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In The News

Spain’s Election Limbo, Greek Islands Evacuated, X Marks The Post

Spain’s Election Limbo, Greek Islands Evacuated, X Marks The Post

Firefighters are battling dozens of wildfires as locals and tourists are being evacuated from Greek islands, where blazes keep raging, like here in Rhodes’ Asklipio village.

Yannick Champion-Osselin and Valeria Berghinz

👋 გამარჯობა*

Welcome to Monday, where Spain’s Conservatives come out on top but fall short of majority, raging wildfires force authorities to evacuate the islands of Rhodes, Corfu and Evia, and Elon Musk says it’s time to rebrand Twitter. Meanwhile, as Greta Gerwig’s Barbie breaks box-office records, Warsaw-based daily Gazeta Wyborcza looks back on the history of the iconic toy doll through that of her creator, the daughter of Jewish refugees from Poland.

[*Gamarjoba - Georgian]


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.

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• Spain in limbo after election yields no clear winner: Spain faces an inconclusive result to last night's snap election, as Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s conservative Popular Party fell short of a majority in parliament. Even with the support of the far-right party Vox, the PP would be seven seats short of the 176 seats needed to form a government. If Feijóo fails to make a government, it will be Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s party's turn to make an attempt. Both may look to the hardline party, Together for Catalonia (Junts) as potential kingmaker, the pro-independence party having gained an unprecedented seven seats.

• Russia blames Ukraine for “terrorist” drone attack on Moscow: No casualties were reported after a drone strike damaged two high-rise buildings in Moscow, an attack that Russia has blamed on Ukraine. One device hit near the Defence Ministry's headquarters in what was described as the most high-profile drone attack since two drones reached the Kremlin in May.

• Greek islands order evacuations as wildfires rage on: As 82 wildfires burn across Greece after the hottest day of the summer so far, the islands of Rhodes, Corfu and Evia have been forced to evacuate. Tourists and locals alike fled via boat, land or plane, while eight people were hospitalized and firefighters combated the onslaught. Rhodes experienced “the largest evacuation from a wildfire in the country” said the Ministry of Climate Change and Civil Protection, with 19,000 people moved.

• Netanyahu leaves hospital ahead of key Israel judicial vote: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been discharged from hospital after being fitted with a pacemaker, ahead of time for a key parliamentary vote on his controversial judicial overhaul. Recent days were marked by mass protests across the country, with protesters chaining themselves outside Israel's parliament as the Israeli president attempted a last-minute compromise on the contentious reform.

• Search called off after Indian landslide, 57 still missing: Four days after a landslide devastated a village in the western state of Maharashtra, India, search efforts have been called off. While 27 bodies have been recovered, another 57 remain unaccounted for as difficult terrain and heavy rain have limited rescue operations on the slope of the steep Irshalgad mountain.

• New Zealand Justice minister quits after drink-driving crash: Kiri Allan, New Zealand’s justice minister, has resigned after she was arrested for crashing her car while under the influence. Charged with careless driving and resisting arrest, she is the fourth minister from Prime Minister Chris Hipkins' cabinet to leave in the last few months, ahead of the country’s general election due in October.

• Musk crosses out Twitter’s blue bird: A “minimalist art deco” X is now the new logo for Twitter, Elon Musk has revealed, as part of a rebrand for the social media platform. The business magnate plans to use the social media service as his vessel for a version of WeChat, the multipurpose Chinese app. The 𝕏 logo has already taken over the iconic blue bird across the app and replaced Musk’s profile picture, while the fast-paced changeover is also raising security concerns.


“Instability,” reads Spanish daily newspaper La Razón, as it lends its front page to the inconclusive results of the Spanish elections, that saw the Partido Popular emerge marginally victorious. The lack of a clear majority for either the Left or Right has plunged Spain in political limbo, with prospects of difficult political negotiations ahead.



France’s Leon Marchand broke swimming icon Michael Phelp’s last standing world record by completing the 400-meter individual medley in 4 minutes 2.50 seconds at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. Marchand, 21, beat Phelps by 1.34 seconds, a record the most-decorated Olympian had set during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


Barbie's mom: How a daughter of Jewish refugees from Poland created an American idol

The Barbie doll is known today as one of the world’s most iconic toys, featured in Greta Gerwig’s newly-released film. The doll was not expected to be a commercial success at all, but that didn’t stop creator Ruth Handler’s determination. In Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Dominika Wantuch shares her story.

🇵🇱🇺🇸 Ruth Handler’s childhood was not easy. She was born Ruth Mosko in Denver, U.S. on Nov. 4, 1916. Less than 10 years earlier, in 1907, her father, Jacob Moskowicz, arrived in America on a transatlantic ship journey from Warsaw. He was fleeing antisemitic Russian overseers and the Russian Army, to which he was going to be drafted. He left his wife, his seven children and a gambling debt in Warsaw.

✊ Ruth had always been different. She was self-assured, loud and didn’t feel limited by the norms and unwritten rules of patriarchy which reigned in 1940s and 50s America. She didn’t want to be a full-time mother. She wanted to work full-time. But she had a feeling of obligation, and believed that a woman could only achieve success in this climate by working much harder, and by being a good mother and wife at the same time.

👧 The idea for a doll modeled on a grown woman came to Ruth in the beginning of the 1950s, when she was watching Barbara and her friends playing with paper dolls, which at that point had been widely available. Ruth found the dolls unattractive, shaped like babies or characters from fairy tales. Ruth watched her daughter playing with these dolls, and dreamed of creating a three-dimensional “adult” doll. She would look the way little girls would like to see themselves when they grow up.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“I don't think we can even call it a sham election.

— Mu Sochua, a former Minister of Cambodia currently living in exile, has commented on the victory of the Cambodian People’s Party in yesterday’s elections. The only opposition party capable of competing with the CPP was banned on a technicality in May, allowing for the landslide win of the ruling political party. Sochua added that the election should instead be called “a selection,” as the power is expected to be transferred from Prime Minister Hun Sen to his son, Hun Manet, in the coming weeks.

✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin, Valeria Berghinz, Michal Kubala and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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food / travel

Pasta v. Fascists: How Italy's Staple Dish Became A Symbol Of Resistance

Pasta may not be considered controversial today, but it played an important role during Italy's fascist years, particularly in one family's celebration of community and liberation.

Photo of the Cervi family.

Photo of the Cervi family, whose seven children were shot by the Fascists on December 28, 1943, at the Reggio Emilia shooting range.

@comunisti_alla_ribalta via Instagram
Jacopo Fontaneto

ROME — Eighty years ago — on July 25, 1943 — the vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism, leading to Benito Mussolini's arrest, set off widespread celebrations. In Campegine, a small village in the Emilian province, the Cervi family celebrated in their own way: they brought 380 kilograms of pasta in milk cans to the town square and offered it to all the inhabitants of the village.

The pasta was strictly plain: macaroni dressed with butter and cheese, seen as more of a "festive dish" in that period of deprivation. As soon as the Cervi brothers learned about the arrest of Mussolini, they procured flour, borrowed butter and cheese from the dairy, and prepared kilos and kilos of pasta. They then loaded it onto a cart to distribute it to their fellow villagers. Pastasciutta (dry pasta) specifically regards dishes with noodles that are plated "dry", not in broth. That would disqualify soup, risotto, ravioli...

Even though pastasciutta is the most stereotypical type of pasta today, it had a complicated relationship with the government during Italy's fascist years.

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