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InterNations
In The News

More Gazans Forced To Evacuate, Biden/Xi Accord, Kardashian Konfusion

Photograph of Palestinians seen at an UNRWA camp in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza.​ Women and men sit on cots used as beds.

Palestinians seen at an UNRWA camp in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza.

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jakob Mieszkowski-Lapping and Chloé Touchard

👋 Mbote!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Israel opposition leader Yair Lapid calls for Netanyahu to resign, U.S. and China pledge to reopen military communication and fight fentanyl together, and a prestigious exam puts South Korea at a standstill. Meanwhile, Diarrassouba Losseni Togossy in Dakar-based newspaper Financial Afrik cautions against the downside risks of the energy transition in Africa.

[*Lingala, DRC and Republic of the Congo]

✅  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.

It's easy (and free!) to sign up to receive it each day in your inbox: 👉 Sign up here

🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Israel/Gaza update: Israel has warned civilians to leave four towns in southern Gaza, dropping leaflets overnight to order people to evacuate their homes and head to shelters. Israeli forces said they were continuing their operations at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City but gave no further details. Meanwhile, Israel's main opposition leader Yair Lapid has called for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down immediately over what he called the government’s poor handling of the war against Hamas. Here’s a different look at the war in the Middle East from an Istanbul-based writer who still believes in the West’s values, despite the awful choices of its leaders, translated from Turkish by Worldcrunch.

• Cameron meets Zelensky in Ukraine first visit as foreign secretary: Newly-appointed UK foreign secretary David Cameron made his first official visit to Ukraine and met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. The former prime minister promised the UK would maintain “moral, diplomatic, economic and military support” to Ukraine “for however long it takes.”

• Biden & Xi agree to restore military communications: Following a four-hour meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on restoring military-to-military communications between their armed forces and on curbing fentanyl production. But the two leaders remained at odds over Taiwan, with Xi telling Biden to stop arming the island and saying that reunification was “unstoppable.” Read more about the Biden-Xi meeting here.

• Spiraling gang violence prompts hospital evacuation in Haiti: More than 100 patients were evacuated from a hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital city, after a heavily armed gang surrounded the facility. Meanwhile, Kenya’s parliament has approved the deployment of 1,000 police officers in Haiti to help quell gang violence. More international views on Haiti here.

• Madagascar’s presidential election kicks off amid opposition boycott: Madagascar's voters are heading to polls in a presidential election marred by boycott calls from 10 out of 12 opposition candidates and weeks of violent protests. Opponents to President Andry Rajoelina, who is seeking a second term in office, accuse him of waging an “institutional coup” to stay in power and say that conditions for a transparent election “have not been met.”

• New drilling machine to rescue trapped Indian workers: Rescue efforts have resumed with an advanced drilling machine flown in from New Delhi to pull out 40 Indian workers trapped inside a collapsed tunnel for the fifth day in India’s Uttarakhand state. The machine will help drill a passage so that a pipe can be used for the workers to crawl out safely. Progress has been slow due to rock and soil debris.

• Kim Kardashian named one of GQ’s Men of the Year:GQ magazine has named reality star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian as “Tycoon Of The Year” as part of its 2023 Men of the Year panel, sparking confusion on social media.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Today’s front page of Jiefang Daily, a newspaper published by local government officials in Shanghai, depicts Chinese President Xi Jinping landing in California on Nov. 14 for the 30th annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting. He was greeted by California Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Secretary of State Janet Yellen and other U.S. officials. Despite recent strains in the relationship between China and the United States, the government sanctioned Jiefang Daily highlighted the Chinese president’s warm welcome in San Francisco, home to the oldest “Chinatown” in the Western Hemisphere.

#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS

116 days

With 179 Members of Parliament voting in favor and 171 against, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was reelected at the head of the country, thus ending a four-month political deadlock that started with the inconclusive July 23 general election, 116 days ago. The vote came as the country is seeing unrest over Sanchez’s recent decision to grant Catalan separatists amnesty in exchange for their support in a vote of confidence.

📰 STORY OF THE DAY

Africa's clean energy transition must not come at the cost of economic growth

Africa faces a complex choice: entirely eliminate fossil fuels and risk slowing down development, or alter the energy mix and maintain a balance between the environment and the economy, writes Diarrassouba Losseni Togossy in pan-African newspaper Financial Afrik.

🏭 As Africa strives to take control of its own destiny in the battle against climate change, a question often arises: Should Africa give up polluting energy sources to protect the environment? In other words, must Africa forgo development — even though the continent is responsible for less than 5% of global pollution? Access to energy and transitioning to cleaner energy sources is a critical global challenge in the 21st century — and even more so for the African continent. But what should the ideal energy transition roadmap look like for Africa?

🌡️ Climate change and extreme weather events have caused unprecedented damage in African countries over the past decade. Each year, we witness the destruction of infrastructure and economic disruption, and, as a result, increasing unemployment. For most countries, enhancing climate resilience depends on the success of their energy transition plans. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the challenges and opportunities related to energy transition in Africa.

☀️🔋 It's worth noting that, with the exception of South Africa, most African countries are less dependent on fossil fuels compared to the majority of developed countries. This distinguishes Africa's energy transition blueprint from that of other regions. The essence of energy transition in Africa can be boiled down to two essential aspects: First, the development of energy, and second, its expansion. Energy development efforts must take into account the opportunity and the necessity of harnessing the continent's potential in renewable energies, including biomass, wind, solar, and hydroelectric.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

💬 LEXICON

수능

Half a million South Korean students took the prestigious suneung (수능, short for 대학수학능력시험 meaning College Scholastic Ability Test), the national college entrance exam. To reduce disturbances during the high pressure nine-hour English listening test, authorities implemented radical measures such as delaying the opening of the stock market, relying on police patrols to help students get to their exam site in time, and even implementing a 35-minute nationwide ban on all flights.

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jakob Mieszkowski-Lapping and Chloé Touchard


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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

And If Ukraine's Fate Was In The Hands Of Republican Senators And Viktor Orban?

In the U.S., Republican senators called on to approve military aid to Kyiv are blackmailing the Biden administration on an unrelated matter. In Europe, French President Macron will be dining with the Hungarian Prime Minister, who has threatened to block aid to Ukraine as well.

photo of viktor orban walking into a room

Orban will play all his cards

Sergei Savostyanov/TASS via ZUMA
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Make no mistake: military aid to Ukraine is at risk. And to understand why, just take a look at the name of French President Emmanuel Macron’s dinner guest Thursday at the Elysée palace in Paris: Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister, and Europe’s No. 1 troublemaker.

Orban is threatening to veto a new 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine at a European Council meeting next week. He could also block Ukraine’s negotiations to enter the European Union, an important issue that has provided some hope for this war-torn country. These are votes on which the unanimity of the "27" EU member states is required.

But this is not the only obstacle in the path of Western aid: the United States is also immersed in a political psychodrama, of which Ukraine is the victim. A new $60 billion aid package from the Biden administration has stalled in Congress: Republicans are demanding legislation to shut down the border with Mexico to stop immigration.

What does this have to do with Ukraine? Nothing, besides legislative blackmail.

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