Britain pushes for more aid to Ukraine
Britain yesterday confirmed plans to send 14 tanks, among other sophisticated military equipment, to Ukraine in the coming weeks. Two top British officials will visit the U.S., Canada, Germany and other NATO allies this week to discuss closer coordination on sanctions against Russia and military aid to Ukraine.
Only months ago, such aid was considered taboo; Western countries resisted sending powerful arms to Ukraine, fearing that such support would prompt Russia to escalate the grinding war. But one expert said that Russia appeared to be mobilizing hundreds of thousands of new conscripts, a development that accelerated discussions about giving Kyiv the tanks.
On the ground in Ukraine, the death toll from Russia’s strike on an apartment building in the city of Dnipro on Saturday has risen to 40. The U.N. has confirmed the deaths of more than 7,000 Ukrainian civilians in the war but said the full toll was far higher.
What’s next: Britain said it would begin training Ukrainian forces on the tanks and guns in the coming days. Thousands of Ukrainian troops have trained in Britain over the last six months.
Germany: Britain’s announcement could increase pressure on Germany to send its coveted Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, or at least allow other European countries to do so.
China’s ‘zero Covid’ workers revolt
The Chinese workers once employed to carry out the mass testing that for years was a cornerstone of the country’s pandemic strategy have faced a sudden loss of income, as the country abandoned its “zero Covid” campaign. Now, hundreds of angry pandemic-control workers are protesting to demand wages and jobs.
The turmoil threatens the ruling Communist Party’s efforts to maintain stability amid high youth unemployment, a flagging economy and an explosion of Covid across the country. China said on Saturday that it had recorded nearly 60,000 fatalities linked to the coronavirus in the last month, though experts said the actual death toll was likely much higher.
China has reached a pivotal moment: The population has begun to shrink after a steady, yearslong decline in its birthrate that experts say will be irreversible. Government data shows that, for all of last year, China’s economic growth was 3 percent — less than half what it was in 2021 and far short of the country’s goal of around 5.5 percent.
Westminster blocks Scottish gender change legislation
The British government moved to block new Scottish legislation that would make it easier for transgender people to have their gender legally recognized. The action stokes a highly charged debate over transgender rights and widens a constitutional rift, as the government in Edinburgh campaigns for Scottish independence.
The law would allow transgender people in Scotland to be issued a new birth certificate without a medical diagnosis and make it easier to legally change their genders. Under the legislation, people age 16 and older could apply for a gender recognition certificate by legally declaring that they are living in their “acquired” genders and intend to do so permanently.
The British government in London argues that the move by the Scottish Parliament breaches equalities legislation that applies across Britain by affording people different treatment depending on where they live. It is the first time the government in London has overruled Scotland’s Parliament by using the authority of a 25-year-old statute.
Response: Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, described the action as “a full-frontal attack on our democratically elected Scottish Parliament.” The Scottish government would defend the legislation, she said.
Context: In Britain, the debate over transgender rights has become increasingly contested, with prominent voices, including the writer J.K. Rowling, rallying opposition to the Scottish legislation and other proposals on gender recognition. The country’s only youth gender clinic was shut down last year.
THE LATEST NEWS
Around the World
“At some point in the day my two worlds would collide, and it would be hard to differentiate between book world and the real world. It was like they would sandwich together.”
A faked death. Questions from the police. And an online community of romance writers where the line between fact and fiction could become all too easily blurred.
Gina Lollobrigida, the Italian actress, sex symbol and later-in-life photographer, died yesterday in Rome. She was 95.
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
Why Super Cup win is just the start for Xavi’s Barcelona: Another statement win over Real Madrid is a clear sign that Barcelona is no longer a team on a downward trajectory.
Everton is broken: The atmosphere was toxic at Goodison during another Everton loss. How bad? The board of directors was told not to attend for its safety.
49ers key to Leeds’s Rutter deal: The proactive role of 49ers Enterprises in supporting the bid for Georgino Rutter and agreeing to meet future payments for him is another firm indication that a change of ownership coming.
From The Times: Novak Djokovic’s deportation from Australia was major news in January 2022, but a year later, the Open, country and sport seem eager to move on.
ARTS AND IDEAS
A killer wardrobe for a deadly doll
For most of the horror film “M3gan,” the antagonist — a murderous doll whose name is pronounced “Megan” — wears a striped, silk twill scarf tied in a pussy bow, an inverted-pleat shift dress layered over a striped long-sleeve shirt, white stockings and shiny black Mary Janes.
The reporter Joshua Lyon talked with the film’s director, Gerard Johnstone, and costume designer, Daniel Cruden, about M3gan’s clothes. This is a lightly edited excerpt. Read the full interview here.
Where did you look for inspiration for M3gan’s clothes?
Johnstone: I kept going back to the ’60s because of the detailing and the fabrics. Everything was so rich. And Gucci kids’ dresses ended up being a big inspiration. I loved a yellow one with red ribbons that I saw online, but we couldn’t physically get our hands on it.
What are some of the outfits that didn’t make it into the movie?
Cruden: There was a scene that showed different M3gans on a turntable wearing looks I created for her. One was French-inspired, with a black beret, black turtleneck and high-waisted flared silk pants. We had a beach M3gan with a peasant blouse, beach hat and espadrilles. Equestrian M3gan had jodhpurs and riding boots. Sporty M3gan looked like she was ready for tennis.
Johnstone: Daniel did a very Audrey Hepburn look with a scarf and sunglasses. But the looks were on a dummy M3gan, and she didn’t look alive. If we’d been able to do it with our main M3gan, it would have worked. It was a shame.