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Laura Lin

Worldcrunch

SINGPAO.COM (China)

ZHEJIANG – Earlier this week, a nursing student used her blog to post some photos she'd taken in a neo-natal ward in Zhejiang Province. The young woman had made paper cut-outs of blue eyebrows and pig ears and noses, and attached them to two sleeping babies. She then picked up each child one at a time, holding the infant in her hand with the neck unsupported, while taking a photo with the other hand. The infants, experts noted, could have been seriously injured.

Alongside the photos, the student nurse blogged comments such as "What's the matter with you why don't you wake up...?" and "How come you are pretending to be dead at your age", the Singpao.com reported.

News of the blog post has spread quickly through China, prompting a wave of outrage. As for attempted damage control, the medical school in question and the associated hospital immediately apologized. Nonetheless they also tried to minimize the seriousness of the incident, focusing on the fact that cameras should be kept out of a neo-natal ward. The mistreatment of the babies was brushed over.

The showdown can be seen in the context of a chronic shortage of access to medical care in China, which has lead to serious tension between the public and the medical profession. Whatever this would-be nurse was thinking, it is clear that no one is laughing.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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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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