Le Weekend ➡️ Ronaldo & Messi’s Chess Buzz, Celtic Coin Heist, Adele’s Magic Trick
- Forgetting Russia’s future
- Kid-friendly courtrooms
- Barefoot running
- … and much more.
How Iranian protesters unmasked the regime's old game of “divide and rule”
Iran's clerical regime has worked hard over 40 years to set Iranians against each other on multiple bases, and must now watch a nation united in opposition to itself and breaking its red lines, notably those set around gender, faith and even ethnicity.
In Iran, after decades of organized social segregation and the Islamic Republic's exclusion of the vast majority of Iranians in favor of a small minority of devotees, a nation has now risen to fight segregation — or apartheid — in all its forms.
Perhaps to attract wider attention worldwide and win over the opinion of Western democracies, wedded as they are to the ideal of gender equality, public declarations and reports have spoken of Iran's ongoing protests as a 'women's revolution' or the 'first women's revolution.'
But what is happening in Iran is even bigger than that, a unique revolt against a singularly wicked and criminal regime that has required several never-before-seen factors coming together.
One of these was precisely the speed with which protesting Iranians complemented their initial and now famed slogan of "Woman, Life, Freedom," with another of "Men, Fatherland and Prosperity" (Mard, Mihan, Abadi).
The women's movement in Iran often complained that men never gave women enough support in their fight for their rights. Yet men's voices have been loud and clear in these protests, as they were in previous, bloody rounds of protests against the regime in 2009, 2017-18 and 2019. It might even be fair to claim that in all those protests, the voices of the male half of the population were even louder than those of the female half.
This time, the state killing of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman, became the trigger that has ignited all of society to boldly renew the demands it has repeatedly made before.
The death of a woman became a rallying cry for all social groups sharing one goal, the downfall of the Islamic Republic and its brand of fascism.
The complementary chants of "Woman, Life, Freedom" and "Man, Fatherland and Prosperity" find meaning within this unification. Both slogans ultimately expound the unity and inclusion for all Iranians and confound the regime's 40-year obsession with imposing subjective barriers and fomenting social segmentation and discord.
"Divide and Rule was and remains its motto.
The regime in Tehran must be aghast now as it watches a spectacle of national, regional, ethnic, gender and class unity, and the collapse of all its boundaries.
— Elahe Boghrat / Kayhan-London
🎲 OUR WEEKLY NEWS QUIZ
What do you remember from the news this week?
1. What piece of clothing, sported by Hungarian strongman Viktor Orbán, caused geopolitical trouble with Ukraine and Romania?
2. Violent protests have erupted at a locked down plant in Zhengzhou, China — the world's biggest factory for what manufactured good?
3. Why did Saudi Arabia declare Wednesday a national holiday?
4. What broke a weight record this week at 67.4 pounds (32 kilos)? A goldfish / A carrot / A sapphire
[Answers at the bottom of this newsletter]
A photo of soccer superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi posing for a Louis Vuitton ad became the second most liked photo on Instagram (the record is still held by an egg). Published on Nov. 19 — a day before the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off — it garnered more than 40 million likes on Ronaldo’s account and 30 million on Messi’s. Euronews notes that the chess game featured on the picture mimics a 2017 match played by chess Grandmasters Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura, which ended in a draw.
🎭 5 CULTURE THINGS TO KNOW
• Avatar sequel to be released in China: Avatar: The Way of Water, the long-awaited sequel to director James Cameron’s blockbuster, will become one of the few foreign films to be released recently in mainland Chinese cinemas, with the first screenings set for the Dec. 16 global release date. China has introduced increasingly strict quotas on the number of international films allowed to show.
• Eurovision introduces voting system changes: The European Broadcasting Union announced major voting system changes for next year’s Eurovision song contest, including the fact that the semi-final qualifiers will be chosen by the public instead of a professional jury and that online voting will be open to viewers in non-participating countries.
• Murakami and Post Malone collaborate on merch collection: Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and U.S. rapper Post Malone have come together to design “TMKK x Post Malone” collection that includes T-shirts, hoodies, trucker hats and drinking items featuring the artist’s signature colorful flowers.
