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In The News

Mexico Border Fire, Ukraine Gets Western Tanks, Detectorist Jackpot

Mexico Border Fire, Ukraine Gets Western Tanks, Detectorist Jackpot

Trees blossoming in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. The country woke up in two time zones on Sunday amid a dispute between political and religious authorities over a decision to delay the clock change by a month.

Emma Albright, Ginevra Falciani, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 வணக்கம்*

Welcome to Tuesday, where a shooting in Nashville leaves six dead, Ukraine receives much-awaited tanks from the UK and Germany, and an amateur treasure hunter hits the mother lode. Meanwhile, Italian weekly magazine Internazionale looks at an oft-overlooked form of gender inequality: street names.

[*Vanakkam, Tamil - India]


Bibi blinked: Can Netanyahu survive after backing down on judicial putsch?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu has backed down in the 11th hour on his plans to push forward on a major judicial reform bill that had sparked massive protests.

Benjamin Netanyahu played the sorcerer's apprentice and lost. By announcing Monday night the suspension of his judicial reform, which has deeply divided Israeli society and brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the nation's streets, he signed his defeat.

One thing we know about the Israeli prime minister is that he has not said his last word: the reform is only suspended, not withdrawn. He promised a "real dialogue" after the Passover holiday.

Netanyahu is not one to back down easily: he had clearly gone too far, first by allying himself with extreme right-wing forces from the fringes of the political spectrum; but above all by wanting to change the balance on which the Jewish State had lived since its foundation in 1948. His plans threatened to change the nature of the state in a patently "illiberal" direction.

This prime minister, who holds Israel's record for longevity in power, had not anticipated the unprecedented mobilization of secular, liberal, productive Israel. This "other Israel" has been demonstrating for 12 weeks against the prime minister's project, and has not let go.

The fatal mistake of the prime minister was Sunday evening's dismissal of his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, who had dared to ask for the "freezing" of the judicial reform bill. To use the expression of the daily newspaper Haaretz, "he opened the Pandora's box of Israeli public anger and rage."

Tens of thousands of people spontaneously took to the streets, in front of the parliament and the prime minister's residence, until late at night; followed on Monday by a general strike.

Netanyahu overestimated his strength after this autumn's victory in the fifth legislative elections in four years. And he underestimated the reaction of a good part of the population who had certainly turned away from sterile political games in recent years; but who perceived that there was something fundamental in this reform, risking to forever change the face of Israel. It had become untenable.

Can Netanyahu still pass his reform? It seems difficult after such a setback. If he reads the polls, Netanyahu will also realize that his coalition would lose its majority if elections were held today, and his political credibility is largely damaged.

He will first have to manage the aftermath of this debacle. Monday night, incidents pitted furious far-right protesters against opponents. This extremist fringe, which relies on the pool of settlers in the West Bank, had thought its time had come — and is now left disappointed.

The coalition itself has teetered. Far-right leaders had threatened to resign if the reform was suspended, before negotiating to stay.

Returning to power was supposed to prevent Netanyahu from answering charges of corruption before the courts; but the price to pay was the most right-wing coalition in Israel. In doing so, he triggered what may be the most serious domestic political crisis the Jewish State has ever known. It is an explosive situation. "Bibi, king of Israel," his supporters used to sing, invoking his nickname: the "King" has lost his grip.

Pierre Haski / France Inter


• At least 37 dead in a fire at a migrant center: At least 37 people died and 21 were injured in a fire at a migration center in Mexico’s northern border city of Ciudad Juarez. Authorities said the fire at the office of National Migration Institute (INM) began late Monday after they’d picked up about 71 migrants from the streets of the city. The cause of the fire or the victims’ nationalities have not yet been released.

• Nashville shooting leaves 6 dead: Six people including three children and three staff have been killed in a shooting at a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee. Three of the victims were aged nine or under. Police said the suspect was 28-year-old Audrey Hale, an ex-student of the school who identified as transgender. Hale was armed with three guns, including a semi-automatic rifle, and was shot dead by police.

• Bus crash in Saudi Arabia kills 20: At least 20 people have been killed after a bus carrying pilgrims hit a bridge, overturned and burst into flames in southwestern Saudi Arabia. The incident took place in the southern province of Asir, bordering Yemen. It comes during the first week of Ramadan, a busy time for the Umrah pilgrimage, and just months before millions of Muslims are expected to make the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

• Netanyahu delays controversial plan after mass protests: A general strike has ended and protests diminished Tuesday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that a controversial plan to overhaul the country’s judiciary will be delayed. Netanyahu said he was determined to pass the judicial reform but called for “an attempt to achieve broad consensus.”

• Germany and Britain send tanks to Ukraine: Ukraine received 18 German Leopard tanks and 14 British Challenger tanks. These long promised deliveries to Ukraine are expected to be used in possible spring counter-offensives against Russian forces. Meanwhile, an additional and unexpected three tanks were also delivered by Portugal.

