Kyiv Under Assault, Anti-War Protest On Russian TV, 3 Million Refugees
Welcome to Tuesday, where deadly attacks are multiplying in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, a Russian journalist interrupts a live TV program to protest the war and 51 million Chinese people are back in COVID lockdown. Meanwhile, America Economia finds the transportation future has already arrived in Latin America: flying cars.
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🌎 7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW
• Ukraine update: After early morning attacks on a residential building in Kyiv kill at least two, the capital’s mayor announces a 36-hour curfew, as the prime ministers of Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia are expected in the city in EU show of support. Ceasefire talks between Ukrainian and Russian representatives are due to continue today; meanwhile, an estimated 3 million refugees have fled the country.
• Russian journalist interrupts live TV for Ukraine: Marina Ovsyannikova, a journalist and editor, has reportedly been arrested after interrupting a Russian state TV Channel One news program, holding a poster that read “No war. Stop the war. Don’t believe in propaganda. They lie to you here.” After the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a new law has been introduced, punishing such unsanctioned protests with up to 15 years in jail. As of Tuesday afternoon, Ovsyannikova’s whereabouts were unknown.
• China denies supporting Russia invasion: Foreign Minister Wang Yi rejected accusations that China is supporting Moscow, as he reportedly tells his Spanish counterpart that “China is not a party to the crisis, still less wants to be affected by the sanctions.” In recent days, reports have emerged claiming that Russia had asked China for military and economic help.
• Chinese province in COVID lockdown: The entire province of Jilin (51 million people) in northeastern China, is back under lockdown as COVID-19 cases hit a two-year high in the region.
• India upholds hijab ban in class: India’s southern state of Karnataka has upheld a ban on wearing a hijab in classrooms, potentially setting a precedent for the rest of the country.
• Assange denied extradition appeal: A UK court has denied WikiLeaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange permission to appeal a decision to extradite him to the U.S. on spying charges.
• VPN demand skyrocketing: According to data from monitoring firm Top10VPN, demand for VPNs (that help users hide their location and access forbidden websites and programs) has risen by 2,088% following Moscow’s ban on Meta platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
🗞️ FRONT PAGE
Mariupol has become a burning hell, as the Italian daily La Repubblica titles Tuesday. Since the Russian troops besieged it on March 2, the city has been exposed to relentless shelling. Mariupol city council says more than 2,000 residents have been killed, and the 400,000 remaining people are now suffering extremely limited access to water, food and medicine.
#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS
A lucky fan beat out 23 bids at auction on the ball Tom Brady used for his "final" touchdown pass before retiring, claiming the collectible for more than half a million ($518,628). But his luck didn’t last as the 44-year-old quarterback 'un-retired' via Instagram on Sunday, saying he had some "unfinished business".
📰 STORY OF THE DAY
For Latin American Cities, Flying Cars Are Suddenly Within Reach
It may sound like science-fiction, but firms are already developing prototypes for this cheaper alternative to the helicopter. And as Gianni Amador reports in America Economia, for Latin America in particular, the sky's the limit for what flying cars can bring.
💸 Flying or eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicles had their best year in a decade in 2021, as investor interest spiked, to the tune of $7 billion in investments. For Latin America in particular, they could be an opportunity to transform transportation and mobility in its congested cities. The market is potentially vast, and investment banks expect it to be worth trillions of dollars in the next decade.
🏙️ 600 eVTOL models are being developed by 350 firms worldwide, with 200 new designs from 2021. Flying vehicles are thus not about to become a mass mobility solution, for which they would first need to attain economies of scale through mass usage. The vehicles may first be used in cargo shipments, at airports and even to move donor organs.
🚙🚕🚗 Latin America is helicopter country. It is one of the biggest markets for the vehicle and has six of the world's 10 biggest city chopper fleets. It also has vast conurbations like Mexico City and São Paulo that need better, smooth and sustainable transportation.São Paulo, a city of some 13 million residents, would be an ideal market for flying vehicles, both for the density of its population and its road traffic.
👩✈️👨✈️ For flying cars to take off, they must first overcome some basic obstacles like regulation, safe and efficient technology, service infrastructures and where to put them in cities.Other issues in time will be "space management," or traffic controls as density increases, and energy use. The vehicles will also require pilots, possibly 60,000 by 2028.
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When Putin invaded Ukraine the first time round, in 2014, the West made a terrible mistake.
— UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote a commentary in The Telegraph, criticizing the absence of major Western sanctions in 2014, which he said led Putin to think he could get away with anything. Johnson called on the West to renounce its dependence on Russian oil and gas.
✍️ Newsletter by Bertrand Hauger and Laure Gautherin
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