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Germany

Those Global Credit Bubbles Are Eerily Similar To 2007

From U.S. student debt to staggering housing inflation from London to Shanghai, there are signs of cracks invoking fear among economists of another impending financial crisis.

In the London underground — Photo: Chris Brown
In the London underground — Photo: Chris Brown
Anne-Christine Kunz and Frank Stocker

BERLIN — At first, Wesley Lim doesn’t understand the term Studentenkredit, German for “student loan.” But Lim is currently a guest German professor at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. There isn’t much call for the term in German because so few German students go into debt for their educations. It’s very different in the United States, however. Say “student loan” to Lim in English, and he understands immediately what you’re talking about.

To finance his education, the 32-year-old took out loans to the tune of several tens of thousands of dollars, just like millions of his peers. It has become entirely routine for young people in the United States to be up to their ears in debt by the time they graduate from college.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hide-And-Seek Of Drone Warfare, A Letter From Ukraine's Front Line

A member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces writes his account of the new dynamic of targeting, and being targeted by, the invading Russian troops, as drones circle above and trenches get left behind.

A Ukrainian military drone operator during a testing of anti-drone rifle in Kyiv.

Igor Lutsenko*

KYIV — The current war in Ukraine is a game of hide-and-seek. Both sides are very well-stocked with artillery, enough to destroy the enemy along many kilometers. Swarms of drones fly through the air day and night, keeping a close eye on the earth's surface below. If they notice something interesting, it immediately becomes a target. Depending on the priority, they put it in line for destruction by artillery.

Therefore, the only effective way to survive is to hide, or at least somehow prove to the drones your non-priority status — and avoid moving to the front of the 'queue of death.'

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In general, the nature of this queue is a particular thing. It may seem to be a god, but is instead a simple artillery captain's decision of when to have lunch, and when to fire on the house where several enemy soldiers are staying. It's just a handful of ordinary people (observers, artillerymen) deciding how long their enemies will live depending on their own schedule or the weather, the availability of ammunition or if they're feeling tired.

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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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