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Going The Distance: Loved-Up Storks Edition

While this may sound like something from a Disney film, we assure you that it is nothing less than true love: A male stork flies 13,500 kilometers every single year to be with his beloved.

This year, for the twelfth time, the male known as Klepetan has made the journey all the way from southern Africa to be with Malena, who can’t join him on the annual migration because one of her wings was damaged years ago by hunters, says French broadcaster TF1.

Everyone in the small Croatian village of Brodski Varos knows this extraordinary couple, especially Stjepan Vokic, a former primary school caretaker who adopted Malena 20 years ago. “He Klepetan arrived 12 hours early this year,” Vokic said. To the town’s delight, Klepetan has never forgotten about Malena, whose name means Little One in Croatian, and he comes back each spring.

When Klepetan and Malena have chicks, he teaches them to fly before leaving with them when winter comes. Meanwhile, Malena sits tight back in Brodski Varos, awaiting spring when her loved one returns.

Building their nest together — Photo: Screengrab via TF1

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Geopolitics

Olaf Scholz: Trying To Crack The Code Of Germany's Enigmatic Chancellor

Olaf Scholz took over for Angela Merkel a year ago, but for many he remains a mysterious figure through a series of tumultuous events, including his wavering on the war in Ukraine.

man boarding a plane

Olaf Scholz boading an Air Force Special Air Mission Wing plane, on his way to the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Tirana.

Michael Kappeler / dpa via ZUMA Press
Peter Huth

-Analysis-

BERLIN — When I told my wife that I was planning to write an article about “a year of Scholz,” she said, “Who’s that?” To be fair, she misheard me, and over the last 12 months the German Chancellor has mainly been referred to by his first name, Olaf.

Still, it’s a reasonable question. Who is Olaf Scholz, really? Or perhaps we should ask: how many versions of Olaf Scholz are there? A year after taking over from Angela Merkel, we still don’t know.

Chancellors from Germany’s Social Democrat Party (SPD) have always been easy to characterize. First there was Willy Brandt – he suffered from depression and had an intriguing private life. His affected public speaking style is still the gold standard for anyone who wants to get ahead in the center-left party. Then came Helmut Schmidt. He lived off his reputation for handling any crisis, smoked like a chimney and eventually won over the public.

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