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food / travel

Sniffing Out Heavenly, One-Of-A-Kind Cheese In The Austrian Alps

Here, the cheese is so pure that if the wheel is yellow, you know the cows have been eating dandelions...

One of the many cheese cellars in the Bregenz Forest
One of the many cheese cellars in the Bregenz Forest
Christian Seiler

BREGENZERWALD - "Join us for lunch, if you dare", Theresia says as she hands me a spoon. Lunch on the Obere Falz Alp is eaten at a big, scrubbed grey table in the large room where cheese is made. There are stables on either side of the space, and through the open door there's a view of what my guidebook calls the "anthropogenic grassy hills" of the Bregenzerwald (Bregenz Forest) in western Austria, which is on UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage sites.

The guidebook’s right: Bregenz Forest is no longer a real forest. The people who live in this area of Austria have long turned many of the wooded mountainsides into meadowland so that their cows can graze at different altitudes throughout the year. The guidebook calls this "classic three-level farming — comprehensive use of all the vegetation at different altitudes in Alpine country."

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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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