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In The News

Le Weekend ➡️ History In The Making? A Photo Op À Trois On The Way To Kyiv

June 18-19

  • Rethinking Europe
  • Murder investigation in the Amazon
  • Australia’s dancing goalie
  • … and much more.
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In The Amazon, Retracing The Last Steps Of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

The murder of Brazil indigenist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips is shocking. Still, once looking more closely, it is not necessarily a surprise considering both the violence in Brazil and the situation in the rain forest under President Jair Bolsonaro.

Worldcrunch has turned to independent Brazilian media Agência Pública for special coverage of the murder of Brazil indigenist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips in Brazil’s Amazon. And their deaths is not a coincidence, nor fully unexpected. Thousands of environmentalist and land-defenders have been killed worldwide over the past two decades, with Brazil being one of the most murderous countries.

In Brazil, the situation in the Amazon worsened under President Jair Bolsonaro, who has pushed to develop the Amazon as well as cut funds to protection and indigenous government bodies. During a 2019 press conference, Bolsonaro responded to a question posed by Phillips by saying: “The Amazon is ours, not yours.”

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The Power Of A Child's Imagination To Bring The Amazon Back To Life

Illegal mining and deforestation are destroying parts of the Amazon and devastating indigenous people's lives. As laws and governments fail to protect the environment and vulnerable communities, locals have turned to the imagination of the future generation.

What do the children of the Amazon dream of? How do they observe the destruction of the forests around them? How do they imagine those areas if the situation were different? Ojo Público supported a local effort that brought together a group of children from the Awajún indigenous community in northern Peru to draw on photographs of devastated forests the elements that they imagined should be there.

Illegal activities are destroying the forests of the Amazon and polluting its rivers. On the landscapes destroyed by illegal mining and deforestation, they painted huge trees, plants, animals in the forest and fish in pristine rivers.

"The trees suffer," says Suely Apika, a 12-year-old Awajún girl, while she draws a hunting scene in the forest on top of a photograph of an empty terrain. Where there were once trees, now only a yellowish mud remains.

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U.S. Air Raid In Syria, Argentina Fatal Cocaine, Bezos Yacht v. Dutch Bridge

👋 Dumêlang!*

Welcome to Thursday, where a U.S. air raid in Syria kills civilians, tainted cocaine kills 20 in Argentina, and Jeff Bezos’ superyacht gets special treatment in Rotterdam. Thanks to Persian-language media Kayhan, we also look at the discontent brewing among Iranians vis-à-vis their country’s religious government.

[*Northern Sotho, South Africa]

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

New COVID Variant, Black Friday Amazon Strikes, Tiny IKEA Flat

👋 Selamat pagi!*

Welcome to Friday, where a new fast-spreading coronavirus variant has been identified in South Africa, Amazon is hit by global protests on Black Friday and IKEA is renting a tiny apartment for a tiny rent in Japan. Meanwhile, boars, jaguars, pumas and bears invade our newsletter as we look at how wildlife is moving into cities around the world.

[*Indonesian]

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Future
Emmanuel Grasland

How China Flipped From Tech Copycat To Tech Leader

Long perceived as a country chasing Western tech, China's business and technological innovations are now influencing the rest of the world. Still lagging on some fronts, the future is now up for grabs.

BEIJING — China's tech tycoons have fallen out of favor: Jack Ma (Alibaba), Colin Huang (Pinduoduo), Richard Liu (Tencent) and Zhang Yiming (ByteDance) have all been pressured by Beijing to leave their jobs or step back from a public role. Their time may be coming to an end, but the legacy remains exceptional. Under their reign, China has become a veritable window to the global future of technology.

TikTok is the perfect example. Launched in 2016, the video messaging app has been downloaded over two billion times worldwide. It has passed the 100-million active user mark in the United States. Thanks to TikTok's success, ByteDance, its parent company, has reached an exceptional level of influence on the internet.

