Between Nato allies, the confidence troubled

Donald Trump throws once again the turmoil in the transatlantic relationship. The defence ministers of Nato met on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 June in the video conference, should adopt a series of measures to prepare for a possible second wave of the pandemic of sars Coronavirus but it is a whole other subject that will occupy their minds.

→ TO READ. Coronavirus : Nato in the event of the pandemic

Donald Trump has confirmed, on Monday, 15 June, its intention to reduce the nearly 10, 000 men to the american troops in Germany, or one-third of the workforce. “Germany, behaves like a delinquent in its payments to Nato. It needs billions of dollars for years. Therefore, we will reduce the number of our soldiers to twenty-five thousand men. “ The u.s. president also reiterated some of his fixed ideas on the imbalance of trade relations between Germany and the United States and on purchases German to Russian gas, while benefiting from american protection.

Strong opposition in Congress

Neither the Pentagon nor the State department appear to have been consulted prior to this announcement, which faces strong opposition in Congress. This decision “encourage more aggression and opportunism of the Russian federation “ have warned 22 elected republicans in an open letter.

The us ambassador to Nato, Kay Bailey Hutchison, has confessed that she did not know “all the details “ in an exchange with the press. Even embarrassment of the secretary-general of Nato, the Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg, who spoke of the issue on the phone with Donald Trump. “The president has not said how and when this decision would be implemented “, he said, reiterating that the us military presence in Europe was strengthened with the arrival of Donald Trump at the White House.

The Polish president invited to the White House

On a visit to Warsaw, Tuesday, June 16, the head of German diplomacy Heiko Maas has confirmed that Berlin had received no details on the date and modalities of this reduction. Any change in the architecture of the european security “must be discussed “has-t-he stressed.

His Polish counterpart, assured, on his side, that talks between Warsaw and Washington on the strengthening of the american military presence on Polish soil had “no link “ with the statements of Donald Trump. Poland has long sought the strengthening of the american presence on its soil, and the White House would be getting ready to welcome the president of poland Andrzej Duda, a few days before the presidential election of poland of 28 June.

“The Europeans are not ready”

“This decision destroys the trust between allies, and it is contrary to american interests. But the problem is more important for Europeans, who are not ready to replace the american contributions to european defence “analysis Claudia Major, a specialist in issues of international security at the German Institute for international affairs (SWP) in Berlin.

Between 34 000 and 35 000 american soldiers are stationed permanently in Germany. Their total number may temporarily exceed 50,000 depending on rotations during exercises in Europe.

The HQ of the american army to Europe and Africa are based in Stuttgart. The us air base Ramstein plays a major role for the transport of men and equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan. The hospital in the u.s. military Landstuhl, near Ramstein, is the largest outside the United States.


The confidence, the feeling disappeared

“People do anything, she said, dressing with care. Thou hast seen in the street ? And that we walk without a mask, and that we walk more, and that we chat face to face on the sidewalk… no matter what.

She stared at his mask, I could hear less well.

“And then these joggers who blow such as seals, which you swing from cloud droplets through which people walk without be wary of.

She placed her sunglasses over the mask.

“People do anything, it makes me angry, I want to slap him. They put everyone in danger.”

And under my amazed eyes she added with a transparent visor above, a face shield as we say in English, a face shield. She adjusted the front of all the ice, mask, goggles and visor, it was the invisible woman.

“I could break the bank like that, giggled she.

And if you add a veil, you pass customs in saudi quiet, added-I. “

→ MAINTENANCE. “Rediscover the pleasure of social relations requires a confidence fully restored,”

This does the fit not to smile, finally I don’t know, the mask that hid the mouth, and goggles the eyes, no expression was detectable. She went out. She had dispensed with the gloves, since she had read the precautions to take to remove it after use, it was too complicated, she was going to her hands in her pockets. So here is the human figure of those troubled times : the mummy is voluntary, pacing up and down the street to not be hesitant because she doesn’t see very well with his or her equipment, and she cannot see anything since it protects everything.

I did not invent this equipment wacky, I did not invent this woman suspicious, which, incidentally, is quite reasonable, a graduate, cultured, it offers all the guarantees of rationality, but the pandemic generates a deep anguish, it touches in us something far more archaic than the consciousness. In the darkness abyssal wander fish light waving of lanterns, which are bait : what are the anxieties that devour all that is living.

