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Finland, Sweden Near NATO Membership, Capitol Riot Witness, Serena’s Defeat

U.S. tennis star Serena Williams was eliminated in the first round at Wimbledon by France’s Harmony Tan

Joel Silvestri, McKenna Johnson, Lila Paulou and Lisa Berdet

👋 Moni moni onse!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Turkey lifts its veto on Finland and Sweden joining NATO, there’s stunning new testimony in the Jan. 6 hearings and Airbnb bans parties forever. Meanwhile, the latest edition of our “Work → In Progress” series zooms in on changes at play in the world of work, from the emergence of digital nomad visas to asynchronous work schedules.

[*Chewa, Malawi and Zambia]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Finland and Sweden on course to join NATO: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lifted a veto on Finland and Sweden joining NATO at the alliance’s summit in Madrid after the three countries agreed on a series of security measures. States members’ parliaments will then have to approve their membership, a move prompted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

• Capitol riot hearings update: White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified as part of the January 6 insurrection hearing that former President Donald Trump knew that some of his supporters carried weapons and still urged them to march on the U.S. Capitol, and reportedly tried to join them but was not allowed to by his security team. She said he also threw his dinner plate against a White House wall when he got bad news about the election results.

• Two arrested in migrants Texas tragedy: Two Mexican men living in the U.S. illegally have been charged in connection with the death of 51 migrants in the sweltering back of a semi truck in San Antonio, Texas. The suspects are thought to own the truck in which the migrants were smuggled.

• Philippines shuts down Maria Ressa’s news site: The Philippines government has ordered the shuttering of the independent news website Rappler for “violating restrictions on foreign ownership in mass media.” Its owner Maria Ressa, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for her journalistic work, pledged that she would keep the website running.

• Fear of religious violence in India: Police in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan have banned public gatherings and blocked Internet access in fear of religious violence after two Muslims posted a video in which they claimed they killed a Hindu tailor, whom they accused of insulting Prophet Mohammad.

• Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison: British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in jail for her involvement in the sex trafficking of underage girls alongside Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell did not take responsibility but said she hoped her conviction would bring “closure” to the victims.

• Airbnb party’s over: Airbnb has permanently banned parties and events in homes rented through their platform. A temporary party ban was first implemented as a COVID safety measure two years ago. Non-complying guests will be banned from the website.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

French daily Libération reports on the last day of the trial for the November 13 attacks in Paris. The photo featured on the front page was taken in the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks that killed 130, back in 2015. Judges are expected to hand their verdict today. The daily front page reads: “Humanity has won,” highlighting the strength displayed by witnesses during the nine month trial.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

450,664

A report by Colombia’s Truth Commission has announced that the long-lasting civil conflict in the country killed more than 450,000 people over nearly six decades. The commission is calling for significant changes to Colombia’s drug policies, which it says played a role in prolonging the war and contributed to the loss of life.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Work → In Progress: The ripples of Ukraine war on the world of work

The war (like the pandemic) is another reminder that the future of work is bound to ever more be a global thing, no matter how local your market or employer may be. This edition of Work → In Progress also zooms in on the emergence of digital nomad visas, asynchronous work schedules and other notable stories from the world of work.

🇷🇺🏫 Mastering the Russian language may give children a leg up on the job market, reports German daily Die Welt. Once prominent in Germany’s eastern federal states, Russian language studies for schoolchildren in Germany have been declining for decades — the number of German students studying Russian was down 83% in the 2020/2021 school year compared to 1992/1993 — and replaced by romance languages. With the war against Ukraine, teaching Russian is at a turning point.

🏖️ Digital nomads, people who work remotely while globetrotting in a “nomadic” fashion, may have a new location to stream from on the beaches of Bali. Indonesia recently announced plans to attract high-spending visitors by developing a “digital nomad” visa. Yet Bali already has its fair share of digital nomads, operating in what Fortune calls “a legal gray area at best,” with some using tourist visas or temporary work permits. The new visa would be valid for five years and wouldn’t tax income from outside the country — and would streamline what some nomads are already getting away with.

🗓️ As employers explore options to reduce the hours workers have to spend in the office in the wake of the pandemic, and the resulting rise of remote work, many European countries are testing out the four-day work week. The idea is that the shorter work week will reduce burnout without sacrificing productivity and pay. Some have already been testing the idea, including Iceland which has begun a four-year study on reduced workplace hours in 2015.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

I grabbed a towel and started wiping the ketchup off the wall.

— In her testimony at the January 6 hearing, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson revealed that former U.S. President Donald Trump became furious when then-Attorney General William Barr denied there was any evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. She recalled hearing noise in the White House’s dining room and found the president’s valet changing the tablecloth as a porcelain plate laid shattered on the floor: "The president was extremely angry at the attorney general's [...] interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall,” Hutchinson said. The episode was one of many disturbing anecdotes about Trump in the wake of his 2020 election defeat, leading up to the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

✍️ Newsletter by Joel Silvestri, McKenna Johnson, Lila Paulou and Lisa Berdet


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Economy

Outputs To Outcomes: Why It’s Time To Stop Measuring Productivity

Initially used to measure the link between exploited resources and final results in the industrial production process, the concept of productivity is the most widely used economic indicator. It is also sorely out-of-date.

Working from home

Alexis Gaches

Two hundred and fifty years after the beginning of industrialization, a new revolution is on : the digital one. If the automation of almost all production has led workers to turn to knowledge-based jobs, the concept of productivity is still anchored in management culture. But it is time to question the relevance of an evaluation of intellectual work through the prism of productivity.

Let’s take the example of a writer able to write two mediocre books in the same amount of time they would need to write one very good book. Two books means twice as much output, so a higher productivity rate. But since one good book sells better, their publisher will likely prefer quality over quantity. In this case, applying a productionist approach would be counterproductive.

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