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The situation in the morning: Who is the dwarf here?


Every minute counts for the earthquake victims. For the FDP, a carnival joke could still have a high price. And for Ukraine, the chancellor has become the catalyst for arms deliveries. This is the situation on Wednesday morning.

Sheer survival

Time is running out for the people in the earthquake areas in Syria and Turkey.

How many buried men, women and

children can still be rescued alive

in these wintry temperatures and without enough evacuation equipment?

The helplessness must be unbearable for relatives and helpers.

The latest estimates of the death toll are already in the five-digit range.

My colleague Maximilian Popp reports on

“nightmare scenes”

in Antakya, Turkey.

His conclusion: »The Turkish media described the earthquake on Monday morning as a 'catastrophe of the century', as a 'tragedy without precedent'.

But these words can hardly describe the extent of the destruction and the suffering of those affected.«

But the real nightmare is likely to take place in Syria

, as Monika Bollinger reports for us.

According to UN figures, even before the catastrophe, 70 percent of the people in the affected area were dependent on humanitarian aid.

2.8 million people

had fled to this region from the civil war, many living in makeshift structures that have now collapsed.

In addition, the Assad regime apparently refuses

to open the border crossings to Turkey for international humanitarian aid.

It's good that the world public at least finds out quickly about these conditions, and that relief efforts can't start weeks late.

Nevertheless, it is agonizing to follow the suffering

every minute without being able to do much beyond donations.

You can find more news and background information about the disaster here:

  • You smell the dead before you see them:

    the day after the tragedy, the extent of it slowly becomes apparent 

  • Statics for emergencies:

    How to build earthquake-proof 

  • Civil war country:

    Why hardly any help reaches Syria 

  • Photo of a grieving father from Turkey's earthquake zone:

    He won't let go

Two appearances by two confidants

Today there is an unusual duplication in the Bundestag: both Prime Minister Olaf Scholz and his Chancellor Wolfgang Schmidt will speak.

Scholz makes a

government statement before the EU summit

on Thursday and Friday, Schmidt

faces the MPs in the government survey


The men are

close confidants

, the success of one is inconceivable without the other.

If you like, the head and heart of the Chancellery are speaking in Parliament today: first the cool,

controlled intellectual

Scholz, and later the

"emotional roll"

(Copyright Martin Schulz) Schmidt.

But that doesn't mean the latter isn't a cool strategist.

The central topic at the special summit of the EU Council on Thursday and Friday will again be the Ukraine war.

When it comes to arms deliveries

, the federal government has gone on the offensive from its apparently hesitant, cautious attitude: As our team of authors Matthias Gebauer, Gerald Traufetter and Marina Kormbaki have researched, the Federal Security Council has just approved the delivery of 178 Leopard 1 main battle tanks.

And now it is Chancellor Scholz who is putting pressure on the European partners

to keep their promises about tank deliveries.

The driven has become the driver.

  • US military expert on war: "The problem is the way Ukrainians fight" 

Black and yellow is the head nut

As a Rhinelander, my heart beats for carnival

like et Trömmelche am Fastelovend

, even though thanks to the pandemic, war and now the earthquake disaster, I no longer feel like swaying.

Anyway, I was never much interested in ceremonial meetings and hand-made speeches, and it always amazes me

with what heart's content political celebrities let off steam on carnival stages


Think of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, CDU, whose descent began with a carnival joke about gender-neutral toilets.

How will one later look back on the appearance of the FDP woman MASZ (Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann)?

She has now dismantled CDU leader Friedrich Merz

for his statement about the alleged "social tourism" of Ukrainian war refugees, for denigrating school children as "little pashas," and for his conspicuous composure in the face of the Reich Citizens' conspiracy.

She dubbed Merz (1.98 meters tall) a

"flying dwarf"

who was

"difficult to bear"

and for whom Christians in the CDU

"should be ashamed"


"He boldly attacks the weak because he likes to fish in troubled waters," summed up MASZ.

