🌏 Freya The Walrus Killed, Chinese Court Rejects Historic #MeToo Case Again 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

The giant walrus named Freya, famous for enjoying the sun and sinking boats in Norway, has been euthanized by Norwegian authorities for becoming “a threat to human safety.”

Norway’s Directorate of General Fisheries put down the 700 kilogram walrus on Sunday Aug. 14.

“The decision to euthanize the walrus was made based on an overall assessment of the continued threat to human safety,” the head of the directorate, Frank Bakke-Jensen, said in a statement.

“I am firm that this was the right call. We have great regard for animal welfare, but human life and safety must take precedence,” Bakke-Jensen said.

Freya – named after the Norse goddess of love and beauty – had gained local and international attention after images of her lounging around on boats by the harbor in Stabbestad went viral.

Previously authorities had warned the public they would take further action and euthanize Freya if people continued to stress her out and disregard safety measures.

Authorities said they had considered other options such as moving her to another location but it was “not a viable option” considering the risk she would pose to other animals.

The decision sparked massive backlash online, with people calling the decision completely unnecessary.

A biologist at the University of South-Eastern Norway who had followed Freya’s whereabouts and helped create a Facebook group to inform the public, called it “too hasty a conclusion”.

“Freya had sooner or later gotten out of the Oslo Fjord, which all previous experience has shown, so killing her was, in my view, completely unnecessary, and another example of a trigger-happy gun management - for which Norway is already well known,” Rune Aae wrote on Facebook.

There are about 225,000 walruses in the wild, with most living in ice-covered waters in Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia and Alaska.

However, due to global warming, some ice sheets have been melting, causing walruses to lose some of their habitat.

Freya, a social media icon, was first spotted in the port of Den Helder, Netherlands, in October 2021 and had visited other places in Europe including Denmark, Germany and the UK.

Also Happening Around The World

🇰🇷 Heavy rainfall starting Monday Aug. 8 has caused major floods in South Korea’s capital Seoul, swamping roads, metro stations and destroying low-income underground apartments.

🇨🇳 China fired multiple missiles towards Taiwan in its largest military drills in the Taiwan Strait in decades after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan as part of her Asia tour.

🇹🇼 Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen has condemned China conducting military drills near Taiwan after US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier in the week.

A court in China has rejected an appeal to a historic #MeToo case brought forward by Zhou Xiaoxuan, a 28-year-old screenwriter, who said she was sexually harassed by a famous TV presenter when she was an intern.

Zhou, who is known in China by her nickname Xianzi, said in a social media post in 2018 that Zhu Jun, a now 57-year-old host at CCTV, groped and forcibly kissed her in a dressing room in 2014 when she was a 21-year-old intern.

Her post went viral on social media, and she quickly became the face of the #MeToo movement in China.

“It’s important for every girl to speak up and say what she has suffered,” Zhou wrote in her post. “We need to make sure society knows that these massacres exist.”

Zhu denied the allegations and sued her for defamation. She countersued him, demanding a public apology and 50,000 yuan ($7,600) in damages.

A court in Beijing rejected her case in September last year over “insufficient evidence”, prompting Zhou to appeal.

She said that her legal team would gather more evidence, including surveillance footage and police transcripts with her parents after she reported the incident that had not been included in the earlier trial, according to the Guardian.

However, on Wednesday Aug. 10, the court again ruled against Zhou in a closed-door hearing, saying that she had submitted “insufficient evidence” to prove alleged sexual harassment.

“I’m disappointed but it’s also somewhat expected,” Zhou told the Guardian after the hearing. “I won’t give up, but I also don’t know what to do next. We seem to have exhausted all the legal means.”

Ahead of the hearing, she shared a video on social media saying that she doesn’t regret pursuing the case, adding that she hopes things will be easier for other victims in the future.

“Even if this case does not achieve a final judicial victory in the end, it is already a victory for many people to be able to see victims of gender-based violence like myself,” Zhou said in December 2020. “If, through this case, we are able to push the law forward and help victims in the future to be able to receive support when they go to court, that is already a sort of victory in itself.”

More Women You Should Know About

🇦🇺 Fatima Payman, a 27-year-old woman who fled to Australia from Afghanistan as a child, has become Australia’s youngest and first hijabi member of parliament.

🇹🇭 For the first time in 77 years, eight women have boxed in Thailand’s Rajadamnern Stadium, one of the world’s most famous Muay Thai venues, smashing a ban that prevented women from competing.

Young Ukrainians are holding raves to clean up the destruction left in numerous Ukrainian neighborhoods from months of fighting.

The group Repair Together organizes clean ups primarily in Kyiv towns.

Videos from TikTok showed young people cleaning and sweeping up the rubble to the sound of a DJ remixing house and techno music.

Many of the volunteers are young people between their 20s and 30s who once partied and are unable to attend summer raves due to the war.

“I like electronic music and I used to party. But now it’s wartime and we want to help, and we’re doing it with music,” organizer Tania Burianova said, according to AP.

Curfew and the threat of Russian bombing has stopped the nightlife in Ukraine since the start of the war on February 24.

In Yahidne, a town in northeast of Kyiv, residents said the town, which was once “bright and modern”, became “gloomy” and “emotionless” after Russia took control of the area between March and April.

“If people are coming here and helping us to the music, it somehow helps the village to get renewed and revived,” a Yahidne resident said, according to the Washington Post.

Repair Together has held at least eight raves in the area and have helped repair 15 damaged homes, the project’s founder, Dmytro Kyrpa, told Resident Advisor.

More Good News For Your Week

🇳🇱 After two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amsterdam finally hosted its world famous 25th Canal Pride Parade this year.

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 ✨