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Indonesia’s volcano Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra erupted several times on Tuesday, shooting ashes up to 1,000 meters above its peak.
Indonesia’s volcano Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra erupted several times on Tuesday, shooting ashes up to 1,000 meters above its peak.

Welcome to Wednesday, where India's COVID death toll surpasses 200,000, two Spanish journalists are killed and Citizen Kane loses to a marmalade-loving bear in a hat. From the West Indies, Le Monde"s Jean-Michel Hauteville also looks at the controversial legacy of French national hero Napoleon Bonaparte.

• India's death toll tops 200,000. U.S. eases mask rules: Having again topped the country's deadliest day, India's overall death toll due to COVID-19 surpassed 200,000 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask for modest-sized outside activities, Some 43% of Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

• Journalists killed in Burkina Faso: Two Spanish journalists and an Irishman have been killed in eastern Burkina Faso after they were abducted. The three Europeans were part of an anti-poaching patrol in Pama Reserve and were ambushed by gunmen believed to be jihadists.

• Historic U.S. spending plans: U.S President Joe Biden is about to unveil an additional $1.8 trillion federal investment in education, child care and paid family leave, as he delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress. Last month, Biden set up a $2 trillion infrastructure plan to help reshape the country's economy.

• Eight killed in an "illegal" Latvian hotel: Eight people were killed after a fire broke out at an "illegal" tourist hotel in Riga, Latvia's capital city.

• France arrests Italian leftists terrorists decades later: Seven Italians, on the run since their convictions decades ago in Italy for left-wing terrorism, have been arrested in France.

• Switzerland to hold referendum on same-sex marriage: The country will hold a referendum on whether to authorize same-sex marriage after opponents of a bill that recognised same-sex marriage gathered enough signatures to set up a vote.

• When a suspected hand grenade turns out to be a sex toy: A German police bomb squad was called to investigate a hand grenade in a Bavarian forest, and revealed on Tuesday that the suspected weapon was in fact a sex toy.

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AL JAZEERA
Al Jazeera is a state-funded broadcaster in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current-affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty television channels in multiple languages.
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REUTERS
Reuters is an international news agency headquartered in London, UK. It was founded in 1851 and is now a division of Thomson Reuters. It transmits news in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Urdu, and Chinese.
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EURONEWS
Euronews is a European pay television news network, headquartered in Lyon, France.
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EL CORREO
El Correo (The Courrier) is a Spanish-language daily based in Bilbao and the Basque Country of Northern Spain. Founded in 1910 as "El Pueblo Vasco" ("The Basque People"), it belongs to the Vocento Group and it has an estimated circulation of 100.000. Its political alignement is described as liberal conservatist.
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LE MONDE
This leading French daily newspaper Le Monde ("The World") was founded in December 1944 in the aftermath of World War II. Today, it is distributed in 120 countries. In late 2010, a trio formed by Pierre Berge, Xavier Niel and Matthieu Pigasse took a controlling 64.5% stake in the newspaper.
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La Repubblica is a daily newspaper published in Rome, Italy, and is positioned on the center-left. Founded in 1976, it is owned by Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso.
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The BBC is the British public service broadcaster, and the world's oldest national broadcasting organization. It broadcasts in up to 28 different languages.
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Founded as a local Manchester newspaper in 1821, The Guardian has gone on to become one of the most influential dailies in Britain. The left-leaning newspaper is most recently known for its coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks.
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Geopolitics

Russia's Military Failures Are Really About Its Soldiers

No doubt, strategic errors and corruption at the highest ranks in the Kremlin are partly to blame for the Russian military's stunning difficulties in Ukraine. But the roots run deeper, where the ordinary recruits come from, how they are exploited, how they react.

Army reserve soldiers go to Red Square to attend a Pioneer Induction ceremony

Anna Akage

To the great relief of Ukraine and the great surprise of the rest of the world, the Russian army — considered until February 24, the second strongest in the world — is now eminently beatable on the battlefield against Ukrainian forces operating with vastly inferior firepower.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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After renouncing the original ambitions to take Kyiv and unseat the Ukrainian government, the focus turned to the southeastern region of Donbas, where a would-be great battle on a scale comparable to World War II Soviet victories has turned into a quagmire peppered with laughable updates by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on TikTok.

The Russians have not managed to occupy a single significant Ukrainian city, except Kherson, which they partially destroyed and now find difficult to hold. Meanwhile, Ukrainian civilians are left to suffer the bombing of cities and villages from Lviv to Odessa, with looting, torture and assorted war crimes.

The reasons for both the poor performance and atrocities are many, and include deep-seated corruption and lack of professionalism up through the highest ranks, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had never served in the army, and arrived in his position only because of his loyalty to the No. 1 man in the Kremlin.

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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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