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In The News

Mariupol Defies Russia’s Surrender Ultimatum

Mariupol Defies Russia’s Surrender Ultimatum

At a protest in support of Ukraine and the city of Mariupol in London, UK

Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Sawubona!*

Welcome to Monday, where Mariupol refuses to surrender, Biden will travel to Poland (but not Ukraine), and all passengers are feared dead in a plane crash in southern China. Meanwhile, scientists discover what they say is a new kind of ice.

[*Zulu - South Africa]


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.

It's easy (and free!) to sign up to receive it each day in your inbox: 👉 Sign up here


• Mariupol defiant, as Russian attack intensifies:Ukraine has ignored Russia’s demand to surrender Mariupol by 5 a.m. Moscow time today, as the port city increasingly becomes a symbol of the savagery of Moscow’s assault. An estimated 300,000 people are trapped in Mariupol with supplies running out. Meanwhile in Kyiv, at least six people were killed in the bombing of a shopping center, and Belarus pulls diplomats out of Ukraine in the latest sign that it may join the invasion.

• Biden to travel to Poland after NATO Summit: U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Poland on Friday to meet with President Andrzej Duda after a NATO Summit in Brussels, to discuss the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The White House on Sunday ruled out a possible dangerous Biden visit to Kyiv.

• Germany agrees on gas deal with Qatar: Germany and Qatar have reached a long-term energy partnership including the supply of liquified natural gas, as the European country seeks to reduce its energy dependence on Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

• Chinese Eastern Airlines crashes: A China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 carrying 132 passengers has crashed in a mountainous area in Guangxi province in southern China and caught fire. Rescue teams have been sent to the crash site.

• Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearings set to begin in Washington: U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson will appear before the Senate judiciary committee on Monday to start confirmation hearings that could see her become the first Black woman justice.

• Hong Kong to ease COVID rules: Hong Kong will scrap flight bans on nine countries and reduce quarantine for incoming travelers with a negative COVID-19 test from April 1, amid mounting frustration against the city’s strict zero-COVID policy.

• Scientists discover new form of ice: A new form of ice that cannot be found anywhere on Earth has been discovered by a team of American scientists, who speculate this phase of ice could be abundant on planets outside our solar system.


Belgian daily Het Nieuwsblad features the aftermath of a car ramming into a crowd of carnival goers early Sunday morning in La Louviere, south of Brussels, killing 6 and wounding dozens. The circumstances are still being investigated, although authorities have ruled out terrorism.



That’s the percentage of Australians who think tech giants should do more to combat online disinformation. This is one of the key findings as part of an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) that led the country’s media regulator to toughen regulations regarding digital platforms and make sure Big Tech companies actively seek to reduce the spread of fake news.


How the West got Russia so wrong — And keeps getting it wrong

Ukrainian President Zelensky's belief that Russia's invasion has nullified both European and global security should not be taken lightly. Everything must be rebuilt — and must happen much faster than Western leaders seem prepared to do. A view from Kyiv-based news media Livy Bereg.

🇷🇺🌍 After the overthrow of the USSR, the West relaxed: Russia was weak for a long time and needed huge financial interventions. But all leaders, from Boris Yeltsin to Vladimir Putin, sought one thing: to restore the empire. The world turned a blind eye throughout Moscow’s preparation: it did not believe that Russia, which had gained access to Western goods, finance, services and technology, could start a major war in Europe or undermine the continental and global security system. The civilized world did not understand that expansion, and not capital, was most important in Russia’s eyes.

💸 What the West doesn’t realize is that Putin wants sanctions. And the tougher they are, the better. Because he seeks to recreate the empire, he wants the Soviet Union to be reborn in 2022, a hundred years after its foundation. And for it to re-emerge, it needs an obedient, poor population and a zero-sum environment that has no resources. Those Russians with means are already leaving their country. Some are taking to the streets, but there remains an obedient silent majority, which is Putin’s prize possession.

❌ Naive and cowardly, the West does not understand that security no longer exists, that instead everything has been annulled — the UN Security Council, where Russia has a veto; the helpless OSCE, which is corrupted by Russian agencies; incompetent NATO, whose members are on the verge of an unfathomable war. Europe was saved after the flames of World War II and the heat of the Cold War through its unification. However, it is naive to hope that in such a revanchist Russia, the continent will be protected from another military crisis.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


Boris, your words offend Ukrainians, the British and common sense.

— Former president of the European Council Donald Tusk weighed in on the controversy surrounding British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s comparison of the plight of Ukrainians with Brexit. Johnson told the Conservative Party's spring conference in Blackpool: “I know that it's the instinct of the people of this country, like the people of Ukraine, to choose freedom, every time […] When the British people voted for Brexit […] it's because they wanted to be free.”

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

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Migrant Lives

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

An orchid rehabilitation project is turning a small Mexican community into a tourist magnet — and attracting far-flung locals back to their hometown.

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

Marcos Aguilar Pérez takes care of orchids rescued from the rainforest in his backyard in Santa Rita Las Flores, Mapastepec, Chiapas, Mexico.

Adriana Alcázar González/GPJ Mexico
Adriana Alcázar González

MAPASTEPEC — Sweat cascades down Candelaria Salas Gómez’s forehead as she separates the bulbs of one of the orchids she and the other members of the Santa Rita Las Flores Community Ecotourism group have rescued from the rainforest. The group houses and protects over 1,000 orchids recovered from El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, after powerful storms.

“When the storms and heavy rains end, we climb to the vicinity of the mountains and collect the orchids that have fallen from the trees. We bring them to Santa Rita, care for them, and build their strength to reintegrate them into the reserve later,” says Salas Gómez, 32, as she attaches an orchid to a clay base to help it recover.

Like magnets, the orchids of Santa Rita have exerted a pull on those who have migrated from the area due to lack of opportunity. After years away from home, Salas Gómez was one of those who returned, attracted by the community venture to rescue these flowers and exhibit them as a tourist attraction, which provides residents with an adequate income.

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