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Alex Hurst

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Screenshot of a meme showing a photoshopped image of Greta Thunberg doing a V sign over Andrew Tate's grave
eyes on the U.S.

Greta’s Andrew Tate Takedown Shines Light On Toxic American Males

Greta Thunberg dealt a knock-out blow online to self-proclaimed "misogynist" Andrew Tate. However, taming the spread of toxic masculinity online is not as simple.

-Analysis-

Two rounds, two knockouts in the all-out verbal dustup that saw Greta Thunberg win the year (or at least, the internet) in the final moments of 2022.

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How Trump’s Legal Troubles Look In Places Where Presidents Get Prosecuted
eyes on the U.S.

How Trump’s Legal Troubles Look In Places Where Presidents Get Prosecuted

-Analysis-

What do South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Italy, France, Portugal, and Iceland all have in common? They’re all wealthy democracies that have charged and prosecuted former heads of state or heads of government for criminal acts committed while in office.

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Photo of a classic marble statue representing three women hugging, part of Russia’s short-lived Queer Museum
Russia

LGBTQ+ International: Russia’s Short-Lived Queer Museum, Italy’s Gender-Neutral Toilet — And Other News

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

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photo of Senegal President Macky Sall coming out of his airplane
eyes on the U.S.

Eyes On U.S. — When African Leaders Go To Washington, China Is In The Room

-Analysis-

Some 100 of the most important political eyes in Africa aren’t turned towards the U.S. this week — they’re in the U.S. For the first time in eight years, the White House is hosting 49 African heads of state and leaders of government (and the Senegalese head of the African Union) for a U.S.-Africa summit. Not invited: any nation that has recently undergone a military putsch, or otherwise not in good standing with the African Union, like Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Sudan.

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Photo of vineyards in the desert
Green

Negev Terroir? Climate Change Pushes French Winemakers Into Desert Cultivation

More and more French wine growers are interested in the mechanics of growing grapes and producing wine in the world’s most arid regions—like Israel. Climate change is pushing the wine world to imagining all possibilities, including the most extreme.

On his family vineyard in the heart of the Negev desert — a vast expanse of sand and rocks that stretches from Israel’s border with Egypt to its border with Jordan — David Pinto and his team are getting ready to bottle the first white wine of the season.

The last harvest took place two weeks earlier, in September. “We closed out the harvest with two varietals that need more maturation time— Syrah and Muscat Canelli —which we use to make a really special dessert wine,” he explains.

Two years ago Pinto, the CEO of Pinto Winery, launched this adventure into Israeli wine. This year he produced 60,000 bottles, compared to 30,000 in 2021. His rows of vines spread out over ten hectares in this improbable terroir, a triangle amidst the Negev desert’s 13,000 km2 of dry and dusty earth.

“When the first producers set up in this desert 15 years ago, everyone thought they were crazy. Making wine in the desert? Back then people called it a hippie dream, but nobody's saying that anymore,” Pinto says. “There are 300 hectares of vines and 30 producers in the Negev, and the numbers grow every year.”

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Photo of a man working at the Hyundai car plant in Cangzhou City.
eyes on the U.S.

Eyes On U.S. — How White House Climate Action Could Spark A Global Trade War

-Analysis-

When the U.S. Congress passed the Biden administration’s landmark "green" spending bill in August, environmentalists around the world saw it as a very strong — and long overdue — step in the right direction on climate change.

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Third Drone Attack Inside Russia — Are We Entering New Phase Of War?
In The News

Third Drone Attack Inside Russia — Are We Entering New Phase Of War?

Russian commentators are asking if Ukrainian forces have the means and will to strike Moscow itself.

A drone strike at an airfield in Kursk, Russia on Tuesday appears to confirm a significant escalation of Ukraine’s war effort following two similar attacks the previous day deep inside Russian territory.

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"As a result of a drone attack, an oil tanker caught fire near Kursk airfield," Kursk Gov. Roman Starovoit said on Telegram early Tuesday. "There were no casualties. The fire is being localized."

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Three Dead In Ukraine's First-Ever Attack On Russian Air Bases
In The News

Three Dead In Ukraine's First-Ever Attack On Russian Air Bases

Reports of Ukraine's possible use of kamikaze drones deep inside Russian territory.

Updated 11:45 p.m.

Separate explosions Monday morning at two different Russian air bases, which have killed at least three and injured eight, have demonstrated that Ukraine has the capacity to use drones to attack targets deep inside Russia.

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

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Russian state media reports that a fuel tanker exploded early Monday in an airfield near the city of Ryanza, southeast of Moscow, killing three and injuring six people. Another two people are reported to have been injured in another morning explosion at the Engles-2 airbase in the Saratov region, farther to the southeast.

Later Monday, both Russian and Ukrainian government sources confirmed that the attack was carried out by Ukraine, a major escalation in Kyiv's war effort.

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Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk
Ideas

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Elon Musk bought Twitter in the name of absolute freedom. But numerous research shows that social media hate speech leads to actual violence. Musk and others running social networks need to strike a balance.

-Analysis-

PARIS — Elon Musk is the world's leading reckless driver. The ever unpredictable CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is now behind a very different wheel as the new head of Twitter.

He began by banning remote work before slightly backtracking and authorizing it for the company’s “significant contributors.” Now he’s opened the door to Donald Trump to return to Twitter, while at the same time vaunting a decrease in the number of hate-messages that appear on the social network…all while firing Twitter’s content moderation teams.

But this time, the world’s richest man will have to make choices. He’ll have to limit his otherwise unconditional love of free speech. “Freedom consists of being able to do everything that does not harm others,” proclaimed the French-born Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.

Yet freedom on social networks results not only in insults and defamation, but sometimes also in physical aggression.

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photo of a woman on the phone in front of a storefront with a black friday advertisement
eyes on the U.S.

Eyes On U.S. — Thanksgiving Gone Global, Black Friday Bad Influence

PARIS — The city of lights is littered with advertisements for “Black Friday” deals. Of course, virtually none of the city’s residents will celebrate Thanksgiving — and few probably even know that the traditional Friday shopping day is linked to the uniquely American (always-on-Thursday) holiday.

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Photo of billionaire Elon Musk with Twitter logo
eyes on the U.S.

Eyes On U.S. — Something Broken In The Kingdom Of American Tech

PARIS — There’s a dual story about the U.S. tech scene circulating in the world’s media. The first is structural, about trendlines and economics as Silicon Valley’s all-powerful platforms and companies have seen their stocks tanking and announced large layoffs for the first time ever. The second storyline is about the big tech titans themselves.

No surprises, Twitter is still taking up extraordinary amounts of headline real estate. And it’s impossible to disentangle Twitter the company from its Very-Online new owner, as Elon Musk’s barrage of changes continue to cross new red-lines that could wind up threatening the viability of the company itself.

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President Joe Biden speaks on midterm elections results. Live broadcast on CNN TV channel from Clermont-Ferrand, France, November 9, 2022​.
eyes on the U.S.

Eyes On U.S. — No 'Vague Rouge,' No Final Results: How The World Makes Sense Of Midterms

While some breathed sighs of relief that the Republicans' predicted "red wave" sweep didn't happen, others chuckle at how long it takes to count the votes. And then there's Senõr Musk...

PARIS — Three full days later, and there's still no real clarity on the U.S. midterms — but the world has gotten used to American elections dragging out for days or even weeks, for both political and technical reasons.

One French journalist wondered if there’s a simpler way.

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