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In The News

More Attacks Inside Russia, Clashes Breach Sudan Truce, WhatsApp Edits

Photo of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenksy shaking hands with Ukrainian soldiers in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenksy shaking hands with Ukrainian soldiers in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine.

Emma Albright, Chloé Touchard, Marine Béguin, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Servus!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where fighting continues between Ukrainian troops and Russian paramilitaries in Russia’s Belgorod border region, airstrikes are reported in Sudan despite a week-long ceasefire, and WhatsApp will soon let its users fix their whoopsies. Meanwhile, Lisbon-based news website Mensagem looks at how a revised song has become an anthem of female resistance in the “patriarchal” universe of samba.

[*Bavarian, Germany and Austria]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• More overnight attacks inside Russia, Ukraine diplomat travels to Africa: Ukraine troops and Russian paramilitaries have clashed overnight in Russia’s Belgorod border region. Residents have been told to stay away from the area while clashes are ongoing, in what appears to be one of the largest cross-border incursions since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukraine's foreign minister began a tour of African countries, challenging Russian influence in the “Global South.”

• Clashes breach Sudan ceasefire: More airstrikes and clashes have been reported in Sudan despite a new seven-day truce that officially began on Monday. Witnesses have reported further hostilities in the capital Khartoum. The cease-fire was meant to allow the delivery of aid after the army conducted heavy air strikes across the capital.

• Biden, McCarthy meeting ends with no deal on debt ceiling: U.S. President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy could not reach an agreement on how to raise the U.S. government's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling with just 10 days before a possible default that could sink the U.S. economy.

Brazil declares animal health emergency flu: Brazil has declared an animal health emergency for six months after authorities detected its first-ever case of avian influenza virus in wild birds. The South American nation, which is the world’s biggest chicken meat exporter, has confirmed at least eight cases of the H5N1 virus in wild birds.

• Search for Madeleine McCann resumes in Portugal: Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann began a search of the Arade dam on Tuesday, about 30 miles from where the toddler went missing in Praia da Luz in 2007. Christian Brueckner, 45, was made a formal suspect by Portuguese prosecutors in 2022. The search was requested by German police as the area was visited by Brueckner when Madeleine, then three years old, disappeared.

• Meta slapped with record $1.3 billion EU fine over data privacy: Facebook’s owner, Meta, has been fined a record $1.3 billion for mishandling people’s data when transferring it between Europe and the U.S. Issued by Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC), it is the largest fine imposed under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation privacy law. Meta says it will appeal against the "unjustified and unnecessary" ruling.

• Risky WhatsApp texts no more: WhatsApp says it will allow users to edit a message up to 15 minutes after being sent, a move that matches features offered by competitors like Telegram and Signal. The feature will be made available to WhatsApp's 2 billion users in the coming weeks.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Spanish sports daily AS devotes its front page to the worldwide support received by Vinícius Júnior after the Brazilian soccer star of Real Madrid was subjected to racist abuse by fans of rival Valencia in their match Sunday. Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed “his solidarity” with Vinícius at the G7 Summit in Japan while the country’s Christ the Redeemer statue switched off its lights for an hour on Monday evening. Spanish prosecutors are investigating the incident as a possible “hate crime.”

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

53 million liters

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, commissioned the continent’s biggest oil refinery in Nigeria, to produce up to 53 million liters of gasoline per day. The $20 billion project is considered a “game-changer” for the country: despite being one of Africa’s largest oil producers, Nigeria faces chronic fuel shortages as it exports most of its production. Dangote said the priority was to ensure the refinery could eliminate “the tragedy of import dependency.”

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

The Brazilian singer trying to shake the sexism out of samba

The Brazilian singer Nega Jaci has performed a new version of the well-known samba “Mulheres,” by Martinho da Vila, adapted by two Brazilian women to remove the sexist tone of the original lyrics, reports Álvaro Filho for Lisbon-based news website Mensagem.

🎶♀️ Instead of "I've had women of all colors," Nega Jaci sings “We are women of all colors,” from an updated version created by Brazilian artists Doralyce and Silvia Duffrayer in 2018 — an adaptation that rewrites some stanzas of the original lyrics and which, since then, has become an anthem of female resistance in the “patriarchal” universe of samba.

✊ The new lyrics reposition the woman's role, from being responsible for the man's happiness, finally concluding, in a liberated and independent tone, that the woman is everything that she one day dreamed to be. “Samba lyrics tend to be super sexist and prejudiced, looking at women either as objects to serve men or as someone who needs to be taken care of, without giving due value to female power,” explains Jaci.

🎤 “I sing in honor of the women, but the men end up listening and reflecting on the theme in their own way,” she says. This reflection has led other musicians to also look for a way to reposition themselves. Jaci recalls that not even Chico Buarque himself, universally loved among Brazilian musicians and apparently incontestable, is immune to the slippage of lyrics written in other times and contexts, but which now seem to no longer find space in a repertoire governed by political correctness.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

“Go to hell, Shell...”

— “...and don't you come back no more," chanted climate protesters to the tune of Ray Charles’ song “Hit The Road, Jack”, as they attempted to disrupt a meeting of the oil giant’s board of directors in London.

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Chloé Touchard, Marine Béguin, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet


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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Will Winter Crack The Western Alliance In Ukraine?

Kyiv's troops are facing bitter cold and snow on the frontline, but the coming season also poses longer term political questions for Ukraine's allies. It may be now or never.

Ukraine soldier in winer firing a large canon with snow falling

Ukraine soldier firing a large cannon in winter.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Weather is a weapon of war. And one place where that’s undoubtedly true right now is Ukraine. A record cold wave has gripped the country in recent days, with violent winds in the south that have cut off electricity of areas under both Russian and Ukrainian control. It's a nightmare for troops on the frontline, and survival itself is at stake, with supplies and movement cut off.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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This is the reality of winter warfare in this part of Europe, and important in both tactical and strategic terms. What Ukraine fears most in these circumstances are Russian missile or drone attacks on energy infrastructures, designed to plunge civilian populations into cold and darkness.

The Ukrainian General Staff took advantage of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's visit to Kyiv to ask the West to provide as many air defense systems as possible to protect these vital infrastructures. According to Kyiv, 90% of Russian missile launches are intercepted; but Ukraine claims that Moscow has received new weapon deliveries from North Korea and Iran, and has large amounts of stocks to strike Ukraine in the coming weeks.

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