👋 Assalaamu alaikum!*
Welcome to Monday, where Colorado reels from a deadly shooting at LGBTQ+ bar, an earthquake kills at least 46 in Indonesia, and Qatar is off to a rough start at the World Cup. Meanwhile, Noella Nyirabihogo in Global Press Journal reports on the dire toll armed groups violence in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo has on pregnant women and infants.
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• Ukraine denies executions of Russian prisoners: Ukraine has denied that its forces executed Russian prisoners of war after a video circulated on Russian social media showing the bodies of Russian servicemen who may have surrendered to Ukrainian troops. Kyiv officials say its soldiers were defending themselves.
• Indonesia earthquake: A 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Java this morning, killing at least 46 and leaving another 700 injured.
• Deadly shooting at Colorado LGBTQ nightclub, patrons stop gunman: Police are trying to determine whether to include “hate crime” charges in a deadly shooting at an LGBTQ nighclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. A 22-year-old man is in custody, accused of killing at least five people and injuring 25 others, before patrons tackled and subdued the gunman, preventing further bloodshed.
• Iranian actresses arrested: Katayoun Riahi and Hengameh Ghaziani, two award-winning Iranian actresses, were arrested yesterday on charges of “conspiracy and collusion.” This comes amid country-wide anti-government protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in mid-September.
• As COVID cases rise, Beijing tightens rules: Coronavirus cases are rising across China, which has also reported its first deaths of COVID-19 patients in nearly six months, forcing the capital city of Beijing to shut down its schools and tighten its entry rules. The southern metropolis of Guangzhou has also announced a five-day lockdown for its largest district.
• Kazakh president reelected with 81%: Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has secured a second term in a snap election, by winning 81.3% of the vote, as the former diplomat faced no real opposition candidates.
• Bob Iger returns as Disney CEO: In an unexpected move, Disney announced it had re-appointed Bob Iger as chief executive after his handpicked successor, Bob Chapek, came under fire for his management of the media giant. Iger had spent 15 years as Disney’s CEO until the end of 2021.
Ecuadorian daily El Universo dedicates ample coverage to its national team, which won the opening match of the World Cup 2022. Ecuador defeated Qatar 2-0, the first time in tournament history that the host has lost the opening match, which traditionally always includes the organizing country. Ecuador’s captain Enner Valencia scored both goals before halftime leaving the Al Bayt Stadium silent. Many Qatari supporters left the stadium before the end of the match. On Saturday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino made a long impassioned speech on the eve of the first kick off that addressed the many controversies brewing at the World Cup, particularly around host country Qatar. The speech was widely criticized for being tone deaf.
According to documents filed in Delaware bankruptcy court, cryptocurrency exchange FTX owes its 50 largest creditors $3.1 billion. The filings show the magnitude of the collapse of the world's second largest crypto company, which filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. last week. The news sent cryptocurrency prices down, with Bitcoin falling 4%, Ethereum 8% and DOGE 12%.
DRC, where armed groups are targeting pregnant women
In just three months, armed groups in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo killed nearly 500 civilians. The statistics fail to capture the full scale of the suffering, as limited health care access also claims the lives of pregnant women and infants, reports Noella Nyirabihogo in Global Press Journal.
🇨🇩💥 In the Fataki region, close to the western shores of Lake Albert, much of the recent violence leading to this exodus is attributed to a network of groups known as the Cooperative for the Development of Congo which claims to protect the interests of the Lendu people, one of several communities living in Ituri. As early as 1911, the Lendu revolted against Hema domination and killed the local Hema chief. Since then, lingering tensions over land, resources and identity have kept the region in a near-constant state of crisis, including one major armed conflict, known as the Ituri War, between 1999 and 2004.
🤰 Amid the pervasive violence, it’s difficult for pregnant women to access health care. Those who make it to Bunia from surrounding areas are often in critical condition, says Sister Immaculé Pashango, a nurse at the Muzi Maria health center in the provincial capital. “The difficulty in accessing care compromises the normal evolution of the pregnancy and endangers the infant’s life. We are often faced with difficult cases that require surgery.” Since the beginning of the year, five women and 16 babies at the camp in Bunia have died, says camp president Albert Mujana Kaloji.
🍼 At the camp in Bunia, Brigitte Mave, 31, has just given birth. Her delivery went smoothly, but she remains worried. “I can’t breastfeed my baby properly because I don’t have enough breast milk,” she says, “because I don’t have enough to eat.” A small woman, shy and soft-spoken, Mave left Bambu village after it was attacked, allegedly by CODECO, and has been living at the camp for a year. She only smiles when she looks at her baby, but that smile quickly fades when she thinks about the challenge of raising him amid war.
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You’re playing with fire!
— Reacting to reports of explosions over the weekend near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Rafael Grossi, head of UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear watchdog, warned combatants in a statement on Sunday, adding that “whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately.”
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