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In The News

Taiwan Tower Blaze, Norway Bow-And-Arrow Attack, Walruses From Space

Taiwan Tower Blaze, Norway Bow-And-Arrow Attack, Walruses From Space

Five Dead In Norway Bow And Arrow Attack

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Bună ziua!*

Welcome to Thursday, where a blaze at a Taiwan tower kills at least 46, a suspect is in custody in the deadly Norway bow-and-arrow attack and scientists try to count walruses from space. We also take a look at what unites and opposes Russia's Vladimir and Ukraine's Volodymir.



• Taiwan tower blaze kills at least 46: A fire at a 13-floor residential and commercial tower in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, has killed at least 46 and injured dozens more. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

• Five killed in Norway bow-and-arrow attack: A man armed with a bow and arrow killed five people and injured two others in a series of attacks in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg, near Oslo. A 37-year-old Danish man, previously flagged to the police over fears of radicalization after he converted to Islam, has been apprehended and questioned overnight.

• Beirut protest turns deadly: Gunfire at a Hezbollah-led protest killed at least three in Beirut. The demonstrators were calling for the removal of the judge investigating last year's explosion at the Lebanese capital's port. Army tanks were deployed in the area.

• COVID update:New Zealand reports its biggest rise in COVID-19 cases in six weeks with all cases located in Auckland, which raises prospects of a further extension of lockdown restrictions beyond next week. Meanwhile, a group of experts is tasked with investigating how the pandemic emerged, in what WHO calls a "last chance to understand the origins of this virus."

• Kenyan world record runner stabbed to death: The 25-year-old Kenyan athlete, who broke the women-only 10,000-meter road record last month has been found stabbed to death at her home in Iten. Her husband is suspected, with police saying he has gone missing.

• Carbon emissions from rich countries rose rapidly in 2021: Emissions from the world's 20 richest countries are flaring up again this year as the global economy rebounds, according to a new study. Its authors say that the continued use of fossil fuels is undermining efforts to reverse warming temperatures. China, India, and Argentina are expected to exceed their 2019 emissions levels.

Walrus counting from space: Researchers are on the hunt for "citizen scientists" to search for walruses through satellite images, from their own computers. The project aims to give conservationists a better understanding of how global warming is affecting the species.


Colombian daily El Espectador asks "How much longer?" after fans at a recent football match between Colombia and Brazil defied current rules about wearing face masks, which rekindled debate in the country about strict regulations regarding the use of masks to combat the spread of COVID-19.


$404 million

Poland is planning to spend some 1.6 billion zlotys ($404 million) to build a border wall to prevent migrants illegally entering from Belarus, which has become a transit country for thousands from the Middle East and Africa seeking to arrive in the European Union. The conservative government approved the construction after Poland, which is part of the EU, had already started building a barbed wire fence along the border that did not manage to prevent migrants from crossing over.


Russia and Ukraine, the meaning of a bad status quo

Despite being parties of one conflict and neighbors and comrades of the same historical events, it is now obvious that Russia and Ukraine — or at least their very different leaders, Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky — are living in opposing realities, writes Anna Akage.

🇷🇺🇺🇦 The best we can say about the recent visits of U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland to Moscow with top European officials Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel to Kyiv was that these high-level meetings ensured the status quo in the longstanding Russia-Ukraine conflict. But that is a status quo measured in dead negotiations in the Normandy Format over the simmering war on the border and the status of Crimea. It is the status quo of the shared disapproval of the situation, and the clarity of the opposing directions chosen by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

🤝 Moscow has achieved what it wanted: Direct negotiations with the Americans regarding Ukraine have now been resumed. Notably, the request for Nuland's meeting with his Russian counterparts came directly from Washington. It was their initiative and, as Nuland put it, the aim was to construct "stable and predictable relations."To make it possible, the Russians lifted sanctions on Nuland, just as the Americans spared a number of Russian diplomats from punitive measures. And it is the U.S., not the EU, that Putin wants to negotiate with

⏸️ Hopes and demands are what's guiding the Ukrainian president. Still Zelensky must contend with the fact that from Moscow he's seen as not a fully autonomous figure and from the European Union as a little boy who can wait.Zelensky is eager to negotiate with his Russian counterpart; he talks almost every week about the need to meet with Putin either one-on-one or in the Normandy format. But the negotiations are on hold — just as they were during the presidency of his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com


"I hope I never recover from this"

— Canadian actor William Shatner (a.k.a. Star Trek's Captain Kirk) tearfully described his 10-minute journey of boldly going to the edge of space and back. Aboard Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin capsule, Shatner, 90, became the oldest person to be beamed up into space.

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

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Can Russia Ever Learn To Live Without Its Imperial Ambitions?

Russian ambitions to expand its empire have existed for centuries. But are they doomed to be this way forever? Janusz Onyszkiewicz, the former defense minister of Poland, digs into the history — and the future.

image of Russian solders in front of the red square.

A Victory Day military parade in Red Square.

Janusz Onyszkiewicz


WARSAW — For Moscow to finally let go of its imperial ambitions, it must lose the war it has been waging in Ukraine. As the history of the last few hundred years shows, this is the only way Russia will change.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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The idealogue at the head of Putinist Russia, Vladislav Surkov, has made his vision of an ideal Russia very clear. In his view, Russia is a country that “having stopped falling, has begun to rebuild itself and returned to the natural and only possible state of a great, growing and land-collecting community of nations."

Surkov says that Russia makes "no promise" of peace. “The immodest role given to our country by universal history does not allow us to leave the stage or remain silent in the crowd," he declared.

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