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Le Weekend: This Is What The Week Was All About, Folks

Looking back on this week, and forward to the next.

Fireworks during the inauguration of the Christmas tree lighting in the city of Nazareth, Israel.
Fireworks during the inauguration of the Christmas tree lighting in the city of Nazareth, Israel.
Nazareth the Magical city / Facebook
  • A story about blablabla
  • A story on blablabla
  • A very funny story about blablabla

🎲 But first, a quiz!

Have you paid attention to the odd news this week? Reading our daily newsletters, you should know ...

1. What did Harrison Ford lose in Sicily, before a tourist found and returned it?

2. What sports-related item fetched a record $1.47 million on Monday?

3. What was a participant in the Venice Historical Regatta gondola race busted for?

4. What news have we summed up here in emoji form? 🇦🇷⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽🏆

[Answers at the bottom of this newsletter]


This thing below was particularly newsworthy this week

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• Nigeria's Benin City bronzes head back home: Thousands of metal sculptures and ivory carvings made between the 15th and 19th centuries and looted by the UK from the West African kingdom of Benin will soon be returned to Nigeria.

Dune Part 2 confirmed: The world will get to see Timothée Chalamet ride a sandworm: The second installment of the sci-fi epic and global box office hit has officially been greenlit, set to hit the screens in 2023.

• Egyptian soprano makes opera history: Egyptian soprano Fatma Said became the first Egyptian soprano to perform at the iconic Accademia del Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

• Caravaggio ceiling for sale:Rome's Villa Aurora will be put up for auction in January for $547 million: The villa boasts the only known ceiling painting by Renaissance master Caravaggio.

• And nothing else matters: Metallica turned 40. 🤘


Attack On French Women's Soccer Star Is Not A Replay Of Tonya Harding

In the world of top-flight French women's soccer, Nov. 18 will be an important day. That's when French national team coach Corinne Diacre announces which players have been selected for the upcoming qualifying matches for the next World Cup.

On paper, Kheira Hamraoui and Aminata Diallo, two-star midfielders of the Paris St.-Germain (PSG) club team are more than worthy of consideration for the national team, for which each has played in the past. But on the field on Friday for their club practice in Paris, neither player was present.

Hamraoui is recovering from injuries to her legs sustained last week in an attack, and Diallo was just released from police custody without charges after being questioned in the case of the assault, which has been roiling the world of French sports the past week.

It was last Thursday, Nov. 4, when both players were returning from a PSG team dinner, with Diallo at the wheel. Suddenly, two hooded men appeared, pulled Hamraoui out of the car, and hit her on both legs with an iron bar, as reported by French sports daily L'Equipe.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


De Klerk's Death: How South Africa Saw Its Last White President

Having shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela, former President Frederik Willem de Klerk was largely credited with courageous leadership and a key role in dismantling apartheid. But his legacy, both before and after the transition, is decidedly mixed.

Since South Africa's last white ruler Frederik Willem de Klerk died at his home in Cape Town on Thursday at the age of 85, the reactions of South Africans have mirrored the contradictions that characterized de Klerk's political life.

De Klerk is widely heralded for his role in dismantling the brutal apartheid state and ushering in the dawn of South Africa's democracy, having shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with Nelson Mandela, who succeeded him as president.

In a statement on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa labeled his actions "courageous," and celebrated his "decision to unban political parties, release political prisoners and enter into negotiations with the liberation movement amid severe pressure to the contrary from many in his political constituency."


French soldier caught doing a handstand on the Elysée front porch

"Sir, sir, sir — please don't. This is not just anywhere!": a guard at the Elysée had to tell off a veteran army fireman who thought it would be a good idea to get filmed doing a handstand on the steps of the French presidential palace.


A hole-in-one kind of innovation

While some of the world's greatest minds were gathered in Glasgow to try and save our planet from impending doom, innovators were also hard at work on what would arguably be golf's greatest game-changer: rain gloves.


Diary of a Neapolitan psychiatrist

In Naples you will often hear people cry out: "Maronna ro Carmine!"

