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In The News

Israel To Vote, Bolsonaro To Speak, Same-Sex Progress In Tokyo

Israel To Vote, Bolsonaro To Speak, Same-Sex Progress In Tokyo

Kyiv is experiencing increasing blackouts and water cuts after Russian strikes rained down on critical infrastructure in the Ukrainian capital

Anne-Sophie Goninet and Jeff Israely

👋 Rimaykullayki!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Russia announces the “mobilization” of new troops is now complete, Benjamin Netanyahu eyes a comeback in Israel and Tokyo’s same-sex couples cheer a step in the right direction. Meanwhile, Clarin’s Marcelo Cantelmi looks at the challenges that await Lula, Brazil’s future president, following his narrow victory against incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.



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• Putin says “partial mobilization” is complete, forced civilian evacuations expand: Russian President Vladimir Putin said enough new military personnel had been called up to be able to end the “mobilization” drive needed in Ukraine. Meanwhile, pro-Russia forces in occupied southern Ukraine have widened the zone for forced civilian evacuation, a move that Ukraine calls forced deportation.

• Israel goes to polls: Israelis are heading back to the polls for their fifth election in less than four years, as right-wing former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was forced from office in mid-2021, seeks a potential comeback.

• Bolsonaro yet to concede in Brazil, speech expected today: After nearly 48 hours of silence following his defeat, President Jair Bolsonaro is expected to speak later Tuesday. There is no indication of whether he will concede the election to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who obtained 51% of the votes. Bolsonaro had said during the campaign that he could lose the election only if the results were rigged, and since Sunday his supporters, including military units, have blocked roads.

• South Korea police admit responsibility over Seoul crush: South Korea’s police chief accepted “a heavy responsibility” for failing to prevent the crowd crush in Seoul’s Itaewon district, as the death toll climbed to 156 with 151 injured, 29 of whom are in serious condition.

• Algeria hosts Arab League summit: Arab leaders are meeting in the Algerian capital of Algiers for the first Arab League summit since before the coronavirus pandemic and the first since several countries of the 22-member bloc have normalized ties with Israel.

• Musk appoints himself Twitter CEO as massive job cuts loom: Less than a week since finalizing his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, Elon Musk has dissolved the social media’s board of directors and named himself CEO. Reports are swirling that Musk plans to layoff some 25% of employees. The first major strategic change Musk is considering is making people and companies pay a monthly fee to be “verified” users.

• Tokyo starts recognizing same-sex relationships: Tokyo’s metropolitan government has begun issuing partnership certificates to same-sex couples who live and work in the capital, a long-awaited move in a country that still doesn’t allow same-sex marriages.


Brazilian daily Folha de São Paulo reports on the road blockades initiated by lorry drivers who support President Jair Bolsonaro following his poll defeat to leftist rival Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva. While several of his own allies and cabinet ministers have already conceded defeat, concerns are rising that the outgoing president will complicate the two-month transition before Lula is sworn in in January 2023. Differently than former U.S. President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro has support inside the nation’s military establishment.


$42.4 billion

Oil giant Saudi Aramco has reported profits of $42.4 billion in the third quarter of this year — a 39% increase on the wave of higher global energy prices. Other oil companies, including Shell, BP and ExxonMobil have also recently posted record profits, prompting U.S. President Joe Biden to accuse the firms of “war profiteering” for their refusal to help lower prices at the petrol station.


Brazil divided: Why Lula's return doesn't mean Bolsonaro is going away

In Brazil, the leftist Lula da Silva's narrow victory margin in the presidential elections must be seen for what it is: a measured rejection, in hard times, of the outgoing Jair Bolsonaro's right-wing excesses, in favor of competent moderation. But it bodes for very uncertain times ahead, writes Marcelo Cantelmi in Argentine daily Clarin.

🗳️ October 30 election marks a remarkable return to the presidency for socialist Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, and spells defeat for the sitting president, the "Trump-like" Jair Bolsonaro. Lula should not however be complacent. His victory margin was notably narrow, which can be interpreted as a reward of sorts for the achievements of his earlier administrations, and a rebuke — though not as sharp as some had hoped — for Bolsonaro's antics. It also remains to be seen how the handover of power will play out, with Bolsonaro still not publicly conceding defeat the day after final results came in.

💥 Will these two sides be able to work together? There will be haggling at every turn, and the cohabitation will work in keeping in check the voracity of either side. Politicians on Lula's side are familiar with the habit of trading votes over issues or personal and political interests, which has long been customary in the Brazilian legislature, especially the lower house, and can indicate pragmatism and an acceptance of trade-offs. Bolsonaro is also well-practiced in it. But an excess of such "pragmatism" can smack of cynicism, and was also at the heart of Lula's legal problems.

💸 Bolsonaro has left Lula some gaping, political and financial challenges. There is a $70-billion fiscal deficit that will require painful spending cutbacks. Lula's former central bank chief, Henrique Meirelles, the author of a law to limit public spending, recently said the state might allow itself to spend $20 billion above the limit at most, to moderate the social impact of spending cuts. Another explosive scenario concerns the mass of more than 30 million Brazilians living in abject poverty and threatened with malnutrition.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


The party’s over!

— Italy’s far-right minister Matteo Salvini said after the new government of Prime Minister Georgia Meloni announced it would make staging unlicensed raves a crime, with charges of up to six years in jail. The decision came hours after thousands of ravers were ordered to leave an abandoned warehouse in the northern Italian city of Modena.

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet and Jeff Israely

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Between Xi Jinping And Pope Francis, China's Catholics Are Still Stuck In Limbo

An agreement between the Vatican and Beijing was quietly renewed recently. However, China still views Catholicism with a mix of deep suspicion and general distraction. Meanwhile the faithful and pastors are caught between two very different worlds.

Chinese catholic priests celebrating mass

December 2021, Hong Kong, China: the Bishop of Hong Kong performs the eucharistic prayer.

Alex Chan Tsz Yuk, SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Jieyi Zheng

At a mass on the Assumption of Mary, the Italian priest broke the bread and gave half of it to Liu, an underground priest from China. This simple and solemn rite symbolizes communion with Jesus and the unity of the Catholic Church. But it was only when Liu left his country that he could undertake the rite with a foreign priest, who was also not allowed to preach in China.

The atheist Chinese Communist Party considers religion to be a spiritual opium, and accuses Catholicism in particular of being an accomplice of Western imperialism. The Beijing-backed Catholic Patriotic Association began electing and consecrating its own bishops since 1958, attempting to satisfy the desire of the faithful while severing the link between Chinese Catholics and the Pope.

In order to resolve the plight of Chinese Catholics, after the efforts of three popes, the Vatican and Beijing signed a two-year Provisional Agreement on Nomination of Bishops in 2018. On Oct. 22, when the world’s eyes were focused on Xi Jinping’s groundbreaking third term as president, which is also the expiry date of the previous agreement, the Vatican immediately announced the renewal of the agreement for another two years.

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