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Irene Caselli

Athens, Greece
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About Irene
I am an experienced multimedia reporter and writer now focusing on sexuality, women’s rights and early childhood.
Earlier in my career I spent a decade as a foreign correspondent in Latin America. I worked for the BBC in Venezuela when Hugo Chávez died, and my work has appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, The Guardian and El País.
In 2019 I was hired as the “First 1,000 Days” correspondent for The Correspondent, a transnational, member-funded platform. I was one of just five staff writers chosen among 2,000 applicants. When The Correspondent shut down in December 2020, I launched my newsletter, The First 1,000 Days.
I published a chapter in Unbias the News, a book that focuses on how to have more diversity in newsrooms. I also co-produced a half-hour documentary on women’s football and gender inequality, and one of my team’s short films on the same subject received a prize for collaborative journalism.
I have been awarded fellowships by the IWMF, the European Journalism Centre, and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. I moderate panels at festivals, regularly teach journalism and mentor up-and-coming journalists. I speak six languages, and am now learning Greek. In my free time, I write stories for children that I like to test out with my son Lorenzo.
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We know what it means to be parents today, it is not easy

Sweden to Submit Formal NATO Application on Monday

06 Oct 2023  |  Worldcrunch
Sweden is set to submit a formal NATO application on Monday, following Finland's recent decision to seek membership in the alliance. The move marks a significant shift in both countries' long-standing policies of neutrality, driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson will convene a government meeting to finalize the decision, with the Social Democrats expected to support the NATO plan. The article highlights the growing public support for NATO membership in Sweden and the potential vulnerabilities both countries face until their applications are approved. The UK and the U.S. have promised interim military support, while Germany is urged to strengthen defensive alliances with Sweden and Finland.

At Summit, Xi Chooses Not To Mention Ukraine

06 Oct 2023  |  Worldcrunch
At a summit in Uzbekistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met, with Putin criticizing Western economic policies and sanctions. Xi did not mention the Ukraine war, focusing instead on mutual support and stability. Meanwhile, mass graves were discovered in Izyum, Ukraine, prompting investigations into Russian war crimes. The U.S. announced a $600 million military aid package for Ukraine, and Germany took control of Russian-owned refineries. Pope Francis deemed arming Ukraine morally acceptable, and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen praised Ukraine's EU accession progress. The Wagner group's head defended recruiting prisoners for the war, and President Biden planned to meet families of Americans detained in Russia.

Switching Off Street Lights? Not The Brightest Solution To Our Energy Crisis

09 Oct 2022  |  Worldcrunch
European countries are implementing measures to conserve energy in anticipation of a challenging winter, with actions including turning off street lights at night and reducing the illumination of public buildings and landmarks. Germany has enacted the Energy Saving Ordinance, Paris is dimming the Eiffel Tower's lights earlier, and various towns in France are reducing public lighting. Spain has set regulations for shops and monuments, and the luxury brand Valentino in Italy is also shutting off its shop lights early.

Why Fast-Tracking Ukraine's NATO Entry Is Such A Bad Idea

04 Oct 2022  |  worldcrunch.com
China is experiencing economic slowdown, a real estate crisis, and a loss of confidence both nationally and internationally. The recent parliamentary session in Beijing, which ended with a reinforcement of the Communist Party's authority over the government, signals a return to a one-party state. President Xi Jinping is tightening his grip on power, preparing for potential worsening tensions with the United States, and seeking to ensure China's readiness for economic or military confrontations, particularly concerning Taiwan and the South China Sea. This situation contributes to global unpredictability and instability.

When Friends 'Break Up' — The Psychological Damage After Friendships End

23 Sep 2022  |  worldcrunch.com
The article discusses the psychological impact of friendship breakups through the experience of Sofía, a woman from Buenos Aires who felt acute pain upon hearing a song that reminded her of a former friend. The story illustrates the grief that can accompany the end of a strong friendship, which specialists believe should be processed similarly to the end of a romantic relationship. Claudia Borensztejn, a psychiatrist and representative for the International Psychoanalytical Association, suggests that losing a friend can be like losing a part of oneself and that such grief is often experienced unconsciously.

