Researched and collated by: Sara Varghese & Ayaan Malhotra
Ukraine scores a big military win
The country claims to have recaptured more than 1,000 square miles in the northeastern region of Kharkiv—marking the most significant military gain since Moscow invaded six months ago. Russian forces have retreated in these areas—thanks to a “surprise offensive” launched by Kyiv on September 6. FYI: “According to one military expert, the advance marks the first time since World War Two that whole Russian units have been lost.” Washington Post, Economist and BBC News have more details.
Two big sports stories
Asia Cup: Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 23 runs to win their sixth Asia Cup title—a much-needed boost for a nation trying to survive political and economic chaos. The trajectory of the match was no less symbolic. Sri Lanka reached 170 for 6 from a hopeless 58 for 5 thanks to Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s 45-ball-71 knock—described as “easily one of the best knocks under pressure in T20s in recent times.” And it took the heroic efforts of pacer Pramod Madushan (4/34 in 4 overs) and leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (3/27 in 4 overs) to bring down Pakistan—which at one point was cruising along at 93 for 2. (The Hindu)
US Open: Spain's 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz defeated Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3 to become the new US Open champion. This is his first ever Grand Slam title. More notably, he is now #1 in the ATP rankings—the youngest ever in its history. New York Times has a good profile of Alacaraz. (The Telegraph)
A very big chess controversy
At the ongoing Sinquefield Cup in the US, 19-year-old grandmaster Hans Moke Niemann defeated the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen—breaking his 53-game winning streak. Carlsen then immediately withdrew from the tournament—without offering a reason. However, everyone thinks it’s because Carlsen thinks Niemann cheated—a good guess since he announced his withdrawal with this famous clip of football manager José Mourinho.
Niemann—who has admitted to cheating in online matches and is the lowest rated player in the field—denied any foul play: “It must be embarrassing for the world champion to lose to me. I feel bad for him.” But not many professionals believe him—“No matter how his tournaments went, @MagnusCarlsen never quit. He must have had a compelling reason, or at least he believes he has it.” This scandal is so big that even Elon Musk jumped into the fray. (Wall Street Journal)
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Excellent news for Sri Lanka’s whales
One of the world’s largest shipping companies has changed its routes to avoid colliding with endangered blue whales off the coast of southern Sri Lanka. More than a dozen have been killed by commercial ships over the last decade—in what is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Even fishermen have been run over by them. Activists have for years pressed authorities to shift the routes 15 nautical miles further offshore. The Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has done so voluntarily—a move that could reduce the strike risk as much as 95%. (Agence France-Presse)
The invisibility of the female artist
A new analysis found that only 13% of the artists in US museums are women—even though they make up 55% of working artists right now. One big reason: The domination of art created before the 19th century—when women were kept out of art schools—“and therefore could not become artists with a capital ‘A.’” But here’s what’s interesting: While women now make up the majority of art students and working artists, museum directors, and those in charge of curating art, still are mostly male. (Axios)
Four things to see
One: We have two eye-catching visuals from the aftermath of the Queen’s death. The first is a woman who leaned in to kiss the now King Charles III as he met crowds gathered outside the Buckingham Palace. BTW, Charles has had a total image makeover since his first speech to the nation after being confirmed as king—more on that here. Our prediction: The producers of ‘The Crown’ are scrambling to rewrite the upcoming season. (Independent UK)
Plus: We were also treated to the reunion of the two betas and the bahus—Meg/Harry plus Will/Kate—in public. Sadly, unlike a halfway decent Indian family soap opera, there were no theatrics involved. (Reuters)
Two: This is the only copy of JD Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ that is signed with his childhood name, ‘Sonny’. And it’s up for sale for £225,000. Why this one is special: it is rare to get your hands on a signed Salinger novel: “Salinger was said to have been resentful of friends and family cashing in on the success of his 1951 novel, and as a result signed copies did not make their way into the book market.” (The Guardian)
Four: Think English fans are the worst football hooligans? A football match between Nice and Cologne playing in the Europa Conference was delayed due to ugly battles between fans—and it left 18 people injured. In this case, the aggressors were the Germans. Both clubs expressed their shock and disappointment. (Associated Press)