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Sun and wind in Avignonet-Lauragais, France
Sun and wind in Avignonet-Lauragais, France

PARIS — Even as President Trump appears clearly convinced that eight years of Obama environmental policy were bad for business, other governments are betting on the massive investments that energy transition requires.Le Figaro reports that France has become the world's second country to issue green bonds, raising a record 7 billion euros ($7.5 billion) in yesterday's sale, eight times more than Poland's groundbreaking issuance in December. Other countries are expected to follow suit, starting with Nigeria in March.

France is planning to use the funds raised with these 22-year bonds on infrastructure to produce more renewable energy, cut pollution, protect biodiversity and reduce the country's impact on climate change while adapting to its anticipated consequences. It's an important step for the host of the Paris 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, as renewable energies accounted for less than 20% of France's production in 2014, with nuclear energy continuing to account for 77%.

The French government's projects represent a total 13-billion-euro investment, but the fact that the total demand at yesterday's issue exceeded 23 billion euros suggests that Paris will have plenty of room for maneuver if it plays its cards right.

Could green bonds be the way to go to finance a greener future? The French experiment seems to indicate as much. A few days ago, Bloomberg columnist Marcus Ashworth asked the question, "Can the Bond Market Save the Planet?" Similarly, an analysis published by power-technology.com recently explained why green bonds could "help finance a clean energy revolution in China," contradicting Naomi Klein's view that unregulated capitalism was incompatible with environmental interests.

Donald Trump's pledges to invest in infrastructure and work towards an energy independent America each sound good on their own. But why not combine them, and use these once-in-a-generation investments to make America first on renewable energies? USA-brand bonds to save the planet? It could be a green-green win-win for the new dealmaker-in-chief.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

"Better If They Shot Me" — New Details Revealed Of Russian Torture Of Civilians

Testimonies have been gathered from victims who had been detained by the Russian military near Kyiv in the early weeks of the war. Some were held in a pit, others had their hands beaten with hammer, others with an axe and rifle butt. Some never made it out alive.

Fresh graves of servicemen who died defending Ukraine from Russian invaders at the cemetery of Bucha, Kyiv Region.

Irina Dolina

KYIV — In the early days of the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military moved quickly to the outskirts of Kyiv and began conducting searches and arrests there. Residents of three settlements — Dymera, Kozarovichi, and Katyuzhanka — have recounted to human rights activists in recent months how they had been detained, beaten, and tortured during the occupation.

These testimonies have formed the basis of the report "Unlawful Confinement and Torture in Dymer, Kozarovychi, and Katyuzhanka in Ukraine," released together by three human rights organizations, the International Partnership for Human Rights, Truth Hounds, and Global Diligence.

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Russian-language media Vazhnyye Istorii reports some of the most heinous parts of the findings (the names of the victims have been changed).

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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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