Start your day smarter with the most important world news, plus intriguing and offbeat stories. OZY
Your World. Bold & Bright
Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.
Sep 23, 2022
Delegates to the United Nations, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, condemned the Kremlin’s mobilization, which has sent Russians scrambling to cross the border. At least 26 Iranians have been killed in bloody clashes between protestors and law enforcement and there’s no sign of slowing. The U.K. is all but officially in a recession, the central bank warned as it raised key rates. And Italians are poised to elect their first female prime minister, as they head to the polls this weekend. All this and more in today’s PDB.
The leaves are changing, school is back in session, and it’s the perfect time to start learning a new language. Whether you’re studying abroad, dreaming of future travel, or just feeling the itch to learn something new, now’s the time to get cozy and start speaking a new language with Babbel. With just 10 minutes a day, you can be having actual conversations in as little as 3 weeks.
“The international order is being shredded before our eyes,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the U.N.’s Security Council meeting Thursday. His comments echoed earlier statements by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who called the mobilization “dangerous and disturbing.” As Russia is a permanent member of the council — which includes veto power — the U.N.’s options are limited. Meanwhile, traffic from Russia along the Georgian and Finnish border has backed up for miles, forcing some men, fearful of being called up, to cycle across or even travel by foot. Officials in the Kremlin say media reports of men fleeing are exaggerated. (Sources: BBC, DW)
No Backing Down
Death Tally Rises as Iran Protests Continue, Raisi Speaks From US
At least 26 people have been killed in mounting unrest across Iran. The protests erupted last week after Mahsa Amini, 22, was killed in custody after being arrested for wearing “unsuitable attire,” according to Iranian state media. The demonstrations have spread to 13 cities across the country, including the capital Tehran, leading to clashes between law enforcement and protestors. More rallies are planned on Friday. Speaking from the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, President Ebrahim Raisi told a press conference he had ordered an investigation into Amini's death, but stressed that “acts of chaos” would not be tolerated. (Sources: Reuters, AP)
Bank of England Warns UK May Already Be in a Recession
The central bank raised interest rates to 2.25% Thursday, up from 1.75%, marking their highest point in 14 years. The new hike comes after expectations of a slight three-month growth in the economy were modified — the bank now expects it will shrink at least 0.1%. The Bank of England has confirmed what many households coping with record inflation instinctively know: It looks like the U.K. might already be in a recession. But there is a glimmer of hope — inflation is no longer expected to rise as high as originally thought, as the government moves to offset soaring energy costs. (Sources: BBC, The Guardian)
Italy May Elect Its First Female Prime Minister This Weekend
But it won’t be welcomed as a progressive win. Giorgia Meloni looks poised for victory in Sunday’s election, propelling her Brothers of Italy party to the top. Meloni’s formative years were spent as a far-right activist, and left-wing critics see her militant party as a direct heir to Mussolini’s fascists. But Meloni is already facing pushback from the broad right-wing faction whose support she will need to secure the premiership. “There are no men or women in sole command, we'll build the team together,” said Lega party boss Matteo Salvini, pushing back on Meloni’s earlier comments that she would handpick ministers. (Sources: Politico, ANSA)
Here are some things you should know about today:
Underway. Voting has begun in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine in a “sham” referendum to become part of Russia. The Kremlin-backed vote is widely expected to be a win for Russia. (Source: AP) ‘Human error.’ Australian telco Optus has blamed human error for a massive data breach that leaked millions of users' information online. A possible 9.8 million have been affected. (Source: ABC) Reopening. Japan will reopen to visa-free independent travelers next month, kick-starting a tourism industry obliterated by the pandemic. (Source: Japan Today)
One Giant Fling
China’s Two-for-One Will Probe Jupiter, Uranus
The Tianwen 4 mission aims to send two spacecraft bound for the planets around 2030. China’s space program plans to launch a Long March 5 rocket and use flybys — when spacecraft are closest to each other in orbit — to fling the spacecraft toward outer space before breaking apart and heading to the planets. Tianwen 4 will follow other ambitious plans, such as the Tianwen 3 mission to Mars to collect the world’s first samples from the planet. It’s part of a dedicated effort to bolster China’s space program, with the goal of building an International Lunar Research Station in the 2030s. (Source: Space)
Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, planned the online event that targeted “a wide range of websites,” including social media and dating apps. Agencies in 20 member countries collectively unearthed 11 suspected human traffickers, with five believed to be specifically targeting Ukrainian refugees. Of the 45 potential victims identified, Europol believes 25 are Ukrainian. This horrifying revelation further substantiates Europol’s fears that the humanitarian crisis is being exploited. Europol reported 30 websites and platforms “related to vulnerable Ukrainian refugees,” with 10 explicitly targeting them for trafficking. The organization’s monitoring programs will remain ongoing, said Europol. (Source: Ars Technica)
Like Protestors, Amanpour Won’t Give In to Raisi
CNN’s Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour found herself stood up by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi this week. Raisi, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly — and facing increasing international pressure over political unrest at home — demanded Amanpour wear a headscarf during the interview. “I pointed out that no previous Iranian president has required this when I have interviewed them outside Iran,” Amanpour said, calling the demand “unprecedented and unexpected.” The anchor had planned to ask about deadly protests sparked by the shrouded death of a young woman deemed by the morality police to be wearing her headscarf inappropriately. (Source: NPR)
One Iraqi Sculptor Is Bringing Back What Islamic State Destroyed
Sculptor Khaled Al-Abadi saw his country’s rich cultural history ravaged as Islamic State group seized power. When Mosul fell to IS, Al-Abadi wandered the city with a friend: “We would see the statues that were removed, and the gates that were being demolished, we were really troubled by this,” he said. Now, he’s hard at work sculpting by hand what was lost. Al-Abadi has carved around 20 murals in his workshop, chiseling lions, birds and other motifs now on display in the most severely affected part of the city. Iraq’s art and culture have long been targeted during conflict. (Source: Reuters)
Celtics Coach Ime Udoka Suspended for a Year
Udoka was tapped by Boston in 2021 as part of a leadership shake-up. The hire has been wildly successful — until Thursday night — with the Celtics winning the Eastern Conference championship. An unidentified source told Boston media that the coach had engaged in an improper consensual relationship with a female staff member. “A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date,” the team said in a statement. Udoka apologized in his own statement to the team and said he would not comment further. Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will act as interim head coach. (Sources: Boston Globe, Bleacher Report)
OZY is a diverse, global and forward-looking media and entertainment company focused on “the New and the Next.” OZY creates space for fresh perspectives, and offers new takes on everything from news and culture to technology, business, learning and entertainment.