There is a pandemic, I don’t deny it, which is spread by a highly contagious virus, I don’t deny it, but take precautions to block operative for walking in the street does not protect more than to take reasonable precautions. But depths are worried well this idea of living a hidden and very agressive towards all the other. Something human scale, the distrust becomes the feeling main.

In the baker a plexiglass plate isolates the seller. It encourages them to do more to exchange money, to pay without contactand , if not, to put these vile pieces infected in the machine which will make it even money, without that no one has put the finger. And the bread, we will give it with a gloved hand plastic. It’s been a while that have emerged these machines to play the market, and this use is to put a latex medical glove to stretch the bread to someone. There will be a caution of hygiene, it is known that the bacteria are on the skin, so it does not touch the food. As if it was not normal that the bacteria are everywhere, as if our skin was not the best of survival suits, as if our immune system was not there to watch for overflows.

→ EXPLORER. And the bread was not missed… A baker at the time of the coronavirus

These quirks have appeared a few years ago, and the pandemic accelerates the diffusion. From the beginning I was unwell, as I am always. For centuries, the baker gave the bread from hand to hand, and it does not shock anyone. I offend them that we put one glove. If the baker hands me the bread of his bare hand is that he has clean hands, is that he believes that I can eat something that he touched, and if I accept it is that I trust him, I accept the gift that he makes me. It is a bit like a hand shake : someone who is the désinfecterait or enfilerait a glove before doing so would break the trust established by this gesture, it would be tantamount to a refusal, a slap in the face.

Ah… this is what we’re doing now ? It does shake more hands ? Nobody has confidence in anything at the time… it bothers me. And the lady with a mask and a visor, dark sunglasses to hide what remains, hands in pockets, it would be so in tune with the times and me not at all ? It’s going to be funny, the street full of ghosts, of which we know nothing, neither the identity nor the expression. This will be the end of the world of urbanity, this fragile balance that allows a lot of people who do not know to live side-by-side, through the uses and the gestures that regularly revive confidence.


“I trust school, they will not put our children at risk”

It is 7.57 am Aïcha and her son Elyas are the first to climb the slope to the Saint-Charles 1 public primary school, 3e Marseille district. On the sidewalk, neon pink lines indicate the spaces necessary for social distancing. But the first schoolchildren are few on Tuesday, May 12, when 443 of the 470 schools in the metropolitan area reopen. ” This morning, we welcome three classes: CP, CE1 and CM2. Or, normally, 81 students. We expected thirteen, they are only ten “, Enumerates Philippe Lucchesi, the director of this establishment classified in Network of priority education” more “(REP +).

“National education is ready to receive our children”

Aisha – a white and blue turban tied on her head and a beige mask – did not hesitate for a second to send her 10-year-old son to school. ” The state education welcomed the children of caregivers for two months. She is ready to receive ours. I trust the school, they will not endanger them! “, She assures. In his gray hoodie, Elyas, his son, admits ” a little stressed ” He is one of the four CM2s welcomed and does not appear to be frankly excited by this return. ” I would have preferred a little vacation “He laughs.

→ RECAP. Deconfinement: Anne Hidalgo wants to reopen Parisian parks, Olivier Véran refuses

He still rushes into the vast courtyard punctuated by Chinese mulberry trees, soon followed by Houssam, a student of CE1. ” I send him back to school to make sure he learns well. At home, it’s complicated to do class and homework. ”, concedes Said, the boy’s father. Who goes straight away to wash his hands at one of the school’s three water points, all equipped with liquid soap dispensers and antiseptic wipes.

On the doorstep, the director recalls the protocol to which the students will be subjected in class, in the courtyard and in the canteen … Lina, 6 years old, with pink glasses and matching barrettes, kisses her papa and lists the barrier gestures before take your place in the class queue, respecting the markings on the ground. “I wanted my daughter to find her social life again. It was important for her morale, there were times when she cracked “, underlines this municipal agent, convinced “By the seriousness of the team in place”.

