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​Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visits the Volkswagen plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo on the first day of his campaign for Brazil’s presidential elections.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visits the Volkswagen plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo on the first day of his campaign for Brazil’s presidential elections.

Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard and Lila Paulou

👋 Laphi!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Ukraine wakes up from a night of sustained shelling, Lula leads the polls as Brazil’s presidential race opens, and researchers are trying to bring Tasmanian tigers back to life. Meanwhile, we look at the dire dairy situation in Cuba, which faces severe milk shortages.

[*Aymara - Bolivia]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Russian missiles strike Odessa: At least four people have been injured overnight after Russia fired anti-ship missiles on the city of Odessa, in southern Ukraine. Several buildings including a recreational center have been destroyed, and a fire is ravaging a 600-square-meter area.

• Liz Cheney loses Republican primary: Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney has lost her seat against Donald Trump-backed candidate Harriet Hageman in the Republican primary elections. Cheney had been her party’s most vocal critic of former President Trump since the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

• Lula leads Brazil election polls: The race has officially begun for Brazil’s presidential election that will pit far-right President Jair Bolsonaro against former left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on October 2. The most recent poll gives Lula a 12% lead over his rival, who lost popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Multiple bombings in Thailand: Three provinces in southern Thailand have been rocked by bombings and fires in 17 separate locations on Wednesday, injuring at least seven people. The coordinated attacks, the perpetrators of which are unknown, targeted convenience stores and a gas station.

• Biden signs climate and healthcare bill: U.S. President Joe Biden has signed an unprecedented $700 billion bill aiming to fight against climate change and high healthcare costs. The bill will also increase taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals.

• China tries boosting its birth rate: Chinese authorities are taking steps to increase the nation’s birth rate, one the lowest in the world. Measures include discouraging abortions, improving education and housing support, and making fertility treatment more accessible.

• Scientists hope to revive Tasmanian tiger: A team of Australian and U.S. researchers intends to revive the Tasmanian tigers (or thylacines), marsupials who have been extinct since the 1930s. If successful, this plan would mark the first “de-extinction” event in history.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Milan-based sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sportcelebrates Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs’ 100m race victory at the European Athletics Championships. In July, Jacobs had to withdraw from the World Athletics Championships in Oregon due to a thigh injury. With this new medal, “Il Re” (The King) becomes only the third man in history to win 100m European and Olympic titles back to back.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

10.1%

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that the United Kingdom’s inflation rate jumped to 10.1% in July and is at its highest since 1982. This is mainly due to the soaring food prices, including milk and bread, as a recession looms and the cost-of-living crisis deepens.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

The many paradoxes of Cuba's eternal milk shortages

Milk shortages are not a new thing in Cuba, where the state pays producers less for their milk than what they can make for it on the black market, reports independent media platform El Toque.

🥛✖️ People on the island have stopped saying "there is no milk" because it’s already a well-known reality. Children under seven and the elderly with special medical dietary needs don’t receive it frequently enough, even though they are the only sectors of the population with the right to acquire it through a government subsidy.

🐄 Cow owners can decide to kill their cows if they first meet the commitments with state contracts for the sale of milk and meat and can guarantee the growth of the herd. Manuel, who has worked in a cooperative for 12 years, believes that the government measure is too little too late.

💰 The government pays producers around $0.71 per liter of milk, depending on its quality, according to the measure approved on Nov. 1, 2021, which aimed to increase production. On the black market, a liter can go for up to $1.46. For producers, it is more lucrative to produce cheese or yogurt and sell it on the black market, at $7.29 per pound. The government blames the difficulties on the pandemic and the toughening of the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

I was steering the ship in the middle of the tempest.

— Australia's former Prime Minister Scott Morrison is resisting pressure to resign from parliament after the revelations that he was secretly sworn in to five major ministries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Morrison's actions have undermined Australia's democratic system. Morrison explained he did not take over the ministries but was only appointed the powers in case of emergency given the exceptional circumstances. Three of the five ministers were not aware that Morrison shared their powers at the time.

✍️ Newsletter by Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard and Lila Paulou


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Society

The German Monk Driving The #MeToo Reckoning In Buddhism

On his blog, Tenzin Peljor, a Berlin-born Buddhist monk investigates complex issues linked to his religion, including physical and sexual abuse in Buddhist communities.

Berlin-born Buddhist monk Tenzin Peljor

Tenzin Peljor via Facebook
Tenzin Tsagong*

FRANKFURT — When I first met Tenzin Peljor over Zoom in March of last year, the 54-year-old German-Buddhist monk had been living in a dorm-sized room at Frankfurt’s Tibet House for over a year. Speaking into a microphone screened by a filter, a bespectacled Peljor, dressed in his maroon robes, looked like a professional podcaster.

Behind him hung a Tibetan tapestry on a white wall, near his twin-sized bed blanketed in red and a white bookshelf lined with Buddhist texts. The place had become a refuge for Peljor since his exile from his former Buddhist institution, the Foundation of the Preservation of Mahayana Teachings in 2019.

Peljor runs a popular Buddhist blog, Difficult Issues — Controversies Within Tibetan Buddhism, to address complicated issues in the religion, especially regarding abusive spiritual teachers. In May 2019, Peljor published on his website a petition created by a group of senior nuns. The nuns demanded that FPMT investigate allegations of sexual assault against one of its senior teachers, Dagri Rinpoche.

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