🎲 BUT FIRST, OUR WEEKLY NEWS QUIZ
What do you remember from this week’s news?
1. Which three European leaders have pledged to support Ukraine to become an EU candidate?
2. John Hinckley was released after spending 41 years in prison for attempting to assassinate which US president?
3. A cafe in Kyiv created a new croissant inspired by a world leader’s haircut. Is it: Donald Trump, Boris Johnson or Kim Jong-un?
4. For only the third time in its history, a man has won the annual 36km race in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales. What was he running against?
[Answers at the bottom of this newsletter]
History in the making? A threesome photo shoot on the way to Kyiv
In politics (and for those who cover it), we tend to think in twos: runoffs and showdowns, one-on-one clashes and bilateral summits. But three can also be a magic number.
On Thursday, we looked at the first photos of the three European amigos on the early morning train to Kyiv: Italian Mario Draghi, Frenchman Emmanuel Macron and German Olaf Scholz would make a magical little big story of the day.
No doubt that was part of the calculation: it is better to avoid the Franco-German duo, and bring the diplomatic weight carried by these three old guards (and biggest economies) of the European Union. It would be rich in storytelling. And pictures.
There they welcomed the new day, smiled and chatted around a comfortable meeting table in the wagon: Macron, 44, leaning on his status as a political boy after his recent re-election; Scholz, 64, looks a bit shaky after being greeted on the world stage with Europe’s most dangerous conflict in half a century; and Draghi, 74, the steady hand who has handled global economic crises but never war.
The three carried the message to the world that they came (decidedly and consciously: together) to support the Ukrainian people and their own 44-year-old leader, President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Their arrival came as Russia was steadily gaining ground in the eastern Donbass region and suspicion was spreading that Europe wanted Zelensky to negotiate with the invaders. Nopethe three assured their hosts, support was stronger than ever to fight for “victory” over Russia, and more military and humanitarian aid (and economic pressure on Moscow) would come.
The other message was that Ukraine’s attempt to fast-track its application to join the European Union had their collective support. It is a crucial choice that, like Lucie Robequain of the Parisian daily The echoes points out, concerns both Europe and Ukraine.
Yet wartime visitation is ultimately about war. And the following photos showed the three Europeans on their tour of the destruction left by the Russian invaders in Iprin, a suburb of Kyiv. The smiles disappeared, the conversations ceased.
But the day ended on the diplomatic front, with Macron, Draghi and Scholz (as well as Zelensky and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis who had come separately after Macron’s visit to Bucharest) speaking to the assembled press and staff. .
It’s the kind of photoshoot of world leaders we’re used to seeing almost daily. Yet the most famous diplomatic photos date back to February 1945. And it happened not far from Kyiv, at the Black Sea port of Yalta, a city on the disputed Crimean peninsula that Russia annexed to the Ukraine. in 2014.
Photos show Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt bundled up against the winter cold, seated among their military and diplomatic personnel and the press. The annals of world history tell us that the “Big Three” essentially sorted the post-World War II map in Yalta, paving the way for the Cold War confrontation that would dominate the rest of the 20th century.
In retrospect, for better or for worse, it may seem like things couldn’t have turned out any differently. But we know that reality is never so orderly and that world leaders are both subjects and shapers of events.
And so, someday in the distant or not-so-distant future, we may look back to those photos of Macron, Scholz and Draghi laughing together on their train ride to Kyiv. What were they saying to each other? And what shall we say of the turn of their plans?
🎭 5 CULTURAL THINGS TO KNOW
• Netflix plans real life squid game reality TV-show: Dystopia no longer exists? Netflix is developing a reality TV show inspired by its hit series squid game: 456 participants will compete in games for children to try to win the final prize of 4.5 million dollars. Unlike the series, thankfully, losers will only be sent home.
• Queen Elizabeth becomes the second longest-serving monarch: Queen Elizabeth II has officially surpassed Thai monarch Rama IX and his 70 years and 126 days reign to become the second longest reigning monarch in history, behind France’s Louis XIV, who reigned for 72 years and 110 days .
• BTS announces an interruption: The seven members of popular K-pop group BTS have announced that they will be temporarily going their separate ways to focus on their own personal projects.
• 100 years of Ulysses:Dublin hosts period costume events throughout the week, to celebrate James Joyce’s enigmatic modernist novel Ulysses, who turned 100. June 16 is known to Joyce fans as “Bloomsday”, a reference to the novel’s plot, centering on a man called Leopold Bloom as he strolls through Dublin on June 16, 1904.
• Queen B penetrates her Renaissance time: American singer Beyoncé has teased the surprise release of her first album in six years, Renaissancedue July 29.
🇷🇺🏫 “Patriotic education” (and snitches) back in Russian classrooms
The war in Ukraine has brought changes to Russian schools as Vladimir Putin’s regime has stepped up the push of its curriculum into classrooms. In addition to structural changes and “patriotic education”, teachers and students now live in an uncertain atmosphere where students are encouraged to denounce each other. From the 12-year-old dissident to the teacher facing 10 years in prison, this article from the German daily Die Welt explores the return of groupthink to Russian classrooms.
Read the full story: The return of groupthink in Russian classrooms
📱💊 BRIGHT IDEA
Researchers in the United States and South Korea have developed a tiny edible QR code as a tool in the fight against fake pharmaceuticals. The code, which consists of a pattern made of fluorescent silk proteins, can be affixed to an individual pill, tablet or capsule, or placed in a vial of liquid medicine. Users can then scan the code with a smartphone to get information about a particular drug in a way that is more secure and harder to counterfeit.
🕺⚽ SMILE OF THE WEEK
Australia’s Andrew Redmayne became man of the match as he sent his country to the World Cup final in style. In Monday’s Intercontinental Qualifiers against Peru, Redmayne was brought on as a substitute goalkeeper for the shootout, three minutes before the end of the game. The dancing, smiling keeper became an instant hero as he stopped Luis Advincila from scoring.
⏩ LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
• The World Health Organization (WHO) will convene an emergency committee next week to decide whether the recent outbreak of monkeypox is a public health emergency of international concern – WHO’s highest alert level , which currently applies to the COVID-19 pandemic and poliomyelitis. Monkeypox has spread to at least 39 countries this year, including countries in parts of Africa where the virus is endemic.
• Monday marks World Refugee Day, designated by the United Nations. This year, the focus will be on the right to seek safety.
• The Bulgarian government will face a no-confidence vote next week after its main opposition party tabled a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Kiril Petkov’s government over its economic policy.
• New Zealand will celebrate its first Matariki public holiday on Friday. It will be the first public holiday to recognize Te Ao Māori, also known as the Maori worldview.
Answers to the news quiz:
1. During their official visit to Kyiv, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that they supported Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union.
2. John Hinckley, who attempted to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan in 1981, has been fully released after 41 years. Hinckley had been found not guilty by reason of insanity for the shooting, which seriously injured Reagan and three others.
3. A cafe in Kyiv released its new pastry in tribute to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s support for Ukraine. Her tousled blonde hair inspired a croissant topped with wavy meringue and vanilla ice cream that became a hit delight.
4. Ricky Lightfoot, a British runner, won the “Man v. Horse” race, which has been pitting people against horses since 1981. This year he won against 1,000 people and 50 horses, beating the fastest horse by two minutes.
✍️ Newsletter by Worldcrunch
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*Photo: Filippo Attili/ANSA/ZUMA
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