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In The News

Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit, Ukraine Gains in South, World Cup Lottery

Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit, Ukraine Gains in South, World Cup Lottery

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen stand together under the image of Chinese revolutionary and military leader Chiang Kai-shek at the presidential office in Taipei

Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Häj ą̊ dig!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Nancy Pelosi wrapped up her visit to Taiwan with strong words for China, Ukraine’s military reports more gains in the south and countries battle it out for victory in the soccer World Cup (at least, just hosting it for now…). Meanwhile, The Wire of India explores a question without a clear good answer: What society should do about women inmates who have babies: Get the kids out? Raise them on the inside?

[*Elfdalian, Sweden]


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• Nancy Pelosi wraps up Taiwan visit with strong words: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has wrapped up her high-stakes trip to Taiwan, meeting the island nation’s president, Tsai Ing-wen and saying she came to make "unequivocally clear" that the United States would "not abandon" the democratically governed island. China warned that the trip would severely impact their diplomatic relations, and announced the launch of military exercises around Taiwan while suspending several imports and exports with the island.

• Ukrainian advances on the road to Kherson: The Ukrainian army has moved closer to the strategic southern city of Kherson, liberating seven more villages nearby. Ukraine says a total of 53 settlements have now so far been liberated since Kyiv announced a major counteroffensive to retake the south of Ukraine.

• Truce renewed in Yemen: The UN has said that Yemen’s two warring parties, the internationally recognized government and Houthi rebels, have agreed to renew an existing truce for two months. The UN had pushed for an extended and expanded truce, which the parties have rejected, but they have committed to intensifying negotiations.

• Kansas voters reject anti-abortion ballot proposal: Kansas voters rejected an amendment to fully ban abortion rights from the state’s constitution, preventing the Republican-led legislature to pass strict abortion restrictions in the state in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. The federal Department of Justice has also sued Idaho over its near-total abortion ban.

• Former Mexican president investigated: Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office is investigating former president Enrique Peña Nieto, who was in power from 2012 to 2018, on suspicion of illicit enrichment and money laundering. Peña Nieto received around $1.25 million in cash transfers from a relative, and the origin of the funds is unknown.

• ASEAN considers Myanmar response: The ASEAN has said it is reconsidering its role in a consensus fixed with Myanmar, also a member of the group, to end violence in the country after its military coup. This declaration comes as a warning to the junta leaders after the execution of activists.

• Who will host the 2030 World Cup?: Several countries have made joint bids to host the 2030 World Cup: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay in Latin America, and Spain and Portugal in Europe. Uruguay, which hosted the first tournament in 1930, hopes to bring the World Cup “home” for its centenary.


Taiwanese daily United Daily News devotes its front page to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan where she met the island’s President Tsai Ing-wen, despite China’s warnings and threats that have increased tensions between the world’s two superpowers. China plans to retaliate by holding military drills around Taiwan until Sunday.


103.7 million

Hosting platform Airbnb is enjoying a strong recovery with a record high 103.7 million nights and experiences booked on the platform from April to June (25% superior to last year). This boost is due to the lifting of sanitary restrictions all over the world, which encouraged people to resume traveling after a 2-year break. Long-term stays are particularly popular in the context of remote working, but international and city travel have also recovered.


India asks what to do with kids of women prisoners

While growing up inside a prison leads to a range of difficulties for children, those separated from their mothers and left on the outside also face different traumas. In this in-depth reportage for India's The Wire, journalist Sukanya Shantha talks to mothers who had to give birth in jail and those who went without seeing their children for years to keep them protected.

🚨 Prisons are certainly not a place to raise a child. But in the absence of parental care, children below six years of age end up living with their mothers in jail. The Supreme Court of India, in the R D Upadhyay versus the State of Andhra Pradesh case of 2006, directed all states and union territories to let children live with their mothers till they turned six. The court’s rationale was that separating a child from her mother at such a young age could have a devastating impact. But once a child turns six, the child is supposed to be handed over to a suitable surrogate or transferred into protective custody in a home and brought to prison to meet the mother at least once a week.

🧸❌ Most mothers that The Wire spoke to said that the children had access to no games or recreation while in jail. “Even if a visiting family member or an NGO gets them a doll or a car to play with, it is confiscated by the prison staff,” said Sonu, an undertrial prisoner who spent close to six months in Pune’s Yerwada central prison. The only game that children are seen playing across prisons is Bandi or captivity. “They simply emulate what they see all day. This little game includes everything from arrest and violence to release,” Sonu said. She and her child are out now, but the Bandi game, she said, still continues.

🤰🏽 Unlike their male counterparts, most incarcerated women face abandonment on imprisonment. And pregnant women have it much worse. If pregnant at the time of the arrest, fearing desertion and further hardship, women usually choose to undergo an abortion. But an abortion is not an easily available option. Once she steps into confinement, she loses her bodily autonomy and both the state and judiciary take over.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


The good news is that the Kremlin wants a negotiated solution.

— In an interview with German magazine Stern, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who has close ties with the Russian president, said that Russia wants to negotiate with Ukraine and that the first export of grain “can be slowly expanded to a ceasefire.” Schroeder met his longtime friend Vladimir Putin last week during a visit to Moscow.

✍️ Newsletter by Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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A Refuge From China's Rat Race: The Young People Flocking To Buddhist Monasteries

Unemployment, stress in the workplace, economic difficulties: more and more young Chinese graduates are flocking to monasteries to find "another school of life."

Photograph of a girl praying at a temple during Chinese Lunar New Year. She is burning incense.

Feb 20, 2015 - Huaibei, China - Chinese worshippers pray at a temple during the Lunar New Yeat

Frédéric Schaeffer

JIAXING — It's already dawn at Xianghai Temple when Lin, 26, goes to the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas for the 5:30 a.m. prayer.

Still half-asleep, the young woman joins the monks in chanting mantras and reciting sacred texts for an hour. Kneeling, she bows three times to Vairocana, also known as the Great Sun Buddha, who dominates the 42-meter-high hall representing the cosmos.

Before grabbing a vegetarian breakfast in the adjacent refectory, monks and devotees chant around the hall to the sound of drums and gongs.

"I resigned last October from the e-commerce company where I had been working for the past two years in Nanjing, and joined the temple in January, where I am now a volunteer in residence," explains the young woman, soberly dressed in black pants and a cream linen jacket.

Located in the city of Jiaxing, over a hundred kilometers from Shanghai, in eastern China, the Xianghai temple is home to some 20 permanent volunteers.

Unlike Lin, most of them only stay for a couple days or a few weeks. But for Lin, who spends most of her free time studying Buddhist texts in the temple library, the change in her life has been radical. "I used to do the same job every day, sometimes until very late at night, writing all kinds of reports for my boss. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I felt my life had no meaning," she says.

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