“At school I will be able to learn better

At the other end of the country, the atmosphere is hardly different in educational establishments in Metz (Moselle), although the city is located in the red zone, in the Grand Est region, one of the most affected by the ‘epidemic. A few minutes before the doors open, the atmosphere is very studious in front of the Seille elementary school. Accompanied by their parents, some of whom are masked, the students arrive in droppers, a bit intimidated but visibly delighted to be there.

→ READ. The challenge of the hybrid school, between class and home

A line has been drawn in front of the gate to mark the area beyond which parents should not go. All of them brought their children’s belongings in plastic bags, which will then be destroyed. Books and notebooks will then stay in the classroom. ” It was hard confinement. At school I will be able to learn better “Says Rosanna, 6, while Ilma, 10, says with a big smile:” Oh yes, I’m happy to come back!

Anne-Lise, mother of Charlotte and Gustave, agrees. ” My husband and I are both teleworking. Going to school at the same time was not easy, so we bring our children without hesitation. I also tell myself that it is a formative experience for children.

Some teachers only have two or three students “

However, this enthusiasm is not shared by all parents. On the grid, the director, Delphine Lebrun, made the count: of the 400 pupils in the school group, only 41 came in elementary school and 13 in kindergarten, which is half as much as those who had announced themselves. “Some teachers have only two or three students, and one has none! “, she emphasizes

At 8:30 a.m., the teachers began to call the students one by one, asking them to stand in single file, one meter away. In the corridors, then in the classrooms, everyone begins to familiarize themselves with the new environment and bend without reluctant to the new constraints.

In the end, it is the absence of friends that is felt hard. At CM2 recess, only three students look at each other in the whites of their eyes. ” It’s sad, huh? “, launches Gustave, determined to convince the others to return. In the opposite courtyard, a mistress animates a collective game. Laughter bursts out. The distance does not prevent having fun.


More than ever, trust must take precedence over our government officials

I would like to warmly congratulate Jérôme Chapuis for his remarkable editorial of April 9, “Responsibility”, on the role of opposition in this period. The words are clear, fair and necessary. More than ever, trust must take precedence over our government and medical officials, who are bravely struggling in the face of an unprecedented ordeal. There will always be time to learn from all of this for the future, once the crisis has been overcome, provided that prosecution of intentions over the past is outlawed. As for the need not to instrumentalize the emotions, I dare to hope that the various political oppositions and a certain touting and sensationalist press will comply with them with dignity.

Jean-Yves Lavoir


“Distrust of the government’s plan calls for institutional reforms”

Antoine Bristielle is an associate professor of social sciences, doctoral student at Sciences Po Grenoble.

Tristan Guerra is a doctoral student at Sciences Po Grenoble.

When a democratic regime is going through an acute crisis, the public authorities need more than usual broad popular support in order to establish the legitimacy of decisions which can temporarily restrict the freedoms of citizens. The results of the barometer of political confidence, published on a regular basis by CEVIPOF, confirmed that in these times of health emergency, the President of the Republic as well as the government did not manage to generate such significant confidence within of the population than what can be seen in our European neighbors.

How to explain this French exception?

The first interpretations of this distrust were soon heard. “Severe”, “bougons”, “distrustful”, even even “irresponsible”, deprecative adjectives rain down to describe the critical attitude of the French. Conversely, among our neighbors, the coronavirus crisis has generated a significant revival of popularity for the governments in place, which would demonstrate their “maturity”, their “discernment”, and their ability to rally behind the flag to form the sacred union against the virus. Without questioning the shortcomings of the French executive in its management of the crisis, it is indeed destabilizing to note that heads of state or government such as Boris Johnson, Giuseppe Conte or even, to a lesser extent, Donald Trump , arouse more support than Emmanuel Macron, when their management of the crisis is sometimes even more hazardous.

Political support in trompe-l’oeil

To understand the low confidence that the French president is currently suffering from, it must be remembered that his election in 2017 rests on a particularly reduced social base: the 66% of votes obtained in the second round of the presidential election is explained more by the rejection of Marine Le Pen only by the adhesion to the project of the candidate of En Marche. The base of real support for Emmanuel Macron is on the contrary much better captured in the 24% of votes obtained in the first round of the presidential election in 2017 and in the 22% in the European elections in 2019.

Political trust keeps above all a partisan aspect.

