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TOPIC: south africa

Geopolitics

Winning African Hearts And Minds: Why Russia Has An Edge Over The West

Russia's Foreign Minister is in South Africa for the second time in a year. In spite of the West's best efforts, Vladimir Putin's delegation is still welcomed in large parts of Africa, which still harbors colonial resentment toward Europe.

-Analysis-

PARIS — Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister, has not traveled much since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But he arrived yesterday on an official visit to South Africa, his second official trip there in a year.

But it is not a coincidence: Africa is a priority for Russian diplomacy.

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The West was caught off guard when, at the United Nations last year, a large part of Africa refused to condemn the Russian aggression on Ukrainian territory. They were all the more surprised because, since the 1960s, the African continent has wisely adopted a principle recognizing the borders inherited from colonization: it wanted to avoid possible inter-state targeting, which is what Russia is trying to do in Ukraine.

Moscow has been able to capitalize on this refusal of Africa to align itself with the West.

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China Eases COVID Restrictions, Ramaphosa In Turmoil, RIP Christine McVie

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Thursday, where China eases COVID restrictions in several major cities, South Africa’s president faces impeachment, and Fleetwood Mac bids adieu to its songbird Christine McVie. Meanwhile, in Denmark, we look at a controversy surrounding a blackface scene featured in a beloved Christmas TV special.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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Both Kyiv And Moscow Refuse To Back Down In Fight For Kherson

As Moscow and Kyiv direct their troops toward the southern Ukrainian city, the strategic and symbolic value cannot be overstated.

Kyiv and Moscow both appear ready for a major battle to control the contested Ukrainian city Kherson. Statements by Ukrainian officials and recent troop movements from both sides indicate heavy fighting to come in the key southern city.

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Russia still controls the city despite recent Ukrainian counteroffensives in the area that have retaken significant territory, and Moscow has reportedly been reinforcing areas around Kherson with more soldiers. Russian media Vazhnyye Istorii spoke Wednesday with several local residents in Kherson who reported an uptick in looting and forced evacuations by occupying forces loyal to Moscow.

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Train Station Strike Kills 25 In Ukraine, Monsoon Toll, Around The World At 17

👋 Mbote!*

Welcome to Thursday, where the death toll is mounting in Russia’s attack on a train station in eastern Ukraine, Pakistan is asking for international aid amid months of extreme floods, and a British-Belgian pilot becomes the youngest to fly solo around the world. Meanwhile, Colombian daily El Espectador looks at how the city of Medellín has turned into (to quote the locals) "Sodom and Gonorrhea."

[*Lingala - mboh-teh]

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

Retaking Kherson, Sri Lanka President Resigns, Djokovic 007

👋 Goeie!*

Welcome to Monday, where Ukraine plans a counteroffensive in the South, Sri Lanka’s president resigns after protesters stormed the presidential palace on Sunday and there’ll soon be 8 billion of us on Earth. Meanwhile, The Conversation sees Shinzo Abe’s assassination as the continuation of Japan’s history of political violence.

[*Frisian - The Netherlands and Germany]

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LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Spain’s Transgender Bill, Istanbul Pride Arrests — And The Week’s Other Top News

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — a topic that you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

Featuring, this week:

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In The News
Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Emma Albright

Russian Warship Damaged, U.S. Weapons To Ukraine, Musk Bids To Buy Twitter

👋 Tere!*

Welcome to Thursday, where a major Russian warship has been seriously damaged in the Black Sea, South Africa’s flooding toll tops 300, and Elon Musk bids to buy (all of) Twitter. Meanwhile, from the Netherlands, Frieda Klotz chronicles the eventful history of the Dutch clinic that’s been at the forefront of transgender medical care for kids.

[*Estonian]

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Geopolitics
Carl-Johan Karlsson

South African Parliament Fire Raises Deeper Questions About Democracy

It took firefighters nearly three days to extinguish the blaze at the historic building in Cape Town, and the damage will persist as South Africans try to figure out how this happened, and what it says about the country’s struggle to reinforce its young democracy.

That the devastating fire at South Africa’s parliament building broke out in Cape Town on Sunday — one day after anti-apartheid hero Desmond Tutu's funeral was held nearby — only adds to the anguish of a nation struggling to reinforce its democracy nearly three decades after its first free elections.

Since the blaze was finally extinguished for good on Tuesday, South Africans have been debating the ramifications of the fire that tore through the 150-year-old building, laying waste to the wood-paneled assembly where the president makes his annual state-of-the-nation address.

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In The News
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Jane Herbelin

Sudan Prime Minister Resigns, Australia COVID Peak, Ciao Venice Bridge

👋 Kia ora!*

Happy New Year! Welcome to Monday, where Sudan’s embattled prime minister resigns, Australia sees record daily COVID cases and Venice says ciao to its Instagrammable footbridge for safety reasons. Meanwhile, we look at what could bring down the budding alliance between China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

[*Maori]

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

Israel-U.A.E Historic Meeting, Omicron Emergency, Putin Taxi Driver

👋 ສະບາຍດີ*

Welcome to Monday, where the first ever meeting took place between leaders of Israel and the United Arab Emirates, BoJo declares an “Omicron emergency” and Vladimir Putin shares a side hustle from his past. And for the insomniac and the lonely, we tune in to Taiwan’s new app that connects you to a “sleep buddy” who’ll virtually tuck you in with some late-night talking.

[*Suh-bye-dee, Lao]

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

Omicron Reinfection Rates, Abortion To Supreme Court, Battleaxosaurus

👋 Håfa adai!*

Welcome to Thursday, where new Omicron findings arrive from South Africa, abortion rights are at risk at the U.S. Supreme Court and Tyrannosaurus rex has got some new competition. From Germany, we share the story of a landmark pharmacy turned sex toy museum.
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