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Opposition Protests Constitution in Hungary

Tens of thousands of people have been protesting in Budapest over Hungary's controversial new constitution, a day after it came into force.

(NEW YORK TIMES) Budapest - As the governing party celebrated its achievements inside, tens of thousands of Hungarians rallied outside the nation's 19th-century opera house on Monday in a rare opposition protest of what critics see as a campaign by Prime Minister Viktor Orban to undermine democracy and consolidate his power.

The protest — a day after the country's new "majoritarian" Constitution took effect — was the first time that opposition groups, from political parties to civil organizations, joined forces to rally against the new Constitution, which was drawn up and ratified by Mr. Orban's Fidesz party in defiance of criticism from Europe and the United States.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

How The War Is Doing Long-Term Damage To Ukraine's Fertile Soil

Ukraine's fertile soils used to feed the world. But even when the war ends, food production will take decades to recover because of damage to the land.

Photo of a missile in the dirt

A tailpart of a missile sticks out of the ground in the village of Chornobaivka, near Kherson

Oleksandr Decyk and Vitaly Alekseev

KYIV — After the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, most of the world's consumers of agricultural products such as wheat, sunflower oil and corn suddenly learned that most of these products were grown in Ukraine. They also discovered that this is a country whose fertile lands feed a significant part of Africa and Europe.

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Without its wheat and sunflowers, many all over the world will starve to death. So, the war in Ukraine has become a world war. And even when the hostilities end, Ukraine will not be able to immediately resume feeding the world, as Russian troops are destroying the basis of its agriculture — chernozem soil.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, during the war in Ukraine, significantly degraded agricultural land increased by 13%. A significant percentage of the land is at risk of degradation. Scientists call it ecocide – the deliberate destruction of Ukraine's ecosystem. More than 200,000 hectares of territories in the combat zone are contaminated with mines, shells, and debris.

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