🌏 Iran Executes Mahsa Amini Protesters, Peru's First Woman President, New Zealand's New Smoking Ban 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

Iran has carried out its first known executions over the recent anti-government protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini after she was detained by “morality” police for allegedly breaking the country’s mandatory hijab law.

The government announced on Friday Dec. 9 that 23-year-old Mohsen Shekari had been executed by hanging for “moharebeh” – or “enmity against God” – after what rights groups say was an unfair and sham trial on Thursday.

He had been accused of blocking a main road in Tehran and wounding a member of a paramilitary force with a knife on Sep. 25.

Shekari is one of 11 protesters who have been sentenced to death so far.

The government announced that another man, Majidreza Rahnavard, was also executed on Thursday.

Rahnavard had also been convicted of “enmity against God” after being accused of stabbing two members of the paramilitary force to death

News of Shekari’s execution drew widespread condemnation from rights groups and the international leaders.

Amnesty International said the execution showed that Iranian authorities were resorting to the death penalty as a weapon of political repression to instill fear in the public in an attempt to try to end the uprising.


Also Happening Around The World

🇮🇷 Just days earlier, a spokesperson for Iran’s committee overseeing the enforcement of its moral values said that the country’s “morality” police had been abolished but authorities will keep enforcing the mandatory hijab law and punishing violations.

🇨🇳 China has eased some of its most severe COVID policies after unprecedented protests – known as the A4 Revolution – swept the country following the death of 10 people in quarantine in Xinjiang in a fire at an apartment complex.

🇰🇷 Also in Asia, Jin, the oldest member of K-pop boy band BTS, has started South Korea’s mandatory military service.

🇺🇦 Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the spirit of Ukraine have been named as TIME’s Person of the Year for 2022.

🇮🇩 Indonesia has passed a new law that bans sex outside of marriage and unauthorized public demonstrations, as well as threatens other human rights.

The Moroccan national soccer team raised Palestine’s flag after winning their historic World Cup match against Spain to stand with the Palestinian struggle.

Morocco became the first Arab nation to reach the World Cup quarter finals, after beating Spain 3-0 in penalties on Tuesday Dec. 6.

Its goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou, saved two penalties, while Achraf Hakimi scored the decisive and third goal of the night.

The team’s group photo after the match shows the north African team posing and raising the Palestinian flag.

Morocco’s Jawad El Yamiq had also raised the flag in celebration after the team won against Canada and qualified for the round of 16 earlier in the competition.

Spectators have also shown support to Palestine, with many bringing the flag and “Free Palestine” banners to the matches.

“Palestine is the 33rd country in the World Cup,” Abdullah Mansouri, a Moroccan fan told the New York Times. “Palestine is our cause, our struggle in the Arab world, in all the Arab world.”


Also Happening At The World Cup

🇰🇷 The World Cup has its newest heartthrob, and it’s South Korean striker Cho Gue-sung, who has been making waves on social media for being extremely handsome.

A woman has become the president of Peru for the first time after the former president Pedro Castillo was impeached and arrested in a dramatic turn of events on Wednesday Dec. 7.

Dina Boluarte, a 60-year-old leftist lawyer and Castillo’s vice president, was sworn in to replace him, and pledged to end corruption in the country.

53-year-old Castillo, a political newcomer who became the country’s first leftist president in a generation, had been facing an impeachment vote in Congress over charges of corruption.

But hours of the vote on Wednesday, Castillo announced in a surprise national address that he was dissolving Congress, instituting a curfew and installing an emergency government.

The move was widely seen as an attempted coup to cling onto power, according to the New York Times.

However, his plan did not work, and two hours later, Castillo was still impeached by Congress.

He was then detained on charges of “rebellion” and “conspiracy” for breaking the constitutional order, according to the public ministry, Reuters reported.

Boluarte was installed as the country’s new president.

After naming a new cabinet on Saturday Dec. 10, Boluarte called for calm as protests broke out in support of Castillo and calling for a new election and constitution.

Boluarte, who is set to remain in office until 2026 unless there are early elections, has proposed moving elections up to April 2024 but ruled out drafting a new constitution in the short term.

Other Women You Should Know About

🇨🇦 Canadian pop icon Celine Dion has revealed that she has been diagnosed “stiff person syndrome,” a rare neurological disorder that affects one in a million people.

New Zealand has become the first country in the world to ban smoking for all future generations.

The country passed a law that makes it illegal for anyone born after Jan. 1, 2009, to ever buy tobacco, including cigarettes.

“Thousands of people will live longer, healthier lives and the health system will be $5 billion better off from not needing to treat the illnesses caused by smoking,” Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said after the law passed on Tuesday Dec. 13.

The law aims to make smoking less affordable and accessible.

It will also reduce the amount of nicotine in tobacco products and prohibit them from being sold at supermarkets and corner shops, making them only available in specialty tobacco stores.

The law is part of the government’s plan to make New Zealand smokefree by 2025.

More Good News For Your Week

🇧🇧 Barbados’ top court has struck down colonial-era laws banning gay sex, becoming the latest Caribbean country to do so.

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 ✨