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Polluted river in Beijing... Go on, jump!
Polluted river in Beijing... Go on, jump!
Zou Zijian

BEIJING – Last month, President Xi Jinping told the mayor of Suzhou, who had outlined a plan to make improvements on the water quality of the city’s lakes, that for China’s netizens, the best measure of acceptable water quality would be to see whether the mayor dared to jump in and swim.

In February, a resident from Zhejiang Province, eastern China, challenged the directors of the local environmental protection bureau to swim in the polluted river. Since then, it has set off a frenzy among the Chinese public, with many people asking their mayors or environmental officials to swim in the rivers or drink the underground water.

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Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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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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