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Sanjay Kathuria*

Pakistan And Sri Lanka Are Reminders Of The Political Power Of Economics

Both Pakistan's and Sri Lanka's leaders have resigned recently. Their fates should be a reminder to politicians in Asia and around the world: good economics might not be enough to get re-elected but bad economic decisions can hasten your fall.

On April 11, Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in as Pakistan’s new Prime Minister, following a no-confidence motion against the incumbent. A month later, in neighbouring Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe took oath as Prime Minister, for the sixth time, after the incumbent resigned.

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In The News
Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger.

Russia Warns Of NATO “Grave Mistake”, Shanghai Aims For Normalcy, Record Pakistan Heat

👋 Grüezi!*

Welcome to Monday, where Russia warns Finland and Sweden that joining NATO would be a “grave mistake,” locked-down Shanghai announces it aims for June 1 reopening, and South Asia’s heat wave becomes untenable. Meanwhile, Peter Huth in German daily Die Welt explains why the Doomsday Clock isn’t ticking quite the same for millennials today as it was for baby boomers.

[*Swiss German]

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Haseeb Asif

Meet Muhammad Moiz, Pakistan's Very Political Answer To Ru Paul

Turning identity and language on its head, this unique drag queen performer and activist is challenging preconceptions — even within the LGBTQ

LAHORE — Muhammad Moiz has multiple personas: a brash, outspoken woman behind Snapchat filters called Shumaila Bhatti, ruminating on family, Rishta Aunties, lip fillers, wedding seasons and gossip; a drag queen who does dirty comedy all about sex and sexuality called Miss Phudina Chatni; and a podcast where Moiz and a friend are just being their introspective, irreverent selves.

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Tarushi Aswani

How A Newspaper Is Helping Save India's Endangered Languages

After a bill by Indian parliament sidelined local languages in India, one digital newspaper took up the task of helping preserve them.

NEW DELHI — Tucked in a corner of a house in the Chenab valley in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the north of the country is the office of The Chenab Times, a multimedia news website that aims to produce news in two main local languages of Jammu’s Doda region – Bhaderwahi and Sarazi.

The team uploads videos on YouTube that wrap up daily news, first in Urdu and then in Bhaderwahi and Sarazi. The news portal also gives space to writers from across the country to write for their op-ed section.

In Jan. 2017, 23-year-old Anzer Ayoob, the editor-in-chief of the news website, started this portal that would run news in Urdu and English. However, after the parliament passed the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill – that made Hindi, Kashmiri and Dogri the official languages of the Union Territory – in September 2020, locals in the valley felt side-lined and ignored.

Many expressed dismay over the exclusion of Gojri, Pahadi and Punjabi and how the Bill coerced speakers to align with Hindi in a region where it is barely spoken. This also led to apprehensions over the marginalization of Urdu, which is the lingua franca in Pakistan. Language and politics are delicate subjects in the area. Both China and Pakistan lay claim to parts of Kashmir.

The civil society groups have expressed severe concerns over the Union government’s decision to digitize materials of Kashmiri language in Devnagri script, more associated with Hindi, instead of the Nastaliq script, pointing to serious apprehensions about the devaluation of the Persian script.

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In The News
Lila Paulou, Lorraine Olaya, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

Attack Looms In Ukraine's East, Macron-Le Pen Rematch, Gender-Neutral Passports

👋 Ndeewo!*

Welcome to Monday, where Ukraine braces for a new Russian offensive in the east, France’s presidential election has a je-ne-sais-quoi of déjà-vu, and the U.S. issues gender-neutral passports for the first time. Meanwhile, Die Welt’s reporter Alfred von Hackensberger visits Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s hometown, which is bracing for more Russian attacks.

[*Igbo - Nigeria]

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In The News
Lorraine Olaya, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

Russia Blocks Mariupol Evacuation, Leaves Chernobyl

👋 Salam!*

Welcome to Friday, where Russian forces halt Mariupol evacuation, Sri Lanka protests turn violent, and Australian police win this year’s April Fools’. Meanwhile, in Ukrainian news website Livy Bereg, Oleksandr Decyk argues that Putin’s gas-for-rubles ploy will amount to another failed attempt to blackmail the West.


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In The News
Lisa Berdet, Emma Albright, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Dozens Killed In Ukraine Train Station Attack

👋 مرحبا*

Welcome to Friday, where at least 30 are killed in a Russian rocket strike on a Ukrainian train station, Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed as the U.S. Supreme Court’s first-ever Black woman justice and polls are tightening between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen ahead of Sunday’s French presidential elections. La Stampa reporter Francesco Semprini follows the Ukrainian Special Forces patrolling the streets of Kharkiv in search of pro-Russian saboteurs.

[*Marhaba - Arabic]

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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet, Lorraine Olaya and Laure Gautherin

Nuclear Plant Attack, Humanitarian Corridors, Oligarchs Targeted

👋 Halu!*

Welcome to Friday, where Russia seizes control of Europe’s largest nuclear plant after a potentially disastrous attack, Ukraine and Russia agree to set up humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians and the U.S. levels new sanctions on Russian oligarchs. Persian-language media Kayhan-London also reports on the unique prism through which Iran is seeing the Russia-Ukraine war.

[*Inuktitut - Inuit]

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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet, Bertrand Hauger and Jane Herbelin

Biden Prediction, Austria’s Vaccine Lottery, Googly Eyes Down Under

👋 Grüss Gott!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Ukraine lashed out at Biden’s prediction about Russian intentions, Austria is betting on a new incentive for the unvaccinated, and the Australian city of Adelaide is baffled by a mysterious spate of googly eyes. We also look at Russia’s latest efforts to dismantle the REvil hacking group, at Washington’s request, and what this means in the context of U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine.

[*Swabian - Germany]

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Kayhan London

Iran Caught In Persian Gulf's Record Rise In Illegal Shark Hunting

The Persian Gulf has become lucrative fishing territory. Sharks, a threatened species, are being hunted to be used in cooking and medicines. Local fishermen are being arrested, but the operation involves people much higher up the food chain.

LONDON — Iranians were informed in mid-May of another piece of endemic lawlessness in their country: illegal fishing of sharks in the Persian Gulf, with the catch destined for unspecified destinations and part of an ever bigger black market .

Authorities found a haul of 8,000 dead shark and shark fins in the port of Chabahar in south-east Iran, and 2,500 shark fins on the island of Kish, in the south-west of the country, in less than a week earlier in May. The chief environmental officer of the Sistan-and-Baluchestan province described the consignments, found in cold storage facilities, as the biggest so far.

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Ranjani Iyer Mohanty

From India To Canada, Tracking The Killer Wave Of Global Warming

Because of climate change induced heat waves, India is increasingly — and alarmingly — resembling Kim Stanley Robinson's climate-fiction book The Ministry of the Future, but nothing seems to be done to change its dramatic ending.


Kim Stanley Robinson’s book The Ministry of the Future begins quite dramatically. In the year 2025, an American aid worker experiences a horrific heatwave in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. The chapter ends with many of the people in his town sitting in a lake trying desperately to stay cool; the term "dead in the water" takes on a new significance. Ultimately, some 20 million die in that heatwave.

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In The News

Le Weekend ➡️ The Cruel Truth About Bush's "Iraq – I Mean, Ukraine" Gaffe

May 21-22

  • A liberated Ukrainian village
  • Long COVID limbo
  • TikToker under fire
  • … and much more.
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