Your Friday Briefing: European Leaders Journey to Ukraine

We’re protecting European leaders’ vows to again the Ukrainian battle effort and a Trumpian presidential candidate in Colombia.

The leaders of France, Italy, Germany and Romania met with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on Thursday in Kyiv, the place they expressed help for making Ukraine a candidate for EU membership and mentioned they might proceed to again Ukraine’s army efforts, regardless of recommendations on the contrary .

President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, who had been criticized in latest days over the notion that they have been searching for to strain Zelensky into peace talks with Russia, emphasised that their help was real: “We’re and we are going to stay by your facet in the long term to defend your sovereignty, your territorial integrity and your freedom,” Macron mentioned. “That is our aim, we’ve got no different and we are going to obtain it.”

All 4 leaders expressed help for Ukraine’s EU candidacy, Macron mentioned. Scholz added that “Ukraine belongs to the European household.”

The European leaders additionally visited Irpin, a Kyiv suburb the place investigators are wanting into studies of Russian atrocities throughout the battle. Russia dismissed their journey as empty symbolism. Dmitri Medvedev, the previous Russian president, derisively referred to as the leaders “European connoisseurs of frogs, liverwurst and pasta.”

hesitation: Ukrainian officers are cautious of strain to barter an finish to the battle with Russia due to the 2014 and 2015 Minsk accords, through which the Ukrainians provided concessions in trade for Russian cease-fires, which by no means held.

Trapped: With all the bridges connecting the dual Ukrainian cities of Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk destroyed and combating nonetheless raging, 1000’s of civilians have been left trapped inside one of many deadliest battles of the battle thus far.

Schoolchildren world wide have lengthy been taught that Hong Kong was a British colony. However college students in Hong Kong will quickly be informed a distinct lesson: It wasn’t.

A brand new narrative pushed by Beijing — which rejects how the British noticed their relationship to the town — can be explicitly taught to Hong Kong highschool college students via not less than 4 new textbooks that can be rolled out within the fall.

The textbook materials remains to be underneath evaluate by principals, lecturers, students and staff of Hong Kong’s Training Bureau, however it appears destined for lecture rooms. Native information web sites printed draft excerpts this week, and The Occasions considered lecturers’ proof copies.

Excerpts from the textbooks reinforce China’s Communist Occasion’s place on Hong Kong. “The British aggression violated the ideas of worldwide legislation so its occupation of Hong Kong area mustn’t have been acknowledged as lawful,” learn the lecturers’ version proof copy of 1 textbook.

Quotable: The narrative, one pro-democracy activist mentioned, “is a shorthand for saying, ‘Hong Kong was at all times part of China, thus Hong Kongers by no means might declare a proper of self-determination.’”

Broader effort: The fabric is a part of a wider marketing campaign by China’s high chief, Xi Jinping, to overtake Hong Kong’s colleges, to “shield younger minds” and to boost loyal, patriotic residents.

Rodolfo Hernández, a 77-year-old businessman and former mayor, has emerged as Colombia’s most disruptive presidential candidate in a long time, electrifying voters — and an enormous TikTok fan base — with a Trump-like “drain the swamp” message.

He is one in every of two remaining candidates in Sunday’s election for president of the nation, the third largest in Latin America, with the winner taking management at a pivotal second within the nation’s historical past.

Hernández has promoted himself as a paragon of democracy, a profitable businessman who makes good on guarantees and cares for the poor. However a Occasions reporter traveled to Bucaramanga, a mountain-fringed metropolis the place he constructed his empire and as soon as served as mayor, and located a distinct image: an anti-corruption candidate who has been indicted on corruption fees, an austerity proponent whose slash-and -burn insurance policies led to a starvation strike by metropolis staff and a development magnate who as soon as pledged to construct 20,000 houses for the poor that by no means materialized.

The opponent: Hernández faces Gustavo Petro, a former insurgent and longtime senator who’s hoping to turn out to be Colombia’s first leftist president. Their electoral success — they’re roughly tied within the polls — displays an anti-establishment fervor that swept via Latin America as longstanding poverty and inequality intensified throughout the pandemic.

Diablo is among the most profitable online game franchises, from one of many largest builders on this planet, Blizzard Leisure. However the newest entry within the collection, “Diablo Immortal,” has obtained overwhelmingly unfavourable opinions from critics who say the sport’s cost mannequin is predatory.

“Diablo Immortal” is free to obtain on computer systems and cellular units, however it hosts a store through which gamers can use actual cash to purchase objects to enhance their avatar’s gear. These enhancements are usually not assured; gamers are, in essence, paying for a digital scratch-off ticket. By some estimates, it could take 1000’s, if not tens of 1000’s, of {dollars} to totally improve a personality.

Belgium and the Netherlands is not going to get “Diablo Immortal” because of anti-gambling guidelines that ban these kinds of video games. And on Metacritic, a evaluate aggregator, customers have given the PC model of the sport a rating of 0.2 out of 10 — among the many lowest of any Blizzard sport. — German Lopez

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