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As we return to class after partials, a local protest in Kabul reminds us of a humanitarian crisis we may have forgotten about. In other news, the latest on the Ukraine war, the Chinese plane crash, the Ethiopian humanitarian truce, the Chilean school closure over student protests on sexual harassment and much much more. Find it all on this week’s #MondayBriefing.


As Afghan women and girls staged a protest near the Taliban Ministry of Education in Kabul, calling on the Taliban government to reopen girls’ secondary schools, it is worth giving the Spotlight to Afghanistan’s current situation.

On August 15th, 2021, following the US withdrawal that had been negotiated by the Trump administration and was initiated during the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency, the Taliban effectively took over Afghanistan’s capital Kabul and established a new government in the country, which they had already ruled prior to the US invasion in 2001. We all remember the days of the Taliban offensive. Before the current conflict in Ukraine, it was the first international crisis to monopolize worldwide media attention since the beginning of the pandemic. In the months that followed the Taliban takeover, the frequency and depth of news regarding Afghanistan that reached our radar progressively decreased, and it is worth asking ourselves what the situation is like there right now.

Afghanistan is currently facing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The economy does not produce enough cash to pay for salaries or buy food, as western aid, which had been fundamental to guarantee access to basic goods for large parts of the population, was frozen. According to the World Food Program, millions of Afghans are facing severe food insecurities due to lost income and rising food costs, and only 5% of the Afghan population of 38.8 million have enough to eat.

When it comes to women’s rights, the Taliban immediately closed most secondary schools for girls and prohibited women from working in most government jobs. Moreover, in September, the Ministry for Women’s Affairs was eliminated and repurposed as the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which regulates citizen’s behavior.

These are just some of the basic facts that are accessible to those who want to search for them, and several more pieces of data that paint a picture of degradation are there to find. What they should serve as a reminder of is that while Afghanistan gained an uncontested spotlight for some time last summer, it is likely not wrong to say that for Afghan families, that was just the beginning of a much deeper crisis that goes on with no prospect of slowing down even when mainstream media dedicate less space, time and resources to it.

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Around the World

US and European allies to escalate sanctions on Russia. The White House has signaled that the US and its European allies intend to escalate sanctions on Russia this week as it warned the conflict in Ukraine would not end “easily or rapidly”.

Chinese plane with 132 people onboard crashes in Guangxi province. A passenger plane carrying 132 people and travelling towards Guangzhou has crashed in southern China, near the city of Wuzhou in Teng Country, Guangxi province. No survivors have been announced.

Sites reported record 29.3m child abuse images in 2021. A record 29.3 million items of child abuse imagery were found and removed across the internet in 2021, according to a US nonprofit organization in charge of coordinating reports on this matter. The figure represents a 35% increase from 2020.

Ethiopian government declares Tigray truce to let aid in. Ethiopia’s government has declared a humanitarian truce with revel Tigrayan forces to allow aid into the besieged northern region where millions are facing starvation. The country has been war-shed for the past 16 months, and no clear definitive resolution is yet in sight.

Chilean students force closure of Santiago schools over sexual harassment and violence. Student strikes have forced a string of school closures across Chile’s capital amid growing anger over sexist and violent behavior. The students are demanding to stop the harassment and for schools to stop protecting abusers. These strikes come only weeks after the country returned to in-person classes after two years of Covid-19 lockdowns.

North Korea may be preparing for nuclear test soon – report. According to a South Korean media report, North Korea may be making rapid preparations to carry out a nuclear weapons test for the first time in more than 4 years.

Evergrande delays publishing annual results over ‘drastic change’ in prospects. The Chinese property giant Evergrande, which was saved from bankruptcy by the Chinese government after it defaulted on $22.7 billion worth of overseas debt in December, will delay reveling its plans about how it will restructure its massive debt of $300 billion. The confusion was exacerbated by the company announcement about the discovery of a $2 billion hole in its accounts.

Russia’s Orthodox Church paints the conflict in Ukraine as a holy war. Russia’s Orthodox Church is helping Vladimir Putin justify his war at home. In Russia, church and military go hand in hand, and Patriarch Kirill, the head of the institution, implicitly supports the invasion by spouting Kremlin propaganda that claims that Russia is not the aggressor, and that genocide is being perpetrated by Ukrainians against Russian speakers in the Donbas.

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More than 15,000 Russians have been arrested in anti-war protests. Despite Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on protests for the war in Ukraine, several thousands of people continue to take to the streets to express their dismay at the Russian attack. The number of documented arrests at anti-war protests crossed 15,000 on March 19th.

Ash Barty, tennis world number 1 announces shock retirement from tennis at 25. Ash Barty, the world number 1 tennis player, has announced her departure from the sport at the age of 25, in the knowledge that she has “given absolutely everything” to tennis. Barty departs from the sport at the peak of her powers, as the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon Champion.

