See more by Rozena Crossman

Society

Spiderman To Jewish Stars: Global Vaccine Protests Get Ugly

More protests are bound to spread after President Biden announced that vaccinations will become mandatory for millions of U.S. workers in certain categories of employment, including those who work for the federal government and large corporations.

Vaccines used to be a quiet thing: someone getting a flu shot or UNICEF shipping off jabs to children in a faraway country. No longer. COVID-19 has put vaccinations at the center of both global health policy and national partisan politics — and plenty of noise has ensued.

After some initial demonstrations earlier this year critical of slow vaccination rollouts, protests are now firmly focused on local and national policies that require vaccines, including obligatory jabs for medical workers and the so-called "green pass" vaccine-required access to certain locations and activities. No doubt more protests are bound to spread in the United States after last week's announcement by U.S. President Joe Biden that vaccinations will become mandatory for millions of workers in certain categories of employment, including those who work for the federal government and large corporations.

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Society

Bataclan Trial: Fighting Terrorism With Democratic Weapons

The trial opens this week of those accused of masterminding the Nov. 13, 2015 attacks at Parisian cafés and restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall. Le Monde's front-page editorial puts the court hearings into historical context.

—Editorial—

PARIS — Beginning on Wednesday, the French will spend months reliving a night from hell: the attacks of November 13, 2015, which plunged Paris into the abyss of mass terrorism.

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In The News

Taliban Government, Paris Attacks Trial, Lazy Tax Advisor

Welcome to Wednesday, where the Taliban unveil their government, crypto is plummeting after El Salvador embraces bitcoin and one lazy Swedish tax advisor gets busted. In Mexico, we meet the nurse who has become the face of pandemic fatigue.


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Economy

Work → In Progress: Redefining Our Work-Life Balance

Telework, telework, telework … The concept may seem like old hat at this point. And yet, there are also new elements to the phenomenon that keep cropping up — new words, shifting workplace relationships, evolving office spaces — as society continues to morph around this shifting reality.

Fascinating innovations around our new work-life balance are still blossoming, in other words — and negative repercussions are still taking us by surprise. This edition of Work → In Progress stays ahead of the game, pinpointing the problems and solutions that will be on our minds even in a fully-vaccinated future.

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Weird

In Alsace, A Town Name Too Long For E-Commerce

Can you say 'Niederschaeffolsheim' three times fast?

Along the border with Germany, the French region of Alsace is known for its white wine, Christmas markets and … ridiculously long town names. So long, in fact, that one resident of the little town of Niederschaeffolsheim was unable to buy a pair of sneakers.

Here's how this unusual online clash played out recently between the old Alsatian language and modern word counts, as reported in local daily Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace. A 16-year-old named Justine was wrapping up her purchase on Foot Locker's website when she was prompted to insert her address. The box, however, had a limit of 15 letters, and Niederschaeffolsheim adds up to 20. "I thought it was surely an error, so I re-tried but it didn't work," she told the newspaper. "I can't do anything about the name of my village."

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Ideas

Translating Amanda Gorman, The Absurdity Of Identity Profiling

After the young Black American poet's breakthrough at Biden's inauguration, some say her work shouldn't be translated by white non-women. One woman writer from Martinique says these critics are undermining the essence of translation.

Efforts to translate the celebrated poem that Amanda Gorman, the young Black American poet, recited at the U.S. Presidential inauguration have sparked controversy. Some believe her works should not be tinterpreted by white, non-women translators. Suzanne Dracius, a writer from Martinique and member of the Parliament of Francophone Women Writers, writes about how this type of racial assignment undermines the entire point of translation.

-OpEd-

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Society

From Astrophysics To Zebras, A World Tour Of Weird Livestreams

Remember when time was one of the most limited resources anybody could have? Juggling our agendas, we rushed between work meetings, weekend trips, shopping, dinners and countless other social obligations, as business gurus built an entire industry around time management.

