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This leading French daily newspaper Le Monde ("The World") was founded in December 1944 in the aftermath of World War II. Today, it is distributed in 120 countries. In late 2010, a trio formed by Pierre Berge, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse took a controlling 64.5% stake in the newspaper.
In Malawi, The Evil Tradition Of Sexual Initiation Camps For Girls
Amaury Hauchard

In Malawi, The Evil Tradition Of Sexual Initiation Camps For Girls

Who will come out and say out loud that this is really just rape?

Updated Nov. 7, 2023 at 7:15 p.m.

MULANJE With her sweet smile and schoolgirl backpack, Awa Kandaya, 20, seems to be the picture of innocence. But it's just a facade. Her virginity was taken away from her at the age of nine when she was sent to a "sexual initiation" camp in southern Malawi. Following a local tradition, a "hyena" — a man paid by her parents to "teach her about life" — raped her.

Sitting on the steps of a building in Nampugo, a village in the district of Mulanje, Awa explains the sexual initiation tradition, which continues to be practiced and tolerated in Malawi despite efforts by politicians to do away with it. She says that here, like in many rural areas, girls have to attend the camp as soon as they have their first menstruation. They leave the camps no longer a virgin, and deeply changed.

"Parents enroll their daughter in these camps. It's a family affair," says Esitele Paulo, one of the organizers of the camp where Awa was sent. "They usually come during September break, and we have them for two weeks."

During these two weeks, girls are taught how to become "women" early so that they'll be ready and able to take charge of a family. Interestingly, the camp — clearly a tool for male domination — is run by two women.

"We were sent away from the village, alone with the organizers and without any men," Awa recalls. "Once the first rituals began, we understood we were here to learn how to sexually please a man." Her smile disappears as she recalls these memories.

"Good manners"

Mystery and silence hover over the camp's practices. If girls refuse to follow the rules, ancestral superstitions promise them skin diseases and back luck for their families. Some of them, in their juvenile innocence, are excited about what they think are holidays. Others — those who've heard rumors or complaints issued by NGOs — are more reluctant to attend the camp. Either way, the vast majority of them end up going, encouraged by their mothers to carry on a tradition they themselves suffered through.

Each simulates the sex act even though they've barely entered into puberty.

"We bring them to the river. They get naked and try the Chisamba dance, moving their bottoms to turn men on," the organizer explains without any hint of embarrassment. Esitele Paulo has been doing this for decades and has no plan to stop anytime soon.

Still naked, these girls rub up against each another, and then lie down on the ground, where each simulates the sex act even though they've barely entered into puberty. For many of the mothers, including Awa's, this is the only way for them to learn about "life."

"Why did I send my daughter to the camp? Because of tradition, and to teach her good manners," says Lima Kandaya, Awa's mother, dismissing with a wave of her hand the "city people" who complain about the psychological and physical trauma these practices cause.

Trapped by tradition

In these villages, traditional rites trump individual consent, elementary hygiene standards and family planning. One of the rules taught in the camp is that girls should keep anything related to menstruation hidden so as not to repel men and take their desire away. But they're not taught anything about their genitalia, procreation or the use of contraception. Nor do they learn anything about the risk of HIV transmission.

Joyce Mkandawire works for Let Girls Lead, an NGO that promotes health, education and equality for girls and women, particularly in Africa and Central America. "These camps brainwash girls into becoming women too fast," she says. "The consequences are disastrous. After the camp, most of the girls get married and drop out of school."

A tenth of Malawi's population is HIV-positive.

In Malawi, half of all girls marry before age 18. In rural areas like Mulanje, these traditions are as weighty as they are enduring. "How many people have the strength to question this culture when their mothers and grandmothers say it's good?" Joyce Mkandawire asks. "How many have the strength to say that a hyena is really just a rapist?"

The hyena practice was outlawed in Malawi in 2013, and so from the perspective of political authorities, it no longer exists. Many girls, nevertheless, still report having to engage in non-protected, non-consensual sex with hyenas at the end of the camp.

