👋 Salü bisàmme !*
Welcome to Wednesday, where the first 500 people are allowed to pass out of Gaza into Egypt, Pakistan starts a crackdown on undocumented Afghan migrants, and Spain’s future queen is presented to the nation. Meanwhile, Russian independent news outlet Vazhnyye Istorii talks to Russian future history teachers, who are witnessing how the authorities are rewriting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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• Israel-Gaza latest: The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt has opened for the first time since October 7 to allow some 500 people — including wounded Palestinians and foreign nationals — to leave the war-torn enclave. An Israeli strike hit a refugee camp in the Jabalia area of northern Gaza, reportedly killing at least 50 people. Meanwhile, the Israeli military said that it had thwarted an aerial attack by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, on Tuesday.
• Dozens of undocumented Afghans in Pakistan deported: Pakistani security forces rounded up, detained and deported 64 Afghans who were living in the country illegally, after a government-set deadline for them to leave had expired Wednesday. Part of a new crackdown that targets all undocumented or unregistered foreigners, the sweep mostly affects Afghans. According to the UN, there are more than 2 million undocumented Afghans in Pakistan, at least 600,000 of whom had fled to the country after the Taliban takeover in 2021.
• Japanese police arrest suspected gunman after hostage standoff: Police in Japan have ended an eight-hour hostage standoff with a gunman at a post office in Tokyo after two hostages were freed safely. The man, an 86 year old resident, had entered the post office with a gun about an hour after a nearby hospital shooting in which two people were wounded, connections between the two incidents are being investigated.
• Serbia’s president dissolves parliament, sets early election date: Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić dissolved the country’s parliament and formally set a parliamentary election for December 17. This widely expected election comes as Vučić refused to sign a new U.S.-EU solution for managing Northern Kosovo. Kosovo agreed to the plan, which involves self-management of Northern Kosovo, which would also be a step on the road to official recognition of Kosovo by Belgrade. Read about the potential links between the tensions in Kosovo and Russia’s regional ambitions.
• China kicks off nationwide population poll: China will start polling 1.4 million people on Wednesday to survey population changes. This comes as authorities struggle to incentivise people to have more children in the face of a declining birth rate and the first population drop in more than six decades. The poll will focus on both urban and rural areas throughout the country, and will use a sample of 500,000 households for around two weeks until Nov. 15. Read The Initium’s story about how China's policy is backfiring with teenage pregnancy, translated from Mandarin by Worldcrunch
• Drought forces Panama Canal to limit ship crossings: As El Niño contributes to Panama’s worst drought in more than 70 years, the Panama Canal will make more cuts to the number of ships using the waterway. The Panama Canal Authority says this was the driest October since records began in 1950, this is expected to increase the cost of shipping goods around the world. Booking slots will be cut to 25 per day between Nov. 3 to Nov. 6, and will be gradually reduced further over the coming months to 18 per day beginning Feb. 1, 2024.
• “AI” named Word of the Year by Collins Dictionary: The abbreviation of artificial intelligence, AI, has been named the Collins Word of the Year for 2023. Collins Dictionary said use of the term had “accelerated” and that it had become dominant in conversation in 2023.
Spanish daily ABC devotes its front page to Princess Leonor, who, as heir to the Spanish throne, swore allegiance to her country’s Constitution on her 18th birthday on Tuesday. In a nationally televised ceremony, Leonor de Borbón Ortiz pledged “to faithfully carry out my duties, to keep and uphold the Constitution and the laws and respect the rights of citizens and the autonomous communities and loyalty to the king.” This paves the way for the daughter of Felipe VI’s eventual succession as queen when the time comes.
How Russia's future history teachers are battling Kremlin propaganda
Russia has introduced new history textbooks criticized for replacing facts with propaganda. Students preparing to teach history are torn between “patriotic” and “liberal” narratives, even as they refuse to accept the state's version without debate, reports Veronika Gredinskaya in Russian independent news outlet Vazhnyye Istorii.
🎓 Mikhail, first year student at St. Petersburg State University: While I chose to study history at university, my enthusiasm for the subject was not mirrored by my experiences at school. I found my history teacher's approach to be problematic. Her lessons were heavily laden with ideology, lacking structure, and frequently infused with references to the prevailing state rhetoric. Instead of fostering a genuine historical perspective, her teaching often leaned more towards political science.
🚫 Ira, graduate student at Leningrad State University: In the process of writing scholarly papers, I've encountered a form of unspoken censorship. For example, the term "World War II" is not permitted when discussing events that transpired on the USSR's territory from 1941 to 1945; it must be referred to as the "Great Patriotic War." There are also restrictions on citing certain historians who paint a more varied, non-propagandised picture of the past century.
📖 Alexander, fourth year student at Tomsk State University: In general, I'm feeling a sense of disillusionment. While the ideas present in the Federal State Educational Standards (FSES) may not be methodologically flawed, the content often leans towards traditional values, particularly in light of the ongoing military operation. The new textbooks, especially the one for the 11th grade, leave much to be desired. They appear one-sided and prematurely celebratory. How can we confidently declare victory when we don't yet know how it will all conclude?
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➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
“There can be no excuse.”
— King Charles III spoke at a state banquet organized by Kenyan President William Ruto about the atrocities committed by England during its colonial rule of Kenya. Charles will be in Kenya for a total of four days, his first tour of an African and commonwealth country as the sovereign of England. The Kenya Human Rights Commission said Charles’ statement was insufficient, calling for an “unequivocal public apology” and the payment of reparations.
• What It Means To Be A Journalist In Gaza — MADA MASR
✍️ Newsletter by Michelle Courtois, Valeria Berghinz and Anne-Sophie Goninet
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