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In The News

Live Execution Of Ukrainian Soldier, 343 Migrants In Mexico Truck, Smiling Sphinx

Photo of an Egyptian archaeological mission which discovered a sphinx statue inside a Roman-era limestone cabin. According to the ministry, archaeologists think the statue’s smiling features may be those of the Roman emperor Claudius.​

An Egyptian archaeological mission discovered a sphinx statue inside a Roman-era limestone cabin. According to the ministry, archaeologists think the statue’s smiling features may be those of the Roman emperor Claudius.

Emma Albright, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Akkam!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Kyiv demands answers about a video that appears to show a captured Ukrainian soldier shot in cold blood, hundreds of migrants are found in an abandoned truck in Mexico and archaeologists unearth an ancient sphinx with an enigmatic smile. Meanwhile, Argentine daily Clarín takes us on a modern van-life Odyssey that’s reached the 20-year mark.

[*Oromo, Ethiopia]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Reinforcements sent to Bakhmut, investigation into killing of Ukrainian prisoner: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that reinforcements will be sent to Ukrainian troops to continue defending the eastern city of Bakhmut. Meanwhile, Ukraine has demanded the International Criminal Court investigate footage circulating on social media allegedly showing Russian forces killing a Ukrainian prisoner of war with a series of blasts from assault weapons.

• Qatar appoints new prime minister after resignation of Sheikh Khalid: Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has appointed Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani as the country’s new prime minister following the resignation of Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdelaziz Al Thani. Sheikh Mohammed had served as Qatar’s foreign minister since 2016.

• Pentagon chief’s unannounced trip to Iraq: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made an unannounced trip to Iraq on Tuesday almost 20 years after the U.S.-led invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein, emphasizing Washington’s commitment to keeping its military presence in the country. The United States currently has 2,500 troops in Iraq to help advise and assist local troops in combating Islamic State.

• Hundreds of migrants found in abandoned truck in Mexico: Mexican authorities found 343 migrants and refugees, including 103 unaccompanied minors, in an abandoned freight truck container on the side of a highway in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. It was on a route often used by smugglers to bring people from southeastern Mexico to the United States border. Authorities said the people were in good health and it was unclear why the driver fled.

• Search underway for 4 Americans abducted in Mexico: A search is currently underway for four U.S. citizens kidnapped in northeastern Mexico last week after apparently getting caught in a crossfire which left one Mexican dead. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said his "entire government" was working to obtain the release of the four U.S. citizens.

• Japan forced to destroy new rocket after failed launch: Japan was forced to blow up its new rocket during a failed launch on Tuesday. Its space agency had to send a self-destruct command to the H3 rocket when its second-stage engine failed minutes after lift-off. Observers say it is a significant setback for Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency.

• “Smiling” mini-sphinx unearthed in Egypt: Archaeologists have discovered a sphinx-like statue and the remains of a shrine in an ancient temple in southern Egypt. The limestone sphinx with its "smiley face and two dimples" is thought to represent Roman Emperor Claudius. The artifacts were found near the Hathor Temple, one of Egypt's best-preserved ancient sites.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

French newspaper La Croix dedicates its front page to the start of the new stage of mobilization against the broadly contested plans to reform pensions in France, currently reviewed by the Senate. Unions have called for a sixth day of strike across all sectors to "block the country" this Tuesday. From schools to transports, the movement could bring the country ‘to a standstill’ for days since it has no pre-arranged end date and could be renewed until, at least, the end of the week.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

3,487

Thousands of sea lions have died in Peru after an outbreak of bird flu, reports Peru’s National Service of Protected Areas by the State (SERNANP). Avian flu or H5N1, has spread across multiple species in the country. At least 3,487 sea lions have been found dead due to the virus, according to the agency which makes up over 3% of Peru’s sea lion population.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

This Argentine couple turned a road trip into a way of life, 20 years and counting

After years of exploring the continent in a van, a couple from Buenos Aires asks: Should they ever go back to "normal" life? A report from Penélope Canónico in Argentine daily Clarín.

🚐 Patricia Fehr and Germán de Córdova, a young Argentine couple, began exploring the American continent by van in 2003. They set out from San Nicolás de los Arroyos, near Buenos Aires, with plans to drive from southern Argentina to northern Alaska in a year. That year turned into five years, and now they're still at it, currently in Mexico. This modern Odyssey was driven in part by the couple's love of photography and their fascination with indigenous American cultures.

💻 The couple describe themselves as digital nomads and freelancers, and specifically amunches, which means traveler in Mapuche, an indigenous language in what is now Chile and Argentina. Their daughter is named Inti, which means sun in the indigenous Quechua language. In 2017, they published a photography book, Amunches: Bajo un nuevo sol ("Travelers: Under a New Sun), depicting the faces and traditions of some of the continent's indigenous people.

📖 Early on, the couple decided the tour would be cultural and educational, which meant interacting with ethnic communities en route. "While traveling, we've been compiling popular knowledge and cultural references from grandparents," especially related to the environment, says Patricia. These contacts have in turn become an educational project for children on diversity.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

“This is like the first button in the shirt being put wrong.”

— Qin Gang, China's former ambassador to the U.S., said during his first press conference as foreign minister on Tuesday, responding to a question on U.S.-China relations and explaining that Washington was wrong to consider Beijing “as its primary rival and the most consequential geopolitical challenge.” He also warned of potential conflict as tensions have heightened between the two countries since the spy balloon incident, if the U.S. “does not put on the brakes and continues to roar down the wrong road.”

✍️ Newsletter by Emma Albright, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet


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food / travel

Meet Blanca Alsogaray, The First Woman To Win Cuba's "Oscar Of Cigars"

For the first time, Cuba's prestigious annual cigar festival recognized a woman, Alsogaray, owner of an iconic cigar shop in Buenos Aires, as the top representative of this celebrated lifeline of the Cuban economy.

Photo of a woman smoking a cigar.

Alsogaray smoking a cigar at her shop in Buenos Aires

Mariana Iglesias

BUENOS AIRES — Cigars are traditionally reserved for a man's world. But this year, for the first time, a Latin American woman has won one of three awards given at the 23rd Habano Festival in Cuba.

Every year since 2000, the Festival has gathered the top players in the world of Cuban cigars including sellers, distributors, specialists and aficionados. A prize is given to an outstanding personality in one of three areas: production, communication and sales. The latter went to Blanca Alsogaray, owner of the Buenos Aires shop La Casa del Habano. She says these prizes are not unlike the "Oscars of cigars."

"It's a sexist world for sure, but I won," she said of a prize which was called "Habano Man" (Hombre habano) until this year, when the word was changed for her.

"It recognizes a lifetime's work, which I consider so important as Argentina isn't an easy place for business, and less so being a woman." She was competing with two men. "In truth," she added. "I really do deserve it."

Alsogaray opened her shop in 1993. At the time there were only two sellers anywhere of Cuba's premium, hand-rolled cigars, the other one being in Mexico. Now habanos are sold in 150 outlets worldwide. "I want to celebrate these 30 years, and the prize. We're going to have a big party," she said. The firm celebrated its 30th anniversary on May 16.

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