Your Thursday briefing – The New York Times

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With thousands of people camped in the cold on the border between Poland and Belarus, Western officials accused Aleksandr Lukashenko, the repressive ruler of Belarus, of use asylum seekers as human weapons and trying to fabricate a migration crisis in Europe in retaliation for sanctions against his country, creating a new flashpoint in East-West relations.

Western officials said Lukashenko increased the number of people allowed to fly into his country and then funneled them west to the EU. It seems that the number of flights to Minsk from the Middle East has increased. at least doubled in the past 10 days.

European officials said EU member states were united when it came to defending Europe’s borders and that uncontrolled immigration was over. In response, Brussels is contemplating further sanctions against Belarus. But few believe the new sanctions will displace Lukashenko more than the previous ones.

Migrants: Innocent children, women and men are in freezing conditions, trapped between Polish border guards and barbed wire on one side and Belarusian troops on the other. At least 10 people died; other estimates are higher. On both sides of the border, migrants have he faced brutal beatings.

Montargis, a city 75 miles from Paris, was the center of the Yellow Vests social uprising, a rabid protest movement over gasoline tax hikes that was bolstered for more than a year by a much more alienated sense of broad felt by those outside the major French cities.

Three years later, the economic and political disconnect that has almost marked France remains just below the surface. Talk about a renewable energy revolution in Paris has it caused concern in Montargis and cities alike on the potential costs to working class people whose livelihoods are threatened by that clean energy transition.

Gas prices for households have risen 12.6% in the past month alone, in part due to shortages related to the coronavirus. Electric cars seem fancifully expensive to people who not long ago were encouraged to buy fuel-efficient diesel cars. And a wind turbine that will reduce property values ​​is not what people want to see along the way.

Quotable: “If Parisians love wind turbines so much, why not tear up the Bois de Vincennes and make it an attraction?” asked one resident, alluding to the vast park east of Paris.

Background: For Emmanuel Macron, in the face of the April elections, the transition to clean energy has become a sensitive topic. He portrayed himself as a green warrior, albeit a pragmatic one, but he knows that any return of the Yellow Vests would be disastrous for his electoral prospects.


In the final days of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the United States and China agreed to “increase ambition” on climate change by cutting emissions this decade and China has committed for the first time to tackle methane emissions.

Separately, six major car manufacturers and 30 national governments has decided to phase out sales of gas-powered cars around the world by 2040. Some of the largest carmakers in the world, including Toyota, Volkswagen and the Nissan-Renault alliance, have not signed up to the commitment, which is not legally binding. The governments of the United States, China and Japan abstained.

A. primary focus of the conference is to agree on stronger action to keep the average global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), compared to pre-industrial levels. But negotiators hoping to put together a stronger climate deal still have to deal a long list of obstacles.

Political Note: As the leader of the United Nations conference on global warming, Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, hoped to project the policy. But a growing ethical scandal in British politics dominated the week, overshadowing its climate ambitions.

For over four months and 5,000 miles, a 12-foot-tall puppet of a 9-year-old Syrian girl named Amal has walked from Turkey to Britain to find her mother. On a politically divided continent, have minds changed??

When “Chicago” premiered in 1975, it wasn’t a hit. Inspired by sensationalist murder trials, the vaudeville-style musical follows Roxie Hart’s character’s rise to fame after killing her lover. The production “seemed too cold in those days to be truly loved,” wrote Ben Brantley in The Times, pointing to the show’s themes of “greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and betrayal.”

But then came a streamlined rework of the production in 1996 that boiled “like a vintage champagne,” Brantley wrote. “Chicago” has become the longest-running American musical in Broadway history and has won six Tony Awards, a film adaptation and over 30 international plays.

The show stayed fresh with the help of amazing cast members: singers like Patti LaBelle and Usher, movie stars like Brooke Shields and Patrick Swayze, and even reality TV characters like NeNe Leakes. “It’s not a stunt – we don’t take anyone who can’t do the work on stage,” said producer Barry Weissler. “There were people – even important people in the music business – who couldn’t cut it on stage, so they didn’t get into the show.”

For the 25th anniversary of his awakening, Juan A. Ramírez spoke to the composer, producers and actors of the musical about its history.

That’s it for today’s briefing. And a scheduling note: I’m away until next week, but my colleagues will be busy giving you the latest news.

Thanks for starting the day with The Times – Natasha

PS The word “gloom“- describing the magma of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii – appeared for the first time in the Times this week.

The last episode of “The newspaper“It’s about a man who identifies the bodies of migrants who died trying to reach Spain.

Sanam Yar wrote Today’s Arts and Ideas. You can reach Natasha and the team on [email protected].

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