An Entire Family Exterminated: Die Welt Shows Horror In Izyum

23 Sep 2022  |  worldcrunch.com
Referendums in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine are denounced as shams by Ukrainian and Western officials. Silvio Berlusconi defends Putin ahead of Italy's general election, while other Italian politicians express varying views on Russia. A secret clause in Russia's mobilization decree may allow for up to one million recruits. Zelensky urges Russians to resist mobilization. Germany is open to accepting Russians fleeing political persecution, while Kazakhstan will not grant permanent residence without Kremlin approval. Mass graves in Izyum indicate potential war crimes worse than Bucha. Russian banks report significant losses, and Finnish authorities seize assets of Yandex and Russian oligarchs.

Berlusconi Defends Putin With Italy Set To Vote

23 Sep 2022  |  worldcrunch.com
Referendums in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine are denounced as shams, with forced voting and propaganda. Silvio Berlusconi defends Putin's actions in Ukraine ahead of Italy's general election, while other Italian politicians express varying stances on Russia. A secret clause in Russia's mobilization decree may allow for up to one million recruits. Germany and Kazakhstan respond differently to Russian political refugees. War crimes are confirmed in Ukraine, and Russian banks report significant losses. Finnish authorities seize assets of Yandex and Russian oligarchs.

Occupied Ukraine Votes, Iceland Terror Attack Thwarted, Cancer-Killing Virus

Mahsa Amini, Martyr Of An Iranian Regime Designed To Abuse Women

21 Sep 2022  |  Worldcrunch
The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Iran, following her arrest by the morality police for allegedly not adhering to the Islamic dress code, has sparked widespread protests. The official claim that she died due to a preexisting heart condition is widely disbelieved, as evidenced by the escalating demonstrations that have resulted in at least three fatalities. Amini's case is not isolated, as arbitrary arrests and suspected deaths in custody are part of the ongoing abuses under Iran's Islamic regime, particularly targeting women.

Biden To Meet Families Of Jailed Americans Griner And Whelan

16 Sep 2022  |  worldcrunch.com
Mass graves of Ukrainian soldiers have been discovered in Izyum, with President Zelensky vowing a thorough investigation into Russian war crimes. At the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, Putin urged against sanctions, while Xi did not mention Ukraine. Russia warned the U.S. that supplying Ukraine with longer-range missiles would cross a red line. The U.S. announced a $600 million military aid package for Ukraine. Pope Francis deemed arming Ukraine morally acceptable. The EU's von der Leyen confirmed Ukraine's EU bid is on track, with funds allocated for school reconstruction. Germany took control of three Russian-owned refineries to ensure functionality post-embargo. Wagner Group's Prigozhin defended recruiting Russian prisoners for the war. President Biden is to meet with the families of jailed Americans Griner and Whelan, reiterating his administration's commitment to their cases.

Wagner Boss Defends Sending Russian Prisoners To Ukraine

16 Sep 2022  |  worldcrunch.com
Mass graves of Ukrainian soldiers have been discovered in Izyum, with President Zelensky vowing a thorough investigation into Russian war crimes. At the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, Putin urged against sanctions, while China's readout did not mention Ukraine. The U.S. warned Russia that supplying Ukraine with longer-range missiles would cross a red line. A new $600 million U.S. military aid package for Ukraine was announced. Pope Francis deemed arming Ukraine morally acceptable. The EU praised Ukraine's bid to join, and Germany took control of three Russian-owned refineries. Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin defended recruiting Russian prisoners to fight in Ukraine. President Biden is set to meet with the families of jailed Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.

