What happens if Putin goes nuclear in Ukraine? Biden has a choice to make

Russian forces are in retreat yet Nato still holds back for fear of what a humiliated Kremlin might do. But now is precisely the time to step up the pressure

There has been much excited talk of a “turning point” following Ukraine’s rapid military advances in north-eastern Kharkiv region and what Kyiv cheerily calls its “de-occupation” by fleeing Russians. Less comforting for the western democracies is an alternative theory: that the war is approaching “a moment of maximum danger”.

Worries that a cornered, desperate Vladimir Putin may resort to nuclear, chemical or biological weapons have resurfaced in the US and Europe, along with the argument, articulated by France’s Emmanuel Macron, that Russia’s president, despite his terrible crimes, should not be “humiliated” – and allowed a way out.

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Pakistan reels from floods: ‘We thought we’d die of hunger. Now we fear death from water’

After record temperatures and drought, swaths of the country lie submerged, symptoms of a climate crisis its people play little part in

Farmer Ali Baksh stands on an embankment and points across the flooded landscape of Sindh province towards the spot where his fields used to be. He is sheltering in a makeshift camp accessible only by boat with more than 2,000 others forced to flee their homes when the floods hit.

“There was no rain a few months back and there was a severe shortage of water for crops. We prayed for rain. But when it rained, we became homeless and our crops were destroyed. We have nothing left … just oceans on roads, on farms and submerging our homes.”

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India reintroduces cheetahs to wild after big cats airlifted from Namibia

PM Narendra Modi to welcome the eight animals amid fears that they may struggle with Kuno national park habitat or clash with leopards

Eight Namibian cheetahs have been airlifted to India, part of an ambitious project to reintroduce the big cats after they were driven to extinction there decades ago, officials and vets said.

The wild cheetahs were moved by road from a game park north of the Namibian capital of Windhoek on Friday to board a chartered Boeing 747 dubbed “Cat plane” for an 11-hour flight.

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Fighting flares on disputed Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border, killing 24 people

‘Intense battles’ in the contested region is the latest outbreak of violence to hit the former Soviet Union

Fighting has erupted on the disputed border between Kyrgyzstan and its central Asian neighbour Tajikistan, leaving 24 people dead in the latest outbreak of violence to hit the former Soviet Union.

Both of the impoverished landlocked nations have accused each other of restarting fighting in a disputed area, despite a ceasefire deal.

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New Zealand’s motel generation caught between life in limbo and life on the street

Nearly 10,000 New Zealanders are in emergency accommodation in motels, as the cost of living soars and public housing wait lists blow out

Kristina Reid is trying to make the best of a bad situation. The walls of the motel room she has called home for the past two years are plastered with photographs of her smiling daughters. Her bed is neatly made, and tins of budget beans and tomatoes are stacked in tidy rows in the small cavity above the mini-fridge.

More than anything, Reid wishes for stability; a rental close to family, somewhere she can plant a garden – a place her four daughters can call home.

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