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A demonstrator lays on the ground with his hands tied to protest against the killings in Bucha​, outside the Russian embassy in Warsaw, Poland

A demonstrator lays on the ground with his hands tied to protest against the killings in Bucha, outside the Russian embassy in Warsaw, Poland.

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Bertrand Hauger, Lisa Berdet and Emma Albright

👋 Mhoroi!*

Welcome to Thursday, where the Pentagon says Russian troops have left Kyiv and surrounding areas, Ukraine shows evidence that Russians dug trenches in highly radioactive soil near the Chernobyl nuclear site, and a fossil from the day the dinosaurs died is found. We also take a look at why the once dominant Japanese auto industry has fallen behind in the race to develop electric vehicles.

[*Shona - Zimbabwe]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Russia-Ukraine war update: U.S. officials say Russian troops have fully withdrawn from Ukrainian capital Kyiv and the north of the country. Their main strategy now aims at targeting eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian army shares drone footage it says shows trenches dug by Russians near the remains of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, still a highly radioactive area.

• Shell’s Russian losses: Oil giant Shell has revealed it expects to lose $5 billion by offloading its Russian assets as part of plans to leave the country.

• China warns against Pelosi visit to Taiwan: A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the country would take “strong measures in response to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity” if U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi follows through on reported plans to visit Taiwan next week.

• Yemen’s president hands over power to council: Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Haddi says he has delegated his own presidential power to a council and has dismissed Vice-President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar. The move, together with major aid pledges from Saudi Arabia, are seen as a hopeful sign of resolution to the seven-year civil war with Iranian-backed Houthis.

• Khashoggi trial transferred to Saudi Arabia: Turkey has ruled a halt to the Jamal Khashoggi trial and transfer to Saudi Arabia as 26 Saudis suspects were absent from the Istanbul court. Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed on October 2, 2018 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi’s fiance said she would appeal this decision.

• Thousands evacuated in Sydney: Evacuation orders have been issued as major floodings are threatening Sydney suburbs, putting inhabitants at risk and inundating the roads.

Dinosaur “killed on day the asteroid hit” found: Scientists unearthed the leg fossil of a Thescelosaurus that was killed on an asteroid strike that eliminated most species living on Earth, 66 million years ago in Tanis fossil site in North Dakota, U.S. Remains of the deadly asteroid were also discovered nearby.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

"Child trafficking" is the title of today’s Italian newspaper La Repubblica. NGOs are worried that more and more minors are disappearing in Ukraine thus the risk of sexual exploitation increasing.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

-30.9%

With the rise of COVID-19 infections, tourism in China has plummeted. During this week’s Qingming festival, a three-day holiday, tourists spent 30.9% less than last year amid major new lockdowns and travel restrictions.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Why Japan's auto industry can't keep pace with the electric vehicle revolution

The "Made in Japan" label used to be a mark of progress, but Japanese manufacturing has declined rapidly. Now, the automobile industry, the last bastion of the country's technology, has fallen behind in the transition to electric vehicles, reports Daisuke Kondo in weekly Chinese-language newspaper Economic Observer.

🚗🔌 Called the “Big Three,” Japan's Toyota, Nissan, and Honda still enjoy an unshakable global status in the field of fueled vehicles. Nevertheless, a kind of pessimism has emerged in one after another of Japan’s carmakers. The reason lies in the fact that the global auto industry is rapidly shifting from fueled vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs). Yet, compared with companies in other countries, Japan's “big three” automakers are lagging far behind in their conversion to EVs. Only 21,139 electric vehicles were sold in Japan in 2021.

🤝 So, is the “last bastion” of Japanese technology going to collapse sooner or later? Amid this deepening sense of crisis, Japanese manufacturers have rolled out new initiatives this year. On March 4, Kenichiro Yoshida and Honda President & CEO Toshihiro Mibu announced “Sony and Honda have reached a strategic alliance agreement to jointly create a new era of future mobile technology and services. Within this year, the two companies will establish a joint venture together. It is expected that by 2025, our first electric car will be developed and sold.”

💻 Currently, Sony is developing an image sensor that can accurately capture signs and objects up to 450 meters away. And in gaming, Sony is developing an artificial intelligence system that drives a car at high speed while avoiding contacts. It is said that Honda believes that these Sony technologies will play a huge role in the future era of driverless cars.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

I came here today to discuss three most important things: Weapons, weapons, and weapons.

— Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted after meeting with NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Kuleba is also expected to meet later today with his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken, on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers breakfast summit.

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Bertrand Hauger, Lisa Berdet and Emma Albright


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Coronavirus

In Shanghai, A Brewing Expat Exodus As COVID Crackdown Shows "Real" China

Not only strict rules of freedom of movement as part of Zero-COVID policy but also an increase in censorship has raised many questions for the expat population in the megacity of 26 million that had long enjoyed a kind of special status in China as a place of freedom and openness. A recent survey of foreigners in the Chinese megacity found that 48% of respondents said they would leave Shanghai within the next year.

People walk in Tianzifang, located in Huangpu District, a well-known tourist attraction in Shanghai.

Lili Bai

SHANGHAI — On the seventh day of the lockdown, Félix, a French expat who has worked in Shanghai for four years, texted his boss: I want to "run,' mais je sais pas quand (but I don’t know when). A minute later, he received a reply: moi aussi (me too).

Félix had recently learned the new Mandarin word 润 (run) from social network postings of his local friends. Because its pinyin “rùn” is the same as the English word “run,” Chinese youth had begun to use it to express their wish to escape reality, either to “be freed from mundane life”, or to “run toward your future.”

For foreigners like Félix, by associating the expression “run” with the feeling of the current lockdown in Shanghai, “everything makes sense.” Félix recalled how at the end of March, the government denied rumors of an impending lockdown: “My Chinese colleagues all said, Shanghai is China’s top city, there would be no lockdown no matter what.”

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