👋 Báwo ni!*
Welcome to Wednesday, where Day 2 of the BRICS Summit is rife with tensions and surprises, 18 bodies are found after a Greek forest fire and India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is about to touch down on the Moon. Meanwhile, in German daily Die Welt, Eva Marie Kogel writes that the old maxim “a woman's work is never done” still rings very much true today.
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• BRICS tensions and surprises: The BRICS summit is underway in South Africa, with the non-Western powers weighing rules concerning membership expansion, as China and Russia look to strengthen the group in the wake of the Ukraine war and Beijing's growing rivalry with the U.S. Chinese leader Xi Jinping was present in person after his unexpected absence at a business forum yesterday. Meanwhile, Russian leader Vladimir Putin made a speech via video call to delegates at the summit, as he is subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant related to the war in Ukraine.
• Deadly drones hit Russia: Russia reports that at least three people have died in a Ukrainian drone strike in the village of Lavy, Belgorod region, while three drones were downed in Moscow during a sixth night of aerial attacks on Russia’s capital region. Attacks caused fires in Ukrainian grain facilities in Odessa and the Danube River region overnight, as Ukrainian air defenses shot down 11 out of 20 drones attacking the region. Meanwhile, Russia state news announced General Sergey Surovikin has been replaced as air force chief, following suspicion that he was involved in the aborted June coup of the Wagner Group against the Russian military.
• Indian railway bridge collapse kills at least 26: A railway bridge being built in India collapsed, killing at least 26 workers and injuring two in the northeastern state of Mizoram. The state-run railway authority has opened an investigation, while rescue workers have recovered only 13 bodies so far. This comes just months after India's worst rail crash in over two decades killed at least 288 people in June.
• Thailand picks new prime minister, ending deadlock:Thailand’s parliament has chosen Srettha Thavisin as the next prime minister, ending three months of political deadlock. The 60-year-old real estate tycoon was the populist Pheu Thai Party’s only candidate, and received 482 out of 747 from parliament. Before he can officially take office,Thavisin first needs to be endorsed by King Maha Vajirilongkorn. His election comes as Thaksin Shinawatra, Pheu Thai founder and divisive former prime minister, has been jailed and hospitalized after returning to Thailand after more than 15 years in self-imposed exile.
• Eighteen bodies found in Greek forest after wildfires: Greece fears the number of wildfire casualties could increase, after the fire brigade found 18 more bodies while inspecting the charred remains of a building near the Dadia forest. The victims are believed to have been migrants, as there had been no reports of missing residents in the area and the Evros region is a popular passage for entry to the European Union. Northern Greece has been ravaged by wildfires in the past days, as the heat climbed above 40 °C in several areas, the flames fanned by high winds.
• Polls open in Zimbabwe as “the crocodile” seeks reelection: Emmerson Mnangagwa, the 80-year-old Zimbabwean president known as “the crocodile”, seeks to win a second and final term as the polls opened today in the country. Mnangagwa’s main rival is opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, 45, whom he narrowly beat in a disputed election in 2018 — a year after a coup ousted dictator Robert Mugabe. The results are expected in five days, with the possibility of a runoff election on Oct. 2. Read more about it on Worldcrunch.• India shoots for the Moon: India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is scheduled to land on the lunar south pole today, just days after a Russian probe crashed in the same region. The Indian Space Research Organisation says it is “smooth sailing” for the craft, which launched from Sriharikota in southern India on July 14. Countries are racing to get to the Moon’s south pole first, as scientists believe the unchartered territory could be home to frozen water and precious elements. More about the new race to the Moon on Worldcrunch.
Lahore-based Daily Nai Baat’s front page features the dramatic rescue of the eight people trapped in a cable car in northern Pakistan. Seven children and one man were pulled to safety in a high-risk operation that was completed in the middle of the night, reports the Urdu-language newspaper. A cable had snapped early in the morning, leaving the occupants stranded about 300 meters above a ravine for 15 hours.
G20 countries earmarked a record $1.4 trillion in public money for fossil fuels in 2022, according to a study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development think tank.The report comes a month before the next G20 meeting in Delhi, and ahead of the UN’s global climate conference set to take place in November. Two years ago at the COP26 in Glasgow, world leaders had agreed to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies. Here’s a La Marea/Worldcrunch article that focuses on the economic damage caused by fossil fuel companies.
The modern "housewife" has another job — and as raw a deal as ever
Women play a vital role in the workplace, so the German government is introducing policies that reward families with two working parents. Eva Marie Kogel writes for German daily Die Welt about how the strain of raising a family still falls unfairly on mothers, making them victims of capitalism.
💁♀️ In the early 2000s, there was an advert for vacuum cleaners. A stylish woman at a party was asked in a somewhat disparaging tone what she did for work. The woman smiled briefly and flipped her immaculately blow-dried hair. Then she said, “I manage a successful family business.” So there. The other person, a high-powered career woman, hadn’t reckoned with that comeback. The joke was that the family business was in fact not a business, but a family, and of course the punchline hinged on a recognition of what is now called “care work,” but could just as easily be called “women’s work,” because that is precisely what it is.
🇩🇪 Today, like then, the share of housework done by men and women in Germany is ridiculously unequal. Although it is true that modern men do more around the house than previous generations, the German Institute for Economic Research estimates that, on average, women spend around 10 hours a day caring for their families, while men spend three. Germany’s Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus recently waded into the middle of this heated issue by announcing a cap on the parental allowance (paid to parents in the first year of their child’s life), which sparked outrage. Women! Equality! Feminists were dismayed to see hard-won advances rolled back.
🎓 For women who have spent a lot of time caring for their families while their children are young and therefore find it difficult to pick up where they left off in their careers, divorce can therefore mean their circumstances take a significant dive. The change was a warning to all women: carry on working because marriage is not a safety net. It was meant well, as an acknowledgement of changes in society. Women today are more qualified than ever: more women than men stay in school until eighteen, they represent 52% of those graduating from high school. This was seen as a “huge well of untapped potential”. The argument was that working full-time would not only give women greater financial independence and better career prospects, but, given the worker shortage, it would also boost the country’s economy.
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➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
“They are not safe in London.”
— Director of the Association of Greek Archaeologists, Despoina Koutsoumba, declared that the British Museum could no longer claim Greek treasures are “more protected” in the London museum, after the institution experienced series of thefts from its collection. This particularly concerns the Elgin Marbles, originally part of the Pantheon, which Athens has long demanded be returned to Greece.
✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin and Chloé Touchard
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