At the camp Awa attended, everybody denies the existence of such a practice. But Awa says hyenas are still present in her community, and confesses that at the end of her stay at the sexual initiation camp, she was forced to have sexual relations with an older man.

A tenth of Malawi's population is HIV-positive. Awa doesn't know if she's part of that group. She doesn't want to get tested, she says, because she doesn't want to worry about it for now. She wants to hold on, it seems, to some part her innocent childhood, her childhood before the hyena.

​What is the status of women's rights in Malawi?

Women's rights and gender equality in Malawi have improved over the years, with legal and policy changes promoting gender equality. However, challenges still exist, such as gender-based violence, limited access to education and healthcare, and disparities in economic opportunities.

How common are child brides in Malawi?

Child marriage remains a significant issue in Malawi, with a high percentage of girls getting married before the age of 18. The consequences for young girls include limited educational opportunities, increased health risks, and early pregnancies.

What is the religion breakdown in Malawi?

Malawi has a predominantly Christian population, but there are also significant Muslim and indigenous religious communities. Various Christian denominations are present, including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, and a wide range of Protestant and independent. Islam is the second-largest religion in Malawi, including both Sunni and Shia Muslims. Also, a minority of Malawians continue to practice traditional or indigenous religious beliefs that often include reverence for ancestral spirits and natural forces.

Photo of Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Emma Albright, Jakob Mieszkowski-Lapping and Valeria Berghinz

Israeli Defense Minister Presents Three-Step War Plan, Confirms Ground Offensive Is Coming

Also: Russia and Iran blast Biden's speech, Aid blocked at Rafah crossing, Explosion at Gaza's oldest church. And more...

Updated on October 20, 2023 at 18:00 p.m.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant revealed a three-stage approach Friday for the war against Hamas — the most detailed description of Israeli strategy since the violence erupted October 7. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), according to The Times of Israel, intends to eliminate Hamas completely and set up a new “security regime” in Gaza.

The first stage that Gallant highlighted, during a committee meeting at the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), is already underway. This phase consists of continued air raids, soon to be combined with a full-scale ground assault — with the aim of “destroying operatives and damaging infrastructure in order to defeat and destroy Hamas.”

The second phase will be less intense, and will focus on clearing out “pockets of resistance.”

The final step, Gallant told Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, will be to install a “new security regime” to remove “Israel’s responsibility for day-to-day life in the Gaza Strip.”

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There are no details yet about what the planned “security regime” will entail, and how much control the IDF will have over this planned authority. It is clear; however, that a ground invasion is imminent absent any major developments.

Speaking on Thursday to IDF troops preparing along the border with Gaza, Gallant declared: “You see Gaza now from a distance, you will soon see it from inside. The command will come.”

Shortly after his statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared a video of himself near the Gaza border with IDF soldiers promising victory.

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Photo of Israeli forces nearing the Israeli-Gaza border
Jakob Mieszkowski-Lapping, Emma Albright and Bertrand Hauger

Mideast War, Day 4: Now Comes Israel’s Ground War On Gaza

The Israeli army has secured its own territory, and is now focused on what all believe is an impending ground assault into Gaza. The ground war now appears more a question of when rather than if.

Updated on Oct. 10 at 6:15 p.m.

Four days after Hamas’ brazen and deadly assault, an Israeli military spokesman announced early Tuesday that all enemy troops had been either killed or pushed back over the border into Gaza. "Since last night we know that no one came in ... but infiltrations can still happen," military spokesman Richard Hecht said, adding that Israel's army had "more or less restored control" over the border.

With its own territory back in control, the Israeli army is now focused on what all believe is an impending ground assault into Gaza. At this point, following multiple declarations of the most senior Israeli officials, it appears more a question of when rather than if.

Within 48 hours,” “TONIGHT…” The speculation online has begun about the precise timing of a ground assault, though officials from the Israeli Defense Forces will undoubtedly hold on to some element of surprise about exactly when, where and how such an operation.

