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In The News

Israel’s 9/11, Afghanistan Earthquake, Economics Nobel

Photo of Israeli soldiers deployed in Ofakim, southern Israel

Israeli soldiers deployed in Ofakim, southern Israel. The total death toll has risen above 1,100 following Hamas’ unprecedented attack against Israel, with Israeli rescue operations underway to try and recover dozens of people who were kidnapped and reportedly taken into Gaza.

Emma Albright, Valeria Berghinz, Michelle Courtois and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 ꦲꦭꦺꦴ*

Welcome to Monday, where fighting continues to rage between Israel’s military and Hamas as the death toll tops 1,100, an earthquake in Afghanistan kills at least 2,000 and the Nobel economics prize honors work on wage inequality between men and women. Meanwhile, Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza examines the exodus of priests leaving the clergy in Poland’s Catholic Church .

[*Halo - Javanese, Indonesia]


The Hamas-Israel war: What we already know has changed forever

There will be a before and an after to October 7, 2023, so unprecedented and traumatic have the events of the last 48 hours been for Israel, followed by massive retaliation. We can already draw several lessons from this.

This war broke out only 48 hours ago, and the Israeli response has only just begun, while the fate of the Israeli hostages is unknown. The death toll itself remains staggering, with over 700 Israelis dead, and hundreds more on the Palestinian side.

Even if it may seem risky to draw lessons at this early stage, this war is already changing the political equation in the Middle East — and we must try to grasp its impact. The potential for change can be broken down from three angles: on the Israeli side, on the Palestinian side, and the meaning for the entire region.

In Israel, the shock is immense, some local commentators consider it to be the greatest trauma since the independence of the Jewish state in 1948. Never before have soldiers from Arab countries set foot in Israel itself, as the terrorists did on Saturday on an unprecedented scale.

The political price of this security failure will be high, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right allies will ultimately not be able to escape the failure caused by their ideological choices : they have divided Israel and put unprecedented pressure on the Occupied Territories.

Their leadership is bankrupt — and the moment for true accountability will begin as soon as hostilities end.

On the Palestinian side, by carrying out such a well-planned, murderous and brutal attack, the Islamists of Hamas are sending out a double message: firstly to the millions of Palestinians, to claim leadership, at the expense of the Fatah and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser Arafat's successor, but also a message to the countries of the region, in particular Saudi Arabia, which is turning its back on the Palestinians.

This violent claim to leadership is a way to discredit the ineffective and corrupt Palestinian Authority — particularly at a time when the Palestinian territories are in such turmoil in the absence of any political perspective for the future.

It may come as a surprise that a terrorist operation targeting civilians is a way of asserting leadership. But in the face of the Palestinians' exasperation with the weight and hopelessness of occupation , radicalism is a political language.

The terror inflicted on the adversary satisfies a desire for revenge, and Hamas knows how to do it.

The third perspective is the region, with two key countries — Iran and Saudi Arabia. As far as Iran is concerned, it holds the key to activate another of Israel's adversaries, Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon, Israel's northern neighbor. There have been some limited exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel, and the Israeli army has asked citizens in the north to evacuate their homes.

If Hezbollah enters the fray, it will be Tehran's decision. That's not yet the case, and it's quite possible that the northern front will remain under control. This question above all determines the scale of the war, which is no minor matter.

Saudi Arabia is now the big player: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was ready to sign a pact with Israel while largely ignoring the fate of the Palestinians. But will he still be able to do so, now that the Palestinian question has suddenly returned to center stage, and Arab opinion once again mobilized?

The entire regional equation therefore needs to be re-examined, even after only 48 hours: the reverberations from Gaza are almost certain to reach far and wide.

Pierre Haski / France Inter


• Israel orders “complete siege” of Gaza: Israel's Defence Minister Yoav Gallant says he has ordered a “complete siege” of the Hamas-occupied Gaza Strip. “We are putting a complete siege on Gaza […] No electricity, no food, no water, no gas — it’s all closed,” Gallant said in a video statement, referring to the crowded enclave home to 2.3 million people.

• Race to rescue victims in Herat Province after earthquake in Afghanistan: Emergency teams in Afghanistan are racing to rescue people from the rubble left by a powerful earthquake that struck the west of the country. More than 2,000 people are feared dead after a 6.3-magnitude quake hit villages in Herat Province on Saturday. With communications down and many roads blocked, rescue workers are struggling to reach remote areas.

• Far-right, conservatives gain in German votes in blow to Scholz: Germany’s center-right opposition won two state elections on Sunday in two of the largest and wealthiest states, Bavaria and Hesse. The results are a blow for all three parties in Chancellor Olaf Scholz ' left-wing-led national coalition.

