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La Repubblica is a daily newspaper published in Rome, Italy, and is positioned on the center-left. Founded in 1976, it is owned by Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso.
Photo of a person holding a sign that reads "TRUMP IS GUILTY" in New York on March 30
eyes on the U.S.
Ginevra Falciani and Renate Mattar

Indicted! World Reacts To Trump's Entry Into Dark Chapter Of U.S. History Books

Media outlets from Mexico to Montreal, Germany, France, Spain and beyond zeroed in on the long-anticipated news that Donald Trump will become the first current or former U.S. president ever to be charged with a crime.

The news began to spread Thursday afternoon from New York, to all points east and west, north and south: after years of investigations on multiple fronts, former U.S. President Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury following a probe into alleged hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels.

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The specific charges, not yet known, will be revealed with Trump's arraignment expected early next week. But the very fact that Trump will be arrested (replete with finger-printing and a mug shot — and perhaps handcuffs too) filled front pages around the world on Friday, including Colombian daily El Espectador, which featured a blown-up image of a worried-looking Trump, alongside the single word “Tormented."

Mexican daily La Prensa and Canada's Le Journal de Québec to Le Monde in France and El País in Spain, and dozens of others featured Trump's impending arrest on their respective front pages.

“Donald Trump, an indictment for history,” titled French newspaper Libération.

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Photo of a graduation ceremony showing the students' hats.
Ginevra Falciani

Reports Of A Quiet Rise In University Student Suicides In Multiple Countries

On top of the traditional troubles some young people face on their own for the first time are the added factors of social media pressure and the effects of the pandemic. The crisis appears to have hit hard in Italy, with other countries, from India to France to the UK, reporting a similar situation.

TW: Contains references to suicide and suicidal thoughts.

On the first day of February, a 19-year-old took her own life in the bathroom of Milan’s IULM university. As reported in Italian daily La Stampa, a note left in the victim's purse said she considered her life and studies a failure.

Three months earlier, in the northeastern city of Bologna, a 23-year-old law student jumped off a bridge after telling his parents he was getting ready for graduation at the end of the week. He had not taken a single exam in months. The year before, in the same city, a student who had dropped out of university invited his parents to his would-be graduation, then took his life.

The Italian government halted the gathering of data on self-inflicted deaths in 2019, but there are growing number of reports in recent months in Italy's news media that suicides among university students are on the rise.

Although the causes of youth suicide are varied and complex, there is a longstanding connection for some to the university sphere, as students often describe feeling academic pressure and the weight of unmet familial expectations. Experts warn this is being exacerbated by the isolation coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the way that social media can feed feelings of inadequacy.

"Sleeping is a waste of time"

In Italy, experts and student associations say the country's university system deserves some of the blame. Excellence is necessary to succeed, but at the same time, the system allows students to fall behind easily — they can decide when to take a final exam, delaying it as much as a year after finishing a course.

Young Italians leaving university face one of the worst rates of youth unemployment in Europe. Even those with excellent grades have a hard time finding a job — a discouraging situation that’s especially hard on those already going through difficult times.

Add to that the way social media pushes a whole special set of "influencers" who have it all, including perfect grades. Italian media fuels the intense competition. “At 23, she is a doctor, model and influencer: ‘For me, sleeping is a waste of time’,” reads the headline of one of the many articles about Carlotta Rossignoli, the young prodigy who graduated from medical school a year early and attributed her success to little sleep and a “strong willpower.”

Normalizing “prodigy graduates” can turn an educational opportunity into a source of anxiety.

Italian newspapers reported glowingly last year on a young woman who did her thesis defense while in labor, continuing to answer questions between contractions.

Normalizing these so-called “prodigy graduates” pushes students to turn an educational opportunity into a source of anxiety, multiplying the burden of family expectations.

For many, going to university is their first time living away from their parents. Not wanting to disappoint can turn into a desperate battle not to fail, no matter the psychological cost.

And as always, on social media, the achievements of friends and acquaintances are only a swipe away — a perpetual reminder that somewhere, someone else is doing better.

Photo of a girl wearing the traditional laurel wreath worn by students in Italy on their graduation day. \u200b

Traditional laurel wreath worn by students in Italy on their graduation day.

