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In The News

Russia Pressured IAEA, Vietnam Karaoke Blaze, World’s Oldest Mammal

Back view of IAEA inspectors climbing stairs at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Members of UN’s IAEA team assessing the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard and Lila Paulou

👋 Allegra!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the IAEA says Russia puts pressure on the UN team of nuclear inspectors, there isn’t a white man in sight in Liz Truss’ cabinet, and mammal mia! that’s one very old shrew. Meanwhile, Indian news website The Wire gauges the magnitude of the destruction caused by the recent “monster” monsoon.

[*Romansh, Switzerland]


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


• Russia pressured the IAEA: Russia put pressure on the UN team at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as IAEA inspectors observed the presence of Russian representatives on site. This comes after the IAEA released a report on the situation and called for a “security zone” around the area. Russia has requested “further clarification.”

• UK unveils first diverse government: UK Prime Minister Liz Truss appointed her cabinet and for the first time, there will not be a white man in one of the country’s top ministerial positions. Truss selected Kwasi Kwarteng and James Cleverly as first Black Finance Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister while Suella Braverman became the second ethnic minority Home Secretary.

• Typhoon Hinnamnor: Rescuers found seven dead in a submerged underground parking garage in South Korea, victims of Typhoon Hinnamnor. People were trapped in the flooded car park after going there to move their cars.

• Vietnam karaoke bar fire: At least 14 people died in a fire that engulfed a karaoke bar in southern Vietnam in the Binh Duong region near the city of Ho Chi Minh. Local officials report that the fire erupted on the upper floor of the bar and some people jumped from the second and third floors to escape.

• Chile's Boric reshuffles cabinet: In a move to relaunch his government, Chilean President Gabriel Boric reshuffled his cabinet less than 48 hours after voters rejected the new constitution, saying that changing the cabinet was “painful but necessary.”

• Gulf nations demand Netflix to remove content: In a statement, Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab countries have demanded U.S. giant Netflix to remove unspecified content that “violates Islamic and societal values and principles.”

• Chimps’ signature drum beats: Scientists have found that wild chimpanzees have their own signature styles when they drum on tree roots. The drumming allows them to send messages and information to other chimps over long distances.


Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad turns a strip of butter into fine jewelry to wink at the rising costs of staple products, as inflation reached a record 12% in the Netherlands in August.


225 million years

A team of Brazilian and British researchers have identified the world’s oldest mammal, a shrew-like creature who was as small as 20 centimeters (8 inches) long. Brasilodon quadrangularis roamed the earth 225 million years ago, making it as old as some of the oldest dinosaurs. Its age was determined using dental records, and this discovery will provide scientists with an insight into the evolution of modern mammals.


Pakistan's “Monster Monsoon” and the decade of destruction left in its path

Caught between a natural disaster, an economic crisis and poor governance, flood-affected Pakistanis contemplate a future in ruins, Veenga writes for Indian news website The Wire.

🇵🇰 Pakistan is receiving an abnormal amount of rain this monsoon season. This, combined with the water from the melting of glaciers in the mountain ranges of the north, has led to floods unlike anything the country has seen before. More than 1,100 people have died, while innumerable others have been injured and at least 33 million have been stranded. Lack of communication and medical facilities in remote parts of the country mean that more cases of death, injury and stranding may be unreported.

⛑️ Given the scale of these floods, food is a major problem for the flood-affected, who complain about poor governance. For example, the local administration provided a community of almost 500 people with just one daig (cauldron) of edibles. The people also say that the government did little to rescue those who were stranded. Between the natural disaster and poor governance, it is the poor who suffer the most. Not only are the provincial governments unable to deal with the situation, but the tight hold that they keep on non-governmental organizations or NGOs means that the NGOs are unable to work efficiently as well.

🌾 Thatta district has reported a record number of malaria cases. More diseases are expected to arise as river water mingles with flood water. Since the government cannot bring the malaria situation under control, the flood-affected fear that other diseases will run rampant. They do not ask the government to provide everything, they say, but it should at least give them the essentials to survive this tough situation. Pakistan is now likely to face a food shortage as a large amount of crops have been damaged.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


We have not lost anything and will not lose anything.