Vending Machine Blues: The Rising Cost Of A Healthy Break

09 Sep 2022  |  worldcrunch.com
Israel's strategic strike on Iran, involving drones and missiles, is analyzed for its military and political implications. The strike's limited damage and choice of targets suggest a message to Iran about Israel's capabilities and awareness of Iran's defensive weaknesses. The article discusses the political nature of the airstrikes, the response from Tehran, and the broader regional implications. It also touches on Iran's internal pressures, such as the enforcement of Islamic dress norms, and the global anticipation of future confrontations between the two nations.

Ukraine Says 385 Square Miles Recaptured Since Counter

09 Sep 2022  |  worldcrunch.com
French cities are increasingly exploring the potential of rooftops for urban development, driven by land scarcity and climate change. Paris and Marseille have initiated events like 'Rooftop Days' to engage the public with rooftop spaces. French urban planning has evolved to include green roofs in climate plans, with the French Climate and Resilience Act making some of these changes mandatory. Companies like Topager have been at the forefront of urban agriculture on rooftops, supplying vegetables to restaurants and involving employees and residents. The development of urban agriculture has been a key driver in this change, with projects like the Smartseille eco-district in Marseille setting new standards. Despite the progress, challenges remain, such as additional costs for developers and regulatory hurdles. However, the push to adapt cities to climate change and increase livability continues to drive the transformation of urban rooftops.

Why Italy Is The Most Pro-Russian Country In The West

14 Jun 2022  |  Worldcrunch
An Italian talk show, Non è l'Arena, hosted by Massimo Giletti, aired a special edition from Moscow's Red Square, featuring Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova and pro-Kremlin TV host Vladimir Solovyov. The program provided a platform for Zakharova to reiterate the Kremlin's narrative on the war in Ukraine, accusing Italian journalists of ignoring the Ukrainian regime's actions in Donbas over the past eight years.

Mavrovouni camp, Lesbos: No place to welcome a newborn

24 May 2022  |  www.infomigrants.net
Nazila, an Afghan refugee, and her family have been living in the Mavrovouni camp on Lesbos since fleeing Afghanistan in 2019. Initially placed in the overcrowded Moria camp, they were relocated to Mavrovouni after Moria burned down. Despite improvements like cleaner toilets and less violence, the camp remains unsuitable for new mothers and infants, lacking facilities like running water and reliable electricity. Nazila's recent C-section and mental health struggles highlight the camp's inadequacies. Organizations like MAM Beyond Borders provide support for breastfeeding and maternal health, but challenges persist, such as inadequate food for infants and a lack of autonomy for residents. The camp is run by Greek authorities with EU support, and Eurorelief manages daily operations. Nazila's family, unable to afford the new asylum procedure after multiple rejections, hopes to leave the camp for a normal life.

Short On Troops, Russia May Allow Over-40s To Enlist

20 May 2022  |  worldcrunch.com
Russian operations in Donbas are intensifying as the conflict nears three months. The British Ministry of Defence anticipates additional troop deployments following the capture of Mariupol. President Zelensky describes the situation in Donbas as 'hell' and the war's final stage as the bloodiest. Russia's State Duma is considering a bill to recruit older individuals due to troop shortages. Odessa faces increased attacks, and China buys Russian coal despite sanctions. Evidence of war crimes in Bucha has been uncovered. Former German Chancellor Schroeder will lose state privileges over Putin ties. Japan supports IAEA's security measures for Ukrainian nuclear plants. An arrest warrant is issued for ex-Ukrainian President Yanukovych. President Biden is set to sign a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine. At Cannes, Russian director Serebrennikov opposes the cultural boycott and sanctions against Abramovich.

