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In The News

Russian Gas Flows Again, Draghi Resigns, Australia’s Pink Glow

pink light on clouds at nght in Mildura, Australia

The sky of Mildura, an Australian town in the state of Victoria shining with a pink glow from the lights at a local medicinal cannabis facility

Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, McKenna Johnson and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 A jaaraama!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigns, the race for Britain’s leadership narrows down to two, and Australia’s sky turns pink. Meanwhile, Fiore Longo in Spanish magazine La Marea reports on the fate of the Maasai ethnic group in eastern Africa, let down by ineffective conservationist movements.

[*Fula, West and Central Africa]


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• Russian pipeline resumes pumping gas to Europe: Russia has resumed the pumping of gas to Europe via its biggest pipeline, Nord Stream 1, after a 10-day outage which was due to maintenance. Flows have been cut to 40% of the pipeline’s capacity since mid-June following tensions over the war in Ukraine, prompting fears over European countries’ winter supply.

• Russia’s expanded territorial goals in Ukraine: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with state media that Russia’s territorial ambitions in Ukraine now go further than the Donbas region. Lavrov expressed interest in gaining military control over the “Kherson region, the Zaporizhia region and a number of other territories.”

• Mario Draghi resigns: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has confirmed his resignation after the three parties composing his coalition did not participate in a vote of confidence in the Senate on Thursday. Draghi’s resignation will likely lead to snap elections after the summer.

• Next British prime minister will be her or him: The British Conservative party chose Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as the two candidates in the runoff vote to replace Boris Johnson as party leader and Prime Minister. The winner will be announced on Sept. 5.

• Iraq-Turkey clash after deadly shelling in Kurdish village: Nine travelers were killed and 23 people wounded in a shelling on the mountainous village of Parakh in the Kurdish north of Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi has blamed the bombardment on Turkey and warned that retaliations could ensue. The government also demanded an official apology from Turkey and "the withdrawal of its armed forces from all Iraqi territory."

• Ivana Trump’s funeral: Former U.S. President Donald Trump attended the funeral of Ivana Trump, his first wife and mother of his three oldest children, in New York on Wednesday. He described the socialite and businesswoman, who died at 73, as having had a “beautiful life.”

• California beach returned to Black family: Authorities have returned property of a beach in the city of Manhattan Beach, California, to the grandsons of its Black owners after it was seized by local officials in 1924. It is believed the confiscation had been motivated by racism during the segregation era.


Milan-based daily Corriere della Sera says “farewell to the Draghi government” after Italy’s Prime Minister failed to unite his fragile coalition government, leading him to tender his resignation today. The resignation means a new general election — the second in four years — is likely to take place this autumn.



In an effort to distance themselves from British author J.K. Rowling and her controversial comments on transgender issues, leading Quidditch organizations have renamed the sport quadball. The real-life sport, a ball game inspired by Rowling’s Harry Potter series, pits two teams of seven players mounted on a broomstick.


Plight of Maasai reveals racism of Africa's conservation policy

Thousands of Maasai people in Tanzania met brutal police repression when they demonstrated against being expelled from their land, laying bare both how ineffective and inhumane the conservationist movement can be, reports Fiore Longo in Spanish independent magazine La Marea.

💥 The Maasai, an ethnic group inhabiting Kenya and northern Tanzania, have always known what war is. They generally live close to the many game parks around the African Great Lakes, and as they put it to me: "Your conservation areas are a war zone for us." The government has tried to confiscate 1,500 km2 of their ancestral land for years in order to use the land for trophy hunting, elite tourism and conservation. Behind these attempts has always been the Otterlo Business Company (OBC), a company based in the United Arab Emirates that organizes hunting expeditions for the royal family and their guests.

📸 Just as dangerous for the Maasai are the tourists, who feed upon media images, documentaries and textbooks that sell the idea of "nature without people" and who expect to find only wild animals on their safaris. Indeed, the Maasai not only face the myth of wildlife without humans, but also a deeply entrenched racism. In April, a famous U.S. journalist, Peter Greenberg of CBS News, called the Maasai "primitive" when he was taking a walk with the Tanzanian president.

❌ The Loliondo events should be a lesson to everyone. Indigenous peoples have inhabited the most biodiverse places on the planet for generations: these territories are now considered important nature conservation areas precisely because the original inhabitants have cared for their land and wild flora and fauna. We cannot continue to tolerate human rights abuses committed in the name of conservation. This conservationist model is profoundly inhumane and ineffective and needs to change now.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


6 billion

Scientists reported alarming warmth as six billion tons of water per day melted off the ice sheet in northern Greenland last weekend between July 15 and July 17, as temperatures have risen to above 10 degrees hotter than usual at this time of the year.


Hasta la vista, baby.

— Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson exited his final session of Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday by quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Johnson has been forced out as Conservative Party leader, which will lead to his coming resignation as prime minister, in the wake of a string of scandals and loss of confidence among his party allies. Johnson gave advice to his yet-to-be-appointed successor, saying, "Remember, above all, it's not Twitter that counts, it's the people that sent us here." The two candidates in the running to replace Johnson are former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and current Foreign Minister Liz Truss.

✍️ Newsletter by Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, McKenna Johnson and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

That Man In Mariupol: Is Putin Using A Body Double To Avoid Public Appearances?

Putin really is meeting with Xi in Moscow — we know that. But there are credible experts saying that the person who showed up in Mariupol the day before was someone else — the latest report that the Russian president uses a doppelganger for meetings and appearances.

screen grab of Putin in a dark down jacket

During the visit to Mariupol, the Presidential office only released screen grabs of a video

Russian President Press Office/TASS via ZUMA
Anna Akage

Have no doubt, the Vladimir Putin we’re seeing alongside Xi Jinping this week is the real Vladimir Putin. But it’s a question that is being asked after a range of credible experts have accused the Russian president of sending a body double for a high-profile visit this past weekend in the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

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Reports and conspiracy theories have circulated in the past about the Russian leader using a stand-in because of health or security issues. But the reaction to the Kremlin leader's trip to Mariupol is the first time that multiple credible sources — including those who’ve spent time with him in the past — have cast doubt on the identity of the man who showed up in the southeastern Ukrainian city that Russia took over last spring after a months-long siege.

Russian opposition politician Gennady Gudkov is among those who confidently claim that a Putin look-alike, or rather one of his look-alikes, was in the Ukrainian city.

"Now that there is a war going on, I don't rule out the possibility that someone strongly resembling or disguised as Putin is playing his role," Gudkov said.

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