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In The News

Three Killed In Kyiv Strike, Khartoum Orphanage Horror, Indian Pride

Image of supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community looks on through a rainbow flag.

June 1, 2023, India: Supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community looks on through a rainbow flag.

Seshadri Sukumar/ZUMA
Yannick Champion-Osselin, Marine Béguin, Sophie Jacquier, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Chloé Touchard

👋 Saluton!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Russian airstrikes on Kyiv kill at least three, reports emerge of dozens of recent deaths of children in an orphanage in Sudan’s war-torn capital Khartoum, and international Pride Month begins today. Meanwhile, Argentine daily Clarín counterintuitively suggests that sleeping separately may actually be a good thing for couples — and it’s not just a snoring question.

[*Esperanto]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Ukraine update: Three people including a child have been killed in a missile attack on Kyiv, while Russia reports eight injured during renewed shelling of the Belgorod border region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked for “security guarantees” in a summit with 47 European leaders in Moldova, a sort of long-term defense alliance.

• At least 60 children die in Khartoum orphanage: Over the past six weeks, dozens of children have died while trapped in an orphanage as fighting continues in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. Twenty-six children died over the weekend, mostly from lack of food and fevers as the humanitarian conditions worsened.

• The U.S. suspend $31.4 trillion debt ceiling: After weeks of intense debate, the U.S. debt ceiling bill has passed in the House of Representatives, with majority support from both Democrats and Republicans. The bill to suspend the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling will now be sent to the Senate, which must pass the measure onto President Joe Biden before the Monday deadline, when the federal government is projected to run out of money.

• Decorated Australian soldier fails war crimes defamation case: Australia's most-decorated soldier Ben Roberts-Smith has lost a defamation case against newspapers that accused him of killing unarmed civilians in Afghanistan. The court found that four of the six murder allegations were substantially true. Roberts-Smith is the first member of the Australian military to be charged with war crimes. If found guilty, he will be sentenced for life.

Argentina eases access to morning-after pill: The morning-after pill can now be bought over the counter in Argentina. Feminist groups consider this good progress for the Catholic-majority country, as no longer requiring a prescription to get emergency contraception will de-stigmatize the pill and help prevent underage pregnancies.

• Spanish raid reveals EU’s counterfeit tobacco problem: Police raided three clandestine tobacco factories in Spain, seizing nearly 40 million euros ($44 million) worth of illicit products and multiple forced workers. Crime groups have been increasingly setting up shop in Western Europe as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine hindered their product from reaching Europe’s higher priced markets.

• 4,000 year old plague uncovered in England: A team of researchers have detected the oldest known strain of the plague while excavating mass burial sites in England. The 4,000 year old bacterial DNA unlocks new findings about the disease, including information on how it spread and evolved. The scientists hope it will help further research on the impact of genes in the propagation of infectious diseases.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

The daily Arab News celebrates on its front page the royal wedding of Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif, a “historic union” for the Hashemites Court. The highly anticipated event could allow Jordan to forge a strategic bond with Saudi Arabia. A number of global royals, including Prince William and Kate Middleton, are expected to attend the ceremony.

#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS

$192 billion

Elon Musk is back at the top of the podium of the world's richest men, according to a Bloomberg Billionaires ranking. The Tesla CEO's fortune now stands at around $192 billion, putting him ahead of LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault's $187 billion. The two centimillionaires have been neck-and-neck for the top spot in recent months.

📰 STORY OF THE DAY

Sleep divorce: the benefits for couples in having separate beds

Sleeping separately is often thought to be the beginning of the end for a loving couple. But studies show that having permanently separate beds — if you have the space and means — can actually reinforce the bonds of a relationship, reports Argentine daily Clarín.

🛏️ 🛏️ While sleeping in separate beds is seen as unaffectionate and the end of sex, psychologist María Gabriela Simone told Clarín this "is not a fashion, but to do with being able to feel free, and to respect yourself and your partner." She says the marriage bed originated "in the matrimonial duty of sharing a bed with the aim of having sex to procreate." That, she adds, gradually settled the idea that people "who love each other sleep together."

😴 But Simone says intimacy is one thing, sleeping another. People have different sleeping habits, she says, and "different things can happen when it's time to sleep: one of them wants to watch TV, or wakes up very early, snores, needs a bit of light, gets hot or gets cold. When two people are close together they're going to affect one another and that means sleeping badly." And that has daytime consequences, in the form of tiredness, changing moods, concentration problems or irritability.

💑 Separate bedding can aid the couple's sex life, as you may come to miss, then actively desire the partner you can no longer hear snoring. We spoke to 43-year-old María who has been with Lucas, aged 45, for 10 years. They began sleeping in separate bedrooms six years ago, as "he wasn't sleeping, nor was I," adding, "this was a relief in our daily lives as we used to wake up in a foul mood. Breaking the taboo saved us."

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

“A drama-free Grand Slam, I don't think it can happen for me.”

— Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic stood by the message he wrote on a camera lens after his first-round win at the French Open in Paris, which referred to the recent tensions in Kosovo that have seen ethnic Serb minorities clash with local Albanian politicians. Djokovic, currently world #3, wrote "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. Stop the violence." The comment is a slap at Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, though it was never recognized by Belgrade. French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera condemned the political message and added that there needed to be a "principle of neutrality for the field of play."

✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin, Marine Béguin, Sophie Jacquier, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Chloé Touchard


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Work In Progress

Psychwashing: When Employers Use "Well-Being" To Hide Workplace Business As Usual

Corporations are racing to adopt the language of the mental health movement. But is this anything more than a veil to cover up the deeper problems within the modern workplace?

Photograph of a group of people doing yoga, sitting cross-legged

A group of people practice yoga at the 2018 Midwest Yoga and Oneness Festival.

Erik Brolin/Unsplash
Kasia Bielecka

WARSAW — Raises? Shorter working hours? Jobs that carry real meaning? Does anyone really need these things anymore? Nope, if you ask corporations, they would rather have their employees learn deep breathing or sign up for courses on how to effectively manage stress. Therapy and wellness culture has entered companies, but in a caricatured form.

Not so long ago, topics such as productivity and efficiency were all the rage in workplaces. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, and it forced a reorganization of corporate priorities. All of a sudden, companies began to claim that they care about the mental health, wellbeing, and stress levels of their employees. But considering that what businesses still treasure most is their own bottom line, has this shift in language really changed anything?

“Mental health is now a corporate topic”, said professor Tomasz Ochinowski, a psychologist and organizational historian from the Department of Social Management at the University of Warsaw. “The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have definitely played a major role here”, he added, “but in a lot of ways, this is also a generational change”.

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