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Irene Caselli

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz: A Very Special Responsibility
Geopolitics

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz: A Very Special Responsibility

As successor to Angela Merkel, Olaf Scholz is facing a wealth of challenges at home and abroad. In the coming days, he faces key international summits while a domestic energy crisis begins to spiral. Is the new Chancellor up to the challenge?

-Analysis-

BERLIN — Forty years ago, Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz was elected vice chairman of the Young Socialists. It was the heyday of the peace movement; Scholz, too, demonstrated against the stationing of U.S. medium-range missiles on the soil of the Federal Republic.

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Back then, too, in 1982, there was a turning point.

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Photo of a person swimming
LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: Sports Bans Tipping Point, Indian Uterus Transplant — And The Week’s Other Top News

All things LGBTQ+, from Peru, Morocco, NYC, Uganda ...

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 Amazon, Retracing The Last Steps Of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira
Society

In The Amazon, Retracing The Last Steps Of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

The murder of Brazil indigenist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips is shocking. Still, once looking more closely, it is not necessarily a surprise considering both the violence in Brazil and the situation in the rain forest under President Jair Bolsonaro.

Worldcrunch has turned to independent Brazilian media Agência Pública for special coverage of the murder of Brazil indigenist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips in Brazil’s Amazon. And their deaths is not a coincidence, nor fully unexpected. Thousands of environmentalist and land-defenders have been killed worldwide over the past two decades, with Brazil being one of the most murderous countries.

In Brazil, the situation in the Amazon worsened under President Jair Bolsonaro, who has pushed to develop the Amazon as well as cut funds to protection and indigenous government bodies. During a 2019 press conference, Bolsonaro responded to a question posed by Phillips by saying: “The Amazon is ours, not yours.”

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Russians Try To Repeat Mariupol Playbook In Severodonetsk
In The News

Russians Try To Repeat Mariupol Playbook In Severodonetsk

Russians are besieging Severodonetsk, the eastern Ukrainian city, and urging troops there to surrender as they offer a shaky evacuation corridor for civilians. The siege and symbolism recalls the siege of Mariupol, which didn't end well for Ukrainians.

In a two-sided move that eerily recalls the tragic events in the southern port city of Mariupol, Russia has urged Ukrainian troops to surrender in Severodonetsk, the eastern Ukrainian city where fighting is raging, while at the same time pledging to spend the day evacuating civilians.

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Severodonetsk, in Luhansk region, has assumed a symbolic weight in the war as Russia focused on trying to win over control of Donbas and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky repeating that it is a “decisive” battleground. Russian troops have encircled the city over the past few weeks, trying to take it back from Ukrainian forces that had taken control in 2014 from pro-Russian separatists.

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Photo of Italian far-right politician Matteo Salvini in front of a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin
Geopolitics

Why Italy Is The Most Pro-Russian Country In The West

While there are Moscow backers across Europe and even in the U.S., they mostly remain on the margins. In Italy, however, support for the Kremlin runs surprisingly wide, and deep.

-Analysis-

It was a special edition of Non è l'Arena, an Italian talk show, with host and journalist Massimo Giletti broadcasting from a balcony overlooking Moscow’s Red Square.

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Three months into the war, a special edition from Russia could have been a bold move to look at the crippled state of the Russian economy, or the plight of internal dissidents.

But for this June 5 prime time program, Giletti instead reserved the stage for Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova and pro-Kremlin TV host Vladimir Solovyov.

Zakharova had the chance to repeat the Kremlin's line on the war, accusing Italian journalists of not reporting on what she called “a war against its own people” by the Ukrainian regime in Donbas over the past eight years.

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Photographic Memory
Dottoré!

Photographic Memory

Flipping through the pages of an old photo album with my nonna, I asked her, "Grandma, why were you all in black and white when you were young?"

She replied, "The war broke out. One morning we woke up, and all the colors were gone."

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Photo of a person taking medication
Dottoré!

The Wrong Meaning Of "Homotransphobia"

Hatred cannot be cured.

The term “homotransphobia” is not in any diagnostic manual of psychiatry. Phobias, like all pathologies, create suffering for those who are affected — and can be cured. Instead, the only ones who suffer from the effects of homotransphobia are its targets.

Those who are "afflicted" with this condition are people for whom prejudice and ignorance prevail; and when they act on the basis of this ignorance, they are criminals, not sick people.

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Photo of a silhouette behind prison bars
Dottoré!

A Patient's Old Habits, A Doctor’s Call For Justice

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

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A soldier stands by children in Congo.
Ideas

The Trauma Of War, A Poisoned Guide For Parenting

As a psychoanalyst, Wolfgang Schmidbauer has researched the psychological effects of war on children — and in the process, also examined his own post-War childhood in Germany. In this article, he warns that parents tend to use their experiences of suffering as a method of education, with serious consequences.

As a young married civilian, British poet Robert Graves describes his mental state after World War I. "Shells used to come bursting on my bed at midnight, even though Nancy shared it with me," he wrote in Goodbye to All That, his wartime biography. "Strangers in daytime would assume the faces of friends who had been killed."

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Stencil of Maradonna on a wall in Naples
Dottoré!

Don't Anger The Patron Saints Of Calcio

From St. Paul to St. Diego...

"Dottoré, I know you’re going to say I’m superstitious and strange, you always give rational answers ... but I have to ask you a question: Is it true that ever since our stadium was renamed after Maradona, Napoli doesn't win at home anymore?"

"So?"

"Could it be that Saint Paul, to whom the stadium was initially dedicated, got offended and is making us lose now?"

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Putin Turns Up The Dial In Donbas
In The News

Putin Turns Up The Dial In Donbas

Russia may allow over-40s to enlist in military as resources are needed to step up the assault in eastern Ukraine.

Signs are pointing to Russian combat operations accelerating in the southeastern Donbas region, as the invasion in Ukraine nears the three-month mark. The British Ministry of Defence said Friday that more Russian troops are likely to be deployed to Donbas to reinforce operations there once they finish securing the strategic port city of Mariupol, where a growing numbers of Ukrainian soldiers has surrendered this week.

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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky told Ukrainian students during a virtual address on Thursday that the war is not over yet, and is entering “the final stage (which) is the most difficult, the bloodiest.” He added that it is not time yet for him to tell Ukrainians abroad to return home.

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The Reichstag building in Berlin.
Ideas

Ukraine Has Exposed The Bankruptcy Of Germany's "Never Again" Pacifism

A group of pro-peace German intellectuals published a letter asking the country not to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine, but they're missing the point completely. Germany needs to reinvent itself in order to face today's challenges — and threats.

-OpEd-

BERLIN — When even the brightest minds — some of whom have shaped the intellectual life of this republic for decades — suddenly seem at a loss, it can mean one of two things. Either the clever minds are not as clever as we were always led to believe. Or the times have changed so brutally that old pieces of wisdom are suddenly no longer valid.

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If you don't want to give up your childhood faith in the Federal Republic of Germany quite yet, you can settle on the second option.

Alexander Kluge, one of Germany's most versatile artists, founded a television production company, proving that there can even be television for intellectuals. Journalist and prominent feminist Alice Schwarzer has done more for the liberation of women in this country than anyone else. Yet Schwarzer and Kluge, along with another two dozen intellectuals, have written an open letter that basically recommends Ukraine to submit to Vladimir Putin for the sake of the authors' peace of mind.

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