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Anne-Sophie Goninet

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A Donbas Quagmire? Running Out Of Water, Supplies, Men
In The News

A Donbas Quagmire? Running Out Of Water, Supplies, Men

As Russian forces continue their offensive in Donbas without securing any significant territorial gains, the situation on the ground is growingly dire for civilians left behind.

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Ukrainian news website Livy Bereg reports on significant water, food and other supply shortages in the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic. Tap water has been scarce since the beginning of Russian occupation on February 24, and it is now available only every three days. Residents collect rainwater or otherwise buy it when they can afford to.

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photo of a man sitting in front of a yacht
Economy

Inside The French Hunt For Russian Oligarchs And Their Riches

Chalets in Courchevel, villas on the Cap d'Antibes peninsula, yachts and valuable paintings are in the sights of the Ministry of Economy’s task force. But in this game of cat and mouse through a maze of offshore companies, nominees and trusts, oligarchs are often one step ahead.

PARIS — “An exceptional stay in the mountains,” promises the Grand Coeur et Spa chalet, a 4-star Relais & Châteaux located at the bottom of the ski slopes in Méribel, in southeastern France. Its particularity: It is owned by the company Sogeco whose main shareholder is Elena Timchenko, wife of Gennady Timchenko. The billionaire is considered a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and as such, is registered on the European, American and British lists of frozen assets.

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“Gennady Timchenko is a long-time acquaintance of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and is broadly described as one of his confidants,” the European text says.

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Photo of a shadowy silhouette outside  a ​currency exchange office in Moscow on March 2.
Economy

Let's Not Be Naive: A French Take On War Profiteering

French firms TotalEnergies and Renault announced they were, over time, suspending their activities and halting production in Russia after being widely criticized for their inaction since the invasion of Ukraine. But leaving Russia doesn’t have the same cost or the same consequences for all companies. And we should calculate in who will profit later.

-OpEd-

PARIS — Companies that decide to cut ties with Russia are not all in the same boat. Some like Apple — which can no longer deliver iPhones to the country isolated from the rest of the planet — only take minimal risks. They forego limited and temporary revenues, hoping that the day will come when the war stops and Russia finds some semblance of normalcy, and their business can resume.

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It is not so simple for several of the largest French companies, which were among the very first foreign investors in post-Soviet Russia and control numerous assets in the country. These multinationals that have invested billions (from retail group Auchan to energy giant TotalEnergies, automaker Renault and Société Générale bank) have much more to lose by breaking with Vladimir Putin.

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New Vaccine Requirements Around The World Are Getting Nasty
Coronavirus

New Vaccine Requirements Around The World Are Getting Nasty

Countries are going all-in on virtually forcing citizens to get vaccinated: From the French President openly acknowledging his readiness to make life unpleasant for the unvaccinated to un-jabbed Canadians not qualifying for unemployment benefits to Greeks imposing monthly fines on the unvaccinated.

PARIS — Last year, as vaccination campaigns went into full swing across the world, governments and health authorities found creative ways to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine, from VIP testimonials to lotteries to donuts.

But as several parts of the globe are experiencing huge surges in infections with the Delta and Omicron variants, we seem to be past the time for celebrity endorsements and free snacks. Or as a public health official in Hong Kong said recently: “enough carrots, time for the stick.”

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Sustainable Hunting? How To Fix Environmental Targets For Hunters
Green

Sustainable Hunting? How To Fix Environmental Targets For Hunters

Facing biodiversity loss, hunting can be seen as not only cruel but also damaging to natural ecosystems. Yet hunters argue that their activity is a natural way to “replace” animal predators and a tradition that should be preserved. Can there be a happy hunting medium?

Gazing through binoculars, hunters and environmental activists might appear to be natural enemies.

Particularly as the world is facing challenges that include biodiversity loss and species extinction, hunting can be viewed in ecological terms as not only unnecessary but also cruel, barbaric and damaging to natural ecosystems. In March, for example, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg banned a traditional French bird-hunting practice that consisted of using “glue traps.”

Still, hunters argue that their activity is a natural way to “replace” animal predators by culling herds of prey species and re-establishing a balance in the ecosystem. Hunting is also seen by some as a tradition that should be preserved, having been embedded in natural human culture for thousands of years.

