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In The News

Night Of Shelling Across Ukraine, Lula Leads, Resurrecting Tasmanian Tigers

👋 Laphi!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Ukraine wakes up from a night of sustained shelling, Lula leads the polls as Brazil’s presidential race opens, and researchers are trying to bring Tasmanian tigers back to life. Meanwhile, we look at the dire dairy situation in Cuba, which faces severe milk shortages.

[*Aymara - Bolivia]

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New Crimea Blast, Heat Forces China To Close Factories, Academy Apologizes To Littlefeather

👋 Kamusta!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Crimea has been hit by the latest in a string of unexplained blasts, China orders 6-day closure for factories to combat record temperatures, and Native American actor Sacheen Littlefeather receives a belated apology from the Academy. Meanwhile, writing for Hong-Kong-based The Initium, Lee Yee On looks at the parallels between Taiwan and North Korea.

[*Filipino]

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Asian Cults And Castes, Where New Religions Meet Power Politics

Emerging religions and cults in Asia are deeply intertwined with politics: in China, religions need political approval, while in Japan religious groups use political platforms to assert themselves. Not even the killing of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, carried out by a member of the Unification Church, has prompted a closer look at exactly what role religion plays in society.

On July 8, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead while giving a speech in Nara.

The suspect confessed that he killed Abe because of his close relationship with the Unification Church, which his mother adhered to and went bankrupt for. The Unification Church was founded by Korean Messiah Claimant Sun Myung Moon in 1954, and entered Japan in 1956. At its peak, it had 4.7 million followers, but declined after the 1990s due to scandals related to donations and brainwashing.

Meanwhile, in an interview on July 4, the new Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, John Lee Ka-chiu, mentioned that he had been practising qigong for more than 25 years.

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Mongolia, How The "Switch To Austerity” Sparked A National Uprising

The Asian country is experiencing record inflation and soaring food costs as imports dry up due to the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

ULAANBAATAR — In the shadows of an immense statue of Chinggis Khaan, the founder of the Mongol empire, thousands gather. They stand outside the Government Palace to demand officials remedy the ever-increasing cost of living.

A young demonstrator holds up a mirror, asking if Mongolian government officials can bear to look themselves in the face, while others chant “Do your job” during the two-day dissent in April. The protest signals a breaking point for citizens who struggle to keep up with rising costs. They accuse the government of neglecting its duty to remedy the situation and forcing people to consider fleeing the country.

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

Taiwan Air Space, Azov Battalion Protest, Chorizo Space Gag

👋 ⴰⵣⵓⵍ!*

Welcome to Friday, where China’s military drills in the Taiwan Strait force airlines to cancel flights, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian leader Vladimir Putin meet in Sochi and a French scientist tricks Twitter with a slice of… chorizo. Meanwhile, French daily Les Echos looks at the phenomenon of “revenge travel” and how it may bring on lasting changes for tourism.

[*Azul - Tamazight, North Africa]

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In The News
Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

China’s Missile Drills, Taliban Doubts On Al-Zawahiri, Good Great Barrier Reef News

👋 Alii!*

Welcome to Thursday, where China launches missiles in largest ever drills near Taiwan following Nancy Pelosi’s visit, Germany braces for a potential energy gas crisis next winter, and there’s good news from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Meanwhile, Die Welt visits Germany’s Baden-Baden, which went from the destination of choice for wealthy Russian tourists to a tourist ghost town.

[*Palauan, Republic of Palau]

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In The News
Anna Akage and Emma Albright

Zelensky, Lavrov Both Try To Sway China After Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit

Soon after the Ukraine war began, the world began to ask: Where next? There were fears not just that Russia would try to expand its sphere of influence in the region, but that the war could set off other simmering conflicts around the world.

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

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The first to come to mind was China and Taiwan. And so now, five months into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the high-stakes visit of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, the highest-ranking U.S. state visit in 25 years that was meant to show support for Taiwan, and has prompted a flurry of threats from China.

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In The News
Chloé Touchard, Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Al Qaeda Leader Killed, Pelosi Expected In Taiwan, Contraband McMuffins

👋 Gude!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where U.S.-China relations brace for the expected arrival today of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan, the leader of Al Qaeda is killed in a U.S. drone strike and a traveler pays a hefty fine for a fast food breakfast. Meanwhile, French daily Les Echos reports on how the Russia-Ukraine war is rekindling long-simmering tensions among the Israeli population, particularly Russian speakers.

[*Tok Pisin, Papua New Guinea]

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Society
Chung Kin Wah

China's Tattoo Crackdown: Celebrity, Subversion And A Twist Of Patriotism

A new regulation in China is cracking down hard on tattoos. The law is ostensibly about minors, but some argue that it's going too far and actively erasing the glorious Chinese past.

For those who get tattoos to be noticed, the Chinese government has noticed.

In June, China's State Council released new measures targeting the showcasing of tattoos in public media, forbidding publications, films and television programs from encouraging or abetting minors to get tattoos. This new regulation also prohibits any enterprise, organization or individual from providing tattooing services to minors.

The country's Children's Welfare Department later announced that minors cannot be tattooed, even with the consent of their parents. The regulations also state that anyone who gets a tattoo for a minor in violation of the law, or who breaks the law on promoting tattoo awareness, will face prosecution.

The Chinese government had already banned entertainment artists with tattoos from appearing on TV shows back in 2018, describing them as people who were "alienated from the Party and the country."

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In The News
Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, McKenna Johnson and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Russia Cuts Gas To Europe, Myanmar Protests, SpaceX Rival

👋 Yokwe!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Europe braces for Russia turning off gas, an architect of Northern Ireland peace deal dies and a European rival to SpaceX is taking shape. Meanwhile, we look at what makes the Ukrainian port city of Odessa such a strategic and symbolic target for Vladimir Putin.

[*Marshallese, Marshall Islands]

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Coronavirus
Dan Wu

China's "Two-Legged Sheep" And The Cost Of COVID Discrimination

As China holds firm in its zero-COVID approach, discrimination against those who have tested positive is rampant. Some even find themselves homeless and jobless. Now, the government is trying to tackle the stigma, but it won't be easy.

On July 9, the story of Afen, a young girl living in the restrooms of Shanghai Hongqiao train station, spread rapidly on Chinese social media. The girl was reported to be jobless and homeless because she had once contracted COVID. In post-lockdown Shanghai, many recruiters refused to give jobs to those who had been infected or who had worked in hospitals. Such demands in Shanghai’s labor market were not just seen in companies and firms but also in manual part-time jobs.

And even shelters might not host people who had tested positive for the virus. In Shanghai alone, thousands of workers like Afen were left with no choice but to live on the streets and struggle for their survival.

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In The News
Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, McKenna Johnson and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Putin In Tehran, Record Heat Across Europe, Dinosaurs In The City

👋 Demat!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Vladimir Putin heads to Tehran to meet with the Iranian and Turkish leaders for his first trip abroad since the start of the Ukraine war, the UK records all-time-high temperatures and dinosaur footprints are found in a Chinese restaurant courtyard. Meanwhile, a Japanese ice-skating legend retires and a new Australian report quantifies the dire state of the environment.

[*Breton, France]

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