Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times
A potential pivot on Ukraine
President Biden plans to send thousands of troops, warships and planes to the Baltics and Eastern Europe in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The move would mark a major turning point for his administration, which until recently took a moderate stance on Ukraine for fear of provoking an invasion from Russia.
On Saturday, senior Pentagon officials presented Biden with several options, one of which is to send 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, with the potential to increase that number tenfold if the situation deteriorates. . Biden is expected to make a decision as soon as this week, officials said.
In a highly unusual public statement, backed by US officials, the UK government said over the weekend that the Kremlin appeared to be drawing up plans to install Yevgeniy Murayev, a former Ukrainian member of parliament, as head of a government pro-Kremlin puppet. Moscow has deployed over 100,000 Russian troops to Ukraine’s borders.
Explanations: Here are the basics of conflict and one way a war could start.
Chernobyl: Ukraine has initiated a defensive strategy for the isolated area around the power plant, which is on the shortest route between Russia and Kiev. Its security forces patrol one of the most radioactive places on earth.
Biden’s fight against the pandemic
President Biden took office last January with a 200-page coronavirus response strategy, promising a “full-scale war effort” rooted in science and skill, with vaccines at its heart. In a July 4 speech, after a successful deployment of the vaccine, he announced that the United States was “closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus.”
But soon after his speech, it was discovered that vaccinated people could spread the virus, calling into question the Biden administration’s near-single focus on vaccination as a way out of the pandemic. Although Biden’s approach puts the United States in a much better position to fight the virus than it did a year ago, there have been significant setbacks, according to interviews with dozens of current and former government officials. administration, public health experts and governors:
The White House bet the pandemic would follow a straight line, and it was unprepared for the threat of variants, even after clear warning signals from the rest of the world.
Rather than force Americans to get vaccinated, Biden has tiptoed around an organized Republican revolt against masks, mandates, vaccine passports and even the vaccine itself.
Recent news: Speaking yesterday, Dr Anthony Fauci, Biden’s top medical adviser, said cases in the United States could soon fall to manageable levels. New coronavirus cases have started to decline nationwide, but deaths continue to rise.
Gunfire shakes the capital of Burkina Faso
Gunfire erupted at military bases in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou and two other towns just before dawn yesterday as part of an attempted mutiny by soldiers angered by their government’s inability to stop a wave of attacks by Islamist militants. Hours later, the government issued a statement denying that a coup was in progress.
The soldiers retained control of the bases and demanded sweeping changes in the campaign against Islamic militants, severely undermining government authority. Riot police fired tear gas into central Ouagadougou to prevent a crowd of young protesters from reaching a traditional protest site. The demonstrators demanded the ousting of Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, the president.
By nightfall, a state of precarious calm had descended on the city, with a small number of protesters gathered outside a major military base, urging the mutinous soldiers to seize power. There was no sign of the president.
The context: The mutiny comes months after Kaboré changed the military leadership in what analysts saw as an attempt to suppress opposition in the armed forces. This month the government arrested a dozen soldiers suspected of plotting against the government.
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Remembering Thierry Mugler
Thierry Mugler, the outrageous, anti-gender designer who dominated European catwalks in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died yesterday aged 73. No cause of death was given.
Mugler was one of the main architects of a late ’80s aesthetic that married S&M and haute couture – latex, leather and curves. Her figure was a sort of inverted triangle with giant shoulders and a nipped-in waist, and her early muses included Grace Jones and Joey Arias. He had a long-standing creative collaboration with David Bowie.
But Mugler’s ability to tap into pop culture and his unabashed embrace of gay iconography overshadowed his spectacular tailoring and construction technique, ghettoizing him at a time when the AIDS epidemic had become a political battleground.
“The exteriority of designers agreeing to be gay was not a thing then,” said Paul Cavaco, who during Mugler’s heyday was the fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar. “People knew but you didn’t really talk about it. It was not considered fancy. And here he was sending drag queens like Lypsinka down the runway.
In 2019, 17 years after leaving his brand, he made a comeback: Cardi B showed up to the Grammys looking like a Disney princess in a flesh-colored bodice. A few months later, Kim Kardashian wore a Mugler-designed dress to the Met Gala that looked like every curve had been dipped in high-fructose corn syrup. The viral looks introduced him to millions of new fans.