Welcome to Friday, where Russian attacks leave millions of Ukrainians without power, Germany’s Chancellor Scholz is on a controversial trip to China, and Barcelona’s star defender Gerard Piqué announces his surprise retirement. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt gives us rare access to one of Europe’s most violent borders, between Greece and Turkey.
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• 4.5 million Ukrainians without power: Fear continues throughout Ukraine as millions of families are facing power outages, with President Volodymyr Zelensky putting the current total at 4.5 million, as of Thursday evening, and accusing Russia of “energy terrorism” for the ongoing air strikes aimed at the country’s power grid.
• Calls for protests after attack on Imran Khan: In response to the attack on former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, his party has called for nationwide protests today. Khan was shot in the leg yesterday in an attack on his convoy in Islamabad — which allies have described as an assassination attempt — that killed one and injured at least 10.
• German Chancellor in China: Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has met with China’s leader Xi Jinping in Beijing, in an effort to build a stronger economic relationship between the two countries. Scholz’s visit, coming just weeks after Xi tightened his grip on China’s helm, has sparked controversy across Europe.
• Iran president condemns protests in speech at old U.S. embassy: As Iran marks the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy, Iran’s President Ebraim Raisi condemned protests against the current theocracy while the people gathered chanted “Death to America” in front of the former US embassy,. This took place while protests are still happening amid the country.
• Trump says he’ll “very probably” run again: While campaigning in support of Republican candidates for the midterms elections, former U.S. President Donald Trump told a crowd of supporters in Iowa that he was aiming to run again for the White House: “I will very, very, very probably do it again,” Trump said, while repeating his false claims that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud.
• Twitter starts laying off staff: After Elon Musk bought Twitter last week, a wave of layoffs is expected to start today, with 3,700 employees of the social network (about half the company’s workforce) expected to lose their jobs.
• Christian monastery found in the UAE: Archeologists found a Christian monastery In Sinniyah Island, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The monastery, said to be 1,400 years old, could predate the expansion of Islam in the region.
Catalan daily L’Esportiu devotes its front page to Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué who announced his retirement from professional soccer at the age of 35 after a final game against Almeria on Saturday. Piqué was part of the World Cup champion Spanish squad in 2010 and won three Champions League titles with Barça.
A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a significant increase in deaths caused by alcohol use in the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic, with 49,000 people killed in 2020 — a 26% jump from the previous year.
A rare look at Europe's most violent border crossing
Many migrants want to enter Europe via the Greece-Turkey border. Time and again, it is the scene of violence, and the EU border guard Frontex is also said to be involved. Die Welt managed to visit a place that is off-limits for journalists and usually remains hidden from the public.
🇬🇷🇹🇷 The Greek-Turkish land border made headlines in early 2020 after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unilaterally declared it open. Thousands of migrants rushed to Greece; Greek border guards fended them off with stun grenades and tear gas. What is going on on the ground? Journalists are banned from entering the immediate border. The Greek government has declared the area a military exclusion zone. According to Greek information, more than 36,000 migrants were prevented from crossing the river border in August alone. But by what means, no one wants to say publicly.
⛔ There are those who die. There are those who are forcibly returned to Turkey without the possibility of asylum. And there are those who are registered and come to a refugee camp. The lucky ones, you might think, but it hardly feels that way to the people in the camp. The Fylakio camp, 15 kilometers from the border with Turkey, is surrounded by barbed wire and high fences. At the entrance, there is a sign: financed by the European Union. Three Green MEPs are visiting from Brussels to get a picture of the situation. They also wanted to see the Evros but at the last moment even they were denied access.
🤐 The camp director, Konstantinos Dimitriades, assures the parliamentarians and journalists traveling with them, "You can freely look around the camp and talk to people." But in the end, we are not allowed to look around so freely. If we approach the fences, the camp director or his representative will intervene. But one time we are faster. A boy shouts, "Don't believe them, they're not telling the truth!" He points to a girl's feet, which are covered with a pus-filled rash. Is there no doctor? Yes, he says, but he wouldn't give any medicine.
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Go back to Africa.
— The French parliament was brought to a halt Thursday when a far-right representative shouted “qu’il retourne en Afrique” while a black colleague was talking about immigration. The National Rally party member later said he used the pronoun “ils” (they) and not “il” (he), which are pronounced the same in French, and therefore that his remark wasn’t aimed at his colleague but at migrants trying to reach Europe by sea. The National Assembly's bureau said it would meet on Friday and decide on possible sanctions.
✍️ Newsletter by Renate Mattar, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet
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