There was a lot of truth in her speech, and at carnival you have to take it and smile.

Unsurprisingly, Merz and his Secretary General Mario Czaja cannot do that.

Nevertheless, Strack-Zimmermann's appearance could take revenge.

The FDP is struggling to get past the five percent hurdle in polls,

so who's the dwarf here?

Who is more dependent on the favor of the other?

In this situation, only those who suspect that they have no chance of getting a government office or a position in the party leadership in this life dare to give the head of the alternative coalition partner such a broadside.

Especially since Strack-Zimmermann also accuses the chancellor of her coalition of "failure".

One has to think of the liberal as a truly free radical.

Radically carefree, too, what the applause for her costs her own people.

  • Satire on Friedrich Merz: Strack-Zimmermann speaks up again after the carnival speech

Dive deep into the climate crisis

Stuck in the middle of rush hour, smearing works of art –

what do the protests of the »last generation« achieve


Do they harm or benefit the cause of the movement?

And what alternative forms of political protest are available?

Subscribers to SPIEGEL

can now ask these and other questions to a real “Scientist for Future”, Professor for Regenerative Energy Systems Volker Quaschning from the Berlin University of Applied Sciences.

Quaschning, also an author and podcaster, focuses on the efficiency of solar storage systems.

Jonas Schaible, who reports among other things on the climate movements in our capital city office, will moderate this deep dive event of SPIEGEL with Quaschning.

  • Subscribers ask researchers: How can the climate be saved?

Here is the current quiz of the day

The starting question today: Who was elected by the Cuban Parliament in April 2018 to succeed Raúl Castro as President of the Council of State and Ministers?

Loser of the day...

... is US President Joe Biden

, who made a government statement yesterday evening with the "State of the Union" speech.

It was to be expected that Biden would praise himself

for his political successes, not least for his economic package worth billions, the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Democrats were also more successful with him in the White House than they have been in the midterm elections for a long time.

Still, Biden's political outlook is bleak

: Four in 10 Americans said in a new poll that they've been worse off financially since Biden took office -- a historically negative number.

A through ball for any Republican opponent.

And according to another survey for the AP news agency

, even among US Democrats, just 37 percent

would like Biden to run again for the White House.

The AP cited the age of the 80-year-old,

“his cough, his way of walking and his faux pas”

in office as reasons for respondents against Biden’s second term.

Perhaps the only consolation for Biden: his possible opponent Donald Trump is similarly unpopular with Republicans.

  • State of the Union address: US President Biden attacks Republicans – and threatens China

The latest news from the night

  • The United States wanted to make a phone call to China - and was rejected:

    Immediately after the launch of a suspected spy balloon, the US Secretary of Defense tried to talk to his Chinese counterpart.

    Now the Pentagon announces: "Unfortunately, the People's Republic has refused."

  • Microsoft equips Bing with ChatGPT-like technology:

    There have been rumors for a long time, now it's official: users should be able to search Bing using a chatbot.

    Microsoft also announced an AI extension for its Edge browser.

  • Energy company E.on will generate more profit than expected in 2022:

    One reason is higher income from nuclear power.

The SPIEGEL + recommendations for today

  • Kretschmer on a riot, Greens as well:

    "Insensitive, cold, ruthless": In the dispute over the coal phase-out, the CDU and Greens in Saxony make serious accusations against each other - and break up on the open stage. 

  • Affordable housing – how do I become a comrade?

    Exploding rents make life unaffordable for many.

    Cooperatives that offer inexpensive apartments promise a solution.

    How to get one.

    And where are the catches? 

  • How This Chinese Billionaire Wants to Save Esprit:

    Karen Lo has stepped up to bring apparel maker Esprit back bigger and brighter than ever.

    Their means are questionable. 

  • Realistic to-do lists:

    We take on one task at a time until we are completely overwhelmed.

    Five typical mistakes from working life - and how we avoid them.

I wish you a good start into the day.

Yours Melanie Amann, member of the editor-in-chief

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-02-08

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