherlands have commissioned investigations into their engagements in Afghanistan.

As the number of fragile or failed states around the world increases, it’s important to understand how to best organize international development aid and the security of such countries. Twenty years of international engagement in Afghanistan offers valuable lessons.

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