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SPOTLIGHT: GOOD AND BAD NEWS FOR THE PLANET

Breathe in ... Last year, an estimated 147 gigawatts was added to the world's renewable power capacity — the largest such global rise ever recorded, making it an "extraordinary" year for renewable energies. According to the Renewables 2016 Global Status Report, investment in green energies around the world also reached a new high, with $286 billion in 2015, for a sector that now employs 8.1 million people.

But hold that breath: If change is afoot, it's still considerably spotty. Data recently released by the World Health Organization shows for instance that air pollution levels are rising in many of the world's poorest countries, with cities in Nigeria and Pakistan beating usual suspects like Beijing or New Delhi. Onitsha, a fast-growing economic hub in Nigeria, has earned the infamous designation as this year's "most-polluted city in the world," with particle concentrations exceeding up to 30 times the WHO recommendations. Breathe out ...

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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