— In his speech at the Eastern Economic Forum, Vladimir Putin slammed the West's “sanctions fever” and assured that Russia would emerge victorious from the conflict with Ukraine. While he acknowledged some difficulties for Russian industries, Putin did not comment on military casualties or Russia's economic crisis: “our main gain is strengthening sovereignty,” he added.

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard and Lila Paulou

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Feminists Infiltrate The “Incelosphere” — Where Toxic Content Warps Modern Masculinity

An increasing number of male teens and young adults who've experienced feelings of rejection wind up in what's been dubbed the “incelosphere,” a place where they can find mutual understanding in a world they think is against them. Two women Polish journalists spent two years on the online servers these “beta males” are flocking to in ever greater numbers.

Illustration of a man wearing a hoodie looking at a laptop, with two women watching over his shoulder.

Watching over "beta males" and their online toxic masculinity

AI-generated illustration / Worldcrunch
Patrycja Wieczorkiewicz

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. This week, we feature an investigation by two women Polish journalists for daily Gazeta Wyborcza, who spent two years infiltrating the online “incelosphere” and its patriarchal gurus spreading toxic ideas about masculinity on young, impressionable young people. But first, the latest news…

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

TW: This content may address topics and include references to violence that some may find distressing

🌐 5 things to know right now

• LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in the UK: Suella Braverman, the UK home secretary, says that fearing discrimination for being LGBTQ+ or a woman should not be enough on its own to qualify for asylum. But advocates have pointed out that Braverman is criticizing a policy that doesn’t exist: under the current system, asylum seekers must prove that they face persecution. Braverman also claimed, without evidence, that some asylum seekers pretend to be LGBTQ+, a suggestion which advocates have dismissed as baseless and “cruel.”

• Allies drown out anti-LGBTQ+ protests in Canada: Thousands of counter-protesters turned out in Canada to oppose demonstrations by self-described “parental rights” groups who are upset about sex education and trans-inclusive policies in schools. The conservative protests are part of a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment in Canada, inspired by similar movements in the U.S. and the UK. Pro-LGBTQ+ counter-protesters outnumbered conservative demonstrators in most Canadian cities – including in Toronto, where about 1,000 LGBTQ+ protesters and allies met just a few dozen anti-LGBTQ+ activists, reports Xtra.

• Turkish President confuses UN colors with pride colors: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan complained that he was uncomfortable with what he described as "LGBT colors" at the United Nations General Assembly – but the rainbow-colored decorations were actually intended to promote the Sustainable Development Goals.

• Romanian government may recognise same-sex marriage: Under a draft law proposed by the Romanian government, same-sex marriages in other European Union states would be recognised as legal in Romania. The decision comes five years after the Court of Justice of the European Union ordered Romania to allow same-sex spouses of Romanian citizens to live in the country. The law still has to be approved by the Romanian parliament.

• Malaysian PM doubles down on anti-LGBTQ+ views: In an interview with CNN, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said that his government “will never recognize LGBT rights.” In August, his government banned Swatch watches and other products with pride colors, threatening up to three years in prison for people caught with the products.

Feminists Infiltrate The “Incelosphere” — Where Toxic Content Warps Modern Masculinity

In her book For The Love Of Men: From Toxic To A More Mindful Masculinity, Canadian feminist writer Liz Plank explained that the struggle of women can never be one without confronting the crisis of manhood.

Plank is part of the forward-thinking feminist researchers and authors who've dedicated a significant amount of their work to the problems of men and masculinity, always sure to arouse suspicion. In reality, from a young age, we are forced into one of two oppressive patterns – masculinity and femininity – which in turn shape our behavior and our choices.

Thanks to the feminist movement, women now enter roles once reserved for men more frequently and eagerly than ever before, and teach their daughters that they can be whoever they want to be.

