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The Latest: Israel-Gaza Ceasefire, Obama’s Thoughts On Trump, Farewell Internet Explorer

Palestinians celebrate the ceasefire in the streets of Gaza, after 11 days of open warfare with Israel.
Palestinians celebrate the ceasefire in the streets of Gaza, after 11 days of open warfare with Israel.

Welcome to Friday, where an Israeli-Hamas ceasefire is holding, we find out what Obama really thinks of Trump and cows help Thailand's vaccination drive. Also, Les Echos takes an inside visit to the remote "mines' turning out bitcoin cryptocurrency in China.

• Israel-Gaza ceasefire holding: An Egyptian-mediated truce between Israel and Hamas began late Friday after 11 days of the worst violence in years, which killed 232 Palestinians and 12 Israelis. By early afternoon local time in the Middle East, there were no reports of violations of the ceasefire.

• Biden signs bill to stop Asian hate: U.S. President Joe Biden signs a bill aimed at stemming the rising number of anti-Asian crimes, increasingly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to associations, more than 6,600 cases of anti-Asian violence were reported within the past year.

• African Union demands "democratic transition" in Chad: The African Union has called for a "democratic transition" within 18 months in Chad, where a military government has been in power after former President Idriss Deby was killed by rebels on the frontline in April.

• Prince William accuses BBC over controversial interview: Britain's Duke of Cambridge has blamed the BBC for deceiving his late mother, Princess Diana, and poisoning her relationship with Prince Charles.

• Europe wants to build GPS-like system for the Moon: The European Space Agency has proposed that the same type of navigation system used on Earth be deployed at the Moon, to enable astronauts and spacecraft to precisely know where they are and where to land.

• Farewell to Internet Explorer: Microsoft's Internet Explorer will be retired next year after more than 26 years of service. It will be replaced by the newer, faster and more secure Microsoft Edge browser.

• Cattle for raffle to boost Thai vaccination: In a northern district of Thailand, a raffle campaign for vaccinated residents to win a live cow per week for the rest of the year to boost COVID-19 vaccination drive.


Weekly magazine India Today is asking "when will the devastation end?" as the country set a grim global record for daily coronavirus deaths this week, driving the overall death toll to more than 283,000.​

Inside the Himalayan hideaway of Chinese bitcoin mines

In remote — sometimes unmapped — regions of China, thousands of computers are "mining" Bitcoin, the queen of virtual currencies. The country may boast all the right conditions to dominate the cryptocurrency market today, but will its mining boom last? asks Frédéric Schaeffer in French daily Les Echos.

While any individual in the world can theoretically participate in this vast global mining operation, China has turned it into an industry. Just by itself, the country accounts for two thirds of mining activity. Its recipe: one of the cheapest electricity systems in the world combined with low taxes, a crucial asset for extremely energy-intensive "mining." Another advantage is that Chinese miners have close relationships with the world's leading mining equipment manufacturers, who are also Chinese: Bitmain, Canaan Creative and Ebang.

Four years ago, Jin Xilai, who ran an internet cafe for video game fans, noticed that graphics cards were becoming increasingly scarce. "When it was explained to me that they were being used to create cryptocurrency, I became interested in the subject and wanted to get started! " he says. At 28, he then gathered 5 million yuan (650,000 euros) with other investors to open the mine. "I didn't receive any public support, but I found the land through my connections," he says.

For years, China has had an ambiguous relationship with Bitcoin, and Chinese miners are not immune to changes in regulations. Beijing initially allowed the industry to grow. But the tide turned in 2017 when the government increased regulations, banning, for example, all cryptocurrency fundraising activity — an operation labeled as an "illegal and unauthorized public funding channel" — and tightening the monitoring of transactions. The new rules banned bitcoin trading but not possession, and mining was encouraged by some local authorities who saw it as a way to attract investment and create jobs in less hospitable areas.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

وقف إطلاق النار

Arabic for "ceasefire" (waqf "iitlaq alnnar) as an Egyptian-mediated truce between Israel and Hamas began on Friday night, ending 11 days of deadly violence.


U.S. Federal officials have seized 68 big cats belonging to Jeff and Lauren Lowe, stars of the 2020 hit Netflix show Tiger King. The owners of the Tiger King Park in Oklahoma were repeatedly cited for failing to properly take care of the exotic animals and were both accused of violating U.S. laws on endangering species and animal welfare.

A racist, sexist pig.

— According to an upcoming book by The Atlantic writer Edward-Isaac Dovere, Barack Obama didn't mince words when referring to then-President Donald Trump in conversations with donors and advisors. He also reportedly called Trump a "madman", a "f***ing lunatic" and a "corrupt motherf***er."

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Emma Flacard & Bertrand Hauger

Al Jazeera is a state-funded broadcaster in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current-affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty television channels in multiple languages.
Reuters is an international news agency headquartered in London, UK. It was founded in 1851 and is now a division of Thomson Reuters. It transmits news in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Urdu, and Chinese.
Weekly Indian English-language news magazine.
The New York Times (sometimes abbreviated to NYT) is an American daily newspaper, founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. It has won 117 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization. Its daily circulation is estimated to 1,380,000.
The BBC is the British public service broadcaster, and the world's oldest national broadcasting organization. It broadcasts in up to 28 different languages.
Founded as a local Manchester newspaper in 1821, The Guardian has gone on to become one of the most influential dailies in Britain. The left-leaning newspaper is most recently known for its coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks.
Premium stories from Worldcrunch's own network of multi-lingual journalists in over 30 countries.
France's top business daily, Les Echos covers domestic and international economic, financial and markets news. Founded in 1908, the newspaper has been the property of French luxury good conglomerate LVMH (Moet Hennessy - Louis Vuitton) since 2007.

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Smaller Allies Matter: Afghanistan Offers Hard Lessons For Ukraine's Future

Despite controversies at home, Nordic countries were heavily involved in the NATO-led war in Afghanistan. As the Ukraine war grinds on, lessons from that conflict are more relevant than ever.

Photo of Finnish Defence Forces in Afghanistan

Finnish Defence Forces in Afghanistan

Johannes Jauhiainen


HELSINKI — In May 2021, the Taliban took back power in Afghanistan after 20 years of international presence, astronomical sums of development aid and casualties on all warring sides.

As Kabul fell, a chaotic evacuation prompted comparisons to the fall of Saigon — and most of the attention was on the U.S., which had led the original war to unseat the Taliban after 9/11 and remained by far the largest foreign force on the ground. Yet, the fall of Kabul was also a tumultuous and troubling experience for a number of other smaller foreign countries who had been presented for years in Afghanistan.

In an interview at the time, Antti Kaikkonen, the Finnish Minister of Defense, tried to explain what went wrong during the evacuation.

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“Originally we anticipated that the smaller countries would withdraw before the Americans. Then it became clear that getting people to the airport had become more difficult," Kaikkonen said. "So we decided last night to bring home our last soldiers who were helping with the evacuation.”

During the 20-year-long Afghan war, the foreign troop presence included many countries:Finland committed around 2,500 soldiers,Sweden 8,000,Denmark 12,000 and Norway 9,000. And in the nearly two years since the end of the war, Finland,Belgium and theNetherlands have commissioned investigations into their engagements in Afghanistan.

As the number of fragile or failed states around the world increases, it’s important to understand how to best organize international development aid and the security of such countries. Twenty years of international engagement in Afghanistan offers valuable lessons.

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