• In memoriam: The cultural world is mourning this week Grammy-winning Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés, who died at 79, Erasmo Carlos, an icon of Brazilian rock and U.S. actor and mixed martial artist Jason David Frank, best known for his role as the green power ranger in the 90s TV series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
• Celtic gold coins worth millions stolen from German museum: Thieves have stolen a hoard of 450 Celtic gold coins dating back to around 100 B.C. and worth several million euros from a museum in southern Germany, after apparently disrupting local telephone and internet connections. “As a testament to our history, the gold coins are irreplaceable,” said Bavaria's Minister of Science and Arts Markus Blume.
🇷🇺 It’s Time To Look At Russia Differently
This article for Kyiv-based Livy Bereg looks at how differently Eastern Europe views Russia compared to the West. David Stulik, senior research analyst at the Prague-based European Values Research Center, explains the risks of continuing to calculate all our choices according to hypothetical fears of and future compromises with Russia.
Read the full story: How To Stop Thinking About Russia — A Message From Eastern Europe To The West
🌍 Leave Africa Alone
The dynamic of Africa is changing, and with that, its relationship with the world. And now it’s time for the West to be focusing less on handing out aid to Africa and more on increasing economic cooperation with it. With nations like China investing in Africa, Joe Chialo writes in German daily Die Welt that these days Europe may need Africa more than Africa needs Europe.
Read the full story: Why It's Time To Abolish Aid To Africa
⚖️ Madrid Court Helps Children Process Trauma
A Madrid court has developed a way to alleviate some of the stress that comes if children have to testify against relatives or describe episodes of sexual abuse. Irene Dorta describes for La Razon how the court is providing a shelter for these children in the form of a playhouse. "It's not a space where they come and play. They're here so they are able to testify, so with this in mind, I try to provide them with a shelter."
Read the full story: A Madrid Court's Method To Help Children Testifying In Sex Abuse Cases
🦶 BRIGHT IDEA
Do you enjoy running but sometimes suffer intense pain in your heel? It’s officially a condition with no known cure. But there may now be a strangely simple solution. A new study has found that 19 out of 20 runners had an improvement in painful long-lasting heel condition just by removing their shoes and running barefoot in the grass for 15 minutes every other day. Maybe tricky in the winter, but worth a try!
💫 SMILE OF THE WEEK
Adele went viral following her disappearing act at the end of her Sunday show in Las Vegas. It was the UK singer’s first night of her five-month long residency at Caesar's Palace.
📹 THIS HAPPENED VIDEO — TODAY IN HISTORY, IN ONE ICONIC PHOTO
➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
⏩ LOOKING AHEAD
• Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin will meet her New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern in Auckland next week — the first time the two leaders will meet and the first visit of a Finnish Prime Minister in New Zealand.
• Brazil’s Congress will discuss president-elect Lula da Silva’s budget bill, which should include plans for how he will finance some of his key campaign promises, including a large program of cash handouts to the poor.
• Retro gamers, rejoice: The famously challenging game Tetris: The Grandmaster is finally making its debut on next gen consoles next week! 🕹
News quiz answers:
1. Hungarian Prime Minister and close Putin ally Viktor Orbán went to a friendly football match between the national teams of Hungary and Greece with a scarf depicting a map of Nagy-Magyarország ("Greater Hungary"), that lays claims to parts of neighboring states, including Ukraine.
2. Angry protests have erupted in China’s largest iPhone factory, in Zhengzhou. According to workers, the company changed their contract so they could not get the subsidy. Videos shared online show protestors being beaten by armed policemen.
3. Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina 2-1 in what some describe as the biggest upset in the history of the World Cup. The country declared last Wednesday a national holiday to celebrate the win.
4. A British fisherman reeled in what could be the world’s biggest goldfish ever: At an impressive 67.4 pounds (32 kilos) on the scale, “The Carrot” — as it was nicknamed for its bright orange color — was released back into its pond in the Champagne region of eastern France.
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