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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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Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki


The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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