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Lula Wins, India & South Korea Mourn, Skull Return

Lula Wins, India & South Korea Mourn, Skull Return

Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva celebrates victory over incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro with 50.90% of the vote following a tight run-off race.

Sophia Constantino, Emma Albright and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Tungjatjeta!*

Welcome to Monday, where Lula becomes Brazil’s president for a third time, death tolls climb in South Korean and Indian disasters and Zimbabwe is getting skulls back to set the historical record straight. Meanwhile, in a remote region of Norway, a tense standoff is taking place between a tiny border town and its giant Russian neighbor to the east.



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• Lula is elected for a third time: Brazil elected former two-time leftist President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva as president on Sunday, in a runoff against current President Jair Bolsonaro. Lula garnered 50.9% of the vote compared to Bolsonaro’s 49.1%, marking a stunning political comeback for the 77-year-old who had served 580 days in prison on corruption charges. Bolsonaro, whose brash style and divisiveness have drawn comparisons to Donald Trump, has still not conceded defeat. Stay tuned.

• Another attack on Ukrainian cities, as grain showdown continues: Kyiv, Kharkiv and other major Ukrainian cities have again begun their week under a major air assault by Russia. Meanwhile, it remains unclear if Russia has followed through with plans announced over the weekend to reimpose a blockade on the export of Ukrainian grain as retribution for a drone strike on Crimea.

• India bridge disaster toll at 134: A century-old cable suspension bridge collapsed into a river Sunday in India’s western state of Gujarat, killing at least 134, Rescue teams continue to search for those still missing.

• South Korea mourns after Halloween crush: Funerals have begun for the victims, many in their teens and 20s, of a crush in Seoul that killed at least 154 people, and injured 82 others on Saturday. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has announced a period of national mourning. Although officials have not yet identified the cause or the circumstances that led to the tragedy, officials have been instructed to carry out an emergency review of all Halloween celebrations and other local festivities moving forward.

• Musk denies Twitter job cuts: Days after becoming the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk is denying a New York Times report that he would be laying off Twitter employees before November 1 to avoid stock grants due on the day. “This is false,” Musk tweeted Sunday, in response to a Twitter user speaking about the layoffs. Musk also deleted a tweet he shared early Sunday from a disreputable website insinuating some kind of conspiracy linked to the attack on Friday of the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

• Tropical storm Nalgae death toll rises: The death toll from the Philippine's most recent tropical storm, Nalgae, hit 98 on Monday, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, with at least 63 others reported missing.

• Skull search: Authorities in Zimbabwe have long suspected that the skulls of some of the leaders of the late-19th Century anti-colonial movement were taken to the UK as trophies. Now, London's Natural History Museum and Cambridge University have said that they are ready to cooperate to return remains that were taken, after uncovering 11 bones, 3 of which were skulls, “that appear to be originally from Zimbabwe” in an archive search.


“Four-meter wide 'Alley of Death' took young people,” titles South Korean daily The Dong-a Ilbo, reporting on the crowd crush in Seoul’s nightlife district Itaewon that left at least 154 dead — mostly young people who had gathered to celebrate Halloween. South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo has promised a thorough investigation into what has become one of the county’s worst-ever disasters.



Topping 10% for the first time, inflation in the eurozone is expected to reach a record 10.7% this October, fueled by rising energy prices that Eurostat estimates were 41.9% higher than the same month last year.


Tensions in Norway border town, a perfect Kremlin recipe to divide the West

In a remote region of Norway, a tense standoff is taking place between a tiny town and its giant neighbor to the east, Russia. The Kremlin is accused of using the area as a staging ground for its policies to divide the West.

🇳🇴🇷🇺 Russian Consul General Nikolai Konygin was set to give a speech in the small Norwegian town of Kirkenes to commemorate the Red Army’s liberation of the town from Nazi Germany and their Norwegian collaborators. Konygin, who was accompanied by visitors of the Russian border city of Nikel, was met with Norwegian protesters who turned their back on the Consul General during the speech and began waving Ukrainian flags. The scene looked like a miniature battlefield as the Russian entourage remained facing the consul general while waving Russian flags.

➗ But the implications of this diplomatic showdown in a town of 3,600 stretch far beyond Norway's borders. Some believe that the Kremlin has used the region in the past as a testing lab for stoking internal divisions in the West. The risk takes on further amplitude in the wake of the decision of neighboring Nordic countries, Finland and Sweden, to apply to join NATO. Finland's border with Russia is far longer than Norway's. Norway has long been a NATO member, but has maintained a policy of not hosting NATO troops on its territory and long sought to maintain cordial relations and trade ties with Russia.

⛴️ The protests against the Russian Consul Generals' speech came against a backdrop of a heated debate, which escalated when the local chief of police Ellen Katrine Hættahas proposed closing all ports for Russian ships and warned the public of hybrid warfare. Currently, three ports in Norway welcome Russian ships and all of them are located in the northern parts of the country. These ports were given an exceptional status when Norway decided to comply with the European Union’s eighth sanction package against Russia on Oct. 6, which meant closing all other ports for Russian vessels.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


Russia made the decision to resume its hunger games long ago and now tries to justify it.

— Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet, regarding Moscow suspending its participation in the UN brokered grain deal, blocking shipments from Ukraine to the rest of the world due to a Ukrainian drone attack earlier in the day on Russia’ Black Sea Fleet Headquarters. Kuleba also stated that Moscow was using the explosions, 137 miles away from the grain corridor as a “false pretext” for a premeditated move.

✍️ Newsletter by Sophia Constantino, Emma Albright and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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Why Ben-Gvir's Explosive Visit Is Really Aimed At Netanyahu

Less than a week after being sworn in for the sixth time as Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu was defied by a highly charged visit his far-right coalition ally, Itamar Ben-Gvir, made to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, that has enflamed the entire Muslim world. Netanyahu has a choice to make.

Photo of Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Jan. 3

Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Jan. 3

Pierre Haski


PARIS — Pick an arsonist to head the fire department and you’re sure to have blazes to fight. That's exactly what is happening in Israel right now, since far-right leader Itamar Ben-Gvir was installed as Minister of National Security.

It didn't take more than a week for the new minister, who had been convicted in the past for incitement to racial hatred, to do what his Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wish he hadn't: to make a visit to Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque compound (a.k.a. Esplanade of the Mosques, or Temple Mount), the third holy site of Islam, and one of the most sensitive spots on the planet.

Ben-Gvir has a clear objective: He wants to challenge the status quo, which exists since 1967, that bans Jews from praying on the esplanade, on which stood their Holy Temple, some 2,000 years ago.

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