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In The News

Le Weekend ➡️ From Kabul To Taipei, History Returns And Refracts

August 6-7

  • Turkey’s NATO leverage on Sweden and Finland
  • Chinese tattoo ban and a patriotic twist
  • Wearable pet fans
  • … and much more. 👉 Note to readers: Our newsletter team will be taking a brief summer break. Worldcrunch Today will resume Aug 16. In the meantime, we invite you to follow our continuing regular coverage at the Worldcrunch website.
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Pelosi In Taiwan: Bold Diplomacy, Perfect Timing

"She's now the leader of the Western movement recognizing the existence of a democratic Taiwan, aiming to break Beijing's "one-China principle..." A Taiwanese political scientist argues the 19-hour visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have real lasting impact.

-Analysis-

TAIPEI — As many have noted, Nancy Pelosi’s recent 19-hour trip to Taiwan was the first visit to the island by a U.S. House Speaker since 1997. In the intervening 25 years, some things have changed, and others haven't.

While China is now a major world economic and military power, cross-Strait relations are similarly marked by high levels of hostility and mistrust.China still wants reunification, Taiwan still supports the status quo, and there is no room for compromise.

The question of why Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan despite warnings from China begins to show what drives her, and what's at stake.

Her trip was a critique of China's growing ability to shape the international order. During a much earlier visit to Beijing, in 1991, Pelosi, already a member of the U.S. Congress, was temporarily arrested by the Chinese police and expelled from the country after pulling a black banner in Tiananmen Square "dedicated to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the cause of democracy in China."

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

Putin’s “Invincible” Missile, Pelosi’s Asian Plans, K-pop Special Treatment

👋 Kumusta!*

Welcome to Monday, where the first Ukrainian grain ship leaves Odessa since the start of Russia’s invasion, while Putin previews a new “hypersonic” missile. Also, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi starts her high-profile Asian tour in Singapore as the K-pop band BTS gets special attention from South Korea’s defense minister. Meanwhile, even as much of the world loosens its pandemic-related restrictions, we have a warning about the growing risks of long COVID.

[*Cebuano, Philippines]

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

Ukraine Prison Blast, Kentucky Floods, Vettel’s Green Retirement

👋 নমস্কাৰ!*

Welcome to Friday, where Russia blames Ukraine for the deadly prison blast in Donetsk, the death toll rises in Kentucky historic floods, and Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel announces his final lap. We also look at recent NATO member Finland and its latest (bold) move to block tourists from neighboring Russia.

[*Nomoskar - Assamese, India]

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Geopolitics
Dan Wu

Old Witch Farce, No Fly Zone:  Specter Of Pelosi Taiwan Trip Raises Heat In Region

A phone call Thursday between Presidents Xi and Biden may have avoided adding tensions to U.S.-China relations, but now all attention will be back on the question of whether Nancy Pelosi lands in Taipei next month for a meeting that Beijing has been warning against and the Chinese media stirs the pot.

It's not quite "Nixon goes to China," but the question of whether U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will visit Taiwan is already stirring geopolitical tensions, and sparking rhetorical bluster from Beijing's official channels, as well as media and social networks.

Following The Financial Times' report on July 19 of a planned trip, Pelosi herself has still not confirmed whether she will be the most senior Congressional figure to make an official visit to Taiwan in 25 years. But that hasn't stopped continuous speculation and threats, and even insults, coming from mainland China.

The possibility of a visit also further complicated an already highly charged call Thursday between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the first since March.

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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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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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