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Brazil Shooting Range Uses Lula and Dilma Images As Targets

RECIFE — Caricatures can sometimes cross the line. But world leaders, who are always the center of attention, tend to get used to unflattering satirical portraits. But two former Brazilian Presidents embroiled in corruption scandals, Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, have become targets of a different — literal — sort. As daily Folha de S. Paulo reports, a shooting range in the northeastern city of Recife has been using caricature drawings of the two leftist leaders as shooting targets.

The Lula cartoon, a favorite among opponents and often featured on signs in anti-corruption demonstrations, shows the former president dressed in a prison uniform. The Workers' Party that has been led by the two former presidents denounced the practice this week as "incitement to homicide." Some on social media have noted that current president, Michel Temer, who's also ensnared in a corruption scandal, could have his own target.

Vinicius Delatorre, one of the directors of the "Sniper" chain, explained that "thematic targets' are common, including such images as the Joker, Deadpool or Minions. Lula or Dilma, he said, "are just characters like any other." But having come under fire, as it were, Sniper's branch in Recife decided to remove the two presidential targets. The reason? They risked creating a "bad image" for the company.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Paris-Berlin, Warsaw-Kyiv: Europe's Balance Of Power Will Never Be The Same

A new future is unfolding in real time, one that leaders in France, Germany and beyond could not have envisioned even a year ago.

Photo of Bundeswehr soldiers in Lest, Slovakia, with a training anti-tank missile and a G22 sniper rifle.

Bundeswehr soldiers in Lest, Slovakia, with a training anti-tank missile and a G22 sniper rifle.

Kay Nietfeld/dpa via ZUMA
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Quick question: do you know which country is on its way to having the largest army in Europe? The obvious answer would be France, the Continent's only nuclear power since the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and a military that has been tested in multiple foreign operations in recent years.

But the answer is about to change: if we put aside the nuclear factor, Europe's leading military will soon be that of Poland.

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This is one more direct consequence Russia's invasion of Ukraine: a close neighbor of the conflict zone, Poland is investing massively in its defense. Last year, it concluded a huge arms purchase contract with South Korea: heavy combat tanks (four times more than France), artillery, fighter jets, for 15 billion euros.

Warsaw also signed a contract last month to purchase two observation satellites from France for 500 million euros.

This former country of the Warsaw Pact, today a leading NATO member, intends to be ever more consequential in European affairs. The investments in defense are one way of doing that. Yet this is not the only impact of the war in Ukraine.

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