When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in.

You've reach your limit of free articles.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime.


Ad-free experience NEW

Exclusive international news coverage

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Monthly Access

30-day free trial, then $2.90 per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
In The News

Good And Bad News For Putin 100 Days After Invasion

Good And Bad News For Putin 100 Days After Invasion

Destruction in Kharkiv

One hundred days after Vladimir Putin launched an apparent all-or-nothing invasion of Ukraine, the reality is neither all nor nothing. The Russian president is no doubt comforting himself with news that his troops are progressing in the southeastern Donbas region. President Volodymyr Zelensky reported Thursday that Russia by now controls up to 20% of Ukrainian territory.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Of course the Feb. 24 assault was presented as a blitzkrieg, across much of Ukraine, with Kremlin plans to quickly take over Kyiv and push Zelensky’s elected government out of power. The world braced itself for a new era of imperialistic ambitions from Moscow.

That, of course, did not happen. And by all accounts, it won’t happen.

Putin clearly miscalculated both militarily and diplomatically — and historically. The Russian army was supposed to roll over Ukrainian forces, and be welcomed by Russian-speaking locals. But

The Russian president had also hoped his winter invasion would divide Europe, which has divergent attitudes towards Moscow and counts on Russia for its energy supplies. But apart from an outlier or two like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the West is remarkably united in imposing unprecedented sanctions and supplying Ukraine with much needed heavy weaponry.

Now, after 100 days, the view of where the war is heading as blurry as ever. And the nuclear threat, occasionally brandished by voices in the Kremlin, cannot be brushed aside.

But this is also the moment to note what we have seen all too clearly since Putin’s fateful decision to invade: the suffering of ordinary Ukrainians.

Reported by Ukrinform, U.S. Permanent Representative to OSCE Michael Carpenter summed up the war so far: "15 weeks of atrocities. 15 weeks of atrocities. 15 weeks of violence, with so many reports of executions, forced deportations, rapes, filtering camps and destruction that it becomes difficult to fully understand the scale of the massacre by the Russian Federation,” Carpenter said. “And after 15 long weeks there is still no the end of the horrors that Russia is deliberately committing against the civilian population of Ukraine."

La Repubblica (Italy)

Trouw (Netherlands)

Publico (Portugal)

Večernji (Croatia)

Daily Sabah (Turkey)

Die Presse (Austria)

Le Temps (Switzerland)

Blic (Serbia)

Putin Treated For Cancer, According To U.S. Report

Vladimir Putin

Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin Pool/Planet Pix/ZUMA

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s health is once again stirring the U.S. intelligence community, which recently produced its fourth assessment of the topic at the end of May.

Newsweek reports that U.S. officials believe that Putin seems to have recovered after treatment for advanced cancer in April. On top of that, the U.S. intel sources also indicate that there was an assassination attempt on Putin’s life in March.

This report adds to the whispers about Putin’s health, including rumors of Parkinson’s, his slouched appearance on television, or his suddenly bloated face.

Russian Navy Flexes Muscles In Pacific

The Yunga anti-submarine ship takes part in the Kumzha 2022 naval drills held by the Russian Northern Fleet in the Barents Sea

Northern Fleet Press Office/TASS/Zuma

The Russian Navy started large-scale manoeuvres in the Pacific Ocean, which will carry on through June 10, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

The exercises will involve more than 40 warships, including the control ship Marshal Krylov, the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov, large anti-submarine ships and corvettes, small anti-submarine ships, minesweepers and missile boats, as well as support vessels.

Within the framework of the exercises there will be worked out "practical actions on overcoming sea areas with mine danger and training artillery firing at mock-up floating mines that bring danger to peaceful navigation," said the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation.

The Russian Navy has faced mines and attacks from Ukrainian forces, most notably the sinking of the warship Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, on April 14.

Russia Stirring Trouble In The Balkans

Skyline of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Marcus Valance/SOPA/ZUMA

Even with no end in sight to the war in Ukraine, Russia may be plotting to destabilize the Balkans by the end of this year, reports Alexander Demchenko, for Kyiv-based Livy Bereg. The Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bisera Turković, warned that the plan for a breakaway Republika Srpska, one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, may start this autumn. Read more here, in English via Worldcrunch.

UN Aid Chief In Moscow To Negotiate Grain Exports

Grain storage tanks are pictured at the Mariupol commercial sea port

Vladimir Gerdo/TASS/Zuma

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths, is in Moscow to discuss clearing the way for exports of grain and other goods from Ukraine’s ports on the Black Sea. Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is trying to arrange a “package deal” to resume Ukrainian food exports previously disrupted by Russia.

