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An Indian activist attends a World AIDS Day event.
An Indian activist attends a World AIDS Day event.
Worldcrunch

Monday, December 1, 2014

IRAQ’S GHOST SOLDIERS
A corruption probe in Iraq has discovered that the Iraqi army counts 50,000 “ghost soldiers,” troops that don’t even exist but are paid, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said yesterday, as he continues efforts to end years of graft. Meanwhile, AP reports that the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS launched as many as 30 overnight airstrikes Saturday against the terrorist group in the Syrian city of Raqqa. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 50 ISIS fighters were killed.

“BEGINNING OF THE END” FOR AIDS PANDEMIC
Some 40 million people have died of AIDS during the last three decades, but the world has finally reached the “beginning of the end” of the pandemic, according to a report released to mark World AIDS Day. “We've passed the tipping point in the AIDS fight at the global level, but not all countries are there yet,” warned the ONE campaign, an advocacy group working to end poverty and preventable disease in Africa. As of last year, an estimated 35 million people were believed to live with the disease. Writing in the Washington state newspaper The News Tribune, a woman diagnosed with AIDS 20 years ago explains that “those afflicted, like myself, can and do live full and long lives.”

HONG KONG PROTEST TURNS VIOLENT
Hong Kong police clashed with pro-democracy protesters early this morning in an attempt to remove protesters from a government building they were surrounding. Forty people were arrested and at least as many were taken to the hospital with injuries after the police used pepper spray and batons to remove the protesters, The Guardian reports. Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying urged occupiers to go home, saying that those arrested “will have criminal records, which will affect their chances in studying and working overseas.” Read more from the South China Morning Post.

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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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