Mark Olshaker

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The aftermath of Russian shelling in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, March 2022 Viachaslev Ratynski / Reuters

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not gone as the Kremlin imagined, with its forces bogged down around key cities and the Ukrainian army providing stiff resistance. As its troops grow demoralized and its supplies are exhausted, Russia may turn to more drastic measures to win. In Washington, U.S. national security officials are already meeting and planning for a growing possibility that was once unthinkable: that Russia might use biological and chemical weapons in Ukraine.

After German chlorine gas suffocated masses of British and Canadian troops in 1915 during World War I, such “scientific warfare” horrified the international community and led, ten years later, to the League of Nations’ Geneva Protocol, which prohibits the use of chemical and biological agents in war.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Christian church service in Seoul on Sunday. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Korea jumped in recent days. Credit Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, no coronavirus cases had been reported in Iran. On Sunday, the government announced 43 cases and eight deaths. Some 152 cases (and at least three deaths) were confirmed in Italy on Sunday, up from three cases on Thursday. The number of infected people in South Korea jumped to 763 (and six deaths) in just days.

As of Monday, Covid-19 was detected in at least 29 countries. In nations with few or no reported cases so far, particularly in South America and Africa, the absence of evidence shouldn’t be interpreted as evidence of absence. More likely, it reflects lack of testing.…  Seguir leyendo »