When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Trump v. Merkel, In Any Language

Trump and Merkel in Taormina on May 27
Trump and Merkel in Taormina on May 27

The ruins left behind by President Donald Trump's first foreign trip don't look anything like the archeological wonders in Taormina, Sicily, site of this past weekend's G7 summit. The rubble left in Trump's path can be reassembled in brutal words of German, French, Italian, English and other languages spoken and written in different European and world capitals, gauging the potential lasting damage to global alliances by the new inward-looking American foreign policy.

Ein kapitaler Fehlschlag, wrote Süddeutsche Zeitung"s columnist Claus Hulverscheidt. That's how you say "absolute failure" in German.

Both in gestures and deeds, the U.S. president has shown on the world stage that he is truly ready to pull America back from longstanding alliances and its role as global superpower. Trump wouldn't sign on Saturday to a joint document to carry out the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, and appeared at odds with the other leaders on trade, after chiding NATO allies last week for not investing in the military alliance.

Denmark's Politiken says Trump's first trip overseas "destroyed every illusion that he might be better than feared: He's just as bad as feared."The Atlantic"s David Frum describes the trip as a "catastrophe for U.S.-Europe relations." Italy's La Repubblica meanwhile speaks of Trump as the man who sabotato the G7. That's Italian for "sabotage."

But the most devastating words Sunday came in the language of Goethe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that Europe could no longer rely on the U.S. the way they have been doing since World War II. "We, Europeans, have to take our destiny into our own hands," she said, speaking at an election rally in the southern German city of Munich. "The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I've experienced that in the last few days."

He's just as bad as feared.

How far and deep will Merkel's words reach? It's worth noting that yesterday's comments were made on the campaign trail (a general election will take place in September), in a state — Bavaria — that has been very critical of her leadership, especially regarding the migrant crisis. And clearly, standing up to Trump has become a politically beneficial tactic.

Still, this is bigger than election-year calculations. On Monday, when new French President Emmanuel Macron was hosting a potentially tense bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Paris-based daily Le Mondenoted another significance of Merkel's declaration: "When Angela Merkel says ‘we, Europeans," she's sending a call out to France, the only alternative in case the Americans and British wind up walking away for good."

Henry Farrell in The Washington Post, says the signal the German Chancellor sent could end up shaking up the world's entire set of alliances. "If the current U.S. administration has decided that it no longer needs to rely on allies as much as in the past, those allies are deciding that they cannot rely on the United States anymore." In any language, that usually spells trouble.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

This is a tale of a Ukrainian special forces operator who wound up surviving 14 hours at sea, staying afloat and dodging Russian air and sea patrols.

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

Looking at the Black Sea in Odessa, Ukraine.

Rustem Khalilov and Roksana Kasumova

KYIV — During a covert operation in the Black Sea, a Ukrainian special agent was thrown overboard and spent the next 14 hours alone at sea, surrounded by enemy forces.

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 agent, who uses the call-sign "Conan," agreed to speak to Ukrainska Pravda, to share the details of nearly being lost forever at sea. He also shared some background on how he arrived in the Ukrainian special forces. Having grown up in a village in a rural territory of Ukraine, Conan describes himself as "a simple guy."

He'd worked in law enforcement, personal security and had a job as a fitness trainer when Russia launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. That's when he signed up with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Main Directorate of Intelligence "Artan" battalion. It was nearly 18 months into his service, when Conan faced the most harrowing experience of the war. Here's his first-hand account:

Keep reading...Show less

The latest