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Men sitting on a bench in front of a damaged official building in Enerhodar, in the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine.
Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger

👋 សួស្តី!*

Welcome to Thursday, where the team of UN nuclear experts have arrived at Zaporizhzhia after being delayed by shelling, the UN reports “serious human rights violations” in China’s treatment of Muslim minorities, and Serena Williams’ on-court interview goes viral. And for Global Press Journal, Coraly Cruz Mejías looks at the effects of Puerto Rico’s updated gun laws.

[*Susadei - Khmer, Cambodia]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

IAEA experts arrive at nuclear plant: IAEA experts have arrived at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant for a mission to ensure its safety, after their travel was delayed for hours due to continued shelling in the Ukrainian-controlled area.

• China simulates military attacks: In a report, Taiwan’s defense ministry said China has been simulating military attacks on U.S. vessels “and is aiming to prevent foreign forces from coming to Taiwan’s aid” if a war between the two countries was launched. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s military shot down an unidentified drone after several Chinese intrusions into its airspace.

• Iraq’s violent clashes move south: New violent clashes erupted in the southern city of Basra in Iraq between Shi’ite Muslim militants, leaving at least four killed. This happened two days after political unrest in Baghdad following the resignation of an influential cleric.

• UN report on China’s “crimes against humanity”: A long-awaited UN report released on Wednesday reveals that China may have committed “serious human rights violations” against Xinjiang Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities that could amount to “crimes against humanity.” China denies the allegations and had previously called on the UN not to release the report.

• Truck crash near school in Indonesia kills 10: At least 10 people were killed and 20 people were injured, including children, in a truck crash outside of a school on the outskirts of Indonesia's capital of Jakarta. An investigation is underway as to know if the brakes failed.

• Sarah Palin loses special election in Alaska: Republican candidate and former governor of Alaska and Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin lost the special election for Alaska’s only U.S. House vacant seat, defeated by Democrat Mary Peltola.

• “La Tomatina” catchup: The world’s largest food fight, “La Tomatina” festival, is back in Buñol, Spain, after the past two editions were canceled due the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of people splattered each other with tomato pulp.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Argentine daily Pagina 12 reveals that policemen were armed with illegal lethal munitions during recent clashes with protesters. A lawsuit has been opened against the "men of lead", as protests continue in the wake of Vice President Cristina Kirshner's conviction to 12 years in prison for defrauding the state.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

7.6 million

In 2021, China recorded its lowest rate of marriage since 1986, with only 7.6 million ceremonies registered. With 1.4 billion people, China is the most populated country on the globe, yet it is also facing a demographic crisis, a consequence of the one-child policy implemented until 2016. The government is hoping that its new third-child policy and financial measures will encourage young people to start a family, and say “I do”.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Puerto Rico faces its own gun culture problem

Gun sales have soared since a 2020 law made the process faster, easier and cheaper, reports Coraly Cruz Mejías in Global Press Journal.

🇵🇷⚖️ In 2020, the Puerto Rico Weapons Act made legally obtaining and carrying a firearm much easier. While this law may have brought Puerto Rico’s gun regulations in line with the Constitution of the United States, other factors underscored the push: a perception that crime is on the rise, that the police are helpless in tackling it — and that carrying a gun is an effective self-defense measure. Crime and police data from the past 50 years, however, show that these perceptions don’t match reality: Violent crime has been in decline for two decades in Puerto Rico, and the number of police officers per capita is well above the U.S. national average.

🇺🇸 It is true that previous gun regulations never stopped illegal guns from flowing into Puerto Rico. The region’s gun-related crime levels are higher than in most states in the United States. While Puerto Rico rarely has mass shootings in public places, some fear that the updated weapons law will only fan the flames in a region long troubled by gun violence.

🆕 Among the changes enshrined by the Puerto Rico Weapons Act of 2020 are the scrapping of a requirement for gun owners to be registered with a shooting range; eliminating a requirement to submit a declaration by three people attesting to the license applicant’s character; and limiting the deadline for the police to grant a gun license from 120 to 30 days.“I was motivated [to buy a firearm] for my own security, of my business and of my family,” says Raonel Marrero Lebrón, a 36-year-old restaurant owner in Mayagüez, a coastal town in western Puerto Rico, who obtained his license last year.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

I'm just Serena.

— Tennis legend Serena Williams clinched another victory in the U.S. Open in New York on Wednesday, where she reached the third round by defeating world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-2. As she was asked by an interviewer if she surprised herself with her level, Williams replied confidently that she was “just Serena,” which went viral on social media and even prompted praise from U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.

✍️ Newsletter by Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger


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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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