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food / travel

EU Food Labels On The Way – Just Not Right Away

The EU Council of Ministers has finally cleared the way for Nutrition Facts labels to be standardized Europe-wide. But manufacturers still have a few years to conform – and consumer protection groups aren’t entirely happy.

Starting in 2016, Europe plans to standardize food labels
Starting in 2016, Europe plans to standardize food labels
Daniela Kuhr

It's a familiar story. Much too often, European shoppers reach for fatty, high calorie food that is often either very sweet or very salty. That, in turn, can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which is one of the reasons health care costs are exploding.

So that consumers can recognize at first glance what exactly is in a food product, on Thursday the EU Council of Ministers – after three and a half years of negotiations with the Commission and Parliament – finally cleared the way for standardized European labeling. They also gave manufacturers a generous amount of time to conform.

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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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