I will try to explain the meaning of that expression.

Although everyone called her Maria, my grandmother's real name was Maria Carmela, like the Madonna to whom she was devoted.

Those who are not from Naples may not know it, but the Madonna del Carmine (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) has been distributing miracles since the 1400s.

In fact, when I was six years old and the ophthalmologist decided that I suffered from astigmatism and hypermetropia, my grandmother turned to her.

She wouldn't have any of it. It was not acceptable that her granddaughter, like her two short-sighted daughters, would be "condemned" to wear glasses.

So began our Wednesday pilgrimages to the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine in downtown Naples. That's when I became familiar with the world of the sick, the miraculously healed and the voting offerings.

But it didn't last long. After six months, my mum took me for a new check-up. The miracle was complete.

"Signora, I don't know how it's possible, but the child is perfectly healed."

I remember as if it were yesterday that my grandmother was deeply moved: "Miracle, miracle, It was Maronna ro Carmine!"

I cried too because the first thing they did was take off my glasses to bring them as an offering to the church. I really liked those pink glasses, and I really liked my Wednesday visits to that brown Madonna, cheek to cheek with her child.

I often wonder if the way I have narrated these events to myself and others has had an influence in my professional choices.

Psychiatrists rarely heal; our ambition is to alleviate suffering.

However, sometimes "healing" does occur, and in addition to the joy, many questions arise.

Was it the drugs, was it me, or was it the events, or maybe things were just supposed to go this way?

The fact is that in my mind a thought always occurs.

"He is cured! Maronna ro Carmine!"


Kim Kardashian attended the Met Gala in New York with her body and face completely covered in a black Balenciaga look. The official dress code this year was "American Independence."Starmax/Newscom via ZUMA Press


• Joe Biden and Xi Jinping virtual summit: The U.S. and Chinese leaders will discuss how to responsibly manage competition between the two global superpowers and work together where their interests align. The highly anticipated event comes amidst rising tensions over militarization and strained global supply chains.

Bulgarians cast their ballots: The EU's poorest member votes in parliamentary elections, to decide who gets to form a new government.

Aline or Céline? French movie Aline, a thinly veiled ode to Quebec superstar Céline Dion, opens in theaters.

✍️ Newsletter by Worldcrunch

News quiz answers:

1. A tourist returned Harrison Ford's credit card — the U.S. actor had lost it in Sicily while shooting scenes for the latest Indiana Jones movie.

2. Michael Jordan's white-and-red Nike shoes, which he wore during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984, sold at auction for a record $1.47 million.

3. For the first time in the history of the Venice Historical Regatta gondola race, a participant has tested positive to marijuana in a doping test.

4. Argentina's soccer superstar Lionel Messi claimed a record seventh Ballon d’Or award.

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U.S., France, Israel: How Three Model Democracies Are Coming Unglued

France, Israel, United States: these three democracies all face their own distinct problems. But these problems are revealing disturbing cracks in society that pose a real danger to hard-earned progress that won't be easily regained.

Image of a crowd of protestors holding Israeli flags and a woman speaking into a megaphone

Israeli anti-government protesters take to the streets in Tel-Aviv, after Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Defence Minister Yoav Galant.

Dominique Moïsi

"I'd rather be a Russian than a Democrat," reads the t-shirt of a Republican Party supporter in the U.S.

"We need to bring the French economy to its knees," announces the leader of the French union Confédération Générale du Travail.

"Let's end the power of the Supreme Court filled with leftist and pro-Palestinian Ashkenazis," say Israeli government cabinet ministers pushing extreme judicial reforms

The United States, France, Israel: three countries, three continents, three situations that have nothing to do with each other. But each country appears to be on the edge of a nervous breakdown of what seemed like solid democracies.

How can we explain these political excesses, irrational proclamations, even suicidal tendencies?

The answer seems simple: in the United States, in France, in Israel — far from an exhaustive list — democracy is facing the challenge of society's ever-greater polarization. We can manage the competition of ideas and opposing interests. But how to respond to rage, even hatred, borne of a sense of injustice and humiliation?

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