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Still, signs are everywhere that it is coming: The mobilization after Hamas’ attack Saturday of more than 300,000 reservists, some of whom are already joining the troops near the border of Gaza. Israel also said it had fully deployed 35 military battalions and four divisions and was “building an infrastructure for future operations,” according to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's televised speech on Monday to the nation made it all but clear that Israel was preparing for a ground assault. "This enemy wanted war and this this is what they will get," he said.

While the rationale for a ground war includes the goals of inflicting retribution on Hamas for the attack that has killed some 900 civilians, Israel would also be aiming to disarm the militant organization, track down its leadership and ultimately destroy them. French political analyst Pierre Haski asks: "Will Israel's objective be achieved? It depends on what is meant by the eradication of Hamas. After all, in the past Israel has been able to decapitate terrorist groups without being able to eradicate them."

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Photo of damage in Gaza
Emma Albright and Bertrand Hauger

Mideast War, Day 3: Israel Launches “Complete Siege” Of Gaza

Civilians in the crowded Palestinian enclave may be forced to face a long-term cut off of basic necessities, food and water. Is this an alternative to a ground war.

Forty-eight hours after Hamas launched an unprecedented attack against Israel, Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced Monday that he's ordered a "complete siege" on Hamas-run Gaza.

“We are putting a complete siege on Gaza […] No electricity, no food, no water, no gas – it’s all closed,” Gallant declared in a video statement. Israel controls the airspace over Gaza and its shoreline, and has wide power to be able to restrict the goods and services that flow across its border into the crowded enclave of 2.3 million people. Limited trade typically passes through Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, which has not yet commented on Israel’s announced siege.

Gaza residents are now saying that the entrances to towns and cities have been shut off with iron fences and cement blocks. New military checkpoints have also been installed, all pointing to a state of siege indeed being put in place. This comes on top of other responses from Israel following the surprise attack Saturday morning by Hamas, as gunmen breached security barriers and launched up to 5,000 rockets in an initial barrage. Israeli jet fighters launched retaliatory strikes in Gaza, with the death toll now rising to more than 700 Israelis killed and at least 500 on the Palestinian front, with thousands more injured on both sides.

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Sieges have been used throughout history as a weapon of war, with dire and lasting consequences on populations. The Siege of Leningrad, for instance, lasted for 872 days during World War II, is believed to have killed 1.5 million, many by starvation. During the Siege of Sarajevo, which took place from 1992 to 1996 during the Bosnian War, some 14,000 people were killed — including more than 5,400 civilians, as a total blockade was imposed on the city.

As Israel decides how to retaliate against Hamas, it will no doubt be calculating in the impact of a hostage situation, as many Israelis are thought to be have been captured in Saturday's assault, and currently held in locations across Gaza. Israeli Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht said during a news conference on Monday that “dozens” of people were taken hostage by Hamas, including elderly civilians, families and children. Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has warned that Israeli attacks in the area could pose a threat to hostages, with the Palestinian militant group claiming to be holding over 130 people captured in Israel. Hamas' head of international relations Basem Naim said the group is "committed and we are obliged to treat our hostages in a very human, dignified way."

What is not clear from Israel's siege announcement is whether it is seen as a preparation, or alternative, to an even more ambitious and dangerous strategy: a ground war to re-occupy Gaza.

Drone footage of festival massacre

Volunteers searching for bodies at the Supernova music festival site, where at least 260 people were killed on Saturday, have had to suspend their search because they are “under fire” from militants. Yossi Landau, a commander in the Zaka volunteer group, says his team of 25 have so far recovered 162 bodies from the site of the festival. Footage from Saturday showed the festival-goers running as the attacks began.

The festival site was in the Negev desert, near Kibbutz Re'im. It was not far from Gaza, from where Hamas fighters crossed over at dawn to launch their attack. They infiltrated towns and villages, taking dozens of people hostage.

Death toll is also international

Several countries around the world have confirmed that their citizens were either killed or kidnapped, days after Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israel.

