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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• 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.
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.
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."
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.
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“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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