Thursday, April 25

Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times

President Volodymyr Zelensky is redoubling his diplomatic efforts in Europe, while American aid to Ukraine remains blocked in Congress.

Zelensky and other Ukrainian politicians praised the bipartisan group of senators who approved $60 billion in aid to Ukraine at a time when weapons and ammunition are in short supply there. The aid must still be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, where a powerful Republican faction, encouraged by Donald Trump, is determined to resist the bill and where the Republican president has said he will ignore it.

Mr. Zelensky will likely push for more military assistance when he visits Berlin, Paris and possibly London as part of a whirlwind tour this week, a Ukrainian official said.

President Biden yesterday implored House Republicans to pass the aid, calling recent anti-NATO comments from Republican presidential nominee Trump “stupid,” “dangerous” and “anti-American”.

Indonesia, the world’s third-largest democracy, is electing a new president today, as tens of millions of people across the archipelago of thousands of islands go to the polls to choose one of three presidential candidates.

They are: Anies Baswedan, Prabowo Subianto and Ganjar Pranowo. President Joko Widodo, the popular incumbent who is barred from seeking a third term, appeared to forge an alliance with Prabowo without explicitly endorsing anyone.

Prabowo, a former general accused of committing human rights abuses when Indonesia was a dictatorship under Suharto, is the favorite. But if he doesn’t get more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will take place in June. Many Indonesians have expressed concern that Prabowo could return the country to its authoritarian past.

Sui-Lee Wee, Times Southeast Asia bureau chief, said Prabowo’s supporters think he will likely focus on infrastructure development and economic growth, “but what people fear , it is the slow erosion of democratic norms, which was initiated by Joko, but “could accelerate under the leadership of a leader who once declared that Indonesia did not need democracy or elections . »

Negotiators from several countries struggled yesterday to reach an agreement to temporarily end the war in the Gaza Strip. Officials said negotiations were promising, but Israel and Hamas were still not close to an agreement.

The talks came as the United Nations, the United States and other countries have expressed growing concern about a possible Israeli incursion into Rafah, where about 1.4 million people are housed.

Israel’s prime minister said his country would carry out an offensive in Rafah and ordered the army to develop plans to evacuate civilians. But Palestinians and international aid groups say no place in Gaza is safe and that moving people from Rafah will only make their situation worse.

More war news: The Times investigates a tunnel under Al-Shifa Hospital.

A married research couple may have determined that smooching is older than many thought. After consulting cuneiform texts on clay tablets from Mesopotamia and Egypt, they determined that kissing had been widespread and well-established in the Middle East since at least the late third millennium BC.

Lives lived: David Bouley translated New French cuisine into the New American style that shaped high-end cuisine. He died at age 70.

View football team styles: Understanding how clubs play through Europe.

A “privileged” market for drivers: Can Aston Martin keep Fernando Alonso?

Time for change: Things have gone too far WM Phoenix Openwrites a columnist.

Batsheva Hay, a New York fashion designer, spent weeks searching for new faces to model her clothes. But she is only interested in models aged 40 or over.

A woman over 40 is not uncommon on the catwalks. But older models are tokenized, as are plus-size models, and there are usually at most three in a group of 30, 50, or 80.

For this show, Hay, 42, plans to keep her models’ faces relatively bare because “I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re trying to look younger.”