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In The News

$66 Billion For Ukraine’s Future, Sub Saga’s Grim Ending, Frenchman In Texas

$66 Billion For Ukraine’s Future, Sub Saga’s Grim Ending, Frenchman In Texas

French basketball phenom Victor Wembanyama walks on stage after he was selected first overall by the San Antonio Spurs at the NBA draft.

Yannick Champion-Osselin, Chloé Touchard & Marine Béguin

👋 здраво*

Welcome to Friday, where international donors have pledged $66 billion to rebuild Ukraine, sub debris confirms five passengers’ deaths and San Antonio, Texas has another Frenchman to fall in love with. We also feature a story from independent Russian outlet Agents Media on how Moscow is grooming its future politicians on the frontline in Ukraine.

[*Zdravo - Macedonian]


This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.

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• Ukraine’s EU membership bid progress: Ukraine is “on track” with the reforms needed to meet the conditions that would allow it to become a member of the European Union, said Oliver Varhelyi, the EU's Enlargement Commissioner. Moldova’s status has also moved forward, having acquired candidacy at the same time as Ukraine last year. The EU has also imposed more sanctions on Russia and its allies, as the UN General Secretary called out Moscow for killing children.

• Donors pledge $66 billion to rebuild Ukraine: Foreign donors promised $66 billion to Ukraine to help the country rebuild following the Russian invasion. At the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, the EU pledged 50 billion euros ($55bn) to the cause. The UK and U.S. also made new financial commitments. Spread over years, the money will help rebuild critical infrastructure, homes and hospitals.

• Sub passengers killed in “catastrophic implosion”: Pieces of the missing deep sea submarine Titan have been found, which authorities say confirms that the five passengers were killed by what looks like a “catastrophic implosion.” A robotic diving vehicle found remains of the Titan 488 meters from the tourist vessel's goal, the Titanic wreck. This brings an end to the days-long search by international teams to rescue the five men. U.S. Navy officials now say they heard what was suspected to be the submersible’s implosion hours after it launched, but were not certain what had happened, which paved the way for the massive search.

• Hundreds of migrants rescued off Spanish Islands: At least 227 migrants have been rescued in 24 hours from four boats near Spain's Canary Islands. Authorities say that at least two people have died and many more are still missing, with migrants sent to hospitals across the island chain. This comes a day after NGOs reported that more than 30 migrants may have drowned nearby after their dinghy sank.

• Historic heatwave in Beijing: The Chinese capital has recorded its hottest day in 60 years, hitting 41.1 °C (105.9 °F). The national weather bureau in China sent out a heat stroke alert two weeks earlier than usual. There are also fears for China’s energy grid as the demand for air conditioning increases.

• Meta ends news sharing in Canada: After Canada passed a new law that forces social media giants to strike deals with media publishers (or face penalties if they don’t), the parent company of Facebook and Instagram announced it would block news sharing on both platforms across the country.

• Hasbro revives the Furby: An iconic early 2000s robotic toy, the Furby, is being brought back by U.S. giant Hasbro. The colorful fluffy animatronic toy can interact and “speak” with other Furby and people, reacting to commands, pats and tickles. With its familiar bulbous eyes and yellow beak, Hasbro hopes that the once hugely popular toy will help boost slowing sales.


French daily Libération features Lula on its front page with the Portuguese word for “Disappointment,” ahead of the Brazilian president’s meeting with Emmanuel Macron today to discuss the Mercosur trade deal between South America and Europe. The agreement was halted by Brazil under Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency, but is set to be finalized by the end of the year amid tough negotiations. “If we are strategic partners, then one cannot threaten the other,” said Lula in a weekly live broadcast on social media. The Brazilian president will then attend a summit on global inequality and climate change with 50 other world leaders.



Ankush Dutta was supposed to spend one night at the Roseate House, a five-star hotel in Delhi, India, in 2019, but instead stayed for 603. He allegedly paid off hotel staff and falsified accounts in order to stay the extra 602 nights, accumulating $70,000 worth of unpaid bills.


How Russia is grooming future politicians on the frontline in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine will have a lasting impact on the political landscape of both Russia and Ukraine, regardless of its ultimate outcome. Independent Russian publication Agents Media suggests that the ongoing conflict will shape the country’s future decision-makers.

🎖️ Throughout history, wars have been a breeding ground for future political leaders: from victorious commanders like Napoleon and Dwight D. Eisenhower, to foot soldiers who run for elected office on the strength of their battlefield heroics. Early accounts of the intermingling of politics and war date back to ancient Rome, where military service was a prerequisite for entering political life. The same dynamic is sure to occur after the war in Ukraine.

🗳️ Independent Russian news site Agents Media reports that Moscow is already grooming prospective Russian politicians among those currently fighting in Ukraine, offering evidence of aspiring politicians who are laying the foundation of their careers at the front line. With Russian regional elections set for September, parties are already banking on candidates who have fought in the war.

🇷🇺🇺🇦 While the result of the war remains uncertain, it has already had a profound impact on Russia and Ukraine. The crucible of conflict has the power to shape the future direction of both nations. Back home, those who have risked their lives on the front lines may be valued for their experiences and proven commitment to their countries, and could have the potential to assume leadership roles

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“I can’t let my mother languish in prison.”

— Kim Aris, the son of Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, is urging the army to free his mother after she was sentenced to 33 years in prison after a coup overthrew her government in 2021. In his first-ever interview with BBC’s Burmese-language network, Kim Aris denounces the lack of information on his mother's state of health provided by the army, and asks for help from international organizations. Since then, Myanmar has been plunged into a civil war that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.

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

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Migrant Lives

A Train Journey With Bengal Migrants Looking For A Living Far Away

Finding a seat on the Karmabhoomi Express is close to impossible. A closer look at why so many migrant workers travel on it, and out of Bengal, offers a grim picture.

image of a train

The Karmabhoomi Express runs from Kamakhya to Mumbai in a 3 day journey.

India Rail Info
Joydeep Sarkar

WEST BENGAL — Welcome aboard the 22512 Kamakhya-LTT Karmabhoomi Express — a metaphor, if any, of the acuteness of Bengal’s unemployment problem.

It is 10.28 pm at north Bengal’s Alipurduar Junction and the crowd has swollen to its peak. This is when the Karmabhoomi Express appears at the station. It is bound for Mumbai. Finding a seat on it is close to impossible. It is always chock full and there are always hundreds struggling to get a spot in the unreserved general compartment.

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