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A duck walks across dried mud near a pond in Oregon.
A duck walks across dried mud near a pond in Oregon.

KURDS LAUNCH ISIS OFFENSIVE
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are attacking ISIS on three fronts in northern Iraq and are gaining territory on the border with Syria, AFP quotes senior Kurdish officers as saying. Meanwhile, Turkey has sent 35 armored vehicles, including a dozen tanks, to the border with Syria, where fights around the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani are intensifying. After a week of U.S. strikes in Syria, The New York Times reports that fighters in anti-Assad rebel groups are growing angry over the strikes, which they believe are reinforcing the Syrian government.

GLOBAL WARMING AND DROUGHT
The severe drought affecting California and Oregon cannot definitely be linked to climate warming, a study shows. While acknowledging that human behavior contributes to climate change and heat waves across the globe, scientists suggest that "natural variability likely played a much larger role in the extreme precipitation events" such as the drought in the West, the Los Angeles Times reports. The report was published just days after CBS San Francisco warned that at least a dozen communities in northern and central California could run out of water in just 60 days.

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Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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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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