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Lorraine Olaya

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People gather in the garden of Hof 8, a self-sufficient home.
Germany

Maxing Out Energy Self-Sufficiency: Houses That Fuel Themselves

Against the backdrop of skyrocketing electricity and gas prices, the idea of houses that produce their own energy is more attractive than ever.

WEIKERSHEIM — This corner of the state of Baden-Württemberg, in southwest Germany, is a popular tourist destination, boasting a Renaissance-era castle and the pretty old town center. But recently, Weikersheim has gained a new attraction for visitors interested in modern architecture and energy efficiency.

Walk down Bachgasse in the Schäftersheim quarter and you’ll find Hof 8, an award-winning development that has been praised not only for its modern conversion of the old farm buildings but also because the houses produce more energy than they use.

The renovated 19th-century farm has solar panels on every roof, innovative wind-energy installations, a groundwater pump and, of course, heavily insulated walls. An ingenious heating and energy storage system ensures the buildings are completely self-sufficient.

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Picture of the Burj Al Arab hotel from the window of an aeroplane
Economy

Dubai Postcard: Russian Oligarchs Find Refuge From Sanctions In UAE

Hit with Western sanctions, Russian oligarchs are racing against time to relocate their assets to tax havens. They turn to private banks where transactions, opaque as they are in the UAE for instance, make it almost impossible to trace funds.

DUBAI — In the neo-baroque hall of the Burj Al Arab hotel, surrounded by colored marbles, one can hear all the world’s languages. A mirroring image of this cosmopolitan bubble that Dubai has become over the past 30 years, a sort of Monaco of the Middle East. But from large red armchairs, it’s a Slavic atmosphere that stands out the most.

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At 2,000 to 12,000 euros a night, the rooms at the Burj Al Arab, situated on an artificial island, make it the most expensive palace in the emirate of Dubai — and the preferred meeting site of Russia’s richest businessmen. They are, of course, close to the Kremlin’s networks since it is virtually impossible to make a fortune, and above all, to keep it, without at least getting Vladimir Putin’s seal of approval first.

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Stock photo of a jar filled with coins

Where Expats (Don’t) Have To Worry About Finances & Housing

Three Southeast Asian cities are at the top of the Finance & Housing Index in the Expat Insider survey report — while destinations in Western Europe do not do well.

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The Finance & Housing Index measures expats’ satisfaction with the availability and affordability of housing abroad, as well as their financial situation and their disposable household income in relation to living expenses. Taking a closer look at the findings offers unique insights into life abroad in various destinations.

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For African Diplomacy, The Ukraine War Opens A Whole New Era
Geopolitics

For African Diplomacy, The Ukraine War Opens A Whole New Era

Facing geopolitical devastation caused by the war in Ukraine, the African continent cannot be subordinate and obliged to choose one power over another. It must bring about an African foreign policy for a new multipolar world.

Those still in doubt just have to listen again to Vladimir Putin’s war-mongering speech on the eve of the invasion. The Russian president clearly calls for a reconfiguration of the post-Cold War international order, which would reduce the West’s grip on the world. The first country targeted by this repositioning strategy is the U.S., whose military presence Moscow intends to challenge in Europe, mainly in the East.

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After more than a month of conflict, the question is no longer whether the Russian armed forces will withdraw from Ukraine, but if Putin could take advantage of this new demonstration of force to impose new rules on Americans and their allies, in the new world in which Russia will be a center of politico-military domination in its own right.

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Russia-Ukraine: What Compromise Would Look Like, And How We Get There
Ideas

Russia-Ukraine: What Compromise Would Look Like, And How We Get There

The war continues to rage as negotiations sputter. However, the search for a compromise that's honorable for both parties is the only way to avoid escalating violence. There is a way to build the proverbial "golden bridge" of retreat for all.

-Analysis-

PARIS — For 105 days, from November 30, 1939, to March 13, 1940, Finland resisted against the USSR, a country 47 times bigger in population and 66 times larger geographically.

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