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In The News

Putin on Prigozhin, Trump’s Mug, Greek Leap

An athlete jumping.

Greek jumper Miltiadis Tentoglou's long jump at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023.

Valeria Berghinz, Chloé Touchard, and Marine Béguin

👋 Chào!*

Welcome to Friday, where Vladimir Putin offers a chilling assessment of Yevgeny Priogohzin’s life and presumed death, Donald Trump’s mug shot is prime front page material and the World Track and Field Championships in Budapest offer some soaring images. We also feature a collection from Valeria Berghinz of some of the world’s most notable defunct vacation hot spots, which evoke the memories of bygone summers years after being abandoned.

[*Vietnamese]

✅  SIGN UP

This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Putin breaks silence over Prioghzin’s presumed death: Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a statement over the death of Yevgeny Priogohzin, about 24 hours after the Wagner Chief’s private jet crashed in the north of Moscow. The Kremlin leader called Prioghozin a “talented person,” but one who “made serious mistakes.” According to The New York Times, U.S. officials are increasingly sure that Putin ordered Prigozhin’s killing, after the mercenary chief’s brief mutiny against the Kremlin’s authority in June.

• Donald Trump surrenders in Atlanta: Former President Donald Trump has surrendered himself at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta over criminal charges of attempting to reverse 2020 election results in Georgia. This is the fourth criminal case Trump has faced this year, this time spending 20 minutes inside the jail and posing for a mug shot. Trump called the criminal booking a “terrible” and “very sad” experience, and blamed prosecutors for trying to “interfere” in the election, which is of course what they are accusing him of doing.

China launches anti-corruption campaign in health industry as economy worsens: China has targeted its hospitals, pharmaceutical industry and insurance funds in a new anti-corruption campaign. One media report has described this effort as “unprecedented in the depth, breadth and intensity” in addressing what is widely considered an entrenched issue within the sector. This comes amidst concerns of China’s economic slowdown and rising unemployment. Looking beyond, Argentine daily Clarin wrote about the toll that China’s economic crisis will have on the developing world. Read it in English here.

• 79 people arrested for arson as Greek wildfires rage on: Greek police have made 79 arrests in connection to the wildfires that have been raging throughout the country. The Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias has called them “arsonist scum,” labeling the act a “crime against the country.” Only this week, the death toll of the fires has reached 20 – this has been the worst summer season for the nation since fire-risk maps were introduced in 2009.

• FIFA opens disciplinary case against Spanish Football chief after World Cup kiss: FIFA, football’s governing body, opened a disciplinary case against Spanish Football Federation boss Luis Rubiales, who kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during their celebration of Spain’s World Cup victory without her consent. The disciplinary committee has stated that it will weigh whether Rubiales has violated their “basic rules of decent conduct.” Spanish media La Marea has tracked down 11 other examples in the world of football of over-the-top machismo and sexual violence.

• Heineken’s full withdraw from Russia will cost $325 million: The Dutch brewer Heineken has completed its withdrawal from Russia, announcing that the move will cost them $325 million in sales. Heineken has faced criticism for the slow pace of its withdrawal, as they had announced their decision to quit Russia in March of last year. CEO Dolf van den Brink has stated that the gradual withdrawal “secures the livelihoods of our employees.”

• Producers of hit TV-show The Crown promise to handle Diana’s death with delicacy: The minds behind The Crown, Netflix’s popular series on the British Royal family, have stated that they will recreate Princess Diana’s death with sensitivity. “We’re thoughtful people and we’re sensitive people,” says executive producer Suzanne Mackie.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

The mugshot of an unsmiling Donald Trump glaring at the camera takes up the entire front page of the New York Post (without a headline) after the former U.S. President was booked at Fulton County Jail in Georgia. Trump posted the picture on X with the caption "ELECTION INTERFERENCE! NEVER SURRENDER!", in his first post since he was banned from the platform in January 2021. He is the first ever former president to have a mugshot taken and to face criminal charges.

