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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Google Search Or SciFi Time Travel? Why Post-War Ukraine Must Begin Now

Why has Russia invaded Ukraine? Internet readers want to know. What will Ukraine be like after the war? That's a question to start answering, even if the battle is far from over.

-Analysis-

KYIV — During the first week of the war in Ukraine, the most frequently searched question on Google was, “Why did Russia invade Ukraine?" In response, a team of Ukrainian communications experts hoping to answer this question posted a large red ‘Why’ button on the official ‘War in Ukraine’ homepage, directing readers to an explanation of Russia’s ideological rationale for invading Ukraine.

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Last week, "cholera" and "Peter I" appeared among the top Google search queries linked to Ukraine. The reasons for each are easy to explain. For the first, outbreaks of contagious diseases, including cholera, have been reported in the occupied city of Mariupol. The city itself is deprived of access to clean drinking water and has no access to hospitals and doctors who specialize in infectious diseases.

And the second?

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Cyber War Chronicles: Meet The Hackers Taking On Russia

The war in Ukraine is not just being fought on the ground. The battle for dominance increasingly happens on the digital field, where a worldwide network of cyber-soldiers conduct attacks to disrupt Russia's war effort, from the outside and inside too.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Russian and Ukrainian hackers have been fighting tit for tat on what we can call the "digital front line." To quantify the firepower involved, the number of ransomware attacks on Russian companies has tripled since Feb. 28, according to Kaspersky Lab, a Russian multinational cybersecurity firm that found a direct link between the uptick in online targeting to the breakout of military conflict in Ukraine.

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Open-Source Methods, The Cyber Weapon Anyone Can Use In Ukraine War

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, journalists and citizens have used open source online intelligence to help the war effort and fight disinformation. NGOs and amateur investigators are even using it to look for evidence of human rights abuses.

“#OSINT”: These five mysterious letters and hashtag have flourished on social media since Russia’s offensive in Ukraine. Open Source Intelligence is older than this conflict which broke out last February, but it the idea became better known to the general public as videos, photos and other conflict-related content abound, especially on social networks.

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What’s hidden behind this acronym is a set of methods allowing the exploitation of open sources on the Internet: videos or photos posted on social media, location data, satellite images or the positions of planes and ships shared by a number of websites.

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Disrupting Death: How Tech Is Shaking Up The Funeral Industry

Funeral undertakers belong to one of the oldest professions in the world. But now, start-ups want to disrupt old-fashioned funeral homes. Unafraid to tackle taboos, new services offer ways to live on digitally after death.

PARIS — The confrontation was aggressive but ultimately turned out to be beneficial. In late January, Lilian Delaveau deeply split the investors of French TV show “Who Wants To Be My Associate?” in which aspiring entrepreneurs present a pitch to experienced investors. The 27-year-old pitched Requiem Code, a QR code app that personalizes graves by displaying various memories of the deceased person in augmented reality when put on a funeral tablet.

“I completely disagree with your project. You are wiping out the contemplation. Each person should be allowed to keep a different memory,” the tourism professional Jean-Pierre Nadim told him.

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In The News
Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

Omicron Spikes, Park Geun-hye Pardoned, Tasty Screens

👋 Bonjour!*

Welcome to Friday, where several European countries see record daily COVID cases, South Korea pardons Park Geun-hye, and Taste-the-TV is a thing. We also look at a familiar story unfolding in Ukraine, where former president Petro Poroshenko has been accused of being in cahoots with Russia.

As mentioned yesterday, the Worldcrunch Today crew is taking a short break, and will be back on Jan. 3, 2022. As always, we’ll continue publishing new stories through the holidays on Worldcrunch! Happy end of the year to all 🥳

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In The News
Jane Herbelin and Jeff Israely

Clashes On Polish-Belarus Border, South Africa’s de Klerk Dies, 600 In Space

👋 سلام*

Welcome to Thursday, where overnight clashes are reported at Poland's border with Belarus, South Africa's last white president died and history links Yuri Gagarin and Elon Musk. We also look at how COVID may be the tipping point to push cities into a bicycle-centric future.

[*Salam - Arabic]

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THE TIMES OF INDIA
Rozena Crossman

Work → In Progress: Gender In The Workplace, Past And Future

PARIS — In 1919, the International Labor Organization adopted the first conventions on women in the workplace. In 2019, the women who won the World Cup earned $850,000 less than their male counterparts. Three waves of feminism have transformed sexual and interpersonal dynamics. Still, the #MeToo movement reminded us of entrenched power-and-sexual dynamics in the workplace. And other contradictions abound: a case is now before the United States Supreme Court about whether a company can force women to wear skirts or fire an employee for being transgender; and even as some women rise to the heights of corporate power, a report last year on gender disparity in tech found that men own 91% of employee and founder equity in Silicon Valley ...

Whatever the gender gap looks like in 2119, at the heart of the matter will be questions about work. The working world is both a microcosm of the world around us and its fuel: a place where networks are formed, ambitions are achieved and wages are earned. This edition of Work → In Progress looks at the future demographics and dynamics around the water coolers of the world.

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LES ECHOS
Olivier Babeau

Don't Fight The Robots: The False Choice Of Worker V. Machine

Mechanization is bound to destroy jobs, which not surprisingly provokes fear. But trying to delay the inevitable only makes matters worse and prepares neither society nor laborer for the future.

