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In The News

Jerusalem Double Blast, Virginia Shooting, Argentine Desilusión

Jerusalem Double Blast, Virginia Shooting, Argentine Desilusión

Israeli police officers are inspecting the scene of an explosion at a bus station near the entrance to Jerusalem which injured at least 11 people, including a teenager who later died

Emma Albright, Renate Mattar, and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 你好*

Welcome to Wednesday, where a shooting at a Walmart in Virginia kills six, two separate explosions leave one dead in Jerusalem, and Saudi Arabia declares a national holiday after its historic World Cup win over Argentina. Meanwhile, independent exiled Russian news outlet Vazhnyye Istorii gained access to an inmate of a Russian penal colony, where mercenaries for the infamous Wagner Group are being recruited.

[*Néih hóu - Cantonese]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Russia’s Gazprom cutting gas supply to Europe: Russian energy company Gazprom said it will reduce natural gas supply to Europe starting Monday by cutting flow to a pipeline that runs through Ukraine. Europe has tried to turn to other gas sources to replenish its stock ahead of winter as Russia dramatically cut its flows of pipeline gas, including September’s halting of shipments through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

• Jerusalem double blast kills one: Two separate explosions rocked Jerusalem, one at a bus stop, and the other at a traffic junction, killing a teenage boy, and injuring 14.

• At least six killed in Walmart shooting: An armed man believed to be the store manager opened fire at a Walmart supermarket in the U.S. state of Virginia, killing six before turning the gun on himself.

• Protests at Chinese iPhone factory: Angry protests have erupted in China’s largest iPhone factory, in Zhengzhou. According to workers, the company changed their contract so they could not get the subsidy. Videos shared online show protestors being beaten by armed policemen.

• Democratic-led House retrieves Trump’s taxes: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the House of Representatives can have access to former President Donald Trump’s tax record. Trump was the first president in the last 40 years not to release his tax returns and a House investigating committee demanded the records as part of multiple probes.

• Bolsonaro supporters challenge Lula’s win: After leftist candidate Lula da Silva narrowly won Brazil's presidential election last month, the party of losing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro has formally submitted a challenge to the results, claiming that the voting machines used for the elections were compromised.

Goonies home up for sale: Hey you guys! The Astoria, Oregon, Victorian house that was featured in the 1985 cult adventure movie The Goonies is up for sale.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Argentine sports extra El Hincha devotes its front page to the shock defeat of Argentina’s soccer team against Saudi Arabia during its first game at the World Cup in Qatar. Led by legendary striker Lionel Messi and among the competition’s favorites, Argentina was stunned 2-1 in what some describe as the biggest upset in the history of the World Cup. Saudi Arabia promptly declared this Wednesday a national holiday to celebrate the win.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

30.6 years

An Oregon couple has welcomed twins born from embryos that were frozen on April 22, 1992, the longest-frozen embryos to result in a live birth. The couple already has four other children, and the father remarked: “There is something mind-boggling about it. In a sense, they're our oldest children, even though they're our smallest children."

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

The Prigozhin method: Inside Wagner Group's Russian prison recruitment

An inmate of the penal colony in the town of Kopeysk reveals to Vazhnyye Istorii/Important Stories the different ways convicts are recruited in the Russian mercenary Wagner Group, whose founder and Putin confidante Yevgeny Prigozhin personally sought the most violent criminals with vows to pay big sums and expunge their sentences.

🇷🇺 Independent exiled Russian news outlet Vazhnyye Istorii was the first to report on the recruitment of convicts to the Wagner Group, in July from the St. Petersburg area, which has since expanded to penal colonies in the Ural, Siberia, the Far East, and even the Arctic Circle. While officials and Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman and associate of Putin who reportedly finances the group, denied information about prisoner recruitment at first, later propaganda media outlets began airing video clips of convicts "heroically killed" in the war in Ukraine.

💰 For the first time now, an inmate in a penal colony spoke to Vazhnyye Istorii about the recruitment of convicts in his colony — Kopeisk penal colony-1 in the Chelyabinsk region in central Russia, close to the Kazakhstan border. He said Prigozhin himself came in and told the prisoners that he was flying around Russia and recruiting volunteers. "He promised 100,000 rubles a month [$1,600], plus 100,000 as combat pay. In the event of death, the compensation would be 5 million rubles and the title 'Hero of Russia'."

🤝 According to the estimates of the prisoner, about 270 out of 1,500 prisoners of the Kopeisk penal colony-1 were interested in Prigozhin's proposal: "Many agreed because of the money. Some did it because they still had a lot of time left: let's say he had served ten years and there were still ten years left. But there were a lot of people who were eager to leave. Basically, they all hoped that they would survive and get free in six months." He knows at least 10 prisoners who died in Ukraine among those recruited in Ivanovo penal colony no. 2.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

“Be in no doubt that the French were in denial right up until the last moment.”

— Speaking to CNN Portugal, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed that France was in “denial” regarding the impending Russian invasion in Ukraine. He also accused the German government of initially favoring a quick Ukrainian defeat over a long conflict.

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Renate Mattar, and Anne-Sophie Goninet


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Society

The Everyday Weight Of Wearing A Hijab In India

Several Muslim women who wear hijabs share their stories to highlight the discrimination, from disapproving looks to outright insults, they face everyday in India in both their personal and professional lives.

photo of women wearing hijabs during the Muharram procession in Srinagar, India

During the Muharram procession in Srinagar, India

Idrees Abbas/SOPA Images via ZUMA
Seemi Pasha

On September 20, 2022, the government of Karnataka told the Supreme Court that Muslims girls in Udupi were goaded into wearing a hijab to school by the Islamic Popular Front of India (PFI) through social media messages. The state government made the argument while responding to a petition challenging the ban on wearing a hijab to school imposed by Karnataka, and upheld by the state high court. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the apex court that wearing a hijab was part of a "larger conspiracy" orchestrated by the PFI to create social unrest.

On October 13 this year, the Supreme Court of India delivered a split verdict on pleas challenging the Karnataka high court order that had upheld the ban. A constitutional bench comprising the Chief Justice of India will now examine whether Muslim girls can or cannot wear a head scarf in school.

As of December 1 this year, there were 69,598 cases pending before the Supreme Court. The backlog includes petitions challenging the Modi government’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 and pleas challenging the government’s decision to dilute Article 370 of the Constitution. These have been pending for more than two years. Despite the urgency of matters that have been placed on the back burner, the apex court is being forced to spend its time deciding whether schoolgoing Muslim girls can get an education while wearing a head scarf, a tradition some Muslims believe is integral their faith.

The ban on wearing a hijab in classrooms may have highlighted the Karnataka government’s intolerance towards minorities, but the bias against the head scarf, it seems, is an old one.

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