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India’s phenomenal transformation from an impoverished nation in 1947 into an emerging global power whose $3 trillion economy is Asia’s third largest has made it a major exporter of things like software and vaccines. Millions have escaped poverty into a growing, aspirational middle class as its high-skilled sectors have thrived. But many millions of Indians are employed in informal day labor or farm work, struggling to survive. Raging unemployment is worsening insecurity and inequality between the rich and poor and is perhaps Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biggest challenge as the country marks 75 years of independence from British rule on Aug. 15.

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In Portland, Oregon, the police chief recently pulled detectives from cold case and assault units to backfill the homicide unit, which is overwhelmed by a spike in gun violence. In Philadelphia, the police disbanded its abandoned car unit and in Los Angeles, homeless outreach and animal cruelty teams have largely shut down. In major American cities, police departments are losing officers and can’t find enough recruits to replace them. Pandemic burnout, budget cuts and anti-police protests after George Floyd’s murder have combined to reduce police ranks and many departments are downsizing. The evolution has affected residents in ways large and small.

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Colombia’s first leftist president has been sworn into office, promising to fight inequality and bring peace to a country long haunted by bloody feuds between the government, drug traffickers and rebel groups. Gustavo Petro, a former member of Colombia’s M-19 guerrilla group, won the presidential election in June by beating conservative parties that offered moderate changes to the market-friendly economy, but failed to connect with voters frustrated by rising poverty and violence. On Sunday, Petro said Colombia was getting a “second chance” to tackle violence and poverty, and called on Washington to change its drug policies.

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Russian, French and American leaders are crisscrossing Africa to win support for their positions on the war in Ukraine, waging what some say is the most intense competition for influence on the continent since the Cold War. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and French President Emmanuel Macron are visiting several African countries this week. Lavrov, in his travels across the continent where many countries are suffering drought, has sought to portray the West as the villain, blaming it for rising food prices, while Macron has accused the Kremlin of cynically using food as a weapon and waging an imperial-style war of conquest — words calculated to appeal to listeners in post-colonial Africa.

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Canadian authorities say a gunman who roamed for hours through a sleeping Vancouver suburb shot four people, two of them fatally, as he opened fire at a casino, a center for the homeless and other locations before being killed by police. The attacks began in the wee hours in the bedroom community of Langley and continued until dawn, according to police, who initially suggested that the shootings had targeted homeless people. The first shooting occurred at midnight at the casino, with more shootings at 3 a.m., 5 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. The other shooting scenes were a bus stop and a highway.

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A police operation targeting gang members in Rio de Janeiro’s largest complex of favelas, or low-income communities, has left at least 18 people dead in one of the deadliest raids the city has seen recently and one already bringing more criticism of police violence. Rio authorities said 16 suspected criminals were killed in confrontations in Complexo do Alemao along with a police officer and an woman. A police spokesman said the raid targeted a criminal group that stole cars and robbed banks. Videos showed intense shootouts between criminals as well as a police helicopter flying low over the small houses. Associated Press reporters saw residents carrying about 10 bodies as bystanders shouted, “We want peace!”

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Drug addiction has long been a problem in Afghanistan, the world’s biggest producer of opium and heroin. The number of people using drugs is fueled by persistent poverty and by decades of war that has left few families unscarred. It appears to only be getting worse since the country’s economy collapsed after the seizure of power by the Taliban in August 2021 and the subsequent cutoff of international financing. Families once able to get by found their livelihoods cut off, leaving many barely able to afford food. Drug users now can be found around the capital of Kabul, living in parks, sewage drains, under bridges and on open hillsides.

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Michigan’s largest district court and bail reform advocates have settled a class-action lawsuit against bail practices in Detroit, where hundreds of defendants are jailed for no other reason than their inability to afford court-imposed bail. The settlement announced Tuesday stipulates that judges in the state’s 36th District Court identify a specific reason why cash bail is needed and that judges assume defendants are unable to pay even small amounts if they live in poverty. Advocates and court officials said the agreement is a model for bail reform across Michigan and the nation, even as states and jurisdictions have rolled back progressive policies in response to the pandemic-era uptick in crime.