Le Weekend: Endangered Odessa, Italy Gets Its Artifacts, Gravity-Defying Fashion
- Camel-inspired fabric
- Leopard-print in Ukraine
- Keep calm and parent on
- … and much more.
🎲 OUR WEEKLY NEWS QUIZ
What do you remember from the news this week?
1. What has angered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a recent Stockholm protest?
2. Who was the latest U.S. politician to have confidential documents found at their place?
3. Which famed site did Peru close due to protests, leaving some 400 tourists stranded there?
4. Which pop icon sold the rights to their song catalog for a whopping $200 million? Madonna / Justin Bieber / Rihanna
[Answers at the bottom of this newsletter]
To encourage Germany to finally supply Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv, Ukrainian stars, online influencers and private companies launched a cheeky #freetheleopards campaign by wearing leopard-print clothing. The trend, which quickly gained traction on Instagram and Facebook, carried on even after Berlin agreed to deliver the tanks, in a show of gratitude.
🎭 5 CULTURE THINGS TO KNOW
• U.S. returns to Italy $20-million worth of seized artifacts: Sixty ancient artifacts dating from the seventh century B.C. to the first century A.D., and worth $20 million, were returned from the United States to Italy. The items were seized by American officials over the past 14 months from the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as private collections, after collecting evidence that the artworks had been illegally looted from Italian archeological sites.
• UNESCO designates Odessa as endangered World Heritage site: The historic center of the Ukrainian port city of Odessa has been inscribed in UNESCO’s list of endangered World Heritage sites “to protect this city from greater destruction.” Russia criticized the move from the United Nations cultural agency, saying it was “politically motivated.”
• Everything Everywhere All At Once leads Oscars nominations: The nominees for the 95th annual Academy Awards were announced this week, with absurdist comedy-drama Everything Everywhere All At Oncesnatching 11 nominations, followed by The Banshees of Inisherin and All Quiet on the Western Front. Meanwhile, India’s RRR scored a nomination in the original song category for its title track “Naatu Naatu” — a first for an Indian-made film.
• “World of Warcraft” game goes offline for Chinese players: Millions of gamers in China suddenly lost access to role-playing epic World of Warcraft and other popular video games, following a dispute between U.S. developper Blizzard and its local partner NetEase. Blizzard’s games had been available in the country since 2008.
• London’s Royal Opera House cuts ties with BP: The Royal Opera House announced it had severed its sponsorship relationship with oil giant BP after 33 years, following similar moves from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Portrait Gallery in recent years to renounce funding from major fossil fuel producers. This leaves the British Museum and Science Museum isolated as two of the last major arts institutions in the UK still receiving funding from the firm.
🇷🇺 Wagner mercenaries and the risks of desertion
Tens of thousands of Russian prisoners convicted of the most brutal crimes have escaped from the frontlines after volunteering in exchange for freedom, and are seeking political asylum thanks to a "cleared" criminal record. Ukrainian journalist Anna Akage takes a closer look at the devious tactics of the Wagner group to hide the number of soldiers who have deserted or defected to Ukraine.
Read the full story: Wagner's MIA Convicts: Where Do Deserting Russian Mercenaries Go?
🏠⛔ Foreign buyers targeted by governments
Canada has become the most recent country to impose restrictions on non-residents buying real estate, arguing that wealthy investors from other countries are pricing out would-be local homeowners. But is singling out foreigners the best way to face a troubled housing market? This international roundup goes into the reasons behind this widespread phenomenon destined to protect struggling locals from wealthy foreign investors hungry for assets.
Read the full story: Why More Countries Are Banning Foreigners From Buying Real Estate
👪 What weighs on every parent
“As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.” In this essay about the pressures of parenthood, Argentinian Journalist Ignacio Pereyra delves into sensitive topics that virtually every parent knows, from work exhaustion to lack of time and comfort to financial struggles.
Read the full story: Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better
🐪 BRIGHT IDEA
Engineers at Soochow University in China have developed a fabric inspired by the humps of camelids, which could be extremely useful for firefighters in close proximity to flames. As the New Scientist reports, this is an "insulating fabric made of pockets filled with an aerogel, in which the gel is replaced by a gas surrounded by two layers of heat-resistant plastic polymers."
👗🙃 SMILE OF THE WEEK
Dutch luxury fashion house Viktor & Rolf turned haute couture upside down (quite literally) with its gravity-defying dresses, presented at the Spring-Summer 2023 show of the Paris Haute Couture Week.
📹 THIS HAPPENED VIDEO — TODAY IN HISTORY, IN ONE ICONIC PHOTO
➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
Here’s the latest Dottoré! piece from the notebook of Neapolitan psychiatrist and writer Mariateresa Fichele:
A newborn dies, a mother's blame
They say that childbirth is, and must necessarily be, the most beautiful thing in the world.
So beautiful that it justifies all the hardships a mother must endure, without complaining or expecting relief from the pain. So beautiful that after it has happened, you are not even allowed to rest because you have to keep the baby with you to breastfeed.
So beautiful that if, exhausted as you are, you fall asleep, and the child tragically dies in your arms, you wouldn't even notice it or be able to wake up. And once you open your eyes and they tell you that your child is no longer there, there comes the insinuation that maybe you fell asleep not just because you were exhausted by all the pain and sleep deprivation, but also perhaps you were under the influence of some substance.
They say that childbirth is, and must necessarily be, the most beautiful thing in the world. May those who say that be cursed.
➡️ Read more from our Dottoré! series on Worldcrunch.com
⏩ LOOKING AHEAD
• U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit Israel and the West Bank next week for private meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
• Trade unions in France called for fresh protests and strikes starting from Jan. 31 to oppose the French government’s controversial plan to hike the retirement age. The upcoming winter holidays could be affected as French ski resort workers are expected to join the movement.
• The Australian Open will conclude this weekend with the Women's and Men’s Singles Finals as well as the Mixed and Men's Doubles Finals in Melbourne.
• Microsoft is removing Windows 10 Home and Pro downloads from sale — but worry not, Windows 10 will continue to be supported until its end of life in October 2025.
News quiz answers:
1. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was angered by images showing a Danish far-right extremist burning a copy of the Koran outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, calling it “a disgrace.”
2. A dozen classified documents were found at the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence, who turned the records over to the FBI.
3. Peru’s government has closed tourist access to the Machu Picchu site indefinitely “to protect tourists and citizens” amid ongoing protests demanding President Dina Boluarte’s resignation.
4. American singer Justin Bieberhas sold the rights to his publishing and artist royalties from his song catalog to investment company Hipgnosis for a reported $200 million.
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*Photo: Yana Hurskaya