Russia acknowledges 89 dead in Makivka, Republicans and leaderless Congress in US return to high risk for French government… News Wednesday, January 4


Attack on Makiivka: Russia recognized 89 dead soldiers. Ukraine’s New Year’s Eve attack in Makiivka killed 89 people, Russia said on Wednesday, as rallies commemorating the slain soldiers turned into rare displays of public anger and grief. According to Russian General Sergei Sevryukov in a video message released by the ministry, the number of Russian casualties, originally estimated at 63, has been revised upwards after the discovery of new bodies in the ruins of a building in Makivka. Still, according to him, the launch and (soldiers’) mass use of cell phones within the range of enemy weapons contrary to the prohibition” would allow geolocation of troops.

American Republicans “without a speaker”. It hasn’t happened in 100 years: The elected members of the US House of Representatives ended their session on Tuesday without choosing a president, as a strong tension in the Republican ranks plunged the Congress into uncertainty. The heavy favorite to replace Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, 50, failed after three consecutive votes to quell a rebellion fueled by a group of Trumpists who consider him too moderate. Elected officials agreed to hold off on the vote until Wednesday morning — time to negotiate behind the scenes.

Abortion pills are sold in pharmacies in the United States. Abortion pills will be allowed to be sold at pharmacies in the US, a measure that could greatly expand access to abortion after a 2022 Supreme Court decision that overturned federal protections. A doctor’s prescription will be required to obtain these pills, which were previously only available at a few online pharmacies or from licensed doctors or clinics.

The Burmese junta pardons 7,000 prisoners in a parade to mark the 75th anniversary of independence. Myanmar soldiers marched through the streets of the military-founded capital Naypyidaw on Wednesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the former British colony’s independence, days after ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison. A junta spokesman also announced that 7,012 prisoners were still being released as part of the celebrations, but did not specify whether the amnesty would include people arrested during the crackdown on the opposition.

Braille books at one price, first. More than 2,000 books in Braille became available at the classic book price starting Wednesday, more than 40 years after the single book price was established, the Center for Braille Transcription and Publishing (CTEB) announced. While the CTEB catalog has so far sold its books between 60 and 122 euros, they will now be sold at prices between 11 and 30 euros.

Mahiedine Mekhissi hangs up his sneakers. Three-time Olympic medalist (2008, 2012 and 2016), two-time world medalist (2011 and 2013) and five-time European champion, the French runner, 3000m steeplechase specialist, announces this Wednesday morning. Team retirement. “I stop because the desire is no longer there. I no longer enjoy exercise. I felt it was time to say stop”, he explains to daily sports. He is the only French athlete to win three consecutive Olympics with Alain Mimoun.

It will continue today

The government is back. Emmanuel Macron presides this Wednesday at the first Council of Ministers of 2023, an opportunity to strengthen his troops before the test-fire on pensions, on which the head of state’s second five-year term will partly depend. As every year, at the beginning of January, members of the government will go to Place Beauvau for a traditional school-going breakfast at the Ministry of the Interior, hosted by Gerald Darmani.

Elisabeth Borne continues to consult with social partners. The Prime Minister is due to continue meeting social partners today ahead of the presentation of the pension reform bill next Tuesday. All unions and most of the opposition oppose the executive’s plan to gradually delay the retirement age from 62 to 65, or to 64 with an extension of the contribution period.


There is no ceasefire in Kyiv at the end or beginning of the year. Since the last hours of 2022, the increase in rocket attacks and kamikaze drones in the capital of Ukraine has increased the fear of aggression against anti-aircraft defenses. Read the report of our correspondent in Ukraine.


With “Avatar 2”, James Cameron re-opens the way of rooms. The Canadian director and his film La Voie de l’eau, released on December 14, have already accomplished the unthinkable: bringing the public back to the movies after years of pandemic. Read our article.


Charlie Hebdo pays for Iran’s supreme guide. The front page of Charlie Hebdo, which hit newsstands Wednesday, trumpets “Cartoonists beat up mullahs.” The satirical newspaper has chosen to publish the results of an international caricature contest launched last month in support of the protest movement in Iran for a special edition dedicated to the memory of the January 7, 2015 attacks. Our article.


Didier Leschi, from Trotsky to Macron via “Che”. The Director General of France’s Immigration and Integration Office is a senior civil servant who was a Trotskyist in his youth, admires Jean-Pierre Chevènement and advocates for a future immigration law. Read our profile.

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