PARIS — To comply with the ban on working on Sunday, the Casino superstore in Angers replaced its employees on Sundays with machines, and reduced security staff to outsourced temporary workers. The first Sunday it did that, unions staged vigorous protests that included sporadic violence. It was a perfect metaphor for the antagonistic view of the relationship between workers on the one hand, and technology and consumers on the other. This would-be confrontation must change, and fast.

Many consider, wrongly, that work is a kind of cake to be divvied up. That inevitably generates a zero-sum vision of the need for workers, wherein every new machine means one less position for a person. It overlooks the philosopher Joseph Schumpeter's principle of creative destruction, which insists on new needs and job opportunities emerging as others are met or automated. It is useless to oppose this process. Karl Marx himself once wrote that "technology will always be stronger than legal and political technostructures."

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Germany
Joachim Becker

A Parallel Challenge: Teaching Self-Driving Cars To Park

Germany's Bosch and Daimler are teaming up to achieve a high level of success in autonomous parking, becoming the first to have a marketable system far from Silicon Valley.

-Analysis-

MUNICHMoon-bound rockets and driverless cars have plenty in common. For example, in the 1950s, American road cruisers looked like spaceships on wheels. Steep tailfins and stylized jet engines made the drivers dream of a better, accident-free future. The vision for a vehicle which can steer, brake and accelerate on its own fits in well with this optimistic view of the future. But it turned out that the design elements made for aviation are not quite right for cars. Ultimately it was easier to find a parking space on the Moon than to park autonomously in front of the local supermarket.

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LES ECHOS
Xavier Darcos and Guillaume Leboucher

Making Space In The Classroom For Artificial Intelligence

-OpEd-

PARIS We live in a society that changes rapidly, and we wish for schools that reassure us. Schools that are forward-looking, perhaps. Even our schools in the Third Republic that we refer to so often were anything but retrograde. On the contrary! The school believed in the ability of its Black Hussars — school teachers in the early 20th century, dubbed so because of their long black coats — to not only raise national spirits of their pupils, but also to give their students the skills for their times and instruments for the future. It would be difficult to pretend that the novels by Jules Verne that accompanied this period breathe skepticism and contempt for scientific and technological progress!

Now, we also hear much about reforming our Republic. We can only do so by embracing new knowledge and understanding. Among these elements, the most important one carries an ambiguous name: Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has an adjective that can frighten us.​

While we wait for a better name to come up, AI remains, and we have to take advantage of it. AI fascinates and scares us at the same time because we know that it has the ability to affect our ways of living, working, consuming and learning.

Make the science of our times intelligible for our students.

It's exactly for this reason that we must do exactly what the Black Hussars did: Take the science of our times to make it intelligible for our students. Our answer to all major challenges created by major changes in the past (agricultural revolution, industrial revolution, the invention of electricity, etc) has always been, in principle, simple: education.

But the changes created by AI are so rapid that our educational system and programs have not yet adjusted to absorb the kinds of transformation that AI will bring.

It's why, at the time when the law to ‘bring trust back into schools' was being discussed in parliament, we called for AI to be put at the service of students and teachers in schools.

5th grade pupil using a smartboard — Photo: ​Daniel Reinhardt/ZUMA

AI benefits teachers significantly by automating the teaching of the most basic lessons and thus alleviating some of the most tedious aspects of their job. It is also useful for students because it allows to better adapt the contents and process of learning to their needs.

Should we teach AI? At our foundation, "AI for School," we believe that artificial intelligence and computer programing must be taught and learned like French, maths or foreign languages.

Prepare the citizens of tomorrow in a world that will be theirs.

Make no mistake: The goal of teaching AI or coding is not to make our children become programmers or coders, just like teaching electricity in the old days was not to make all of our kids electricians or engineers. It is to prepare the citizens of tomorrow in a world that will be theirs and will, as we know, integrate AI in everyday life.

To achieve this mission, schools must facilitate collective action, like they have already done in multiple domains. It therefore seems urgent to introduce pedagogical innovation involving all the actors involved in AI and national Education, the expertise of engineers, local communities, businesses... It is important to promote the emergence of local educational ecosystems and paying special attention to priority areas. Using AI is also, very simply, a means to better teaching and learning. And it is only when we put ourselves ahead of the challenges of tomorrow that we will become the true heirs of our founding fathers.

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Germany
Johannes Hillje

Short-Term Thinking, The Ruin Of Today's Politics

Democratic systems offer little incentive for long-term thinking. But unless we can implement true, forward-looking policies, problems like climate change will only multiply.

-OpEd-

BERLIN — The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD) share much of the blame for waning confidence in their future leadership abilities.

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Sources

Watch: OneShot — UNICEF France's Water Night For Children In Haiti

Access to safe water is a universal right. Yet, it is far from being a reality. As part of the United Nations' World Water Day on March 22, UNICEF France created with the French Swimming Federation "La Nuit de l'Eau" (Water Night): 230 swimming pools nationwide are holding water sports events and other fun activities Saturday in an effort to raise awareness (and funds) for water access programs in Haiti.

UNICEF France's 2019 Nuit de l'Eau for children in Haiti — ©Marco Dormino/UNICEF/OneShot

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