Welcome to Tuesday, where Putin tells Modi about his G20 plans, Florida declares a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Idalia looms, and Australian doctors make a discovery that’s not for the faint of heart. Meanwhile, for Worldcrunch, Cameron Manley looks at the propaganda changes afoot in Russian textbooks and classrooms.
[*Xhosa, South Africa]
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• Putin tells Modi he won’t attend the G20 summit: Russian President Vladimir Putin has told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he will not attend the G20 Summit in Delhi next month. Putin said that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would attend the summit on his behalf. Meanwhile Russian air defenses shot down three Ukrainian drones flying over the Russian regions of Tula and Belgorod, reported the Ministry of Defense. Across the border from Ukraine, Poland is investigating an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Rzeszów, as some think the military equipment hub may be the target of bioterrorism.
• Pakistan court suspends Imran Khan’s conviction: A Pakistani court has suspended the conviction and three-year prison sentence of former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the state gifts depository case. The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday ordered Khan’s release on bail. Khan, 70, was convicted on August 5 by a trial court for not disclosing gifts he received from foreign governments and leaders during his premiership between 2018 and 2022.
• Three hanged for 2016 Iraq bombing: Iraq confirms it has hanged three people convicted of involvement in a vehicle bombing in Baghdad that killed more than 300 people and injured hundreds back in 2016. It was the deadliest single bombing in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The executions were carried out on Sunday or Monday, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani's office said. It did not name those executed.
• Florida braces for Storm Idalia: Florida and Cuba are bracing for Tropical Storm Idalia, expected to intensify into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane and hit Florida on Wednesday. Another storm, Franklin, could bring life-threatening storm surges to the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda.
• Live worm found in woman’s brain: A live parasitic worm has been found inside the brain of a 64-year-old Australian woman, marking the first case of the infection in humans. The discovery was made by doctors and researchers at the Australian National University and Canberra Hospital. The 8-cm (3.15-in) Ophidascaris robertsi roundworm was pulled from the patient after brain surgery, alive and wriggling.
• First Ugandan charged with “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by death: A 20-year-old man has become the first Ugandan to be charged with "aggravated homosexuality", an offense punishable by death under the country's recently enacted anti-gay law. The law targeting the LGBTQ+ community prescribes life in prison for same-sex intercourse. Stay tuned with the latest LGBTQ+ news thanks to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International newsletter.
• Can the real Ramaswamy please sit down?: Rap star Eminem has asked aspiring Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to stop using his songs on his campaign trail. The letter comes more than a week after the biotech entrepreneur delivered an impromptu performance of Eminem’s Lose Yourself at the Iowa State Fair.
“A peck and you’re out”: Spanish daily El Periódico de España issues Luis Rubiales a red card on its front page, as the controversy keeps mounting in the wake of the President of the Spanish Football Federation kissing Spanish player Jenni Hermoso last week, following Spain's Women's World Cup final win. Hermoso said the kiss was not consensual. Regional leaders of the Federation are now calling on Rubiales to resign immediately — which he has so far refused to do, claiming the kiss was "mutual and consensual". The incident has triggered demonstrations across Spain in recent days, with calls for systemic change toward victims of sexual harassment and violence. For more, read our recent piece: The Rubiales Kiss & 11 Other Cases Of Football's Die-Hard Machismo And Sexual Aggression.
A new report released on Tuesday regarding the growing hazard of air pollution to public health has reported that in South Asia life expectancy can be cut by more than five years per person. People in Bangladesh, the most polluted country in the world, risk losing up to 6.8 years of their lives, in comparison with the 3.6 months of the United States. Regulating the global levels of lung-damaging air particles as recommended by the World Health Organization could raise life expectancy by an average of 2.3 years.
Report: Russia's new national High School exam to include Ukraine war justification
High school students will now need to know details of the Russian annexation of territories in eastern Ukraine and "reunification" of Crimea with Russia. Cameron Manley writes for Worldcrunch about how regular topics in the past, such as democracy and human rights, will no longer be part of the high school exam.
📄 In a draft of a new Unified State Examination in Social Studies paper seen by independent Russian news site Agenstvo, graduating high school students must now demonstrate an understanding of the causes and consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union, but also how the Russian Federation has been “revived” as a leading world power, as well as the necessity both for Crimea’s “reunification” with Russia and the invasion of Ukraine.
📚 Earlier this month, Reuters confirmed the publication of four new history textbooks for schoolchildren aged 16-18. Among the co-authors was presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky. These textbooks entirely reinterpreted the fall of the Soviet Union, the rule of President Vladimir Putin and added a chapter especially devoted to the causes of what is referred to as the "special military operation" in Ukraine.
🧑🏫 But many teachers are less sure, and remain skeptical that the “special military operation” will in fact be tested in the coming years. Kirill Stanishevsky, a history teacher at a Russian online school, believes that while there are likely to be major changes to the exams, the Kremlin is unlikely to push its luck. “Crimea was more than eight years ago,” he tells Agenstvo. “But there has not yet been a single question on it in the exam.”
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In his first major move as Education Minister, Gabriel Attal has banned the wearing of abayas (عباءة, meaning “robe” or “cloak” in Arabic) in French schools. The controversial decision comes after months of discussion in France about the loose-fitting, full-length garment worn by some Muslim women. Attal said that “you shouldn't be able to identify the pupils' religion just by looking at them” and thus the abaya violated the French education system's strict secular laws. France is no stranger to controversies surrounding Muslim clothing, having banned face veils in public since 2010 and the Islamic headscarf in schools since 2004, with the most recent debate having been about the burkini.
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