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China

In China, Silencing Opponents With A Trip To The Psychiatric Ward

Chinese lawmakers have drafted a law designed to protect people from the so-called “made mad” phenomenon. As several high-profile cases have shown, people in power sometimes manage to force political opponents into mental hospitals.

Hubei Province, where several high-profile
Hubei Province, where several high-profile
Chao Sheng

A few days ago, China's State Council Legislative Affairs Office publicized a draft bill that deals with the nation's mental health policy. Chapter Six of the bill focuses on "liabilities." It stipulates among other things that "those who force others against their will to undergo medical examination to determine whether or not they are mentally disordered, as well as those who deliberately commit to medical institutions non-mentally disordered people as mentally disordered, are to be held liable under both criminal and civil law."

This article immediately sparked serious attention since it relates to the so-called "made mad" phenomenon, a serious – and apparently growing – problem in China. The term "made mad" refers to people of sane mind who are forced into mental health treatment and locked up in hospitals with restricted freedom of movement and communication. In order to be "cured" – and thus freed, the person must give in to the treatment by accepting whatever is required of him.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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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.

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