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Slavery Footprint: How Many Exploited Workers Does It Take To Support Your Lifestyle?

Essay: More urgent than carbon footprint consciousness is one group's online test to make us aware how many de facto enslaved workers are behind the electronics, food, clothing -- and even medicines -- that keep the rest of us fat and happy. You

A child mining gold in the Congo (Grassroots Group)
A child mining gold in the Congo (Grassroots Group)
Nina Merli

ZURICH - Let me just say up front that I separate my household garbage. I bring the empty bottles to the glass collection point – okay, maybe sometimes a little grudgingly – and I recycle paper, plastic, cardboard and batteries. Lately, I've been making a concerted attempt to use public transportation. When I buy cosmetics I make sure the label says No Animal Testing. Ever since a friend of mine told me about the illegal and brutal fishing of tuna, I've crossed that fish off my personal menu. I buy only seasonal fruit and vegetables. I'm the first to agree that I could be doing more for the environment, but all in all, I think my efforts for the earth and my fellow humans are pretty respectable.

Or I did think that – until this morning when I took a test on the Slavery Footprint website. Slavery Footprint is a non-profit organization that for years has been working to stamp out modern slavery. And I will tell you that the result delivered quite a smack to my self-image as a good person. Because what the test reveals is how many slaves have to work – without our being aware of it – for us to have the goods we take for granted in everyday life.

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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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