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LA STAMPA

Italian Mob Threatens Soccer Team Over Easter Procession

In Calabria, on the southern heel of the Italian boot, the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate may be more powerful than the Church, or even soccer. And on Easter, they all want to hold Santa Maria.

Easter
Easter
Giuseppe Salvaggiulo

SANT'ONOFRIO - Last year, in this small Italian village in the southern region of Calabria, someone fired a warning shot through the front door of the local priest of the Congregation of the Holy Rosary parish. Why was the clergyman singled out? He had the audacity to ban mobsters from Sant'Onofrio's annual Easter procession in honor of St. Mary.

But leading up to this year's Holy Week, the threats have only multiplied – and found a new target: members of a local soccer team, who had been assigned the honor by Bishop Luigi Renzo of carrying the statues of Saint Mary, Jesus, and Saint John during the Easter procession on Sunday.

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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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