Oligarch linked to billions in 27 Swiss bank accounts in sister’s name. An analysis of leaked documents related to 30,000 clients of Credit Suisse reveals that Saodat Narzieva, the sister of the Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, has been the one-time beneficial owner of at least 27 secret corporate accounts linked to Usmanov at the Swiss bank, including one that held nearly 1.9 billion Swiss francs (CHF). Usmanov is subject to EU sanctions. A spokesperson for Usmanov said the leaked data was “fake and incorrect” and Usmanov’s financial relations with his sister were lawful and indicative of his “generosity”.  

Roman Abramovich’s yachts sail into Turkish squall over sanctions. Roman Abramovich’s superyacht Eclipse arrived at the Turkish port of Marmaris this week, amplifying concerns about Turkish reluctance to join Europe’s sanctions against Russia, which would result in seizing the oligarch’s yachts. Former Turkish diplomat Selim Kuneralp urged his country to be careful about these vessels, which could become a diplomatic headache for Erdogan’s government.

Italian News

Dal 1° aprile al ristorante basta il green pass base. Lavoro, cosa cambia per gli over 50. Dal primo aprile il Green Pass base basterà ache per I ristoranti al chiuso. Il certificato verde sarà poi completamente rimosso dal primo maggio. Si prosegue gradualmente anche verso la rimozione delle mascherine e la possibilità di utilizzare il Green Pass base per tutte le categorie di lavoratori, anche over 50. Tali sono alcune delle novità introdotte dal nuovo Decreto Legge Covid.

L’intervento di Zelensky al parlamento. Il presidente ucraino Volodymyr Zelensky ha parlato in videoconferenza al parlamento italiano riunito in seduta comune, come aveva già fatto nei giorni scorsi con i parlamenti di Germania, Israele, Canada, Regno Unito e Stati Uniti, oltre che al Parlamento Europeo. Come previsto, il presidente ucraino ha cercato di sensibilizzare i parlamentari italiani a impegnarsi maggiormente nel sostenere l’Ucraina contro la Russia. Ha iniziato il suo discorso dicendo che «il popolo ucraino è diventato il nostro esercito» e ha ricordato i 117 bambini ucraini uccisi da quando è iniziata l’invasione, definendoli «il prezzo della procrastinazione» degli altri paesi nel fermare la guerra.

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Draghi alle Camere: “Serve il dialogo con la Cina, non supporti Mosca. Sull’energia una risposta europea”. L’aula del Senato è quasi completamente piena per ascoltare l’intervento di Mario Draghi prima del prossimo consiglio Europeo. “Davanti agli orrori della guerra l’Italia lavora con determinazione per la cessazione delle ostilitĂ ”, dichiara il premier, aggiungendo anche che si discuterĂ  riguardo l’aumento dei prezzi dell’energia. 

Juventus, l’inchiesta si allarga, tra stipendi manovrati e documenti da distruggere. La Procura di Torino continua ad indagare sulla Juventus, con nuove accuse e nuove perquisizioni. Fanno pensare la 4 mensilitĂ  non incassate dai giocatori durante la pandemia, durante la quale la squadra avrebbe concordato con i giocatori le riduzioni degli stipendi e le relative integrazioni che però sarebbero state inserite in bilancio solamente l’anno successivo.

Ucraina-Russia, Mario Draghi e i dettagli dal G7: “No fly zone impossibile ma…” Il piano per far collassare la Russia. “Tanto dobbiamo essere fermi e proattivi con le sanzioni tanto dobbiamo cercare assolutamente, disperatamente la pace”, dichiara Draghi durante l’incontro al G7 con gli altri capi di Stato, ribadendo la volontĂ  di rendere l’Europa indipendente dal gas russo.

Bocconi News

  • The intramural Bocconi Sports tournament has begun, as students have started competing in 3×3 basketball, 4×4 volleyball, 5×5 soccer and ping pong.

In Case You Missed it:

Olimpia Vitali ha presentato una breve guida agli NFT, spiegando cosa sono, come si creano e come si vendono.

Eman Maan investigated how the current microchip crisis is exacerbating geopolitical tensions and concerns over national security.

Pierfrancesco Urbano wrote about the “Grand Tour”, a journey taken by European aristocrats, artists and literates to discover the wonders of the Old Continent in the 18th and 19th century, as a source of travel inspiration for internation students in Milan.

Anna Crepaldi wrote about the biased news coverage of the police brutality against the protests organized by the No-Global movement during the Genoa G8 meeting of July 2001.

Cansu SĂźt wrote about her experience at the the exhibition Disney: The art of telling timeless stories, which was hosted by the MUDEC of Milan.

Bojan turns 20 today. Happy birthday!!

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Every week, your TiL Monday Briefing 🗞: you better read it with a cup of coffee! ☕️

Current members of the team are Bojan Zeric, Elisa Latora, Dragos Ile, Olimpia Vitali, Marco Visentin, Federica Di Chiara, Chiara Binello and Chiara Todesco

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