Political trust, above all, retains a partisan aspect. Rather than the psychologizing and essentialist considerations on the traits of the French, the best explanation for confidence in the executive is also the simplest: LREM sympathizers have confidence in the government, unlike those who support the oppositions. In a survey by the IFOP carried out after the last speech by the president, barely 22% of voters close to Insubordinate France and 20% of those of the National Rally declared that they had confidence in the government to deal effectively with the coronavirus, when confidence manifested itself in almost 90% of the sympathizers of the Republic on the march.

Partisan polarization is not a phenomenon peculiar to France, it can even manifest itself even more intensely in other countries. In the United States, the vast majority of Republicans approve of Donald Trump’s action, against only 7% of Democrats. In the UK, Boris Johnson’s surge in popularity rose within his own camp, with the satisfaction rate among the Conservatives dropping from 56% in July 2019 to 97% in mid-April 2020. There also, only 34% of Labor approved of its action. The “rallying under the flag” so often prophesied in times of major crises translates in reality by the gathering of the whole of its camp, but very little beyond. This is also true of parliamentary regimes ruled by broad coalitions which represent a substantial part of the electorate. Unlike France, building a coalition allows the German and Italian governments to count on more support. In Italy, a country still bruised by the epidemic, the government, which comes from a coalition made up of the center-left party and a populist party, enjoys support which reaches 56%. Admittedly, in the case of Germany, the strong increase in the popularity of the chancellor manifested itself outside her own party, but it was with the voters of the two parties of the grand coalition that the support was most important. In these different types of regimes, the voting systems oblige governments to rest on a broader social base, which in turn gives them greater popularity, even in times of crisis.

Distrust of the president remains the logical expression of the functioning of the political system.

The weak support enjoyed by Emmanuel Macron thus largely comes from the political system of the Fifth Republic, which has become a “disappointing machine” (Emiliano Grossman and Nicolas Sauger, Why do we hate our policies so much?, Presses de Sciences Po, 2017). The focus on the presidential election, the cornerstone of the regime, produces disproportionate expectations of a president, however limited in his room for maneuver – despite all the “Jupiterian” rhetoric he can use. This followed a decline in popularity quickly after taking office and the decline in his electoral heart in the first round. Even today, in the era of the coronavirus, this distrust of the president remains the logical expression of the functioning of the political system.

Trust undermined by the play of institutions

In ordinary times, the institutions of the Fifth Republic mask this reality by allowing the head of state to govern with a reduced electoral base. However, the situation becomes more complicated during periods of intense crisis, where exceptional measures require and require the approval of a large part of the population in order to be accepted. However, these calls for union broke against the partisan wall: the distrust that existed before manifested itself in the same way during the crisis. This low level of confidence can lead incumbent rulers not to adopt the most effective public policies given the situation, for fear of destroying the little political capital that they have managed to build up in recent weeks. It is a real paradox for a regime that was designed from its inception to face the most tumultuous periods of history. The current health crisis thus reveals the shortcomings of the political system in its capacity to ensure the legitimacy which the government would need to overcome it.

A proportional dose is needed during the legislative elections to correct the effects of the majority voting system.

This situation can lead to two types of political response. The first, which seems to be envisaged by the executive, involves an enlargement of the government to include personalities from right and left parties. This strategy also seems to be gaining public opinion, as shown by recent polls calling for the establishment of a government of national unity. An answer which seems however complicated to envisage in the long term as the institutional game is not favorable to this kind of compromise.

Consequently, a second, more ambitious option involves a far-reaching reform of the institutional system where the constitution of a majority would require bringing together a broader political base, but which would in return provide it with stronger legitimacy, including in historic moments which underline the limits of the regime in place. Without touching the method of electing the President of the Republic, it seems essential that legislative elections take place on the same day as the presidential election in order to refocus the place of Parliament in political life. This requires the introduction of a proportional dose during the legislative elections to correct the effects of the majority voting system. The balance of power resulting from the first round of the legislative and presidential elections would thus force the parties to really negotiate between the two rounds in order to bring out a political majority in the second round. A government more representative of real political balances would be formed, reducing the general distrust of the electorate. This solution would combine institutional stability and better democratic representativeness. From this point of view, the Great Confinement could be the moment to initiate the great transformations that French democracy needs.


