Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times

In a shrouded journey, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin yesterday made a wartime trip to Kiev, Ukraine, where the President, Volodymyr Zelensky, urged them to provide more. help in his country’s struggle against Russian invaders. Follow the latest updates.

Congress has already approved $13.6 billion in emergency expenditures related to the invasion, including for weapons, military supplies and one of the largest infusions of US foreign aid to any country in the past decade. Last week, President Biden announced an additional $800 million in military aid, including equipment to fight Russia’s new focus on taking eastern Ukraine.

Russia yesterday doubled its attack on the eastern port city of Mariupol, where a steel factory run by Ukrainian troops is under heavy attack and an estimated 120,000 people survive in what witnesses have described as barbaric conditions.

In other news from the war:

In the second round of the French election, Emmanuel Macron, the president, of Marine Le Pen, his far-right challenger, triumphed by about 17 percentage points. In a solemn speech, Macron said it was a victory for “a more independent France and a stronger Europe”.

During the campaign, Le Pen was hostile to NATO, the US and the EU, as well as to fundamental values ​​which state that French citizens should not be discriminated against for being Muslim. Jean-Yves Le Drian, the foreign minister, said the election results reflected “the mobilization of the French to preserve their values ​​and against a narrow view of France.”

Le Pen, admitting defeat, bitterly criticized Macron’s “cruel and violent methods” without explaining what she meant. She promised to fight to get a large number of representatives in the parliamentary elections in June.

context: Since 2002, not a single French president has managed to be re-elected. Macron’s unusual feat to remain in power for another five years reflected his effective stewardship of the Covid-19 crisis, his resurgence in the economy and his political agility in occupying the entire center of the political spectrum.

Related: In Slovenia’s parliamentary elections, preliminary results indicated that the populist prime minister, Janez Jansa, had lost to his centrist rivals.

As the war in Ukraine rages on, governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America have refused to take sides, avoiding the us-versus-them binary accounting that characterized most of the post-World War II era and pointing to the confidence of the smaller countries, no longer dependent on a single ideological or economic patron, to go their own way.

The current geopolitical landscape has often been compared to that of a new Cold War. While the main adversaries may be the same – the US, Russia and, increasingly, China – the roles of much of the rest of the world have changed, creating a global order that has lasted more than three-quarters of a century. .

Dozens of countries abstained in a UN vote this month to remove Russia from the Human Rights Council, including Thailand, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Singapore. More than half of the abstentions have taken place in African countries, many of which are the recipients of increasing Chinese attention and investment. (The resolution succeeded anyway.)

Historical loyalties: Some US allies have characterized their decision to diversify as a function of US absenteeism from vaccine diplomacy or trade. And Russia, which lacks both the patronage money and the geopolitical clout of the Soviet Union, doesn’t necessarily have to count on its former allies either.

American adolescence is undergoing a drastic change. Three decades ago, the biggest public health threats to American teens came from binge drinking, drink driving, pregnancy and smoking. These problems have since been replaced by a new public health problem: the rising number of mental disorders.

“We need to find out,” said Candice Odgers, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine. “Because it’s life or death for these kids.”

It’s an open secret in Hollywood that book stylists recommend reading for celebrities and influencers to take — and pose with — in public. Fashion has also recently consulted literature for inspiration: last year Dior featured models walking down a catwalk imprinted with Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’, while Valentino enlisted authors such as Brit Bennett and David Sedaris to contribute to ad campaigns.

Books have become “coveted signifiers of taste and self-expression,” writes Nick Haramis in T Magazine — though some critics have questioned whether the books are simply used as props.

As for the authors? If books have become a version of the latest It bag, it can only be good for business. “If you ask a writer, they want to be read, but they also want to keep writing,” said Karah Preiss, along with actress Emma Roberts, who runs Belletrist, an online reading community. “The bottom line for publishers isn’t ‘Has your book been read?’ It’s ‘Is your book sold?’ And famous readers sell books.”


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