Good morning. We’re covering a Russian convoy near Kyiv, President Biden’s first State of the Union address and fights over multiculturalism in South Korea.
Russian convoy approaches Kyiv
On Day 6, Russian rockets attacked major cities in Ukraine. The convoy, which stretches 40 miles, was made up of Russian armed forces and sat close to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. Experts fear that this convoy signals a shift toward a more brutal strategy. Here are live updates as well as maps of the invasion.
Russia seems to be increasing the number of strikes, and is targeting civilian areas with more powerful weapons. An apparent rocket strike hit an administrative building in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, killing at least seven people. Russia threatened military facilities in Kyiv by threatening the main radio tower and television tower in Kyiv with a projectile.
The conflict is dividing families and creating a refugee crisis: More than 660,000 people fled Ukraine already. The authorities stopped Africans fleeing the country, while allowing Ukrainians to enter the country quickly, according to the Africans. Ukraine won’t allow most men to flee, in case they need to fight.
Ukraine: President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine charged Russia with war crimes for attacking civilians. The U.N. said that at least 136 civilians, including 13 children, were killed in the first five days of the invasion and asked for $1.7 billion for the country’s emergency needs.
A preview of the State of the Union
Tonight’s State of the Union address will be delivered by President Biden at 9 p.m. Eastern. It will be followed by a Hong Kong 10 a.m. Here’s how to watch, and you can follow our live updates here.
The economy will be a key focus. Biden is expected highlight rising wages after pandemic slumps and plenty of jobs. His presidency could be hampered by inflation, which has slowed his ability to implement much of his social spending agenda.
His speech will be overshadowed by the war in Europe. Biden has had bipartisan support as he imposes economic sanctions on Russia and sends American troops to NATO allies near Ukraine, and his speech could end Congress’s paralysis on the issue. He will still need to explain to Americans the importance of the war and prepare them to deal with hardships such as higher gasoline costs.
Pandemic: The White House has been working on a detailed strategy to transition the nation to a “new normal,” but Biden is unlikely to lay out the plan in his speech.
Analysis: The state of the union has turned sour. A recent poll found that 70% of Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.
South Korea’s diversity fight
When about 150 Muslims started building a mosque last year in Daegu, a conservative city in southeastern South Korea, residents gathered to protest the “den of terrorists,” which they said would turn their neighborhood into “a crime-infested slum.”
The dispute has become a flashpoint in a larger South Korean reckoning about immigration and multiculturalism. Although the country has successfully exported its culture abroad, South Koreans have directed much of their racial ire at Muslims — and immigrants more broadly — at home. Tensions are a result of rising housing prices, low social mobility, and an ever-widening income gap.
Background: Many Koreans explain their stance by citing history. Their nation has survived centuries of invasions, occupations, and has retained its territory and identity. Those who oppose immigration fear threats to South Korea’s “pure blood” and “ethnic homogeneity.”
Analysis: South Korea turned towards immigration to ease a worsening population crisis. Some rural men started to marry foreign women, but there was backlash when the government introduced policies to support “multicultural families.”
THE LATEST NEWS
Here are some examples Live updatesThe Recent mapsThe pandemic.
Queen Elizabeth II, 95 (Resumed her duties nineteen days after she tested positive).
A new study revealed that Omicron is well served by several common rapid-antigen tests.
Scientists discovered a new variant of deer and signs of possible deer to person transmission. However, there is no evidence that this variant poses an increased risk to humans.
New data has shown that the Pfizer shot is less effective in children aged 5-11. It provides protection against infection but not against hospitalization.
What is the Rest?
A Morning Read
A short video of a woman in chains has gone viral in China. She has become a symbol of injustice and the authorities’ incompetence in fighting human trafficking, my colleague Li Yuan writes in The New New World column, and one of the government’s biggest credibility challenges in years.
The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Information
Vaccine protection in adolescents. Five months after immunization, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine appeared to offer virtually no defense against moderate illness caused by Omicron among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, according to new C.D.C. data. However, Booster shots dramatically increased the protection.
Game season arrives early
There were an unusual number of big-budget video games released over the past two months, including a Pokémon game, the robo-dinosaur adventure Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring, a fantasy epic co-written by the “Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin.
The holiday season is normally the busiest for game releases. However, this year has been jam-packed due to a number of factors.
Covid is one example. It took months for game studios around world to adjust to working from home when they were forced to do so. Many developers delayed their games, which led to a pileup in 2022.
Nicole Carpenter, Polygon’s Nicole Carpenter, explains that blockbuster games are becoming more popular outside of the holiday season. Forbidden west, for example, was released in February 2017. It sold well and Horizon Zero Dawn was released in February 2017. — German Lopez, a Morning writer
More: A review in The Guardian calls Elden Ring “the finest video game yet made.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
These salmon hand rolls made with soy glaze are rich in flavor and crunchy.
What to Read
“Run and Hide,” the latest book by Pankaj Mishra, is a tale of the societal change of “New India.”
Glenn Martens is the creative director at Diesel and the cult French brand Y/Project. He is trying to balance his position as a niche conceptualist with his increasing role as an industry Olympian.
Now is the time to play
Play today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Student (five letters).
Here’s today’s Wordle. (If you’re worried about your stats streak, play in the browser you’ve been using.)
And here’s the Spelling Bee.
All of our puzzles can be found here.
That’s it for today’s briefing. We’ll see you next time. — Amelia
P.S. P.S. We are sorry to report that Michele McNally, former director of photography for The Times, has died at 66. Dean Baquet, our executive editor, called her “a transformational figure in photojournalism.”
The latest episode of “The Daily” is about citizens in Ukraine.
German Lopez wrote the Arts and Ideas. Amelia and the team can be reached at email@example.com.
Source: NY Times