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PARIS - The third and final presidential debate is slated to cover the major foreign-policy issues of our times: the rise of China, Iran's nuclear program, Harry's crown jewels.

For the two candidates, suddenly having to shift gears to global concerns in the midst of a domestic, pocketbook-centric campaign means lots of extra homework. It also means the gaffes risk multiplying like a southern European national debt.

From past experience stateside and our own twisted imagination here in Paris, here are five potential pitfalls for the MessrsObama and Romney:

1) Prepare a good answer for the question: What is Africa?

A. a continent

B. a country

C. something Sarah Palin has "heard of"

2) You don't have to tell Americans that other languages are spoken around the world. They can understand Simon Cowell perfectly well, thank you very much. Still, on debate night, when everyone is watching, and several hundred are listening, Obama and Romney should not be tempted to sneak out a second language like they have in the past when (they thought) no one was looking.

3. Whatever you do, no matter the question... don't try to pronounce the name of this country:

4. Well Herman Cain was probably never destined for a presidency beyond the American Restaurant Association. But legend has it that Ronald Reagan himself was once asked about then French President Giscard d'Estaing... to which he responded: Where's that? But hey, we empathize with all these damn foreign names and foreign countries that keep popping up around the world. Did you know that the current French President has a Dutch name? The Belgian Prime Minister has an Italian name (and wears a bow tie)? And the new boss in Georgia has never even been to Atlanta (and has a French passport). Anyway, beware if the debate moderator asks about the conflict brewing between Burma and Myanmar, it's a trick question!

5. Iran and Iraq are both complicated countries that have now long been devoted to making life very unpleasant for Americans and American presidents. It's just a lot to keep track of. This, however, is not a solution to suggest in tonight's debate...

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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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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