what happened last week - Remembering Gal Costa

what happened last week


Hey, this is Sham, your very own news curator. I love getting back into a groove for this newsletter. I'm taking a week off as it is my birthday on November 18. If you're feeling generous, help support this newsletter on Patreon or tell your friends about it. It would mean so much. Thank you!

Issue #316 includes climate change effects in Africa, most specifically for animals in Kenya and the death of one of the most famous artists in Brazil. Plus, Algeria and East Timor taking things to next levels, Lebanon's fight against its most recent cholera outbreak, really, really good news from the sciences and arts world. 
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Hundreds of animals have died across Kenya because it's too dry

Hundreds of elephants, wildebeests, and zebras have died across Kenya in the past nine months as a consequence of the lack of rain. The country is experiencing its longest drought in many, many years. (Africanews)

Why this matters: Africa is the world's lowest carbon emitter. However, the continent is still suffering disproportionately from the effects of climate change. 

Tell me more
“The Kenya Wildlife Service Rangers, Community Scouts, and Research Teams counted the deaths of 205 elephants, 512 wildebeests, 381 common zebras, 51 buffalos, 49 Grevy’s zebras, and 12 giraffes in the past nine months,” a report released Friday by the country’s Ministry of Tourism said. Plus, rivers have dried up, grasslands destroyed. It's been really, really bad for Kenya's most-visited national parks.

  • Did you know that climate change now kills 20 times as many elephants as poaching? That's what Kenya’s former cabinet secretary for wildlife and tourism Najib Balala said in an interview with the BBC in July. According to the ministry, Kenya had just 36,000 elephants left last year.
  • Good to know: Kenyans were recently mourning the loss of their African elephant queen, Dida, who was believed to be the continent's largest female tusker, just look.

People are affected, too, right?
Of course. These past four (!) rainy seasons haven't been very 'rainy', so to speak. The UN’s World Meteorological Organization said the drought is the region’s longest in four (!) decades. It has affected the lives of some 18 million people in
Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, according to reports from the World Food Programme.

What now?
Kenya’s Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Peninah Malonza said steps were being taken to save the lives of animals – including digging boreholes and transporting water to dried-up water pans and dams. But, to zoom out here, there is a debate happening on damage compensation for losses from climate-related disasters for Africa (since it is the world's lowest carbon emitter) at COP27. (
Al Jazeera) Dig deeper into this policy debate with this London School of Economics explainer that draws on ‘Addressing the impacts of climate change through an effective Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage’ by Rebecca Byrnes and Swenja Surminski, published by the Grantham Research Institute in 2019.

You want to help? Check out
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Their Twitter bio explains why: "Pioneers in the rescue, rehabilitation & release of orphaned baby elephants, we actively work to conserve all wildlife and wilderness areas in Kenya."

Zoom out: The effects of climate change are no better in the south on the continent. Remember when Cyclone Idai hit southern Africa three years ago? 341 people died, dozens went missing. People are still feeling the effect to this very day, as
Cyril Zenda reports for Fair Planet.


Gal Costa, one of the most influential artists in Brazil, died last week

Gal Costa died last Wednesday. She was 77 years old. (g1, Portuguese)

Why this matters: Gal Costa was one of the most influential artists in Brazil's Tropicalia movement in the 1960s. Her career spanned 57 years. 

Tell me more about Costa
Maria da Graça Costa Penna Burgos was born in the city of Salvador, in the state of Bahia, on September 26, 1945, and is considered as one of the most distinctive voices in Brazil’s Tropicalia movement. Costa has been a major influence among younger singers and in 2011 was awarded a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

How did she die?
Her death was confirmed by her press team to CNN Brasil. Gal Costa’s official Instagram account also published a short statement Wednesday morning along with a black and white photo of the singer. She had taken a break from concerts after undergoing surgery to remove a lump in her right nasal cavity. However, as of Thursday last week, it wasn't clear why she died. Costa was scheduled to perform at the Primavera Sound festival in São Paulo last weekend but canceled. (
Folha de S. Paulo, Portuguese)

What do people in Brazil say about her death?
News of her death led to an outpouring of condolences online. “Gal Costa was one of the world’s greatest singers and one of our main artists who brought the name and sounds of Brazil to the entire planet,” Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wrote on Twitter. “Her talent, technique, and audacity enriched and renovated our culture and had an impact on the lives of millions of Brazilians.” Nando Reis, one of the biggest musicians in Brazil, paid homage to Costa on TV;
watch the clip here on YouTube, he speaks Portuguese. Oh, and her ex, Lúcia Veríssimo (yes, Costa was bisexual) took to social media sharing this video on Instagram with Costa's song 'Eternamente' playing in the background. (O Tempo, Portuguese)

What are her most famous songs? 
Besides 'Eternamente', Costa was famous for 'Baby', 'Chuva de Prata' and 'Meu bem, meu mal', but don't worry. I put all of them into this
newsletter's own Spotify playlist.