Ten students from Nepal were among those killed after Hamas’ surprise attack, said Nepal’s embassy in Tel Aviv in a statement on Sunday.

Thailand's Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that at least 12 of its citizens have been killed and 11 captured.

President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that two Ukrainian citizens have died in Israel and more than 100 citizens had contacted the country's embassy.

French lawmaker, Meyer Habib, who represents French people living abroad in a number of Mediterranean countries including Israel, took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to confirm that at least eight French nationals were missing, confirmed dead or taken hostage.

Nine U.S. citizens have died in the conflict in Israel, a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson said Monday.

French cartoonist draws parallel with 9/11

In French daily Libération, cartoonist Corinne Rey, a.k.a. Coco, compares the weekend’s attacks on Israel to 9/11, pivoting the Israeli flag to turn its two blue stripes into the World Trade Center towers.

Austria, Germany to suspend aid to Palestine 

Austria said on Monday it was suspending its aid to Palestinians in response to Islamist group Hamas's deadly attack on Israel. Meanwhile, Germany appeared to do the same, saying no aid payments were currently being made.

Further steps will be decided "in cooperation with the European Union and international partners", according to the head of Austrian diplomacy. He also announced that the Iranian ambassador had been summoned to the ministry to protest against "abominable reactions." Iran was one of the first countries to welcome Hamas's massive surprise attack on Saturday.

123,000 displaced in Gaza due to fear and destroyed homes

Photo of destruction seen in Gaza

Destroyed buildings and homes in Gaza

Naaman Omar/APA Images/Zuma

The United Nations says 123,538 people in Gaza have been internally displaced, mostly "due to fear, protection concerns and the destruction of their homes". The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) added that 73,000 people are sheltering in schools. There are currently 2.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza.

Before launching its retaliatory air strikes on Saturday, Israel warned people living in certain areas to leave. "I'm telling the people of Gaza: get out of there now, because we're about to act everywhere with all our force," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday.

Italy, Jordan seen as possible intermediaries 

Though the question of negotiations is premature, limiting the escalation and bloodshed will require the international community to find a channel for mediation. Italian daily La Stampa reports that Italy is ready to make itself available as a country that both parties could potentially speak with. As compared to some other European capitals, Rome is not looked at suspiciously by Israeli authorities. “At the moment, we don’t have any negative indications about Italians in Israel,” said Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani.

Middle Eastern neighbor Jordan is also seen as a possible channel for truce talks. Indeed, Tajani confirmed that he was speaking Monday afternoon with his counterpart in Amman, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Hsafadi. “We’ve condemned the barbaric attack against Israel,” Tajani said. “De-escalation and humanitarian corridors for the release of prisoners in Gaza are at the center of the conversation. Jordan is a crucial country for the stability of the region."

Front pages from around the world

The vast majority of newspapers around the world are dedicating their front pages to the sudden escalation of violence in the Middle East, check our international collection.

Rumors of Russian involvement 

Russia has been accused of involvement in the Hamas operation, though no evidence has emerged to confirm the reports, according to independent Russian news outlet Agents Media. Writing in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, retired British Army Colonel Richard Kemp said that “unwilling to engage directly with NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin is instead fueling conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Serbia and Kosovo, West Africa, and now Israel.”

Meanwhile, the American Institute for the Study of War has suggested that Russia might benefit from the shift in international attention away from its atrocities in Ukraine and towards the deteriorating situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Israel is expected to launch a ground assault into Gaza in the coming days, while tensions remain high in the occupied West Bank and along the border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah enjoys de facto control.

Oil prices rise following Hamas attack on Israel 

Oil prices have risen, following concerns that the situation in Israel and Gaza could disrupt output from the Middle East. Brent crude, the international benchmark, climbed by $2.25 a barrel to $86.83, while U.S. prices also rose. Israel and Palestinian territories are not oil producers but the Middle Eastern region accounts for almost a third of global supply.

A spokesperson for Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, told the BBC that the group had direct backing for the move from Iran, one of the world's largest oil producers.

photo of climate activist holding a yellow sign that says No New Oil
Ginevra Falciani

A Week Of Record Oil Profits — Here Comes The Greenwashing!

