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In The News

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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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• 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.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

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.

#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS

$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.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

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

📣 VERBATIM

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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Ideas

A Writer's Advice For How To Read The Words Of Politics

Colombia's reformist president has promised to tackle endemic violence, economic exclusion, pollution and corruption in the country. So what's new with a politician's promises?

Image of Colombian President Gustavo Petro speaking during a press conference in Buenos Aires on Jan 14, 2023

Colombian President Gustavo Petro, speaks during a press conference in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 24, 2023.

Manuel Cortina/ZUMA
Héctor Abad Faciolince

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — Don't concentrate on his words, I was once advised, but look at what he's doing. I heard the words so long ago I cannot recall who said them. The point is, what's the use of a husband who vows never to beat his wife in January and leaves her with a bruised face in February?

Words are a strange thing, and in literal terms, we must distrust their meaning. As I never hit anyone, I have never declared that I wouldn't. It never occurred to me to say it. Strangely, there is more power and truth in a simple declaration like "I love her" than in the more emphatic "I love her so much." A verbal addition here just shrinks the "sense" of love.

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