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In The News

Musk Takes Twitter & Fires CEO, Ukraine Electricity Crisis, Mars Crater

Musk Takes Twitter & Fires CEO, Ukraine Electricity Crisis, Mars Crater

Scientists have discovered the cause of large craters detected back in December on Mars: a meteoroid strike, estimated to be one of the biggest on the planet since NASA began its exploration.

Emma Albright, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Renate Mattar

👋 ສະບາຍດີ*

Welcome to Friday, where Russia strikes have forced Ukraine to import electricity for the first time, Elon Musk completes his takeover of Twitter and a migratory bird sets a new flying record. We also explore the history and current context of the new military partnership between Iran and Russia.

[*Sabaidee - Lao, Laos]


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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• Elon Musk owns Twitter now: Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has completed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, promptly firing the social media company’s CEO as the self-declared “free speech absolutist” is expected to open up Twitter’s moderation policies and life existing bans on some accounts, including former U.S. President Donald Trump.

• Ukraine forced to import electricity after weeks of air strikes: Russian attacks on energy infrastructure over the past three weeks have now forced Ukraine’s energy provider to import electricity for the first time, from Slovakia. Several hundred thousand Ukrainians in the central part of the country were left without power on Thursday after the latest Russian air strikes.

• North Korea fires two missiles: North Korea fires two ballistic missiles towards the East Sea, in South Korea, as a weapon test. According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, this was a “serious act of provocation” and a “clear violation” of the UN Security council resolutions.

• Floods in the Philippines: At least 31 people have died in southern Philippines in the latest major flooding to strike the island nation.

• Deadly Milan stabbing also injures football star: A stabbing near Milan left one person dead and four seriously injured, including Spanish football player Pablo Mari. The attacker was described by the police as a “mentally unstable man.”

• Russia tightens anti-LGBTQ law: Russia has announced plans to ban all LGBTQ+ related content in media, televisions, books, theater, movies, described as “propaganda.” This new ban will affect people of all ages, and not only children, as it was the case before this new ban.

• King Charles’s first coins: The first of an expected 9.6 million 50-pence coins depicting King Charles are now being minted. They will be available to the general public starting December.


South Korean daily The Dong-a Ilbo reports on Samsung’s decision to appoint Lee Jae-yong as its new executive chairman and de facto boss. The third-generation heir of the electronics giant’s founding family had secured a special presidential pardon of his 2017 conviction of bribery and embezzlement two months ago.


13,560 km

A young bar-tailed godwit that was tagged as a hatchling in Alaska with a tracking GPS chip appears to have set a new record for a non-stop bird flight by traveling more than 13,560 kilometers (8,426 miles) from the Yuko-Kuskokwim Delta to the Australian state of Tasmania. The research led by an international team, which was able to follow the young bird’s first annual migration across the Pacific Ocean that lasted for 11 days, has yet to be published and peer reviewed.


Why Iran has decided to arm Russia, and the price to pay

After months of trading barbs with Ukraine's allies in the West, Tehran is now fully engaged alongside Moscow in the conflict, most notably with supplies of so-called Kamikaze drones. Although the fact that Iran still denies its activities is a sign that the partnership is loaded.

🇮🇷🇷🇺 After limiting itself in the first months of the war to rhetorical barbs aimed at Ukraine’s allies in the West, the past two weeks have seen a major escalation of Tehran’s role alongside Moscow. To some degree, it can be explained by a natural affinity between two ambitious regional powers who share authoritarian control over their respective countries and a common enemy in the West. But there are multiple layers and often conflicting interests behind this cautious alliance — one in which Iran continues to deny its direct involvement in the war.

🤝 Relations date back more than a millennium between these two former and would-be future empires, whose geographic vicinity has varied over the centuries. Official diplomatic relations were established in 1521 between the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Persian Empire, with commercial and diplomatic ties ebbing and flowing until the late 19th century, when Russia and Britain sought to control parts of Iran. The Russian Revolution of 1917 would eventually lead to the expansion of the Soviet Union to include Azerbaijan, which meant that the USSR and Iran would share a border for decades.

✈️ Israeli military expert David Gendelman believes the reason why Iran is helping Russia is not the hope for assistance in developing nuclear weapons: Russia has no interest in the emergence of another nuclear state. But what Iran cannot create on its own under sanctions is military aviation, which Russia can provide. “Iran is actively developing drones precisely because it does not have the ability to build aircraft. Russia has most likely offered practical assistance in this matter. Besides, Iran needs money; the state of their economy under sanctions is much more difficult than in Russia,” he believes.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


The bird is freed.

— Elon Musk marked the completion of his takeover of Twitter late Thursday with a four-word (15-character) tweet. Immediately after completing the $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform, Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal and two other top executives, with major layoffs also expected soon. The billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX has said he plans to rethink Twitter’s current content moderation policy to place fewer restrictions on what can be said on the platform. Musk might also let former U.S. president Donal Trump back on the platform just in time for the upcoming U.S. midterm elections.

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Renate Mattar

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A Refuge From China's Rat Race: The Young People Flocking To Buddhist Monasteries

Unemployment, stress in the workplace, economic difficulties: more and more young Chinese graduates are flocking to monasteries to find "another school of life."

Photograph of a girl praying at a temple during Chinese Lunar New Year. She is burning incense.

Feb 20, 2015 - Huaibei, China - Chinese worshippers pray at a temple during the Lunar New Yeat

Frédéric Schaeffer

JIAXING — It's already dawn at Xianghai Temple when Lin, 26, goes to the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas for the 5:30 a.m. prayer.

Still half-asleep, the young woman joins the monks in chanting mantras and reciting sacred texts for an hour. Kneeling, she bows three times to Vairocana, also known as the Great Sun Buddha, who dominates the 42-meter-high hall representing the cosmos.

Before grabbing a vegetarian breakfast in the adjacent refectory, monks and devotees chant around the hall to the sound of drums and gongs.

"I resigned last October from the e-commerce company where I had been working for the past two years in Nanjing, and joined the temple in January, where I am now a volunteer in residence," explains the young woman, soberly dressed in black pants and a cream linen jacket.

Located in the city of Jiaxing, over a hundred kilometers from Shanghai, in eastern China, the Xianghai temple is home to some 20 permanent volunteers.

Unlike Lin, most of them only stay for a couple days or a few weeks. But for Lin, who spends most of her free time studying Buddhist texts in the temple library, the change in her life has been radical. "I used to do the same job every day, sometimes until very late at night, writing all kinds of reports for my boss. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I felt my life had no meaning," she says.

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