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The Nun And The News

This nun walking under St. Peter's Square's colossal colonnades was looking at copies of L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper founded in 1861.

Zooming in, I was able to see that the front page was about Pope John XXIII's encyclical Mater et Magistraon the topic of Christianity and social progress — written four years before. Slow news day at the Holy See.

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Geopolitics

Yes, The War Has Caused A Major Food Crisis — But Russia Can't Fix It Alone

For many countries, the global food crisis has already begun. As enough food to feed the world for several weeks remains trapped in Ukraine, Russia and Turkey met to discuss the problem. But they cannot solve it alone, says independent Russian media Kommersant

A field in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine

Ivan Yakunin

MOSCOW — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was in Ankara to talk to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu this week to discuss Ukrainian grain. Lavrov tried to strike an optimistic tone: "Our military is in contact with Turkish friends to discuss the details of these processes, these initiatives. There have never been any obstacles from our side to solve this problem... If the position of authorities in Kyiv has matured, we will only be happy to cooperate."

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Turkey has reported that the Ukrainian side is ready to clear mines from its harbors, which the Russians say has prevented exports, Russian state news agency Ria Novostireported.

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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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