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Society

Family Rights Future: Biological Fathers, Lesbian Mothers

A heartwrenching court case in France poses thorny questions as the very meaning of family evolves more quickly than the legal system, or even the experts, can keep up with.

Who's the dad?
Who's the dad?
Serge Hefez*

PARIS — A moving, tender film, I Am Sam (2001) tells the story of Sam Dawson, played by Sean Penn. He is a simple, mentally challenged man who works in a café and who finds himself the single parent of daughter Lucy after his partner abandons the two of them. Nothing in the world matters more to Sam than his little girl. But after a few years have gone by, social services remove the child from his care, deeming him an inadequate parent. Lucy is placed with a foster family, a wealthy, elegant and brilliant couple who offer her all the love and security a child could wish for.

The movie's strength derives from the fact that Lucy, who is exceptionally mature, refuses to make the choice she is supposed to make. She becomes attached to her adoptive parents while continuing to love her touching child-father, who lives surrounded by his bunch of nutty friends.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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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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