Your Tuesday Briefing: Russia’s Faltering Campaign

Good morning. We’re covering Russia’s struggling military campaign, Australia’s halting recovery from bush fires and a Covid-19 protest at Peking University. Russia scales back its charge east After a series of military setbacks, Moscow now appears to be focusing on a narrow objective: widening its holdings in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas. But even there Russia may be forced to scale back its ambition to take most of eastern Ukraine, according to the Institute for the Study of War. Russia still controls the wide swath of southern Ukraine it seized…

Your Thursday Briefing: A Journalist Killed in the West Bank

Good morning. We’re covering the killing of an Al Jazeera journalist, China’s uncertain wheat harvest and rising religious violence in India. Journalist killed in the West Bank Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was fatally shot in the head while reporting in the West Bank city of Jenin. Al Jazeera, citing Palestinian authorities, said Israeli forces shot her during a raid. The news network said it held the government and military accountable. Israel’s military said that it was not clear who shot her, and that it…

Your Tuesday Briefing: A Marcos Victory?

Good morning. We’re covering the Philippines presidential election, the resignation of Sri Lanka’s prime minister and a pandemic pivot in Taiwan. Another Marcos for president? With more than 90 percent of election returns counted in a preliminary tally, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appeared sure to win the country’s presidential election early Tuesday morning. He has a huge lead over Leni Robredo in the Philippines’ most consequential vote in recent history. Here are live updates. Marcos, the son of the former dictator who was ousted 36 years ago, appealed to a public…

Your Monday Briefing: Russia’s Pre-Holiday Push

Good morning. We’re covering Russia’s nationalist holiday, Hong Kong’s new leader and a Taliban decree targeting women. Lee, the top architect of the crackdown on Hong Kong’s antigovernment protests in 2019, plans to push through laws on treason, secession, sedition and subversion, and to root out critics in the civil service. He inherits a city that has been tamed and cowed: Sweeping national security laws imposed two years ago have quashed dissent, gutted the free press and put critics behind bars or sent them into exile. He will also face…

Putin’s War on Information Is Far From Over

The info war has also reached Asia, Africa and South America, where Russia has mobilized diplomats and state-controlled media like the global RT network to press its case. The goal isn’t necessarily to win support, but to keep unaligned countries on the sidelines. While some countries, most notably China, have taken Russia’s side, others, like India, have avoided antagonizing Russia so as not to lose Russian military or energy contracts. Many others have done so simply because they know and care little about Ukraine. Russia’s line to them is that…

Star Ferry, ‘Emblem of Hong Kong,’ May Sail Into History After 142 Years

HONG KONG — On a damp Monday morning in Hong Kong, Freeman Ng looked out from the upper deck of the Star Ferry as it approached land. A sailor tossed a heavy rope to a colleague on the pier, who looped it around a bollard as the swoosh of the waves crashed against the green and white vessel pulling in from Victoria Harbor. Mr. Ng, 43, commutes from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island on the ferry most weekdays. The subway would be much faster, but Mr. Ng prefers to cross…

With Property Sales Plunging, China Evergrande Faces More Protests

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Protesters gathered outside China Evergrande offices in Guangzhou on Tuesday to demand that the indebted real estate developer give them their money back, as the company’s sales across China continued to plunge. Evergrande, the world’s most indebted developer, has tried for months to signal to home buyers, employees and investors that its $300 billion debt problem was under control. Just last week, its billionaire founder pledged to restart construction on its many stalled sites. But the challenges keep mounting. On Tuesday, Evergrande said that property sales fell 39 percent last…

Hong Kong’s Election Is Really a Selection

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The signs and messages are everywhere: “Cast a vote for Hong Kong and yourself.” Candidates’ faces cover the pavement and walls from the city center to stalls in the wet markets on its outskirts. Government-sponsored billboards calling to “improve electoral system, ensure patriots administering Hong Kong” abound. Hong Kong and Chinese government officials have for weeks been urging the public to vote in this weekend’s legislative election. But this is not a typical free and fair election: It’s a selection process, thanks to an electoral overhaul with no meaningful participation…

‘Beijing Spring’ Review: The Politics of Aesthetics

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Can art effect real change in the world? To this ever-urgent question, “Beijing Spring” — a new documentary about the titular movement for democratic expression that exploded in the wake of the Cultural Revolution in China — responds with a resounding yes. Directed by Andy Cohen with Gaylen Ross, the film focuses on the Stars Art Group, a collective of self-taught practitioners who seized on the tumult after Mao Zedong’s death in 1976 and deployed their art like Molotov cocktails. They circulated their paintings and literature via underground magazines; papered…

Solomon Islands Protests: 3 Burned Bodies Found in Chinatown

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MELBOURNE, Australia — After days of riots in the Solomon Islands during which protesters called for Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to resign, set buildings ablaze and looted stores, the authorities on Saturday said they had found the bodies of three people in a burned-out building. They are the first reported deaths following days of violent protests in Honiara, the nation’s capital. The three bodies, which were burned, had been found in the remains of one store in the Chinatown district, a police spokesman said. The police were investigating the deaths,…