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EL ESPECTADOR

Why Colombia's Booming Car Sales Is Bad News

The fact that people are buying cars is touted as a good sign for the economy, which you can think about while you're stuck in traffic or breathing in rising pollution.

In Medellin, crossing the street is bad for your health.
In Medellin, crossing the street is bad for your health.
Mario Fernando Prado

-OpEd-

BOGOTA — Colombians bought about 30,000 cars in September, the top sales figures for any month this year and 20% more than in September 2013. Forecasts predict car sales of 8% more in 2014 than in 2013, which means our streets and motorways will have about 320,000 new cars on the roads, besides the motorbikes that are also seeing an enormous spike in sales.

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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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