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food / travel

From Zurich To Tokyo, Chocoholics Now Have Bonafide "Bars" To Get Cocoa Fix In Style

Some of the world's trendiest new "bars" don't serve beer, whiskey or wine. What they do offer is chocolate, and lots of it. From Paris to Tokyo, chocolate bars are attracting all ages eager to indulge their cocoa cravings and fe

Chocolate bars don't always fit in your hand (Or Hiltch)
Chocolate bars don't always fit in your hand (Or Hiltch)
Véronique Zbinden

GENEVA - Should you use sparkling water? A blender? A whip, or maybe just a flick of the wrist? What really is the best way to foam hot chocolate? Pierre Hermé, the god of chocovores, lists no fewer than 18 different options in his dictionary of chocolate. David Silveria, bartender at Beau-Rivage in Geneva, serves only three versions: 70% dark, tonka bean, and ginger. In any case, one thing is clear: This sweet brown nectar, known since the time of the Olmecs, is experiencing a comeback in chocolate bars around the world.

In Geneva, the bar at the Beau-Rivage hotel becomes a family zone every Sunday afternoon, driving out businessmen in favor of youngsters armed with skewers of marshmallows, ready to meet the irresistible call of chocolate fountains. The marble and zinc palace disappears under towers of black forest cakes, tiramisu, chocolate-hazelnut millefeuilles, tarts, macaroons, exotic fruit skewers, and ladyfingers all waiting to be dipped into a creamy vat of cocoa.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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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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