Adios Gabo, South Korean Captain Warrant, Everest Avalanche

Gabriel Garcia Marquez died at age 87 in Mexico
Gabriel Garcia Marquez died at age 87 in Mexico

Pro-Russian protesters in Eastern Ukraine have rejected the deal reached yesterday in Geneva, refusing to leave the official buildings they have been occupying over the past week in more than 10 cities, the BBC reports. Alexander Gnezdilov, a spokesman for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said that they would only leave the buildings when the “illegal” government in Kiev resigned.

  • This comes after Ukraine’s Interim Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchytsa was quoted by Russian media as saying that “the troops in the East of the country are carrying out a special operation and can remain where they are,” despite yesterday’s agreement to take “concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens.” Interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk told Ukraine’s Parliament this morning that he wasn’t placing any “unreasonable” hope in the agreement.

  • French economist and Russia expert Jacques Sapir writes on his blog that yesterday’s deal between Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union was welcome news, but ultimately offered a rather grim dose of realism: “Quite clearly it is not enough to stop the process leading to a civil war.”


Tributes and memories rolled in overnight across Latin America, and beyond for one of the great writers of the 20th century, Gabriel García Márquez, who died of pneumonia at age 87 on Thursday in Mexico City.
We’ve put together a collection of Front Pages from newspapers around the world that marked the passing of the Colombian-born 1982 Nobel Prize winner.
García Márquez will be notably remembered for his novels such as One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, which helped put a literary genre known as "magic realism" on the map.
Read García Márquez's obituary by Enrique Fernandez for The Miami Herald here.
Last month, Colombian daily El Espectador published a fascinating look at the writer's relationship with his mother, translated by Worldcrunch here.

South Korean prosecutors asked a court for an arrest warrant for the captain of the ferry that sank on Wednesday with 475 passengers, including 325 high school students, as the death toll rose to 28, with 179 people rescued. South Korean newspaper The Chosunilbo reports that the captain instructed the passengers to remain in their cabins as it was “dangerous” to go outside, while he and some of his crew fled the sinking ship without taking emergency measures. Investigators also said that the captain wasn’t at the helm. "It was the third officer who was in command of steering the ship when the accident took place," state prosecutor Park Jae-Eok told journalists. In another dramatic development, AP reports that the high school vice principal, who was rescued from the ferry, was found hanging from a tree.

At least 48 civilians were killed and 60 injured after gunmen pretending to be peaceful protesters stormed a United Nations base in the South Sudan city of Bor where some 5,000 civilians were sheltered, Al Arabiya quotes a UN source as saying. According to the website Sudan Tribune, the base was a shelter for the “Nuer ethnic group, of which former vice president turned rebel leader Riek Machar hails.” The ongoing violence in the three-year-old country has already forced more than 1 million people out of their homes.

Inhabitants from the Nigerian town of Chibok are searching for the schoolgirls abducted on Monday in the Sambisa forest, known as a hiding place for Boko Haram, the Islamist group suspected of being behind the attack, AP reports. According to a local official, six more girls managed to escape, meaning that 20 are now free, with more than 100 still missing. Yesterday, Nigeria’s Defense Ministry’s spokesman retracted his previous statement, in which he had announced that all but eight girls had been freed by the army, blaming it on a field report which indicated "a major breakthrough."

Her mother Lea Garofalo was brutally killed by her father in 2009, with the help of her own boyfriend. Now in a witness protection program, Denise Cosco courageously speaks out against the dark underworld, and her murderous father. Here is what she told La Stampa’s Michele Brambilla: “Mom knew that he was murdering people, and she didn’t want to bring up a baby in that kind of environment. My father said there was no way she was having an abortion. I was to be an instrument that would unite the powerful Garofalo family. But then, everything capsized. Mom gave birth, alone, in a hospital almost 80 kilometers away, and I became her reason to live. Up until she died, we were inseparable.”
Read the full article here: The Tragedy And Courage Of A Mobster's Daughter.

At least 14 Nepalese climbers died in an avalanche on Mount Everest early today which officials have described as the worst accident to have hit the world's highest peak, Nepalese website eKantipur reports. According to the BBC, the avalanche struck in an area known as the "popcorn field", just above Everest base camp at 5,800m (19,000ft). A rescue operation is underway to find missing people, believed to be trapped under the snow.


Twelve bars of gold weighing 400g have been recovered from the stomach of a businessman in the Indian capital.

"It’s a fraud on a large scale." Ali Benfils, the main opponent of Algerian president and fourth-term candidate Abdelaziz Bouteflika, claimed Thursday's presidential election was rigged.

British Pathé, one of the leading producers of newsreels and documentaries during the 20th Century is turning over its entire collection — over 85,000 historical films — to YouTube expand=1].

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Queen Elizabeth II with UK PM Boris Johnson at a reception at Windsor Castle yesterday

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Hej!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where chaos hits Syria, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is accused of crimes against humanity and a social media giant plans to rebrand itself. For Spanish daily La Razon, reporter Paco Rodríguez takes us to the devastated town of Belchite, where visitors are reporting paranormal phenomenons.



• Syrian violence erupts: Army shelling on residential areas of the rebel-held region of northwestern Syria killed 13 people, with school children among the victims. The attack occurred shortly after a bombing killed at least 14 military personnel in Damascus. In central Syria, a blast inside an ammunition depot kills five soldiers.

