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In The News

Macron & Biden’s New Deal, N. Korea Sanctions, Slower Fast Food

Macron & Biden’s New Deal, N. Korea Sanctions, Slower Fast Food

U.S. President Joe Biden welcomed his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Washington yesterday

Renate Mattar, Emma Albright, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 ନମସ୍କାର*

Welcome to Friday, where the Kremlin says Vladimir Putin is open to talks on Ukraine if the West accepts Moscow’s demands, North Korea is hit with fresh sanctions in the wake of its recent missile tests, and “Viva Magenta” is Pantone’s Color of the Year. Meanwhile, a Russian political scientist tells independent website Vazhnyye Istorii/Important Stories why he thinks Russia is unlikely to collapse — even if Putin loses.

[*Namaskār - Odia, India]


This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.

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• Russia “open” to talks on Ukraine: The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin is open to negotiations to secure Russia’s interests, but adds that common ground for talks will be difficult to find as long as the United States does not acknowledge Moscow’s “new territories.”

• U.S. hits North Korea with new sanctions: As a result of Pyongyang launching a record number of ballistic missiles in recent months, the U.S. is imposing new sanctions on North Korea, which include the country being barred from any new transactions with the U.S. Other countries like Japan, South Korea and the EU have also announced they would follow suit.

• Mar-a-Lago Papers: Donald Trump suffered a legal setback as part of the probe into the documents seized at his Mar-a-lago search residence in Florida. After Trump had asked for a “special master review” of the hundreds of documents found, a court replied that his status as a former U.S. president did not warrant such special treatment.

• India assumes G20 presidency: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for international unity to deal with "climate change, terrorism, and pandemics,” as India begins its yearlong presidency of the G20, following Indonesia.

• Palestinian lawyer to be deported by Israel: Accused by Israel of belonging to a terrorist group, French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hammouri has been stripped of his Jerusalem right of residency and is now facing deportation to France.

• Kanye West banned from Twitter: U.S. rapper Kanye West (a.k.a. Ye) has been suspended from Twitter again, only two weeks after being allowed back in by new Twitter boss Elon Musk. Ye tweeted an image of a swastika within a star of David, which is in violation of the platform’s guidelines. The rapper had previously been banned from the social media network for antisemitic remarks.

• Pantone Color of the Year: Behold “Viva Magenta,” Pantone’s pick for the 2023 color of the year — “an unconventional shade for an unconventional year,” as the company puts it.


“Qatarstrophe!”, “Germany is out again,” titles Dresden’s daily Morgenpost as the national soccer team got pushed out of the World Cup at group stage for the second time in a row, after Japan’s unexpected win against Spain.


“It is really a New Deal.”

— French President Emmanuel Macron said while on a state visit to the White House yesterday, where he met with U.S. President Joe Biden. The two leaders demonstrated a united front in addressing the war in Ukraine. During the news conference, Biden called the U.S. and France the “strongest partners and our most capable allies.” In his opening remarks, Macron praised Biden for his commitment to addressing international challenges such as health and climate.


No Putin, no Russia? Why losing the War wouldn't destroy the Russian Federation

Predictions about the collapse of Russia are as old as the country itself. Yet a consistent centralization of power has gone on for decades, weakening Russia's territories and republics. The war in Ukraine changes everything and nothing, writes Aleksandr Kynev in Vazhnyye Istorii/Important Stories.

🇷🇺 The prediction “Russia is about to fall apart” has been a mainstay of the political science-futurist genre for the 30 years since the end of the USSR and establishment of the Russian Federation. Now, the war with Ukraine has drastically reduced the time-frame for such apocalyptic forecasts to come true. First, because it turns out that Russia can very well lose the war; and secondly, a defeat would weaken Vladimir Putin’s regime — and who knows if he will retain power at all?

💥 The collapse of Russia is more political desires and dreams, but these are very, very far from reality and the needs of the regions. What could be the worst-case scenario? The collapse of the state, the collapse of a single government, unresolved conflicts between federal groups, public unrest. In times of turmoil, when there is no federal power, unrest can begin and some border territories may indeed secede. However, other things being equal, I don't see such a scenario. I think that the crystallization of regional elites may begin not now, but after the change of federal government, when the agenda changes and new rules of the game are established.

🔄 After the change of power, not disintegration, but federalization will begin simply because it is cyclical. In our country, the relations between the center and the regions have always changed on the principle of a pendulum. Now this pendulum has been swinging too far in the direction of centralization, and there's a rising request for identity and distinctiveness. The story will not be easy. It may be necessary to adopt transitional laws, a new Constitution, and then during discussions some concepts and points-of-view will be formed.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


45 seconds

Fast-food chain McDonald’s announced it is testing a new type of drive-thru in a restaurant near Fort Worth, Texas, featuring a food-and-beverage conveyor belt and a shelf so that customers can easily grab their orders from their vehicles. The move comes after a report found that drive-thru times at leading U.S. fast-food chains have gotten 45 seconds slower on average in 2022, compared with 2019.

✍️ Newsletter by Renate Mattar, Emma Albright, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Women in Italy are living longer than ever. But severe economic and social inequality and loneliness mean that they urgently need a new model for community living – one that replaces the "one person, one house, one caregiver" narrative we have grown accustomed to.

Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones.

Barbara Leda Kenny

ROMENina Ercolani is the oldest person in Italy. She is 112 years old. According to newspaper interviews, she enjoys eating sweets and yogurt. Mrs. Nina is not alone: over the past three years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of centenarians in Italy. With over 20,000 people who've surpassed the age of 100, Italy is in fact the country with the highest number of centenarians in Europe.

Life expectancy at the national level is already high. Experts say it can be even higher for those who cultivate their own gardens, live away from major sources of pollution, and preferably in small towns near the sea. Years of sunsets and tomatoes with a view of the sea – it used to be a romantic fantasy but is now becoming increasingly plausible.

Centenarians occupy the forefront of a transformation taking place in a country where living a long life means being among the oldest of the old. Italy is the second oldest country in the world, and it ranks first in the number of people over eighty. In simple terms, this means that Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones: those over 65 make up almost one in four, while children (under 14) account for just over one in 10. The elderly population will continue to grow in the coming years, as the baby boomer generation, born between 1961 and 1976, is the country's largest age group.

But there is one important data set to consider when discussing our demographics: in general, women make up a slight majority of the population, but from the age of sixty onwards, the gap progressively widens. Every single Italian over 110 years old is a woman.

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