Researched by: Rachel John, Nirmal Bhansali & Aarthi Ramnath
A surprise win in Mizoram
The upstart party Zoram People’s Movement has toppled the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF)—which secured only ten seats. Three-time CM Zoramthanga lost his own seat. OTOH, ZPM swept 27 out of 40 seats—a comfortable majority. BJP’s tally doubled from one to two—while Congress had its worst show ever, securing a single seat.
The immediate effect: The BJP loses its NDA alliance partner. Soon to be CM Lalduhoma said:
We are not going to join any political group at the national level. We don’t want to be dictated from Delhi. We want to take the final decision with our own hands here. But our relationship with the central government will remain on an issue basis.
Israel-Palestine War: The latest update
For more context on the Israel-Palestine war, check out our Big Stories on: The motive for the Hamas attack; the effect of civilian casualties on Gaza’s post-war fate; and the deal for a four-day truce.
Death toll: According to the health ministry in Gaza, over 15,500 people have been killed in the region and 70% of them are women and children. The Committee to Protect Journalists noted that the Israel-Gaza war “led to the deadliest month for journalists" since 1992 as 61 journalists and media workers lost their lives in November. To compare, 68 journalists and media workers died across the world in 2022. NPR has more.
Ground invasion: Israeli troops have moved into the south Gaza—aiming for Khan Younis. IDF claims it is the hub of Hamas’ military leadership. Residents have been told to move to Rafah—which is on the Egyptian border: “Even in Rafah where people are being forced to flee the sound of airstrikes punctuates the day.”
The broken truce: Both sides are blaming each other for the breakdown of negotiations. Israel and the US say that Hamas is holding women hostages. Hamas insists it only has men, Israeli soldiers—and bodies of those killed in airstrikes.
Horrific killing of babies: A video shows the decomposing bodies of premature babies who were abandoned to die by Israeli forces at the Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital. The soldiers evacuated the staff—promising to help the babies. You can watch the video here. NBC News has more.
Cyclone Michaung drowns Chennai
The city has been battered by heavy rains since Sunday night. Five people are dead—and thousands have been evacuated to government shelters. The government has also declared a holiday in Chennai and three other districts—Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur. Up next: Michaung is expected to pick up speed and cross into Andhra Pradesh. The Hindu’s liveblog is tracking its progress. Clip below show the flooding at the airport:
This gives you a sense of how bad the streets are:
Also this: Foxconn has stopped the production of iPhones at its factory near Chennai.
Another fossil fuel controversy at COP28
The context: There was fierce criticism of the decision to hold the critical climate change conference in the UAE—the seventh largest producer of oil. And a recent scoop showed that the president of the summit Sultan Al Jaber—appointed by the UAE—was using it to cut oil and gas deals. Our Big Story has lots more context on COP28.
What happened now: A video of behind-the-scenes discussions shows Al Jaber being asked if he would lead the effort to phase out fossil fuels. He responds by chastising the person—Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland:
I accepted to come to this meeting to have a sober and mature conversation. I’m not in any way signing up to any discussion that is alarmist. There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C.
He also said: “Please, help me, show me a road map for a phaseout of fossil fuels that will allow for sustainable socioeconomic development, unless you want to take the world back into caves,” Climate change experts and activists immediately expressed concern: “This is an extraordinary, revealing, worrying and belligerent exchange. ‘Sending us back to caves’ is the oldest of fossil fuel industry tropes: it’s verging on climate denial.”
Al Jaber says his comments were taken out of context. The Guardian has the exclusive and lots more details. Reminder: India has refused to sign pledges to phase out coal—or to triple green energy. You can see the vid below.
Bad news about crime in India
Every year, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) releases its annual report—which measures the state of law & order in the country. Here are some low lights:
- Crimes against women jumped by 4%. There are almost 187 crimes reported for every 1,00,000 women.
- Delhi is unsurprisingly the least safe for women among the big cities—recording an average of three rape cases a day.
- Uttar Pradesh is the least safe among the states—registering 65,743 cases of crimes against women, followed by Maharashtra with 45,331 cases and Rajasthan with 45,058.
- Crimes against Scheduled Castes and Tribes jumped by 13.1%: “For the third consecutive year, Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of crimes against Scheduled Castes.”
Sweeping layoffs at Spotify
The company canned 17% of its staff—1,500 employees—to cut costs. In a memo, CEO Daniel EK said that the company had to “rightsize”:
Today, we still have too many people dedicated to supporting work and even doing work around the work rather than contributing to opportunities with real impact. More people need to be focused on delivering for our key stakeholders – creators and consumers. In two words, we have to become relentlessly resourceful.
The Oxford word of the year is…
Rizz—as in style, charm, or attractiveness, and the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner. It is the shorter version of ‘charisma’—and favoured by young people who don’t have time to say charisma:) ‘Rizz’ owes its popularity to Tom Holland—who said in an interview, “I have no rizz whatsoever. I have limited rizz.” The guy is dating Zendaya 🙄. Other contenders for the top spot included ‘Swiftie’, ‘beige flag’ and ‘situationship’. BBC News has an entire glossary.
Two things to see
One: The legendary glam rock band Kiss became the first US act to go virtual. The members unveiled digital avatars of themselves at the end of their last live concert over the weekend. FYI: These virtual versions were created by George Lucas’ special-effects company Industrial Light & Magic—which was also part of ABBA’s digital concerts in London in May. Watch a glimpse of the Kiss performance below. (Associated Press)