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Auckland Stabbing Attack, U.S. Flood Toll Rises, ABBA’s Back
In The News

Auckland Stabbing Attack, U.S. Flood Toll Rises, ABBA’s Back

Welcome to Friday, where a "terrorist attack" in New Zealand leaves at least six dead, the New York flooding toll multiplies and an iconic Swedish 70s disco band is making a comeback. Italian daily La Stampa also looks at the unlikely rise in China of gray-haired influencers trending on social media.

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Texas Abortion Ban, Double Jab & Long COVID, Brussels Doctor’s Orders
In The News

Texas Abortion Ban, Double Jab & Long COVID, Brussels Doctor’s Orders

Welcome to Thursday, where double vaccination is found to halve the chances of long COVID, a near-total abortion ban comes into effect in Texas and Brussels doctors know what's good for you (it's not sprouts). French daily Les Echos also *dives* deep to see if the miraculous powers of algae can save our lives and the planet.


• COVID-19 update: Full vaccination nearly halves chance of long COVID, a new study conducted in the UK finds. Meanwhile, Taiwan receives its first shipment of Pfizer vaccines organized by two tech giants and a charity following diplomatic pressure from China, and Australian doctors warn the country's hospitals are not ready to cope with the government's reopening plans.

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Biden Defends Pullout, COVID’s New “Mu” Variant, Paralympics Late Arrival
In The News

Biden Defends Pullout, COVID’s New “Mu” Variant, Paralympics Late Arrival

Welcome to Wednesday, where Joe Biden defends his decision to pull out troops from Afghanistan, a new COVID variant of interest has emerged in South America and the Paralympics gets a dramatic late arrival. We also feature a Le Monde report from Jordan's sputtering economy, where women are finally breaking into professions barred in the past by a "culture of shame."


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Last U.S. Troops Leave Kabul, Ardern’s Lockdown, Nike’s Mental Health Gesture
In The News

Last U.S. Troops Leave Kabul, Ardern’s Lockdown, Nike’s Mental Health Gesture

Welcome to Tuesday, where the final U.S. soldiers have left Afghanistan, a snap lockdown in New Zealand looks to be working and Nike employees get a "mental-health week." We also visit the French capital to hear what local residents really think about the filming of the Netflix show Emily in Paris in their chic neighborhood.


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Children ride in the Yarmouk Camp area, south of the capital Damascus
Geopolitics

Ten Years Of War And One Of COVID, Syria Facing Economic Abyss

The economic crisis in neighboring Lebanon, coupled with COVID-19 travel restrictions, are causing the already war-ravished nation to drown in even greater misery.

SYRIA-LEBANON BORDER — Near a checkpoint on the border between Syria and Lebanon, 50-year-old Joelle says that conditions are simply "unbearable." A member of a Christian family originally from the city of Homs, she has spent the past 30 years in Masnaa, in the Lebanese Beqaa Governorate. In all that time, things have never been this bad, she explains.

For many Syrian residents, the 375 km-long border between Syria and Lebanon has always been an ecosystem where they earned their income. Back and forth trips between the two countries were common. But today, 10 years since the war that ravaged Syria began, the area is now mainly an observation post for all the upheavals that these two interlinked economies are experiencing — even if movements of goods and people have never been fully interrupted.

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Photo Of The Week: This Happened In Washington D.C.
Geopolitics

Photo Of The Week: This Happened In Washington D.C.

The United States has been driving news photo agency feeds around the world since last week's unprecedented scenes of a of pro-Trump mob storming the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

This time, photographer Rod Lamkey captures a more peaceful moment: National Guard troops asleep in the central rotunda. Behind this photograph of the resting guardians, watched over by statues of Dwight Eisenhower and Martin Luther King, history was in the making as the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump a second time.

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Sundown on the U.S. on Wednesday
Geopolitics

Capitol Insurrection: 26 Front Pages From Around The World

Insurrection, chaos, siege, storm, invasion, an attack to democracy... Newspapers in the United States and around the world expressed shock after supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, angry at what they considered to be a rigged election. Unprecedented scenes of violence led to the death of four people and the arrest of least 52. Early Thursday morning, Congress formally confirmed Joe Biden's victory.

U.S.

The New York Times

The Washington Post

New York Post

USA Today

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