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In The News

Nord Stream Sabotage, Hurricane Ian Heads To Florida, Record Melting Glaciers

Nord Stream Sabotage, Hurricane Ian Heads To Florida, Record Melting Glaciers

Hurricane Ian was seen moving over south western Cuba from the International Space Station on Sept. 26, causing a complete blackout on the island

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

👋 Guuten takh!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where a potential sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines is under investigation, Hurricane Ian knocks out power across Cuba and heads towards Florida and two British cities are battling to host the 2023 Eurovision competition. Meanwhile, Ukrainian media Livy Bereg’s journalist Sergiy Gromenko looks at Vladimir Putin’s past, to show that the Russian president hasn’t in fact “turned” evil but has always been the sinister figure revealed by the Ukraine invasion.

[*Cimbrian, northeastern Italy]


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• Nord Stream sabotage: Although not directly blaming Russia, EU officials have said that recent leaks in Nord Stream pipelines from Russia to Europe were caused by sabotage. The pipelines, which were designed to deliver Russia’s energy supplies to Western Europe, have been at the core of the energy war between the West and Moscow since the beginning of the war.

• Hurricane Ian heads to Florida: The Cuban government announced the island suffered a complete blackout after Hurricane Ian battered the western region with high winds, leaving 11 million people without electricity. The storm is forecasted to gain strength and is now heading to Florida, where residents fear floods and thousands are fleeing.

• Death toll at 76 in Iran protests: Rights groups revealed that at least 76 people were killed by Iran’s security forces since nationwide protests broke out eleven days ago after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Hundreds have been arrested as the police crackdown continues.

• Mine dam owner denies second collapse: South African mining company Jagersfontein Developments denied allegations made by the provincial government that a mine waste dam collapsed on Tuesday, two weeks after a first dam wall partially collapsed due to rains.

• Saudi Crown Prince named Prime Minister: A royal decree said Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz named his son and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as Prime Minister after ordering a cabinet reshuffle. The 86-year-old King Salman held the title until now and he progressively steadies transfer of power in the kingdom.

• China’s yuan sinks to record low: China’s yuan has fallen to a 14-year-old record low against the U.S. dollar, losing about 4% this past month, despite central bank efforts to slow the currency’s slide. This comes at a time when the dollar is rising in value compared to other major currencies.

• 2023 Eurovision: Liverpool or Glasgow?: The BBC announced that Liverpool, in the north of England, and Glasgow, Scotland, are the two cities vying to host the 2023 Eurovision song contest, organized by the United Kingdom on behalf of Ukraine which cannot host it because of the war. The final decision will be revealed “within weeks.”


Japanese daily Okinawa Times dedicates its front page to the “ups and downs” of the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was murdered during a political rally on July 8. The ceremony prompted protests from citizens who denounced its high cost (about $12 million) and Abe’s legacy, notably his party’s ties with the Unification Church.



Following exceptionally low winter snowfall and back-to-back heatwaves, Swiss glaciers have lost 6% of their remaining volume this year — amounting to about 3 cubic kilometers of ice. This nearly doubles the previous 2003 record of worst melt rate, warned the Swiss Glacier Monitoring Network (GLAMOS).


When did Putin “turn” evil? That's exactly the wrong question

Look back over the past two decades, and you'll see Vladimir Putin has always been the man revealed by the Ukraine invasion, an evil and sinister dictator, writes Sergiy Gromenko in Ukrainian media Livy Bereg. The Russian leader just managed to mask it, especially because so many chose to see him as a typically corrupt and greedy strongman who could be bribed or reasoned with.

❓ In the past year, we have kept hearing rhetorical questions like “why did Putin start this war at all, didn't he have enough of his own land?” or “he already has Gelendzhik to enjoy, why fight?” This line of thinking has resurfaced after missile strikes on Ukrainian power grids and dams, which was regarded by many as a simple demonstration of terrorism. Such acts are a manifestation of weakness, some ask, so is Putin ready to show himself weak?

💥 However, you will not arrive at the correct answer if the questions themselves are asked incorrectly. For decades, analysts in Russia, Ukraine, and the West have been under an illusion about the nature of the Russian president's personal dictatorship. Putin has shown his true colors from the very earliest days. His reign began with the organization of apartment bombings during the Second Chechen War. And the Chechen invasion of Dagestan, which initiated the hostilities, looks too suspicious.

⚠️ This is a false narrative that Putin grew up poor, and he turned corrupt to lift himself out of poverty. But it was privilege not poverty that made him this way, the work in the KGB laying the foundation for Putin's bloodthirstiness. The agency neglected morality, regarded people as cogs — and when the KGB officer headed the state, he transferred these principles to the entire echelon of power. Do not ask why Putin suddenly began to behave this way. That's how he's always behaved. It is better to ask when exactly you realized that a cold-hearted spy is running a neighboring country, for whom your life has no value.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


Dear Zelensky, you know that you can count on our loyal support for the cause of freedom of Ukrainian people.

— Set to become the first female prime minister of Italy, nationalist leader Giorgia Meloni has pledged her full support of Ukraine in its war with Russia. President Zelensky tweeted on Tuesday that he was looking forward to "fruitful cooperation with the new government."

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

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Forced Labor, Forced Exile: The Cuban Professionals Sent Abroad To Work, Never To Return

Noel, a Cuban engineer who had to emigrate to the faraway island of Saint Lucia, tells about the Cuban government's systematic intimidation techniques and coercion of its professionals abroad. He now knows he can never go back to his native island — lest he should never be allowed to leave Cuba again.

Forced Labor, Forced Exile: The Cuban Professionals Sent Abroad To Work, Never To Return

Next stop, Saint Lucia

Laura Rique Valero

Daniela* was just one year old when she last played with her father. In a video her mother recorded, the two can be seen lying on the floor, making each other laugh.

Three years have passed since then. Daniela's sister, Dunia*, was born — but she has never met her father in person, only connecting through video calls. Indeed, between 2019 and 2023, the family changed more than the two little girls could understand.

"Dad, are you here yet? I'm crazy excited to talk to you."

"Dad, I want you to call today and I'm going to send you a kiss."

"Dad, I want you to come for a long time. I want you to call me; call me, dad."

Three voice messages which Daniela has left her father, one after the other, on WhatsApp this Saturday. His image appears on the phone screen, and the two both light up.

The girls can’t explain what their father looks like in real life: how tall or short or thin he is, how he smells or how his voice sounds — the real one, not what comes out of the speaker. Their version of their dad is limited to a rectangular, digital image. There is nothing else, only distance, and problems that their mother may never share with them.

In 2020, Noel*, the girls' father, was offered a two-to-three-year employment contract on a volcanic island in the Caribbean, some 2,000 kilometers from Cuba. The family needed the money. What came next was never in the plans.

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