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In The News

Israel Raids West Bank, France Riots Abate, Philippines Tourism Lies

Israel Raids West Bank, France Riots Abate, Philippines Tourism Lies

Palestinian militants fight off with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Jenin on July 3. Five Palestinians were killed and dozens injured as part of a large-scale Israeli air-and-land operation in the area.

Yannick Champion-Osselin, Emma Albright, Michelle Courtois and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Aniin!*

Welcome to Monday, where at least five are killed as Israel launches a large-scale operation in the West Bank, China sees hottest six months on record, and a Filipino advertising agency gets caught using videos from foreign countries. Meanwhile, we look at the origins of France’s particular “tradition” of car burning.

[*Ojibwe, Canada]


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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• Israel launches military operation against Palestinian camp: At least five people have been killed Monday after the Israeli army launched a major military operation in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank against "terrorist infrastructure." The Jenin camp, which has existed since the 1950s, is home to around 14,000 people.

• Ukrainian children’s fate: Russia has responded to international accusations of Ukrainian children being illegally deported, with Russian Member of Parliament Grigory Karasin saying that “700,000 children have found refuge with us, fleeing the bombing and shelling from the conflict areas in Ukraine.” Meanwhile, the Hague has opened an international probe to investigate the ‘Crime of Aggression’ associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

• Fewer arrests in France as rioting continues: Rioting in the outskirts of major French cities continued for a fifth night, with some 300 cars torched. Police note what appears to be a gradual decrease in violence, with 157 arrests overnight, compared to some 700 arrests the night before and more than 1,300 on Friday. The upheaval began after a teenager was shot dead by the police during a traffic stop on Tuesday.

• Illness rampant as fighting reignites in Sudan:A suspected measles outbreak at displacement camps in Sudan’s White Nile state has killed at least 13 children, reports Doctors Without Borders. This comes as health conditions in Sudan worsen amid fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF)in the capital Khartoum.

• Record breaking number of hot days registered in China: Over the past six months, China has recorded its highest number of hot days since record-keeping began, in the latest sign of the worsening climate crisis. Beijing suffered 14 days of record breaking heat since the beginning of the year, only beaten by the capital of Hebei province’s 17 days.

• “Visit Philippines” ad uses foreign footage: A Filipino advertising agency has come under fire after it used foreign stock footage in a promotional video for the country’s new tourism campaign, “Love the Philippines.” The ad used "non-original shots" showing places in Brazil, Indonesia, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.


French tightrope walker Nathan Paulin had Barcelona crowds tilt their head back yesterday, as he walked along a cable installed “70 meters above the ground,” as Barcelona-based daily El Periódico reports. The performance, part of the GREC arts festival, saw Paulin walk 350 meters between two buildings on the Plaça Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia. Last year, the 29-year-old daredevil made headlines by setting a new tightroping world record, completing a 2.2 km-long trip between a crane and the famous Mont Saint-Michel abbey in northern France.



Tesla surpassed expectations in the second quarter of 2023, announcing on Sunday that it produced 460,211 vehicles and delivered 446,915. The figures are a major improvement from last year, where in the second quarter of 2022, Tesla reported 254,695 deliveries and produced 258,580. The company has set an ambitious target of 1.8 million deliveries this year, as Reuters reports.


Why do French protesters burn so many cars?

Cars burning in French streets has been a familiar site at protests for decades. What explains this particular "tradition" of public lashing out?

🚘 Following a police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel M. during a traffic stop on Tuesday, France has been plunged into the kind of popular uprising and street clashes that we've seen elsewhere in the world against police violence. Police say that at least 2,000 cars were set on fire, and 3,880 other blazes were reported at the protests around the country. It would seem counting the number of burned cars after nights of social unrest has become something of a tradition in France. But why?

🔥 Oddly, the practice is believed to trace back to something of a twisted "celebration." During the late 1990s, a trend of burning cars on New Year's Eve emerged in certain neighborhoods of the eastern city of Strasbourg. The car fires spread across France and acquired an almost ritualistic nature. Two French sociologists, Gérard Mauger and Michel Wieviorka, explained that the phenomenon evolved from a competition between suburb districts, trying to outdo each other in the number of times their district makes the headlines.

📺 The level of attention from the media is of course a factor. The sight of cars engulfed in flames on dimly lit streets captures interest and highlights the collective frustration experienced by a community in response to certain events. “If it's not too shocking to say, it seems to me that this ‘French phenomenon’ is the result of cooperation between the media and the gangs living on the estates,” Mauger told France Info.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“To the people breaking things right now, I say: Stop it.”

— Five days after the killing of her 17-year-old grandson by a police officer in the Paris suburb of Nanterre sparked widespread violence across the country, Nahel's grandmother, Nadia, is calling for calm. "We don't want them to break things," She told French news channel BFMTV, adding that she believes "It's a good thing the police are here,” and that vandals and looters “are using Nahel as a pretext.”

✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin, Emma Albright, Michelle Courtois and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Wagner Group 2.0: Why Russia's Mercenary System Is Here To Stay

Many had predicted that the death last month of Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin meant the demise of the mercenary outfit. Yet signs in recent days say the private military outfit is active again in Ukraine, a reminder of the Kremlin's interest in continuing a private fighting formula that has worked all around the world.

Photograph of a Wagner soldier in the city of Artyomovsk, holding a rifle.

Ukraine, Donetsk Region - March 24, 2023: A Wagner Group soldier guards an area in the city of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut).

Cameron Manley


“Let’s not forget that there is no Wagner Group anymore,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had declared. “Such an organization, in our eyes, does not exist.”

The August 25 statement from came less than two days after the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the infamous Russian mercenary outfit, as questions swirled about Wagner's fate after its crucial role in the war in Ukraine and other Russian military missions around the world.

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

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How could an independent military outfit survive after its charismatic founder's death? It seemed highly unlikely that President Vladimir Putin would allow the survival of a group after had launched a short-lived coup attempt in late June that most outside observers believe led to Prigozhin's private airplane being shot down by Russian forces on August 23.

"Wagner is over,” said the Kremlin critic and Russian political commentator Maksim Katz. “The group can’t keep going. There’s the possibility that they could continue in parts or with Defense Ministry contracts, but the group only worked with an unofficial agreement between Putin and Prigozhin.”

Yet barely a month later, and there are already multiple signs that the Wagner phoenix is rising from the ashes.

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