Your Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times

A gunman yesterday killed at least 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School, an elementary school in the Texas rural community of Uvalde, west of San Antonio, officials said in the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school since the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in ten years. past.

The gunman, who was identified by authorities as an 18-year-old man who had attended a nearby high school, was armed with several weapons, officials said, adding that he died at the scene. It was not immediately clear whether the shooting took place in one classroom or in multiple classrooms. Officials have not released the names or ages of the murdered students or adults.

The tragedy comes just 10 days after the massacre of black shoppers at a Buffalo supermarket in what was one of the deadliest racist massacres in recent American history. Together, the shootings deepen a national political debate about gun laws and the widespread proliferation of guns in the US

Address: Speaking from the White House last night, President Biden became emotional as he reflected on the massacre and called for action. “Where the hell is our backbone, the courage to do more and then stand up to the lobbies?” he said. “It’s time to turn this pain into action.”

Political response: Within hours, Democrats were moving to clear the way for votes on legislation to strengthen gun buyers’ background checks, pushing for renewed measures of broad appeal that Republicans have blocked in the past.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has hampered the country’s ability to produce and export grain, choked one of the world’s granaries, and allegations that Russian president Vladimir Putin is using food as a powerful new weapon in his three-month-old war, fueled. About 20 million tons of grain are now trapped in Ukraine. Follow the latest updates from the war.

Russia has seized some of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and blocked the rest, trapping cargo ships laden with critical food supplies, as well as taking control of some of Ukraine’s most productive farmland, destroying Ukraine’s vital infrastructure. is for growing and shipping grain and litter fields with explosives.

“Russia is now hoarding its own food exports as a form of blackmail, holding back supplies to raise world prices, or trading wheat in exchange for political support,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday. In response, EU countries increased their own grain production, she added.

To fight: Military action is increasingly concentrated in a small part of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, where battered Russian forces are making slow, bloody progress as they attempt to encircle the strategically important city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine’s easternmost stronghold.

In other news from the war:

  • Russia’s exhausted army is still not making great progress, and time is on Ukraine’s side. View our maps showing the course of the war.

  • The British government launched a program to provide a fast track to safety for Ukrainian refugees. But despite tens of thousands of Britons showing an interest in playing host, the rollout has been painfully slow.

Poor and developing countries experienced far more excessive deaths than rich countries in 2020 and 2021, according to data released by WHO that aims to gauge the true toll of the pandemic. About 13 percent more people worldwide, or about 15 million more people, died than expected in the first two years of the pandemic.

The US had more deaths above normal than most other rich countries during the pandemic, with deaths at 15 percent above normal — a number surpassed by only four other major countries in the same income bracket: Chile, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania.

Scientists have described these latest WHO estimates as the most reliable gauge of the pandemic’s overall impact to date. The numbers measure the difference between the number of people who died in 2020 and 2021 and the number of people who would have died during that time if the pandemic had not happened.

Reduced mortality: In countries such as Australia, China and Japan, the number of deaths estimated by the WHO in 2020 and 2021 was lower than normal. The WHO said that in some countries deaths from other causes may have decreased as a result of measures to combat Covid-19.

Andrey Kurkov, Ukraine’s most famous living novelist, has spent his life writing about realities so absurd that they defy satire. Since being evicted from his home in Kiev, he has devoted himself to capturing the war for a foreign audience.

“I think everyone should do what they do best for the country,” he said. “The snipers must kill the enemy. The singers have to sing for the soldiers and the refugees. What I can do is write and tell things, and that’s what I do.”

For more: Read our review of Kurkov’s latest novel, “Grey Bees.”

Business in the front, party in the back: The subversive haircut has once again made its way onto the catwalks and red carpets, writes Megan Bradley for The Times Magazine. But is there anyone left to shock?

Evidence suggests that the mullet — which is characterized by hair shaved short everywhere except at the back of the head, where it is quite long — shows up in ancient Assyria, Egypt, and Greece, in depictions of warriors, heroes, and gods. .

More recently, it was worn by David Bowie, as his alien alter ego Ziggy Stardust; the punks of the 1970s, who wore it expressly to shock; and last fall, the rapper Lil Nas X, on the red carpet at MTV’s Video Music Awards, along with legions of other outsiders, mavericks and visionaries.

The mullet refuses to be one thing, it sits in the middle between tall and short, masculine and feminine, tasteful and tacky. But if an inability to categorize causes discomfort in some, this kind of spacing is just what some seek, especially at a time when gender and taste both, rightly and crucially, feel so fluid.

Read more about the political potential of short sides and a long back.


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