Welcome to Friday, where Ukraine is on world leaders’ minds as they arrive in New Delhi for the G20 summit, North Korea shows off its first “nuclear attack submarine,” and King Charles marks one year since the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II. Meanwhile, Patryk Szymański of Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza takes us inside Ukraine's International Legion, which has joined the front lines forces of the counteroffensive.
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• Ukraine war looms over G20, with Xi and Putin no-shows: World leaders began arriving in New Delhi on Friday for the annual two-day G20 summit as negotiators struggle to build a consensus over the war in Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Bin Salman and Japan's Fumio Kishida have confirmed participation, while Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin will be absent. Read what Xi’s absence says about the current “splintering” state of the world.
• North Korea unveils first “nuclear attack submarine”: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a ceremony to reveal the country’s first operational “tactical nuclear attack submarine” named Hero Kim Kun Ok after a North Korean historical figure. The leader said the submarine will be one of the main “underwater offensive means of the naval force” of North Korea but South Korean authorities raised doubts over whether the vessel even works properly.
• Attack on river boat in Mali kills at least 49 civilians: Mali’s government has declared three days of national mourning after armed groups attacked a passenger boat in the northeastern part of the country, killing at least 49 civilians. The assaillants, reportedly Islamist militants, also attacked a military camp, leaving 15 soldiers dead.
• Hong Kong and southern China hit by heaviest rain in 140 years: Hong Kong and several southern Chinese cities are battling widespread flooding as the region is being hit by the heaviest rain since records began 140 years ago. One person has been killed and 83 injured as rescue operations are still underway. Meanwhile, in central Greece, more than 800 people have been rescued over the past two days from extreme flooding as the death toll has risen to six.
• Gabon junta appoints former opposition leader as interim prime minister: Gabon’s military government, which seized power in a coup last week, has appointed as interim prime minister Raymond Ndong Sima, a former opposition leader and opponent of ousted president Ali Bongo Ondimba. The 68-year-old economist served as prime minister under Bongo from 2012 to 2014 before resigning and challenging the longtime leader in elections in 2016 and 2023.
• Operation to rescue American explorer trapped in Turkish cave to begin: Turkish officials said they are ready to begin the rescue operation of an American researcher who became ill while more than 3,000 feet down a cave in southern Turkey’s Taurus Mountains. Mark Dickey, a 40-year-old experienced caver, started suffering from stomach bleeding during an expedition.
• Rugby World Cup kicks off in France: The 10th edition of the Rugby World Cup is kicking off with host France playing New Zealand’s All Blacks before a sold-out Stade de France in Paris. The competition’s final is scheduled for Oct. 28.
Brazilian daily Correio Braziliense hails yesterday’s “celebration of peace” on its front page, as Sept. 7 marks Brazil’s declaration of independence from the kingdom of Portugal. More than 50,000 people were present in Rio de Janeiro to watch military parades and participate in Independence Day celebrations, presided over by President Lula.
Following reports that China plans to ban the use of iPhones in government-backed agencies and companies, Apple lost about $200 billion in just two days — and its stock is currently the worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as their shares fell by 2.9% on Thursday. China is the largest foreign market for the company’s products, with sales there representing around one-fifth of the company’s total revenue last year. Analysts at Bank of America found that the potential iPhone ban could be due to a new “high-end flagship smartphone” released by Chinese manufacturer Huawei. Read a story by Chinese-language media The Initium from inside the Foxconn factory, where many of Apple’s products are built.
With Ukraine's International Legion, on the front lines of the counteroffensive
What draws foreigners to fight in Ukraine? Is it bravery, gall, money — or something else? On the ground with the International Legion, Patryk Szymański investigates for Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.
🇺🇦 The International Territorial Defense Legion of Ukraine emerged only three days after the Russian aggression began, on the direct orders of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In under two weeks, over 20,000 volunteers from 52 countries signed up to join the unit. Today, the number of soldiers fighting in the Legion is kept secret, for the security of its members. There is a $25,000 reward on their heads, and online, Russians exchange photos and information about the identity of the legionnaires.
🎖️ Lee belonged to the Legion for several months, fighting on the front lines and doing several missions behind enemy lines as a commando. When he left the unit, he was one of the first foreigners to be directly incorporated into the Ukrainian Armed Forces, where he now serves as a special units instructor. “When I was first leaving England, I made my peace with everyone. I didn’t think that I would be here very long; I thought that coming here was a death sentence," Lee said.
💥 “Stupid, crazy, unbalanced — apparently — but brave? No. There is nothing brave in a person fighting in the war," Lee said, trying to answer my question about what pushed him to go fight in a war abroad. “It wasn’t anything heroic. All of this romantic nonsense is fiction; there is only bloody violence," he said.
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“Our gratitude for such an extraordinary life of duty and dedication only continues to grow.”
— King Charles III has issued a message to mark the first anniversary of his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s death. The country’s longest-reigning sovereign died a year to this day at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, after a 70-year reign. Charles marked the first anniversary of the Queen’s death — and his ensuing accession to the British throne — by recalling “with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us.”
• Xi Jinping's G20 Absence — And Risks Of A Splintering World — FRANCE INTER
• Don't Be Fooled By The Myth Of Venezuelan And Cuban Doctors — EL ESPECTADOR
✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Valeria Berghinz, Michelle Courtois and Bertrand Hauger
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