Facebook launches option for video calls with up to 50 people without time limit – Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra

Facebook revealed that it is launching a tool called Messenger Rooms with which users will be able to make video calls with up to 50 people. This is the latest move by the social network ‘due to the popularity, in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, of other applications such as its Zoom or Houseparty with similar group video contact capabilities.

The news was given this Friday by the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg through Facebook Live.

Live with Mark Zuckerberg

Tune in here on April 24th at 11am PT, as Mark Zuckerberg goes live to share some new product updates we’ve been working on, to help everyone feel more connected with each other even while we’re apart.

Posted by Facebook on Friday, April 24, 2020

According to our sister station CNBC, the tool will be free will allow Facebook and Messenger users to create group video calls of up to 50 people at a time, increasing the current limit of the Messenger app from 8 people.

According to CNBC, the 50-person limit for Messenger Rooms will not be available immediately. Facebook users will see a lower limit at launch, but it will soon rise to 50 people, a company spokesperson told CNBC. The limit will vary for users at launch, the spokesperson said.

By comparison, Zoom allows up to 100 people to video chat for free for up to 40 minutes. Houseparty supports up to eight people.

Video calls in Messenger Rooms have no time limit and will include features like augmented reality filters that allow people to add masks to their faces. Video call hosts will also be able to block calls and delete users. Facebook and Messenger users can create Messenger rooms, and they can invite anyone to join, including people who don’t have a Facebook account.

Messenger Rooms will begin rolling out to users on Friday, and will expand to more regions in the coming weeks. “You can start and share video calls on Facebook through your wall, Groups and Events, so it is easy for people to visit it. We will soon add ways to create video call rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal too”, explained the social network.

WhatsApp also expands capacity

Facebook also announced that it is doubling the limit of people in WhatsApp video calls from four to eight people.

In addition, the company is introducing a video calling feature on Facebook Dating so that users of that service can have virtual dating.

Zoom improves your security

The video conferencing platform Zoom, which has achieved a sudden popularity success with the COVID-19 pandemic, announced this week an update to its software, where, it says, it has improved the encryption system to respond to criticism received for lack of security.

The San Jose, California-based firm explained in a statement that Zoom version 5.0 adds support for encryption with 256-bit AES encryption GCM, providing “increased protection for meeting data and resistance against tampering. ”

The update available this week will also allow the account administrator to choose which regions of the data center their meetings and webinars use for real-time traffic at the account, group, or user level.

On the other hand, the company has grouped all the options related to security in the same icon, which is accessed through the menu bar of the digital meeting, the “waiting room” option has been activated by default and allows videoconference hosts report a user whose participation has not been allowed.

“I am proud to achieve this step in our 90 day plan, but this is only the beginning. We will earn the trust of our customers and bring them happiness with our firm goal of providing the safest platform, ”said Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan.

Zoom’s success and sudden growth as a result of the increase in teleworking and digital encounters following the confinement orders for the COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by many complaints about failures in communication security and little respect for the privacy of users.

One of the most common problems that its users are encountering is that Internet users who have not been invited appear by surprise in teleconferences, a phenomenon baptized as “zoombombing” and which has caused educational institutions, governments and companies to stop using the platform. and, in the case of Google, their employees have even been banned.


Dawn Manicures in Times of Pandemic | International

There are permanents that give away, and the one Munia is wearing is one of them. Hit the metal clasp with the back of your right hand so as not to damage the still fresh red enamel on the nails. “Yala, yala” (IM coming, in Arabic), answers a male voice on the other side. The metal squeaks and a hand opens a crack through which Munia emerges. More than a month ago, the Lebanese government ordered the closure of hairdressers and barbers, as well as restaurants or schools, to stop the spread of covid-19. Last Sunday he warned that the confinement will last at least until May 10.

Despair has gripped a handful of neighbors in Sodeco, the central Beirut neighborhood and capital of a country where body worship is a national sport. Not for nothing are his women considered the most conceited in the region. The pressure of the employees has finally convinced the owner to reopen the beauty salon. “We haven’t been paid for a month and we need the money,” argues one of the four workers who swarm around the room. Without the cases of deaths and infections having skyrocketed, with 677 infected and 21 deceased, the Lebanese begin to relax in the respect of the preventive measures and pushed by the pressing economic crisis.

