When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

TOPIC: europe

This Happened

This Happened — February 4: The Yalta Conference Begins

On this day between in 1945, following the events of World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union met to discuss the postwar reorganization of a war-torn Europe.

Get This Happened straight to your inbox ✉️ each day! Sign up here.

Watch Video Show less

Modi Is Wrong: Russia's War Also Creates Real Risks For India

By shrugging aside Russia’s aggression, India has shown indifference to fears that China could follow Russia’s example.

-OpEd-

NEW DELHI — India is wrong to dismiss Russia’s war in Ukraine as Europe’s problem. The illegality and destructiveness of the invasion, and consequential food and energy crises, have global ramifications.

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

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

This explains why 143 out of the 193 member-states of the UN General Assembly voted against recognizing Russia’s illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions after holding sham referenda there. Ninety-three voted in favor of expelling Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.

India has abstained from every vote in the UN condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The reason? Moscow is India’s top arms supplier and some 70% of India’s military platforms are of Russian origin.

Keep reading... Show less

Where Conversion Therapy Is Banned, And Where Its Practices Are Ever More Extreme

After almost five years of promises, the UK government says it will again introduce legislation to ban conversion therapy — and in a policy shift, the proposed law would include therapies designed for transgender people.

Conversion therapy, which includes a range of practices that aim to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity, has long been controversial. Many in the LGBTQ community consider it outright evil.

As the practice has spread, often pushed on young people by homophobic family members, there has been a worldwide push to make conversion therapy illegal, with the UK as the latest country set to ban such practices as electric shocks, aversion therapy and a variety of other traumatic, dangerous techniques to try to change someone's sexual preferences or gender identity.

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

The British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy, the professional body which governs therapists in the UK, calls the practice “unethical (and) potentially harmful.”

In France, journalists have documented many healthcare professionals offering the pseudoscientific practice. In one case, a self-described “LGBT-friendly” therapist offered to “cure” a young lesbian through so-called "rebirth therapy," a dangerous practice that was banned in some U.S. states after unlicensed therapists killed a 10-year-old girl during a session.

For one Canadian man, therapy included prescription medication and weekly ketamine injections to “correct the error” of his homosexuality, all under the guidance of a licensed psychiatrist. Some people are forced into treatment against their will — often minors — but most of the time, those who receive conversion therapy do so willingly.

The UK announcement of plans to ban conversion therapy for England and Wales comes after four separate British prime ministers had promised, for almost five years, to ban the practice.

Keep reading... Show less

Winning African Hearts And Minds: Why Russia Has An Edge Over The West

Russia's Foreign Minister is in South Africa for the second time in a year. In spite of the West's best efforts, Vladimir Putin's delegation is still welcomed in large parts of Africa, which still harbors colonial resentment toward Europe.

-Analysis-

PARIS — Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister, has not traveled much since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But he arrived yesterday on an official visit to South Africa, his second official trip there in a year.

But it is not a coincidence: Africa is a priority for Russian diplomacy.

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

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

The West was caught off guard when, at the United Nations last year, a large part of Africa refused to condemn the Russian aggression on Ukrainian territory. They were all the more surprised because, since the 1960s, the African continent has wisely adopted a principle recognizing the borders inherited from colonization: it wanted to avoid possible inter-state targeting, which is what Russia is trying to do in Ukraine.

Moscow has been able to capitalize on this refusal of Africa to align itself with the West.

Keep reading... Show less
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War
Pierre Haski

Paris-Berlin, Warsaw-Kyiv: Europe's Balance Of Power Will Never Be The Same

A new future is unfolding in real time, one that leaders in France, Germany and beyond could not have envisioned even a year ago.

-Analysis-

PARIS — Quick question: do you know which country is on its way to having the largest army in Europe? The obvious answer would be France, the Continent's only nuclear power since the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and a military that has been tested in multiple foreign operations in recent years.

But the answer is about to change: if we put aside the nuclear factor, Europe's leading military will soon be that of Poland.

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

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

This is one more direct consequence Russia's invasion of Ukraine: a close neighbor of the conflict zone, Poland is investing massively in its defense. Last year, it concluded a huge arms purchase contract with South Korea: heavy combat tanks (four times more than France), artillery, fighter jets, for 15 billion euros.

Warsaw also signed a contract last month to purchase two observation satellites from France for 500 million euros.

This former country of the Warsaw Pact, today a leading NATO member, intends to be ever more consequential in European affairs. The investments in defense are one way of doing that. Yet this is not the only impact of the war in Ukraine.

Watch Video Show less
Geopolitics
Lucie Robequain

The Taiwan Paradox: Preparing For War And Ready To Do Business With China

Large segments of Taiwan seem underprepared or indifferent when it comes to the possibility of Chinese invasion. But some are actively preparing, using Ukraine as a role model.

TAIPEI — Hsu has just completed the required four months of military service in Taichung, central Taiwan. He had spread the training over the course of the past four years, training for one month every year. “Many guys go there during the summer. It’s like a summer camp: we go to a shooting range, we make friends,” he explains.

