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India

Battle Over Radical Elimination Of Plastic Bags In Mumbai

Since June 23, the Indian state of Maharashtra has been verbalizing distributors and users of non-reusable plastic. In Mumbai, more than two hundred inspectors are on the hunt.

Woman and child on Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India
Woman and child on Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India
Guillaume Delacroix

MUMBAI — Santosh is still shaken by what happened. It was June 29, a Friday, when the officers from the Mumbai Municipality walked right up in front of his tiny jewelry stall to check that he was no longer using plastic bags to hold the merchandise he sells to customers. This street vendor, who lives with his family in this Indian city's historic district of Colaba, had already changed the bags he uses after authorities announced the ban on non-recyclable plastic bags. But to his surprise, the inspectors said his new cloth bags do not comply.

"They fined me 5,000 rupees ($72.80)," says Santosh. "I spent 300 rupees ($4.37) to get a hundred cloth bags that they wound up seizing. This fine is a huge loss for me, and I am now reduced to wrap my goods in newspapers."

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War in Ukraine, Day 92: Is Severodonetsk The Next Mariupol?

Russian troops are attempting to encircle Severodonetsk, the last key city remaining under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk region, as Vladimir Putin looks to claim victory in a war that is not going Moscow's way. But will the toll be for civilians?

Inside a shelter in Severodonetsk.

Meike Eijsberg, Shaun Lavelle and Cameron Manley

Severodonetsk, the last key city remaining under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk area, is now the focal point of Russia’s war. In 2014, it had been recaptured from the pro-Russian separatists in a hard-fought battle by Ukrainian forces. Now, eight years later, Moscow is launching an all-out attack to try to take it back again.

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Alex Crawford, a Sky News correspondent in the region, says Russian forces have the means to conquer the city that in normal times has a population of circa 100,000 — and Moscow will be eager to cite it as the “victory”. But, Crawford wrote, “the path to victory comes – like the capture of the port city of Mariupol – strewn with the broken and battered bodies of the city's citizens.”

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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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