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In The News

Omicron And Winter Olympics, Duterte Backs Out, NFT Typo

👋 Hallo!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Omicron now looms over the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, Philippine strongman Duterte unexpectedly quits his Senate race, and the NFT world witnesses a very costly slip of the keyboard. In French economic daily Les Echos, Adrien Lelièvre wonders whether the jig is up for the “gig economy.”

[*German]

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Biden-Putin Call, Olympic Boycott, Lockdown Of Unvaccinated

👋 Mbote!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Biden and Putin go face-to-face on Ukraine, China threatens U.S. over Olympic boycott and the world marks 80 years since Pearl Harbor. Meanwhile, we go back to the small town that recorded Italy’s first coronavirus death back in February 2020, which is now a stronghold for vaccine skeptics.

[*M-boh-teh – Lingala, Democratic Republic of the Congo]

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Free WiFi For All? Cities (And Nations) Making Universal Digital Access A Right

Whether it's to bridge the socioeconomic digital divide or to attract tourists, foreign businesses and digital nomads, the time may be ripe to offer free internet access across society. Here are some of those leading the push.

For years, certain big cities have been wooing tourists and remote workers by offering free WiFi hotspots to help find the best restaurants or connect for meetings from a park bench. This month, Mexico City won the Guinness World Record for most free WiFi hotspots in the world, with 21,500.

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Role Model No More: Why COVID Is Spreading In Asia

Asia was considered a role model in the fight against the pandemic. But now COVID-19 numbers are rising, forcing lockdowns just as the U.S. and Europe regain their freedom thanks in large part to high vaccination rates.

When Panji Respati comes home from work, he has seen at least one person die that day. The young doctor works at a clinic in Bandung, Java, Indonesia. At the moment, he says, there are approximately 150 people in the emergency room. His clinic is overcrowded and his colleagues are overwhelmed. "It's mainly older people and those with pre-existing conditions who are dying, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated once, twice, or not at all," Respati tells Die Welt by telephone.

Like most Indonesians who have received a vaccine despite the limited supply, they have been immunized with the Chinese vaccine Chinese vaccine Sinovac. The physician himself has been double-vaccinated and still contracted the Delta variant. "That's how it is for some here," he says.

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BBC

The Latest: Peru’s New President, Broken Olympics Bubble, Steamrolled Bitcoin

Welcome to Tuesday, where Peru's contested election finally gets a winner, the Olympics bubble system is broken and another billionaire is blasting off for space. German daily Die Welt also explains why Asian countries, which were previously considered successful COVID tamers, are now struggling with new waves of infections.

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BBC

The Latest: Myanmar Toll Tops 500, Suez Unstuck, Mafia Fail

Merhaba!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where the death toll among pro-democracy protesters tops 500 in Myanmar, Suez Canal gets unstuck at last, and a mafioso's love of food (and tattoos) is his downfall. Le Monde also reports from Belarus, where Lukashenko's regime is doing everything it can to avoid new mass protests.*Turkish

• Myanmar protests top 500 deaths: Myanmar protesters launch a "garbage strike" by leaving trash at intersections in Yangon to oppose military rule, as the death toll among pro-democracy protesters surpasses 500.

• Britain won't share vaccines for now: Already far outpacing European neighbors' vaccination rollouts, the UK said today it won't send any vaccines to other countries until all of its adult population gets the jab. Canada meanwhile suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine for those 55 and younger while it investigates rare cases of blood clotting.

• World leaders' call: In an article published in several international newspapers, 24 world leaders are calling for a global pandemic treaty to improve cooperation and transparency in case of future outbreaks. China, the United States and Russia were absent from the signatories of the letter.

• Bolsonaro reshuffle: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has replaced six ministers in a major cabinet reshuffle as he faces mounting pressure amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

• Suez Canal reopens: Traffic resumes in Egypt's Suez Canal after the stranded container ship Ever Given, which blocked the canal for nearly a week, was finally freed by salvage teams.

• Google's "eco-friendly" routes: Google Maps app will start directing drivers along "eco-friendly" routes that are estimated to generate less carbon emissions based on traffic and other factors.

• Mobster chef betrayed by tattoos: A fugitive Italian mafia member was arrested in the Dominican Republic after he was identified through his body tattoos … on his Italian cooking videos on YouTube.

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food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

It's A Water Buffalo's Life

On the unpaved roads of inland Indonesia, this worker was relying on the strength of his water buffalo to bring building materials to a construction site. A couple of days later on the same trip, I would get to see some even less fortunate bovines, in an indigenous Toraja village.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Unidentified Frying Object

When it comes to international cuisine, I must confess that I'm not that much of an aventurier. Amid the street markets of Indonesia, like elsewhere, I would much rather take pictures of unidentified, deep-fried delicacies than take an actual bite ...

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Music Soothes The Sulawesi

This concert, courtesy of the Toraja people, provided a welcome balance to our day: My wife and I had just witnessed a traditional burial, in this village of southern Sulawesi — and it featured the pretty gruesome slaughtering of a water buffalo.

blog
Bertrand Hauger

What Lies Beyond The Indonesian Gate

Cross this gate and you'll step into the land of the Toraja, in Indonesia's South Sulawesi region. Keep your eyes peeled: from traditional Batak houses to spooky funeral rites and even a buffalo sacrifice — in the home to the Toraja ethnic group, I hardly had time to breathe between two shots!

blog
Bertrand Hauger

A Balinese Basket Riddle

Can you guess what is traditionally kept under these woven bamboo baskets, on the Indonesian island of Bali? I'll give you a hint: In French, they go "Cocorico"!

blog
Bertrand Hauger

Indonesian Shade

These are the Indonesian guards of His Majesty's Kraton Guard Regiment, keeping an eye on the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta. But unlike some of their counterparts I chanced upon across the globe, they weren't that imperturbable: The fellow on the right gave me a long, hard sideward glance as I took his picture.

Geopolitics
Muhamad Ridlo

When Suharto Came Knocking, Revisiting Indonesia's Darkest Day

Sept. 30, 1965, is a night that changed Indonesia forever.

The events of that night led to Indonesia's first president, Sukarno, being ousted from office, as military General Suharto assumed control of government — Suharto went on to rule the country for 32 years, until 1998.

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blog
Bertrand Hauger

Tip Of The Balinese Hat

Conical hats are not limited to China. In Indonesia, where they are called caping, they protect workers from the sun — and make colorful souvenirs in the stalls of Bali"s markets.

Geopolitics
Giacomo Tognini

Indonesia 'Deradicalization': Turning Terrorists Into Business Owners

JAKARTA — While Western countries grapple with the question of what to do with militants returning after fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Indonesia has launched a deradicalization program that helps former fighters open their own businesses, according to the Indonesian magazine Tempo.

The program aims to help returning militants and their families, including those who are not themselves terror suspects, become financially independent and reintegrate into society. It was launched by Indonesia's National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) in collaboration with 32 ministries and institutions.

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blog
Bertrand Hauger

Islamic School Break

These veiled girls enjoying recess greeted us as we passed by their Islamic boarding school in the capital of the world's biggest Muslim nation.

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