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Renate Mattar

See more by Renate Mattar

Photo of participants at the The 15th edition of the Santiago Parade, March for Equality
LGBTQ Plus

LGBTQ+ International: World Cup Armband Mess, Russian Bans, Santiago Pride

Welcome to our new exclusive weekly round up of LGBTQ+ news from around the world.

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!

This week featuring:

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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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Photo of a hand holding a phone recording footage of ​Vice President Kamala Harris during a midterm rally in NYC on Nov. 3
eyes on the U.S.

Eyes On U.S. — How The World Is Tracking A High-Stakes Midterm Election

The international media is tuning in closely to Tuesday’s U.S. midterms, with global ramifications for everything from the war in Ukraine to action on climate change to the brewing superpower showdown with China.

PARIS — It’s becoming a bi-annual November ritual: International reporters touch down in some small American town or so-called “battleground state” that we’re told could decide the fate of the next two or four (or more) years in the United States — and the world.

Reporting for French daily Le Monde, Piotr Smolar was in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, where “culture wars” were infecting the schools ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections. Meanwhile, Smolar's French broadcast colleagues at France Info were in the ever crucial state of Florida, talking to locals at the grocery store about the economy.

“The prices are crazy. I’m a veteran, I spent 16 years in the army and this is what I get when I come home,” said a man named Jake in the city of Melbourne, Florida. “We’re counting every penny. It’s Biden’s recovery plan that put us in this situation.”

Yes, it will likely be local issues that determine the results of the midterm elections, where Republicans have a strong chance of taking back control of Congress and deal a potentially fatal blow to some of President Joe Biden’s signature policy objectives.

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Photo of Just Stop Oil activists after splashing tomato soup across Van Gogh’s Sunflowers
Ideas

Just Stop Art? 'Just Stop Oil' And Rousseau's Flawed Nature-Culture Divide

In the last few weeks, the Just Stop Oil protests have been catapulted to global attention by soiling art masterpieces in the name of environmental protection. But their choice of target says just as much about their view of art as their view of oil.

-OpEd-

PARIS — In a matter of weeks, tomato sauce splashed across Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, mashed potatoes covered Monet’s Haystacks, and human hands were firmly stuck on Picasso’s Massacre in Korea.

The climate activists who performed those striking actions are part of a global collective. "Just Stop Oil" is the name of their branch in the UK; "Letzsche Generation" in Germany; "Fireproof" in Australia; or "Dernière rénovation" in France. They object to their governments’ climate inaction and, more generally, society’s inaction.

Despite all my efforts, as a progressive and eco-anxious citizen, I still couldn’t come to celebrate their protests. Of course, it was all symbolic because the paintings were glass-covered and well protected. And yet why do I still find all of this objectionable?

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Russia’s Sudden U-Turn On Black Sea Grain Exports Averts Food Crisis
In The News

Russia’s Sudden U-Turn On Black Sea Grain Exports Averts Food Crisis

Turkish-Brokered deal Is back on after a call between Putin and Ergogan.

It was a turn of events that could avert a deepening global food crisis: Russian said Wednesday that it will resume participation in the Black Sea grain deal, which ensures safe passage for ships carrying food exports from the country.

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

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After Moscow had pulled out of the deal earlier over the weekend, Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Igor Konashenkov announced the U-turn Ukraine had submitted “the necessary written guarantees” that it would not use any agricultural export ports to launch military operations.

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satiric painting of a 19th century woman at a cafe with a laptop
Society

The Right To Laziness — A New French Theory To Put Work In Its Proper Place

A French politician recently made the case for the "right to laziness". In the era of the “great resignation” or "quiet quitting”, the idea is not as far-fetched as it sounds. After all, history shows us that work is a very recent human passion.

-Essay-

PARIS — “The value of work” has been one of French President Emmanuel Macron and his government's priorities in recent years. Communists, too, claim that working is a source of emancipation, while the classic liberalism makes labor the core of progress. Meanwhile, the tech enthusiasts who hold the real power today also see work as the only way to save the public accounts.

Big issues are at stake here: our whole social system — from calculating pensions to paying allowances — is driven by the hunt for that next job.

In the middle of all this, Sandrine Rousseau’s dissident voice rose up. The left-leaning French economist and politician started asking for a “right to laziness.”

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Photo of Liz Truss walking back inside 10 Downing Street after delivering her resignation speech on Oct. 20
Geopolitics

Liz Truss Is The Sorry Face Of Post-Brexit Britain

Liz Truss' record-setting short time in office showed that the UK cannot do whatever it pleases — even now that it's left the EU.

-Analysis-

PARIS — The “next Margaret Thatcher” didn't stay in office very long. And in view of her radical project and personality, this is clearly no surprise — she actually had very little in common with the Iron Lady.

Liz Truss remained in 10 Downing Street for exactly 45 days, the shortest stint ever for a British prime minister. But this was already enough time to prove just how empty her economic program was.

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