When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

In The News

"Catastrophic Destruction” In Ukraine, Japan Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ban, HK Restaurant Sinks

"Catastrophic Destruction” In Ukraine, Japan Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ban, HK Restaurant Sinks

A man rides his bike through Dmytrivka, Ukraine, near the capital Kyiv, where the remains of Russian tanks and military equipment destroyed earlier in the war lie along the street.

Lila Paulou, McKenna Johnson, Joel Silvestri and Lisa Berdet

👋 Avuxeni!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where “catastrophic destruction” is reported in eastern Ukraine, Japan upholds a same-sex marriage ban and an iconic Hong Kong restaurant is now feeding the fish. Meanwhile, an English Professor reflects in The Conversation on the linguistic implications of the Ukraine war and censorship on speech and silence.

[*Tsonga, South Africa and Mozambique]


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.

It's easy (and free!) to sign up to receive it each day in your inbox: 👉 Sign up here


• Russia-Ukraine update: Governor of Eastern Luhansk region Serhiy Haidai reports “catastrophic destruction” in the controlled-city of Lysychansk. Haidai also said that fights were currently raging “in the industrial zone of Severodonetsk,” as the region is almost entirely occupied by Russian forces.

• Belgium repatriates ISIS relatives: Six women and 16 children born to Islamic State fathers were repatriated to Belgium, in the biggest airlift of this kind bringing back the relatives of jihadists from Syria, the authorities announced.

• Georgians rally for EU membership: Tens of thousands of Georgians marched in Tbilisi for Georgia’s EU membership bid, waving Georgian, Ukrainian and EU flags after the demand was deferred last week by the European Commission.

• Israel’s prime minister to dissolve parliament: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced the dissolution of his weakened coalition and called for new elections, which will be the fifth in three years. Foreign Affairs Minister Yair Lapid will take over from Bennett as early as next week until a new government is sworn in.

• Heavy rains in China: About 200,000 people have been evacuated and more than 2,700 houses were destroyed in Southern China, in the heaviest torrential rain the country is experiencing in 60 years. According to the authorities, the damage so far is estimated at more than $254 million.

• Same-sex marriage ban upheld in Japan: Japanese court ruled that the government’s ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, dealing a setback to LGBTQ+ rights activists. Japan is the only G7 country that doesn’t recognize same-sex unions.

• Iconic Hong Kong restaurant sinks: The Jumbo Kingdom, Hong Kong’s iconic floating restaurant and tourist attraction, has sunk in the South China Sea. This comes less than a week after it was towed away from the harbor of the city.


Today’s front page of Catalan language daily Segre, based in Lleida, Spain, shows the mayor of Alòs de Balaguer walking in an ash-gray calcined forest. Its title “fires under control” brings great relief after six days of firefighters battling against wildfires in Catalonia.


$103.5 million

Dmitry Muratov, the Russian editor-in-chief of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, has auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize medal for $103.5 million. He said that all will go to help refugees from the war in Ukraine.


The Russian art of protesting through silence

In The Conversation, English Professor Jacob Edmond takes a look at the creative ways that Russian journalists, writers and artists are turning forced silence into powerful statements.

📣 What would you do if your country launched a war of aggression, causing tens of thousands of deaths and displacing millions? What if the price of protest or even posting objections on social media was arrest and imprisonment? What if even mentioning the word “war” online, in print, or on the street was illegal? Would you speak out, or keep quiet and bide your time? They are questions of ethical, familial, and national obligations. They are questions of personal risk, strategy and tactics. They are questions about how best to speak through silence.

🗞️ One powerful if all too brief example of how silencing can be turned into speech is Novaya Gazeta, the independent Russian news outlet that held out longest against the new censorship regime. Throughout March, Novaya Gazeta held up official lies for ridicule. Following new censorship laws, the newspaper used blanks to mark the silencing of any mention of the war: “Asked whether he is ready to stop the ___ , Putin answered ‘no’.” Newsagents began refusing to sell certain issues, and by March 28 Novaya Gazeta received its second official warning and was forced to close. The dance with censorship — the newspaper’s attempt to speak through silence — had come to an end.

🤐 Russian writers and artists living abroad who oppose the war also have a vexed relationship to speech and silence. Latvia-based poet Kuzmin has turned his energies towards helping Ukrainian refugees and translating and disseminating Ukrainian poetry. Kuzmin argues for prioritizing Ukrainian over Russian voices in this time of war. Other Russians living abroad dismiss this view, insisting their work must carry on regardless of the war and that the silencing of Russian culture serves no end. “Should we shoot ourselves in the leg out of solidarity? What is the benefit of that?,” asks the film director Kirill Serebrennikov.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


You’re my hero.

— U.S. actor and Goodwill ambassador Ben Stiller met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine. In the meeting, the actor commended Zelensky for quitting his own acting career to lead his country and rally the world in support of its people.

✍️ Newsletter by Lila Paulou, McKenna Johnson, Joel Silvestri and Lisa Berdet

Let us know what’s happening in your corner of the world!


You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


D.C. Or Beijing? Two High-Stakes Trips — And Taiwan's Divided Future On The Line

Two presidents of Taiwan, the current serving president, Tsai Ing-wen, and her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou from the opposition Kuomintang party, are traveling in opposite directions these days. Taiwan must choose whom to follow.

Photo of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen

Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan

Pierre Haski


PARIS — Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan, is traveling to the United States today. Not on an official trip because Taiwan is not a state recognized by Washington, but in transit, en route to Central America, a strategy that allows her to pass through New York and California.

Ma Ying-jeou, a former president of Taiwan, arrived yesterday in Shanghai: he is making a 12-day visit at the invitation of the Chinese authorities at a time of high tension between China and the United States, particularly over the fate of Taiwan.

It would be difficult to make these two trips more contrasting, as both have the merit of summarizing at a glance the decisive political battle that is coming. Presidential and legislative elections will be held in January 2024 in Taiwan, which could well determine Beijing's attitude towards the island that China claims by all means, including force.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest