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In The News

Surprise Ukraine-Russia Prisoner Swap, Inflated Trumps, Kale In The Womb

Fifty-five Russian servicemen arrive in Russia, after a mass prisoner swap with Ukraine

Fifty-five Russian servicemen arrive in Russia, after a mass prisoner swap with Ukraine on Wednesday, the largest since the beginning of the invasion on Feb. 24.

Chloé Touchard, Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Cześć!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Ukraine and Russia announce the war's largest prisoner swap, the Trump family faces a lawsuit for fraud and Europe’s largest salt-water lagoon is now legally a “person.” Meanwhile, Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra reflects on his struggles as a stay-at-home father with a three-year-old and what it says about himself, and society’s evolving ideas about masculinity.



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• Surprise prisoner swap: Ukraine and Russia carried out the largest prisoner swap on Wednesday since the beginning of the war on Feb. 24, with as many as 300 prisoners exchanged, including members of Mariupol’s Azov Battalion, and 55 Russian servicemen.

• Trumps sued for fraud: New York attorney general Letitia James filed a lawsuit against former U.S. President Donald Trump and three of his children for systematically and fraudulently misstating the value of the family properties, inflating their worth by billions of dollars in order to secure favorable loans.

• Iran protests update: The death toll rose to nine in Iran after protestors were killed in clashes overnight following the death of Mahsa Amini, arrested by the morality police for wearing the hijab improperly in Tehran. As unrest grows, Iranian authorities have restricted access to the internet, a first since the 2019 fuel price protests during which 1,500 people were killed. Read testimonies from Iranians who have faced abuse by morality police.

• South Korea & Japan bilateral talks: South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held their first one-on-one talks since 2019, speaking Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Both leaders agreed on improving the neighboring countries’ ties dogged by disputes over historical feuds.

• 6.8 earthquake kills one in Mexico: A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit western Mexico early Thursday, killing at least one woman in the capital of Mexico city. Another earthquake struck the country earlier this week, leaving two dead.

• Lebanese banks shut indefinitely: Lebanon’s banking association announced that the country’s banks will remain closed indefinitely due to the ongoing lack of security, especially for employees. This comes after a spate of armed robberies by customers desperate to gain access to frozen savings amid an economic crisis in the country.

• Even unborn babies hate kale: Durham University researchers reveal that unborn babies grimace and make “crying” faces when exposed to kale in the womb. Instead the fetus “smiles” when the mother eats carrot.


"Putin reuses Stalin's strategy" runs the Portuguese daily i photoshopping the 20th-century Soviet dictator’s face onto the Russian president’s body, a day after Vladimir Putin ordered the mobilization of more than 300,000 reservists to the Ukraine frontlines. See other Putin front pages from today’s newspapers, and our latest coverage of the war.


Personalidad jurídica

Following a petition that gathered more than 600,000 signatures, Spain has granted the personhood status (“personalidad jurídica”) to Mar Menor, Europe’s largest salt-water lagoon. A total of 1,6000 square kilometers of the lagoon, which is threatened by coastal development and local farming, will now be legally represented by a group of caretakers that will include local officials, citizens and scientists. New Zealand was the first to pass such groundbreaking law by giving personhood status to the Whanganui River in 2017.


Papá, Papá, on repeat: Are we men ready for fatherhood to change our lives?

“There is a moment on Saturday or Sunday, after having spent ten hours with my kids, that I get a little exasperated, I lose my patience. I find it hard to identify the emotion, I definitely feel some guilt too. I know that time alone with them improves our relationship... but I get bored! Yes, I feel bored. I want some time in the car for them to talk to each other while I can talk about the stupid things we adults talk about,” writes Ignacio Pereyra for Recalculating, a newsletter on masculinity and fatherhood.

👨👦 “It is clear that the routines and habits of a couple change completely when they have children, although we also know that this rarely happens equally. With the arrival of a child, men continue to work as much or more than before, while women face a different reality: either they double their working day — maintaining a paid job but adding household and care tasks — or they are forced to abandon all or part of their paid work to devote themselves to caregiving. My partner and I experienced a sort of reversal of gender roles compared to what is socially and structurally expected: Irene dedicated herself to paid work and I was left in charge of the household and Lorenzo.”

💼 “This is how I have found myself more than once — thousands of times! — trying to enjoy my time with Lorenzo but, at the same time, wanting to be somewhere else or doing something else. Where do I want to go, what do I want to do, is there something more important than being with him? Sometimes I ask myself these questions when I feel the urge to leave, to stop hearing for the thousandth time ‘papá, papá!’ followed by a demand. In the end, maybe the difficulty I sometimes find in connecting with being a father is the inability to surrender myself to a state of passivity in which I do nothing I once considered productive — in economic terms — and to what I thought it meant to be a man: to do, produce, do, produce, and to be visible and recognized.”

🧸 “I accept the paradox of the situation: I am doing something super important — taking care of Lorenzo — but I am not able to value it and enjoy it as much as I would like to. This contradiction may get bad press, but for me it is unavoidable. I try to understand what this boredom is telling me. I try to make sure that my feelings are not always worth less than my reasoning. Holding that tension, sometimes, opens the possibility for me to learn to play and care more. It allows me to move away from the center and understand that there are desires and needs of others that are as or more important than mine. It pushes me to be in the present, and to let myself begin to be changed by the experience of fatherhood.”

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


Well, then.

— Mary L. Trump reacted on Twitter to the news that her uncle and his children are being sued for $250 million for fraud by New York's attorney general. In 2020, Mary L. Trump published Too Much and Never Enough, a book revealing details about financial operations and fraud inside of the Trump family.

✍️ Newsletter by Chloé Touchard, Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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The West Has An Answer To China's New Silk Road — With A Lift From The Gulf

The U.S. and Europe are seeking to rival China by launching a huge joint project. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States will also play a key role – because the battle for world domination is not being fought on China’s doorstep, but in the Middle East.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra and U.S. President Joe Biden shaking hands during PGII & India-Middle East-Europe Economics Corridor event at the G20 Summit on Sept. 9 in New Delhi

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Indian Prime Minister Narendra and U.S. President Joe Biden during PGII & India-Middle East-Europe Economics Corridor event at the G20 Summit on Sept. 9 in New Delhi

Daniel-Dylan Böhmer


BERLIN — When world leaders are so keen to emphasize the importance of a project, we may well be skeptical. “This is a big deal, a really big deal,” declared U.S. President Joe Biden earlier this month.

The "big deal" he's talking about is a new trade and infrastructure corridor planned to be built between India, the Middle East and Europe.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the project as a “beacon of cooperation, innovation and shared progress,” while President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called it a “green and digital bridge across continents and civilizations."

The corridor will consist of improved railway networks, shipping ports and submarine cables. It is not only India, the U.S. and Europe that are investing in it – they are also working together on the project with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia is planning to provide $20 billion in funding for the corridor, but aside from that, the sums involved are as yet unclear. The details will be hashed out over the next two months. But if the West and its allies truly want to compete with China's so-called New Silk Road, they will need a lot of money.

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