Why Germany might be the West's weak link in the Russia-Ukraine standoff
NATO, the US, and countries across Europe are all stepping up their response to Russia’s continued threat to invade Ukraine, with the notable exception of Germany. The country has strongly resisted its allies' push to help arm Ukraine and it appears to be blocking Estonia from formerly East German artillery guns to Ukraine. Germany’s reluctance to join with its allies in this can be traced back to two main reasons. The first is the pacifistic sentiment of the country as seen by German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht’s insistence that weapons, ““will not help to defuse the crisis at the moment.” The second is that Germany is reliant on Russia for roughly a third of its oil, a number that will only increase with the activation of another major Russian pipeline in Germany. Germany’s non-committal stance may prove impossible to maintain with tensions continuing to rise by the day.
Thousands stage peaceful protest in Ottawa against Canada's vaccine mandates
Trucks sit parked on Wellington Street near the Parliament Buildings during protest, January 29, 2022. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle
Thousands gathered in Canada’s capital of Ottawa to protest against the country’s COVID-19 mandates. This protest began as a rally of truckers against the vaccine requirement for cross-border drivers but quickly developed into a demonstration against the government overreach during the pandemic. Violent rhetoric used by promoters of the protests led police to gather in force and security to evacuate Prime Minister Trudeau and his family, though the display turned out to be entirely peaceful. The Canadian Trucking Alliance has stated its opposition toward the demonstration and urged those who participate to do so peacefully. Conservative leader Erin O'Toole, who opposes vaccine-mandates, has expressed his support for the protest and called on Trudeau to meet with the truckers and hear their concerns.
China changes Fight Club film ending so the authorities win
Chinese ending to the film Fight Club translated to English
The ending of famous 1999 US film Fight Club has been removed for viewers in China and replaced with text saying the authorities win. The original ending to the film shows Edward Norton's narrator killing his imaginary alter-ego Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt, followed by bombs destroying buildings in a subversive climactic plot to reorder society, called Project Mayhem. The Chinese version of the film cuts prior to the explosions to show text informing the audience that the police have foiled the plot, arrested those responsible, and sent the protagonist to a lunatic asylum. This is done in an attempt to impose a conclusion more in line with the values of the Communist party, one where authority prevails over anarchy. The changes have been flagged on social media by upset viewers who have seen pirated copies of the original version.