Protests in Iran are growing deadlier.
Walk me through it.
This is about the death of Mahsa Amini. Last week, Iranian morality police arrested the 22-year-old — reportedly for not following the country’s hijab rules. She died in a hospital three days later. Iran says she died of a heart attack. Amini’s family and eyewitnesses say the police beat her in a van and she later fell into a coma. In the days since, thousands have turned out across the country to protest the Iranian regime. Human rights groups say seven people have been killed, with hundreds more reportedly injured. Iranian officials confirmed three deaths. Now, as protests enter their sixth day, they show no sign of slowing down.
These are believed to be some of the most daring protests in Iran in years. Video footage shows protesters burning their hijabs and cutting their hair in public — in a country where those who violate the law can face jail time. One woman can be seen standing on a police car in the streets. Some protesters can be heard chanting “death to the dictator.” Others reportedly chanted, “life, liberty, and women.” And tension is mounting: police have been filmed using water cannons, tear gas, and batons, beating protesters to the ground. Some protesters have set fire to police cars or hit back with rocks. And some users say access to WhatsApp and Instagram is being restricted — something Elon Musk is trying to change.
This is not the first time Iranians have taken to the streets to protest the regime. This time, it’s coming against a backdrop of the UN General Assembly and Iranian nuclear negotiations that don’t seem to be going anywhere, reports of Iran’s supreme leader’s poor health, and a generation that is increasingly online.
Where unrest is also growing…
Russia. Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of the military…sparking mass protests. The announcement — the first of its kind since World War II — applies to about 300,000 reservists. But since all men there between the ages of 18 and 27 need to do military service, many could be called up. The news is already sparking backlash. Flights out of Russia are selling out. Google searches for “how to leave Russia” and even “how to break an arm at home” are spiking. And more than 1,200 Russians have been reportedly arrested in protests. Some chanted “let our children live” and called for Putin himself to be sent to the front lines. Others said simply “no to war.”
The war continues: The announcement came as the Russian government acknowledged more than 5,900 Russian deaths in Ukraine, believed to be an undercount. The news came on the heels of Ukrainian advances in the country’s east. And as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the UN General Assembly, urging more aid.
Who’s saying ‘now where were we’…
The Justice Department. Yesterday, a federal appeals court said that the DOJ can continue reviewing the more than 100 classified docs seized from Mar-a-Lago. Earlier this month, a federal judge temporarily hit pause on parts of the DOJ’s investigation, granting former President Trump a special master. And by ‘special master’ we mean less EL James, more a judge tasked with sorting through the documents. This week, that special master pushed back against Trump’s lawyers in court — who refused to show proof that Trump declassified the docs while in office. But last night we heard from Trump himself. In a Fox News interview, the former president said there “doesn’t have to be a process” to declassify docs. And that a president can declassify documents ”even by thinking about it.” Something to think about…
…Oh and speaking of investigations into Trump, yesterday New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump and his company for allegedly inflating his net worth. James called it “the art of the steal.” Trump supporters are calling it another political ploy from the left.
What struggled with hump day…
Wall Street. Yesterday, indexes dropped were down more than 1.7% — the lowest levels in months. The drop came after the Fed raised interest rates by 0.75 percentage points — the fifth time rates have gone up this year. The reason: the central bank wants to bring down inflation that’s reached a 40-year high. And said to expect benchmark rates (hint: the base for what other interest rates should go for) to jump up to 4.6% next year. As Fed Chair Jerome Powell put it, the hikes will happen “until the job is done.” But the balance is delicate, with economists warning that too many hikes too quickly could tip the country into a recession.
PS: We Skimm’d what interest rate hikes mean for your finances here.
While the darlings continue to be worried…
So is the chess community.