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The Latest: Chad President Killed On Frontline, Doubts Over India COVID Toll, Hiking Cat

NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter hovers over Mars for the first time
NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter hovers over Mars for the first time

Welcome to Tuesday, where Chad's president is reportedly killed on the front lines, Minnesota braces for a verdict in the George Floyd murder trial and Switzerland celebrates its mountain-climbing cat. Indian news website The Wire also takes us to Delhi, where real estate dealers are pushing Muslim families to sell their houses and move out, increasing segregation and even ghettoization.

• Doubts over India's COVID death count, France launches travel pass: In India, constant cremations in some states cast doubts on the real number of COVID-related deaths. Meanwhile, France is launching a COVID health pass for travel to its overseas territories, hoping it will be extended to European Union member states.

• Chad's president Idriss Deby reportedly killed:Chad's veteran president was killed while visiting troops fighting rebels in the north of the country, army officials said. The announcement comes just one day after Idriss Deby won a sixth term in office.

• Pakistan weighs expulsion of French envoys: Pakistan's parliament will consider a resolution to expel French diplomats following French President Emmanuel Macron's defense last year of the right to publish satirical cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet. This debate comes amid negotiations with the now-banned far-right and anti-France TLP party, after days of violent protests that saw four policemen killed and over 800 wounded.

• Derek Chauvin trial in jury's hands:Thousands of National Guard members and hundreds of police officers have been deployed in Minneapolis, as the whole nation awaits the verdict in the trial of former police officer Chauvin, charged with murder in the death of George Floyd. Cities across the country are already bracing for protests.

• Former U.S. VP Walter Mondale dies: Jimmy Carter's vice president and longtime Minnesota senator Walter Mondale died Monday at the age of 93. Mondale lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.

• German chancellor election: Leader of Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Armin Laschet has been elected as his party's candidate to succeed Angela Merkel in the Chancellery in September's election. Annalena Baerbock has also been selected as Green Party's candidate, as the Greens' popularity keeps rising.

• To the top of the meowntain: A cat lost on the slopes of a mountain in Switzerland tagged along with two hikers and arrived at the top of their 3,000-meter (10,000-ft) climb, before being reunited with its owners at a lower altitude.

Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, features the party's new first secretary Miguel Diaz-Canel, who was chosen to replace Raul Castro, marking the end of six decades of rule by the brothers Raul and Fidel Castro.

How the real estate market ghettoizes Muslims in India

In February 2020, 53 people were killed and thousands more were injured or displaced during some of the worst communal riots in Delhi's history since the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom. A year later, Muslims are being forced out of their neighborhoods, reports Flavia Lopes, a Land and Governance Research Fellow at Land Conflict Watch, in Indian news website The Wire.

This past year, the number of Muslim families selling their homes in riot-hit neighborhoods has increased. Muslims families sold their houses fast at reduced prices — at least 25% below market rates, according to several testimonies including from property dealers, some of whom appear to have encouraged the sales. Mohammed Rizwan, a property dealer who operates from an office near Gali no. 13, a low-income neighborhood in North-East Delhi, said he is looking for buyers for nearly 40 homes put up on sale by Muslim families. He is so busy, he is barely in his office.

The segregation in neighborhoods like in Delhi can result in future violence, as research across the world has shown. "As long as you live in a mixed colony, there is a greater chance to intermingle," says Harsh Mander of the Centre for Equity Studies in Delhi. "Now, the next generation will not even have the opportunity to call a member of the other community as their friend. Then the manufacturing of hatred becomes easy."

Within the last year, real estate dealers have encouraged Muslim families to sell their houses, stoking fears of demographic change within the neighbourhood, said Mukhim, a resident of the lane. Mukhim, who lived in Gali no. 13, said the moment he decided to move out, real estate dealers were badgering him to sell his house even if it meant doing so at a loss. They kept saying, "Shift to your gad (fort), why do you want to risk your own safety," he said. Mukhim hasn't sold his house as it is getting rebuilt. But the property agents are still pushing him to sell, he says.

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Germany's CDU and Green Party have both picked their candidate to succeed Angela Merkel, as the Kanzlerkandidatur (candidacy for Chancellor) moves forward, ahead of September's federal election.


The number of migrant children reported in Mexico has increased sharply since the start of 2021 according to a report by UNICEF, with a current average of 275 additional migrant children entering the country every day with the aim of traveling north to cross into the United States. These children, who mostly come from Central American countries, represent at least 30% of the migrant population in Mexican shelters, with an estimated half of them traveling without their parents.

The world wants justice, not hegemony.

— Chinese president Xi Jinping said at the annual Boao Forum for Asia, amid growing tensions between the United States and China over several issues, including human rights, intellectual property and Chinese expansion in the South China Sea.

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food / travel

Legalizing Moonshine, A Winning Political Stand In Poland

Moonshine, typically known as “bimber” in Poland, may soon be legalized by the incoming government. There is a mix of tradition, politics and economics that makes homemade booze a popular issue to campaign on.

Photo of an empty vodka bottle on the ground in Poland

Bottle of vodka laying on the ground in Poland

Leszek Kostrzewski

WARSAWIt's a question of freedom — and quality. Poland's incoming coalition government is busy negotiating a platform for the coming years. Though there is much that still divides the Left, the liberal-centrist Civic Koalition, and the centrist Third Way partners, there is one area where Poland’s new ruling coalition is nearly unanimous: moonshine.

The slogan for the legalization of moonshine (known in Poland as "bimber") was initially presented by Michał Kołodziejczak, the leader of Agrounia, a left-wing socialist political movement in Poland that has qualified to be part of the incoming Parliament.

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”Formerly so-called moonshine was an important element of our cultural landscape, associated with mystery, breaking norms, and freedom from the state," Kołodziejczak said. "It was a reason to be proud, just like the liqueurs that Poles were famous for in the past.”

The president of Agrounia considered the right to make moonshine as a symbol of "subjectivity" that farmers could enjoy, and admitted with regret that in recent years it had been taken away from citizens. “It's also about a certain kind of freedom, to do whatever you want on your farm," Kołodziejczak adds. "This is subjectivity for the farmer. Therefore, I am in favor of providing farmers with the freedom to consume this alcohol for their own use.”

A similar viewpoint was aired by another Parliament member. “We will stop pretending that Polish farmers do not produce moonshine for their own use, such as for weddings,” the representative said, pointing out the benefits of controlling the quality. “Just like they produce slivovitz, which Poland is famous for. It's high time they did it legally.”

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