When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
In The News

Omicron Restrictions, Iran Nuclear Talks Resume, Thai Monkey Festival

Photo of a leaning Christmas tree next to a barricaded house in deserted Mayschoss, Germany, a village hit by a flood disaster in July

In deserted Mayschoss, Germany, a village hit by a flood disaster in July

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Kaixo!*

Welcome to Monday, where the Omicron variant prompts new restrictions and border closures, talks on Iran’s nuclear deal resume in Vienna and Thailand’s monkey festival is back. We also take you on an international journey into the wonderfully weird world of microstates.

[*Kie-sho, Basque]


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


COVID-19 update:Israel and Japan have both closed their borders to non-citizens to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant. Meanwhile, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was "deeply disappointed" by the travel bans targeting his country over the variant. G7 health ministers are holding an emergency meeting today to discuss Omicron, after several European countries have reported their first cases, which the WHO warns poses “very high” global risk.

Iran nuclear talks restart today: Iran will recommence negotiations in Vienna with the United States and other parties. American allies are not optimistic about a resolution, given the steps Tehran’s new government has recently taken toward potential nuclear armament, including announcing more advances in uranium enrichment.

Ethiopia denies attack near Sudan border: Ethiopia has said it’s not responsible for a weekend attack on an army post that resulted in the deaths of six Sudanese soldiers. Authorities instead placed blame on unrest by rebels in the contested Tigray region.

Honduras woman claims election win: Leftist opposition candidate Xiomara Castro of the Liberty and Refundation Party (LIBRE) has declared victory in Sunday’s elections, which would make her Honduras's first female president. Preliminary results show Castro is in the lead with more than 53% support, but the incumbent National Party, led by Nasry Asfura, is also claiming victory.

Ghislaine Maxwell trial to begin today: The high-profile trial of UK socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who is facing charges including sex trafficking for her role in aiding deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein in abusing underage girls, opens today in New York. It is expected to last six weeks.

Virgil Abloh dies: American fashion designer Virgil Abloh died on Sunday at the age of 41 of a rare cancer. A pioneer in bringing streetwear into high fashion through his luxury brand Off-White, Abloh made history in 2018 when he was named Louis Vuitton’s menswear designer, becoming the first African-American to head a major European fashion house.

Thai monkey festival returns: With tourism back in Thailand, monkey business is also returning after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, with thousands of macaques gathering in Lopburi to feast on fruit and vegetables. The annual “Monkey Buffet Festival” was originally created to thank the monkeys for bringing in visitors to the town, northeast of Bangkok.


“The world shields itself from Omicron,” Spanish daily ABC titles, as the discovery of the new fast-spreading COVID-19 variant prompts several countries like Israel, Japan and Morocco to close their borders for foreign travelers.


Großer Zapfenstreich

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose successor will be sworn in next week, will be given a customary farewell military ceremony known as Großer Zapfenstreich (“Grand Tattoo”) this Thursday. In keeping with tradition, the outgoing leader has been allowed to choose three songs to be played during the ceremony — and one in particular was unexpected: Punk rocker Nina Hagen’s “Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen” (“You Forgot the Color Film”), a 1974 hit in East Germany, where Merkel grew up, which was understood at the time as a veiled criticism of the socialist German Democratic Republic (GDR).


Micronations, a world tour of 8 bizzaro spots barely on the map

Micronations have sprung up over the decades as a solution for everything — from protesting your government to wanting to issue your own banknotes to even simply being able to sing your very own self-acclaiming national anthem. Worldcrunch takes you on a tour around some of the world's most peculiar mini-states.

🎣 Republic of Parva Domus, fishing for pleasure: The self-proclaimed micronation is easy to miss: with a territory of just 0.2 km² nestled in a Punta Carretas neighborhood of the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo. The Republic of Parva Domus was established 140 years ago by amateur Uruguayan fishermen who wanted to have their own, handy storage unit for their fishing rods. The nation's mission is "pleasure and happiness," as proclaimed in their national anthem.

😆 La République du Saugeais, born from a joke: In the département of Doubs, in eastern France, the Republic of 128 km² extends for 11 municipalities. In 1947, the prefect of the department of Doubs came to Montbenoît and had lunch in the Hôtel de l'Abbaye, owned by Georges Pourchet. Jokingly, Pourchet asked the prefect if he had a permit to enter the Republic of Saugeais. After inventing details about the fantasy republic, the prefect responded by naming Pourchet president of the Free Republic of Saugeais.

🏳️🌈 Gay & Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands: In 2004, a group of gay rights activists from Australia established the micronation as a symbolic political protest, after the government of Australia's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages. On June 14, 2004, the activists arrived at Cato island on the Gayflower ship, raised the rainbow pride flag and declared the Coral Sea Islands an independent gay and lesbian state. The Kingdom was dissolved in November 2017 after Australia legalized gay marriage.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


She wanted a better life but she ended up in the sea.

— Nuri Hama Amin, father of Maryam Nuri Hama Amin, said just days after his daughter died with 26 other migrants in the English Channel while attempting to make the journey from France to England. The 24-year-old Kurdish woman from northern Iraq, who was the first victim to be identified, was reportedly trying to join her fiancee who had settled in the UK.

✍️Newsletter Anne-Sophie Goninet, Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

Any monkeying around to report? Let us know what’s making news in your part of the world: info@worldcrunch.com 

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


The Pope's Bronchitis Can't Hide What Truly Ails The Church — Or Whispers Of Succession

It is not only the health of the Pope that worries the Holy See. From the collapse of vocations to the conservative wind in the USA, there are many ills to face.

 Pope Francis reaches over to tough the hands of devotees during his  General Audience at the Vatican.​

November 29, 2023: Pope Francis during his wednesday General Audience at the Vatican.

Evandro Inetti/ZUMA
Gianluigi Nuzzi

ROME — "How am I? I'm fine... I'm still alive, you know? See, I'm not dead!"

With a dose of irony and sarcasm, Pope Francis addressed those who'd paid him a visit this past week as he battled a new lung inflammation, and the antibiotic cycles and extra rest he still must stick with on strict doctors' orders.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

The Pope is dealing with a sensitive respiratory system; the distressed tracheo-bronchial tree can cause asthmatic reactions, with the breathlessness in his speech being the most obvious symptom. Tired eyes and dark circles mark his swollen face. A sense of unease and bewilderment pervades and only diminishes when the doctors restate their optimism about his general state of wellness.

"The pope's ailments? Nothing compared to the health of the Church," quips a priest very close to the Holy Father. "The Church is much worse off, marked by chronic ailments and seasonal illnesses."

Keep reading...Show less

The latest