Russian Director Calls For End Of Russian Culture Boycott During Cannes Festival

20 May 2022  |  worldcrunch.com
Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, at the Cannes Film Festival, called for an end to the boycott of Russian culture, which he finds unbearable. This plea comes amidst the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, with Russian operations intensifying in Donbas and the Russian parliament considering a bill to allow older individuals to enlist in the military. China is buying coal from Russia, balancing economic interests with Western relations. The New York Times found new evidence of war crimes in Bucha. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is losing state privileges due to his ties with Putin. Japan is backing security measures for Ukrainian nuclear plants with a pledge of €2.1 million to the IAEA. The Senate passed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, awaiting President Joe Biden's signature in South Korea.

Vladimir Putin, The Hands-On War Commander

17 May 2022  |  Worldcrunch
As the Ukraine invasion progresses, President Vladimir Putin is taking a hands-on approach in military decisions, working closely with Valery Gerasimov. Despite setbacks in the Donbass region, Putin's involvement is seen as a critical factor in Russia's strategy. The article also discusses the broader geopolitical implications, including Turkey's opposition to Finland and Sweden's NATO membership, and the strategic importance of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Additionally, it highlights the cultural impact of the war, with Ukrainian poet Aleksandr Kabanov's defiance and the Dakh Daughters' international performances.

A woman’s game: Nadia Nadim

16 Jul 2018  |  www.aljazeera.com
Nadia Nadim, who fled Afghanistan with her family after the Taliban killed her father, now represents Denmark in international football. The article is part of a three-part series titled 'A Woman’s Game', focusing on women's dedication to football, a male-dominated sport. The second episode features Nadim's story, with acknowledgments to the production team and a special thanks to Manchester City.

My thoughts on the popular Neapolitan four-book series that begins with My Brilliant Friend.

For The Atlantic's City Lab, a profile of Ecuador's oldest mountaineer.

In 2012, while working in Ecuador, I broke the story that the Ecuadorean government was to give Julian Assange asylum. That story appeared in The Guardian and it had repercussions worldwide. This is an interview I did for Al Jazeera in the aftermath of the story.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez died of cancer on March 5, 2013. I was the BBC's correspondent in Caracas and this was my first report focusing on the reaction of people in the street.

Historic Operation Condor trial verdict expected

27 May 2016  |  www.bbc.com
An expected verdict in Argentina for the historic human rights trial of Operation Condor, a campaign of state-sponsored terror by South American dictatorships in the 1970s, is set to be announced. The campaign was aimed at hunting down political opponents across the continent.

Timing of US president's Argentina visit criticised

23 Mar 2016  |  www.bbc.com
President Barack Obama's visit to Argentina, which follows his historic trip to Cuba, has sparked controversy due to its timing with the 40th anniversary of the coup that led to a brutal military dictatorship. This visit, intended to focus on economic and trade discussions with President Mauricio Macri, marks the first bilateral visit by a US president to Argentina in 19 years.

The life and mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman

01 Feb 2015  |  Washington Post
The article discusses the life and mysterious death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was investigating the 1994 AMIA bombing, the worst terrorist attack in Argentina's history. Nisman had accused President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and other officials of conspiring with Iran to cover up the attack. Days after announcing he would file criminal charges against the president, Nisman was found dead from a gunshot wound in his apartment, with the circumstances suggesting either suicide or a staged murder. The article details Nisman's dedication to the case, his international efforts to uncover the truth, and the controversy surrounding the signing of a 'truth commission' with Iran by the Argentine government. Nisman's death led to protests and political turmoil, with no clear resolution to his death or the AMIA bombing case.

Julio Grondona, Argentine Power in World Soccer, Dies at 82

31 Jul 2014  |  www.nytimes.com
Julio Grondona, a prominent figure in FIFA and the Argentine Football Association, died at 82 due to an aortic aneurysm. He was FIFA's senior vice president and had been the president of the Argentine Football Association since 1979. His tenure saw him navigate through Argentina's Dirty War, multiple governments, and FIFA corruption scandals.

Argentina may be in default, but you might not know it if you lived in Buenos Aires.

