Welcome to Wednesday, where former U.S. president Donald Trump is facing federal charges over attempts to overturn the 2020 election, European countries have started evacuating their citizens from Niger, and NASA picks up an unexpected heartbeat from Voyager 2. Meanwhile, Zoriana Variena and Katarzyna Pawłowska in Warsaw-based daily Gazeta Wyborcza look at what drives Ukrainian women, who found refuge in Poland, to cross back into their home country to get medical care.
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• Donald Trump indicted again: Former U.S. President Donald Trump is facing federal charges for the third time in four months for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. In a 45-page document, Trump is indicted for conspiring to defraud the U.S. by trying to prevent the certification of Joe Biden's presidential victory by Congress. Prosecutors said that then-President Trump pressured officials to alter the results and incited a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to retain power and undermine American democracy. The Republican frontrunner for the 2024 presidential election is set to appear in court on Thursday.
• Russian drones hit Ukrainian grain ports: Russian drones have hit Ukrainian grain ports, including Odessa and Izmail near the border with NATO neighbor Romania, as Moscow intensifies its attempt to block Ukrainian exports after abandoning the UN grain deal. Buildings have been damaged in the attacks but no casualties have been reported; the attack is expected to cause a hike in global food prices, as Ukrainian grain is exported worldwide.
• EU citizens evacuated as Niger reopens borders:France and Italy have started evacuating their citizens in Niger in military planes. Hundreds of European nationals have landed in Paris and Rome as the risk of a conflict escalates in the wake of last week’s coup that overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum. The flights also carried citizens from a number of other nations, including Americans. Meanwhile, Niger’s new junta has announced that it was reopening the country’s land and air borders with neighboring Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Libya and Chad.
• Tunisia’s first female prime minister sacked: Tunisian President Kais Saied has dismissed the Arab world’s first female Prime Minister Najla Bouden, without explanation. She has been replaced by Ahmed al-Hachani, a former human resources director at Tunisia’s central bank. Tunisian media has suggested Bouden’s dismissal was linked to the worsening economic and social crises, as well as food shortages that her government failed to address.
• China’s heaviest rains in recorded history kill 20: Beijing and its surrounding region are seeing the heaviest rains since records began, some 140 years ago, with flooding killing at least 20 people and leaving another 27 missing. Rescue efforts continue to locate survivors and minimize both loss of life and property damage.
• Pope Francis to “stir things up” in Portugal: Pope Francis has arrived in Portugal for a five-day trip as the country’s Church faces a major scandal that revealed that at least 4,815 minors were sexually abused by clergy. The pontiff is expected to meet privately with abuse victims during his visit. Upon landing, Pope Francis took part in World Youth Day, a global gathering of young Catholics — criticized for its cost in one of Western Europe's poorest nations.
• NASA picks up Voyager 2 “heartbeat” after losing contact: Two weeks after accidentally tilting Voyager 2’s antenna away from Earth and thus severing contact, NASA has detected a “heartbeat signal” emanating from the 46-year-old spacecraft. This raises hopes that its flight controllers might be able to turn its antenna back toward Earth — rather than waiting for an automatic reset due in October.
Donald Trump’s indictment is making the front page of many U.S. and international newspapers today, including The Washington Post. The former U.S. President Trump was charged for his attempt to overturn the 2020 election and inciting the assault on the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots. The indictment charges Trump with conspiring to defraud the U.S., conspiring against rights and obstructing official proceedings.
Starbucks reported record revenue in China in its fiscal third quarter, with sales jumping by 46% after a drop due to COVID-19 restrictions in the country last year. With a population of 1.4 billion, China is “one of the largest consumer markets,” according to the coffee chain’s CEO Laxman Narashimhan.
Why Ukrainian refugees in Poland are crossing the border for medical care back home
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Poland has accepted the largest number of Ukrainian refugees of any country. But in spite of the aid that they have received, some notable gaps remain, including the Polish healthcare system, report Zoriana Variena and Katarzyna Pawłowska in Warsaw-based daily Gazeta Wyborcza.
🇺🇦🇵🇱 The first and most important factor that comes to mind is the language barrier. It is present at every stage of the healthcare process: from making an appointment, to during the visit itself, while receiving care, when getting a referral, during exams and when specialists offer medical advice. Walentyna, a 63-year old Ukrainian woman, has been living on and off in Poland for over a decade. She has never received medical care in the country. “I don’t know the language well enough," she said. “It scares me."
📱 Ałła Majewska, the head of the Legal and Professional Support Center for Ukrainian citizens at the HumanDoc Foundation, says that translations over the phone, though helpful, are not available to everyone. “Some people who come to Poland have very old phones, sometimes without internet," she said. For older Ukrainians in Poland, medical care is often the most urgent, but they are less likely to have a phone and translation app.
👩⚕️ Another important reason for the stress of going to the doctor in Poland for Ukrainians is the emotional and psychological cost that affects refugees who are far from home. Ukrainian women — there are many more of them in Poland than men — can often feel lost and alone in the foreign country, especially when they are facing difficult health situations. The lack of support from close friends or family in times of illness or even hospitalization cause feelings of longing, sadness and isolation.
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A Polish textbook, titled HiT (Historia i Teraźniejszość, History and the Present) is causing quite a stir in the country’s schools: Not only does it doubt climate change — it also urges students to recognize the importance of Christ in Polish history. “It is impossible without Christ to understand this nation with its past so full of splendor and also of terrible difficulties,” the textbook’s introduction reads, citing Pope John Paul II’s famous 1979 speech in Warsaw. The textbooks, introduced by Polish Education Minister Przemysław Czarnek, also comment on the “mistakes” of the EU immigration policy, claim that “abortion is the demographic scourge of the West,” and argue that lyrics of rap music could provoke “violence and even suicidal acts.”
“There will be space available for climate activists to assemble peacefully and make their voices heard.”
— The United Arab Emirates stated that they will grant permission for climate activists to protest peacefully at the upcoming COP28 UN Climate Change Conference, set to be hosted in Dubai from November to December. A statement meant to be reassuring vis-à-vis freedom of speech in the Gulf nation, which bans protests that authorities perceive as disruptive, and requires all demonstrations to seek prior permission.
✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin, Chloé Touchard, Anne-Sophie Goninet, and Valeria Berghinz
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