• Hungary ratifies Finland’s NATO membership: Hungary’s parliament has approved Finland’s bid to join NATO after repeated delays. The motion passed late Monday with 182 votes for and six against. Helsinki now only needs the Turkish parliament’s approval, which is expected soon, in order to become a NATO member. Neighboring Sweden has also applied for NATO membership, but faces resistance from Turkey.

• Australian man finds massive gold nugget: An Australian man found a 4.6 kilogram rock containing gold worth $160,000 with a budget metal detector. The man made the discovery in Victoria's goldfields, which were the heart of Australia's gold rush in the mid 19th century.


Scottish tabloid Daily Record dedicates its front page to the rise of Humza Yousaf, set to become the first Muslim, first person of Asian-descent and youngest ever to serve as First Minister of Scotland. Currently Scotland's health secretary, Yousaf was elected Monday as National Party leader, succeeding Nicola, who resigned last month after eight years at the wheel.


$240 billion

China spent $240 billion to bail out 22 developing countries between 2008 and 2021, according to researchers from the World Bank, Harvard Kennedy School, AidData and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. In an effort to expand its commercial influence around the world, with its "Belt and Road" initiative, Beijing lent money to countries like Argentina, Mongolia and Pakistan for building infrastructure, but those countries have struggled to repay loans.


Mapping the patriarchy: where nine out of 10 streets are named after men

The Mapping Diversity platform examined maps of 30 cities across 17 European countries, finding that women are severely underrepresented in the group of those who name streets and squares, reports Eugenia Nicolosi in Italian weekly magazine Internazionale. The one (unsurprising) exception: The Virgin Mary.

🏙️♀️ As we think about how to design more inclusive cities, it's important also to reflect on the historical erasure of female fighters, musicians and scientists. With 24 streets dedicated to her, the most celebrated woman on the streets of Europe is renowned scientist Marie Curie. But she does not always get her own header: her husband's name, Pierre, almost always precedes her on the plaques — even if he has one fewer Nobel Prize than she does.

🔍 The Mapping Diversity platform, developed by Sheldon Studio, examines maps of 30 cities across 17 European countries. Out of 145,933 streets and squares, 91% of those named after people are dedicated to men, the study reveals. Taking two steps in any metropolis will prove this. “It is a subtle but powerful reminder of who our society values,” the study's authors write. The results: 47,842 named after men, versus just 4,779 named after women.

🇸🇪 Among capital cities, the most inclusive city in Europe is Stockholm, with just 19.5% of streets named after women. It is followed by Madrid (18.7%), Copenhagen (13.4%) and Berlin (12.2%). At the bottom of the list are Prague (4.3%) and Athens (4.5%). In Italy, just 6.6% of streets are dedicated to women: only 1,626 out of 24,527 streets. Excluding those dedicated to the Virgin Mary leaves just 959.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“I am not ready to tear the country apart.”

— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a “pause” on his controversial judicial reforms to “allow dialogue” and avoid a “civil war” – succumbing to growing pressure from within his own coalition a day after one of the biggest protests in Israel’s history. The solution Mr Netanyahu has proposed will buy him time, but it won't solve the problem as demonstrators were fighting for this bill to be scrapped, not delayed.


The Ukrainian Minister of Defence announced that British-supplied Challenger 2 main battle tanks had recently arrived in Ukraine. "These fantastic machines will soon begin their combat missions," said Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, thanking UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Defense Minister Ben Wallace as well as the "British people" for their support. The UK had promised 14 of the vehicles to Ukraine. — Photo: Ministry of Defence of Ukraine/Cover Images/ZUMA

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Ginevra Falciani, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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The West Has An Answer To China's New Silk Road — With A Lift From The Gulf

The U.S. and Europe are seeking to rival China by launching a huge joint project. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States will also play a key role – because the battle for world domination is not being fought on China’s doorstep, but in the Middle East.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra and U.S. President Joe Biden shaking hands during PGII & India-Middle East-Europe Economics Corridor event at the G20 Summit on Sept. 9 in New Delhi

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra and U.S. President Joe Biden during PGII & India-Middle East-Europe Economics Corridor event at the G20 Summit on Sept. 9 in New Delhi

Daniel-Dylan Böhmer


BERLIN — When world leaders are so keen to emphasize the importance of a project, we may well be skeptical. “This is a big deal, a really big deal,” declared U.S. President Joe Biden earlier this month.

The "big deal" he's talking about is a new trade and infrastructure corridor planned to be built between India, the Middle East and Europe.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the project as a “beacon of cooperation, innovation and shared progress,” while President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called it a “green and digital bridge across continents and civilizations."

The corridor will consist of improved railway networks, shipping ports and submarine cables. It is not only India, the U.S. and Europe that are investing in it – they are also working together on the project with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia is planning to provide $20 billion in funding for the corridor, but aside from that, the sums involved are as yet unclear. The details will be hashed out over the next two months. But if the West and its allies truly want to compete with China's so-called New Silk Road, they will need a lot of money.

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