• Renewed Ethiopia air raids on capital of embattled Tigray region: Ethiopian federal government forces have launched its second air strike this week on the capital of the northern Tigray. The air raids mark a sharp escalation in the near-year-old conflict between the government forces and the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) that killed thousands and displaced over 2 million people.

• Bolsonaro accused of crimes against humanity: A leaked draft government report concludes that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro should be charged with crimes against humanity, forging documents and incitement to crime, following his handling of the country's COVID-19 pandemic. The report blames Bolsonaro's administration for more than half of Brazil's 600,000 coronavirus deaths.

• Kidnappers in Haiti demand $17 million to free a missionary group: A Haitian gang that kidnapped 17 members of a Christian aid group, including five children, demanded $1million ransom per person. Most of those being held are Americans; one is Canadian.

• Putin bows out of COP26 in Glasgow: Russian President Vladimir Putin will not fly to Glasgow to attend the COP26 climate summit. A setback for host Britain's hopes of getting support from major powers for a more radical plan to tackle climate change.

• Queen Elizabeth II cancels trip over health concerns: The 95-year-old British monarch has cancelled a visit to Northern Ireland after she was advised by her doctors to rest for the next few days. Buckingham Palace assured the queen, who attended public events yesterday, was "in good spirits."

• A new name for Facebook? According to a report by The Verge website, Mark Zuckerberg's social media giant is planning on changing the company's name next week, to reflect its focus on building the "metaverse," a virtual reality version of the internet.


"Oil price rise causes earthquake," titles Portuguese daily Jornal I as surging demand coupled with supply shortage have driven oil prices to seven-year highs at more than $80 per barrel.



For the first time women judges have been appointed to Egypt's State Council, one of the country's main judicial bodies. The council's chief judge, Mohammed Hossam el-Din, welcomed the 98 new judges in a celebratory event in Cairo. Since its inception in 1946, the State Council has been exclusively male and until now actively rejected female applicants.


Spanish civil war town now a paranormal attraction

Ghosts from Spain's murderous 1930s civil war are said to roam the ruins of Belchite outside Zaragoza. Tourists are intrigued and can book a special visit to the town, reports Paco Rodríguez in Madrid-based daily La Razon.

🏚️ Between August 24 and September 6, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, more than 5,000 people died in 14 days of intense fighting in Belchite in north-eastern Spain, and the town was flattened. The fighting began on the outskirts and ended in house-to-house fighting. Almost half the town's 3,100 residents died in the struggle. The war annihilated centuries of village history. The town was never rebuilt, though a Pueblo Nuevo (or new town) was built by the old one.

😱 Belchite became an open-air museum of the horror of the civil war of 1936-39, which left 300,000 dead and wounds that have yet to heal or, for some today, mustn't. For many locals, the battle of Belchite has yet to end, judging by reports of paranormal incidents. Some insist they have heard the screams of falling soldiers, while others say the Count of Belchite wanders the streets, unable to find a resting place after his corpse was exhumed.

🎟️ Ordinary visitors have encountered unusual situations. Currently, you can only visit Belchite at set times every day, with prior booking. More daring visitors can also visit at 10 p.m. on weekends. Your ticket does not include a guaranteed paranormal experience, but many visitors insist strange things have happened to them. These include sudden changes of temperature or the strange feeling of being observed from a street corner or a window. Furthermore, such phenomena increase as evening falls, as if night brought the devastated town to life.

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We still cling to the past because back then we had security, which is the main thing that's missing in Libya today.

— Fethi al-Ahmar, an engineer living in the Libyan desert town Bani Walid, told AFP, as the country today marks the 10-year anniversary of the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The leader who had reigned for 42 years over Libya was toppled in a revolt inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings and later killed by rebels. Some hope the presidential elections set in December can help the country turn the page on a decade of chaos and instability.


Iran to offer Master's and PhD in morality enforcement

Iran will create new "master's and doctorate" programs to train state morality agents checking on people's public conduct and attire, according to several Persian-language news sources.

Mehran Samadi, a senior official of the Headquarters to Enjoin Virtues and Proscribe Vices (Amr-e be ma'ruf va nahy az monkar) said "anyone who wants to enjoin virtues must have the knowledge," the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported, citing reports from Iran.

The morality patrols, in force since the 1979 revolution, tend to focus mostly on young people and women, particularly the public appearance for the latter. Loose headscarves will send women straight to a police station, often in humiliating conditions. Five years ago, the regime announced a new force of some 7,000 additional agents checking on women's hijabs and other standards of dress and behavior.

Last week, for example, Tehran police revealed that they had "disciplined" agents who had been filmed forcefully shoving a girl into a van. Such incidents may increase under the new, conservative president, Ibrahim Raisi.

Speaking about the new academic discipline, Samadi said morals go "much further than headscarves and modesty," and those earning graduate degrees would teach agents "what the priorities are."

Iran's Islamic regime, under the guidance of Shia jurists, continuously fine tunes notions of "proper" conduct — and calibrates its own, interventionist authority. More recently the traffic police chief said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes, and "would be stopped," Prague-based Radio Farda reported.

Days before, a cleric in the holy city of Qom in central Iran insisted that people must be vaccinated by a medic of the same sex "as often as possible," and if not, there should be no pictures of mixed-sex vaccinations.

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

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