👋 Ekamowir omo!*
Welcome to Wednesday, where Israel air strikes target Hamas’ tunnel network in Gaza, last month was officially the hottest October ever, and we have a new “sexiest man alive.” Meanwhile, Julio César Londoño, in Colombian daily El Espectador, looks at how a newly put together collection of essays by Gabriel García Márquez shows that the legendary author was more than just a fantasist and man of fiction.
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• Israel targets Gaza tunnel network: Air strikes in Gaza killed a Hamas weapons maker and several fighters, the Israeli military said on Wednesday, as its air and ground offensive targeted the militants' tunnel network beneath the Palestinian enclave. Gaza City, the Hamas militant group's main stronghold in the territory, is encircled by Israeli forces. Meanwhile, top diplomats from the G7 have called for “humanitarian pauses” in Israel’s bombardment in order to deliver aid to desperate Palestinian civilians. There may be a first rift in the airtight Israel-U.S. alliance over the war, after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s indication of a possible “indefinite” re-occupation of Gaza.
• Kremlin says West is increasing risk of nuclear weapons being used: The Russian security council secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, said on Wednesday that the “destructive” policies of the U.S. and its allies were increasing the risk that nuclear, chemical or biological weapons would be used. His comments followed U.S. criticism of a Russian decision on Tuesday to withdraw from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, a post-Cold War security agreement. Read Slovakian philosopher Slavoj Žižek’s recent piece for Die Welt: Russia Flirts With The End Of "Mutually Assured Destruction."
• Record temperatures in October indicate 2023 will be warmest year in history: Europe’s climate monitor said Wednesday that last month was the hottest October on record globally. Months of exceptional heat are likely to make 2023 the warmest year in history. Global average air temperatures were 0.4C warmer than the previous high of October 2019, according to the EU's climate change service. Here’s a piece on the phenomenon called “climate migration”.
• Ohio voters enshrine abortion access in constitution: Ohio voted to enshrine abortion rights in its constitution on Tuesday, marking a major victory for pro-choice campaigners in the U.S. Early returns showed almost 56% of voters in the conservative-leaning state had backed it. Its success is likely to raise Democrats' hopes that abortion rights remain a winning issue ahead of elections in 2024.
• Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa resigns over corruption scandal: The Public Prosecutor's Office announced it was investigating Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa and several members of his cabinet for alleged crimes of prevarication, active and passive corruption, and influence peddling.
• Optus outage cuts mobile phone network, internet for millions in Australia: Millions of Australians were left without mobile and internet for 12 hours after a network failure at telecoms firm Optus. The failure caused transport delays, cut hospital phone lines, and shut down payment systems. Optus, the country's second-largest provider, said more than 10 million people and thousands of businesses were affected.
• Turning “McDreamy” into a reality: Grey's Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey was named People magazine's ”sexiest man alive” for 2023, taking over the title from 2022 Marvel star Chris Evans. Dempsey, 57, said he was “completely shocked” when he heard the news and thought it was a joke, noting “I've always been the bridesmaid.”
Madrid-based daily ABC dedicates its front page to the second night of rioting that took place near the Socialist Party (PSOE) HQ in the Spanish capital, over government plans to provide amnesty to Catalan separatists. An estimated 7,000 people clashed with the police on Tuesday evening and six were arrested. The demonstrators, right-wing "ultras", are protesting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s recent talks with Catalan separatist parties. The negotiations could result in the amnesty for thousands involved in Catalonia’s independence movement and for their leaders, in exile after their failed 2017 secession attempt. In exchange, Sánchez would have their votes in Parliament to back the formation of a new government and thus keep his center-left coalition in power. If he fails, the Parliament will be automatically dissolved on Nov. 27 and new elections will have to take place in January.
119 hours, 57 minutes
Irish chef Alan Fisher has broken the world record for non-stop cooking, peeling potatoes and whipping up dishes for 119 hours and 57 minutes at his Irish-themed restaurant in Matsue, Japan. Fisher beats Nigerian chef Hilda Baci, whose record earlier this year stood at 93 hours 11 minutes.
An unearthed García Márquez essay collection reveals: “Gabo, the chronicler”
A noted expert of the late Gabriel García Márquez is putting to rest the idea that the legendary Gabo was just a fantasist and man of fiction, revealing poignant and pointed essays and literary criticism, reports Julio César Londoño in Colombian daily El Espectador.
📕 Call it a miracle, of sorts: we have a new book by Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's late and perhaps greatest novelist. In fact, with painstaking effort, Fernando Jaramillo, a recognized expert on Gabo, has made an informal or "pirate" edition of the novelist's prologues. His prologue to De sobremesa ('After Dinner'), a late 19th century novel (written as an "anxious" diary, and published in 1925) and the only one by the poet José Asunción Silva, is Gabo's longest piece of literary criticism.
💬 The book Habla Fidel (Fidel Talks) is Gianni Minà's famous account of Cuba's late communist ruler, Fidel Castro. In its prologue, García Márquez includes some of the interview's best moments and some of El Comandante's private moments. “One night, while taking in dainty little spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream, he suddenly seemed overwhelmed by the weight of so many destinies and appeared so distant from himself. Briefly, he seemed different from the person he had always been.”
✍️ Prólogos ultimately performs crucial functions, disposing of a pervasive myth in intellectual and literary circles that Gabo was some precocious "golden boy" riding the wave of the Latin American literary boom. There is an idea that he could never have written lengthy, weighty, essays like Mexico's Octavio Paz or his friend Cortázar. It shows that great publishing feats do not need an incredible literary agent or monumental publishers or a grandee as patron.
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“We all win.”
— European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has commented on the EU bloc’s decision to open membership negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, once they meet outstanding conditions. “Past enlargements have shown the enormous benefits both for the accession countries and the EU,” she said. “We all win.” It’s a step forward for Kyiv and Chișinău, although progress is still needed from both countries on issues such as anti-corruption, de-oligarchization, the rights of minorities and judicial reforms. Formal negotiations could begin as early as next year.
✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet
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