Quitting Coal, China’s #MeToo, World’s Best Cheese

Israel Demolishes Palestinian Home in the West Bank

Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images via ZUMA
✍️ Newsletter by Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Anne-Sophie Goninet & Jane Herbelin

👋 Goeie!*

Welcome to Thursday, where world leaders pledge to quit coal, #MeToo accusations hit China's highest levels of power and the world's new best cheese has been elected. Our Bogota-based journalist Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra also shines a light on the violence against LGBTQ+ in some Latin American countries, following the murder of a trans activist in Honduras.

[*Frisian]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

190 countries agree to end coal: At the UN climate summit, 190 countries have agreed to move away from coal power over the next two decades, phasing out a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The commitment includes halting investment in new coal plants domestically and internationally, and ending coal energy by the 2030s in richer countries and 2040s in poorer countries. The news comes amidst a new Global Carbon Project report projecting 2021 CO2 emissions will rebound to pre-pandemic levels.

COVID update: The World Health Organization approved India's Covaxin vaccine for emergency use as the Diwali festival of lights kicks off with fears of it sparking another wave of infections. Despite waning case numbers, the United States hit another milestone of 750,00 deaths from COVID-19. To minimize the risk of international infections less than 100 days before the Beijing Winter Olympics, China is increasing border security and stepping up restrictions in the country.

Chinese tennis star accuses former vice premier of abuse: Peng Shuai, a French Open and Wimbledon champion, says retired Communist Party official Zhang Gaoli pressured her to have sex. It's the latest accusation in China's #MeToo movement and the first to touch the highest levels of political power.

Chilean security forces clash with indigenous Mapuche: Two Mapuche people and three others were injured in the violence that has resulted in a state of emergency in the southern Arauco province, after the country's largest indigenous community demanded the government return historically confiscated lands.

• U.S. blacklists Israeli company behind Pegasus spyware: The NSO Group, which has been accused of selling its technology to authoritarian governments, has been added to an "entity list," banning American business dealings. The NSO Group says it has aided American national security through preventing crime and terrorism.

Algeria blames Morocco for deadly attack in Western Sahara: Three truck drivers coming from Mauritania died in a bombing, the latest escalation in tensions between the two North African countries. Algeria says that Moroccan occupation forces in the contested geographic area are to blame for the incident

Manhunt underway for "Bling Ring": Alfredo Lindley is charged with a series of 2019 luxury and celebrity home burglaries, including stealing some $34 million in goods from F1 heiress Tamara Ecclestone. Lindley, a Peruvian national, is believed to be in Belgrade and has a criminal record in Italy dating back to 1995 for burglaries and scams.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

"The virus is back," titles Dutch daily De Volkskrant as the Netherlands plans to reintroduce tougher COVID-19 social restrictions to curb a new surge in cases, the fastest rate of new infections since July.


#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

270

That is the number of migrant children to the U.S. whose parents still have not been found. These children were separated from their parents under the "zero-tolerance" immigration policy of Donald Trump's presidency. Through its reunification task force, the current administration of President Joe Biden has so far reconnected 58 children with their relatives.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

The mortal danger of being trans in Latin America

The murder of a trans activist in Honduras, and new report on violence against LGBTQ+ across the region, shines a light on the place where it's simply not safe to not be a trans person.

🏳️🌈💥 On September 26, Honduran trans rights activist Tatiana García was stabbed to death in her home in the western city of Santa Rosa de Copán. The targeted murder also put a tragic end to García's work helping LGBTQ+ people to file hate-crime complaints in Honduras — indeed, she was the 17th LGBTQ+, and fourth trans, murder victim this year in the country of 9.9 million people. In a region with a long history of violence toward LGBTQ+, Honduras is among the most dangerous places in Latin America to be gay, lesbian or trans.

🚫 La Prensa, one of Honduras' biggest newspapers, reported on the assassination of Tatiana García in a way that Cattrachas characterized as "transphobia accomplice journalism." Articles included putting quote marks around her name, and using her former name to refer to her as a man. "They began to talk about a man, and Tatiana was not a man, she was a trans woman, an activist and a warrior," said Candance Chávez, a Mexican trans activist who decided to flee Latin America after suffering several violent attacks. "It is terrible that even in our own death, we are invisible."

✊ Candance Chávez, like Tatiana García in Honduras, worked in her native Mexico to advocate for the rights of trans people. But she too was repeatedly a target. In the most recent attack, she sustained a permanent knee injury, and finally decided to leave the country, emigrating to Britain. She describes the energy that activism gives her. "That revolution is what keeps me believing, in order to turn all this fear, this pain, this anguish and this suffering for my sisters, into the strength to stand up."

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

"Cameroonians avoid COVID-19 vaccine like the plague"

— In an interview with French daily Le Monde, the director of a hospital on the outskirts of Douala, Cameroon's economic capital, describes the struggle to convince the population that vaccines are safe. In spite of the country's intensive vaccination campaign last July, only 1.1% out of a 27.2 million population are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, which has already killed more than 1,600 people in the country.

