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In The News

Russia Kills 10 In Zelensky Hometown, Trump Heads To Court, With A Little Help From AI

Russia Kills 10 In Zelensky Hometown, Trump Heads To Court, With A Little Help From AI

A Trump supporter dressed as Uncle Sam in front of the Trump National Doral hotel.

Marine Béguin, Yannick Champion-Osselin, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Chloé Touchard

👋 Hej!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where a Russian missile strike kills at least 10 in Zelensky's hometown, Former President Donald Trump lands in Florida ahead of his court appearance, and Paul McCartney teases a new Beatles song. Meanwhile, we feature a special investigation by Colombian daily El Espectador on the so-called “Aragua Train,” the largest criminal organization in Venezuela engaged in forced prostitution and people-smuggling operations.



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• “Massive missile attack” kills ten in Zelensky’s hometown: A Russian missile strike has killed at least 10 people and injured 28 in Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's hometown. Meanwhile the death toll in the wake of last week's Kakhovka dam breach has risen to 17, as more bodies have been found after the flooding. Russian media also reports that an experienced Russian general, Sergei Goryachev, was killed in a Ukrainian missile strike near southern Zaporizhzhia.

• Trump in Miami for court appearance: Former U.S. President Donald Trump has landed in Florida ahead of his court appearance, staying at the Trump Doral resort near Miami. He is facing federal charges for mishandling national security files. Trump has denied all wrongdoing, and has been encouraging his supporters to protest against the case, which he has called “the final battle.”

• Three murdered in central Nottingham: British police have arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of murder, after three people were found dead on city center streets earlier today. Roads have been closed and the tram network suspended. Police suspect that the deaths are related to another incident this morning, where a van tried to run over three people, who are now hospitalized.

• Palestinian President arrives in China for state visit: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas landed in Beijing this morning for a four-day state visit. China is looking to help with Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and Abbas will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang during what is his fifth official visit to China.

• U.S. to rejoin UNESCO, to counter China: UNESCO announced yesterday that the U.S. plans to rejoin the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, more than a decade after they stopped financing the institution. If they are voted back in by UNESCO’s member states in the coming weeks, the U.S. will pay more than $600 million in back dues to the agency, of which it used to be the biggest financier. U.S. representatives have said the move comes from concern over China’s influence in the UN, particularly surrounding technology regulation.

• Pakistan demands evacuation of 80,000 people ahead of cyclone: Pakistani authorities have begun evacuating more than 80,000 people, who are at risk as Cyclone Biparjoy is expected to make landfall later this week. A state of emergency has been declared before the cyclone hits western India and southern Pakistan, and at least 2000 people have already been evacuated.

• New Beatles song – with a little help from AI: Paul McCartney has announced that later this year, his former band The Beatles will release one final song, completed using AI. The technology was used to restore an old demo created by band member John Lennon, who was murdered in 1980. McCartney teamed up with drummer Ringo Starr and “finished up” the song, which is rumored to be “Now And Then”, a Lennon demo from 1978.


Turin-based daily La Stampa joined Italian newspapers and others around the world, in devoting its front page to the death of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the age of 86.



After 40 seasons and 7,748 episodes, long-time Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak has announced that he will retire next year. The show has remained a constant in American popular culture and attracts almost 8 million viewers every night. In 1981, Sajak was chosen to take over for Chuck Woolery, the show’s first host. Sajak became the longest-running host of any game show, surpassing Bob Barker, who hosted The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007.


“The Aragua Train” — How Venezuelan beauty pageants feed a global sex trafficking ring

Venezuela's Aragua Train, which began smuggling women into jails a decade ago, has become an international forced prostitution and people-smuggling operation. A special investigation by Colombia's El Espectador.

👑 Venezuela is famous for its beauty pageants and boasts seven Miss Universe and six Miss World winners among a generous handful of other contest queens. Today, beauty contests have become a tool to lure hundreds of Venezuelan girls and women into the continental sex trade. A leading gang in this murky business is "El Tren de Aragua" or the Aragua Train, named after the Aragua prison in the district of Tocorón, that has held several of its members.

📱 In the district of Güiria in the eastern state of Sucre, it catches them online and in beauty contests, where the first three winners are given cell phones, money and gifts. Then they're invited to parties, including some held in jail for gangsters. Emerging as an organization in 2014, the Train soon became the purveyor of young women to gangsters jailed in Aragua including its own chief, Héctor Rusthenford Guerrero. Now it has expanded across Latin America.

🚨 Even before the Train, Venezuela was a haven of sex trading barely checked by the authorities. The U.S. State Department's 2004 Trafficking in Persons report put Venezuela in Tier 3 of its Watch List, for failing to enforce minimal international norms against trafficking. It hasn't budged since. Perhaps in a sign of the state's increasing concern, police have in recent years formed a special department dealing with sex trafficking in September 2022.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“That’s not an empty promise.”

— Twitter's new CEO Linda Yaccarino pledged a Twitter 2.0 as the world's most accurate source of real-time information and a global public square for communication, a week after taking over from Elon Musk. The troubled platform will undergo major transformations after numerous complaints about identity theft, propaganda, misinformation and hate speech, especially after Elon Musk fired 80% of Twitter's staff and removed content moderation.

✍️ Newsletter by Marine Béguin, Yannick Champion-Osselin, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Chloé Touchard

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No Male Doctors For Women Patients — Iran Doubles Down On Gender Segregation

Recovering from the shock of Iran's 2022 mass protests, the clerical regime has vigorously resumed its campaign to enforce Islamic hijab rules. But it is also pushing for gender segregation in big buildings like hospitals.

A veiled women walks by a red wall painted with dark blue bats in the center

A woman in a black chador walks past a mural painting along the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran

Rouzbeh Fouladi / ZUMA

Iran's deputy-chief prosecutor, Ghulam Abbas Turki, has instructed the country's health ministry to prevent male physicians from treating female patients, saying this is a violation of morals and the law.

Turki wrote in a letter published on Sept. 14 that men working in a technical and non-technical capacity in "certain clinics" were creating "problems and difficulties for respectable ladies and their families" and even causing them "emotional and psychological problems."

Article 290 of the country's criminal code is designed to address this, he wrote. A shortage of women's clinics like birthing centers, especially in provincial districts, is forcing women into hospitals with male staff, Turki wrote — therefore, the ministry must reorganize to ensure it had the necessary female staff, from specialists to GPs, technicians, anaesthetists and nurses, across the country.

Gender segregation was on the Islamic Republic's agenda almost as soon as it took power early in 1979, and it has since sought to implement it where it could. Most recently, following mass rioting in 2022 that was in part a revolt against the Iranian regime's forceful moralizing, the state has resumed efforts to enforce its hijab or public modesty and dress norms.

Last month, Armita Geravand, an Iranian teenage girl died after reports that she was accosted by officials on Tehran's Metro while not wearing a headscarf. Geravand's death comes after her being in a coma for weeks in Tehran and after the one-year anniversary of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini which sparked nationwide protests at the time.

Beyond the hijab crackdown, the regime is also now taking a step further with gender segregation.This was evident in a flurry of communiqués and instructions issued in past months to public bodies, including hospitals. More importantly, the parliamentary legal affairs committee has approved a 70-article Hijab and Modesty Bill (Layehe-ye hejab va efaf) the judiciary proposed to parliament in the spring of 2023.

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