Welcome to Thursday, where fighting continues in Gaza despite Hamas's moves toward a ceasefire, there's good news on Alexei Navalny's health, and a young French driver sets a new kind of speed record. Clarin also looks at the Brazilian Left's refusal to recognize its own failures and how that might allow Bolsonaro to win a second term.
• Hamas signals ceasefire possible: Shelling continued today from both sides across the Israel-Gaza border, following a statement from a senior Hamas leader of a ceasefire "within a day or two." Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given no indication of a halt to operations even after increased pressure from Washington.
• 55 million people internally displaced worldwide: Two NGOs report that at least 55 million people around the world are internally displaced within their own countries, a record number, with 2020 seeing the highest number of new people displaced in a decade, despite restrictions on movement imposed by many countries to curb the spread of COVID-19.
• Navalny slowly recovering: Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who has been in jail for more than three months, has "more or less' recovered from his hunger strike and is now able to communicate with his family, the head of Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service declared on Thursday. The activist's deteriorating condition had raised international concerns and prompted demonstrations around the world.
• Prisoners beheaded in riot in Guatemala: Guatemalan police said that at least seven prisoners have been killed in a fight between rival gangs in a jail in Quetzaltenango, western Guatemala. Most of the victims were found beheaded.
• China-U.S. row over disputed waters: Chinese authorities said on Thursday that an American warship had illegally entered its territorial waters in the South China Sea and was expelled by its forces. The U.S. government denied the accusation.
• Bitcoin recovers after Chinese curbs on cryptocurrency: Bitcoin recovered to reach $40,000 in early trading Thursday, a day after a brutal selloff over concerns over tighter regulation in China and Tesla's recent decision to no longer accept cryptocurrencies. The most popular cryptocurrency plunged 14% on Wednesday to its lowest level since late January.
• Harry Potter quiz show for 20th anniversary: A new TV quiz competition series is being launched by WarnerMedia as part of 20th anniversary celebrations for the first Harry Potter movie, and the corporation announced on Wednesday that it will open a cast for fans to participate in quiz challenges.
Israeli daily Haaretz reports on the international pressure growing on the country to halt airstrikes on Gaza, with U.S. President Joe Biden urging "sustainable calm" between the two sides. The front-page photo shows an Israeli mother and daughter during air raid sirens.
Why Lula's "arrogance" may guarantee Bolsonaro a second term
Fears of an economic slump under another leftist government led by an "unrepentant" Lula da Silva may prompt Brazilians to reelect authoritarian President Jair Bolsonaro for a second term next year, writes Leonardo Weller in Clarin, a top daily in neighboring Argentina.
The Brazilian Workers Party's (PT) economic disaster happened gradually. The first Lula government's strength had been its ability to form a team that could combine economic stability with income distribution policies. That was the best thing they did. By moving away from the economic consensus of the early 2000s, the second Lula government and first Dilma presidency produced a veritable disaster that mostly punished the poorest, and reversed the social achievements of the preceding decade.
Yet in spite of its tremendous failures, the PT refuses to criticize its past and accept its past economic policy failures. The party can then only explain its fall through conspiracy theories. Lula's conviction and Dilma's impeachment were, in fact, legitimate. But such institutional atrocities happened in Brazil precisely for the economic crisis their governments had generated. It wasn't just the elite taking their revenge. The PT fell because of its own errors.
When economic crises are too deep, democracy itself can collapse. That happened to Brazil in 1964, and is a process that is again, regrettably underway since 2014. The PT's cherished, and mistaken, vision of recent history is strengthening Bolsonaro's authoritarian project and complementing the harm of his "necropolitics." Its narrative is blocking the possibility of a broad coalition of Brazilians, including PT supporters, who believe in democracy as a force that can free the country from Bolsonaro's autocratic aspirations.
➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com
Teenager loses driver's license 30 minutes after obtaining it
Getting your driver's license in France is no small feat. Endless hours of studying the holy "code de la route" for a tricky written exam, followed by a minimum of 20 hours of mandatory driving lessons before the road test. And high rates of failing marks all around. But for one teenager in southern France who'd managed to pass, it was all wiped away in 30 minutes.
As local daily Le Dauphiné Libéré explains, upon learning that he had passed his driving exam on May 12, the 18-year-old decided to hit the road right away for a celebratory drive.
But when the police stopped him for a routine roadside check half-an-hour later, he tested positive for cocaine and marijuana, leading authorities to immediately suspend his license — a new record in France.
Having bid adieu to his newly obtained license, the man also faces a 600-euro fine. Did he remember that from his written test?
➡️ Keep up with all the planet's police reports and plot twists on Worldcrunch.com
Joseph Blount, CEO of Colonial Pipeline, acknowledged publicly for the first time that he had authorized a $4.4 million ransom payment to the cyber-criminal gang responsible for taking the U.S. fuel pipeline offline on May 7. "It was the right thing to do for the country," he said, justifying his decision to pay the blackmailers.
We won't be going back to the days of British Rail with terrible sandwiches.
— UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced large-scale plans for a reform of the country's railway operator, plagued by expensive fares, complicated timetables … and notoriously bad food.
✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Emma Flacard & Bertrand Hauger