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The situation in the morning - Vladimir Putin, World Cup 2022 Qatar, Elon Musk


Why the Russian leadership is blustering against NATO. First gas terminal in the north goes into operation. And: The World Cup is coming to an end – fortunately. That's the situation on Saturday.

Russian rumblers

It is a beautiful and important gesture:

the 2023 Charlemagne Prize goes to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people.

The prize has been awarded in Aachen for services to Europe and European unification since 1950.

Nobody deserves this award more than Zelenskyy and his people.

Two people who will certainly never win the award are

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his loyal aide, ex-President Dmitry Medvedev.

The latter – presumably in the name of his master – again threatened to attack NATO countries.

Armed forces and objects in countries that are officially at war with Russia or are allies of the enemy are legitimate targets for an attack, Medvedev, who is deputy head of the Russian Security Council, wrote on his Telegram channel.

The background to the wild threats are US plans to supply the Ukrainians with state-of-the-art Patriot missiles.

The systems are so good that they could render Russian airstrikes on Ukraine largely ineffective.

Putin would then lose one of his most important levers in this war - terror against the civilian population.

Whether Russia would actually dare to attack NATO territory is a completely different question.

The loud drumming is probably intended primarily for the local audience.

Putin and Medvedev always follow the same pattern, they definitely don't want to be seen as weaklings by their own people.

At least in this respect they are quite transparent.

  • Attacks on infrastructure: How Russia bombs Ukraine in the dark

You can find more news and background information on the war in Ukraine here:

  • Minsk reports that Putin will meet war partner Lukashenko:

    Belarus is Russia's only ally in the Ukraine war, but Kremlin chief Putin has not been in Minsk for years.

    Dictator Lukashenko is now announcing a meeting – on Monday.

  • Is Ukraine's winter offensive coming?

    With targeted attacks behind enemy lines, Kyiv is probably preparing a new offensive.

    It could be one of the hardest in this war: Russia seems to have learned from the last major defeat. 

  • A little piece of peace:

    gas price caps, Russia sanctions, Ukraine aid: At their summit, the EU heads of state and government cleared up many controversial issues.

    It is doubtful whether the compromises will also pass the practical test 

Gas terminal in operation

Germany's first terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) will open this Saturday in Wilhelmshaven.

The system was built in record time.

So that it can go online before Christmas, the authorities have recently issued the final approvals in a fast-track procedure.

After Russian deliveries were largely stopped, the terminal is intended to help close the gas gap that has arisen.

The terminal in Wilhelmshaven can probably cover a good six percent of Germany's annual demand.

Other systems of this type are to follow in the coming months, including in Brunsbüttel (Schleswig-Holstein) and Lubmin (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania).

Before the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Germany got about 55 percent of its gas from Russia.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is also expected to attend the ceremonial opening of the terminal today.

Scholz had already promised several times that the gas supply in Germany was secured for this winter.

Now he also expects that this will be the case in winter 2023/24.

"We can assume that, like this year, if nothing unforeseen happens," said Scholz of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung".

That would be good news then.

  • Floating liquefied natural gas terminals: Germany's LNG supply depends on this man

The World Cup is coming to an end - fortunately

The football World Cup in Qatar ends on Sunday with the final between France and Argentina, fortunately, one might almost say.

It's time to take stock: In the emirate of Qatar, homosexuality is still outlawed despite the »one love armband«, the German team was eliminated in the preliminary round, Oliver Bierhoff has thrown out and members of the European Parliament are involved in an unprecedented corruption scandal.

In short, it could have gone better.

It is not surprising that Fifa President Gianni Infantino still speaks of the “best football World Cup of all time”, he has to say so.

And of course there are always winners in the end.

The future world champions, of course, but also the team from Morocco, who have made it this far to play against Croatia for third place today.

Or the team from Japan, who had a furious start, but were then beaten in the round of 16.

The commercialization of football has often been lamented, it is also progressing with this World Cup.

Billions were made with the World Cup.

And so it should go on.

Fifa boss Infantino announced details of the new Club World Cup.

It is scheduled to start in 2025 and will include 32 teams.

That means even more money could be turned over in the football system.

Or not: At least in Germany, the TV viewing figures for this World Cup have fallen significantly compared to the last one.

Who is surprised?

  • Fifa President: The Infantino era has only just begun 

Here is the current quiz of the day

The starting question today: Mark Rutte has been Prime Minister of the Netherlands since October 2010.

Who was his direct predecessor?

Loser of the day...

Elon Musk

again .

You have to do that first of all, to be nominated twice in one week as the loser of the day at this important point.

Congratulations Elon Musk!

First Musk was the loser because he is only the second richest person in the world.

Now he deserves this honor because, as a self-proclaimed guardian of freedom of expression, he tramples on it over on Twitter.

His internet service blocked the accounts of a number of well-known journalists who, among other things, had probably reported critically about Musk and the real-time tracking of his private jet.

Among them are reporters from the New York Times and CNN.

The whole process is not surprising.

Experience teaches that it's always good to pay attention when autocrats, high-handed company leaders or Fifa officials speak out about freedom of expression.

Often they only accept opinions that suit them.

In general, Musk can now observe a phenomenon that is said to occur more frequently.

You can call it

social media syndrome


Musk surfs the net far too much himself and gets caught up in endless debates with other net-dwellers.

All of this can be time-consuming and psychologically taxing.

Maybe he should take a little

twitter break

for mental wellness and stuff.

  • Twitter blocks against journalists: "This is very dangerous for press freedom" 

The latest news from the night

  • Traces of hard drugs allegedly found in British government buildings:

    Insiders report traces of white powder: according to a report, traces of drugs are said to have been found in Downing Street.

    Boris Johnson and Liz Truss say they didn't know about it.

  • The Bismarck family attacks Annalena Baerbock:

    Instead of the Bismarck room, a room in the Foreign Office is now called the »Hall of German Unity«.

    The family of the former Chancellor is outraged – and accuses the Foreign Minister of a “lack of historical awareness”.

  • 5,000 tourists stranded in Cusco:

    The government in Peru has declared a state of emergency because of the protests in the country.

    Airports are also closed – a number of tourists are now apparently waiting in their hotels in Cusco to be able to leave.

The SPIEGEL + recommendations for today

  • Is a new war looming over Kosovo?

    It's been 30 years since the Yugoslav wars - and now there's renewed violence between the Serb minority and the ethnic Albanian-dominated government in Kosovo.

    It's only superficially about license plates. 

  • Xi Jinping's Covid chaos:

    The leadership in Beijing abandoned its zero-Covid strategy practically overnight.

    The total lockdown is now being followed by a radical opening.

    Medicine and rapid tests are becoming scarce.

    Does it all start over now? 

  • What really helps against the crisis of nature?

    Ecuador was the first country ever to write nature's own rights into its constitution.

    In the name of animals, ecosystems and rivers, complaints can be filed against the destruction of nature.

    A role model for the rest of the world? 

  • Fighter against loneliness:

    Elderly people can unload their worries on 0800 4 70 80 90.

    Elke Schilling founded the "Silbernetz" hotline.

    About a woman who estimates old age - and shows others how to do it. 

I wish you a good start into the day.

Yours, Roland Nelles

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-12-17

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