The oil and gas sector is counting its billions, and preaching renewables. The math doesn't compute.


PARIS — It’s been a gigantic week for the “Big Five.” Texas-based Exxon kicked things off, announcing a record $55.7 billion in annual profit. Fellow American oil giant Chevron followed, with $36.5 billion, UK multinational Shell was next with $39.9 billion, joined by London-based BP at $27.7 billion in gains, and to finish the week off in France with TotalEnergies posting its own all-time record net profits of $36.2 billion.

After the industry crisis during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand has returned to growth; and the war in Ukraine sparked an energy crisis that has pushed up prices leading to a staggering rise in earnings. The toasts in the corporate board rooms, however, come with the spotlight shining on the oil and gas sector like never before.

The Big Five today stand at the intersection of two of society’s deepest problems: wealth disparity and climate change.

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Screenshot of a meme showing a photoshopped image of Greta Thunberg doing a V sign over Andrew Tate's grave
eyes on the U.S.
Alex Hurst

Greta’s Andrew Tate Takedown Shines Light On Toxic American Males

Greta Thunberg dealt a knock-out blow online to self-proclaimed "misogynist" Andrew Tate. However, taming the spread of toxic masculinity online is not as simple.


Two rounds, two knockouts in the all-out verbal dustup that saw Greta Thunberg win the year (or at least, the internet) in the final moments of 2022.

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“Hardly anyone is as skilled as Greta Thunberg when it comes to making supposedly grown men cry with rage,” writes Spain’s El Pais.

This, then, is a tale of Tate’s tears told in four tweets.

Greta v. Tate

First, the American boxer, social media influencer, and self-proclaimed “misogynist” Andrew Tate lashed out at the Swedish climate activist, gratuitously tweeting a picture of himself fueling a sports car. Noting that he had 33 such cars, Tate tauntingly offered to send the teenage Thunberg an account of their combined emissions.

Thunberg responded in a language both Tate and his audience would understand: “yes, please do enlighten me. email me at smalldickenergy@getalife.com.” It’s a response that has since become the fourth most liked tweet in history, and one that Tate could not ignore.

He fired back with an insult and a picture of himself in a bathrobe, smoking a cigar, with a pizza box in front of him. Visible on the box was the Romanian pizza shop that he had ordered from.

Just hours later, Romanian police raided Tate’s property in the country and arrested him on charges of human trafficking. He is still being held, and his precious car collection was seized.

Though police later denied that the photo was central to their operation, Thunberg had enough time in between news of the arrest and their statement to pounce again, posting to her account: “this is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes.”

The dark side of the Tate brothers

You might not have been familiar with Andrew Tate before the incident — but an alarming number of teenage boys certainly have heard of him and others who share his ideology.

“Inspirational monologues, defense of capitalism, and misogynist theories: ‘masculinist thought,’ which is based on the idea that there is a crisis affecting traditional social conceptions of masculinity, is spreading on social media and targeting a younger and younger audience via Twitter accounts, Telegram groups, and short videos spread on Instagram and TikTok,” Pauline Ferrari wrote last summer in an extensively reported piece for Le Monde.

Online propaganda is centrally linked to recent right-wing terror incidents in the U.S. and Slovenia.

In the United States and elsewhere, far-right influencers have turned to TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, appropriating memes and online lingo, as a way of targeting — mainly male — teenage youth with their ideas, writes Nicolas Baygert of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in The Conversation.

As France’s Libération reports, Europol, Europe’s cross-border police agency, sees online propaganda as centrally linked to recent high-profile, right-wing terror incidents in the U.S. and Slovenia.

Romanian publication Puterea dug deeper into the dark underbelly of the “eccentric Tate brothers”, pointing out that their influence is built on “a bonafide industry, whose sole purpose is to promote pornography and pimping … Not only are they interlopers, supported by a real marketing machine, they’re dangerous mobsters, who promote prostitution and pornography.”

