Welcome to Monday, where Ukraine warns of renewed shelling in Nikopol near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, at least 20 die in flash floods in Afghanistan, and a four-year-old girl thinks it’s never too early for some Christmas shopping. In the meantime, Spanish-language Pika Magazine looks at how rural Spain is fighting mass exodus by turning small towns into safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
[*Annyeong haseyo, Korean]
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• Shellings in Nikopol near nuclear plant: Ukrainian officials report that the southern Ukrainian city of Nikopol has once again been struck by Russian shellings. The area near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant was shelled three times overnight, causing five fires and building destruction. No casualties have been reported yet.
• U.S.-South Korea hold biggest drills in years: Seoul announced that the United States and South Korea have begun the largest joint military drills since 2018 — a move that North Korea may see as a threat and rehearsal for invasion. Both countries ensure the exercises are “purely defensive.”
• Imran Khan charged under terrorism act: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister is under investigation by the police on grounds of violating an anti-terror Law, and faces arrest. This comes after Khan, who was ousted in April, reportedly made threats to “take action” against the police during a speech in Islamabad on Saturday.
• At least 20 dead in Afghanistan floods: Afghan officials say that at least 20 people died and 3,000 homes had to be evacuated in the eastern Afghan province of Logar. Several areas have been experiencing heavy rains that triggered flash floods over the last 48 hours.
• Catholic nuns kidnapped in Nigeria: Four Catholic nuns from a local convent have been kidnapped on a highway in the southeast of Nigeria. The region is known for the presence of armed gangs used to kidnapping people in villages or on the roads and demanding ransoms.
• Portugal wildfires: Portugal declared a state of alert from Sunday to Tuesday for the ongoing extreme risk of wildfire. The country is facing its third heatwave this summer, with scorching temperatures and strong winds expected in the coming days. Some 92,000 hectares of land have already burned this year.
• Early Christmas shopping: A four-year-old girl who had escaped her parents' supervision at their home in eastern France was found shortly afterwards in a nearby supermarket — where she was browsing the toy section with a shopping cart.
Argentine daily Página 12 pays tribute to the 19 victims of the Trelew massacre, 50 years on. On August 22, 1972, 16 militants from leftist organizations were executed after trying to help prisoners escape from the Rawson Prison. Relatives, former political prisoners and militants gather on this day to unveil a commemorative plaque and honor their memory. Last month, a former Argentine Naval officer was found responsible for the massacre by a jury in Miami, as families of the victims still seek justice.
Italian entrepreneur Tullio Masoni has developed the “world’s smallest vineyard” on the rooftop of a 16th-century palazzo in Reggio Emilia. With a production of just 29 bottles of red wine per year, Masoni intends to sell his precious bottles as art — starting at $5,000 a piece. The winemaker also encourages potential buyers not to drink the wine but rather to “to keep [it] in your living room so you can chat about it with your friends and tell them about the lunatic who put a vineyard on his rooftop."
Spain's small town transition! Fighting depopulation by becoming an LGBTQ+ haven
Small Spanish towns are struggling with a mass exodus to cities. But some are trying to turn things around by making them safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people who could return from urban areas, Laura Alvaro Andaluz writes in Pika Magazine.
🇪🇸 Arenas de San Pedro is exactly what you picture when you imagine a small Spanish town: small tables on terraces, a castle, and mountains in the distance. But this town in the province of Ávila with 6,500 inhabitants also has a feature of many similar Spanish ones: depopulation. And it is conservative, which seems unlikely to change in the short-term future.
🏳️🌈 It's not a place where you'd expect to find an organization for LGBTQ+ people. But the Arenas Arcoíris collective emerged at the beginning of 2020 (pre-pandemic) to bring together LGBTQ+ people from Arenas and the neighboring Sierra de Gredos area. This group has tried to shine a light on the LGBTQ+ reality in rural areas: lack of previous similar experiences when coming out, no mutual support, loss of anonymity… All of this can lead to sexual and gender diverse people leaving the rural for the urban.
🤝 The Arenas Arcoíris collective considers it necessary to highlight individual experiences of coming out of the closet in a small town. That is why, since its creation, it has been working on building a network, in order to create a safe space in which access to personal testimonies serves as a support for other people. They believe that this is the best way to compensate for the lack of role models that people have in rural areas. Ultimately, they want to create a safe space without judgment — whether that's in a metropolis or a small town.
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I fought for the whole country and half of the world.
— Ukrainian boxer Oleksander Usyk retains his world heavyweight title after beating British boxer Anthony Joshua Saturday night in Saudi Arabia. Usyk, who served as a soldier in the Ukrainian army, reacted by saying, “I devote this victory to my country, to my family, to my team, to all the military defending this country,” while displaying a blue-and-yellow flag of Ukraine signed by his country’s soldiers.
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