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A woman carries a dog outside a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv
Sophia Constantino, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Bertrand Hauger

👋 ¡Hola!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Russia reports an attempt by Ukraine to recapture the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power, Iran’s climber explains why she competed without a veil, and researchers conclude that yes, you do need that beauty sleep. Meanwhile, Marc Pfitzenmaier for German daily Die Welt takes the temperature on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, the “last bastion” between Russia and the entire Batlic region.

[*Spanish]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Ukraine tries to retake Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Russia calls for Kherson evacuation: Russian says an attempt by Ukrainian armed forces to recapture the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has failed. Meanwhile, pro-Russian forces have called for the evacuation of Kherson, as Kyiv appears poised to try to reconquer the southern city.

• Iranian climber explains why she didn’t wear a veil: Elnaz Rekabi, the Iranian climber who competed in Seoul without a headscarf, said she did so unintentionally, amid reports that she had refused to wear it out of solidarity with Iranian protests ignited by Mahsa Amini's death in morality police custody. Rekabi said on her way back to Iran with the rest of her team in a post on her Instagram page.

• UK summons Chinese diplomat: After footage was shared of a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester being attacked on the grounds of the Chinese Consulate in Manchester Sunday, the U.K. has demanded talks with a senior Chinese diplomat.

• Ethiopian army captures several towns in Tigray: Ethiopia’s military has taken control of three towns in the northern Tigray region, amid fighting between Tigrayan rebel forces that has continued on and off since late 2020. The conflict is rooted in long-running rivalries and opinions of how power should be balanced between federal and regional authorities in the area.

• Blast at Myanmar prison: At least eight people have been killed and another 10 injured in explosions at Myanmar’s Insein prison, where close to 10,000 prisoners are held. No party has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

• Flesh-eating bacteria in U.S. after hurricane: After a hurricane tore through southern states of the U.S. last month, a surge in cases of flesh-eating bacteria illnesses and deaths are said to have caused 29 illnesses and four deaths in the area. The bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, can enter the body through open cuts and thrives in warm, still pools of water, like flood-waters.

• Anna May Wong to be first Asian American on U.S. currency: Anna May Wong, considered the movie industry's first Chinese American star, will be the first Asian American to be featured on the back of new U.S. quarters as of Monday.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

“Berluscomic,” titles Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano after an audio file revealed that Italy’s former Prime Minister had said during a closed-door meeting with his allies that he had re-established relations with his long-time friend Vladimir Putin and that they had exchanged “sweet” letters and gifts. Berlusconi denied a resumption of relations with the Russian President and said his comments referred to a past episode. The scandal comes as Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s likely next prime minister, is struggling to form a government.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

5 hours

Results of a study done by PLoS Medicine say that at least five hours sleep a night may cut the chances of certain chronic health problems in people over 50. According to researchers, people around that age who slept five hours or less had a 30% greater risk of multiple ailments than those who slept seven hours, and shorter sleep was associated with a higher risk of death due to chronic disease.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Gotland, the Swedish island standing between Russia and NATO vulnerability

The Swedish island of Gotland is the last bastion between Russia and the entire Baltic region. Sweden has been busy fortifying the island, with the stakes even higher as Stockholm is set to join NATO, and life for locals makes it clear that something has changed, reports Marc Pfitzenmaier for German daily Die Welt.

📍 More than 1,000 kilometers separate Sweden from the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Yet since February 24 nothing on Gotland is as it was before. With the start of Moscow's invasion, the decades-old abstract scenario of having to defend one's homeland from the imposing Russian neighbor became a plausible future. Nowhere in the country is this more evident than on the scenic Baltic island of Gotland, which occupies a key geographical position. If it were to fall into enemy hands, the Baltic states would be all but lost, and the Nordic Baltic states would be largely cut off from NATO aid by sea.

🎖️ Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, defense capacities have been expanded, and the government in Stockholm put together a financial package of around 150 million euros to expand the infrastructure on the island so that significantly more servicemen and women can be based here and ready for action in the future. Several hundred Swedish soldiers are now permanently stationed on the island — and there are even more volunteers who live on the island permanently and now spend significantly more time on the military grounds training for emergencies.

🇸🇪🇫🇮 But Sweden's rearmament is by no means limited to Gotland. After more than 200 years of military non-alignment, the country has also decided to join NATO. Similar to its neighbor and friendly rival Finland, public support for membership had hovered between 20 and 30 percent for two decades. But then an unprecedented change of opinion took place after the invasion of Ukraine, to which Stockholm had to react. Joining NATO would mean much better protection for Sweden and Finland, and two strong new members for the Alliance, having long invested in modern land, sea and air forces.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

It's not only about the veil, it’s about the freedom.

Exiled Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani spoke with CNN about the ongoing protests in Iran, which were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini after her arrest by the country’s "morality police” over the way she wore her veil.

✍️ Newsletter by Sophia Constantino, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger


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Society

Gun Violence In America: Don't Blame The Victims — That Means Rappers Too

The recent shooting of Takeoff, a rapper, is another sad incident of gun crime in the U.S. But those blaming hip hop culture for contributing to gun violence ignore that rappers themselves are also victims. And the real point is that in today's America, nobody is safe from gun violence.

Gun Violence In America: Don't Blame The Victims — That Means Rappers Too

Fans wait outside State Farm Arena in Atlanta to attend the memorial service for Migos rapper Takeoff on Nov. 11

A.D. Carson

Add the name of Takeoff, a member of the popular rap trio Migos, to the ever-growing list of rappers, recent and past, tragically and violently killed.

The initial reaction to the shooting to death of Takeoff, born Kirsnick Ball, on Nov. 1, was to blame rap music and hip hop culture. People who engaged in this kind of scapegoating argue that the violence and despairing hopelessness in the music are the cause of so many rappers dying.

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