Defiant Zelensky Interview, Tunisian Journalists v. “Repression,” Japan’s Island Count
Welcome to Friday, where Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky says he has ruled out giving up any of his country's territory to Russia in case of a peace deal, the UN appeals for more than $1 billion in funds for Turkey, and Japan finds out it has more islands than previously thought. Meanwhile, Angolan news site Club K looks at how brain drain is weighing on Africa’s future.
[*Mandika, Senegal, The Gambia]
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• Zelensky takes hard line in BBC interview: In a BBC interview to mark a year since Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has ruled out giving up any of his country's territory in any potential peace deal with Russia. He said conceding land would mean Russia could “keep coming back.” He also said a major Russian offensive has begun, but that Ukraine would be able to defend itself and launch its own counteroffensive later in the spring.
• UN launches $1 billion aid appeal for Turkey quake victims: The United Nations has appealed for more than $1 billion in funds for the Turkish earthquake relief operation, just two days after launching a $400 million appeal for Syrians. The Feb. 6 earthquake has so far killed at least 36,187 in southern Turkey, and 5,800 in neighboring Syria.
• Taiwan finds suspected Chinese weather balloon: Taiwan says it has found the remnants of what appears to be a crashed Chinese weather balloon which was drifting above the Taiwanese-controlled island of Dongyin. This is the first time remnants of such a balloon have been discovered in Taiwan's offshore islands.
• Canada to send warships to Haiti amid ongoing violence: Canada will send navy vessels to the coast of Haiti to gather intelligence as the Caribbean nation continues to reel from economic and political insecurity as well as violence, much of it driven by organized criminal groups.
• YouTube CEO steps down: The CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, will be stepping down after nine years to focus on her “family, health and personal projects.” YouTube’s chief product officer, Neal Mohan, will be the new head of YouTube. Wojcicki, 54, was previously a senior vice-president for ad products at Google. She will also be remembered as Google’s first landlord, as in 1998 she rented out her garage to Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they founded the company.
• Spain passes Europe’s first paid “menstrual leave” law: Spain has just passed a law allowing those with disabling periods to take a three-to-five-day paid "menstrual leave" from work, in a European first. The bill approved is part of a broader package on sexual and reproductive rights that includes allowing anyone 16 and over to get an abortion or freely change the gender on their ID card.
German weekly magazine Stern asks its readers for “help” in three languages (Turkish, Arabic and German) as it lends its front page to the millions of people who “are fighting for survival in Turkey and Syria” in the wake of the Feb. 6 earthquake.
The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan double checked: The country actually boasts a grand total of 14,125 islands — that’s almost twice what was previously thought. The new islands were discovered using digital mapping, though this finding will not alter the official size of Japan’s territory or territorial waters, according to the Kyodo news agency.
Africa's real risk for the future: brain drain
The best and the brightest, those with real vision for the future, are more likely to leave their native African countries that continue to be mired in short-term fatalism, corruption and lack of development, writes Deni Dilolo in Angolan news site Club K.
🧠 One of Africa’s biggest problems is the loss of intellectuals and leaders. This brain drain is a result of the following factors: a lack of appreciation for local citizens, and their persecution when they respond and bring to the table discussions about specific problems. One constant that we can see in all African countries is the lack of trust in our own citizens. It seems to arise from several centuries of slavery, colonization and then political control through international help.
💲 Africa has lost hope in its citizens being able to solve their problems without European or Western help. It is a culture that comes from presidents, ministers and directors — and it is holding the continent back. Furthermore, we are the only group motivated by money and individual instant gratification, not by the generational power of the group. We are not motivated by loyalty, integrity or leaving a legacy.
✊ African countries will not develop or improve their status if they don’t change the current paradigm, in which they seek solutions from non-Africans. It is not aid, loans or credits that will change Africa, but rather the belief in the ability of African people to "do." No country is built or developed by foreigners, unless in the form of neo-colonization or annihilation of native citizens. Every country can only be properly developed by its citizens, full stop!
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“We're not looking for a new Cold War.”
— Speaking at the White House about the recent incidents involving Chinese alleged surveillance balloon and three other unidentified objects, U.S. President Joe Biden said that the situation highlighted the necessity of "maintaining open lines of communication between our diplomats and military professionals.” Biden added that he aimed at keeping the line of communication open with Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying "We seek competition, not conflict with China.”
• Nicola Sturgeon's Surprise Resignation: Three Big Questions Left Open For Scotland — THE CONVERSATION
✍️ Newsletter by Ginevra Falciani, Inès Mermat and Anne-Sophie Goninet
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