🌏 Unprecedented Anti-Government Protests In China, Activism At The World Cup And More

All the world news you need to know this week.

Hello and welcome to the Almost newsletter, a weekly email to help you stay updated and make sense of important stories happening around the world including:

  • 🌏 This Week’s Top Stories
  • 👩 Women To Know
  • 🙌 Good News For Your Week

People across China are holding unprecedented mass anti-government protests after a fire killed 10 people who were in COVID lockdown.

Protests have been ongoing since Friday Nov. 25 after a fire broke out at an apartment complex in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi – which has been locked down for more than three months – at around 7:50pm local time on Thursday.

The fire, which killed 10 people and injured at least nine, was not extinguished until three hours later, and protestors say the strict lockdown had slowed down the rescue process.

The news sparked public sadness and anger, and protests erupted across major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, with people calling for an end to China’s zero COVID-19 policy.

On Saturday, a vigil for the victims of the incident in Shanghai turned into a protest, with demonstrators demanding Xi Jinping to step down.

“No more lockdowns, we want freedom!” protestors in Beijing on Sunday chanted, using a phrase written on a banner by Bridge Man, a man who held a one-man protest against President Xi Jinping on a bridge in Beijing in October.

“We just want our basic human rights. We can’t leave our homes without getting a test. It was the accident in Xinjiang that pushed people too far,” a Shanghai protestor told Reuters.

Demonstrators are holding blank sheets of paper as a form of protest, signifying all the things everyone knows but cannot say.

Video footage on social media showed police arresting individuals at protests in different cities.

Protests against the government are incredibly rare in China, and this is one of the biggest acts of civil disobedience China has seen since Tiananmen Square.

Also Happening Around The World

🇨🇳 Also in China, one of the country’s biggest stars, rapper and former EXO member, Kris Wu, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after a court found him guilty of raping three women.

🇮🇩 At least 271 people are dead and more than 1,000 injured after an earthquake of 5.6 magnitude struck the West Java Island of Indonesia on  Nov. 21.

🇶🇦 In an extraordinary one hour speech, FIFA’s Swiss-Italian president slammed the West for “moral double standards” over the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, defending the host country’s human rights record and saying he had been discriminated against like migrant workers and LGBTQ people.

🇮🇷 The Iranian national soccer team refused to sing when their national anthem played before their World Cup match against England to show their support for the ongoing anti-government protests in their country.

🌍 Team captains from seven European soccer team were forced to drop a plan to wear an armband with a rainbow heart during their World Cup matches after FIFA threatened to give them yellow cards.

🇩🇪 In response, the German national soccer team covered their mouths during their team photo before their match against Japan to protest FIFA’s decision to threaten them with yellow cards.

Soccer fans watching the match between England and Iran on Monday, Nov. 21 may have noticed English player Jack Grealish celebrating his first goal at this year’s World Cup with an arm wiggle.

Known as “The Finlay,” the dance move stems from a promise Grealish made to an 11-year-old fan named Finaly Fisher, who has cerebral palsy.

Fisher had previously written to Grealish after learning that the 27-year-old player’s younger sister also suffers from the same condition that affects movement and coordination.

“It makes me really happy when I see that you, a famous footballer, knows what it’s like to live with people with cerebral palsy,” Fisher wrote. “I wish there were more people in the world just like you who treat people with disabilities the same as anyone else.”
The two eventually got to meet in person as part of the Premier League’s “Fan Mail” set up.

During the meet and greet, Grealish promised Fisher he would do a celebration for him when he netted his next goal, and the two eventually agreed on an arm wiggle after Fisher originally suggested Grealish do the worm.

The English ace was true to his word when he scored the sixth goal of England’s match against Iran on Monday Nov. 21.

After the match, Grealish shared a photo of him doing the dance move with their meet and greet video, with the caption “For you Finlay ❤️”.

He also called Fisher the next day for a video chat, when he told Fisher that he hadn’t forgotten about his promise.

More Good News For Your Week

🇨🇳 In the latest trend on Chinese social media, people are dressing up their pets as La'eeb using white cloth or paper towels.

🇶🇦 A video of a Qatari police officer helping an Ecuador soccer fan to arrange a ghutra and iqal, a traditional Arabic headdress for men, out of an Ecuador flag in a Doha Metro station has gone viral.

🇸🇦 A Saudi fan was so happy that his team beat Argentina in a shock upset that he ripped a whole door from its frame.

Thanks so much for opening this email. If you think a friend would like this, you can forward it to them! You can also follow Almost on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube. We also have a Chinese version.

Let us know your thoughts about this week’s news in the comments or by replying directly to this email ✨