“I couldn’t spend another day locked up, gaunt and with pinned hair,” Munia sputters as she smiles approvingly as she looks in the mirror. Despite having crossed her sixties, this woman does not seem to care about the risk of transmitting the virus. Before crown that simple It seems to be the maximum in a country that has become a mecca for cosmetic surgery.

A housewife and mother of four, Munia’s confinement has brought her anxiety back during the 15 years of civil war, still recent three decades after it ended. “I would not let my children go out on the street for fear of shootings and as adults we hardly ever did it once a day to buy what we could find for food.” “Even then the bars or the hairdressers did not close,” one of the salon employees intervenes. Unaware of the illegality of the situation, Munia drops the closing forcefully behind her, startling those present with the din.

“If the police catch us, it is a fine of 10 million pounds (6,100 euros),” he says, clicking with his tongue Dala, the fictitious name of the owner of the hairdresser. “But we only let two clients enter at the same time to avoid contact,” he defends.

Three of the four young women who work there come from the impoverished suburbs of the Lebanese capital. The fourth is from the Philippines and says that she has decided to re-paint her nails despite her dread of the virus because she needs to send $ 200 each month to her mother, who has been left in her native country by her two-year-old daughter. .

But the Lebanese pound is going through its lowest moments and this woman has to buy dollars at the exchange houses for 3,100 Lebanese pounds (LBP) for each greenback, double the parity set by the Central Bank of Lebanon . The World Bank has warned that half of the 4.5 million Lebanese will fall below the poverty line.

More than 220,000 people have lost their jobs since a wave of protests erupted across the country on October 17, demanding the bloc of the political economy. Most of the unemployed belong to the hospitality sector which, according to Maya Bakhazy, general secretary of the Union of Restaurant, Bar and Club Owners “fed more than 150,000 families”. The pandemic has surprised Lebanon in the worst economic crisis in its history, compounded by social unrest.

While waiting for a new client, the women kill time talking about the rise in prices and those imported products that have disappeared from the shelves. “There are no contraceptive pills left in pharmacies,” one of them blurted out, unleashing laughter from the rest. “They can’t ask us to stay in our houses if they don’t give us aid,” continues Nur, the youngest, 21 years old. The Government announced this week aid of 400,000 LBP (245 euros) for the neediest families, but has not disclosed the selection criteria or the number of beneficiaries. “In some lists made public, names of people who have been dead for two decades have appeared,” adds jocosa.

It has been precisely the chronic corruption of politicians that has sparked popular outrage, and it is the drastic economic deterioration that promises to beat the virus in the streets with new protests called for this week. Aware of the health risk, they urge social networks to form a convoy of cars and saturate the central roads of the country.

Like her Lebanese roommates, Nur’s salary home is no longer a supplementary income to that of men in the household who have progressively lost their jobs. Now it is a vital entrance for the subsistence of the family. Add nine people between siblings, parents and elders at home. As the curfew approaches, which begins at eight o’clock in the afternoon, the young women cover their hair with their veils and, after making sure that there are no police patrol in sight, they shoot out from under the closure to lose themselves between the alleys.


Merkel again gains maximum confidence from the Germans

The federal chancellor, Angela Merkel, has emerged as queen of the crises with the pandemic that plagues the planet. The head of the German Government has recovered her highest popularity ratings in this country, but also in Europe and the world, with her success in managing the Covid-19 when its sunset was sung and just over a year after its announced withdrawal from politics. Under his leadership, Germany weathered the current high risk and recession situation well. The most populous country in the EU offers proportionally the lowest rate of infections and the lowest mortality rate.

Merkel is praised by her ministers and the prime ministers of the 16 federal states, by her Social Democratic partners in the grand coalition, but also by the opposition. And the people’s response is overwhelming. 80% of Germans are satisfied or very satisfied with the measures taken by the Executive of the conservative leader to face the disease. The media again present Germany as the example to follow with its robust health system or the measures adopted by the Government to stop the expansion of the outbreak and protect the national economy from its consequences.

