French people

Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times

In a trip shrouded in secrecy, Antony J. Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, and Lloyd J. Austin, the Secretary of Defense, yesterday took a wartime trip to kyiv, Ukraine, where the president, Volodymyr Zelensky, urged them to provide more help in his country’s battle against the Russian invaders. Follow the latest updates.

Congress has already approved $$13.6 billion in emergency spending related to the invasion, including for weapons, military supplies and one of the largest injections of U.S. foreign aid to any country in the past decade. Last week, President Biden announced $800 million in additional military aid, including equipment to help combat Russia’s new focus on seizing eastern Ukraine.

Russia yesterday redoubled its assault on the eastern port city of Mariupol, where a steel mill held by Ukrainian forces is under fierce attack and around 120,000 people are surviving in what witnesses described as barbaric conditions.

In other wartime news:

In the second round of the French elections, Emmanuel Macron, the president, triumphed over Marine Le Pen, his far-right opponent, with a lead of around 17%. In a solemn speech, Macron said it was a victory for “a more independent France and a stronger Europe”.

During the campaign, Le Pen was hostile to NATO, the United States and the EU, as well as to the fundamental values ​​that no French citizen should be discriminated against for being a Muslim. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the election result reflected “the mobilization of the French to maintain their values ​​and against a narrow vision of France”.

Le Pen, who conceded defeat, bitterly criticized Macron’s “brutal and violent methods” without explaining what she meant. She has vowed to keep fighting for a large number of representatives in the June legislative elections.

The context: Since 2002, no French president had managed to be re-elected. Macron’s unusual achievement in securing an additional five years in power reflects his effective handling of the Covid-19 crisis, his revival of the economy and his political agility to occupy the full center of the political spectrum.

Related: In Slovenia’s parliamentary elections, preliminary results indicated populist Prime Minister Janez Jansa lost to his centrist rivals.

As war rages in Ukraine, governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America have refused to take sides, eschewing the us-versus-them binary accounting that has characterized much of the post-Second World War and emphasizing the confidence of small countries, no longer dependent on a single ideological or economic boss, to go their own way.

The current geopolitical landscape has often been likened to that of a new cold war. While the main antagonists may be the same – the United States, Russia and, increasingly, China – the roles played by much of the rest of the world have changed, reshaping a world order that has endured. more than three quarters of a century.

In a vote at the UN this month to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council, dozens of countries abstained, including Thailand, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Singapore. More than half of the abstentions were from African nations, many of which have benefited from growing Chinese attention and investment. (The resolution still succeeded.)

Historical allegiances: Some U.S. allies have characterized their decision to diversify based on U.S. absenteeism over diplomacy or the vaccine trade. And Russia, which lacks both patronage money and the geopolitical clout of the Soviet Union, cannot necessarily rely on its former allies either.

American adolescence is changing. Three decades ago, the most serious public health threats to American adolescents came from excessive alcohol consumption, drunk driving, pregnancy and smoking. These problems have since been replaced by a new public health problem: soaring rates of mental health disorders.

“We have to figure it out,” said Candice Odgers, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine. “Because it’s life or death for these children.”

It’s an open secret in Hollywood that book stylists suggest celebrities and influencers read material to wear — and photograph — in public. Fashion has also turned to literature for inspiration lately: last year, Dior featured models parading on a catwalk printed with Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”, while Valentino appealed to authors like Brit Bennett and David Sedaris to contribute to advertising campaigns.

Books became “coveted signifiers of taste and self-expression”, writes Nick Haramis in T Magazine – although some critics have questioned whether the books were merely used as props.

As for the authors? If the books have become a version of the latest It bag, it can only be good for business. “If you ask any writer, they want to be read, but they also want to keep writing,” said Karah Preiss, who runs Belletrist, an online reading community, with actress Emma Roberts. “The bottom line for publishers is not ‘Has your book been read?’ It’s ‘Has your book sold?’ And famous readers sell books.