- From the mosque to Ukraine’s frontlines
- Netflix's boost in Romania
- A failed 10-ton heist
- … and much more.
What do you remember from the news this week?
1. Where was former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro while his supporters were storming government buildings in Brasilia?
2. What was found in Washington, D.C., that left U.S. President Joe Biden “surprised”?
3. Which world record did Elon Musk just break? Most retweeted selfie / Largest loss of personal fortune / Longest Tesla drive without recharging
4. With the use of certain chemicals declining, what major atmospheric forecast was announced?
[Answers at the bottom of this newsletter]
Bert’s Books, an independent bookstore in Swindon, near London, received some serious Twitter love for its cheeky bit of royal trolling on the occasion of the release of Prince Harry’s book Spare, strategically displaying copies of the tell-all-no-holds-barred memoir next to Bella Mackie 2021 novel How To Kill Your Family.
• Copenhagen’s famous Noma to close next year: Copenhagen restaurant Noma, regularly rated one the world's best with three Michelin stars, has announced it will close at the end of 2024, to reinvent itself as a laboratory dedicated to “food innovation and the development of new flavors.” Its chef René Redzepi admitted that despite charging clients $760 for food, it was difficult for the restaurant to make ends meet and pay its large staff a fair wage.
• Netflix's Wednesday boosts tourism in Romania: Fans of Netflix’s hit series Wednesday, which became the platform’s second-most watched show on the streaming platform last year, are flocking to Romania where much of the Addams Family spinoff was shot. A tour operator recently registered a 55% increase in hotel occupancy around the country’s capital city Bucharest.
• Rock RIPs: Jeff Beck, the influential British rock guitarist who rose to fame as a member of the Yardbirds before forming the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart, died from bacterial meningitis at age 78. Lisa Marie Presley, the American singer and only child of Elvis Presley, died from cardiac arrest at the age of 54.
• Three arrested after trying to steal 10-ton Egyptian statue: Egyptian authorities said three people had been arrested for attempting to steal a 10-ton of the pharaoh Ramses II in the ancient southern city of Aswan. The suspects were equipped with a crane in a bid to “lift the statue and excavate antiquities in the area.”
• Blackpink to make K-pop history at Coachella: South Korean group Blackpink will headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California on April 15 and 22, becoming the first K-pop act to have the top spot at the iconic U.S. festival. The event’s main lineup also includes Puerto Rican hit rapper Bad Bunny and R&B star Frank Ocean.
Russia’s complicated history with Islam stems from Moscow’s repression of the religious minority. Muslims in Ukraine are now even more committed to a project for a multi-religious society that Kyiv adopts. Yevhen Rudenko writes for Ukrainska Pravda about how Ukrainian Mufti Said Ismagilov is ready to defend his nation for that cause.
Read the full story: Meet The Mufti Of Ukraine, From Friday Prayers To The Front Line
"Two Presidents, Two Polemics..", the “Garagen-Affäre” … and “what happened to Biden’s face?”
Newspapers from Germany to Italy to Mexico and Lebanon and beyond are trying to gauge the ramifications for the ongoing Biden v. Trump showdown.
Read the full story: Eyes On U.S. — World Peeks In Biden’s Garage, Files Fire Up International Coverage
China’s state-run nightly news programs side step the rising rates of infections and deaths from COVID-19, focusing instead on the day’s activities of the country's leaders. “But no one is fooled,” writes Pierre Haski in a piece explaining how the ruling Chinese Communist party is mishandling the pandemic in a whole new way following the sudden end to the strict Zero-COVID policy.
Read the full story: China's COVID Coverup Is The Perfect Script For One-Party Rule
A team of researchers at the University of Cambridge have come up with a system that uses renewable energy to transform plastic waste and greenhouse gases into useful products. Their solar-powered technology allows for the transformation of CO2 into “syngas”, a major component of sustainable liquid fuels; meanwhile, plastic bottles can be turned into glycolic acid, a widely-used component in the cosmetics industry.
32: That is the world record of most skips by a dog on its hind legs in 30 seconds, set by Balu (and German trainer Wolfgang Lauenburger). Who’s ein gut boy?
➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
• The Pentagon announced Ukrainian troops will begin training on the Patriot missile system at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
• The World Economic Forum will hold its annual meeting from Jan. 16-20 in Davos, Switzerland.
• All major French unions called for strikes on Jan. 19 against an unpopular reform of the pension system that pushes the retirement age to 64.
News quiz answers:
1. While his supporters were wreaking havoc in Brasilia, former President Jair Bolsonaro was in Florida, where he’d flown shortly before the inauguration of his successor, President Lula. Bolsonaro was then admitted to a hospital in Orlando, suffering from stomach pains linked to a stabbing in an attempted assassination in 2018.
2. Caches of classified documents were found on two different properties linked to U.S. President Joe Biden: at his former think tank office in Washington, and in the garage of his Delaware home. Biden said he was “surprised” at the discovery.
3. From November 2021 to December 2022, Elon Musk lost around $165 billion, due primarily to a fall in value of shares in his electric car firm Testa. This, according to the Guinness World Record, constitutes the largest loss of personal fortune in history.
4. As use of certain noxious chemicals has declined, the ozone layer is on track to recover completely within the next decades.
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*Photo: Noma via Facebook