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This week’s Monday Briefing starts from the latest in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In other news, the Cop27 conference, the G20 meetings, an earthquake in Indonesia, a reflection on the world cup in Qatar and much much more. 

Spotlight 

On Tuesday morning, a missile hit a grain silo in Przewodow, a tiny Polish village close to the border with Ukraine, killing two people. The event quickly raised concerns that the Russians had expanded their military aggression campaign into Poland. Immediately after the news broke out, an emergency NATO was called to discern the origins of the explosion.  

Whether the missile belonged to Ukrainians or Russians remains unclear. Polish President Andrzej Duda has stated that there is no evidence to suggest that the attack was launched by the Kremlin, or that it was intentional. Ukranian leader Volodymyr Zelenski first claimed that there was no way the missiles belonged to Ukraine, but later doubled down on his remarks, telling reports he couldn’t be “100 percent sure” they weren’t Ukranian.  

The explosion happened right as Russia was unleashing its biggest air strike attack on Ukranian infrastructure since the beginning of the war, with a total of 96 missiles being fired in one single day by both sides. The attack led to a serious power outage that left over 4.5 million Ukrainians without power. Despite swift action by the Ukranian authorities, energy supply issues still persist in Kyiv and 17 other cities across the country. The damage also generated some brief blackouts in neighboring country Moldova.  

As the Ukrainian winter approaches, the risk of people being left in the dark and without heat remains high. This week, Kievan authorities told Ukrainians that had already left the country to not return during the winter, as to not overuse the country’s fragile energy system. Furthermore, the government plans to evacuate the recently captured city of Kherson, which was left without water, heat, or electrical power.  

Nevertheless, international support for Ukraine remains high. On Saturday, UK Prime-Minister Rishi Sunak conducted a surprise visit in the capital Kyiv, where he announced a 60-million-dollar air defense package for Ukraine, as well as another 14$ million for the Ukraine response of the World Food Programme.  

Around the World 

U.S. Investigating Killing of Al Jazeera Journalist in West Bank, Israel Says  Ms. Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist working for Al Jazeera, was shot in the head in May while reporting on an Israeli raid in Jenin, a Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank. Ms. Abu Akleh’s death has since drawn international attention to the dangers of life under Israeli occupation. Inconsistencies between the US’ and some organizations’ findings on Ms. Abu Akleh’s killers have led the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen the inquiry into her death. Israel has categorically refused to cooperate in the investigation. 

Residents of Guangzhou take to the streets against strict COVID lockdown. On Tuesday, residents of the southern-Chinese metropolis escaped their homes and clashed with police officers, according to videos and photos circulating on social media. In the past weeks, tensions have been building up over the government’s strict stay-at-home orders aimed at maintaining China’s “Zero Covid Policy.” The country is currently facing a surge in cases and just reported 17,772 infections on Tuesday, the highest daily number since April 2021.  

People turning 18 in Germany to be offered €200 culture pass ‘birthday present’.  The “Kulturpass” will be used to gain access to different types of cultural events, such as live concerts or theatre plays, as well as for buying books or music. The initiative puts the country in line with other European states that have already implemented some form of culture pass, like France, Spain, or Italy. The estimated cost for the German government will be 100 million euros per year, which is only a fraction of the nation’s 2.3 billion annual culture budget.  

Related:  Monday Briefing 28/11/2022

G20 leaders to agree draft communiqué rejecting ‘era of war’  On Wednesday, the G20 nations unitedly adopted a declaration asserting that “most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine”, while, due to Russia’s presence at the conference, the statement granted that “there were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions”. The declaration also underlined how “the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible”, while calling for “diplomacy and dialogue” to bring resolution to the conflict. 

Germany finishes construction of its first floating LNG import terminal. Germany has finished construction of its first import terminal for liquefied natural gas, a crucial milestone in its efforts to end its energy dependency on Russia. The completion of the terminal, at Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea, will ease fears that Europe’s largest economy might face gas rationing this winter. 

Nancy Pelosi to step down as top House of Representatives Democrat  After a groundbreaking career in US politics, that saw her become the first woman to lead a party in Congress and the first woman to be elected Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will not seek another term as the top Democrat in the US House of Representatives. In her statement, the 82-year-old marked that “the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus”.   

Australia’s PM calls for emergency UN meeting to condemn North Korean missile launch. Anthony Albanese was joined in the call by US vice-president Kamala Harris, as well as the Prime-Ministers of Japan, South Korea, Canada, and New Zealand. All leaders expressed concerns over the recent missile tests of the DPRK and have pledged to remain united against possible further provocations.  