Elisaveta Bunduche via Unsplash

Ask me how I am

The social media obsession dovetailed with the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of young people. The first wave hit Italy early and hard, and many university students, especially those working part-time to pay rent, were forced to move back in with their parents — sometimes re-entering dynamics from which they had voluntarily distanced themselves.

Cases of anxiety and depression have increased, driven by the loss of independence and physical contact, and disruption of daily routines.

Those who stayed in their university’s city have not fared much better.

At the University of Milan, in Lombardy, the region where the first cases of COVID-19 in Europe were detected in March 2020, requests for mental health support increased by 75%. Feelings of loneliness and bewilderment created symptoms of anxiety and depression among students stranded in the city.

This figure reflects a widespread problem. The 2022 “Ask Me How I Am” survey, which included 30,000 students nationwide, found cases of anxiety, fear, stress, worry about the future, eating disorders and self-harm in nine out of 10 students.

At the same time, endless budget cuts to education (the most recent: €3.86 billion in 2022) have reduced the availability of scholarships, and the housing crisis in several college towns has made it impossible for many to find their own apartments again, even with the end of the pandemic emergency.

Photo of Cambridge University.

Cambridge University

Jean-Luc Benazet via Unsplash

Not an exception

This phenomenon is hardly limited to Italy: suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24 in Europe.

In the same week of the suicide in Bologna, a 21-year-old student at the University of Exeter, UK, took his own life after failing his final-year exams. It was the 11th suicide in six years at this university. At the University of Cambridge, five students died by suicide between March and June 2022, which led the institution to launch an inquiry to determine whether their studies had affected the students’ mental health, the Times of Londonreported.

The suicide of a Dalit student in Bombay sparked a debate about caste discrimination in higher education.

In France, a 2020 survey found that students were twice as likely to have symptoms of anxiety and depression than people working. The University of Bordeaux study, which surveyed 4,000 people aged 18-40, also found low self-esteem was the main risk factor among young men.

Other cultural factors can also compound the problem. In mid-February, in India, the suicide of a Dalit student at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay sparked a debate about caste discrimination in higher education.

“Even before the student could introduce himself or make friends, he is asked for his JEE scores (a national standardized exam),” a Ph.D. scholar told The Wire. “The score gives away too much information – the student’s academic standing, caste location and their social vulnerabilities.” You become “a quota student, undeserving of the space,” another student pursuing her MTech degree said.

Investing in mental health

At many universities, in Italy and abroad, poor mental health support and a lack of subsidized psychologists makes this problem worse.

The Italian government created a €10 million fund in 2022 to help people pay for therapy. In just the first few days, 300,000 people applied — 60% of them under 35 years old. The fund was increased to €25 million in 2023 in response to the huge demand.

Government support is crucial, especially for students: the average price of a therapy session in Italy is €80, and few can afford to go regularly, if at all.

In response to the 19-year-old student's suicide at IULM university in February, the Italian government was reportedly working on a proposal to hire at least one mental health counselor in every university.

But there still seems to be a long way to go.

Photo of a 16th century monastery, now \u200bthe courtyard of one of Bologna University's buildings.

16th century monastery, now the courtyard of one of Bologna University's buildings.

Carlo Pelagalli

Waiting lists

Where this service does already exist, it is underfunded and has months-long waiting lists, leaving counselors unable to keep up with the increasing numbers of young people seeking help.

The University of Milan had only one psychologist before the pandemic. With more students needing mental health help, the school hired three more — still just one psychologist for every 3,000 students.

At the University of Bologna, where the two young men who had lied about their graduation were enrolled, each student is entitled to three preliminary evaluation sessions, after which they must wait for the university to schedule actual therapy.

We are tired of mourning our peers.

For one Bologna student, it took a month and a half for the university to start his three evaluation sessions, which he finished on Dec. 15. Now, more than two months later, he is still waiting for the university to schedule his follow-up therapy appointments.

“I don’t even blame them,” he says. “The counseling service is carried out entirely by volunteers. They do their best, but it’s ridiculous.”

In her keynote address at the opening of the academic year, Emma Ruzzon, student council president at the University of Padua, expressed the need for universities to address an often toxic culture of competition.

"University should represent a path to liberation through knowledge, not a performance," she said. “We are tired of mourning our peers, and we want politics to make itself available to understand with us how to take action against this emergency, but we also need the courage to question the entire merit-centric and competitive system.”

