Major setbacks for Russia
Russia’s faltering war against Ukraine met further hurdles yesterday as the flagship of its Black Sea fleet sank after a catastrophic explosion and fire, and the EU moved closer to an embargo on Russian oil imports. Follow the latest updates from the war.
Ukraine claimed to have hit the ship, the guided missile cruiser Moskva, with two Neptune missiles. Russia attributed the explosion to ammunition on board the ship. If confirmed, the missile strike would be a serious blow both militarily and symbolically – proof that Russia’s ships can no longer operate with impunity – and another blow to morale.
Moscow also faces the potential loss of European fossil fuel markets. EU officials announced yesterday that an oil embargo is in the works, on top of a previously announced ban on Russian coal imports. The moves will undoubtedly increase fuel and electricity prices in Europe.
Elon Musk’s bid on Twitter
Weeks after Elon Musk revealed he had bought 9 percent of Twitter, the Tesla billionaire made an unsolicited offer to buy the company outright. The offer, which will potentially exceed $40 billion, could have a major impact on political discourse: Musk is a strong supporter of unfettered free speech and exploded when Twitter moderated users.
In a statement, Twitter said it would “carefully study the proposal”. But after a board meeting lasting several hours, the executives and directors seemed ready for a fight. They seemed to drive investors against Musk’s plans, indicating that he would have to spend billions more if he wanted to own the company.
Twitter is also considering a corporate defense tactic of imposing a so-called poison pill, a maneuver designed to fend off an unwelcome takeover bid by making the target’s stock more expensive, officials said. Musk has given few details about how he would pay for the company.
Plan: Musk said that if he succeeded in acquiring Twitter, he planned to relax the company’s moderation policy and make public the content ranking algorithm that controls what people see in their Twitter feeds. Conservatives celebrated his offer.
Britain plans to send refugees to Rwanda
The British government announced a plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing and resettlement, with immediate condemnation of human rights groups and opposition leaders. Such legislation makes the country one of the few superpowers willing to reject migrants without even considering their case.
Rwanda – which has historically been criticized for its human rights record – said it would receive about $157 million or £120 million as part of the deal. It will provide asylum seekers with the opportunity to resettle in countries other than Great Britain, to return home or to a previous country of asylum, or to remain in Rwanda.
The policy would take the hardline immigration policies of the Conservative government led by Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, to a new level. Its implementation is subject to the adoption of a law under consideration that could criminalize anyone entering the country without a valid visa. The plan will most likely face legal challenges, Johnson said.
context: Very few other countries have tried similar tactics to deter migrants. Australia has been criticized for its use of asylum processing centers on Pacific islands such as Nauru.
Prompts for a reset: In recent years, criticism of France in its former colonies in Africa has risen sharply, rooted in the feeling that colonialist practices and attitudes never really ended. Nearly half of the continent’s countries were once French colonies or protectorates.
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Putting toddlers to work
The Japanese television series “Old Enough!” – in which small children go shopping – is a three-decade phenomenon that attracts a fifth of all Japanese television viewers when it airs. It’s been on Netflix since late March, captivating international viewers with microsagas — under 15-minute episodes — about toddlers marching out into the big wide world.
In one episode, a “grocery genius” tries to run errands at a store more than half a mile away. In another, an articulate 3-year-old forgets what she’s been asked to do because she’s too busy talking to herself. Kids are used to dropping their cargo (live fish, in one case) or refusing to leave the house in the first place.
The show’s popularity reflects the country’s high level of public safety and a parenting culture that views toddlers’ independence as an important marker of their development, Hisako Ueno and Mike Ives report for The Times.
“It’s a typical way of raising children in Japan and symbolic of our cultural approach, which can be surprising to people from other countries,” said Toshiyuki Shiomi, a child development expert at Shiraume Gakuen University. in Tokyo.