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BBC (UK),CNN, WASHINGTON POST (USA)

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NEW YORK - A key United Nations lawyer leading a probe on the use of drones has praised President Barack Obama's speech on changes to the United States' anti-terrorism policy, which included new more restrictive guidelines for using unmanned aircrafts to strike targets on the ground.

UN attorney Ben Emmerson called Obama's policy a "significant step towards increased transparency," the BBC reported. Pakistan, which has been frequently targeted by U.S. drones, also gave cautious praise to the speech.

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A predator drone firing a hellfire missile (NATO)

Earlier this year, Emmerson, a human rights legal specialist, launched an inquiry to determine the place of drones in the framework of international law by examining 25 attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, the Palestinian territories and Somalia.

Obama's wide-ranging speech Thursday reinforced his commitment to ending the armed conflict with al-Qaeda. And though he said drone attacks would continue, there would be more stringent oversight about how and when they were used, the Washington Post reported.

"It sets out more clearly and more authoritatively than ever before the administration's legal justifications for targeted killing, and the constraints that it operates under," Emmerson said in a statement.

CNN reported that Obama's speech at the National Defense University at Fort McNair came as the U.S. has reached a “crossroads” in its fight against terrorism.

“As our fight enters a new phase, America’s legitimate claim of self-defense cannot be the end of the discussion,” Obama said. “To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance.”

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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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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