When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Metro accident in Mexico City that killed at least 23
Metro accident in Mexico City that killed at least 23

Welcome to Tuesday, where at least 23 die in a Mexico city metro accident, Bill & Melinda are splitting up and Japan spends COVID relief money on a giant squid statue. Les Echos also tells us about the pandemic-linked spike in anosmia cases, a.k.a. "smell blindness' and the impact on France's renowned wine tasters.

Deadly Mexico City metro accident: At least 23 people were killed and dozens injured when a rail overpass and subway train collapsed in Mexico City on Monday night. Firefighters and rescue workers are still searching for survivors.

• Netanyahu faces deadline to form government: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has until midnight on Tuesday to put together a new coalition government or his leading Likud party might become part of the opposition for the first time in 12 years.

• 33 killed in Burkina Faso village attack: Some 100 suspected jihadists killed at least 33 people, including children, in an eastern Burkina Faso village on Monday morning.

• Biden raises refugee cap above 62,000: President Joe Biden raised the number of refugees that will be admitted in the country to 62,500, after facing harsh criticism from Democrats for not changing the Trump-era limit.

• Germany dismantles global child porn network: German police have shut down one of the biggest darknet child pornography network in the world with more than 400,000 members. Four of its members were detained in Germany and Paraguay.

• Bill & Melinda Gates will divorce: The Microsoft founder and his wife have announced their decision to divorce after 27 years of marriage, raising questions about the future of their multi-billion-dollar philanthropic foundation.

• Japan town builds giant squid statue with COVID money: A seaside town used funding from an emergency COVID-19 relief grant to build a 13-meter-long squid statue. City officials said it was part of a plan to attract tourists back when the pandemic is over.


"Get vaccinated!," urges Slovak daily Dennik, warning that interest in vaccination in the country is extremely low compared with other European countries.

When COVID deprives winemakers of their sense of smell

"Smell blindness," a common coronavirus symptom, isn't a pleasant experience for anyone. But for an oenologist, it's also a serious professional handicap, writes Frank Niedercorn in French daily Les Echos.

The first thing Nicolas Garde noticed that morning in March 2020 was that he felt off — "bizarre," in his words. "After an hour, I realized that I could only smell a few aromas," the resident of Alsace, in eastern France, recalls. "Two days later, I had completely lost my sense of smell." Like many people affected by the COVID-19 virus, Garde experienced anosmia, also known as "smell blindness." The difference in his case, however, is that the loss of smell and taste had a direct impact on his ability to work. That's because Garde is an oenologist, an expert, in other words, in the science of wine and wine making.

A survey, conducted in July 2020 by France's Union of Oenologists, estimated that 54% of oenologists affected by COVID-19 had also lost their sense of smell. And while approximately 70% of them recovered their olfactory sense after 12 days or so, for more than 4% it took several months. Needless to say, anosmia is a real handicap in a profession which has around 7,000 workers in France, with more than half working in wine production.

France's Union of Oenologists has also found that anosmia, which can be caused by various infectious diseases, is common. Its report revealed that 13% of the surveyed oenologists had actually been affected by a loss of smell before the pandemic — two thirds even said it happened to them several times. "It was a taboo in the profession because an oenologist suffering from anosmia is scared to lose his job," says Sophie Pallas, director general of the Union of Oenologists. The Union is now working on creating a confidential hotline to help professionals.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com



This French couple contracted three COVID variants … and she's eight-months pregnant

To have and to hold… three COVID variants

At eight-months pregnant, Sandra Cantelou hardly left the house in order to avoid catching the COVID-19 virus. Yet despite her precautions, she wound up "doubly" infected — testing positive for two different strains of the coronavirus, the Brazilian and South African variants, at the same time.

The rare case of contracting multiple variants simultaneously, called "co-infection" by scientists, and Cantelou's pregnancy risks, were further compounded when her husband came down with symptoms too.

Testing showed that his COVID case was actually the English variant, meaning that the two expecting parents had managed to catch three different coronavirus variants.

Cantelou told Le Démocrate Vernonnais that she was afraid when she got her double positive test, as pregnant women are at a greater risk of hospitalization than their non-pregnant counterparts.

"I had coughing fits that could cause contractions, but overall I was well monitored and did not have any serious symptoms."

Thankfully, both parents are healthy now, awaiting the imminent birth of their French baby, already with a very international backstory.

➡️ Keep up with all the planet's police reports and plot twists on Worldcrunch.com


"We offer the most sincere apologies to the Mayan people for the terrible abuses committed.

— Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador formally apologized to the indigenous Mayan people for the wrongs committed against them since the Conquista, as part of commemorations to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest and the 200th anniversary of Mexico's independence.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

One By One, The Former Soviet Republics Are Abandoning Putin

From Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Tajikistan, countries in Russia's orbit have refused to help him turn the tide in the Ukraine war. All (maybe even Belarus?) is coming to understand that his next step would be a complete restoration of the Soviet empire.

Leaders of Armenia, Russia, Tajikistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan attend a summit marking the 30th anniversary of signing the Collective Security Treaty in Moscow on May 16.

Oleksandr Demchenko

-Analysis-

KYIV — Virtually all of Vladimir Putin's last remaining partner countries in the region are gone from his grip. Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan have refused to help him turn the tide in the Ukraine war, because they've all come to understand that his next step would be a complete restoration of the empire, where their own sovereignty is lost.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Before zooming in on the current state of relations in the region, and what it means for Ukraine's destiny, it's worth briefly reviewing the last 30 years of post-Soviet history.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was first created in 1992 by the Kremlin to keep former republics from fully seceding from the former Soviet sphere of influence. The plan was simple: to destroy the local Communist elite, to replace them with "their" people in the former colonies, and then return these territories — never truly considered as independent states by any Russian leadership — into its orbit.

In a word - to restore the USSR.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