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Smoking Bans Get Tougher Around The World
Aurore Barlier

As the largest consumer of tobacco in the world, China stunned everybody when it started imposing a tough smoking ban in Beijing this month. This comes as new smoking bans are being inaugurated in several other countries, particularly in Europe. Some 90 countries around the world now have anti-smoking legislation that just a few years ago would have been considered very strict. Here's an update in the global battle to clear the air:

SOUTH KOREA

January 1 was the date of the beginning of the smoking ban in restaurants and public facilities in South Korea. People smoking traditional and electronic cigarettes in public areas now face a fine of 100,000 W ($90) as reports the South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo.

WALES

On June 3, Wales voted in a law preventing parents from smoking in cars carrying children. The smoking ban will take effect in October, and offenders will be fined £50 ($79). As part as its aggressive new public health policy, the Welsh government also plans to ban e-cigarettes from all public places, reports The Guardian.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Until now, the Czech Republic is the last European Union country to allow unrestricted smoking in restaurants. From January 2016 however, the government will ban smoking in restaurants and hotels, but also in concerts and indoor entertainment zones. The anti-smoking bill, which also bans cigarette sales in vending machines, was approved June 3 despite fierce opposition by restaurants and hotels operators who fear potential smoking customers will stay home, according to the Prague Daily Monitor. People who violate the new smoking restrictions will be fined up to 10,000 crowns, or around $415, five times the present rate.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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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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