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In The News

U.S. Bullets To Ukraine, Another Hottest Month, Literature Nobel

Black and white photograph of Norway’s Jon Fosse, who has been awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Norway’s Jon Fosse, who has been awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Tom A. Kolstad/Wikimedia
Emma Albright, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Jakob Mieszkowski-Lapping

👋 নমস্কাৰ*

Welcome to Thursday, where Washington sends Kyiv 1.1 million bullets it seized last from Iran, 2023 is on track to be the hottest year on record, and the Nobel Prize in Literature goes to a Norwegian. Meanwhile, Nadia Ferrigo in Turin-based daily La Stampa looks at how “parenting influencers” are even spreading doubts among the ever solid tradition of the Italian mamma.

[*Nomoskar - Assamese, India]


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• U.S. sends 1.1 million rounds of ammunition seized from Iran to Kyiv: The U.S. has sent roughly 1.1 million bullets seized from Iran last year to Ukraine. The U.S. Central Command says the rounds were confiscated from a ship bound for Yemen in December. Meanwhile, European leaders are meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to assure him of their long-term support after U.S. President Joe Biden voiced fears that Republican infighting in Congress could block American aid to Kyiv.

• Deadly floods in India: Indian authorities are racing against time to rescue people after flash floods in the northeastern state of Sikkim killed at least 14, leaving 102 people missing. Officials said more than 3,000 tourists had been stranded in different parts of the state. For more on floods and their link to climate change, check out this recent article from Die Welt, translated from German by Worldcrunch.

• Biden approves new section of border walls: U.S. President Joe Biden's administration is to build a section of border wall in southern Texas in an effort to stop rising levels of illegal immigration. Around 20 miles (32 km) will be built in Starr County along its border with Mexico, where officials report high numbers of crossings. Building a border wall was a signature policy of Donald Trump as president and fiercely opposed by Democrats. In 2020, Biden promised he would not build another foot of wall if elected.

• Two men arrested over Bangkok mall shooting: Police in Thailand have arrested two men accused of selling a gun to a 14-year-old suspected shooter who killed three people in a Bangkok shopping center. The suspect has been arrested for Tuesday’s killings at the Siam Paragon mall and has been charged with carrying and firing a gun in a public place and owning an unlicensed firearm.

• 2023 on track to be hottest year: New data shows last month was the hottest September, the fourth consecutive month of such heat, putting 2023 on track to be the hottest year in recorded history. September beat the previous monthly record set in 2020 by 0.5 degrees Celsius, according to data released Wednesday by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. There has never been a month so abnormally hot since Copernicus’ records began in 1940.

• Simone Biles leads U.S. gymnastics team to world championship title: United States gymnast Simone Biles has claimed her 20th world title as she continued her return from a two-year break leading the U.S. to a seventh straight women’s team gold at the world gymnastics championships in Antwerp, Belgium. The U.S. women earned their record seventh consecutive team title on Wednesday and 26-year-old Biles won her 33rd major championship medal, across the worlds and Olympics, making her the most decorated female gymnast ever.

• Nobel Prize in Literature: Norwegian author Jon Fosse won the 2023 Nobel Prize in literature. As a novelist and one of the world’s most performed playwrights, the 64-year-old is known for a minimalist writing style and confronting “the critical moment of irresolution,” according to the Nobel committee in Stockholm.


“Consolation prize,” titles Argentine sports daily El Hincha, after soccer governing body FIFA announced the 2030 World Cup will be played on three continents (Europe, Africa and South America) for the first time. Morocco, Portugal and Spain won the race but long-time bid rivals Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay were handed the opening three matches. The six host countries’ teams will qualify automatically for the tournament, which will mark its 100th birthday. Climate groups have reacted with dismay to the announcement, with some saying it could be “a recipe for disaster” for the event’s carbon and ecological footprint.



That is how much it now costs to purchase the right to buy a car in Singapore — a record high. While Singapore has an astonishingly high rate of millionaires for its relatively small size, the city-state’s average salary of roughly S$70,000 ($51,000) means that the ability to purchase a car and drive is well out of the reach of many Singaporians. Introduced as an anti-congestion measure, the government’s new 10-year certificate of entitlement (COE) system aims to promote the use of the city’s public transportation network, which has received billions in investment over the past year and ranks as one of the best systems in the world. With many standard cars costing more than six times the price as in the United States, Singapore is the most expensive city in the world to drive.


How the “mom advice” industry preys on desperate mothers — even in Italy

Mothers everywhere are struggling with the pressures of parenting in an increasingly individualistic culture. Enter the rapidly growing empire of parenting influencers who promise to help — at a price. In Italy, where mothers have long been seen as models of strength, the novelty is particularly acute, reports Nadia Ferrigo in Turin-based daily La Stampa.

💻 Thousands of new mothers take to social media every day in search of childrearing solutions. They are the ideal customers for online courses, consultations, masterclasses, and webinars on parenting. There are coaches for breastfeeding and baby-led weaning, courses to learn "respectful parenting" and becoming "outstanding moms." Some of the internet personalities behind this growing empire are midwives, educators, or childcare professionals, while others have no formal education or professional qualifications.

👶 On Instagram, you can find courses on sleeping, eating, potty training, playing, dealing with tantrums, and understanding that tantrums are not just tantrums. The list is growing longer and experts are mushrooming, but the idea is the same: for every problem, there is a solution; just follow the method, and of course, pay for it.

🤱 When did parents become so fearful that they need detailed instructions for every aspect of parenting? And when did they become so insecure that they are willing to spend big money on online consultations? Those who sell these courses and consultations can prey upon a large audience — new mothers desperate for help. The archetype of the Italian mother is slowly eroding, particularly due to the reduced reliance on community and increased accent on individuality.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


"The behavior of Pakistan towards Afghan refugees is unacceptable."

— Following Pakistan’s announcement that it would evict hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees and migrants, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban administration in Kabul, criticized the pending operation. “Afghan refugees are not involved in Pakistan’s security problems. As long as they leave Pakistan voluntarily, that country should tolerate them,” he said. The Pakistani government has accused many of the refugees and migrants of contributing to Pakistan’s security problems, claiming that 1.73 million Afghans are living in Pakistan with no legal status. They have set a hard November 1 deadline for them to leave or face expulsion. Officially, there are roughly one million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, with another 880,000 Afghans with the legal right to stay.

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Jakob Mieszkowski-Lapping

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How WeChat Is Helping Bhutan's Disappearing Languages Find A New Voice

Phd candidate Tashi Dema, from the University of New England, discusses how social media apps, particularly WeChat, are helping to preserve local Bhutanese languages without a written alphabet. Dema argues that preservation of these languages has far-reaching benefits for the small Himalayan country's rich culture and tradition.

A monk in red performing while a sillouhet of a monk is being illuminated by their phone.

Monk performing while a sillouheted monk is on their phone

Source: Caterina Sanders/Unsplash
Tashi Dema

THIMPHU — Dechen, 40, grew up in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Her native language was Mangdip, also known as Nyenkha, as her parents are originally from central Bhutan. She went to schools in the city, where the curriculum was predominantly taught in Dzongkha, the national language, and English.

In Dechen’s house, everyone spoke Dzongkha. She only spoke her mother tongue when she had guests from her village, who could not understand Dzongkha and during her occasional visits to her village nestled in the mountains. Her mother tongue knowledge was limited.

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However, things have now changed.

With 90% of Bhutanese people using social media and social media penetrating all remotes areas in Bhutan, Dechen’s relatives in remote villages are connected on WeChat.

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