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Switzerland

Punctuality Problems — What Drives The Chronically Late

Those people in your life who are always late have a predisposition that puts off decision-making. Question of freedom or lack of respect? A question even in Switzerland.

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Camille Destraz

GENEVA In the mid-1980s, legendary French singer Johnny Hallyday crooned, "I'm waiting for you, I'm waiting for you …" Dedicated to the umpteenth love of his life, the song could have become an anthem for people awaiting the chronic latecomers who show up at 7 p.m. for a 6 p.m. meeting, or put off making decisions until who-knows-when.

Where does this predisposition for being late originate? Swiss occupational psychologist Annabelle Péclard explains it by citing one of the late Swiss pychiatrist Carl Jung's personality theories. "Some people with a "flexible" approach versus a "structured" one tend to postpone making a decision until they have enough information to be certain to act knowingly," she says.

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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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