NATO Tank Meeting, Greta At Davos, RIP David Crosby
Welcome to Friday, where NATO leaders gather in Germany to speed up future military aid to Ukraine, Greta Thunberg wags her finger at Davos, and U.S. folk-rock legend David Crosby dies at 81. Meanwhile, in the wake of the arrest of Italy’s most-wanted mafia boss, Worldcrunch takes you on a tour of international villains’ secret hideouts and what was found in them.
[*Limburgish, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany]
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🌎 7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW
• Key Ukraine-NATO summit on weapons supply: The defense ministers of Ukraine, NATO and other countries are meeting today at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to discuss shipment of new military equipment needed in the war against Russia. Meanwhile, a video made by Russia's Wagner mercenary group to encourage recruitment for the war in Ukraine alongside Russian troops has prompted outrage in Serbia.
• Greta in Davos: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg lambasted business and political leaders attending the World Economic Forum, saying it was "absurd" to listen to them while they were the ones responsible for "the destruction of the planet."
• Alec Baldwin to be charged with involuntary manslaughter: American actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter over the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed in 2021 on the set of the film Rust when he accidentally fired a prop gun.
• South Korea slum fire: Hundreds of people have had to be evacuated after a fire broke out in a shanty town in South Korea's capital, Seoul. There have been no reports of deaths or injuries, but around 60 homes have been destroyed. It took more than 900 firefighters and several helicopters five hours to put out the blaze.
• Google parent company to lay off 12,000: Google’s parent company Alphabet has announced it is laying off 12,000 employees, just a day after competitor Microsoft said it would be parting with 10,000 workers. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai sent a staff memo explaining that said the company was facing "a different economic reality" than when it was created.
• Netflix co-founder steps down: Reed Hastings is stepping down from his role as co-chief executive of Netflix, the firm he helped found more than 25 years ago. The firm will now be run by Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters, both already in senior executive positions.
• David Crosby dies: U.S. folk rock pioneer David Crosby, twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, has died at 81 after a long illness, his family announced Thursday.
🗞️ FRONT PAGE
“Germany, the embarrassing partner,” titles German weekly magazine Stern, asking if the country, in this decisive phase of the war, can “still be relied upon.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is facing mounting pressure to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as talks between more than 50 countries are currently underway at the country’s Ramstein air base to coordinate efforts to increase weapon supplies.
#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS
Consumer prices in Japan rose by 4% in December year-on-year — the sharpest inflation increase since 1961, government data shows. Although the country’s inflation remains well below countries such as the UK and the U.S., it doubles the Bank of Japan’s long-held target of about 2%.
📰 STORY OF THE DAY
Weird stuff, guns & money: Inside the hideouts of mob bosses and fugitive warlords
After the capture this week of Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, police revealed some notable contents of two of his hideouts after 30 years on the run. There's a long history of discovering the secret lairs and bunkers of the world's Most Wanted bad guys.
💍 Expensive watches, perfumes, designer clothes and sex pills. A day after top Sicilian Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro was captured after 30 years on the run, police revealed some of the possessions found in the Palermo apartment where he’d been hiding out under a false name. By Wednesday, Italian daily La Stampa was reporting, police had found a second hideout near Messina Denaro's hometown in the Sicilian province of Trapani, with a secret vault hidden behind a closet, where jewelry, gold and other valuables were found.
🦛 Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar owned a handful of luxury properties, including the 5,500-acre Hacienda Nápoles estate in Puerto Triunfo, Colombia. When he was finally tracked down and shot to death by Colombian security forces in 1993, authorities got a close-up of the true extent of his possessions. The main complex included two swimming pools, a private airstrip and a race track for Escobar's collection of luxury cars. He also built a zoo to house animals including elephants, ostriches and, most famously, four hippos.
🖼️ The most infamous historical bunker, Adolf Hitler's führerbunker in Berlin, was almost destroyed after the war by East German authorities, who were concerned it would become a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis. Photos taken after Soviet forces took control of the bunker in 1945 show the space looted and burned, including copies of news reports and a smashed painting — reportedly a 16th century work stolen from Milan. The remains of the bunker are now buried underneath a parking lot.
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📹 THIS HAPPENED VIDEO — TODAY IN HISTORY, IN ONE ICONIC PHOTO
➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
“The time of the Wild West is over.”
— Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the European Commission’s Vice-President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová warned Elon Musk that “we have rules which have to be complied with, otherwise there will be sanctions." The EU is putting in place a new regulatory framework aiming to protect users' rights online and remove illegal content or misinformation. Breaking the rules set by EU regulators could lead Twitter and others to face a fine of up to 6% of their annual revenue.
👉 MORE FROM WORLDCRUNCH
• China v. India: A New Twist In Asia's "Billion Club" Rivalry — FRANCE INTER
• LGBTQ+ International: UK v. Scotland On Gender, Uganda Ends “Vagabond” Laws — And Other News — WORLDCRUNCH
• Jacinda Ardern, Surprise Farewell: The Unique Legacy Of New Zealand's Global Leader — THE CONVERSATION
✍️ Newsletter by Ginevra Falciani, Hugo Perrin and Anne-Sophie Goninet
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