Russia’s defense ministry said on Thursday that vessels carrying grain can leave Ukraine’s ports in the Black Sea via “humanitarian corridors,” and Russia is ready to guarantee their safety, reported Interfax news agency.

Meanwhile in Ankara, Kyiv’s ambassador to Turkey said that is one of the countries buying grain that Russia stole from Ukraine. This comes after Russian forces reopened the port of Mariupol after having fully occupied the city and demining the waters surrounding it.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has fueled a global food crisis, spiking the prices of grain, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer.

Forced Deportation Of Children Key To Genocide Case Against Russia

Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova at a press conference

Alyona Nikolayevich/Ukrinform/Zuma

Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, leading Ukraine’s war crimes inquiries, said a vital part of the evidence in the case for genocide against Russia is alleged forced deporation of Ukrainian children.

Venediktova told Reuters: "We have more than 20 cases about forcible transfer of people" to Russia from various regions in Ukraine and other neighboring countries since the invasion began on Feb. 24. "From the first days of the war, we started this case about genocide."

Forced mass deportations of people is a war crime, she explained, and may help meet the rigorous legal definition of genocide: "That's why this forcible transfer of children is very important for us."

Return Of Embassies In Kyiv

Volodymyr Zelensky announced in his nightly address the return of 50 more embassies to Ukraine’s capital: “More and more embassies resume their full fledged activities in Kyiv. This is very important not only in practice- for the work of the diplomats, but also on a symbolic level. Every new embassy that returns to our capital is a testament to the faith in our victory.”

These remarks came as the Ministry of External Affairs of India said that its embassy in Kyiv, which was temporarily carrying out operations from Poland, would resume its operations in Ukraine’s capital.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Parenthood, Redefined: 11 Hard Questions About Surrogacy

Contributing biologically to a child's creation no longer directly implies parenthood. Surrogacy has shaken up traditional ideas and beliefs about sexuality, reproduction and filiation. The author poses key questions that must be answered to ensure that surrogacy is driven by both science and ethics.

Image of four adults and two children walking by the water in Shanghai

Family at waterside in Shanghai

Loola Pérez

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. This week, we also feature an article by Loola Pérez for Spanish online media ethic on how surrogacy has shaken up traditional ideas and beliefs about sexuality, reproduction and filiation. But first, the latest news...

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

TW: This content may address topics and include references to violence that some may find distressing.

🌐 5 things to know right now

• Colorado signs new gun control laws in wake of 2022 ClubQ shooting: Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed four new gun control bills into law, five months after the ClubQ shooting in Colorado Springs. These new laws include raising the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21, establishing a waiting period and background check, removing liability protections for gun manufacturers, and expanding the state's red flag law. The red flag law allows law enforcement, family members, and roommates to request the temporary removal of firearms from someone who is believed to be a danger to others or themselves, and prevents them from purchasing more weapons. A gun rights group has already slammed a lawsuit against Polis.

• Anti-gay legislators in Ghana stir up homophobia for political gain: Lawmakers behind an anti-LGBTQ bill in Ghana are using homophobia to secure votes for their re-election, according to LGBTQ rights group Rightify Ghana. The group cites a recent article in the Anchor newspaper which alleges that "homosexual cash" is being used in local political campaigns. However, the article lacks concrete evidence and uses speculative language. It primarily focuses on raising funds for Samuel George, a parliament member who has been a vocal supporter of the anti-LGBTQ bill.

• Turkish President Erdoğan’s anti-LGBTQ+ statement ahead of May 14 elections: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated during a speech in Izmir, that “LGBT people will not emerge in Turkey”, where “the foundations of the family are stable”. He has been known to speak out against the LGBTQ+ community and accused opposition parties of being pro-LGBT just days before falling ill. Erdoğan also urged young voters to avoid these parties and claimed that the People's Alliance, including his own party, was walking on the path of the "holy family."

• Saudi Arabia claims to welcome LGBTQ+ tourists: Despite Saudi Arabia's track record of anti-LGBTQ+ violence and lack of rights for queer residents, the country's tourist website has updated its official advice to LGBTQ+ travelers. The site's help section now lists the question "Are LGBT visitors welcome in Saudi Arabia?" and responds, "Everyone is welcome to visit our country." However, the country remains one of the few where homosexuality is punishable by death, and LGBTQ+ activists and public figures have faced persecution, lashings, and imprisonment for offending "public morality."

• Edith Surreal wins Enjoy Wrestling championship in all LGBTQ+ match: Edith Surreal, an out LGBTQ+ wrestler, won the Enjoy Wrestling championship title after defeating MV Young in a brutal fight at Pittsburgh's "Rites of Spring" event. This event was broadcasted recently on Enjoy Wrestling's official YouTube channel and marked a major moment in the young promotion's history. The main event fight between Surreal and Young closed out the season on Thursday.