What has not changed nearly as much is our perception of masculinity.

The dominant image is still that of the strong, resourceful, male who pushes forward, takes risks and copes with adversities on his own. But today, they also must be sensitive, attentive, and empathetic as well (just not too much). Parents are still afraid of raising “weak” sons.

These are the roots of the so-called “masculinity crisis”. Usually, this phenomenon is reduced to some version of "men cannot keep up with emancipated women”. In reality, however, we as a society are the ones who cannot keep up with the need of dismantling toxic patterns of masculinity and creating new, healthy ones.

Instead, we leave young, lost adolescent boys at the mercy of patriarchal gurus who are preaching online.

Without anyone to talk to about their fears and uncertainties, and unable to count on their loved ones for understanding, these boys join internet communities, where they are taught that the “order” of certain men being naturally superior to them is natural, that it has been shaped by evolution, and that it cannot be changed.

In other words, they’ve already lost, so it’s better to get used to it and admit to their failures.

In March 2021, I was an exemplary feminist. I had several years of activist and journalistic work on behalf of victims of sexual violence under my belt, and my book about rape in Poland had just been published. Every day, I spoke to women who experienced sexual violence. With every story I heard, my aversion to men only grew stronger.

Only a few months later, I found myself in a closed internet server with a few dozen incels, exchanging messages and sharing observations from my experiences on a daily basis. My being there divided the feminist community.I received a lot of support, but I also read that I had “betrayed” the feminist movement, that I was a “guardian of the patriarchy”, that I was spending time with rapists, and that I wanted to force women to “bow down” to these men, or to sexually gratify misogynists.

Who are incels? In simple terms, they are men, typically young, living in what they call “involuntary celibacy”. They would like to have sex, but in their view they have no one to do it with. They blame women for their lack of luck in this area, believing that women do not view them as attractive enough. They also blame the society that they believe despises “beta males”, as they call themselves. Some of them blame their parents, who gave them “defective genes”. Oftentimes, they also blame themselves.

Online and in the news, incels are first and foremost associated with the misogyny on incel forums on the internet, and the terror attacks that several have been involved in, notably in the U.S., where self-described incels have opened fire on their peers and even strangers.

The harmfulness of the “incel mentality” should not be underestimated, especially since it regularly attacks specific people, usually women. Some people organize campaigns to expose girls on Tinder and create profiles of extremely attractive men, who they call “Chads”. When they match with women, they arrange dates and then randomly unmatch them, or tell the girls that they are ugly and should lower their standards when it comes to the appearance of a potential partner. I myself saw glorification of rapes and mass executions from the U.S. online, and was personally threatened two or three times.

Together with Aleksandra Herzyk, the co-author of the Polish book "Przegryw. Mężczyźni w pułapce gniewu i samotności" (Loser: Men In The Trap Of Shame And Loneliness), I spent an intense two years in the “incelosphere”. We began by setting up an account on Wykop, a portal where self-described incels and “losers” gather online. We did not intend to hide who we were, though it was obvious that, as feminists, we were unlikely to receive a warm welcome.

We wrote a post in which we assured those within the portal that we were sincerely interested in the difficulties faced by people posting with the #loser tag. Within a few hours, it managed to gain over 400 likes and about as many comments. One comment compared us to pedophiles luring children with candies or kittens. Some people called us names, like one comment that read "get the fuck out of the tag, p0lki”, while others were plainly sceptical. One commenter wrote, “this cannot work out”. The vast majority of commenters doubted our good intentions, believing that we wanted to build trust within the community in order to destroy it from the inside.

We were afraid of reading our private messages, which within the first day — over 70 on the first day itself. You can imagine our surprise that — apart from a few haters — the men actually wanted to speak with us. The majority's motivations boiled down to the fact that no one else was willing to listen to them, so feminists could do it for lack of anything else.

Read the full story here, translated in English by Worldcrunch.

— Patrycja Wieczorkiewicz/Gazeta Wyborcza

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