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In The News

Zelensky Visits Breached Dam Area, Australia Bans Nazi Signs, Crocodile Gets Self Pregnant

Indigenous woman wearing a traditional outfit.

Indigenous people protest in front of the Brazilian Supreme Court in Brasilia during a vote that would limit indigenous peoples’ rights.

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

👋 Сайн уу*

Welcome to Thursday, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits flood-hit Kherson, Australia announces a national ban on Nazi symbols, and a crocodile is found to have made herself pregnant. Meanwhile, we look at the increase of food counterfeiting around the world, from fake honey in Germany to Canada’s fish laundering.

[*Sain uu - Mongolian]


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.

It's easy (and free!) to sign up to receive it each day in your inbox: 👉 Sign up here


• Zelensky in Kherson region flooded after dam breach: After Tuesday's breach of the Kakhovka dam, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has visited flooded southern Kherson. Yesterday, he said it was impossible to predict how many people would die from the flooding, and criticized aid agencies for failing to help. So far, five people have been reported dead and Ukraine has evacuated 2,000 people as hundreds of thousands have been left without drinking water.

• Southern Asia’s unprecedented heatwave: Across Asia, the latest heatwave has set temperature records as climate change creates serious issues. Southeast Asia has reached once-in-200-years temperatures, with locals buffeted with 46 °C (115 °F) heat. Meanwhile in Bangladesh, frequent power cuts due to fuel shortages have worsened the heatwave’s effects, forcing schools and businesses to close.

• EU nears unified migration deal: European Union interior ministers meeting in Luxembourg are expected to approve a major deal on migration and asylum rules. The ruling would manage the reception and relocation of asylum seekers, after years of European division on the subject.

• Knife attack in France injures four children: A knife attack in a French park has left at least four young children and an adult injured, with three in critical condition. A man has been arrested following the attack in Annecy, a town in the French Alps across the border from Geneva.

• Hundreds of children rescued from Sudanese orphanage: After being trapped in an orphanage while fighting raged outside for the past six weeks, some 300 children, including infants, have been moved to a “safer location”. The al-Mayqoma orphanage’s plight made headlines as 71 of its children have died from hunger and illness since the war in Sudan began on April 15.

• Australia to ban Nazi symbols nationally: In response to a rise in far-right activity, Australia has announced it will introduce a national ban on Nazi symbols. Australians could face up to a year in prison for displaying the swastika or SS symbols in public, reinforcing state laws. The law will not cover the Nazi salute, often used by neo-nazis.

• Virgin Marygator?: The first case of a crocodile virgin birth has taken place at a zoo in Costa Rica. The crocodile became pregnant after 16 years in captivity, separated from males of her species. The fetus, which was 99.9% genetically identical to its mother, was fully formed in its egg, but stillborn. Such births, which have been found in species of birds, fish and other reptiles, might come from a trait inherited from an evolutionary ancestor, like the dinosaurs.


Canadian daily Toronto Star devotes its front page to the orange smog shrouding Canadian and U.S. cities as Canada is facing its worst wildfire season in history. Due to the harmful smoke, air quality in New York has worsened, causing the city to briefly top the list of the world’s worst air pollution.



According to data from China’s General Administration of Customs, bilateral trade between Russia and China has increased by 40.7% from January to May in 2023, compared to the same period last year, totalling more than $93.8 billion. China’s exports to Russia have also reached $42.96 billion since January 23 — a 75.6% jump compared to 2022 — making Moscow Beijing’s fastest-growing trade partner in the world. Following its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been hit by unprecedented Western sanctions, shutting the country out of much of the global economy.


Bogus honey, olive oil remix: How fraudulent foods spread around the world

What you have on your plate isn't always what you think it is. As food counterfeiting increases in the food industry and in our daily lives, some products are more likely to be "fake," and it's up to consumers to be careful.

🍯 As German daily Die Welt notes, honey is one of the most counterfeited foods in the world. And Germany would know, as the country’s local honey production covers just one third of its consumption, which means that the rest is imported — and often of poor quality. Hence the rise of honey-like products made from glucose or other sugar syrups, containing added flavors, fillers, dyes and sugars — and possibly not even any bee honey at all.

🇮🇹 Like honey, the olive oil market is rife with food fraud. Extra virgin olive oil should mean that no product has been added during the production process — but is that always true? Forbes reports that around 80% of so-called Italian olive oil available in stores is actually not from Italy, nor made entirely out of olives. Instead, it’s often poor quality oil, a mixture of vegetable oils or oil from all over the world (often Turkey, Tunisia or Syria) — anywhere except Italy, but at the price of a 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil.

🐟 Fake fish is a rampant, illegal practice, and studies show that some fish are cheap, similar-looking species passed off as more expensive products, or sold as fresh when they’ve actually been frozen. In 2022, the Guardian Seascape looked at 44 studies on seafood in markets and restaurants in more than 30 countries and reported that, of the 9,000 samples studied, 36% were falsely labeled or otherwise fraudulent.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


“I believe that anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States.”

— Former Vice President Mike Pence, now a candidate in the 2024 presidential race, slammed former President Donald Trump for his behavior that led to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol rits. During a campaign speech in Iowa, Pence accused Trump of prioritizing his own desire for power over respect for the Constitution.

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

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Poland Elections: I'm Catholic, And Will Never Vote For The Ruling Catholic Party

In this editorial for Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, former Polish Senator, Solidarność activist, Member of Parliament, and Environmental Minister Antoni Tokarczuk examines what he calls the “true motivations” of ruling party Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński, and warns against his use of the Church for his party’s gain, especially ahead of the upcoming Parliamentary elections.

Close up on a hand putting a vote in a ballot box, with the Polish flag as backdrop

Voting in Poland,

Antoni Tokarczuk


WARSAW — I had the opportunity to get to know Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński, and what really motivates his political candidacy — and the real reasons are far different than those he claims in order to pull the wool over the eyes of the Polish public.

I’m writing about this topic as a graduate of sociology from the Department of Christian Philosophy from the Catholic University of Lublin, and a currently practicing Catholic, but also as a former social and political activist, with extensive personal experience in the public arena. I was, among other things, a co-founder and member of the highest authorities of the first branch of the Solidarność ("Solidarity") movement and a participant in its underground activities, after martial law was introduced in Poland. Later, I continued my political work as a senator, Member of Parliament and as Poland’s Minister of the Environment.

But, perhaps the most important point in all of this, is that I happened to be the deputy president of the now-defunct Christian Democratic Center Agreement ("Porozumienie Centrum") political party, and Kaczyński’s direct successor at a time when he suspended his political activity. Therefore, I had a great opportunity to get to know the current Law and Justice (PiS) leader in depth.

Through this, I discovered his true approach to values and moral principles, rather than those created out of his own political calculation. As a result, I cut all contact and collaborative efforts with him, both as a politician, and as a person.

For over 20 years, I have not actively participated in the political life of this country. In this current moment, which will be a vital one on the path to Poland's future, I feel a moral imperative to speak publicly on the issue in question.

I do not want to speak as a politician, but rather as a person who is categorically opposed to the instrumental, nefarious use of the Catholic religion and its institutions for the party’s unbridled ambitions and lust for power. I am opposing the unauthorized appropriation of a religious banner, which calls itself the “only Catholic party” in order to cover up its true activities, which are in fact contrary to the essence of Christianity.

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