Parenthood, Redefined: 11 Hard Questions About Surrogacy

We live in a rapidly changing society, particularly when it comes to interpersonal and familial relationships. Assisted reproductive technology (hereafter ART) has shaken traditional ideas about sexuality, reproduction and filiation.

The act of child creation now goes beyond the sexual encounter between a man and a woman. Not only is reproduction without sex possible, it is also possible that there is no filial relationship between the participants who conceive a baby.

In some cases, those who gestate do not use their own eggs, such as with partner-assisted reproduction (ROPA) for couples who both possess female reproductive organs, often lesbians. In another example, sperm donors renounce their parental rights over the babies conceived.

To put it another way, contributing biologically to the birth of a child does not directly imply parenthood. The mother is no longer necessarily the one who gives birth, despite what ancient Roman law may have decreed, nor the one who provides the ovum for the gestation. Likewise, the father is no longer unquestionably the one who physically inseminates, or donates the sperm.

No international consensus

Medical advances in the last 40 years have revolutionized biological reproduction. Biological heredity is no longer synonymous with true parenthood. Inevitably, this has had a social and legal impact around kinship. Parenthood is the result of loving and caring for a child, rather than having engaged in a physical act (reproduction), providing genetic material (gametes) or carrying a baby in the womb for nine months (gestation).

If the history of humanity can hardly be understood without the history of technology, the changing history of the family cannot be understood today without knowing the progress of reproductive technologies.

ART opened up a world of possibilities for people who experience infertility for medical reasons (i.e. due to disease, illness or injury) or who experience "structural infertility" as a single individual or same-sex couple wishing to have a child. This world of possibilities has given rise to an important (and exciting) legal, social, political and ethical debate, without any international consensus.

Risk of reproductive tourism

Currently, here in Spain, surrogacy has become a major political issue. To be clear, surrogacy is defined as a person voluntarily — for altruistic or financial reasons — agreeing to gestate a baby and then entrust it to the intended parents after the birth. After prior agreement between the parties, gestation occurs as a result of artificial insemination or with an oocyte provided by the gestating person or by implanting an embryo that may (or may not) come from the intended parents. For people who wish to become single parents through surrogacy, the genetic material may or may not be their own — or may be partly their own and partly from a donor.

The trend is towards regulation.

Each country approaches surrogacy differently. But given the international scope of the phenomenon, the trend is towards regulation: this is the only way to keep things legal, ensure protection for pregnant women and babies, and counter reproductive tourism. On top of the duties and rights of all involved, a legal framework guarantees the respect of surrogacy and ensures that abuses and malpractice are prosecuted.

Questions raised

This has sparked arguments for and against, as well as a myriad of questions. We will conclude this exploration with a list of some of the toughest ethical and practical questions:

1. Is having children a right?

2. What criteria should be made universal to prevent surrogacy from becoming an exploitative process? Can we assure understanding of informed consent, taking mental health, individual vulnerabilities and the risk of poverty into account?

3. Should some kind of emotional or familial relationship be sought between the gestational carrier and the intended parents?

4. Should a person's freedom and bodily (and personal) autonomy be limited by states, thus preventing them from participating in surrogacy processes?

5. How far can this fit in with feminist claims of "my body, my choice," "my body is mine" until it contradicts the moral values of the Nanny State?

6. Should financial compensation for pregnancies be considered a form of exploitation?

7. Can pregnant people, in a commercial model of surrogacy, be considered patient-workers? Thus, wouldn't their human rights and labor rights be more protected in this model, similarly to those who participate in clinical trials?

8. If surrogacy is a process only affordable for the privileged, shouldn't similarly costly procedures such as IVF or cosmetic medicine operations be banned for the same reason?

Individual vs. society

9. Should surrogacy be made available only to individuals or couples experiencing infertility, or also to those experiencing “structural infertility”?

10. Would surrogacy be considered more ethical by the public if the intermediary agencies were exclusively non-profit organizations?

11. Can adoption really be considered as an alternative to surrogacy?

We are facing a debate where (individual) desires, (human) rights and (community/social) duties take on great importance. This debate could be very interesting and useful for our society, as long as we avoid intransigence, moral panic and reductionist arguments.

We have the opportunity to influence scientific progress and growth of bioethical knowledge. It is urgent that the debate should be oriented towards biomedical research, while ensuring the process and participation of all parties remains ethical, as well as civil, in our public debate.

— Loola Pérez/ethic

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Already a subscriber? Log in.

You've reach your limit of free articles.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime.


Ad-free experience NEW

Exclusive international news coverage

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Monthly Access

30-day free trial, then $2.90 per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

The latest