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In The News

Second Serbia Shooting, Wagner’s Bakhmut Pullout Threat, Coronation Dress

Second Serbia Shooting, Wagner’s Bakhmut Pullout Threat, Coronation Dress

Crowds have started gathering (and camping) near Buckingham Palace, in London, ahead of the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday.

Emma Albright, Sophie Jacquier & Marine Béguin

👋 Witéj!*

Welcome to Friday, where Serbia mourns its second deadly shooting of the week, Russia’s Wagner Group says it will pull out of the battle of Bakhmut if it doesn’t get more supplies and Italy says that Spain has the best pizza in Europe (with a caveat). Meanwhile, French business daily Les Echos looks at how Joe Biden’s economic policy is driven by a new American form of “productivism.”

[*Kashubian, Poland]


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


• Man arrested after Serbia’s second deadly shooting this week: At least eight people were killed and 14 wounded after a gunman opened fire south of Belgrade. This is the second mass shooting to hit Serbia in a week. Police arrested the suspect early on Friday and was in possession of hand grenades and a large number of illegal weapons. Serbian Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic called the shooting “a terrorist act”. Meanwhile the 13-year-old boy responsible for the shooting on Wednesday has not given any motives for his actions.

• Wagner boss says he will pull troops out of Bakhmut: The leader of Russia’s Wagner Group has threatened to withdraw his troops from the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut next week. His statement comes after he posted a video on social media asking defense officials for more supplies. Russia has been trying to capture the city for months.

• Indigenous leaders demand apology from King Charles ahead of coronation: A joint letter published Friday by 12 indigenous advocacy groups in former British colonies demanded the new king “acknowledge the horrific impacts on and legacy of genocide and colonisation of the Indigenous and enslaved peoples” of multiple countries, including Antigua, Australia, Belize, Canada and Papua New Guinea. This comes on the eve of King Charles’s coronation in London on Saturday.

• Proud Boys members found guilty of seditious conspiracy: Five members of the far-right Proud Boys including former leader Enrique Tarrio, face decades in prison after being found guilty for their role in the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot. Four were convicted of “seditious conspiracy,” a rarely applied crime, and all five were found guilty of obstructing official proceedings.

• Ecuador frees cash for Galapagos conservation with $1.6 billion bond repurchase: Credit Suisse has bought up $1.6 billion worth of Ecuador's bonds. This action frees up cash for conservation of the country's unique Galapagos Islands in what is set to be the biggest debt-for-nature swap ever struck.

• Ed Sheeran wins copyright case: A U.S. court has ruled that singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran did not copy Marvin Gaye's “Let's Get It On” when composing “Thinking Out Loud.” Sheeran had denied stealing any elements of the song. Heirs of Gaye's co-writer argued that Sheeran, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Publishing owed them money for copyright infringement.

• Italians judge Spanish pizzeria the best in Europe (with a caveat): 50 Top Pizza, an international guide run by Italians produces a series of annual rankings rewarding the best pizzerias on the planet. The 2023 European edition has just been published and the best pizza in Europe turns out to be in Spain: Sartoria Panatieri, in Barcelona. Second place went to Copenhagen’s Bæst, while third was 50 Kalò in London. These are of course the best European pizzerias, outside of Italy!


Italian sports dailyLa Gazzetta Dello Sport celebrates on its front page the victory of Naples’ soccer team, which was crowned Italian Serie A champion for the first time in 33 years after securing a draw against Udinese. The club’s success sparked celebrations from fans across the city (and the world). It’s the third time Naples has won the Serie A title, after two victories in 1987 and 1990 when the team was led by the late soccer legend Diego Maradona.


$12.8 billion

Australian exports to China increased 31% this month, year-to-year, the highest rise since 1988 as bilateral relations have warmed. The exports reached a value of 19 billion Australian dollars ($12.8 billion) due to strong demand for Australian primary products such as coal.


What Europe could learn from Joe Biden's “productivism” policy

Subsidies to green industries and the promotion of "quality" jobs: Joe Biden’s economic policy is driven by an American form of “productivism,” which French business daily Les Echos says has allowed the country to regain the upper hand in both economics and politics.

🇺🇸 Joe Biden has three challenges: putting America on the right track for climate, not letting China impose its supremacy and rebuilding a middle class attracted to populism. To solve these three at once, he has implemented a statist, industrialist and protectionist policy representing a new post-liberal paradigm.

↔️ The new paradigm shifts the point of reference, as MIT professor Daron Acemoglu explains. The social policy is shifting from downstream, redistributing aid to households in difficulty, to upstream, in the quality of employment and the associated wages. All the studies confirm that redistribution is no longer able to restore inequalities and that it is necessary to act differently from the "tax and spend" of the traditional left.

💼 Biden invented "productivism," according to the economist Deni Rodrik, a sort of "and-and" made of faith in science, pragmatism and a global political and geo-strategic vision. The core of the doctrine is to create "good jobs." We are witnessing a worldwide struggle over quality jobs: China wants to "move upmarket", America is getting to it… only Europe, still stuck to liberalism, hasn’t yet picked up the idea.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“What you're doing has enormous potential and enormous danger.”

— U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a White House meeting with Microsoft, Google, and two other companies currently working on artificial intelligence (AI), to address the technology’s potential risks. “What you're doing has enormous potential and enormous danger,” said President Joe Biden as he made a brief appearance during the meeting. He added that he hoped the companies could “educate” the Biden administration on the pros and cons of AI tools such as ChatGPT, and the way to use them in the safest way possible.

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Sophie Jacquier, Marine Béguin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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food / travel

Inside The Search For Record-Breaking Sapphires In A Remote Indian Valley

A vast stretch of mountains in India's Padder Valley is believed to house sapphire reserves worth $1.2 billion, which could change the fate of one of the poorest districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Photo of sapphire miners at work in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district

Sapphire mining in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district

Jehangir Ali

GULABGARH — Mohammad Abbas recalls with excitement the old days when he joined the hunt in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district to search the world’s most precious sapphires.

Kishtwar’s sapphire mines are hidden in the inaccessible mountains towering at an altitude of nearly 16,000 feet, around Sumchan and Bilakoth areas of Padder Valley in Machail – which is one of the most remote regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Up there, the weather is harsh and very unpredictable,” Abbas, a farmer, said. “One moment the high altitude sun is peeling off your skin and the next you could get frostbite. Many labourers couldn’t stand those tough conditions and fled.”

Abbas, 56, added with a smile: “But those who stayed earned their reward, too.”

A vast stretch of mountains in Padder Valley nestled along Kishtwar district’s border with Ladakh is believed to house sapphire reserves worth $1.2 billion, according to one estimate. A 19.88-carat Kishtwar sapphire broke records in 2013 when it was sold for nearly $2.4 million.

In India, the price of sapphire with a velvety texture and true-blue peacock colour, which is found only in Kishtwar, can reach $6,000 per carat. The precious stone could change the socio-economic landscape of Kishtwar, which is one of the economically most underdeveloped districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

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