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In The News

Texas School Shooting, Stakes In East Ukraine, World-Class Slacker

Texas School Shooting, Stakes In East Ukraine, World-Class Slacker

Families wait for news of their missing relatives following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Barev!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where 21 are killed in a school shooting in Texas, Davos focuses on Ukraine, and a vertigo-inducing world record is broken at Mont-Saint-Michel. Die Welt also offers a psychoanalyst’s perspective on how war survivors pass trauma onto their children.

[*Armenian]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Narrowing Battles In The East Will Determine Fate Of Ukraine War: The battles taking place in eastern Ukraine could determine the fate of the war and the country, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said. According to the US think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russia has abandoned efforts to complete a single large encirclement of Ukrainian forces in the region and are instead attempting smaller encirclements.

— Read all the latest at War in Ukraine, Day 91

• Texas school shooting: An 18-year-old gunman killed at least 21 people — including 19 children — in a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, making it the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since the 2012 Newtown massacre. The gunman was shot to death by law enforcement officers. U.S. President Joe Biden called for actions on gun control, saying “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?”

• North Korea launches missiles: According to military officials in Seoul, North Korea fired three ballistic missiles, including an intercontinental missile, from the Sunan area in Pyongyang. This came just one day after U.S. President Joe Biden ended his first Asia tour.

• Report on rule-breaking “culture” in UK government: British senior civil servant Sue Gray delivered the report of her probe into 10, Downing Street lockdown parties, highlighting a culture of rule-breaking within Boris Johnson’s administration, adding that the UK government must “bear responsibility.”

• Monkeypox outbreak update: Monkeypox cases are spreading around the world, with the virus detected in three more countries: the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic and Slovenia after popping up in Europe and the U.S. According to the UN Health Agency, “the risk to the general public appears to be low.”

• Deadly police raid in Rio: Brazilian authorities announced that at least eleven people were shot dead during a police raid in a Rio de Janeiro favela on Tuesday night. The police operation was targeting leaders of the country’s largest drug gang Comando Vermelho and at least ten victims were gang members.

• New line in London Tube opens: London’s $25-billion new subway line officially opened after years of delays. The massive Elizabeth line — named in honor of the Queen — will connect far-reaching towns with London’s central tunnels and serve nine stations.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

The Houston Chronicle depicts the horror at the school shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a city of 16,000 inhabitants.


#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

2.2 kilometers

Nathan Paulin, a 28-year-old French slackliner, walked 2.2 kilometers (1.36 miles) on a wire suspended 110 meters in the air, between a crane and the famous Mont-Saint-Michel abbey, in northern France. Despite (safely) falling just a couple meters away from reaching the abbey, he did beat the world record for the longest tightrope walk, which he himself held with a 1.6 km tightrope crossing of the Cirque de Navacelles in the south of France back in 2017.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

The trauma of war: a poisoned guide to parenting

As a psychoanalyst, Wolfgang Schmidbauer has researched the psychological effects of war on children — and in the process, also examined his own post-war childhood in the 1940s. In this article for German daily Die Welt, he warns that parents tend to use their experiences of suffering as a method of education, with serious consequences.

🛡 Traumatized parents make their own experiences of suffering a core principle of education. They steel their children against their own past and pass this off as preparation for the future. The power of sensory impressions is almost limitless for a child. The people in their world are the only ones who exist. So if a child is brought up surrounded by stories of trauma, their childhood is snatched away. For a long time, I thought that children shared a basic feeling: To them adults were something like joyless giants who had no idea what it meant to have fun. Born in 1941, I gradually came to realize that my childhood was much more deeply marked by the war than I knew.

🖤 German war and post-war children grew up in a vacuum of values filled by educated bourgeois or religious traditions. Too much was expected of children: To heal the wounds of their parents and to compensate for their mental limitations. Parents were so preoccupied with survival and material reconstruction that they focused on caring for their children physically. Otherwise, they wanted to know them or talk to them as little as possible. Children worried the parents because they stood for emotional diversity, vulnerability and openness, qualities which aroused envy and signaled a reality that the parents had lost through mental injuries and unconscious guilt complexes.

💪 For the children of the traumatized, it does not make much difference whether their parents suffered psychological limitations in a just or a criminal war. Extreme situations such as fear of death, witnessing life-threatening injuries, hunger, thirst, dirt and cold damage the survivors' abilities to relax and enjoy themselves. Thus, a shadow falls on the next generations. It is easy to arouse hatred, to set groups against each other, but it takes a lot of effort, time and strength to go the other way. Every hour of war is one too many. It not only costs lives and destroys cities, it also poisons souls and contributes to the emotional coldness that all murderers possess.

➡️ Read the full article on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

The truth is, one nation under guns.

In a series of tweets, U.S. poet Amanda Gorman reacted in poem form to the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and 2 adults dead, the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in a decade. She blamed the U.S. government’s inaction when it comes to gun control by writing, “It takes a monster to kill children. But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity—it’s inhumanity.”

✍️ Newsletter by Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger


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Society

The Last Boss: Messina Denaro's Death Marks The End Of An Era For The Sicilian Mafia

Eight months after being arrested, following 30 years on the run, Matteo Messina Denaro died Monday. The son of a mobster and successor of Sicily's notorious boss of bosses, he had tried to transform Cosa Nostra into a modern criminal enterprise — with only partial success.

photo of Matteo Messina Denaro

Matteo Messina Denaro after his arrest

Carabinieri handout via ZUMA
La Stampa Staff

Updated Sep. 25, 2023 at 4:45 p.m.

-Analysis-

PALERMO — Matteo Messina Denaro, who for more than a decade was the Sicilian Mafia's "boss of bosses," died on Monday in an Italian hospital prison ward. His death came eight months after being captured following decades on the run as a fugitive from justice. His arrest in January 15, 1993, came almost 30 years to the day after Totò Riina, then the undisputed head of the Corleone clan, was captured in Palermo.

Tracing back in time, Messina Denaro began his criminal ascent in 1989, around the first time on record that he was reported for mob association for his participation in the feud between the Accardo and Ingoglia clans.

At the time, Messina Denaro's father, 'don Ciccio', was the Mafia boss in the western Sicilian city of Trapani — and at only 20 years of age, the ambitious young criminal became Totò Riina's protégé. He would go on to help transform Cosa Nostra, tearing it away from the feudal tradition and catapulting it into the world of would-be legitimate business affairs.

For 30 years he managed to evade capture. He had chosen the path of ‘essential communication’: a few short pizzini - small slips of paper used by the Sicilian Mafia for high-level communications - without compromising information by telephone or digital means.

“Never write the name of the person you are addressing," Messina Denaro told his underlings. "Don’t talk in cars because there could be bugs, always discuss in the open and away from telephones. Also, take off your watches.”

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