Overnight News: Germany, Algeria, Twitter & Laughing Gas

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Germany on strike. “It has been a long time since there has been a strike of such magnitude in Germany”, underlines the Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung. The social movement affects the entire transport sector, air, rail, maritime and road. About 350,000 employees have been called to mobilize, says Die Welt. “Deutsche Bahn has stopped all long-distance traffic for Monday and hardly any trains are expected to run in regional traffic either,” observes the daily. To cope with soaring inflation, in the country as elsewhere, Verdi, the second largest union in Germany, is demanding a 10.5% increase. The EVG, another trade union present in particular in the rail sector, is asking for a 12% increase. The strike will last twenty-four hours.

Algeria

Algeria: five years in prison required against a press boss. Ihsane El Kadi, imprisoned since December, is accused of having received money from abroad to finance activities undermining state security. He owns two media deemed critical of power, Radio M and the Maghreb Emergent site. “The prosecution also requested the seizure of the journalist’s funds and property,” says Maghreb Emergent. He faces a fine of almost 5,000 euros while his company Interface Media could have to pay another fine of more than 65,000 euros. Verdict expected April 2.

Twitter is only worth $20 billion. This is what Elon Musk would have announced in an email sent to employees of the platform. He had bought the company for 44 billion in the fall, an amount that was too high, he admitted. The site was actually on the verge of bankruptcy according to the media entrepreneur, forcing it to apply drastic measures. The number of employees has fallen from more than 7,000 to around 2,000 today. This vertiginous drop in the value of Twitter is also partly explained by the departure of many important advertisers after the return of controversial figures to the social network, notes the site The Verge. Problem for employees: their profit-sharing is indexed to the new value of the company.

Laughing gas banned in UK. Michael Gove, the housing minister, confirmed this on Sunday, telling Sky News that it “was absolutely vital to deal with this scourge”. He deplored the presence of small tanks in parks and in the streets but also the “antisocial behavior” that sometimes accompanies the consumption of nitrous oxide. Sky News points out that it is the second most used substance by 16-24 year olds in England after cannabis. The British media notes the feeling of euphoria of this “party drug” and also points to the headaches, paranoia, vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia and nerve damage it can cause.

This article is originally published on courrierinternational.com

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