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Switzerland

Is Your Airplane Carrying Radioactive Cargo?

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are sorry to inform you that we cannot proceed to takeoff because we are still waiting to receive papers for the radioactive cargo on board – please excuse the delay...."

What's in the cargo? (SWISS)
What's in the cargo? (SWISS)
Ruedi Baumann

GENEVA - If the captain of a recent SWISS International Air Lines flight departing from London hadn't been upfront about informing passengers on why their flight was delayed, they would have remained blissfully ignorant about the surprising cargo on board.

However, the captain of the Airbus A320 announced: "Ladies and gentlemen, we are sorry to inform you that we cannot proceed to takeoff because we are still waiting to receive papers for the radioactive cargo on board – please excuse the delay." Unperturbed, some passengers continued to leaf through their magazines, while others murmured questions about why a regular scheduled passenger flight would be carrying radioactive materials.

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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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