Toxic masculinity

Other European sources explored what Tate’s popularity reveals about how toxic masculinity is spread online. Swedish Expressen's Helen Ablatova expressed alarm about how many men see Tate as a role model. “If there's one thing young men need, it's not Andrew Tate and his harsh rhetoric … Yes, Andrew Tate's sudden popularity is terrifying. I'd like to say I'm surprised but unfortunately I'm not. The fact that someone so blatantly, openly and extremely sexist has become so famous just shows how few male role models there are in the world. A grim, grim truth.”

While Aftonbladet questioned whether excessive coverage of Tate was inadvertently helping his views reach more people: “Shall we talk about him? Write these types of articles? Or should we rather not give ‘flat-Earthers’ extra space for their conspiracy theories?”

However, German Der Freitag pointed out that social media was not the only cause of toxic masculinity: “Social media must be understood as a place of anti-feminist radicalization. But the advertising industry, or the film industry, also echo the binary gender logic and thus strengthen power relations. This suggests, especially to young men, that it is okay to strive for competition and control.”

In other news …


As the House proceeds to more votes for Speaker today, Europe’s papers (like the Frankfurter Rundschau here) have taken note of the “chaos” caused by the inability of the House Republican majority to get on with what should be the simplest of tasks: electing a leader.


Ankle sprains, knee injuries, concussions, fractures, herniated discs … In the wake of Buffalo Bills star player Damar Hamlin suffering a cardiac arrest during a game on Monday, El Universal draws a list of the most frequent injuries in futbol americano — a “contact sport that can be very dangerous,” as the Mexican daily writes.


The "once-in-a-century" blizzard that struck the U.S. in late December and early January inspired Algerian daily Le Soir d'Algérie's cartoonist Karim Bouguemra.

Zelensky In Washington: How It Played In Moscow, Kyiv And The Rest Of The World
In The News
Cameron Manley

Zelensky In Washington: How It Played In Moscow, Kyiv And The Rest Of The World

For the Russians, the Ukrainian president went to the U.S. “begging for money.” But elsewhere in the world, this visit was shaping up as one of the most significant episodes of a 10-month-old war with planetary implications.


Ten months into Russia’s war in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky once again took the world by storm. His momentous visit to Washington was his first trip abroad since Russia’s full scale invasion, and signals a landmark moment in a war with so much at stake beyond Ukraine’s borders.

Zelensky addressed a joint session of Congress late Wednesday, stressing the need for more weapons and adding that “against all odds, and doom and gloom scenarios, Ukraine didn’t fall. Ukraine is alive and kicking.”

Earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden welcomed the Ukrainian president at the White House, where he confirmed a new $1.85 billion U.S. aid package to Ukraine, including the much discussed Patriot missile defense system. “We understand in our bones that Ukraine’s fight is part of something much bigger,” Biden said.

As dawn broke in Moscow, the reaction from Russian leaders was swift — and dripping with sarcasm and vitriol.

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How Trump’s Legal Troubles Look In Places Where Presidents Get Prosecuted
eyes on the U.S.
Alex Hurst

How Trump’s Legal Troubles Look In Places Where Presidents Get Prosecuted


What do South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Italy, France, Portugal, and Iceland all have in common? They’re all wealthy democracies that have charged and prosecuted former heads of state or heads of government for criminal acts committed while in office.

The United States is not a member of this club — at least, not yet.

Add to the above list, Argentina and Brazil, though not as wealthy, another pair of more or less mature democracies that have recently seen former leaders face prosecution.

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So how are countries like these, and others, looking at the U.S. House of Representative Committee’s recommendation that Donald Trump be prosecuted for, among other things, inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021? Is the view in their mainstream news outlets informed by their own experiences with charging former leaders?

“The first time in history that Congress recommends criminal punishment for a former president,” notes South Korea’s largest daily, Chosun. Conversely, any indication that the staunchly anti-China former U.S. President might end up in jail received rather scant coverage from Taiwan’s pro-independence Liberty Times.

