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Geopolitics

Led By Russia, A Quiet Rush May Be On For Antarctica's Resources

Russia has explicitly stated it wants to begin exploration for minerals and hydrocarbons in and around the White Continent. But others, from China to Australia, have already given (and planted) signs that show they will not sit idly by.

A Russian icebreaker ship in the Antarctic
A Russian icebreaker ship in the Antarctic
Stéphane Foucart

Is the world getting ready for a rush on Antarctica's resources? During the last general meeting of nations involved in the international oversight of the Antarctic, Russia announced that it wants to begin exploration for minerals and hydrocarbons in and around the so-called White Continent. The document submitted by the Russian delegation lists the key points of "development of the Russian Federation's activities in the Antarctic in 2020, and also for the long term."

The list of demands may well have come as a shock for the rest of the international representatives involved in the June meeting, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. But even four months later, it has yet to make headlines – in large part because the meetings are held without the presence of outside observers. Nor do the 48 countries involved in the Antarctic Treaty System tend to broadcast information about the summits. The Russian document has, however, been posted discreetly on the Internet site of the treaty secretariat (www.ats.aq).

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OneShot

Napalm Girl, 50 Years Ago: This Happened, June 8

It's been exactly 50 years since the photograph was taken that many say is the most powerful image of innocent war victims ever. "Napalm Girl," which was captured at the height of the Vietnam War in 1972, is also the story of that girl at the center of the image.

Taken exactly 50 years ago, “Napalm Girl” has become a timeless symbol of the horrors of war as Vietnamese civilians flee their village after it had been hit by airstrikes.

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