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EL ESPECTADOR
Eduardo Barajas Sandoval

The New Conquistadors? What To Make Of The Billionaire Space Racers

Bezos, Branson, Musk. The billionaires throwing untold resources into private space travel may prove, in the end, to be visionaries. But they're also blind, it would seem, to real-world problems here on planet Earth.

-OpEd-

There is no shortage of people hailing the tycoon-space-adventurers Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Elon Musk as modern-day equivalents of Christopher Columbus, Americo Vespucci and Ferdinand Magellan. Only in this case, the quest to cross new frontiers comes against a backdrop of climate change and a global pandemic.

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Economy
Pierre de Gasquet

To Cannes And Back: The Subtle French Infiltration In Hollywood

Since Agnès Varda, Louis Malle and Michel Gondry, trying one's luck in Hollywood has become an obsession for some French filmmakers. But Netflix and friends are changing the formula.

HOLLYWOOD — Frank Zappa recorded his rock opera "Joe's Garage" there. The Beatles used its large auditorium for their meditation sessions. Halfway between Beverly Hills and the Pacific, with its imposing pink brick facade decorated with Ionian columns, The Village Studios looks like a huge room inherited from the 1920s. At the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Butler Avenue, the legendary West Los Angeles recording studio of everyone from Eric Clapton to Lady Gaga has been located in a former Masonic temple since 1968.

This musical sanctuary is where the soundtracks to "Crazy Heart" and the Coen brothers' comedy "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" were recorded. It is also where the opening scene of Leos Carax's "Annette" — co-written with the California pop duo Sparks (brothers Ron and Russell Mael) — was filmed.

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Geopolitics
Natalie Unterstell

With The Amazon At Stake, Biden And Bolsonaro Eye Green Deal

Would an agreement with the Americans make the Bolsonaro government change course?

RIO DE JANEIRO — Imagine for a moment that the United States declares that it's signed a major environmental agreement with the Brazilian government, as President Joe Biden has recently declared is a top priority. Imagine the U.S. government promises to pay if there is a reduction in deforestation in the Amazon this year. It would be a "carrot" for the government of President Jair Bolsonaro to act around the protection of forests, in addition to the "sticks' that he faces in the form of reduced business and investment. It could be the long-awaited deal that changes the course of Brazil's climate and environmental agenda.

But a "green" agreement without sensible conditions and dialogue could just serve as an early award to a Brazilian government that has so far shown no intention of changing the policies in question — which serve its political base.

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Geopolitics
David Barroux

Europe Is Right To Call Up Big Guns Against Big Tech

Europe is moving forward in a united front to force Big Tech that could lead to a historic showdown on the future of how the digital economy functions.

-OpEd-

PARIS — Facing the rise of Big Tech, which by now has crossed the line far too many times, European states had forgotten the three basic requirements that make any police force effective: political will and backing; the right laws to give it the means to take action; and, finally, it needs to be armed.

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Economy
David Barroux

What Europe Gets All Wrong About Amazon

As the European Commission targets U.S. retail giant Amazon for alleged antitrust violations, David Barroux in French business daily Les Echos offers his own take.

Wouldn't it be better if Amazon didn't exist? At a time when Brussels is targeting the e-commerce giant for abusing its dominant market position, and when small retailers are demanding that the activity of this frightful American player be drastically restricted as long as their own shops remain shut by the second lockdown, Jeff Bezos' company offers an easy target.

However, we should not accuse Amazon of all evils. Like everyone else, the Seattle giant deserves to be prosecuted and convicted if it breaks the law. On the fiscal, social or commercial front, there is no reason to tolerate a company that evades taxes, plays around with the Labor Code, and practices a particular kind of unfair competition. There is a need for faster and tougher enforcement of existing laws. And, when we are faced with the emergence of a new player in the market, we should not be afraid to change the rules of the game.

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Economy
Carl-Johan Karlsson

How Sweden's Social Democrats Fell In Love With Amazon

"Amazon is ‘un-Swedish"..."


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