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In The News

New Crimea Bridge Attack, Iran’s Morality Police Returns, Colosseum Defaced Again

Photo of Russian officers assessing damage on the Kerch bridge that connects Crimea to mainland Russia, after it was hit by an attack overnight.

Russian officers assessing damage on the Kerch bridge that connects Crimea to mainland Russia, after it was hit by an attack overnight.

Yannick Champion-Osselin, Valeria Berghinz, Chloé Touchard and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Hay!*

Welcome to Monday, where Ukraine claims responsibility for a new attack on Crimea bridge, Iran’s infamous “morality police” are back on the streets, and Rome’s Colosseum is defaced, again. Meanwhile, Alfred Hackensberger in German daily Die Welt looks at how the seemingly slow progress of Ukraine’s counteroffensive may actually be all part of the plan.

[*Aklan, Philippines]


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• Ukraine targets Crimea bridge, Russia breaks grain deal and seizes Western subsidiaries: Kyiv sources have claimed responsibility for a deadly overnight attack on the Kerch bridge connecting Crimea to the mainland, a crucial transport and supplies hub for Russian troops. Two people were killed in the explosion, which follows a similar attack on the bridge in October. Hours later, Russia halted participation in an UN-brokered deal which allowed Ukrainian grain to be exported through the Black Sea, though the Kremlin says the decision was unrelated to the bridge attack. Meanwhile, the Russian state took control late Sunday of the Russian subsidiary of French dairy giant Danone and Danish brewer Carlsberg, seizing western assets “temporarily” in a decree signed by president Vladimir Putin.

• John Kerry in China for climate discussions: U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is in China for a four-day trip to try to revive climate change talks after weeks of record-setting heat in the northern hemisphere. As the world’s two largest greenhouse gas producers, representatives of the U.S. and China are set to discuss methane emissions, coal use and aid to less wealthy countries to help fight climate change — as well as possibly talks about the ongoing tensions between the two nations.

• Iranian “morality police” is back: Iran has relaunched “morality police” patrols to enforce the country’s dress code rules, including mandatory headscarves for women. After the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody last September ignited widespread protests that killed 500 people, law enforcement scaled back this enforcement. Patrols are now operational on foot and in vans to police those not in appropriate attire.

• Flooding kills 40 in South Korea, president blames government authorities: After at least 12 people were killed in the flash flooding of an underpass, raising the nation’s death toll after four days of torrential rain to 40, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol pointed to authorities' failure to follow disaster response rules.

• Wildfires blaze in North America as intense heat grips three continents: Heatwaves exacerbated by global warming have hit three continents as temperatures threaten to reach record breaking levels across Asia, Europe and North America. The heat has caused a slew of wildfires, particularly in North America where two firefighters have been killed in Canada's Northwest Territories as nearly 900 wildfires burn across the country, with around 580 still out of control. Wildfire blazes are also reported in California and the Spanish Canary Islands.

• China’s youth unemployment hits record high: As China’s post-pandemic recovery falters, last month 21.3% of 16 to 24 year olds in the nation’s urban areas were unemployed. The second largest economy only grew 0.8% in the three months, with demand for Chinese goods falling while local government debt and the housing market skyrocketed.

• Rome’s Colosseum vandalized … again: Over the weekend, a 17-year-old Swiss tourist was filmed by an Italian guide as she was carving the letter "N" on a wall of Rome’s Colosseum — the second such act of vandalism on the ancient landmark in just a month. According to local media, the girl was questioned by the police and faces a fine of up to €15,000.


L’Humanité pays homage to Jane Birkin, who died Sunday in Paris, at the age of 76. “Her name was Jane”, reads the front page of the French daily, chronicling the multifaceted life of the British-born icon, a singer and actress, but also writer and director. Birkin rose to fame in her adopted France as part of her personal and artistic relationship with French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, before becoming a global style trendsetter, inspiring Hermès' Birkin handbag. Read more in her New York Times obituary here.


21 years

Spain’s champion Carlos Alcaraz has become the first player outside of the “Big Four” to win the Wimbledon tournament in 21 years. The 20-year-old world No.1 player defeated Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in five sets to win his second Grand Slam title. The last time anyone outside of the “Big Four” (Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray) won the grass championship was in 2002 — before Alcaraz was even born.


On the Donetsk front, Ukraine's counteroffensive follows the Kherson playbook

For many observers, Ukraine's counteroffensive seems to be progressing too slowly, with losses leading some critics to call it a "suicide mission." Yet the view from the frontline makes clear that Kyiv is pursuing a strategy that has already proven successful, writes Alfred Hackensberger in German daily Die Welt.

🇺🇦 Vremivka has been liberated — as have six other villages near the small town of Velyka Novosilka. Success in this southern region was important for Ukraine. Shortly before, pictures of destroyed German Leopard 2 tanks and American Bradleys in Orichiw, 150 kilometers to the west, spread around the world. In the light of these images, military experts talked about "tactical misconduct" and even of a "suicide mission" by Ukraine's army.

♟️ The first phase of the counteroffensive is a kind of tactical foreplay. In chess, this could be described as the opening. Ukraine is still in the discovery phase, and not in full attack mode. The attack South of Velyka Novosilka was only a tactical maneuver, aimed to test the Russian reaction and to push them to commit troops. The other Ukrainian advances along the front line probably also had a similar goal.

❓ It seems that Kyiv and Moscow are playing a cat-and-mouse game. Ukraine, which is attacking on at least four fronts, has the momentum. Russia's only option is to react to this by constantly reinforcing troops where Ukrainians attack. The only question is how long the Russian troops can keep this up. Weeks, or maybe even months?

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“These conditions will potentially produce an absolute collapse of an entire industry.”

— Media mogul Barry Diller warned that a “perfect storm” of conditions leading to the current Hollywood actor and screenwriter strike could have devastating and lasting effects on the entertainment industry, if not settled quickly. Diller, who now runs his own media conglomerate IAC and is the former boss of Fox, Inc. and Paramount Pictures, suggested top Hollywood executives and the highest-paid actors take a 25% pay cut "to try and narrow the difference" between the highest and lowest earners in the industry as TV and movie actors joined screenwriters on strike.

✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin, Valeria Berghinz, Chloé Touchard and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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How Parenthood Reinvented My Sex Life — Confessions Of A Swinging Mom

Between breastfeeding, playdates, postpartum fatigue, birthday fatigues and the countless other aspects of mother- and fatherhood, a Cuban couple tries to find new ways to explore something that is often lost in the middle of the parenting storm: sex.

red tinted photo of feet on a bed

Parenting v. intimacy, a delicate balance

Silvana Heredia

HAVANA — It was Summer, 2015. Nine months later, our daughter would be born. It wasn't planned, but I was sure I wouldn't end my first pregnancy. I was 22 years old, had a degree, my dream job and my own house — something unthinkable at that age in Cuba — plus a three-year relationship, and the summer heat.

I remember those months as the most fun, crazy and experimental of my pre-motherhood life. It was the time of my first kiss with a girl, and our first threesome.

Every weekend, we went to the Cuban art factory and ended up at the CornerCafé until 7:00 a.m. That September morning, we were very drunk, and in that second-floor room of my house, it was unbearably hot. The sex was otherworldly. A few days later, the symptoms began.

She arrived when and how she wished. That's how rebellious she is.

Keep reading...Show less

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