💬  LEXICON

Queso

Queso (cheese) from Spain named Olavidia has been elected as 2021 world's best cheese with 103 votes for its "rich, seductive, creamy texture," besting 4,079 other contestants from more than 40 countries. The soft goat cheese made by artisan cheesemaker Quesos y Besos (Cheeses and Kisses) succeeds the Rogue River Blue, the first-ever American champion to win the World Cheese Awards.

✍️ Newsletter by Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Anne-Sophie Goninet & Jane Herbelin

Send bling and queso, and let us know what the news looks like from your corner of the world!

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Pro-life and Pro-abortion Rights Protests in Washington

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Håfa adai!*

Welcome to Thursday, where new Omicron findings arrive from South Africa, abortion rights are at risk at the U.S. Supreme Court and Tyrannosaurus rex has got some new competition. From Germany, we share the story of a landmark pharmacy turned sex toy museum.

[*Chamorro - Guam]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• COVID update: South Africa reports a higher rate of reinfections from the Omicron variant than has been registered with the Beta and Delta variants, though researchers await further findings on the effects of the new strain. Meanwhile, the UK approves the use of a monoclonal therapy, known as sotrovimab, to treat those at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.The approval comes as the British pharmaceutical company, GSK, separately announced the treatment has shown to “retain activity” against the Omicron variant. Down under, New Zealand’s reopening, slated for tomorrow is being criticized as posing risks to its under-vaccinated indigenous Maori.

• Supreme Court poised to gut abortion rights: The U.S. Supreme Court signaled a willingness to accept a Republican-backed Mississippi law that would bar abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, even in cases of rape or incest. A ruling, expected in June, may see millions of women lose abortion access, 50 years after it was recognized as a constitutional right in the landmark Roe v. Wade case.

• Macri charged in Argentine spying case: Argentina’s former president Mauricio Macri has been charged with ordering the secret services to spy on the family members of 44 sailors who died in a navy submarine sinking in 2017. The charge carries a sentence of three to ten years in prison. Macri, now an opposition leader, says the charges are politically motivated.

• WTA suspends China tournaments over Peng Shuai: The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced the immediate suspension of all tournaments in China due to concerns about the well-being of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, and the safety of other players. Peng disappeared from public view after accusing a top Chinese official of sexual assault.

• Michigan school shooting suspect to be charged as an adult: The 15-year-old student accused of killing four of his classmates and wounding seven other people in a Michigan High School will face charges of terrorism and first-degree murder. Authorities say the suspect had described wanting to attack the school in cellphone videos and a journal.

• Turkey replaces finance minister amid economic turmoil: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan appointed a strong supporter of his low-interest rate drive, Nureddin Nebati, as Turkey’s new finance minister.

• A battle axe for a tail: Chilean researchers announced the discovery of a newly identified dinosaur species with a completely unique feature from any other creatures that lived at that time: a flat, weaponized tail resembling a battle axe.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

South Korean daily Joong-ang Ilbo reports on the discovery of five Omicron cases in South Korea. The Asian nation has broken its daily record for overall coronavirus infections for a second day in a row with more than 5,200 new cases. The variant cases were linked to arrivals from Nigeria and prompted the government to tighten border controls.


#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

¥10,000

In the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, a reward of 10,000 yuan ($1,570) will be given to anyone who volunteers to take a COVID-19 test and get a positive result, local authorities announced on Thursday on the social network app WeChat.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Why an iconic pharmacy is turning into a sex toy museum

The "New Pharmacy" was famous throughout the St. Pauli district of Hamburg for its history and its long-serving owner. Now the owner’s daughter is transforming it into a museum dedicated to the history of sex toys, linking it with the past "curing" purpose of the shop, reports Eva Eusterhus in German daily Die Welt.

💊 The story begins in autumn 2018, when 83-year-old Regis Genger stood at the counter of her pharmacy and realized that the time had come for her to retire. At least that is the first thing her daughter Anna Genger tells us when we meet, describing the turning point that has also shaped her life and that of her business partner Bianca Müllner. The two women want to create something new here, something that reflects the pharmacy's history and Hamburg's eclectic St. Pauli quarter (it houses both a red light district and the iconic Reeperbahn entertainment area) as well as their own interests.

🚨 Over the last few months, the pharmacy has been transformed into L'Apotheque, a venture that brings together art and business in St. Pauli's red light district. The back rooms will be used for art exhibitions, while the old pharmacy space will house a museum dedicated to the history of sex toys. Genger and Müllner want to show that desire has always existed and that people have always found inventive ways of maximizing pleasure, even in times when self-gratification was seen as unnatural and immoral, as a cause of deformities.

🏩 Genger and Müllner want the museum to show how the history of desire has changed over time. The art exhibitions, which will also center on the themes of physicality and sexuality, are intended to complement the exhibits. They are planning to put on window displays to give passers-by a taste of what is to come, for example, British artist Bronwen Parker-Rhodes's film Lovers, which offers a portrait of sex workers during lockdown.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

"I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never."

— U.S. actor Alec Baldwin spoke to ABC News, his first interview since the accident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust last October. The actor said that although he was holding the gun he didn’t pull the trigger, adding that the bullet “wasn't even supposed to be on the property.”

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet and Jane Herbelin

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