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In The News

More Gaza Exits, Putin Pulls Out Of Nuke Treaty, Meloni Pranked

Photograph of two Israeli soldiers embracing and crying into one another's arms.

Israeli soldiers cry as they attend the funeral of Staff Sgt. Lavi Lipshitz, who was killed during a ground operation in Gaza.

Emma Albright and Valeria Berghinz

👋 Hej!*

Welcome to Thursday, where a modest flow of people continue to exit Gaza into Egypt, Putin revokes Russia’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and Italy’s Giorgia Meloni didn’t realize who she was talking to. Meanwhile, we also look at how so-called “Ghost Kitchens” are now spreading through Europe to feed delivery service demand.

[*Swedish]

✅  SIGN UP

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.

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Israel-Hamas war update: More civilians are expected to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing today after the UN announced that more than 400 people arrived Wednesday in Egypt from the war-torn Palestinian enclave. Meanwhile, Israel's military says it is targeting Hamas infrastructure, including tunnels and rocket launchers, and had killed “dozens” of Hamas fighters overnight. The health ministry in Gaza says more than 9,000 people have been killed in the enclave since Oct. 7.

• Putin revokes Russia’s ratification of nuclear test ban treaty: Russian President Vladimir Putin has revoked his country’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The signing of the new law to abandon the landmark agreement outlawing nuclear weapons tests came on Thursday, a week after Russia’s upper house Federation Council unanimously approved it.

• Myanmar loses control of important town on border with China: Myanmar’s military government says it has lost control of Chinshwehaw, an important town on the border with China after days of fierce fighting with armed groups. It’s a significant loss to the generals who seized power from Myanmar’s elected government in February 2021 and have since struggled to contain opposition to their rule.

• Uganda captures chief of ISIS blamed for tourist murders: Uganda says it has captured the leader of an ISIS-linked militia unit it blames for killing two foreign tourists and their local guide in a national park last month. The militia chief known as “Njovu” was detained on Tuesday during a raid in which six members of his squad were killed, the government said on Thursday.

• Storm Ciarán hits France with 207 kph winds: The Ciarán storm hit northwestern Europe on Thursday with strong winds and torrential rain, killing one person in France and forcing the closure of schools, airports, and rail and ferry services, and leaving 1.2 million French households without electricity. Die Welt recently wrote about the growing tendency to blame every natural disaster on climate change, translated from German by Worldcrunch.

• Uber and Lyft to pay $328 million to settle wage theft claims: Ride-sharing companies, Uber and Lyft, will pay a combined $328 million to settle claims by New York's attorney general that the companies systematically cheated drivers out of pay and benefits. Drivers will now also be guaranteed minimum hourly rates and paid sick leave, and be given notices and in-app chat support to address their questions about earnings and other working conditions.

• Meloni pranked by Russians posing as African public officials: Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni spoke of international fatigue with the conflict in Ukraine and a lack of support for Italy in dealing with migration in a phone call with Russian prank callers. A 13-minute audio of the call, which dates back to September, was released online by Russians Vovan and Lexus. Meloni's office said in a statement it regretted that she had been deceived by an impostor posing as the head of the African Union Commission. Read this Ukrainska Pravda piece about what Zelensky must do to maintain the West’s support for Ukraine, translated from Ukrainian by Worldcrunch.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

The Brazilian daily O Estado De S. Paulo features yesterday's opening of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt on its front page. Injured Palestinians and foreign nationals were allowed out of Gaza, though as the the daily notes, no Brazilians among those included on the first day. Holders of foreign passports continue to exit Gaza on Thursday.

#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS

5

The ‘akikiki, a small bird native to Hawaii, is facing an imminent threat of extinction, with scientists warning that only five of the species remain in the wild. The biggest threat to the birds are malaria-carrying mosquitoes, which previously had not been able to reach the mountainous heights of the ‘akikiki’s habitat. Rising temperatures from climate change have enabled the mosquitoes to reach these previously closed-off areas.

📰 STORY OF THE DAY

“Ghost Kitchens” Are Coming To Europe — Why They Might Not Last

“Ghost Kitchens” or “Dark Kitchens" — restaurants that only serve delivery customers — have exploded in the post-pandemic landscape, and are now becoming more common in Europe. Katarzyna Skiba for Worldcrunch explains how in spite of their convenience, many have reported poor working conditions and health code violations.

📦 Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, online deliveries have drastically increased in recent years. Even as lockdowns have come to an end, the promises of convenience from online giants such as Amazon, to delivery apps such as GoPuff, Deliveroo and UberEats continue to aid their ongoing success among consumers. Though fast-food and convenient shipping are best-known as an American phenomenon, “ghost kitchens," or online restaurants without a storefront, have now entered the European market.

🇺🇸 The first known ghost kitchen was established in 2021 by Zuul, an American company, in New York City. According to the software company Flipdish, ghost kitchens are expected to fulfill half of all food orders in the U.S., especially in the cases of simple and fast dishes like pizza, ramen or fried foods.

🍽 In spite of the growth of these online-only restaurants, traditional restaurants are not expected to disappear just yet. Especially since, according to a report by ARC Rynek, the youngest people are the least willing to order from ghost kitchens, especially as information about their working conditions and poor quality food has spread online. “Foodie” culture, and concern with the increasing price of eating out at all has also placed pressure on the growth of the sub-sector.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

“There is potential for serious, even catastrophic, harm.”

— The Global AI Safety Summit opened on Wednesday at Bletchley Park in the UK with a landmark declaration on AI’s potential threat to humanity. The countries involved in the Bletchley declaration include the U.S., the U.K., China and the EU. Business leaders and experts were also called on to participate, including Elon Musk, boss at Tesla, SpaceX and X (formerly Twitter), who said AI is “going to be far more intelligent than us.”

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright and Valeria Berghinz


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Society

Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

✉️ You can receive our Bon Vivant selection of fresh reads on international culture, food & travel directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

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