Photo of a child reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Laura Valentina Cortés, Ginevra Falciani and Riley Sparks

LGBTQ+ International: Book Ban In Tanzania, Mexico's "Lesbomaternal" Rights— And Other News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on a topic you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

This week featuring:

  • A transgender couple’s first in India
  • “Lesbomaternal” status in Mexico
  • Inclusive Sims
  • … and more

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

TW: This content may address topics and include references to violence that some may find distressing.

🇹🇿 Tanzania Bans “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” For Advocating LGBTQ+ Rights

The Tanzanian government has banned 16 titles of the popular U.S. children's book series The Diary of a Wimpy Kid from being used in schools for allegedly advocating LGBTQ+ rights.

Tanzania’s Education Minister Adolf Mkenda was quoted as saying: "We are banning these books from schools and other educational structures because they are contrary to cultural and moral standards."

🇮🇳 Viral Indian Transgender Couple Welcomes Baby

Photo of newborn

Zahad and Ziya are the first transgender couple in India to become parents biologically

paval19 via Instagram

A transgender couple in southern India whose pregnancy photos recently went viral have welcomed a baby. Zahad, a trans man who carried the child, and Ziya, a trans woman, were both undergoing gender transition procedures but decided to stall treatment so they could have the baby.

This makes Zahad and Ziya the first transgender couple in India to become parents biologically. Their pregnancy photo shoot had previously gone viral online.

🇧🇩 Bangladesh Bans Transgender-Friendly Textbooks

The government of Bangladesh has banned two new textbooks for children that discuss transgender identities and same-sex relationships due to pressure from conservative Muslim groups. Thousands of people have protested over the past few weeks to demand that the books, aimed at students aged 11 to 13, be withdrawn from the curriculum.

One of the books tells the story of a boy named Sharif who becomes a woman called Sharifa and goes to live with other transgender people. The other book, which also acknowledges homosexuality, was criticized for explaining the theory of evolution, considered "impious" by some. The government said the books were withdrawn due to "many criticisms" and to reduce the amount of reading material demanded of students.

In 2014, the Bangladesh government allowed transgender people to officially qualify as a third gender and has since improved their access to housing and higher education. However, the approximately 1.5 million trans people in Bangladesh, who make up just 1% of the population, continue to experience discrimination, violence and poverty.

🇬🇧 UK Trans Youth In Limbo As Country’s Gender Care Clinic For Children Closes

The Tavistock clinic, the only gender identity clinic for youth in the UK, will be closing in a few weeks, following harsh criticism from an independent review that drew attention to high caseloads and poor leadership.

Despite numerous promises that regional service centers will be replacing the clinic, those have yet to be established. NHS clinicians believe that this will leave trans youth seeking services in limbo, since no other alternative or gender care centers are being provided for them.

🇲🇽 Mexico Judge Recognizes “Lesbomaternal” Status For Non-Gestational Mother

A judge in Jalisco, Mexico, has ruled that a non-gestational mother has the right to give her surname to her daughter, as well as granting her the right to have contact with both mothers following their separation. When the couple tried to register their daughter at the Tlaquepaque Civil Registry Office, officials refused to allow them to include the non-gestational mother's surname, leaving her only as a witness on the birth certificate.

The case has been ongoing for over four years, and the judge's ruling recognizes the child as the daughter of both the gestational and non-gestational mothers, who were married in 2016 and decided to start a family, until 2018 when they filed for divorce.

In the judge's ruling, the judge recognized the family as a "lesbomaternal" family and awarded custody to both mothers, emphasizing the non-gestational mother's contribution to the child's upbringing, and ensuring the child's right to have both parents' surnames. The ruling was hailed by the Network of Lesbian Mothers in Mexico, who welcomed the "intersectional" approach of the decision.

🎮 The Sims 4 Update Is A Big Step Toward More Inclusive Video Games

The latest update of The Sims online game adds several new features that allow players to enhance their in-game inclusivity experience.

These new features include the option to add specific identity-affirming characteristics to their Sims, such as top surgery scars, binders, slimming clothes, and hearing aids. This update reflects a growing trend among game makers, including Maxis and EA, who created The Sims 4, to introduce new features that better represent minority communities.

