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In The News

Seoul Open To Arming Kyiv, Sudan Ceasefire Breached, White House Tiny Intruder

Image of Smoke and destruction the city of Al-Fashir in Sudan, following clashes between the Sudanese Army and the RSF militia. Fighting has continued in the country despite an internationally brokered truce.

Smoke and destruction the city of Al-Fashir in Sudan, following clashes between the Sudanese Army and the RSF militia. Fighting has continued in the country despite an internationally brokered truce.

Emma Albright, Inès Mermat, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ*

Welcome to Wednesday, where South Korea reverses its year-long refusal to send military aid to Ukraine, a ceasefire in Sudan has been ignored and a rogue toddler sets off security alerts at the White House. Meanwhile, Lucas Marín Llanes in Colombian daily El Espectador looks at the problems caused by crop substitution programs aimed at eradicating illegal coca cultivation.

[*Namaskar - Kannada, India]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• South Korea may send military aid to Ukraine: South Korea may extend its support to Ukraine beyond humanitarian and economic aid if it comes under a large-scale civilian attack, President Yoon Suk Yeol said. This is the first time that that Seoul has considered providing weapons to Ukraine, after a year of ruling out that possibility. Meanwhile, Russia has accused Ukraine of sabotaging the Black Sea grain deal by demanding bribes from ship owners to register new vessels and carry out inspections under the cover of the deal brokered by the United Nations.

• Fighting continues in Sudan despite ceasefire: Fighting continues in Sudan hours after an internationally brokered truce was supposed to have come into effect. The regular army and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) issued statements accusing each other of failing to respect the ceasefire.

• Mexico court limits army’s role in public security: Mexico’s top court has limited the army’s participation in public security tasks. This blocks a move by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to put a civilian force under military control. The Supreme Court annulled the legislative reform, concluding it was unconstitutional.

• Fox settles Dominion lawsuit: Fox News has settled a defamation lawsuit from the voting machine company, Dominion for $787.5 million, over its reporting of the 2020 presidential election. Dominion argued its business was harmed by Fox spreading false information the vote had been rigged against Donald Trump. The deal also spares Fox executive Rupert Murdoch from having to testify.

• Beijing hospital fire kills 29: A fire broke out in Changfeng Hospital on Tuesday, killing 29 people, most of them patients. Twelve people have been detained by police for questioning as the cause of the fire is under investigation. Officials say they believe it originated from welding sparks from work being done in the hospital’s inpatient wing.

• Indonesian fishermen rescued after six days: A group of 11 Indonesian fishermen from two boats that were caught in the path of Cyclone Isa have been rescued from a remote island off northwestern Australia after six days without food or water. Nine other men are believed to have drowned at sea. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), rescued the fishermen and said the group was taken to Broome Hospital where authorities reported them in good health.

• Rogue toddler in the White House: Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the Secret Service, said a toddler crawled through the fence on the north side of the White House, setting off security alerts. “The Secret Service Uniformed Division today encountered a curious young visitor along the White House north fence line who briefly entered White House ground,” Gugliemli said.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

German daily Frankfurter Rundschau devotes its front page to the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which will be marked at the Warsaw Ghetto memorial with a ceremony gathering the presidents of Poland, Germany and Israel. In April 1943, several hundred Jews imprisoned in Poland’s Warsaw Ghetto rose up against the German occupiers, in what is considered the largest act of Jewish resistance against the Nazis during World War II.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Colombia pushes coca farmers into legal crops — but it's no clean fix

Convincing coca farmers to plant legal crops is better than spraying poisonous pesticides to wipe out the plants. And yet it turns out these crop substitution programs are problematic, disrupting livelihoods and unintentionally causing violence and deforestation, reports Lucas Marín Llanes in Colombian daily El Espectador.

🇨🇴🚫 Since cocaine was made illegal, various strategies have been implemented to control its supply. One such strategy involves the development of substitute crops for farmers and rural territories that cultivate the coca plant, who essentially rely on an illegal economy. This approach represents a significant improvement over established drug eradication policies, but has its own negative effects.

💸 One recurring argument for substitution is that forced eradication policies affect the revenues of households that depend on the coca economy. But crop substitution does the same. Families get involved with the coca economy because of the potential to earn more money. Previous studies have established that coca farmers tend to have higher living standards compared to other cultivators. Embracing substitution thus inevitably entails taking a profit hit.

💥 A point to consider in public and narcotics policies is the unexpected side-effects of state action. With crop substitution programs, evidence gathered under the Colombian substitution program shows that delays in implementing it, combined with a lack of protective measures for communities, led to an increase in deforestation, violence against community leaders and even inter-ethnic land conflict in some regions.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS

$6.17 million

The remains of a 67-million-year-old colossal Tyrannosaurus rex were sold at an auction for 5.5 million Swiss Francs ($6.17 million) to an undisclosed buyer in Zurich, Switzerland. The auction marked the first time in Europe and the third time worldwide that a complete T-Rex skeleton has gone under the hammer.

📣 VERBATIM

“As we entered Soledar and Bakhmut, we got the order to kill anyone: men, women, children, the elderly.”

— Azamat Uldarov and Alexey Savichev, two former convicts who claim to have served as commanders for Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, have given an interview to activist website Gulagu.net, confessing to the murder of hundreds of civilians, Euronews reports. Uldarov recounted receiving kill orders in the Ukrainian cities of Soledar and Bakhmut directly from the owner of the paramilitary group Yevgeny Prigozhin.

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Inès Mermat, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger


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Society

Should Christians Be Scared Of Horror Movies?

Horror films have a complicated and rich history with christian themes and influences, but how healthy is it for audiences watching?

Should Christians Be Scared Of Horror Movies?

"The Nun II" was released on Sept. 2023.

Joseph Holmes

“The Nun II” has little to show for itself except for its repetitive jump scares — but could it also be a danger to your soul?

Christians have a complicated relationship with the horror genre. On the one hand, horror movies are one of the few types of Hollywood films that unapologetically treat Christianity (particularly Catholicism) as good.

“The Exorcist” remains one of the most successful and acclaimed movies of all time. More recently, “The Conjuring” franchise — about a wholesome husband and wife duo who fight demons for the Catholic Church in the 1970s and related spinoffs about the monsters they’ve fought — has more reverent references to Jesus than almost any movie I can think of in recent memory (even more than many faith-based films).

The Catholic film critic Deacon Steven Greydanus once mentioned that one of the few places where you can find substantial positive Catholic representation was inhorror films.

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