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In The News

Hawaii Wildfires, Ecuador Presidential Candidate Killed, Mom & Daughter In Space

An aerial shot shows a devastated city of Lahaina, West of the Maui County, Hawaii, after wildfires ripped through the island.

An aerial shot shows a devastated city of Lahaina, West of the Maui County, Hawaii, after wildfires ripped through the island. The blazes have destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, as well as significant historical sites, according to officials. Thousands of residents have been displaced. Hawaii Lt. Governor Sylvia Luke said that the recovery would “take years.”

Anne-Sophie Goninet and Laure Gautherin

👋 Moni moni onse!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Hawaii’s Maui island battles destructive wildfires as the death toll continues to rise, Ecuador declares a state of emergency after presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio is shot dead less than two weeks before the election and a Caribbean duo is set to etch their names in the history of space travel. For our special Summer Reads edition of Worldcrunch Today, we feature an article by Karl De Meyer in French daily Les Echos — and three other stories from around the world on women.

[*Chewa, Malawi and Zambia]


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.

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• Wildfires on Hawaii’s Maui kill at least 36, prompt evacuations: At least 36 people have been killed in “unprecedented” wildfires that are tearing through Hawaii’s Big Island and Maui as firefighting efforts continue. More than 11,000 people have been flown out of Maui while U.S. President Joe Biden announced he had ordered “all available Federal assets” to help combat the blaze. Several significant historical sites of the popular tourist spot of Lahaina Town have been destroyed.

• Ecuador declares state of emergency after presidential candidate shot dead: Outgoing Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has declared a two-month nationwide state of emergency following the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio in Quito on Wednesday. Villaviencio, who had said he had received multiple death threats for speaking up against corruption and organized crime, was shot at a campaign rally, less than two weeks before the August 20 presidential election. A suspect has been arrested by the authorities.

• Ukraine update: Russia says it has taken down more than a dozen drones on their way to the Moscow region and Sevastopol in Crimea — the latest attack in a series of drone raids deep inside Russian territory. At least three people were killed and nine others wounded after a Russian rocket hit a residential area in Zaporizhzhia, in southeast Ukraine, late on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a German government official has been arrested on suspicion of spying for Moscow, after he visited Russia’s embassy and general consulate “on his own initiative” several times this year.

• Niger military unveils new government ahead of ECOWAS summit: Niger’s junta has declared a new government, naming 21 ministers, as West African leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are meeting for a second emergency summit today to consider steps against the military. Meanwhile, the United States and United Nations have expressed concerns about the health and safety of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, who has spent two weeks under house arrest in reportedly “deplorable living conditions.”

• Kim Jong-un dismisses top general, calls for war preparations: Kim Jong-un has dismissed the military's top general, Chief of the General Staff Park Su Il, after seven months of service, state media KCNA reported on Thursday. During a meeting of the Central Military Commission to discuss plans for countermeasures to deter the “country’s enemies,” the North Korean leader also called for more preparations for the possibility of war, a boost in weapons production, and expansion of military drills.

• Chinese group tours to Australia resume: China’s culture and tourism ministry announced group tours to Australia could resume after outbound travel was halted due to the pandemic. A popular traveling option for Chinese citizens, group tours accounted for 30% of the Chinese leisure travel market to Australia before COVID restrictions. The latest updated list of destinations by Beijing comes as the relationship between the Chinese government and Canberra are improving after tensions. The list also includes Japan, South Korea, Britain and the U.S.

• First-ever mother-daughter duo in space: Anastatia Mayers, an 18-year-old Aberdeen student from Antigua and Barbuda, and Keisha Schahaff will be the first mother-daughter pair to fly into space aboard the Virgin Galactic 02 rocket plane after the pair won their seats in a charity raffle. They will be joined by Jon Goodwin, an 80-year-old British former Olympian with Parkinson disease. The VSS Unity, which is due to take off from New Mexico at 08:30 local time, will fly to just over 80 kilometers where the crew will get a few minutes of weightlessness before their return to Earth.


Image of protesters holding placards expressing their opinion during the demonstration after Mahsa Amini's death.

December 10, 2022, Istanbul, Turkey: Protesters hold placards expressing their opinion during the demonstration after Mahsa Amini's death.

Onur Dogman/Zuma

Iran must one day write the history of the violence perpetrated on its women, especially under the 40-year Islamic Republic, if historiography is to serve its progress toward a peaceful, democratic society. Journalist Golnaz Fakhari shares her own analysis of violence against women for London-based newspaper Kayhan.

Read the full story: Iran's Violence Against Women Runs Deep — And Can No Longer Be Swept Away


Image of a woman participating to the women's rally against domestic violence in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A woman participating to the women's rally against domestic violence in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Mariana Nedelcu/SOPA via ZUMA

Fears of reprisal mixed with emotional guilt prompt some of the women battered at home to withdraw accusations against an aggressor. In Argentina, however, depending on the gravity of allegations, the state must investigate household violence regardless. On the morning of Dec. 10, 2011, Argentines were informed of another femicide in their country, this time in the province of La Pampa. Carla Figueroa, 18, was stabbed to death by her husband. Their two-year-old son witnessed his mother being stabbed 11 times, as Mariana Rolandi Perandones reports for Argentine newspaper Clarín.

Read the full story: Domestic Violence: Why Do Some Women Retract Accusations?


Image of women soldiers during a military parade in honor of the Independence Day of Ukraine?

Military parade in honor of the Independence Day of Ukraine.

Women Ukrainian soldiers - wikimedia

Women with a military background are serving in the Ukrainian army, but so too are volunteers. Former lawyer and human rights activist Yevhenia Zakrevska has enlisted in the territorial defense unit in Kyiv, but with her team, she has already been to other cities in Ukraine where there are active combat operations. Almost a year ago, she became a soldier in the Ukrainian Armed Forces and now serves as an aerial reconnaissance officer. She tells her story to journalist Victoria Guerra for Ukrainian news media Livy Bereg.

Read the full story: Ukrainian Women At The Front: Don't Ask Us About Pads, We're Short On Weapons

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet and Laure Gautherin

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Crossing Europe, Sans Gas? My Summer Vacation 'Stress Test' For Electric Cars

The author set off on a three-week vacation trip across Europe in an electric car. Would the charging infrastructure be enough to get all the way, or would they end up stranded without battery, far from home?

Photo of a man holding an EV lectric plug

Putting Europe's electromobility to the test

Nando Sommerfeldt

BERLIN — "Do we really want to do that?" my wife asked. "Nearly 3,000 kilometers across Europe, in an electric car? We've already failed over much shorter distances."

She was right about that. But it's 2023, and e-mobility has outgrown its niche. It is set to become the new reality — in fact, it already is. After all, we're driving through Europe, not the desert.

After a lot of persuasion, I finally managed to assuage her worries. But I also prepared myself for a fairly big adventure. After all, our three-week vacation tour this year took us not only through Germany, but also Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy.

On our last long electric trip just over a year ago, we got stuck in a charging station jam after only 160 kilometers. The charging park in Nempitz, Saxony-Anhalt, was overrun, and before we could get to the charging point we had to line up and wait for 45 minutes.

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