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In The News

G7 Security For Ukraine, North Korea Fires Missile, AI vs Human Workers

The flag of Ukraine is being installed for the NATO-Ukraine meeting at the NATO summit.
Valeria Berghinz and Chloé Touchard,

👋 Konta!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Ukraine is set to receive a G7 security package at the NATO summit, North Korea fires a long-range missile ahead of a Japan-South Korea meeting and one Indian business owner is a bit overeager about the AI revolution. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news website Livy Bereg looks at the pros and cons of the “Israel Model” and its security guarantees as an alternative to Ukraine’s NATO membership.

[*Papiamento, Dutch Caribbean]


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• At NATO summit, a G7 security package for Ukraine: G7 members at the two-day NATO summit in Vilnius will lay out a new security arrangement that would provide a wide range of equipment and intelligence for Ukraine. The announcement follows NATO’s reluctance to declare a timeframe for Kyiv’s entry into the military alliance, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called “absurd.”

• Russian submarine commander shot to death while jogging: Stanislav Rzhitsky, a Russian submarine commander, was shot and killed during a jog earlier this week in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. Nobody has taken responsibility for the death, but Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence disclosed an unusually detailed statement of the circumstances of the shooting. Meanwhile, Russian authorities have so far arrested one man for possession of a silencer gun, and are investigating whether Rzhitsky had been tracked through the Strava running app.

• North Korea fires long-range missile ahead of Japan-South Korea summit: North Korea fired what is suspected to be an intercontinental ballistic missile off its east coast Wednesday, just hours before Japan and South Korea were set to meet at the NATO summit in Vilnius to discuss global responses to threats in Asia, including North Korea and its nuclear weapons.

• Thailand’s Prime Minister announces retirement from politics two days ahead of election: Prayut Chan-o-cha, Thailand’s current Prime Minister, announced that he will not seek re-election and will retire from politics. Parliament is set to elect a Prime Minister on Thursday, following a May election where Thais roundly rejected military-backed rule. Prayut concludes his nine-year rule, which began when, as an army chief, he seized power during a coup.

• Japanese Supreme Court’s landmark LGBTQ+ ruling against bathroom restriction: A trans woman’s suit against her government employer for restricting access to women’s bathrooms was supported by Japan’s Supreme Court, marking the nation’s first high court ruling involving LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace.

• Czech author Milan Kundera dies at 94: The acclaimed Czech writer Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, has died in his Paris apartment after a long illness.

• Indian CEO replaces 90% of staff with AI, faces (human) backlash: Summit Shah, founder of e-commerce company Dukaan, is facing a wave of criticism for a series of tweets where he’d explained his decision to replace 90% of personnel with AI chatbots.


“A torn country” is the front-page headline of Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, after thousands of demonstrators took to the street yesterday for a “disruption day” to protest the government’s Supreme Court bill. Protesters blocked Israel’s main airport and highways and clashed with police forces in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The bill, pushed by the governing far-right coalition, is part of a larger judicial overhaul plan that would limit the Supreme Court’s oversight powers.



More than a quarter of jobs are at high risk from the coming artificial intelligence revolution, according to the OECD in a new report on the impact of AI on the workforce. The Paris-based OECD found that 27% of jobs use easily automated skills that could be replaced with AI, leaving workers fearing for their job stability. The findings of this first-ever study also reveal some surprising positive attitudes among employees already working with AI, with two-thirds praising it for making their tasks less dangerous or tedious.


Ukraine's NATO entry is on hold — is the “Israel Model” a viable alternative?

The NATO Summit in Vilnius will confirm that Ukraine's entry to join the alliance must be delayed. U.S. President Biden has implied Ukraine could get similar security guarantees and support as Israel. There are clear pros and cons of such a security model, which did not happen overnight, writes Oleksandr Demchenko in Ukrainian news website Livy Bereg.

🇺🇦🇮🇱 Biden said that before Ukraine becomes a member of the alliance, the United States might consider providing Kyiv with security guarantees based on the “Israel Model.” The Americans understand that there is no consensus in NATO on Ukraine's accession as some countries are still afraid of the prospect of a direct confrontation with Russia. Washington also understands that Moscow will prolong the war just to deter Ukraine's accession to NATO, and even if it loses, Russia will prepare for revenge.

🤝 Over the past half-century, the United States has been helping Israel defend itself, on multiple levels and across different sectors of the military and society at large. The U.S. organizes joint training exercises and provides medical equipment, military technology, surveillance systems, training, and counseling. Cooperation also extends to the information front, where both countries exchange sensitive information on the situation in the Middle East.

⚠️ But it's key to understand that the United States can use security guarantees not only as a carrot but also as a stick. Some prior White House administrations have put pressure on Israel and threatened to cut off defense support and financial assistance during various wars that Jerusalem waged to defend itself or restore its territorial integrity.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“She had a long job of detaching herself from the cult mentality and accepting responsibility for her crimes.”

— Leslie Van Houten, a former follower of notorious cult leader Charles Manson, was released on parole on Tuesday after serving 53 years for participating in the Manson family’s killing spree. Van Houten, now 73, took part in two brutal murders in 1969 in Los Angeles when she was 19, and was ultimately sentenced to life in prison. Her lawyer Nancy Tetreault told the BBC that the granting of parole came after decades of exemplary behavior and Van Houten’s own inner explorations: “It took her a long time. She had decades of therapy. So she felt guilt and deep remorse.” Manson, who died in prison in 2017 without ever expressing remorse, had directed several of his followers to commit nine murders in the hope it would start a race war.

✍️ Newsletter by Valeria Berghinz, Chloé Touchard, Yannick Champion-Osselin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine's Battered Energy Sector Hopes For A Miracle In Time For Winter

The country is scrambling to shore up production and distribution amid the inevitability of continued Russian attacks, questions around the pace of restoration of damaged facilities, and the possibility of a harsher winter than last year's.

An elderly woman walks down the street by the apartment building that was damaged by Russian shelling in Zaporizhzhia.

An elderly woman walks down the street by the apartment building that was damaged by Russian shelling in Zaporizhzhia on Oct. 18.

Mykola Topalov

KYIV — Before Russia's invasion, the Ukrainian energy sector typically conducted annual maintenance and repairs between May and September. However, it is struggling to keep up in the aftermath of the significant damage inflicted on power generation and distribution facilities.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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With a substantial number of these facilities either destroyed or damaged, a full recovery within six months is implausible. Predicting potential power outages is also challenging, as it depends on the scale of future Russian attacks. The only thing that can be predicted with a high degree of certainty is that these attacks will persist.

Furthermore, the Russian tactics have evolved, now involving the use of drones to overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses and target infrastructure. Ukraine is adapting to this threat and developing countermeasures, but citizens should nonetheless brace for the possible power disruptions.

Towards the end of summer, varying assessments emerged regarding the readiness of Ukraine's energy system for the winter. Some of them caused concern. For instance, Lana Zerkal, a former advisor to the Minister of Energy, revealed that only one third of the planned restoration of thermal power plants had been completed.

Kostiantyn Uschapovskyi, head of the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Utilities (NCRECP), added that restoration work on combined heat and power plants and thermal power plants had covered a mere 1.6% of the damage inflicted by the Russians.

"Unfortunately, the figures we have for emergency and recovery work completed by July 1 do not provide a positive outlook for the successful completion of the Winterization Plan," he said.

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