Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, lobbied the African Union for support this week. He faced an uphill battle, addressing leaders with close ties to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

Many African governments abstained from condemning Russia, abstained from voting at the United Nations condemning the invasion of Ukraine and described the war as having no direct impact on the continent. Zelensky focused on the economic repercussions of the conflict on Africa: soaring food prices caused by a war between two of the world’s largest grain producers, exacerbating food insecurity.

“Africa is already being held hostage,” Zelensky said.

the background: Drought in Somalia and growing food insecurity in the Sahel have brought stark focus on the consequences of rising food prices, especially wheat. The cost of fuel is also rising, adding pressure on the continent’s emerging middle class and the urban poor.

the answer: In general, it was faint. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the head of the African Union, has again called for dialogue to end the war, in stark contrast to the enthusiastic audience he gave to Putin earlier this month. Senegalese President Macky Sall, speaking as the African Union’s rotating political head, said this month that sanctions against Russia must end, referring to Putin as his “dear friend Vladimir”.

More news of the war in Ukraine:

  • Finland and Sweden, which applied to join NATO after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, expected rapid acceptance into the alliance. Turkey had other ideas.


Yesterday’s earthquake struck a remote and mountainous region of Afghanistan, killing more than 1,000 people and injuring at least 1,600 others.

The quake, with a magnitude of 5.9, struck about 28 miles southwest of the city of Khost. But the worst damage has occurred in the neighboring province of Paktika, along the border with Pakistan, where some residents live in houses built of mud and thatch. The earthquake in Afghanistan was the deadliest in more than two decades, a United Nations agency said, and the death toll was expected to rise.

The search and rescue efforts led by the Afghan Ministry of Defense were hampered by heavy winds and rain, preventing the helicopters from landing safely. A UN representative in Afghanistan reported the destruction of nearly 2,000 homes. The representative said that Afghan families are usually large and sometimes live together, so it is likely that the earthquake has displaced many people.

Eyewitness: Sarhadi Khosti, 26, who lives in Sabra district in Khost province, said he woke up from the earthquake just after 1 am and that a number of homes – many made of dirt or wood – had been destroyed. “For now, we are still busy getting the dead or injured out from under the rubble,” he said.

Pakistan: The earthquake was felt in several parts of Pakistan, but the country was spared the kind of devastation that Afghanistan experienced.

Government: The earthquake is the latest challenge facing the nascent Taliban government.


Horrified by two high-profile mass shootings in a month, 14 Republican senators joined Democrats Tuesday in voting to push what could be the most important step to reform US gun laws in years.

A vote of 64 to 34 to approve the legislation indicated it had enough support to break the Republican hold, a barrier that has repeatedly halted more ambitious efforts to address gun violence. Lawmakers hope to push the measure through the Senate by the end of the week, and the House is expected to take up the matter and send it to President Biden’s desk shortly thereafter.

the details: The legislation will expand background checks and, for the first time, include serious dating partners in a law that prevents domestic abusers from purchasing firearms. This action will also inject millions of dollars to support mental health resources and enhance school safety.

discussion: There is a saying popular in the United States among gun rights advocates, recently adopted by Senator Ted Cruz after the school shooting in Ovaldi, Texas: “What stops armed bad guys are armed good guys.” But a review of the data reveals how difficult it is for active shooting events to stop once they begin.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee is India’s most famous designer and arguably the world’s most influential bridal wear maker. Throughout an era of oppressive simplicity, his clothing remained refreshingly extreme – a celebration of the Indian decorative arts. It made the sari elevated and convinced Indians to see luxury in their fashion heritage, but could it convince Americans too?

When it comes to cooking, we all have to start somewhere — and for some of us, that starts with chopping an onion or cracking an egg in a skillet. Maybe you just graduated from college and are on your own for the first time, or maybe you never learned to cook. Either way, there is hope.

Nikita Richardson, food editor for The Times, compiled these 10 recipes for beginners who can’t boil water. Arranged from easiest to hardest, it includes a bowl of no-cook tuna mayonnaise on the easier end and oven-roasted chicken thighs with potatoes and lemon for those looking for a little more challenge.

With practice, repetition, and patience, you will not only develop a set of skills that you can apply to other kitchen feats, but you will also have 10 delicious dishes under your belt that are worth cooking on repeat. in good health! – Natasha Frost, Briefing Writer

The final episode of “The Daily” is about Biden’s approval rating.

You can reach Jonathan and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

Lynsey Shuttle and Matthew Cullen contributed to this briefing.

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