#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS

$338 million

OnlyFans owner Leonid Radvinsky has been paid $338 million in dividends. The three-million-creator platform, founded in 2016 is mainly used by sex workers, musicians, celebrities and more. Its parent company, of which Leonid Radvinsky is the sole shareholder, has seen annual profits climb to over half a billion dollars, boosting his personal fortune to over $2 billion.

📰 STORY OF THE DAY

Summer Paradises Lost: Seven Vacation Spots That Time Forgot

Luxury havens abandoned overnight, summer resorts that were the victims of bad business decisions. As summer ends, Valeria Berghinz looks at seven abandoned vacation spots that were once the height of glamor before fading — or rusting — away.

🇨🇾 Varosha, located in Famugasta, northern Cyprus, was famous for the kind of picturesque beauty that anyone would image from a Mediterranean port town. Varosha had to be abandoned not because of economic reasons but political ones. Residents of Varosha were forced to escape from their hometown when Turkey invaded Cyprus and occupied the northern third of the island. The resort was fenced off, with hotels and homes alike left to decay ever since.

🇺🇸Located in Marble Falls, Arkansas, are the remains of the once all-American Dogpatch theme park, a golden spot for wholesome family fun. Trouble came when the owners thought to bite off more than they could chew. In 1972, they opened a sister park named Marble Falls, which would serve as a ski resort. But a series of warm winters and bad business choices ultimately put the resort into debt. Since then, the park has been passed between various owners, and it has been left to decay in the eerie atmosphere that abandoned theme parks naturally possess.

🇮🇩 Originally named the PI Bedugul Taman Rekreasi Hotel and Resort but now known as the Ghost Palace Hotel, this establishment sprawls down a mountain range just above Indonesia's Lake Beratan. A beautiful luxury resort built in the 90s, it was promptly and mysteriously left behind for nature to take over. This tourist destination was never opened – in fact, construction was never even finished. There is no way to give a concrete answer: the facts of this story have long been buried by whoever was in charge, but haunting stories have built up around the resort's mythology.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

“He was a man of difficult fate, and he made serious mistakes in life.”

— Russian President Vladimir Putin has broken his silence on Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin’s reported death in a plane crash. From the Kremlin, Putin expressed his condolences and spoke of Prigozhin in the past tense, saying he’d known the Wagner chief “for a very long time,” and that he was “a talented man, a talented businessman” who “made serious mistakes in life.’ According to Russia’s aviation agency, the crash that took place on Wednesday – two months after Wagner’s attempted coup – killed everyone onboard, including Prigozhin. Here’s a look from Kyiv-based Livy Bereg on how Putin handles his enemies.

✍️ Newsletter by Valeria Berghinz, Chloé Touchard, and Marine Béguin.


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Society

Not Just Paris! Mongolia Is Also Battling Bedbugs (And Cockroaches... And Centipedes...)

Public extermination services were halted during the pandemic. Residents have embraced cheaper DIY solutions — but there are risks.

Photo of a bed bug

A bed bug photographed in the Biology Institute at the Technical University (TU) in Dresden, Germany

Khorloo Khukhnokhoi

ERDENET, ORKHON PROVINCE, MONGOLIA — Oyuka dresses for domestic battle. Mask. Gloves. Hair shrouded under a black hood. A disposable white gown reminiscent of a surgeon. It’s 2 p.m. on a Tuesday; her husband is at work and their two young children are at school. She shoves the oven, freezer and washing machine away from the kitchen walls and grabs a lime-green spray can from behind the bathtub, where it’s out of the children’s reach. “Magic Cleaner,” the bottle says in Chinese. A pesticide.

Oyuka — who asked to be referred to only by her nickname, out of fear of being criticized by her neighbors — lives on the eighth floor of a 10-story building in Erdenet, Mongolia’s second-largest city, where towering apartments cram together like subway riders. Lots of people means lots of trash, which means lots and lots of bugs. Cockroaches. Bedbugs. Centipedes. And what Mongolians call black bugs, speck-like insects that Oyuka fears will bite her children and make them sick.

Over the past year, Oyuka started noticing them in corners, under furniture, on windowsills. She increased how often she sprayed Magic Cleaner, from occasionally to every three months — even though the smell makes her stomach lurch. “Because I don’t know any other good poison, I use this poison often,” she says.

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