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In The News

Erdogan Reelected, Kyiv Under Fresh Attacks, Bright Green Venice

Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed a crowd of AKP supporters as he was re-elected at the head of Turkey for a third time.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed a crowd of AKP supporters as he was re-elected at the head of Turkey for a third time.

Bertrand Hauger, Laure Gautherin and Sophie Jacquier

👋 Guuten takh!*

Welcome to Monday, where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gets reelected for an unprecedented third term, explosions rock Kyiv after two nights of sustained drone attacks, and Venice waters turn a mysterious fluorescent green. Meanwhile, for Worldcrunch, Ukrainian journalist Anna Akage wonders whether the recent incursion in Russia’s Belgorod border region could be a turning point in the conflict.

[*Cimbrian, northeastern Italy]


This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.

It's easy (and free!) to sign up to receive it each day in your inbox: 👉 Sign up here


• Erdogan re-elected as Turkish president: Turkey’s strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in power for the past 20 years, was re-elected as the country’s leader in the second round of the presidential election. Erdogan garnered 52.2% of the vote, beating opposition’s Kemal Kilicdaroglu's 47.8%. Kilicdaroglu called the vote "the most unfair election in years" but did not contest the results.

• Kyiv targeted by new wave of attacks: Explosions were reported in the center of Kyiv, as Russia reportedly fired ballistic missiles on the Ukrainian capital. This follows two nights of heavy drone strikes across Ukraine, including in the Lviv, Odessa, Vinnytsia and Khmelnytskyi regions. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces have reportedly conducted shelling in the Russian border region of Belgorod.

• U.S. debt ceiling deal sends stocks up: After weeks of intense negotiations, U.S. President Joe Biden announced an agreement had been found with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to suspend the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025. The announcement of the deal, now scheduled to move to Congress for a vote, has sent world markets up, including Japan’s Nikkei, which hit a 33-year high.

• Japan defenses on alert over North Korea “satellite” launch: Japan has put its ballistic missile defenses on alert after North Korea announced its plan to launch a satellite between May 31 and June 11. The operation is suspected to be either a disguised missile test or Pyongyang’s first military spy satellite into orbit. Japan’s Self Defence Force is ordered to shoot down the satellite or debris if any enters Japanese territory.

• Nigeria president sworn in: President-elect Bola Tinubu is set to be sworn into office after winning the highly disputed presidential election on Feb. 25. The former Lagos governor starts his mandate at the head of Africa's most populous democracy with very high expectations from Nigerians, as the country faces mounting debts and inflation, widespread poverty and hunger, as well as insecurity and corruption.

• First Chinese civilian in space: Gui Haichao will become the first Chinese civilian astronaut to be sent to space. The 36-year-old payload expert and professor at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics has been picked to be part of the crewed Shenzhou XVI mission to the Tiangong space station on Tuesday. Until now, only members of the People’s Liberation Army had been selected for the country’s ambitious space program.

• Bright green Venice: A patch of water in Venice’s famed Grand Canal mysteriously turned fluorescent green, causing equal parts panic and amusement among residents and tourists. Local authorities have collected water samples and opened an urgent investigation. Speculations are mainly directed at climate activists.


Istanbul-based newspaper Milliyet dedicates its frontpage to the re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey’s general elections. In his speech addressing supporters outside the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey's strongman of 20 years assured the crowd that “the entire nation of 85 million won.”


74 million tons

According to a new report released by Greenpeace, the world’s top automakers are responsible for the global emission of 74 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. The environmental advocacy group explains this very high figure by the failure of the industry to decarbonize and solve its dependence on steel as a key manufacturing material. The top 16 automakers used an estimated 39-65 million tons of steel in 2022, with Toyota leading the charge (6.3 million tons), followed by Volkswagen and Hyundai-Kia (5.2 million tons each).


After Belgorod: Does the Russian opposition have a path to push out Putin?

The month of May has seen a brazen drone attack on the Kremlin and a major incursion by Russian rebels across the border war into the Russian region of Belgorod. Could this lead to Russians pushing Vladimir Putin out of power? Or an all-out civil war? Journalist Anna Akage tells us more in Worldcrunch.

🇷🇺 Two far-right Russian units fighting on the side of Ukraine entered the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation, riding on tanks and quickly crossing the border to seize Russian military equipment and take over checkpoints. This was not the first raid, but it was by far the longest and most successful. The units were eventually forced to pass back into Ukrainian territory.

💥 The Russian Volunteer Corps and the Legion of Free Russia, whose fighters entered the Belgorod region, consist of right-wing and far-right Russian nationalists, some of whom also have criminal histories. According to independent Russian Agents Media, the militants include many members of neo-Nazi organizations and adherents of the monarchist system, aiming to bring down Putin's regime by military means.

📰 Russian journalist Andrei Malgin, in an interview with the Vot Tak YouTube channel, said that under the current circumstances, there are no good outcomes for Russia because the opposition is too toothless, the militants are too extremist, and the most popular figure among Russians today is the leader of the Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“Join the Union State of Belarus and Russia. That's all: There will be nuclear weapons for everyone.”

In an interview on Russia's state television, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko invited other nations to unite with neighbor Russia, saying: “No one is against Kazakhstan and other countries having the same close relations that we have with the Russian Federation." Lukashenko, a close ally to Kremlin strongman Vladimir Putin, added that in such a union, there would be "nuclear weapons for everyone," referring to Moscow’s recent deployment of tactical warheads in Belarus, the first such action since the fall of the USSR in 1991.

✍️ Newsletter by Bertrand Hauger, Laure Gautherin and Sophie Jacquier

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food / travel

Inside The Search For Record-Breaking Sapphires In A Remote Indian Valley

A vast stretch of mountains in India's Padder Valley is believed to house sapphire reserves worth $1.2 billion, which could change the fate of one of the poorest districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Photo of sapphire miners at work in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district

Sapphire mining in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district

Jehangir Ali

GULABGARH — Mohammad Abbas recalls with excitement the old days when he joined the hunt in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district to search the world’s most precious sapphires.

Kishtwar’s sapphire mines are hidden in the inaccessible mountains towering at an altitude of nearly 16,000 feet, around Sumchan and Bilakoth areas of Padder Valley in Machail – which is one of the most remote regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Up there, the weather is harsh and very unpredictable,” Abbas, a farmer, said. “One moment the high altitude sun is peeling off your skin and the next you could get frostbite. Many labourers couldn’t stand those tough conditions and fled.”

Abbas, 56, added with a smile: “But those who stayed earned their reward, too.”

A vast stretch of mountains in Padder Valley nestled along Kishtwar district’s border with Ladakh is believed to house sapphire reserves worth $1.2 billion, according to one estimate. A 19.88-carat Kishtwar sapphire broke records in 2013 when it was sold for nearly $2.4 million.

In India, the price of sapphire with a velvety texture and true-blue peacock colour, which is found only in Kishtwar, can reach $6,000 per carat. The precious stone could change the socio-economic landscape of Kishtwar, which is one of the economically most underdeveloped districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

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