Yet these words seem somehow strange, incongruous, as his country is threatened by one of the most powerful armies in the world. “There is a kind of collective denial toward the Chinese threat. Many still think that the possibility of an invasion, in the short or medium term, remains very unlikely,” says Raymond Sung, a political expert based in Taipei.

In Taiwanese companies too, people remain overly confident. "What’s the point of worrying? Taiwanese are working on the technologies of the future! Thinking about war would just distract them," argues Miin Chyou Wu, head of Macronix, a company that makes memory cards.

Though relatively rare, some companies are even expanding in China. That’s the case with Delta, a Taiwanese flagship that produces equipment essential to a green energy transition (including charging stations and solar panels). Based in the outskirts of Taipei, not far from the Keelung River, Delta recently bought new land last May in Chongqing, southwest China. Their goal is now to expand their electric generator factories.

“We’re not very worried: we know that we won’t be the ones who will solve the conflict with Beijing," says Alessandro Sossa-Izzi, the head of Delta’s communication team. "But our grandchildren’s grandchildren will."

Of course, the Taiwanese government is more concerned.

Watch Video Show less
In The News
Bertrand Hauger, Laure Gautherin and Hugo Perrin

Kyiv Claims Strike Killed 400 Russians, Lula Sworn In, Farewell Kuna

👋 Aluu!*

Welcome to Monday, and happy new year from the Worldcrunch crew! 🎊

Ukraine claims 400 Russian forces were killed in a missile strike in the Donetsk region, Lula is sworn in as Brazil bids adeus to Pelé. Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based The Initium focuses on the very particular situation of China’s Catholics, caught between Xi Jinping and Pope Francis.

Watch Video Show less
This Happened

This Happened—December 12: Paris Agreement is Signed

Often referred to as the Paris Climate Accords, the Paris Agreement is an international treaty aimed at forcing countries and companies to change their behavior to reverse climate change. It was signed on December 12, 2015 at the end of the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference near the French capital.

Sign up to receive This Happened straight to your inbox each day!

Watch Video Show less
Coronavirus
Emma Albright

Masks And Me: Take This Pandemic Story At Face Value

Even if COVID cases are rising again, the author isn't ready to mask up again. But she's also not quite ready to say goodbye forever...

-Essay-

PARIS — Waiting in line at the pharmacy the other day, I heard a customer ask for a COVID-19 test. The pharmacist let out a long sarcastic sigh: “We’re still doing those?”

Of course they are, as cases are again rising ahead of winter here in France and many other places around the world. But the true sign of the depth of our collective COVID fatigue were the masks at the pharmacy. That is, there were none, not even the pharmacist was wearing one, even if a sign hangs in front saying they’re required.

The regular announcements that have begun airing again on French radio about the importance of masks in containing the virus sound beside the point. Indeed, wearing masks is no longer a requirement anywhere in France, merely a suggestion.

Still, masks have by no means gone away, either in society, or my mind. That becomes clearest when I’m riding the metro in Paris. As I count the ratio of masked to non-masked, and hear the daily announcements on the benefits of wearing one, a dilemma starts to creep in…

Watch Video Show less
Economy
Gregor Thüsing

Germany's 25-Hour Work Week Proposal Is An Insult To Work

Germany’s ruling Social Democratic Party recently called for the introduction of a 25-hour work week, arguing that it's the only way to end "self-exploitation." What a strange understanding of work, argues one German expert in labor law.

-OpEd-

BERLIN — “In order to create a working environment that gives employees a good quality of life and self-determination, we are calling for a working week of 25 hours in the medium term," is the new stance on labor taken by Germany's ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Watch Video Show less
In The News
Cameron Manley, Shaun Lavelle, and Emma Albright

Zelensky Says "No Schism," Trying To Keep West United At Key Juncture

Fears of European discord over energy prices, as Ukraine is facing what the UN calls "appalling conditions of life" amid Russia's onslaught timed with the arrival of winter.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky declared Friday that Europe remains unified in its support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. In a virtual address to “The Idea of Europe” conference in Lithuania, Zelensky said “There is no split. There is no schism among Europeans. We have to preserve this so this is our mission number one this year.”

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

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Zelensky made the case that both Europe and Ukraine are suffering from Russia’s military aggression and manipulation of energy markets.

Watch Video Show less
eyes on the U.S.
Alex Hurst

Eyes On U.S. — Something Broken In The Kingdom Of American Tech

PARIS — There’s a dual story about the U.S. tech scene circulating in the world’s media. The first is structural, about trendlines and economics as Silicon Valley’s all-powerful platforms and companies have seen their stocks tanking and announced large layoffs for the first time ever. The second storyline is about the big tech titans themselves.

No surprises, Twitter is still taking up extraordinary amounts of headline real estate. And it’s impossible to disentangle Twitter the company from its Very-Online new owner, as Elon Musk’s barrage of changes continue to cross new red-lines that could wind up threatening the viability of the company itself.

Watch Video Show less