80% of citizens are satisfied with the Executive’s measures to face the outbreak and protect the economy

This week the Health Minister, Jens Spahn, and the president of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, took the epidemic for controlled and stressed that not a single German hospital has been overwhelmed, where even hundreds of French patients have been treated, Italians and Dutch sent from their countries for lack of capacity to care for so many critically ill patients. Even a good part of intensive care beds with assisted ventilation have been left at all times, which the German health system increased from 28,000 to 40,000 in less than two weeks. A makeshift hospital set up at the Berlin trade fair to cater for a thousand patients is likely to be brand new.

Again, ‘Mutti’

Thus, Merkel is again ‘Mutti’, the courageous mother who grows up with crises and protects her people as if they were her chicks. Or at least that’s how a good part of the Germans feel it. No current president has his long experience of 15 years of government to deal with critical situations. Starting with the financial crisis of 2008, the Eurozone crisis that followed, the Fukushima crisis of 2011 or the refugee crisis of 2015. In situations like this, German citizens, but also those of other countries and their leaders, appreciate their way to weather the storm. The chancellor knows how to be patient, pragmatic, objective and flexible. Virtues typical of the scientist who is a doctor in Physical Sciences, which also allows her to approach with an expert gaze problems such as the danger of nuclear energy or the threat of coronavirus. Neither does she present herself as an ideologist of immovable positions, nor as a naive romantic. Negotiating can be tough and when others start to lose their breath, they are more insistent, precise, and able to discuss detailed figures in multiple languages.

So far in the epidemic, Merkel has addressed the German people more than ever. Also from his home quarantine in his own home when it was feared that he might have been infected by contact with an infected doctor. A voluntary confinement that won him the sympathy of his fellow citizens. In his interventions he has always thanked the Germans for accepting the general sacrifice and respecting the restrictions. And then he explains that “we are a community in which each life and person counts” to ask people to maintain discipline.

These types of traits are what have possibly triggered the popularity of the chancellor and, consequently, her party. The acceptance of the German conservatives, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Christian Union (CSU) of Bavaria, continues unstoppably and this Sunday the poll by the Forsa institute gave CDU / CSU an intention to vote of 39%; the equivalent of the sum of Social Democrats (SPD), La Izquierda and Los Verdes and 6 points more than in the previous general elections of 2017.


“Abimagic”, time maker – Culture / Next

If one day I return to Seattle I will not fail to sit down at a table at this teriyaki restaurant located at the crossroads of Ave and 45e in the university district where Bill Gates once put his butt down. It is not for him of course, but to meet Abimagique who has taken the habit of coming to lunch under the Polaroid who immortalized the coming of the Richest Nerd In The World. Abimagic, this is the first name she chose. Of course, no parent would have the idea of ​​naming their child like this. She is a Halloween-style girl with jet black dye and asymmetrical orange-colored locks who devours the biographies of famous poisoners. But under his appearance of typical goth we notice that his face is imbued with a sweetness and a sensuality which does not suit this modern world. She’s not one to be flirted with. No question of giving her “I can sit with you”. When she speaks it is always with passionate conviction. She lives alone in a house in the Fremont district and works as a massage therapist for the physically handicapped.

The world is at a loss and she knows it. So it makes time, not this still time of confinement but a time of repair, exploration, work to destroy this shit. She screams her hate at the millions of fools who start preaching that you have to have faith. “Trust God they say. How important is it to encourage rape, usury, cancer, genocide? you have to trust him. “

I got attached to her, to this telluric witch, to this sexual demon, to this spirit named Lilith, to this incarnation of Gaia, animated by good intentions and endowed with extraordinary powers as she suggests to this young white-billed, her lover, who lets himself be led without understanding anything while the intrigue is woven around him. What she knows she distills it only sparingly and if he is annoyed by some of his sayings like “I knew it would happen”, she just retorts him that there may be things that he is not aware.

“Human beings are not good at understanding what’s going on around them, says Lucius Shepard, the author of this divine novella, and yet their fictional characters excel there, which strikes me as highly unrealistic. ”

For my part, I consider that it is from them that I hold what I know, that is why Abi, Abimagique is my companion of this time … a magnificent portrait of a woman as imperial as mysterious …

Joëlle Losfeld Editor

Lucius Shepard Abimagic Translated from English (United States) by Jean-Daniel Brèque. Le Bélial “Une Heure-Lumière”, 104 pp., € 8.90 (ebook: € 4.99).