Johnson survives a vote of no confidence for the time being
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, won a tense vote of no confidence among Tory lawmakers yesterday, 211 to 148. Still, the vote predicts an unstable period in British politics as he fights to stay in power and lead a divided Conservative party. .
Johnson pledged to stay on, stating that the win would put an end to speculation about his future in the role. “It’s a convincing result, a decisive result,” he said. But history suggests otherwise: Conservative prime ministers subject to such a vote are usually removed from office regardless of the outcome.
For a politician who led the Tories to a landslide election victory in 2019 with the promise to “make Brexit”, it was a bruise of grace, writes Mark Landler, our London bureau chief, in this analysis. Johnson’s job has been on the line for months.
context: Johnson’s support has waned since last year when a scandal broke out over revelations that he and his senior staff were throwing parties at 10 Downing Street, in violation of the Covid lockdown rules. More than 40 percent of conservative lawmakers voted against him in an unexpectedly large uprising.
Conservatives: With a comfortable majority in parliament, the party is in no danger of losing power. Johnson may try to stem the storm by claiming he has been given a bigger mandate than when he was first elected leader of the party in July 2019.
Powerful weapons reach Ukraine
Britain has joined the US in a commitment to send advanced missile systems to Ukraine that can hit targets up to 50 miles (80 km) away. President Biden said last week that the US would soon provide a precision missile system with a similar range. Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has repeatedly warned the West against supplying Ukraine with such weapons.
Since Russia invaded, NATO countries have upgraded Ukraine’s arsenal with increasingly sophisticated instruments without training soldiers on how to use the equipment. In some cases, soldiers learned enough to operate complex tools, sometimes they used Google Translate to understand English-language manuals, but then rotated to other placements, giving the unit an expensive paperweight.
The fighting in eastern Ukraine has increasingly turned into an artillery war, and Western missiles could erode Moscow’s weapons advantage in the battle for the Donbas. The barrages have taken a heavy toll on the Ukrainian military, with the government saying as many as 100 soldiers die every day.
We pray for them too: Even as Russian shells kill monks and nuns, the Sviatohirsk Monastery of the Caves in eastern Ukraine, an important site in the Russian Orthodox Church, remains loyal to the church and its pro-Putin leader, Patriarch Kirill.
Guerrilla attacks are on the rise in the Russian-occupied south.
US federal authorities are planning to seize two planes believed to belong to Roman Abramovich after the oligarch violated strict export regulations linked to the Russian invasion.
Israeli government falters again
Israel’s fragile coalition government threatened to collapse again after parliament voted against applying Israeli civil law to Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.
The decision undermined the bipartisan legal system that distinguishes between Israelis and Palestinians in most of the territory and is often at the heart of allegations that Israel maintains an apartheid system in the West Bank.
Technically a temporary measure, the law — which differs from the military law by which Israel generally governs Palestinians living in the same area — has been routinely extended by lawmakers since 1967 and expires at the end of the month. The attempt failed by a vote of 58 to 52 after Naftali Bennett, Israel’s right-wing prime minister, failed to keep his tenuous coalition in line.
Effects: If lawmakers don’t change course, the move could topple the government, throw a political lifeline on Benjamin Netanyahu — the opposition leader who lost power last June — and send West Bank settlement governance into chaos. bring, legal experts said. Another vote is coming.
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More than a year after they first arrived in Britain under a new visa program, tens of thousands of Hong Kong people are settling into their new homes. But they still long for the one they left behind.
“You grow up somewhere and you don’t recognize it. It’s going to be a strange one,” said one recent arrival, reflecting on the changes in Hong Kong as he mixed evaporated milk into steaming tea. “When we think about it, we just want to cry.”
Into the void
Does the image you see above seem to be moving, growing or expanding? This static image, of a darkness that threatens to swallow the viewer, can teach us a lot about how our brains and eyes see the world.
In a study published last week, psychologists tested this illusion on 50 men and women with normal vision. Using an infrared eye tracker, they found that the greater a participant’s response to the illusion, the stronger the pupil dilation response. About 14 percent of people can’t see the illusion at all.
Your pupils unconsciously adapt to the light in your environment, dilating to accommodate more light in the dark, and constricting to avoid overexposure in brightness. Looking at this illusion does not make the hole darker. But the perception of the hole getting dark is enough to make your pupils respond.
The researchers hypothesize that the illusion works because the gradient on the central hole makes it appear as if the viewer is entering a dark hole or tunnel, causing the pupils to dilate.
One hypothesis is that the brain tries to predict the future and show us how to perceive the present, a result of the brain’s strategy of navigating an uncertain, ever-changing world. The brain adapts by, for example, having the pupils dilate when it anticipates darkness.