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Germany

Bidding Farewell To Germany's Bare-Chested Cover Girls

Mega-selling tabloid Bild has bumped buxom "dream girls" from the front page. Readers will now have to dig deeper into the daily to find the signature images, which enjoyed top billing for 28 years. All that's left on page one a

Manuel Brug

BERLIN -- Sure, we knew that changes were afoot at Axel Springer, the Berlin-based publisher that also produces Die Welt. But we couldn't have imagined it would all end like this, with "Eva from Poland" and then… nothing. No more bare-breasted cover girls. Just boring old headlines.

In 2010, Axel Springer announced that its "Opportunities: Equal!" project aimed within five to eight years to double the number of women in management positions, which was 16% at the time of the announcement. Two years later the company is moving right along. Springer's management is now 25% female. Praiseworthy indeed.

Nevertheless, the news that broke March 8, International Women's Day, washed over Germany like a bucket of cold water: Bild, the Springer flagship paper, was going to bury its famous Page-One models somewhere deep within the inner pages of the paper. A first victim of the quota, much regretted in many quarters. Another reason to wrangle with the European Union!

In Great Britain, the Sun started featuring its "Page 3 Girl" – girls whose impressive breasts provided the mother of all melon metaphors -- in 1970. Fourteen years later, in 1984, Bild took things a step further, putting "Miss Vienna" on the bottom half of its front page. And now, some 5,000 Page-1 girls and innumerable fruit & vegetable comparisons later, it's all over?

Banishing the "dream girl"

We still can't believe that whole last issue: it was surreal, a bad dream, with Eva from Poland's picture accompanied by the words "Ich bin die Letzte" (I am the last one) right there along with soccer news and coverage of President Christian Wulff's final day in Schloss Bellevue, the presidential residence, after he was forced to resign.

All those Ginas, and Brittas and Lisas over the years – for convenience sake referred to as "Mieze" (the "chick") by Bild editors. Even senior Springer columnist Franz Josef Wagner wrote: "I think the editor-in-chief of Bild is crazy. How can he banish the dream girl?"

Are we really in for just plain old Bild headlines now? Things like "Man in Cemetery Killed with Grave Lantern" or "Dog Found Cooked"? On its website, Bild promises more "hot erotica" in the future. No doubt they're lying. Who believes Bild, anyway? The paper says it wants to remain sexy, that it will continue to run Mieze imagery. Only now the pictures will be "more modern, and better packaged" -- and worst of all, not on Page One.

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War In Ukraine, Day 222: Ukrainian Army Makes New Gains In Regions Annexed By Russia

The Ukrainian army is pushing the front line forward in several directions.

Fire after a rocket attack by Russian troops in Kharkiv

Anna Akage, Meike Eijsberg and Sophia Constantino

The Ukrainian army is pushing the front line forward in several directions, including the liberation of two more cities – Arkhangelske and Myrolyubivka – in the southern region of Kherson. There were also reports Monday of major breakthroughs by Kyiv forces along the Dnipro River in the south.

Ukraine has also made progress in the past 48 hours in the region of Luhansk. Notably, these are two of the four regions that Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had annexed on Friday.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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With these advances by Ukrainian forces, along with gains in Donetsk (see below) and Zaporizhzhia, Russia does not hold the full territory of any of the areas of occupied Ukraine that Moscow now claims as its own.

Fighting has also intensified in the northeastern Kharkiv region, where Ukraine has also made significant advances and Russia continues shelling in response.

The successful counterattacks by the Ukrainian military in Kherson and the Kharkiv region since last month has left Russian forces controlling less Ukrainian land than they did at the start of the war in February 2022, an analysis by CNN found. Russia’s first massive push overnight into February 24 allowed it to secure or advance on one fifth of Ukrainian territory, or about 119,000 square kilometers. Russia now controls roughly 3,000 square kilometers less land than it did in the first five days of the war.

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