Traces of explosives found at sites of Nord Stream gas leaks  Swedish authorities investigating into the cause of two major leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines have retrieved traces of explosives at the sites of the breaches, supporting the hypothesis that the pipeline ruptures may have been caused by “gross sabotage”. In September, the Nord Stream pipelines, responsible for transporting gas from Russia to Germany, were fractured in multiple points, leading to massive natural gas leaks in the Baltic Sea. Just before the ruptures occurred, tremors, unlike those produced by earthquakes, were recorded in the area.  

Earthquake on main island of Java, Indonesia, kills at least 46 people. An earthquake has shaken Indonesia’s main island of Java, killing at least 46 people, damaging dozens of buildings and sending residents into the capital’s streets for safety. The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-5.6 quake was centred in the Cianjur region in West Java province at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles). 

World still ‘on brink of catastrophe’ after Cop27 deal. The Cop27 climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh ended with what was regarded as a quite disappointing deal. The agreement reached in Sharm el-Sheikh early on Sunday morning, after a marathon final negotiating session that ran 40 hours beyond its deadline, was hailed for providing poor countries for the first time with financial assistance known as loss and damage, but the outcome was widely judged a failure on efforts to cut carbon dioxide, after oil-producing countries and high emitters weakened and removed key commitments on greenhouse gases and phasing out fossil fuels. 

Italian News 

Caritas Ventimiglia, i francesi rimandano indietro migranti minorenni. “La cosa grave è che spesso i francesi rimandano indietro dei minori cambiando l’età, questo va contro il trattato di Dublino” dice Christian Papini, il direttore della Caritas Intemelia a Ventimiglia. Dal 2015 la Francia manda indietro i  migranti minorenni cambiano la loro età e spesso fa lo stesso con le famiglie. Nonostante ciò, i migranti pagano ingenti somme ai passeur per aiutarli a varcare il confine.  

Related:  Monday Briefing 02/05/2022

G20, sostegno a Kiev nel colloquio Biden-Meloni. La premier è volata a Bali con la figlia per partecipare al G20. Qui ha incontrato il presidente degli Stati Uniti Biden e anche il presidente turco Erdogan. Erdogan e Meloni hanno ribadito il loro impegno a lavorare insieme per contrastare la migrazione irregolare e contrastare la crisi libica. La premier ha anche sottolineato che, nonostante i cittadini stiano progressivamente tornando alla normalità grazie ai vaccini anti-Covid, la pandemia ha evidenziato una grande fragilità delle istituzioni sanitarie e sociali dei Paesi, alla quale è necessario porre rimedio.   

Meloni da Bali: “G20 è stato un successo. Italia protagonista con unico capo di governo donna”. Poi incontra Xi Jinping. “Il G20 poteva essere un fallimento, invece è stato un successo” dice Giorgia Meloni subito prima di incontrare il presidente cinese Xi Jinping. La premier ha raccotato del colloquio con Joe Biden e di come gli USA si siano detti disponibili ad aumentare le forniture di gas. Non si è espressa, invece, su un eventuale colloquio con Emmanuel Macron, mentre sulla questione migranti ha assicurato che parlerà con il presidente del consiglio europeo Charles Michel in Europa.  

Ponte sullo Stretto: Salvini, tecnicamente non è semplice il primo atto è reinsediare la società. La costruzione del Ponte sullo Stretto non sarà semplice secondo il Ministro Salvini, e il progetto dovrà essere riaggiornato. In questo senso, il primo passo è quello di reinsediare la società Stretto di Messina, ormai in liquidazione da 9 anni. Inoltre, è importante anche decidere se bandire una nuova gara o aggiornare il vecchio progetto. Secondo Salvini, l’importante è che “l’Italia, Sicilia e Calabria diventino un punto di riferimento dell’innovazione, del futuro, del green,del superamento del no e del non ce la faremo”.  

Manovra: più aiuti alle famiglie, iva zero per latte e pane. Stretta sul reddito di cittadinanza. Tra i punti principali affrontati nella manovra aiuti del Governo ci sono: azzeramento dell’iva su latte, pane e prodotti per l’infanzia, quota 103 per le pensioni e riduzione del reddito di cittadinanza. Si prevedono inoltre assegni familiari più corposi per i nuclei più numerosi e una riduzione dell’IVA al 5% sugli assorbenti. La flat tax verrà estesa per gli autonomi e vi è anche l’ipotesi di una tassa sulle consegne a domicilio per favorire il commercio di prossimità. 

