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In The News

Russian Strikes Kill Family With Infant, Hawaii Wildfire Toll Rises, Meteor Skies

Bright meteor streaking across the night sky.

Bright meteor streaking across the night sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower.

Yannick Champion-Osselin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Esama!*

Welcome to Monday, where the death toll from the wildfires in Hawaii reaches 96 amid ongoing search-and-recovery efforts, Russian strikes in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region kill a family with an infant and the Perseid meteor shower is peaking. For our special Summer Reads edition of Worldcrunch Today, we selected several articles from Recalculating, a newsletter written by Greece-based Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra, which aims to navigate manhood, masculinity, fatherhood and identity crisis.

[*Mandika, Senegal, The Gambia]

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🌎 7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Russian missile strikes in Kherson, Odessa: A new round of air strikes hit the southern Kherson region on Sunday killing seven people, including an infant baby and her family, while overnight missiles also hit Odessa, leaving at least 15 injured. Meanwhile, a crew from a Russian warship boarded a cargo vessel in the Black Sea in what Ukraine called “an act of piracy,” as attacks on both sides have increased since the grain deals collapsed last month. China's Defense Minister Li Shangfu is on a five-day trip to Russia and Belarus to meet with officials amid the strengthening of Sino-Russian military ties and joint patrols and combat exercises.

• Hawaii wildfires toll nears 100, many others still missing: After days of wildfires on Hawaii’s main island, the death toll has reached 96, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. Governor Josh Green warns that this number will continue to climb as searches uncover more victims, with thousands have been left homeless and hundreds of people still remain missing across Maui, with social media and a crowd-sourced online database used to track who has been found and those who still are unaccounted.

• Far right win shakes Argentina in a primary election: Populist, far-right candidate Javier Milei won the most votes in Argentina’s primary election, which selects nominees for the future presidential elections, set for October. According to unofficial results, the controversial trained economist took 30.5 percent of the vote, a far higher share than predicted. This vote can be considered a clear sign that the ruling center-left Peronist coalition’s has fallen out of favor in light of the nation's 116% inflation and a rampant cost-of-living crisis.

• Niger’s junta accuses ousted president of treason: The military junta that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger in a coup last month has said it will prosecute the imprisoned head of state for high treason. A junta spokesperson said that military authorities had “gathered the necessary evidence” to prosecute Bazoum for “undermining the internal and external security of Niger” by communicating with foreign heads of state and international organizations.

China denounces Taiwan VP as “troublemaker”: Taiwan’s vice president William Lai made a brief visit to the U.S., a trip condemned by China, who called him a separatist “troublemaker.” In a speech from New York Lai reiterated a willingness to talk to China, and urged the world to stand up against the “increased threat from authoritarianism.” Lai, who is also the front-runner to be Taiwan's next president ahead of January elections, said that “If Taiwan is safe, the world is safe.” The candidate made the visit on his way to Paraguay, one of the 13 countries that recognizes the island nation’s sovereignty.

• New Zealand to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions: Three years after they were put into place, New Zealand has decided to remove the last of its COVID-19 restrictions, considered some of the strictest in the world. As of midnight Tuesday, New Zealanders will no longer have to be isolated for seven days after contracting COVID or wear a face mask in health care facilities. The majority of restrictions were eased in September last year, having faced criticism domestically for their severity while being internationally recognised for keeping infection and death rates down.

• Why the Perseid is so bright this summer: The annual Perseid meteor shower reached its peak this weekend, dazzling night skies around the world. Astronomers say this year’s event was made particularly impressive by a nearly invisible new moon, allowing hundreds of shooting stars an hour to stand out against a darker than usual sky.

🧸 PINK OR BLUE?

Image of two children running towards the sea on the beach.

"Conventions about the meanings of each color are arbitrary, and changing over time.”

Ben_Kerckx

In this article, Ignacio Pereyra explores the historical and cultural context behind the association of pink with girls and blue with boys, and discusses how these gendered color preferences became more and more entrenched over time. The journalist highlights recent efforts to challenge and redefine traditional gender stereotypes, encouraging a more inclusive and fluid approach to gender expression.

Read the full story: Toy Guns And Dolls, And My Pink-Loving Son

✈️ THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAVELING ALONE

Image of a man aloe at  Athens' international airport.

Alone at Athens' international airport.

wallpaperflare

This time, Ignacio Pereyra travels to Italy alone to do some paperwork as his family stays behind. While he walks alone around Rome, he experiences mixed feelings: freedom, homesickness and nostalgia, and wonders what leads people to desire larger families.

Read the full story: Why Every New Parent Should Travel Alone — Without Their Children

👨🏻 ARE YOU STILL HERE, DAD?

Image of a man holding a child.

"Is it true that when I am older I won’t need a papá?," asked the author's son.

Kelli McClintock

Traditionally, educational systems have primarily catered to children and teenagers, often neglecting the educational needs and aspirations of adults, including parents. However, there has been a noticeable shift in recent years, with a growing recognition of the importance of lifelong learning and the active participation of parents in their own educational journeys. As his son grows older, Ignacio Pereyra wonders when a father is no longer necessary.

Read the full story: Do We Need Our Parents When We Grow Up? Doubts Of A Young Father

✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin and Anne-Sophie Goninet.


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Ideas

Look At This Crap! The "Enshittification" Theory Of Why The Internet Is Broken

The term was coined by journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the fatal drift of major Internet platforms: if they were ever useful and user-friendly, they will inevitably end up being odious.

A photo of hands holding onto a smartphone

A person holding their smartphone

Gilles Lambert/ZUMA
Manuel Ligero

-Analysis-

The universe tends toward chaos. Ultimately, everything degenerates. These immutable laws are even more true of the Internet.

In the case of media platforms, everything you once thought was a good service will, sooner or later, disgust you. This trend has been given a name: enshittification. The term was coined by Canadian blogger and journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the inevitable drift of technological giants toward... well.

The explanation is in line with the most basic tenets of Marxism. All digital companies have investors (essentially the bourgeoisie, people who don't perform any work and take the lion's share of the profits), and these investors want to see the percentage of their gains grow year after year. This pushes companies to make decisions that affect the service they provide to their customers. Although they don't do it unwillingly, quite the opposite.

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Annoying customers is just another part of the business plan. Look at Netflix, for example. The streaming giant has long been riddling how to monetize shared Netflix accounts. Option 1: adding a premium option to its regular price. Next, it asked for verification through text messages. After that, it considered raising the total subscription price. It also mulled adding advertising to the mix, and so on. These endless maneuvers irritated its audience, even as the company has been unable to decide which way it wants to go. So, slowly but surely, we see it drifting toward enshittification.

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