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News of the day: Corona in North Korea, Trump's comeback, gymnast Ivan Kuljak


North Korea's head of state Kim is looking for someone to blame for the corona outbreak in the country. America's ex-president Trump trembles for his power in his own party. And the World Gymnastics Federation bans a Russian athlete for his war propaganda. This is the situation on Wednesday evening.


The corona situation in North Korea is getting worse - but instead of talking about his own mistakes, dictator Kim accuses his authorities of being lazy

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Kim Jong Un reports 232,880 new cases in 24 hours


- / dpa

North Korea's dictator is notorious for pithy propaganda slogans.

"Our cause is just, and the power of Korea united with the truth is infinite," is one of the many slogans narrated by Kim Jong-un.

Many people in Western countries regard the man and his isolated state as somehow funny relics.

The US filmmakers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, for example, dealt with the North Korean dictatorship in the film satire »The Interview«.

Unfortunately, however, the people ruled by Kim Jong-un are seriously suffering: today it was announced that 232,880 new cases of corona infections were counted in North Korea within 24 hours, and the virus is spreading quickly in the isolated country.

North Korea's KCNA news agency also reported today that Kim Jong-un has criticized the authorities.

He accused their staff of inertia and criticized that the "immaturity of the state's capacity to deal with the crisis" had exacerbated the "complexity and difficulties" in combating the pandemic.

My colleague Veronika Hackenbroich reported yesterday that North Korea rejected an offer for three million doses of a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine last year.

On the grounds that these should rather be given to »needier countries«.

Nor was AstraZeneca's vaccine, which North Korea could have gotten through the WHO's Covax initiative, was unwelcome.

Just under a week after the first official confirmation of a corona outbreak in North Korea, the suspected number of cases is skyrocketing.

In total, the authorities now count 1.72 million patients with fever symptoms and 62 deaths.

Kim has mobilized the military to assist authorities and medical professionals with testing and treating patients, for example.

It would benefit the population more if Kim's government allowed foreign aid, which has already been offered from South Korea, for example.

Then ventilators, medicines and vaccines could be delivered to North Korea.

The situation in North Korea is difficult to assess, says my colleague Veronika, but she is very worried about the people there.

"I hope that Kim Jong-un will accept the help offered regardless of all political considerations." But the colleague also warns against Western arrogance.

"The situation in North Korea shows us once again what a dangerous virus Sars-CoV-2 is."

  • Read the full story here: More than 230,000 new cases – Dictator Kim accuses authorities of being lazy


Donald Trump's candidates are not proving too strong in the Republican primary - alarming for his comeback plans

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Former US President Trump campaigning for the Republicans

Photo: Hannah Beier / REUTERS

The poltergeist of US politics was never entirely gone, only submerged a little;

now, however, Donald Trump is loudly involved again.

For the time being, the ex-president is only active in his own Republican party.

He wants to secure his power with a winning streak in the primaries.

Before the congressional elections in the fall, Trump is trying to get as many of his candidates as possible into the best places.

In the end, only people who support him with absolute loyalty should sit in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, but also in important governorships.

I think it's a surprising sign of life from the Republican Party that Trump's record on his operation has been mixed so far.

At an important race in the state of Pennsylvania, Trump still had to tremble today.

The candidate he is supporting, Mehmet Oz, a doctor and former TV star, is going head-to-head with his rival David McCormick, a hedge fund manager.

After the election on Tuesday, there was initially no clear winner.

Oz and McCormick were only a few hundred votes apart.

It is possible that the winner will only be known after recounts in some constituencies in the next few days.

"Even if Oz were to win, the mediocre performance of his favorite is already an alarm signal for Trump," writes my colleague Roland Nelles about the ex-president's comeback efforts.

"Obviously, large sections of his own party base don't follow his every word when he recommends a candidate for election."

However, Trump did not have to accept disappointment everywhere, but also pushed through some of his candidates.

According to my colleague Roland, the situation is "confused".

Trump could get the next setback as early as next week.

Then there are the internal party primaries in Georgia, and there could be a defeat for Trump in the decision on the governorship.

Incumbent Governor Brian Kemp is defending his post there against Trump candidate David Perdue.

All surveys currently see Kemp clearly in the lead.«

  • Read more here: Winner Trump, Loser Trump 


The World Gymnastics Federation bans the Russian athlete Ivan Kuljak - because he demonstrated at a scandalous appearance for Putin's war of aggression

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Ivan Kulyak at the Russian Gymnastics Championships in April

Photo: Yegor Aleyev / IMAGO / ITAR-TASS

Ever since Vladimir Putin sent his military into a war of aggression in Ukraine that was claiming new victims every day, international organizers and associations have banned almost all athletes from Russia and Belarus from competitions.

The world of sports is similar to the culture industry, in which artists from Russia, conductors for example, have had to give up their jobs in recent weeks or are confronted with the cancellation of their performances.

Neither in sport nor in culture does I understand the fundamental exclusion of people who are often not even asked about their political views.

Yesterday evening, the world federation FIG, in which gymnasts are united, announced the decision of its ethics committee to ban the 20-year-old Russian athlete Ivan Kulyak for at least one year.

In this case, the exclusion seems perfectly correct to me, too.

Because Kuljak caused a scandal in Doha at the beginning of March when he wore a "Z" on his shirt instead of the coat of arms at the award ceremony after the decision on parallel bars - where he came third - as a sign of support for Russia's war in Ukraine .

Next to him on the winner's podium was the winner Ilya Kovtun from Ukraine.

