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TOPIC: shanghai

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Did Climate Change Cause The Fall Of The Ming Dynasty?

In the mid-17th century, the weather in China got colder. The frequency of droughts and floods increased while some regions were wiped out by tragic famines. And the once-unstoppable Ming dynasty began to lose power.

The accounts are chilling. In the summary of his course on modern Chinese history at the Collège de France, Pierre-Etienne Will examined journals held by various individuals, often part of the Chinese administration, during the final years of the Ming dynasty. These autobiographical writings were almost always kept secret, but they allow us to immerse ourselves in the everyday life of the first half of 17th-century China.

In the Jiangnan region, close to Shanghai and generally considered as a land of plenty, the 1640s did not bode well. The decade that had just ended was characterized by an abnormally cold and dry climate and poor harvests. The price of agricultural goods kept rising, pushing social tension to bursting points.

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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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100 Days Of Ukraine War, Shanghai Back In Lockdown, “Turkey” No More

👋 မင်္ဂလာပါ!*

Welcome to Friday, where Ukraine marks 100 days since the beginning of the Russian offensive, French arms manufacturers are accused of complicity in Yemen war crimes, and Turkey says call us Türkiye. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt tunes in with Anatoly Dremov, a Russian soldier whose on-the-ground war videos are going viral — much to the Kremlin’s chagrin.

[*Mingalaba - Burmese]

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West To Arm Ukraine, Deadly Brazil Rainstorm, Nadal Tears Up

👋 Салам!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the U.S. and Germany announce new military aid for Ukraine, at least 100 are confirmed dead as floods and landslides hit Brazil, and an iconic movie vehicle gets an ecological update. For Worldcrunch, Anna Akage also writes about the dire situation in Russia’s overpopulated detention centers, where Ukrainian “spies and traitors” are locked up without trial.

[*Salam - Kyrgyz]

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

Key EU Ukraine Summit, Shanghai Reopening, Whale Lost In The Seine

👋 Ahoj!*

Welcome to Monday, where EU leaders try to overcome divisions on Russian sanctions, Shanghai lifts some of its COVID-19 restrictions and a killer whale dies after getting lost in the river Seine. Meanwhile, German Die Welt reports on fears in Georgia that its breakaway territory South Ossetia might be next in the Kremlin’s crosshairs.

[*Czech]

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

More Surrender In Mariupol, Sri Lanka Defaults On Debt, Vincent Van LEGO

👋 Sveiki!*

Welcome to Thursday, where more Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol, Sri Lanka defaults on its debt,and George W. Bush offers an epic geopolitical gaffe. Meanwhile, Lili Bai in Chinese-language digital media The Initium looks at what’s driving the current “expat exodus” at play in Shanghai.

[*Latvian]

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Coronavirus
Lili Bai

In Shanghai, A Brewing Expat Exodus As COVID Crackdown Shows "Real" China

Not only strict rules of freedom of movement as part of Zero-COVID policy but also an increase in censorship has raised many questions for the expat population in the megacity of 26 million that had long enjoyed a kind of special status in China as a place of freedom and openness. A recent survey of foreigners in the Chinese megacity found that 48% of respondents said they would leave Shanghai within the next year.

SHANGHAI — On the seventh day of the lockdown, Félix, a French expat who has worked in Shanghai for four years, texted his boss: I want to "run,' mais je sais pas quand (but I don’t know when). A minute later, he received a reply: moi aussi (me too).

Félix had recently learned the new Mandarin word 润 (run) from social network postings of his local friends. Because its pinyin “rùn” is the same as the English word “run,” Chinese youth had begun to use it to express their wish to escape reality, either to “be freed from mundane life”, or to “run toward your future.”

For foreigners like Félix, by associating the expression “run” with the feeling of the current lockdown in Shanghai, “everything makes sense.” Félix recalled how at the end of March, the government denied rumors of an impending lockdown: “My Chinese colleagues all said, Shanghai is China’s top city, there would be no lockdown no matter what.”

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

Moscow-Washington War Of Words, Kim Jong-un’s Nuclear Threat, World’s Oldest Person Dies

👋 Kia ora!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where there’s an escalation of rhetoric between Russia and Washington, Kim Jong-un issues a nuclear threat and the world’s oldest person dies at age 119. Meanwhile, news website Livy Bereg looks at past examples of economic recoveries in countries that were destroyed by war, to see what lessons could be drawn for Ukraine.

[*Maori]

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

Ukraine War, Phase 2: The Battle For Donbas Begins

👋 Moien!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where the battle for Donbas begins, tensions are rising in Gaza after Israel’s airstrike and Biden’s mask mandate for air travel is struck down. Meanwhile, Ukrainian journalist Anna Akage zeroes in on the strategic significance of the city of Mariupol in this second phase of the Ukraine war.


[*Luxembourgish]

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Coronavirus
Dan Wu

Shanghai Stakes: Why COVID In China's "Bourgeois" Capital Is A High-Risk Affair

The port city is China's most international and cosmopolitan, which helps explain the ongoing culture clash between its residents and Chinese authorities aiming to enforce a strict Zero-Covid policy of restrictions on movement and freedom.

Shanghai, a metropolis of 25 million inhabitants with a rich and colorful history, stands apart in China.

The southern port boasts the most international and cosmopolitan population on mainland China, where commercial wealth and relative personal freedom meet. The natives of Shanghai are often chided by other Chinese as the nation's "bourgeois" class.

Through the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had first spread around the world from Wuhan — another Chinese mega-city some 500 miles to the west — Shanghai had largely been spared from its effects, with local administrations being praised for “precise epidemic prevention.”

All that has changed over the past month. Both its special status and previous success in keeping the virus at bay help explain the crisis engulfing the city over the past month. With the sudden spread of the Omicron variant, a strict lockdown has been in force since March 28. And locals are pushing the limits in what is, despite local attitudes, an authoritarian regime in China.

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In The News
Lorraine Olaya, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Lila Paulou and Emma Albright

Russia Vows New Attacks On Kyiv After Moskva Warship Sinks

👋 Сайн уу*

Welcome to Friday, where Russia warns of more strikes on Kyiv as Ukraine claims responsibility for the sinking of the Moskva warship, hundreds are wounded in clashes at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque, and “Houston, we have a kebab.” In German daily Die Welt, Michael Brendler explores the end-of-life ethical question that has gained new attention during the pandemic: When is it better to turn off life-support equipment?

[*Sain uu - Mongolian]

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In The News
Lorraine Olaya, Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet and Emma Albright

Mariupol Hangs In Balance, Biden Accuses Putin Of Genocide

👋 Manahuu!*

Welcome to Wednesday, as conflicting reports circulating over the fate of Mariupol, Biden accuses Putin of genocide, while the Russian president says peace talks with Ukraine are at a “dead end.” We also zoom in on Donbas, where Putin has shifted his forces in what could be a key moment in the Russia-Ukraine war. Meanwhile, an ugly Hollywood trial has begun in Virginia.

[*Mah-nah-hoo - Northern Paiute]

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