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TOPIC: pakistan

In The News

Gaza Ceasefire, Altman Back As OpenAI CEO, K-Pop King Charles

👋 Om Swastiastu!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Israel and Hamas agree to a four-day truce that will see the exchange of some hostages and prisoners, Sam Altman is back as OpenAI CEO just days after he was fired by the board, and King Charles compares Korea’s BTS to the Beatles. Meanwhile, Russian independent news outlet Vazhnyye Istorii analyzes Russia’s calls to label LGBTQ + activists as “extremist.”


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This Happened—November 16: Bhutto Breaks Through In Pakistan

Updated Nov. 16, 2023 at 12:30 p.m.

It was 35 years ago today when voters elected Benazir Bhutto to be the youngest ever and first female Prime Minister of Pakistan.

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Two-Way Street: Iran Faces Simultaneous Crises Of Immigration And Emigration

Many Iranians fear unchecked immigration, mostly by Afghans but also Iraqis, will overwhelm a fragile economy that is weakened by the many qualified employees leaving Iran.

The irregular, uncontrolled entry of migrants into Iran from neighboring countries is a problem for a country already mired in economic and environmental woes, and thousands of Iranians have signed a petition urging authorities to restrict their entry.

Iran can barely meet the needs of its own people, many of whom have migrated to flee the misery of their lives inside Iran. But the regime has adopted a confused or lackadaisical approach to managing the presence of several million migrants from Afghanistan , Iraq and Pakistan. Some observers in Iran fear this is a time-bomb situation in big cities.

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Beginning decades ago, soon after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Iran has been hosting Afghans crossing the eastern border. Many have settled, though today others use Iran as a route into Turkey , as they seek to reach Europe or the United States. Migration into Iran is believed to have risen sharply in the past two years, though numbers are difficult to come by as nobody is really checking.

There are no figures, for example, for the Afghans who have entered or returned to Iran, after the Taliban takeover of power two years ago. Estimates ranging from 8 million to 15 million have been floated, although the top estimate seems implausible as it represents around 25% of Afghanistan's population.

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This Happened — October 8: Kashmir Earthquake

The Kashmir earthquake struck on this day in 2005, with a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale.

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Axel Bojanowski

Climate Change Is Real, But Don't Blame It For Every Flood Or Fire

A closer look at the science shows there are many factors that contribute to weather-related emergencies. It is important to raise climate change awareness, but there's a risk in overstating its role in every natural disaster.

Updated on Oct. 4, 2023 at 4:05 p.m


BERLIN — In September, thousands of people lost their lives when dams collapsed during flooding in Libya. Engineers had warned that the dams were structurally unsound.

Two years ago, dozens died in floods in western Germany, a region that had experienced a number of similar floods in earlier centuries, where thousands of houses had been built on the natural floodplain.

Last year saw more than 1,000 people lose their lives during monsoon floods in Pakistan. Studies showed that the impact of flooding in the region was exacerbated by the proximity of human settlements, the outdated river management system, high poverty rates and political instability in Pakistan.

There are many factors that contribute to weather-related disasters, but one dominates the headlines: climate change . That is because of so-called attribution studies, which are published very quickly after these disasters to highlight how human-caused climate change contributes to extreme weather events. After the flooding in Libya, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described climate change as a “serial offender," while the Tageszeitung wrote that “the climate crisis has exacerbated the extreme rainfall."

The World Weather Attribution initiative (WWA) has once again achieved its aim of using “real-time analysis” to draw attention to the issue: on its website, the institute says its goal is to “analyse and communicate the possible influence of climate change on extreme weather events." Frederike Otto, who works on attribution studies for the WWA, says these reports help to underscore the urgent need for climate action. They transform climate change from an “abstract threat into a concrete one."

In the immediate aftermath of a weather-related disaster, teams of researchers rush to put together attribution studies – “so that they are ready within the same news cycle," as the New York Times reported. However, these attribution studies do not meet normal scientific standards, as they are published without going through the peer-review process that would be undertaken before publication in a specialist scientific journal. And that creates problems.

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In The News
Anne-Sophie Goninet and Laure Gautherin

McCarthy Ousted, Venice Bus Crash Kills 21, Chemistry Nobel Leak

👋 你好*

Welcome to Wednesday, where U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is ousted, Italian authorities launch an investigation into the bus crash that killed 21 near Venice, and Sweden's Royal Academy of Sciences inadvertently releases the winners’ names of the Nobel Chemistry Prize earlier than planned. Meanwhile, ahead of the Oct. 15 Polish elections, we look at how some political parties are competing for conservative Catholic voters by promising more draconian anti-abortion laws.