The letter Z, as you probably know, is used by supporters of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and stands for "za pobedu", "For Victory".

Kuljak was subsequently disqualified from the World Cup and has to return the bronze medal and the prize money of 500 Swiss francs.

"One can discuss whether athletes should be excluded solely because of their origin, whether a distinction should not be made between national teams and individual athletes," says my colleague Sabrina Knoll from the SPIEGEL sports department.

'But in this case any discussion is pointless.

No athlete can say more clearly than Kuljak: I support my president's war of aggression against the Ukrainian people, which violates international law.

This disqualifies him from any kind of fair competition.«

  • Read full story here: World Federation bans Russians Kuljak for Z symbol on shirt

And here is more news and background information on the war in Ukraine:

  • Russian soldier pleads guilty to the murder of a civilian:

    A soldier is on trial in Kiev in the first trial of atrocities committed by the Russian military in Ukraine.

    According to media reports, at the start of the trial, the accused confessed to the murder of an unarmed 62-year-old.

  • Romania plans to expand gas production in the Black Sea:

    Romania wants to persuade international multinationals to develop gas fields off its coast and is luring them with financial benefits.

    The first groups are already signaling interest.

  • Italian energy company Eni bows to Russian requirements for gas payments:

    one account in euros, one in rubles: Italy's energy supplier Eni complies with the Russian announcement for future gas deliveries.

    The step should be closely observed in Brussels.

  • Find all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine here: The News Update

(Would you like to receive the "Situation in the evening" conveniently by e-mail in your inbox? Here you can order the daily briefing as a newsletter.)

What else is important today

  • Nine million people die prematurely every year from environmental toxins:

    fine dust in the air, rubbish in the water, lead in the soil: according to an international study, environmental pollution is one of the greatest health hazards - with more fatalities than war, terrorism or malaria.

  • »We want to build, we should build, but we can't build«

    Russia's attack on Ukraine has had unforeseen consequences for the already strained German housing market: more and more construction projects are being cancelled.

  • IS fighter leaves court free after verdict:

    She joined the terrorist militia "Islamic State", married an IS fighter and owned a firearm: A 22-year-old was sentenced to probation in Halle.

My favorite story today...

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Table tennis pro Timo Boll: "I always reckon with three or four possible reactions"

Photo: Gaby Gerster / Your SPIEGEL

...offers a few great athlete tips that also help non-athletes in real life.

In the current issue of »Dein SPIEGEL«, which has just been published, 14 sports professionals reveal their tricks.

One of them is table tennis player Timo Boll.

The interview with him is presented today on the SPIEGEL website.

In it, Boll explains, among other things, what table tennis has to do with chess.

»Table tennis is a very strategic sport.

You should have a lot of plays in mind to know in every situation: Where am I going to play so that I have an advantage?” he says.

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Order from Amazon

Order at

Photo: Your MIRROR

And fundamentally on the art of competition: »You have to penetrate the mind of your opponent and think: what kind of guy is that?

Is this a risk player who often tries something surprising?

Or is that more of a risk-averse person?” He himself, says the athlete, is “more of a safety thinker.

I try to wear the opponent down."

  • Read the full story here: »I try to wear down the opponent« 

What we recommend today at SPIEGEL+

  • »480 were allowed to vote, 57 came«

    The turnout in North Rhine-Westphalia was historically low – and nowhere as low as in the Duisburg III district.

    Election worker Günter Müller has an explanation for this.

    And an idea what might help.

  • "Finland hasn't been neutral for 30 years"

    Because of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Finland wants to join NATO.

    Juhana Aunesluoma, a historian in Helsinki, explains why this step does not mean a break in foreign policy.

  • The desert Tesla:

    Peter Rawlinson once worked for Elon Musk.

    Until he thought he could build an even better electric car – with money from Saudi Arabia.

    Now he is also attacking in Europe with the Lucid Air.

What is less important today: Beauty-conscious bully mother

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Musk on the Cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue


Sports Illustrated/ZUMA Wire/IMAGO

  • Maye Musk, 74-year-old model and mother of entrepreneur Elon Musk, features on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimwear issue.

    Maye Musk is the oldest cover model in the history of the US magazine, whose annual "Swimsuit Issue" brought it to international fame.

    On this occasion, Musk's mother did not comment in a video about her son, the multi-billionaire Elon, who is currently rather rudely haggling for the Twitter company, but about female self-confidence: "I'm really looking forward to showing people that women in their seventies are beautiful are."

Typo of the day

, now corrected: Flashlight: Kim Kardashian caused a stir at the Met Gala with a Marilyn Monroe Klein.

Cartoon of the Day:

Addressing Generations

And tonight?

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Elke Heidenreich



Could you read a novel again?

For example, the book Eine Laune Gottes, which video columnist Elke Heidenreich is very enthusiastic about in the latest issue of SPIEGEL Bestsellers Read More.


Margaret Laurence

's novel tells the story of a grown woman who lives with her elderly mother.

When Nick, a former school friend, comes to town to visit his parents, he begins an affair with her.

"It's her first physical relationship with a man, at the age of 34," says Heidenreich.

"We're in the 1960s, the book was written in 1966, but it's still very modern." The heroine knew from the start that nothing would come of this affair, says Ms. Heidenreich.

'Nick will go away again and forget her.

It's only for one summer, but it changes everything about her.

It shows her that I am someone too, that I finally have to live my life.«

A lovely evening.

Yours sincerely,

Wolfgang Hoebel

Here you can order the »Situation in the Evening« by e-mail.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-05-18

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News/Politics 2022-03-23T01:39:54.763Z

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