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Japan

U.S. To Send Controversial Shells To Kyiv, Mexico Decriminalizes Abortion, Vi$it V€nice

Photograph of a Ukrainian Armed Forces tank near Kharkiv Region, northeastern Ukraine​

Ukrainian Armed Forces tank near Kharkiv Region, northeastern Ukraine

Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Ukrinform/ZUMA
Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Valeria Berghinz and Michelle Courtois

👋 Dumêlang!*

Welcome to Thursday, where the U.S. says it will supply Ukraine with controversial uranium-based anti-tank shells, Mexico throws out all criminal penalties for abortions, and Venice will soon start charging daytrippers. Meanwhile, for French economic daily Les Echos, Leïla Marchand looks at the “Wild West” of bosses monitoring their remote workers.

[*Northern Sotho, South Africa]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• U.S. will send controversial depleted uranium tank shells to Ukraine: The U.S. has announced that a new $1-billion military and humanitarian aid package to Ukraine will include a number of controversial depleted uranium tank shells. The shells, which are capable of piercing conventional tank armor, contain uranium that nevertheless is too weak to generate a nuclear reaction. Russia has denounced the U.S. plan, calling it an “indicator of inhumanity,” in light of uranium's negative health effects. Meanwhile, the civilian death toll has risen to 17 in Wednesday’s Russian strike on a market in eastern Ukraine.

• Palestinians make demands amid Saudi-Israeli normalization negotiations: Palestinian authorities are demanding more control of West Bank territories and a cash boost in the case of a possible upcoming three-way deal between Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and Israel. U.S. officials are pushing the Saudis to recognize the Israeli state. In return, the Saudis have new demands for U.S. weapons and are seeking the implementation of a civil nuclear program.

• Mexico decriminalizes abortion: Mexico’s supreme court ordered that abortion be removed from the federal penal code, throwing out all criminal penalties for the medical procedure. The court ruled that all national laws and practices which limit access to abortion are unconstitutional and a violation of women’s rights — the country is the latest in the current Latin American trend of widening access to abortion.

• Gabon’s ex-president has been released from house arrest: Gabon’s deposed president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, has been released from house arrest following the military coup on August 30. Gabon’s military spokesman, Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi, said that due to Bongo’s health, he will be able to “travel abroad for medical check ups.” Read French writer Pierre Haski on the relation between the coups in Gabon and Niger and the “kleptocracy” inside African regimes.

Japan launches lunar exploration spacecraft: Japan launched their “moon sniper” lunar lander into space Thursday, a $100 million mission which is expected to land by February. The success of this space mission would guarantee Japan’s status as the fifth country to have landed on the moon.

• Brazilian flood toll tops 30: At least 31 people have died as a result of the extratropical cyclone which hit the Brazilian area of Rio Grande Do Sul. The storm is expected to continue impacting the region until the end of the week. According to CNN Brasil, this week’s rains are the worst natural disaster to hit the state in 40 years.

• Visit la $erenissima: Starting next spring, visitors to Venice will be charged 5 euros ($5.40) for entrance on peak days if they’re not staying the night. This initiative will make Venice the first city to charge daytrippers for entrance, and it comes at a moment of high concern for the threat of mass tourism in the Italian city. Read the different ways that cities around the world are pushing back against over-tourism.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Mexican daily El Sol de México devotes its front page to former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who was named by the country’s governing party as its candidate for the 2024 presidential elections. The close ally of current President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is term-limited out of office, will face opposition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez, in June 2024 to try to become Mexico’s first-ever female head of state.


💬 LEXICON

伤害民族感情

A recent draft law to ban wearing clothes that would hurt the nation’s feelings (伤害民族感情, pronounced Shānghài mínzú gǎnqíng) has sparked widespread debate in China. If the law comes into practice, people found guilty could be fined or jailed, though the proposal does not yet spell out what exactly constitutes a violation. The clothing law has drawn immediate reaction online, with critics questioning how law enforcement could determine how certain fashion choices could be detrimental to national sentiment. Read about last year’s attempt to crackdown on tattoos in China, in the Worldcrunch translation of the Chinese-language media Initium.

📰 STORY OF THE DAY

“Bossware” boundaries? How employers monitor you at home depends on where you live

Eye-tracking webcams, keystroke recorders, screen captures of visited sites. With the rise in remote work, employee monitoring software has become the norm in the U.S.. But in Europe, things are more complicated, writes Leïla Marchand in business daily Les Echos.

💻👀 Is there a spy in your computer? If you work in the U.S., chances are the answer is “yes.” According to several studies conducted by Gartner and Digital.com, around six out of 10 employers use software to monitor their remote workers. The Americans have even come up with a name for this kind of tool: "bossware". Teramind, Hubstaff, DeskTime, VeriClock, CleverControl... The market offers a plethora of tools.

⚠️ But even in the land of Uncle Sam, business freedom has its limits. At the beginning of May, the White House expressed concern about the boom in remote monitoring tools, and announced that it would be studying companies' use of these technologies, which it said could lead to "serious risks for workers".

🇫🇷 Where does France stand? Is software made in the USA also installed on French machines? Whether employees work remotely or on-site, French employers also have the power to monitor the proper execution of the tasks they entrust to their employees. But this power is regulated by a "principle of proportionality", says Eric Delisle, head of the legal department at the French CNIL’s (National Digital Freedom Commission). "It's normal to make sure the job is done properly. But the end doesn't justify the means. You don't swat a fly with a tank!"

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📹 THIS HAPPENED VIDEO — TODAY IN HISTORY, IN ONE ICONIC PHOTO

➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED

📣 VERBATIM

"There can be no Russian flag during the Paris Games.”

— French President Emmanuel Macron told Paris-based sports daily L'Equipe that Russia will not be “welcome” at next year's Paris Olympics and that no Russian flag will fly at the event. The leader also pointed out that it was up to the International Olympic Committee to decide upon “what place can be given to the Russian athletes.” Ukraine’s sport ministers had said Kyiv could drop its boycott threat if Russian and Belarusian athletes compete under a neutral flag. For more about the 2024 Paris Olympics, we offer this article from Les Echos, translated from French by Worldcrunch.

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Valeria Berghinz and Michelle Courtois

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Society

How WeChat Is Helping Bhutan's Disappearing Languages Find A New Voice

Phd candidate Tashi Dema, from the University of New England, discusses how social media apps, particularly WeChat, are helping to preserve local Bhutanese languages without a written alphabet. Dema argues that preservation of these languages has far-reaching benefits for the small Himalayan country's rich culture and tradition.

A monk in red performing while a sillouhet of a monk is being illuminated by their phone.

Monk performing while a sillouheted monk is on their phone

Source: Caterina Sanders/Unsplash
Tashi Dema

THIMPHU — Dechen, 40, grew up in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Her native language was Mangdip, also known as Nyenkha, as her parents are originally from central Bhutan. She went to schools in the city, where the curriculum was predominantly taught in Dzongkha, the national language, and English.

In Dechen’s house, everyone spoke Dzongkha. She only spoke her mother tongue when she had guests from her village, who could not understand Dzongkha and during her occasional visits to her village nestled in the mountains. Her mother tongue knowledge was limited.

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However, things have now changed.

With 90% of Bhutanese people using social media and social media penetrating all remotes areas in Bhutan, Dechen’s relatives in remote villages are connected on WeChat.

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