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CAIXINMEDIA

Garbage-Burning Plants And The Rise Of China's NIMBY Wars

Woefully under-regulated and sometimes abjectly illegal, waste incineration plants across China are raising resident hackles and, worse, releasing unknown levels of toxins into the air.

Garbage-Burning Plants And The Rise Of China's NIMBY Wars
Cui Zheng

BEIJING — In China's coastal Zhejiang region, residents blocked garbage trucks for three days last month to protest against a local waste incineration plant. Police finally had to remove the protesting villagers to allow traffic and the waste transport to continue.

Over the past decade such Not-In-My-Back-Yard (NIMBY) incidents by local residents against waste incineration plants have multiplied in China. Like in Western countries, locals want to keep their towns and neighborhoods free of potential environmental risks. It is compounded here because China has no effective garbage classification and because environmental scandals about existing plants occur far too often.

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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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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