• Russian drone attacks rising: Air Force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said that Ukraine expects a record number of Russian drone attacks this winter. The announcement came after a dozen people were wounded in a Russian attack on the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson. Ihnat told national television that Russia had already used a “record” number of more than 500 Iranian-made drones in September, compared with about 1,000 over a six-month period during last winter.

• Hong Kong issues “black” rain warning amid typhoon: Hong Kong has closed schools and suspended trading on the stock exchange after Typhoon Koinu brought torrential rain and storm-force winds to the southern Chinese territory.

• Azerbaijan’s leader says country is ready to hold peace treaty talks with Armenia: Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev said that his country was ready to hold talks with Armenia on a prospective peace treaty after reclaiming the breakaway Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh, noting that Georgia would be a preferable venue for the negotiations.

• Nobel Prize in Economics: American economic historian Claudia Goldin won the Nobel Prize in Economics for “having advanced our understanding of women's labor market outcomes,” according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences .


“The horror and the heroism,” titles Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth , reporting on the rising death toll following Hamas’ unprecedented attack against Israel. The estimated death count stands at 700 so far, and rescue operations are underway to try and recover dozens of people who were kidnapped and reportedly taken into Gaza. The death toll among Palestinians is also rising, currently at 511, after Israel’s retaliation in Gaza. The vast majority of newspapers around the world are dedicating their front pages to the sudden escalation of violence in the Middle East, check our international collection .



The men’s marathon world record was shattered on Sunday by Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, who completed the Chicago marathon in two hours and 35 seconds. The 23-year-old beat previous record-holder Eliud Kipchoge, also Kenyan, by more than 30 seconds, a time of 2:01:09 which had been set in Berlin in 2022.


Why Catholic clergy in Poland are leaving the priesthood en masse

Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza reports on the exodus of priests leaving the clergy in Poland’s Catholic Church. Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki had collected the initial data for how many priests had left in the summer months, and in a letter urged the men to not abandon their vocations. But why are Polish priests leaving?

📿 Archbishop Gądecki took it upon himself to diagnose the issue. In his list he named, among other reasons, the quality of education available in seminaries as well as the poor level of pastoral work accessible to priests. He also cited certain factors in the priesthood that might be “limiting to their personal development,” which might have contributed to the high number of recent departures.

⛪ According to young priests, the structural problems within the Church hierarchy have become especially amplified in recent years. “Today, it is rare that young priests take over large and valued parishes,” explained a priest who currently works in Poznań. In his view, priests in the past were offered more opportunities for advancement than those today.

🎤 Gazeta Wyborzca spoke to one parish priest who dismissed the exodus as commonplace, believing the reason to be “simple in the majority of cases – celibacy issues and affairs.” He also cited what he deemed attacks by the media targeted at the Church as one of the reasons why many are choosing to leave. “How many times can we explain that not every priest is a pedophile? Not everyone can stand it.”

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“This is our 9/11.”

— In the last few hours, two senior members of the Israeli military have compared Saturday's attacks from Gaza to the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. “This is our 9/11,” said Major Nir Dinar, while Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus was quoted as saying: "This could be a 9/11 and a Pearl Harbor wrapped into one.” He added, “It is, by far, the worst day in Israeli history.” Over 1,100 people have been confirmed dead in Israel and Gaza since the attacks began.


Photo of Israeli soldiers deployed in Ofakim, southern Israel

Israeli soldiers deployed in Ofakim, southern Israel. The total death toll has risen above 1,100 following Hamas’ unprecedented attack against Israel, with Israeli rescue operations underway to try and recover dozens of people who were kidnapped and reportedly taken into Gaza. — Photo: Zhang Tianlang/Xinhua/ZUMA

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Valeria Berghinz, Michelle Courtois and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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Violence Against Women, The Patriarchy And Responsibility Of The Good Men Too

The femicide of Giulia Cecchettin has shaken Italy, and beyond. Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra looks at what lies behind femicides and why all men must take more responsibility.

A protester's sign referring to the alleged killer reads: Filippo isn't a monster, he's the healthy son of the patriarchy

Matteo Nardone/Pacific Press via ZUMA Press
Ignacio Pereyra

Updated Dec. 3, 2023 at 10:40 p.m.


ATHENS — Are you going to write about what happened in Italy?, Irene, my partner, asks me. I have no idea what she's talking about. She tells me: a case of femicide has shaken the country and has been causing a stir for two weeks.

As if the fact in itself were not enough, I ask what is different about this murder compared to the other 105 women murdered this year in Italy (or those that happen every day around the world).

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

We are talking about a country where the expression "fai l'uomo" (be a man) abounds, with a society so prone to drama and tragedy and so fond of crime stories as few others, where the expression "crime of passion" is still mistakenly overused.

In this context, the sister of the victim reacted in an unexpected way for a country where femicide is not a crime recognized in the penal code, contrary to what happens, for example, in almost all of Latin America.

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