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New Crimea Blast, Heat Forces China To Close Factories, Academy Apologizes To Littlefeather

New Crimea Blast, Heat Forces China To Close Factories, Academy Apologizes To Littlefeather

The Sichuan province in China is experiencing its worst heatwave in 60 years, with temperatures reaching 40 °C, leading the country to close its factories for six days in order to ration electricity supply.

Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard and Lila Paulou

👋 Kamusta!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Crimea has been hit by the latest in a string of unexplained blasts, China orders 6-day closure for factories to combat record temperatures, and Native American actor Sacheen Littlefeather receives a belated apology from the Academy. Meanwhile, writing for Hong-Kong-based The Initium, Lee Yee On looks at the parallels between Taiwan and North Korea.



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• Munitions explosions in Crimea: The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that there was a fire at a temporary ammunition storage site near the village of Mayskiy in Russian-annexed Crimea, forcing people to evacuate. This is the second unexplained ammunition detonation in Crimea after a series of explosions last week.

• 20 killed as bus hits fuel truck in Pakistan: Pakistani police and rescue officials announced that a passenger bus collided head-on with a fuel truck, killing 20 people on a highway in eastern Punjab province. The crash is under investigation, as witnesses report that the truck’s driver had fled the scene.

• Salman Rushdie awake and “articulate”:The Satanic Verses British-American author Salman Rushdie is awake and “articulate” after he was stabbed on stage in New York on Friday. Rushdie suffered several injuries and has undergone emergency surgery. The attacker, identified as 24-year-old Hadi Matar, was arrested and charged with attempted murder and assault.

• Aung San Suu Kyi given 6 extra years in prison: A Myanmar court sentenced former leader Aung San Suu Kyi to six more years in prison, bringing her prison time to 17 years. The Nobel Prize laureate was previously convicted on a series of charges including corruption and election violations and she has been charged with four extra counts of corruption. She will appeal against this new Court decision.

• Liz Cheney expected to lose Republican primary: Incumbent Congresswoman Liz Cheney is likely to lose her seat at the Wyoming Republican primary to Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman. Cheney voted to impeach former President Donald Trump last year and her party has sought to cast her out since then.

• China forces factories to close amid heatwave: Authorities in China’s Sichuan province ordered factories to shut down for six days in order to ration electricity supply as the country is experiencing its worst heatwave in 60 years. Temperatures in the province rose to 40 °C.

Stranger Things cafe in Tokyo: A pop-up cafe inspired by Netflix’s horror drama Stranger Thingsopened in Tokyo. On the menu at the Stranger Pronto: “Demogorgon pasta” and other dishes that appeared in the series, including Eleven’s favorite waffles.


The Washington Post’s Tuesday front page focuses on the one-year anniversary since the Taliban took over in Afghanistan. In Kabul, militants and fighters gathered in the streets and in front of the U.S. embassy to celebrate the milestone, even though the ultraconservative government implemented strict Sharia laws that have brought about an economic collapse that sent millions into poverty.


12,800 km

Germany has deployed a group of air force fighter jets aiming to cross the 12,800 km separating their homebase of Neuburg to Singapore in just 24 hours. This move is meant as a demonstration of European nations’ capacity to send rapid aid to the Southeast Asian region, in the context of increased tensions between the West and China over Taiwan.


Far out, far east: Meet North Korea's biggest booster in Taiwan

"Taiwanese would laugh at the leader worship of the North Koreans, but wasn't that what we did in the days of Chiang Kai-shek?" asks Lee Yee On in Hong Kong-based, Chinese-language digital media outlet The Initium.

🇰🇵 On the evening of April 15, a crowd of nearly 100 people eagerly swarmed inside an ordinary building in Taipei's Ximending neighborhood. The occasion? The "Sun Festival", which commemorates the birthday of the first leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, and one of the most important holidays each year. The venue was decorated in a North Korean style, with DPRK flags and photos of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il visible all around.

🧳 Hung Hao, the organizer for this event, is also the manager of the Facebook page DPRK Business News. Hung's connection to North Korea began with a trip to the country, and when he first went there in 2016, he found that the easiest way to make contact in North Korea is to start with a tour guide. After a few trips to North Korea, he set up the fan page in 2018 to “promote” the country to Taiwanese readers.

👀 The popularity of DPRK Business News is not only due to Taiwanese readers’ curiosity about North Korea, but also sometimes reflects people's interest in alternative systems and "non-Western mainstream" narratives, and even allows people to project their own dissatisfaction with the current situation.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


We Indians are very patient people — it's only been 50 years!

— Hollywood's film Academy has apologized to Native American actor Sacheen Littlefeather for the abuse she endured after she refused an Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando during the 45th Academy Awards, back in 1973. Brando rejected the award because of the misrepresentation of Native Americans in Hollywood, which then 26-year-old Littlefeather denounced in a speech on live television. She was booed offstage, and later severely criticized by the media and the U.S. film industry. Littlefeather jokingly responded to the belated apology, adding that keeping a sense of humor is a Native American “method of survival.”

✍️ Newsletter by Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard and Lila Paulou

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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