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Economy

New Petrobras Head Clears Brazil's Glass Ceiling In Rise From Intern To CEO

Maria das Graças Foster, 56, has recently taken over as president of Latin America’s largest company, Brazilian oil giant Petrobras. Trained as a mechanical engineer, the new CEO was nominated for the post by another powerful Brazilian woman, President Di

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (left) presents Maria das Graças Foster with an award (dilmarousseff)
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (left) presents Maria das Graças Foster with an award (dilmarousseff)
Graziele Dal-Bó and Sérgio Siscaro

SAO PAULOThe 23rd floor of Petrobras' headquarters in Rio de Janeiro has a new occupant, and for the first time in the company's history, that person – as in the president of state-owned oil giant – is a she.

Last week, Maria das Graças Foster, the head of the gas and petroleum division at Petrobas, took over the post formerly occupied by José Sérgio Gabrielli. His will be a hard act to follow, given that he multiplied the company's revenues by six in the years that he served as company president. The stock market, nevertheless, reacted positively to news of the new CEO's appointment, registering an immediate bump.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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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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