[*Lí-hó - Taiwanese Hokkien]

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In The News
Yannick Champion-Osselin and Chloé Touchard

Putin & Xi BRICS Speeches, Greek Forest Fire, India’s Moon Shot

👋 Báwo ni!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Day 2 of the BRICS Summit is rife with tensions and surprises, 18 bodies are found after a Greek forest fire and India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is about to touch down on the Moon. Meanwhile, in German daily Die Welt , Eva Marie Kogel writes that the old maxim “a woman's work is never done” still rings very much true today.

[* Yoruba ]

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In The News
Marine Béguin, Chloé Touchard and Valeria Berghinz

Russia-Ukraine Drone Tit-For-Tat, BRICS 2.0, Game Over For Mario’s Voice

👋 Sveiki!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where BRICS leaders meet in South Africa aiming to expand the alliance, former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is arrested upon returning to Bangkok after 15 years in exile, and everybody’s favorite Italian plumber gives his voice a rest. Meanwhile, for Spanish online media Ethic , David Lorenzo Cardiel says the word on the street is literally worth preserving.


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In The News
Yannick Champion-Osselin and Anne-Sophie Gobinet

Deadly Tripoli Clashes, Wildfires Worldwide, Iceman Baldeth

👋 اسلام عليكم*

Welcome to Thursday, where Libya’s capital sees its worst clashes in years, wildfires rage on the Canary Islands and in northern Canada , and we now know what Ötzi the Iceman may have looked like. For our special Summer Reads edition of Worldcrunch Today, we feature an article by Teresa Son and Emma Gómez in Buenos-Aires-based newspaper Agencia Presentes — and three other stories from around the world on LGBTQ + news.

[*Ssalamū ‘lekum - Darija, Morocco]

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In The News
Yannick Champion-Osselin, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Chloé Touchard and Valeria Berghinz

Niger Ultimatum, Pakistan Blast Aftermath, Michelle Yeoh’s Very Long Engagement

👋 Muraho!*

Welcome to Monday, where West African countries issue a one-week ultimatum to Niger’s junta, the death toll is expected to rise after a suicide bombing at a political rally in Pakistan killed at least 45, and Michelle Yeoh marries her Swiss beau Jean Todt some 19 years after he first proposed. Meanwhile, Martin Krause in Argentine daily Clarín explains why today’s youth ought to give iconic author Jorge Luis Borges a (re-)read.

[*Kinyarwanda, Rwanda]

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In The News
Emma Albright, Yannick Champion-Osselin, Michal Kubala and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Fresh Israel Protests, China Removes “Missing” Foreign Minister, Youngest World Cup Player

👋 Rimaykullayki!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Israel’s adoption of a controversial law to limit the Supreme Court’s powers sparks fresh protests, China officially removes Qin Gang (who hasn’t been seen in public since late June) as foreign minister, and scientists confirm that yes, extreme heat waves are linked to human-induced climate change. Meanwhile, Russian independent news outlet Vazhnyye Istorii/Important Stories shares tales of disappointment from Russian soldiers coaxed into joining the frontline in Ukraine.


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Harish Khare

"Untouchable" For President — Could A Dalit Leader Unseat Modi?

India goes to the polls next year, with a united opposition hoping to unseat Prime Minister Modi after 10 years in power. Mallikarjun Kharge, who may be the best candidate, is from India's "lowest" caste system.


DELHI — If Novak Djokovic, the greatest grass-court player ever, can be defeated, then India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, can be vanquished in next year’s court of the people. Modi has been in power since 2014 and appears to have a tight grip on power.

But even though India's opposition political landscape remains extremely untidy, it still has a Carlos Alcaraz up its sleeve. His name is Mallikarjun Kharge. If the opposition leaders play the game intelligently, India could have its first Dalit prime minister next May. Dalit — previously known as "untouchable" — is the lowest stratum of India's deeply entrenched caste system.

The messiness of the opposition’s unity or lack of it revolves round the vexatious issue of leadership. That issue, itself, is predicated on a few givens.

The leaders of 26 Indian opposition parties are meeting to firm up their strategy to take on Modi's party in the next year's general election. Taking on Modi's BJP, which won more than 300 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha (the lower house of India's parliament) in 2019, will be a big task, even for a united opposition. The question still is who will lead the opposition.

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