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Geopolitics

Game Changer? Surprise Female Candidate Emerges In Mexico's Presidential Race

Op-Ed: The governing PAN made history last weekend by becoming the first major Mexican party to select a female presidential candidate. Although PAN trails in the polls, Josefina Vázquez Mota – a conservative deputy – could certainly shake things up ahead

Mexican presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota.
Mexican presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota.
Ricardo Alemán

With less than five months to go before Mexico's next presidential election, the governing PAN party has finally chosen a candidate: Josefina Vázquez Mota. The choice is as historic as it was surprising. Historic because the conservative deputy is the country's first major party female candidate, and surprising because most pundits expected PAN to choose Ernesto Cordero instead.

Cordero, a former finance minister, was widely hailed as President Felipe Calderón's personal preference. He also had the backing of numerous state governors. And yet when it came time for PAN members to cast their votes, a majority chose Vázquez Mota over Cordero and Santiago Creel, the party's third potential candidate.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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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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