Of course COVID-19 lockdowns and curfews have pushed us into a new, suspended period that Belgian philosopher Pascal Chabot calls "hypertime," where some have kept calm and carried on by baking bread as others sink deep inside the Netflix catalogue.

But with our collective cabin fever now over the one-year mark, the number of at-home pastimes to occupy us seems to be dwindling. That leaves us time (eternity?) for the internet's ultimate time suck and virtual link to the outside world: the livestream. From watching zebras gallop in South Africa to terrible driving in Salem, Massachusetts, here is a round-up of some of the most random real-time feeds from around the globe.

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Weird

Rare Caribbean Frog Hops On Banana, Flies To France — Only Banana Is Eaten

Perhaps it was looking to make a statement about the carbon footprint of the food industry, or maybe it was hoping to hop up the Eiffel Tower some day. No one will ever know why (or how) the tiny Guadeloupean frog clung to a banana for 6,400 kilometers to land in Europe, but the odd adventure ends well.

It begins with a student in Bordeaux, France who was about to bite into a banana she'd just bought at a local market, when she noticed a tiny semi-translucent creature on the peel. According to FranceInfo, the little-amphibian-that-could measures only 3 centimeters and is believed to be a Barlagne Robber frog, known as eleutherodactylus barlagnei. Commonly found in Guadeloupe, the tree frog has been listed as endangered by the United Nations' Environment Program (UNEP) since 1991.

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Geopolitics

Exclusive: The Secret Global Data Cell Infiltrating Jihadists

We knew the name: Operation Gallant Phoenix. But now Le Monde has exclusive access to details of the U.S.-led, Jordan-based effort to use digital tools to track, capture and convict some of the most dangerous perpetrators of Islamist terror around the wor

Hidden from view in the quiet heat of Jordan, a vast data war is being waged. Ground zero is an American military base in the heart of the Hashemite kingdom, where for the past five years, a silent tracking system has been developed based on meticulous archives. The goal of this painstaking project? Identifying and consolidating the traces of every kind of jihadist fighter to pursue them in any way possible — including in the courts.

This extraordinary project was long run by the Pentagon and kept completely under wraps. While it remains a confidential operation to this day, it's been mentioned briefly by official sources across the Atlantic and by a few intelligence unit insiders in European media. Yet the undertaking was never disclosed to the public in detail. Today, Le Monde can reveal the origins and the modus operandi of what is known under the code name "Operation Gallant Phoenix" (OGP).

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Work In Progress

Work → In Progress: Telework Is Changing How We See The Office

The enduring pandemic has forced the world to develop new ways of working. What once were casual chats at water coolers are now endless WhatsApp group message chains, while cubicles and corner offices have been replaced by everyone's home kitchen table... not to mention your children doing (or not doing!) their schoolwork beside you. The good news is that the health crisis should begin to ease in the coming months, and most of us will be able to return to the office. Still, nothing will ever be the same after the taste we've had of — and the innovation sparked by — our remote reality.

This edition of Work → In Progress explores how the new work environment is bound to be an ever and always evolving process:

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Future

French Survivors Of Terrorism Must Now Battle Online Abuse

Three survivors of terrorism in France are now being targeted online for the compassion they have shown towards the children of Islamic militants. They are taking the power in their own hands and taking the social media giant to court.

PARIS — The survivor of a terrorist attack in Paris, the parent of a victim of terrorism and a former hostage have been targeted online for their compassion toward the children of Islamic militants. All three are taking the social media giant to court for non-action in the face of serious harassment.

Social media platforms somehow manage to remain the center of public discourse yet struggle to address the ensuing legal responsibilities. This is, in any case, what the subpoena sent to Twitter on Jan. 28 on behalf of three online harassment victims is trying to prove.

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Weird

In Ottawa, The Neighborhood Bully Is A House Cat

While some cities are plagued by youth gangs and others by encroaching wild animals, one neighborhood of Ottawa is reckoning with a small but very scary cat.


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