🇮🇹 Italian Government Deems Sanremo Festival “Too LGBTQ+”

The 2023 edition of the Sanremo Festival, Italy’s week-long all-important song contest, reached record ratings — but the show wasn’t to everybody’s taste. The Italian right-wing government, in particular, said it was unhappy with this edition.

Not only did rapper Fedez rip a photo of Matteo Salvini's number two, deputy infrastructure minister Galeazzo Bignami, dressed as a Nazi on the live broadcast. Later in the competition, the singer was also kissed by contestant Rosa Chemical: The same-sex kiss prompted a wave of dissent by the conservative press, as well as members of Giorgia Meloni’s party Brothers of Italy, who slandered the contest, calling it a “Pride Parade.”

The Festival was described as too left-leaning and the government said it was thinking about changing the top management of state broadcaster Rai. In the meantime, in an interview with daily Repubblica, Rai's director of prime-time entertainment content Stefano Coletta talked about the attacks he received regarding his sexual orientation: “To be attacked for sexual orientation, to demolish professionalism with homophobic readings is a wound and nothing can compensate you. Do all the years of sacrifice, commitment, days made up of just work, blow up in an instant because in life you have a male partner?"

🇺🇸 Study Shows Half Of LGBTQ+ Parents Have Considered Fleeing Florida

\u200bGovernor Ron DeSantis who signed the "Don't Say Gay" billGovernor Ron DeSantis who signed the "Don't Say Gay" bill

Facebook page

Since Florida's Republican government passed the “Don’t Say Gay” law, more than half of the state's parents of LGBTQ+ children say they have thought about leaving, with almost 20% actively looking for jobs or saving up to move. One in five say they're now more wary about doing things like holding their partner's hand in public or talking about their personal lives, according to a new study from UCLA.

Passed last year, the Florida law makes it illegal for teachers to teach elementary school students about sexuality and gender identity. The bill is one of many similar anti-LGBTQ+ laws passed recently in Republican-run states.

State legislators have already proposed more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2023, including 91 that target healthcare for trans and non-binary people.

🏈 Anti-LGBTQ+ Christian Group Runs Two $20-Million Ads During Super Bowl

The Super Bowl’s traditional ad-and-movie-trailer galore was marred by two $20-million ads promoting Christianity and “radical forgiveness, compassion, and love,” paid for by a foundation that has funded attacks on abortion rights and anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination laws.

The spots are part of a $100 million ad campaign by The Servant Foundation, a religious group backed by ultra-conservative Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, which has also run ads during playoff games ahead of the Super Bowl. The group has spent millions to push legal challenges to roll back abortion rights and to allow businesses to refuse to serve LGBTQ+ customers.

🇨🇿 Czech Soccer Star Jakub Jankto Comes Out In Pro-Soccer First

This is a rare speech in the world of professional football. International Czech football player Jakub Jankto, who is playing for Sparta Prague this season, came out in a video posted on his Twitter account created especially for the occasion.

In this video aiming to encourage people to freely live their sexual orientation, he explained that he did not want to hide anymore. Sparta Prague re-shared his video on Twitter in which they showed him love and support.

🇨🇱 Twitter Thread Shows Pedro Pascal's Support For His Trans Sister Lux

A viral Twitter thread has put the spotlight back on a 2021 article about actor Pedro Pascal celebrating his sister Lux, who officially came out as a trans woman that same year. The Chile-born actor is enjoying increasing success, notably due to critically-acclaimed show HBO’s The Last of Us, which featured an episode in particular that received praise for its LGBTQ+ representation.

Pascal himself has demonstrated his support for the LGBTQ+ community over the years, reaching out to Mandalorian costar Gina Carano in 2020 to educate on the use of pronouns after her controversial “beep/bop/boop” in her Twitter handle


• To mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on Feb. 11, AZ Magazine focused on what’s being done to tackle gender inequality in STEM.

• “Exploring South Asian queerness through cinema”: now that’s a great idea, Burnt Roti magazine!

• UK model, writer and trans activist Munroe Bergdorf sits down with The Guardian to talk about her new memoir.

Openly asks the hard question: “Should non-LGBTQ+ actors play trans or gay characters?”