Israel’s left-wing daily Haaretz duly reported the news, but as a republication from Reuters — perhaps there will be columns forthcoming in the next few days linking potential charges against Trump with Israeli prosecutors’ own attempt to indict and convict former and now once-again Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Trump: nightmare week.”

In Latin America though, which is no stranger to seeing former rulers jailed, Argentina’s Clarin offers an in-depth explanation of the charges the U.S. Justice Department will have to decide whether or not to pursue: “insurrection, obstruction of official process, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and conspiracy to lie, for which he could face jail time and removal from office.”

Brazil’s O Globo says what U.S. media have been hesitant to say straight out: “January 6, 2021 entered into the history of the United States as the first coup attempt during a transition of power.”

In Italy, where former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud, Corriere della Sera writes at more length about what it called “Trump: nightmare week,” and lists out the twice-impeached, single-term former president’s perils: possible charges, a concrete mark on his historical legacy, whether his taxes records will be made public, and the impact of all of that on his support among Republican voters.

In Portugal, former Prime Minister José Socratès was charged with corruption, money laundering, and falsifying documents — though the corruption charges were dismissed, the latter two were upheld in 2021. Of Trump, Lisbon-based Publico emphasizes the thoroughness of the year-and-a-half long investigation, and the 154 page report released Monday.

“Although they do not have legal force, these recommendations have a very relevant symbolism, since this is the first time that a former President of the United States has been referred to a criminal process,” writes Publico’s Joao Pedro Pincha. “If the former president is actually indicted, he faces the prospect of a long prison sentence and jeopardizes his aspirations to return to the White House in 2024.”

From France, where former President Nicolas Sarkozy was convicted and sentenced for corruption, Le Monde is the most scathing. In an editorial titled, “After the assault on the Capitol, the devastating legacy of Donald Trump,” two central lessons are drawn.

The first is that “despite a handful of conservatives who paid with their political careers,” the Republican Party has been “decidedly incapable of opposing on principle the man who has continuously debased it.” The second goes beyond the fate of a single party: that “the gravest threats to American democracy today come from a supremacist extreme-right whose rhetoric Donald Trump has rendered banal.”

Le Figaro saw the latest news as a chance to run a simple online poll for its French readers. “La Question du Jour: “Should Donald Trump renounce his candidacy for the next American presidential election?”

Regardless of what the French think he should do, the whole world by now knows that the question of what these singularly troubling politicians will do is not only impossible to predict, but is bound to reverberate far beyond America’s borders …

— Alex Hurst

In other news …


L’Economia picked tech billionaire Elon Musk as its person of the year. Just as the SpaceX and Tesla CEO’s fate hangs in the balance with his latest venture, Twitter, Italian daily Corriere Della Sera’s economy supplement describes him as “innovative and controversial, over-the-top and visionary, loved and hated.”


Equally loved and hated is the series Emily in Paris, whose third season is about to hit Netflix. For the occasion, French TV channel BFM met with some of the show’s actors, who hail from both sides of the Atlantic, for a bit of U.S. v. France banter.

Résultat: Cast members trading barbs about U.S. aloofness, French straightforwardness, Parisians being blasés and Americans being LOUD.

🇵🇭🛥🇨🇳 IN BRIEF

Newspapers in the Philippines are focused this week on the latest reports of Chinese naval vessels “swarming” near contested islands in the South China Sea — and the swift U.S. backing of Manila.

In its lead front-page story, The Philippine Daily Inquirer referred to the statement of U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price: “The reported escalating swarms of PRC vessels in the vicinity of Iroquois Reef and Sabina Shoal in the Spratly Islands interfere with the livelihoods of Philippine fishing communities, and also reflect continuing disregard for other South China Sea claimants and states lawfully operating in the region.”

The Philippine Star offered similar Page One treatment, with the headline: “U.S. slams swarming of China ships in WPS” — referring to the West Philippine Sea, Manila’s official name for the part of the South China Sea that falls within its economic zone of influence.