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Exclusive: Classified Documents Show U.S. Full Responsibility For 1998 Italy Ski Gondola Disaster

Just a month after 20 people were killed in northern Italy when a low-flying American military jet clipped a gondola line, the U.S. had already concluded that the crew and their supervisors were at fault. The pilot was later acquitted of manslaugher charg

Aviano air base in northern Italy (expertinfantry)
Aviano air base in northern Italy (expertinfantry)
Maurizio Molinari and Paolo Mastrolilli

NEW YORK - In Italy, it is still remembered as the epitome of American military "cowboy" behavior gone awry. On Feb. 3, 1998, 20 people died when a U.S. military plane cut a cable supporting a gondola of an aerial tramway in the ski resort of Cavalese, in Trentino Alto Adige, Italy.

Now, 13 years after what's become known as the "massacre of Cermis' – for the Cermis mountain peak where the gondola crashed -- La Stampa has obtained a classified U.S. Marine Corps Forces document that had recognized the marines' full responsibility just a month after the incident.

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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.

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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