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The Amanda Knox Factor: U.S. Students Shy Away From Study Abroad In Italy After Perugia Murder Case

A new survey asks U.S. students about the high-profile case of the American convicted of murder in Perugia. A surprisingly high number say they consider Amanda Knox's fate when weighing whether to study abroad in Italy.

(Amanda Defense Fund)
(Amanda Defense Fund)
Francesco Semprini

Study in Italy? No grazie. Young Americans seem to have grown less attracted by the opportunity to spend a semester or two at an Italian university. And according to a new survey the Amanda Knox case is partly to blame.

Conducted by the Rome campus of Loyola University and the Italy-USA Foundation, the study "American Students' Thoughts on Italy" looked into overall attitudes of potential young visitors to Italy. But the poll also specifically tried to gauge the effect on prospective exchange students of the high-profile case of the Seattle native convicted for the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher, while the two were part of a study abroad program in the Italian city of Perugia.

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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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