Welcome to Thursday, where Kyiv says it has shot down 20 Russian drones after a second night of missile strikes, a damning report slams former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the “partygate” scandal, and NASA’s Curiosity rover sends a poetic composite image from Mars. Meanwhile, Carmen Domigo in online media Ethic unpacks the critical comments leveled at Spain's groundbreaking law on consent.
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• Ukraine update: Industrial facilities in Kryvyi Rih have been hit by Russian missiles, two days after deadly attacks on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's home city. In Odessa, Kyiv claims to have shot down 20 Russian drones after a second night of missile strikes. Meanwhile, NATO defense ministers discuss support for Ukraine in Brussels during this “critical time” and the U.S. pledges to “stand with Ukraine for the long haul.”
• Boris Johnson “deliberately misled” parliament over lockdown parties: Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been found to have deliberately misled parliament about the “partygate scandal”, a report finds. The privileges committee condemned the now former member of Parliament for “undermining the democratic process,” in part through attempted intimidation of the committee. Had he not resigned from his post as Parliament member on Friday, he would have faced a 90-day suspension.
• Governor assassinated after criticizing Sudan paramilitary: West Darfur Governor Khamis Abakar was abducted and killed following a TV appearance where he called for international intervention in Sudan and denounced paramilitary fighters’ killings of civilians. Sudan's war, which has been raging for almost two months, has recently expanded into cities in the west of the country.
• Sluggish China economy:China's economy slowed last month, causing its central bank to cut key interest rates for the first time in a year. Industrial output and retail sales did not grow as expected, and China is dealing with record youth unemployment, growing local debts and less demand.
• Pro-abortion protests in Poland after pregnant woman dies: Thousands of people took to the streets in Poland to protest against the country's strict abortion law, after a five month pregnant woman died of sepsis. The restrictive law only permits abortion in cases of rape or incest, or if the mothers health or life is at risk. The protesters railed against doctors who refuse to perform abortions to save women's lives and against the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS).
• Mass evacuation as Cyclone Biparjoy set to make landfall: In India and Pakistan, more than 100,000 people have been evacuated ahead of Cyclone Biparjoy, a “very severe cyclonic storm” whose name means “disaster” in Bengali. Storms and heavy rains already pound the coastline as the cyclone moves across the Arabian Sea, expected to hit land this evening.
• Paris to cohabit with rats: CNN has published an opinion piece on the differences between how Paris and New York handle their rats. In the French capital, Mayor Anne Hidalgo has formed a committee to study “cohabitation” between rats and humans. The 6 million rats (three for every human) seemed to be winning after workers strikes flooded the streets with trash, so the city is looking for “the most efficient” way to level the playing field between the two species — ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.
French daily Libération devotes its front page to the 79 migrants who died in the Mediterranean sea yesterday after a fishing boat sank off the coast of Greece. The sinking is one of the worst recorded this year, with 104 other passengers rescued. According to local authorities, more than 500 people were on board. Greek coast-guard spokesman Nikos Alexiou said it was “one of the biggest [such] operations in the Mediterranean” and that Greek rescuers “won’t stop looking” for survivors in the area.
The tragic floods and landslides that overran the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy in May have had a devastating effect on the bee population. Initial estimates approximate that over 250 million bees have been killed. The region is a leader in the production of fruits and vegetables, and without bees, which are indispensable to the natural food chain, many crops are at risk.
How Spain’s “only yes means yes” law has freed sexual assault convicts from prison
Spain's groundbreaking “only yes means yes” law on consent was supposed to crack down on sexual abusers. But early signs say the real-life effect may be just the opposite. Critical voices of its effects keep appearing, reports Carmen Domigo in Spanish online media Ethic.
🇪🇸 In May 2022, Spanish lawmakers introduced what was touted as a revolutionary feminist bill aimed at toughening legislation around sexual abuse. The law was conceived by the Ministry of Equality following the trial in an infamous 2016 gang rape case of an 18-year-old during the running-of-the-bulls in Pamplona. A video had shown the victim was silent and passive, which was interpreted by judges as proof of her consent.
⚖️ But the new law came with a caveat: some of those already convicted of sexual assault and abuse would see an automatic reduction in their prison sentences because the new law created a wider range for sentencing. And indeed, more than a year since the new law took effect, studies indicate that a troubling number of rapists and other sexual offenders have been released from jail.
🏛️ Irene Montero, the politician and psychologist who serves as the Spanish Minister of Equality, is now facing growing criticism for the 'only yes means yes' law she introduced. While the minister first denied that prison sentences were being reduced at all, she later changed her statement as evidence began to stream in. Even then, she explained that any such revisions of prison sentences were occurring unlawfully at the hands of right-wing judges — and were, in any case, not widespread in small quantities.
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➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
“Nobody should try to play with the Georgian people.”
— In an exclusive interview with Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainska Pravda, Georgian President Salomé Zourabichvili commented on pro-Europe sentiment among the Georgian population and criticized the pro-Russian tendencies of some members of the government: “Georgia is occupied [by Russia] and cannot pursue a policy of confrontation by itself, but it should be very determined. Any lack of determination encourages Russia to try to test how far it can go.”
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•Gùsto! How, What, Where Locals Eat (& Drink) In Beijing — WORLDCRUNCH
✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin, Michal Kubala and Sophie Jacquier
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