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India

Drug Companies Battle Against Indian Pharmaceutical 'Pirates'

A possible precedent-setting decision in India has Western drug makers on edge. Indian authorities have told a local firm it can produce a generic version of Nexavar, a cancer drug developed and sold by Bayer, whether the German pharmaceutical giant likes

A pharmacy in Madurai, India (Esme Vos)
A pharmacy in Madurai, India (Esme Vos)

BERLIN -- Nasty letters, the threat of trade sanctions, withdrawing development aid: when it comes to defending the patents of their country's pharmaceutical companies in developing nations, Western governments are not shy.

In the summer of 2007, the government of Bangladesh, for example, got letters from European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson and U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Ralph Boyce, after it announced plans for a compulsory license for HIV drugs. A so-called "compulsory license" enables inexpensive imitations of medication to be made without the agreement of the original inventor in order to respond to domestic health needs.

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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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