Pink News focuses on Ifti Nasim, the trailblazing queer Pakistani poet and his legacy.

Photo of two women at a feminist protest in Italy
Ginevra Falciani

Why MeToo In Italy Is Different

A recent wave of testimony from inside the Italian entertainment industry again failed to gain much attention, another example of MeToo failing to take off in the traditionally sexist country. There are multiple explanations, though also quieter signs that something may be changing.

For a few fleeting hours, it seemed the MeToo movement might finally break out of the shadows in Italy: the internet was buzzing after the La Repubblica daily had published the testimonies of several actresses recounting the sexual harassment they’d faced.

A week later, on Jan. 16, the associations Amleta and Differenza Donna held a press conference to report 223 additional testimonies of sexual harassment and violence in show business.

The activists broke the cases down by gender (in all but two cases the abusers were men, and 93% of the victims were women) and by job title (directors made up 41% of the abusers, followed by actors, producers, teachers, casting directors, agents, critics, and even some audience members). But it was also notable that only 12 actresses had brought their cases to court, and that the names of those accused would not be revealed so as not to compromise ongoing legal actions.

A few newspapers reported the news. Then, nothing more.

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Forever Godard: 20 International Newspapers Bid Adieu To French New Wave Icon
Chloé Touchard

Forever Godard: 20 International Newspapers Bid Adieu To French New Wave Icon

International outlets are saluting the passing of the father of the Nouvelle Vague movement, considered among the most influential filmmakers ever.

Jean-Luc Godard, the French-Swiss filmmaker who revolutionized cinema in the late 1950s and 1960s as the leading figure of the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) movement, died Tuesday at the age of 91.

The Paris-born Godard produced now-cult movies such as À bout de souffle (“Breathless” 1960), Le Mépris (“Contempt” 1963) and Alphaville (1965), with his later works always garnering interest among cinephiles, even if often considered inaccessible for the wider public.

Godard's lawyer reported that that the filmmaker had been “stricken with multiple incapacitating illnesses," and decided to end his life through assisted suicide, which is legal in Switzerland, where he'd lived for decades.

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Photo of sign with a hammer and sickle in Transnistria
Emma Albright, Shaun Lavelle and Cameron Manley

Fears Of Putin’s War Spreading Amid Rumblings In Transnistria

More of the latest: European economy under threat by gas cuts, Mariupol soldier holed up in steel plant, Finland poll on joining, Russia pulls out mercenary troops from Libya, U.S. considers labeling Russia sponsors of terrorism, and more...

The recent series of explosions occurring in part of Transnistria, a breakaway territory within Moldova that has housed Russian troops for decades, have sparked fears that this region may be where Vladimir Putin will take his expansionist war next.

The inhabitants of Transnistria, considered to be pro-Russian, insist they want to be left out of the conflict, reports Tonia Mastrobuoni reports for Italian daily La Repubblica. “We want peace and want to be left in peace,” one of several residents interviewed who refused to give their name.

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

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Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu insisted that the situation in Transnistria is "more or less calm," though in the past 36 hours there have been a series of explosions that no one has taken responsibility for — and which Ukraine says could be used by Moscow as a pretext to move into Moldova.

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Photo of a toilet bowl

Italy's High Court: Loud Toilet Flush Is Violation Of Human Rights

A not-so-neighborly Italian saga that extends from the porcelain depths of our most basic needs to the altar of European justice.

An Italian couple has won a two-decade-long court battle that invoked an international treaty signed after World War II in order to prove the acceptable volume of a toilet flush.

The ordeal started as a typical neighborhood quarrel, yet spanned nearly two decades and eventually made its way up to Italy's Highest Court this week, Rome daily La Repubblica reports.

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photo of costa concordia capsized
Anne-Sophie Goninet

The Costa Concordia Disaster, 10 Years Later — This Happened, January 13

The images of the Italian cruise ship, which had run aground just a few hundred meters from the Tuscany coast, captured the world's attention for a chilly winter week in 2012.

Thursday marks 10 years since the Costa Concordia luxury cruise ship deviated from its planned itinerary to get closer to the island Isola del Giglio, before hitting rocks on the seafloor in shallow water and starting to sink. Over the course of six excruciating hours, a rescue effort team worked to evacuate the 4,252 people on board. Sadly, in the end, 33 people died.

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