The Week Unwrapped: Russian visas, Arab fattism and quiet quitting

Is Finland an unwilling backdoor to Europe? Has fat-shaming reached the Middle East? And are young workers really slacking off?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

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Russian rat-run

The Finnish and Latvian governments have said that Russian tourists are using their countries to circumvent the ban on air traffic between Russia and the EU. Both say they’ve seen a rise in tourists crossing their eastern borders by land, using visas issued by other EU countries, and then flying on from airports in Helsinki and Riga. But a call for EU countries to stop issuing these visas has led to a backlash among people who say Russians shouldn’t all be banned from the EU.

Obesity in the Arab world

A news report about the gender split of obese people in Arab countries provoked an unexpected debate this week, after the female film star whose photograph was used to illustrate it sued The Economist for linking her with the subject. Enas Taleb was presented as an example of more positive Middle Eastern attitudes towards women with “ample curves” – and how that has led to women carrying more weight than men. Now she says she’ll sue the publication “for the emotional, mental and social damage” it caused.

Quiet quitting

While much attention has been paid to the “great resignation” – in which workers, many of them coming towards the end of their careers, have left the workplace – a second phenomenon has gone under the radar. An increasing number of younger workers are reportedly keeping their jobs, but putting in the bare minimum of effort to avoid being fired. First spotted in China, the trend is now spreading across Europe and North America. Does this reflect the prevalence of despair and inertia among the young. Or simply a declining work ethic?

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