In other and related news, another celebrity singer died last week, Aaron Carter was found dead at the age of 24 in his bathtub in his home in Lancaster, California, United States. (Los Angeles Times)

More you might have missed 

The bad
Maledives: Ten people were killed, nine of them from India, and many others injured after a massive fire broke out at a building housing migrant workers in Malé, the Maldives. (Al Jazeera)
Nigeria: Four people were killed and twelve others injured by a bombing in Anambra State (south). (Reuters) In Kano state (north), two TikTok comedians Mubarak Isah Muhammad, 26, and Nazifi Muhammad Bala, 23, each received 20 lashes for satirizing the governor. They will also have to wash the state court's toilets for the next 30 days. (CNN)
Nepal: Six people are killed when a magnitude 5.6 earthquake hit Sudurpashchim. (Times of India)
Iran: Human rights group IHRNGO (based in Norway) claims that Iranian security forces have killed at least 326 people since the revolutionary protests began two months ago. (Iran International)
Somalia: Ten people are killed by al-Shabaab militants at a military base in Galguduud. (Reuters)
Haiti: The country's cholera death toll rose to 136 last week. (CNN)
Afghanistan: A Taliban spokesman for the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice said that the group has issued an edict banning women from gyms, public parks and fun fairs because people were ignoring segregation orders and women were not wearing hijabs appropriately. (ABC News)
The 'We'll See'
Upcoming elections worldwide this week will take place in Malaysia (Dewan Rakyat; Nov 19), Equatorial Guinea (President, Senate Chamber of Deputies; Nov 20), Kazakhstan (President, Nov 20) and Nepal (House of Representatives; Nov 20).
Algeria: Algeria formally applies to join the BRICS economic group. (Middle East Monitor)
Lebanon: Lebanon launched their first cholera vaccine campaign. (Arab News)
Bangladesh: The International Monetary Fund agreed to a preliminary deal with Bangladesh for a US$4.5 billion loan to support the struggling Bangladeshi economy amid rising energy and food prices. (Al Jazeera)
East Timor: East Timor was granted 'observer member status' of the ASEAN bloc of nations, with a roadmap to membership established. (AFP via The Bangkok Post)
Israel/Palestine: The United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee adopts a resolution to request the opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the effects of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. It will then proceed to the United Nations General Assembly for final approval. (Haaretz)
The good
Science and technology: NASA announced that an approximately 15 by 15 feet (4.6 m × 4.6 m) section of the Space Shuttle Challenger has been found by divers in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the first debris from the shuttle to be found since 1996. (AP) 

In the same week, the first-ever clinical trial of laboratory grown red blood cells transfused into people started at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. (BBC)
Arts: The Paul Allen collection (Microsoft's co-founder) was sold off at Christie's in New York City for more than US$1.5 billion. It was the biggest sale in auction history. All funds are to be donated to Allen's philanthropic endeavors (it is unclear who the beneficiaries are). (The New York Times)


Podcast series: "Ídolo: The Ballad of Chalino Sánchez"

The name of Chalino Sánchez should ring a bell if you're into music from Mexico. If not, it's high-time you get to know him. Sonoro and Futuro Studios introduce "Ídolo: The Ballad of Chalino Sánchez," an 8-episode podcast that examines the extraordinary life of the famous singer-songwriter and tries to unlock some of the the mystery behind his still-unsolved murder. Hosted by Erick Galindo in English and Alejandro Mendoza in Spanish. Check out here

Btw, this is just a first season of an entire series that recounts the history of Latin American popular culture through fascinating stories of the people who made it. Each season of "Ídolo" focuses on a different Latin American cultural icon, their extraordinary lives, and the global legacy they’ve left behind.

Article: There are fewer and fewer affordable homes in Zimbabwe
For Global Press Journal, Gamuchirai Masiyiwa takes a closer look at how people live in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. The statistics do not tell a good story: An estimated 33.5% of the population in Harare (this says 'more than 1.5 million in 2022') lives in informal settlements. 'Informal settlements' basically means, 'areas where houses have been constructed on land that the occupants have no legal claim to, or occupy illegally' (OECD). These areas lack basic services such as water, sewer, roads, electricity, amongst others. What do people then do if they want/need housing in Harare? 
Photos from the 7th issue of 1413 on health culture from China
1413 is a health and wellness magazine founded by Zengli Shan and Wu Yijing aka Lisa and Echo, founded on the principles of Chinese traditional medicine. Both work full-time while producing the magazine. In the 7th and latest issue (it took them two years to produce), they wanted to focus on Chinese wellness. Check out the issue here on their website (which is, btw, a real cute experience).

I found out about 1413 through an
interview with It's Nice That's Roz Jones and 1413 founder Wu Yijing. There, some of the amazing pictures that are featured in the magazine are on full display and ready for you to admire. My favorite? This one. You can also get a better feeling for the magazine and the idea behind it on its official Instagram page.

Music video of the week

Cara da Derrota (Ao Vivo em Goiânia) by Gusttavo Lima, one of the most influential artists in Brazil. He is known in Brazil for his many hit songs, and gained international prominence through the song "Balada". Of course, you can listen to it in this newsletter's Spotify playlist.

On a funny note

U.S. President Biden referred to Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit host Cambodia as Colombia – twice.
  • Quote: "It was an honor to host at the White House in May, and now that we are back together in Cambodia," Biden said as he opened the talks. "I look forward to building even stronger progress than we've already made. I want to thank the prime minister for Colombia's leadership as ASEAN chair."
Watch the video here.
That's it from me. 

Have you checked out this newsletter's very own Spotify playlist Go Global Weekly yet?

If you enjoy reading whlw on the regular, have you considered supporting it financially? You can do so by becoming a monthly
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