31 Jul 2014  |  www.nytimes.com
Argentina is facing a technical default after failing to make a scheduled interest payment due to a legal battle with hedge fund holdouts from its 2001 bond default. Despite the government's denial of a default, with Economy Minister Axel Kicillof calling it 'atomic nonsense' and Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich criticizing Standard & Poor's rating decision, the reality is that Argentina missed a payment deadline, leading to a mediator declaring an imminent default. The situation has caused confusion among Argentines, who still remember the 2001 economic crisis. The financial markets had a muted reaction, but Argentina's stock index fell significantly. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association is set to determine the impact on credit-default swaps. Experts like Barbara Kotschwar from the Peterson Institute for International Economics suggest that the long-term effects on Argentina's economy and citizens' lives are the key issues to watch.

Julian Assange asylum offer leads Ecuador and UK into diplomatic row

16 Aug 2012  |  the Guardian
Julian Assange was granted political asylum by Ecuador, leading to a diplomatic dispute with the UK, which warned against using diplomatic immunity to harbor alleged criminals. The UK's Foreign Secretary, William Hague, stated Assange would be arrested if he left the embassy in London. Sweden, seeking to question Assange over sexual assault allegations, expressed anger over the decision. Ecuador's Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, cited fears of Assange's extradition to the US and potential mistreatment. The UK referenced the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, which could revoke the embassy's diplomatic status. The Swedish foreign ministry summoned Ecuador's ambassador, and the Union of South American Nations scheduled a meeting to discuss the situation.

Ecuadoreans back Rafael Correa's decision to offer Julian Assange asylum

16 Aug 2012  |  the Guardian
Ecuador's decision to grant asylum to Julian Assange is broadly supported by Ecuadoreans, seen as a sovereign and strong move against foreign intimidation, particularly from the UK. President Rafael Correa may use this politically in the upcoming election. Concerns arise among business people and diplomats about potential negative impacts on trade relations with the US and EU, as well as internal disputes within the foreign affairs ministry.

Ecuador to Grant Asylum to Julian Assange, Officials Say

14 Aug 2012  |  www.theguardian.com
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa is set to grant asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to officials in Quito. Assange has been at Ecuador's London embassy since June 19, seeking asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual misconduct allegations. Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño suggested the decision would be announced post-Olympics. The UK government has discouraged the idea, and it's uncertain if Assange could leave for Ecuador without facing arrest for breaching bail conditions. The Ecuadorean government sees Assange's work as aligned with their principles. Despite Correa's tweet denying a decision, the state-run newspaper El Telégrafo confirmed one had been made. Assange fears extradition to the US from Sweden could lead to the death penalty due to the 2010 release of classified documents. Ecuador seeks to protect Assange's rights, and his mother has visited the country to discuss his case.

Ecuador Expels U.S. Ambassador Over WikiLeaks Cable

06 Apr 2011  |  www.nytimes.com
Ecuador expelled U.S. Ambassador Heather M. Hodges over comments in a WikiLeaks-released diplomatic cable alleging high-level police corruption and possible presidential knowledge. This move follows similar diplomatic tensions in Latin America, with Ecuador's government criticizing the ambassador's statements as malicious. Despite the expulsion, Ecuador's foreign minister sought to mitigate tensions, emphasizing the issue was with the ambassador, not the U.S. government.

Ecuadoreans Plan Spasm of Lawsuits Against Chevron

16 Feb 2011  |  www.nytimes.com
Ecuadorean villagers, armed with a $9 billion ruling against Chevron for oil pollution in the Ecuadorean rain forest, plan to pursue legal battles in multiple countries where Chevron operates to enforce payment. The legal conflict, which began in 1993, continues despite Chevron's stance of not paying what they consider a fraudulent judgment. The plaintiffs' strategy includes targeting Chevron assets in Latin America and potentially in the United States, despite temporary legal setbacks. The case is set to proceed with appeals in Ecuador, while the plaintiffs aim to secure Chevron's assets internationally to fulfill the judgment.

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