Russia’s New Troop Mobilization, Deadly Iran Protests, 230 Stranded Whales
Welcome to Wednesday, where Vladimir Putin announces a “partial mobilization” of reservists that may mark a major escalation in the Ukraine war, Iran acknowledges the first deaths in street protests, and 230 whales are found stranded off the coast of Tasmania. Meanwhile, Yann Rousseau for French daily Les Échos takes stock of the economic impacts of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s first year in power.
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🌎 7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW
• Putin calls up reservists: In a national TV address, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country is launching a partial mobilization of its citizens, in a major escalation of the war in Ukraine. His speech stated that Western countries’ goal was to destroy Russia, and that a “new next large-scale offensive in the Donbas” was inevitable. He also implied that the country would be willing to use nuclear weapons to defend its sovereignty.
• UN leaders condemn war in Ukraine: World leaders jointly condemned the war in Ukraine on Tuesday, with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz denouncing Russia’s “imperialism.” Qatar, Senegal and Turkey called for immediate de-escalation and peace talks.
• Iran confirms first deaths in protests: Protests continue in Iran after the death of a young woman reportedly at the hands of the country’s so-called “morality police.” The first fatalities from the clashes with police were confirmed by the governor of the Iranian province of Kurdistan where the 22-year-old victim Mahsa Amini died after being accused of not properly covering her hair, according to Iran’s religious laws. Several government websites were also hacked by activists affiliated with the Anonymous collective, in support of the protests.
• U.S. and Canadian warships sail through Taiwan Strait: For the second time in less than a year, a U.S. Navy warship and a Canadian frigate made a joint routine transit through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday. Chinese authorities condemned the mission, at a time of heightened tensions with Taipei.
• Japanese man sets himself on fire over Abe funeral: A Japanese man in his 70s set himself ablaze near the prime minister’s office in Tokyo, reportedly in protest of the holding of a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated on July 8. Recent polls showed a majority of the Japanese population are unhappy with the expenditure that the state funeral would represent. The man was still conscious when he was taken to the hospital by police officers, and his current condition is unknown.
• Hurricane Fiona headed to Bermuda: After having caused devastation in Puerto Rico as well as the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hurricane Fiona risks strengthening to a Category 4 storm and is now headed towards Bermuda. Four deaths have so far been blamed on the hurricane.
• 230 whales stranded on Australian beach: 230 pilot whales have been found stranded on a remote beach on the west coast of Tasmania, just a day after 14 sperm whales were found dead in the north of this Australian state.
🗞️ FRONT PAGE
COVID-19 cases are increasing once more in France, with 33,263 new infections reported in mid-September, pointing to the emergence of an eighth wave of coronavirus. But could this be “the final wave?,” asks French daily La Croix after World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently announced the end of the pandemic was finally “in sight.”
#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS
153 million tons
According to NGO Feedback EU’s report, an estimated 153 million tons of food are wasted in the European Union every year, which is far more food than what Europe imports amid the cost-of-living crisis. According to the NGO, the EU must reduce its food waste by 50% by 2030 to improve food security and fight climate change.
📰 STORY OF THE DAY
Abenomics revisited: Why Japan hasn't attacked the wealth divide
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promised to tackle wealth inequality and help struggling workers. But a year after he came to power, financial traders are once again the winners, reports Yann Rousseau for French daily Les Échos.
🗳️ Almost a year ago, at the end of September 2021, traders went into a panic in Tokyo. On Sept. 29, Fumio Kishida had just won the general election for the country's main conservative party, the Liberal Democratic Party. He was about to be named Prime Minister. In his speeches, he had promised to generate a “new capitalism”.
💴 Thanks to his predecessors’ strategy called ”Abenomics”, which created a series of public spending plans, lowered taxes for companies and supported the fall of the yen, big companies profited and the main Tokyo Stock Market indexes revived their vitality during the 2010s. But Japanese households did not feel the benefits of this economic growth.
👶❌ Without union offices willing to defend them and no majority brave enough to confront the big corporations, the employees kept to themselves silently. Young people, who are particularly badly paid in a system that bases its rewards on seniority, say that they do not dare to have children because they are afraid they won't be able to afford to raise them.
➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com
The motherland must be reunified and will inevitably be reunified.
— Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said at a news conference that China was willing to make efforts towards a “peaceful” reunification with the self-ruled island but that the country would not make compromises to safeguard its territory. This comes after U.S. President Joe Biden declared once again that U.S. forces would defend Taiwan in case of a Chinese invasion.
✍️ Newsletter by Chloé Touchard, Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Anne-Sophie Goninet
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