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Russia Defies Oil Price Cap, Iran’s Morality Police In Limbo, Tasmanian Tiger Mystery

Photo of ​Firefighters battle a blaze in self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Firefighters battle a blaze after following a reported attack from Ukrainian forces on the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

Laure Gautherin, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Aniin!*

Welcome to Monday, where a new Western price cap on Russia kicks in, conflicting reports are swirling about the fate of Iran’s “morality police,” and a thylacine mystery gets solved. Meanwhile, Beate Strobel in German daily Die Welt introduces us to the working world’s new ailment that is like burnout with a dose of denial: burn-on.

[*Ojibwe, Canada]


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• Russia says it will defy G7 oil price cap that kicks in today: Russia says it will only do business with countries that will “work under market conditions,” as a new $60/barrel price cap on oil was imposed today by G7 countries and Australia. Traders and politicians will gauge how and if the price cap will function in practice, as part of one of the major paradoxes about the war in Ukraine: that despite imposing sanctions on Russia and arming Ukraine, the West has continued to purchase Russian natural gas and oil.

• Uncertainty over Iran’s suspension of morality police: Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying that Iran’s morality police had been “shut down” as protests in the country continue into the third month. But the government didn’t confirm the move and local media are reporting his remarks were “misinterpreted.”

• More Chinese cities ease COVID curbs: An increasing number of Chinese cities — including Shenzhen, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chengdu and Chongqing — have started to relax stringent COVID-19 restrictions, following weeklong anti-government protests target at Beijing’s tough handling of the pandemic.

• North Korea fires 100+ artillery rounds near border with the South: North Korea said it had fired more than 130 artillery shells on Monday into the water near its western and eastern sea borders with South Korea as a warning against the Seoul’s ongoing military drills.

• Trial over Brussels terror attacks begins: Ten men will go on trial today to face accusations of participating in the Brussels terror attacks of 2016 that left 32 people dead and injured hundreds, in what will be Belgium’s largest-ever criminal trial. The suspects include Salah Abdeslam, who was sentenced to life in prison last year for his role in the 2015 Paris attacks.

• Indonesia’s Java on high alert after major eruption: Thousands of residents in Indonesia’s East Java have been evacuated after Mount Semeru erupted Sunday. Authorities have raised the alert level of volcanic activity to its highest and imposed a 8-kilometer no-go zone.

• Tasmanian tiger mystery solved: It’s the end of an 85-year-old mystery, as the remains of the last known Tasmanian tiger were found in the cupboard of a Tasmanian museum. The last of the extinct species, also known as thylacine, died back in 1936 and its skin and skeleton had gone missing.


French newspaper Libération is wondering whether it’s time to panic about potential large-scale outages, as it investigates France's electricity network amid the energy crisis and increased winter demand. “Despite Emmanuel Macron’s reassuring communication, the risk of a blackout has never been more tangible,” the daily states, featuring an unlit Eiffel Tower.


$592 billion

The sales of arms and military services by the 100 largest companies in the industry reached $592 billion in 2021 — a 1.9% increase compared to 2020, according to data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It is the seventh consecutive year that global arms sales rose, although the rise has been mitigated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global supply chain. The Institute predicts even more disruption in the industry following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which created a new demand for both countries while affecting companies’ production capacity, Russia being a major supplier of raw materials.


Now they're diagnosing burnout's never-quit cousin: burn-on

Feeling overworked but not yet burned out? Often the problem is “burn-on,” an under-researched phenomenon whose sufferers desperately struggle to keep up and meet their own expectations — with dangerous consequences for their health, writes Beate Strobel in German daily Die Welt.

😵💼 Burn-out is the result of sustained periods of stress at work. Being overworked reduces productivity. The affected individual tries to combat this by working even harder, which raises stress levels further and reduces productivity even more. So, how is burn-on different? Schiele, the lead psychologist at the Kloster Dießen Psychosomatic Clinic, uses the image of a hamster wheel to explain how it works: whereas those suffering from burn-out or bore-out have already given up running and are lying helplessly next to the wheel, burn-on patients are still driving the wheel round, desperately struggling to keep up and meet their own expectations.

🏥 Of course, not every headache or backache is a sign of being overworked. It’s not easy to determine how often these complaints point to cases of burn-on. Firstly, because research into this condition is still in its infancy.

🧘 Self-awareness is the first step to making a change. Professor Bert te Wildt and psychologist Timo Schiele advise people who are showing signs of burn-on to think about their personal values and order them by importance. How important are areas of my life such as my partner and family, career, culture, friendships and hobbies? And how much time do I dedicate to each of these?

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


It's a little bit childish.

— Russian rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Irina Scherbakova criticized hasty calls for peace, saying she did not believe in a negotiated end to the war in Ukraine. Speaking in German at a ceremony in Hamburg where she was presented with an award for her human rights work, Scherbakova said, “I am absolutely convinced that there is not a diplomatic solution with Putin’s regime,” before adding “The solution that there will now be is a military one.”

✍️ Newsletter by Laure Gautherin, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

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Joshimath, The Sinking Indian City Has Also Become A Hotbed Of Government Censorship

The Indian authorities' decision to hide factual reports on the land subsidence in Joshimath only furthers a sense of paranoia.

Photo of people standing next to a cracked road in Joshimath, India

Cracked road in Joshimath

@IndianCongressO via Twitter
Rohan Banerjee*

MUMBAI — Midway through the movie Don’t Look Up (2021), the outspoken PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is bundled into a car, a bag over her head. The White House, we are told, wants her “off the grid”. She is taken to a warehouse – the sort of place where CIA and FBI agents seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in Hollywood movies – and charged with violating national security secrets.

The Hobson’s choice offered to her is to either face prosecution or suspend “all public media appearances and incendiary language relating to Comet Dibiasky”, an interstellar object on a collision course with earth. Exasperated, she acquiesces to the gag order.

Don’t Look Upis a satirical take on the collective apathy towards climate change; only, the slow burn of fossil fuel is replaced by the more imminent threat of a comet crashing into our planet. As a couple of scientists try to warn humanity about its potential extinction, they discover a media, an administration, and indeed, a society that is not just unwilling to face the truth but would even deny it.

This premise and the caricatured characters border on the farcical, with plot devices designed to produce absurd scenarios that would be inconceivable in the real world we inhabit. After all, would any government dealing with a natural disaster, issue an edict prohibiting researchers and scientists from talking about the event? Surely not. Right?

On January 11, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), one of the centers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), issued a preliminary report on the land subsidence issue occurring in Joshimath, the mountainside city in the Himalayas.

The word ‘subsidence’ entered the public lexicon at the turn of the year as disturbing images of cracked roads and tilted buildings began to emanate from Joshimath.

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