Bocconi News 

As all study seats start to be filled up again, and the hopes to find a spot on campus are already starting to fade away, you might be wondering what you missed on campus last week and why so many people are around these days.  

The most relevant events held on campus were for sure the Bookcity Milan events: the main festival dedicated to books arrived to the Egea Bookshop once again with the now traditional Bocconi4Bookcity, and here you can find a small review of some of them.  

On Friday, Gianmarco Ottaviano presented his book “Re-globalization”, while on Saturday Chiara Viale and Luisa Pogliana spoke about “Surprising women”, focusing in particular on the first woman Italian lawyer and the many management pioneers since the 800s. On Saturday, the Egea Bookshop also spoke about Diversity and Inclusion, with guests Laura Fabbri and Veronica Rossi discussing Fabrizio Canfora book on “Working beyond the idea of inclusion”. On Sunday, the book “Homo Ethicus Oeconomicus” bu Tullio Chiminazzo started a discussion on Ethics and Economics for a better world.  

Thursday was the night of the “Nocturnes Electroniques” concert in Roentgen, a dj-set inspired to Chopin’s Nocturnes by Matthieu Mantaus. Pianist and composer, in 2013 he founded the JeansMusicLab, a production structure which allows to realize innovative and multimedia music shows.  

This week, look out for the many Association Events, including the Bocconi Students Advocacy and Litigation on the International Humanitarian Law in the context of the Ukrainian conflict to be held on Monday at 6.30 pm (Room 41, Leoni). In addition, don’t miss the  B.lab Event on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which will be held on Wednesday 23, at 6.30 pm.  

Related:  Monday Briefing 17/10/2022

Last but not least, do not miss the Volunteer Desk which will be held on Tuesday 22 from 10 am to 5pm in the Campus Life Area, via Bocconi 12.  

So, time to enjoy your week on campus! See you next Monday! 

In-Depth 

Recently media attention has focused on how Qatar is dealing with the preparation for hosting the FIFA world cup that began yesterday, Sunday, November 20th

An investigation conducted by the Guardian has reported that Qatar is violating human rights and claims 6,500 foreign workers have died since the assignment of the World Cup. Indeed, working conditions are extremely poor, as employees are forced to work long shifts in incredible heat and frequently do not get paid. By pressuring the government, with the support of huge companies such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola, new laws have been issued to ameliorate labor conditions.  

In addition, issues have been raised regarding climate change, given that Qatar has built an outstanding amount of infrastructure in the desert, and regarding the repressive government towards LGBTQ+ individuals.  

However, Qatar does not represent an isolated case and indeed is not the first autocracy hosting the World Cup. Data shows that big sport events have increasingly been assigned to autocratic regimes, the reason being these sport events are unpalatable to democracies because they are extremely costly and fail to spark economic development. Therefore, politicians who are accountable to taxpayers are less attracted to these kinds of opportunities. 

In contrast, autocrats dispose of large resources and are not accountable to citizens and hence use sport events to draw international attention and to boost nationalism. The most famous case of this dynamic was the 1978 World Cup held in Argentina, which was very controversial given that the country was under Peron’s regime. 

Furthermore, political science papers have highlighted how hosting regimes use violence strategically increasing repression pre-emptively, so before the sport events, to get rid of people who might express dissent when there is a high level of media attention in the country. For instance, crackdown intensified in China two years before hosting the Olympics of 2008. Therefore, these events can turn out to be very harmful for the local population, in contrast to the Western narrative which views them as positive change for the hosting country

One must also recognize that some people have also supported Qatar, arguing it is the most progressive state in the Middle East and that these events bring about reform on which countries cannot roll back. What seems to be evident is that if we want democracies to host these megaevents, how these events are organized needs to be radically changed to attract countries which today cannot afford the outrageous costs.   

In Case You Missed it: 

Lorenzo Garbarino reflected on the polarization of the tributes that were given to Queen Elizabeth II after she died. 

Stefanos S. Pappas wrote about the importance of acknowledging the passing of time and the transitioning to adulthood. 

Shelby Carter provided a brief history of four of the financial workplace’s most popular garments. 

L’associazione studentesca Keiron ha parlato di misure di sicurezza e pericolosità sociale.

Author profile

Every week, your TiL Monday Briefing 🗞: you better read it with a cup of coffee! ☕️

Current members of the team are Bojan Zeric, Elisa Latora, Dragos Ile, Olimpia Vitali, Marco Visentin, Federica Di Chiara, Chiara Binello and Chiara Todesco

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