Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times
Ukraine’s bloody stand for Bakhmut
For 10 months, Russian and Ukrainian forces have fought for Bakhmut, a 16-square-mile city that has seen some of Europe’s fiercest urban fighting since World War II. Ukrainian forces are now defending a semi-circle of ruins that is only about 20 blocks long and is continually pounded by artillery fire.
A visit this week to the battered and remaining control zone, as well as interviews with soldiers and commanders, showed that Ukraine had lost ground inside the city, although an access road remained. practicable, allowing the resupply and the evacuation of the wounded.
Pushed into this ever-shrinking corner, the Ukrainian military is determined to hunker down and hold its ground, even as the allies have quietly questioned the justification for fighting block by block in a devastated city that is on the brink of to be surrounded, according to recently leaked US intelligence. documents.
Strategy: By Kiev’s assessment, holding out in these dire conditions is a strategic imperative, to bog down the Russian military while Ukraine rearms and retrains its own army for an upcoming counteroffensive.
In other wartime news:
A Russian fighter jet fired a missile at a British plane in September, but the missile malfunctioned, according to a leaked intelligence report. The incident was much more serious than originally described and could have amounted to an act of war.
The Polish Prime Minister said he believed that only direct US intervention would lead South Korea to make its artillery shells available to Ukraine.
Basketball star Brittney Griner is work on a dissertation about her almost 10 months behind bars in Russia.
New regulations for electric vehicles in the United States
The Biden administration has rolled out climate regulations that would force automakers to make the transition away from internal combustion engines and towards electric vehicles. Together, the rules aim to ensure that two-thirds of new passenger cars and a quarter of new heavy-duty trucks sold in the United States are fully electric by 2032.
The Environmental Protection Agency rules would put the United States on track to reduce emissions at the rate that scientists say is needed to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change. Last year, all-electric vehicles accounted for just 5.8% of new cars sold in the United States. All-electric vehicles accounted for less than 2% of new heavy trucks sold.
The government cannot force automakers to sell a certain number of electric vehicles. But it can limit the pollution generated by the total number of cars each manufacturer sells – and it has set that limit so tightly that the only way manufacturers can comply is to sell a certain percentage of zero-emission vehicles.
Next steps: The proposed regulations are sure to face legal challenges from those who see them as government overreach.
Battery technology: China is leading the next innovation in rechargeable batteries: replacing lithium with sodium, a cheaper and more abundant material.
The president has generally tried to avoid political issues in Northern Ireland, where the legislature is deadlocked after the Democratic Unionist Party pulled out over post-Brexit trade concerns and where there has been an outbreak of political violence. But he encouraged the government to overcome its divisions and working as “an efficient and decentralized government”.
In the Republic, Biden spent the first day of his journey steeped in family traditions, alongside his sister, Valerie Biden Owens, and son, Hunter Biden. Climbing the stone steps of an ancient castle in the rain and to a bagpipe soundtrack, he shouted to reporters: “I feel like I’m coming home.
Analysis: “For President Biden, Ireland is not just a place where his ancestors lived – it is deeply embedded in his identity,” said Shailagh Murray, a former adviser. “His Irishness is intertwined with his faith, his fierce devotion to his family and his empathy for people in difficulty.”
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Around the world
The panda Ya Ya, who has been at the Memphis Zoo for 20 years, will soon return to Chinawhere a campaign accusing the zoo of abusing her resonated on social media.
“Almost always, when China donates a panda to a zoo in another country, it usually facilitates some kind of goodwill and very often a business deal,” said Matthew Fraser, a researcher at the American University of Paris. “When China takes back a panda, it’s usually because the regime is very unhappy for some reason.”
SPORTS NEWS FROM ATHLETIC
Latest information on Lionel Messi and Barcelona: The Spanish club know there are obstacles in the way of a possible comeback, but here’s how he plans to do it.
From footballer to CEO: Mathieu Flamini explains why he went from managing a Premier League midfielder to running a biochemical company.
Rudiger’s regret from Chelsea: The void left by Antonio Rudiger is remains to be completedeven after the club spent $235m on four defenders.
After a pandemic lull, tourist travel in Africa is on rebound. Last year, 45 million visitors traveled to the continent, more than double the roughly 20 million who arrived in 2020 and 2021. But the nature of travel has changed.
In Africa, more and more visitors are looking for sustainable options that benefit the continent’s natural wildlife, as well as communities living around the parks. Change has been slow, but progressive parks are no longer isolated from nearby often impoverished communities. In some cases, such as South Africa and Botswana, local communities or governments are co-owners of luxury resorts.
The continent is also promoting its cultural offerings to attract more visitors to urban Africa. Accra, the capital of Ghana, has attracted visitors across the Chale Wote Street Art festival. In Senegal, the Dakar Biennale has become a barometer of contemporary art in Africa.
Wondering where to travel? The Times 52 places to go featured this year Accra; THE Namib Desert in Southern Africa; And Tassili n’Ajjer, the rust-colored Saharan landscape of Algeria. Or head to Johannesburgthe urban heart of South Africa.— Lynsey Chutel, Briefings editor in Johannesburg