(Want to receive this newsletter in your inbox? Here registration.)
Good evening. Here is the last Tuesday at the end of the day.
1. The Ukrainians organize a fiery defense of kyiv.
The army general staff reported that its forces had recaptured Makariv, a suburb of the capital, reflecting Ukrainian efforts to prevent Russian forces from encircling kyiv. After 26 days of fighting, a senior US defense official said the Russians had been unable to advance beyond nine miles northwest of kyiv or 18 miles east of the town.
The Pentagon has estimated that Russia’s ‘combat power’ in Ukraine – comprising more than 150,000 troops – has fallen below 90% of its original strength for the first time, reflecting losses suffered by Russian troops in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers.
One of the biggest surprises of the war was Russia’s failure to defeat the Ukrainian Air Force. Many military analysts expected rapid destruction. Instead, Top Gun-style dogfights, rare in modern warfare, now rage over the land.
2. A Russian court sentenced Aleksei Navalny to an additional nine years in prison.
The new sentence imposed on the jailed opposition leader came at a time when the war in Ukraine has made him even more responsible for President Vladimir Putin. Navalny has urged Russians to protest the invasion of Ukraine through prison letters that his lawyers post on social media.
4. ID cards, cell phones and purses – but no survivors – were found at the site of the China Eastern plane crash that occurred earlier this week.
The Boeing 737 airliner carrying 132 people has crashed in the mountains of southern China. Hundreds of rescuers comb the hills, but hope for survivors is dwindling.
Workers are also trying to find the plane’s so-called black boxes, which are crucial to finding out what caused the crash. The plane’s unusual trajectory – a steady flight that turned sharply downward – suggests many possible causes, including foul play or catastrophic equipment failure, although experts stressed it was too early to tell. do more than speculate.
5. Dozens of Disney employees left their jobs today.
Workers were protesting the company’s handling of a bill known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’, which would restrict classroom teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity. Disney initially kept quiet about the legislation to avoid controversy, but this approach backfired and an internal outcry dragged on into its third week.
The bill is one of the biggest storms for Disney in decades, and one of the most high-profile examples to date of a shift in corporate culture: A generation of socially conscious workers is demanding that employers speak out on social and political issues.
In other media news, BuzzFeed News’ editor-in-chief and two other editors leave the company ahead of newsroom cuts.
6. Alcohol-related deaths in the United States, including those from liver disease and accidents, which increased in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study.
Alcohol-related deaths rose to 99,017 in 2020 from 78,927 the previous year, an increase of 25%. This compares to an average annual increase of 3.6% between 1999 and 2019. Among adults under 65, these deaths slightly exceeded those of Covid in 2020.
This increase points to factors such as soaring stress levels during the pandemic and decreasing access to general medical treatment.
In other virus news:
7. If someone scolds you, “OK, doomer!” check your attitudes to climate change.
The slogan refers to a growing group of activists, many of them young people, who oppose the inevitability of climate catastrophe.
Activists believe that an incessant focus on dire climate news can induce paralysis and depression, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and helping to preserve dependence on consumerism and fossil fuels. On TikTok and Instagram, on blogs and podcasts, they spread alternative narratives on climate news and give practical information to avoid the crisis.
In other climate news, Fridays for Future, a global youth movement, is holding protests around the world this Friday, with “climate reparations and justice” as their rallying cry.
8. Skeleton DNA could rewrite early American history.
DNA analysis of 20 well-preserved skeletons from Belize, dating as far back as 9,600 years ago, could changing ideas about how agricultural technology, especially corn farming, spread in the Americas. The findings are based on the discovery of a rare buried cache of skeletons under two dry rock shelters in the Maya region, where bones typically degrade rapidly in tropical conditions.
The shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture in this part of Central America was once attributed to a more general spread of knowledge, about cultures and practices. But the new data reveals that a previously unknown mass migration from the south more than 5,600 years ago may have helped start intensive maize cultivation in the region.
9. Emily Nunn reinvented herself with salad.
After a long career in food and feature writing, Nunn found she couldn’t be hired by a mainstream publication after the pandemic hit. So she leveraged her modest Twitter account in The Department of Salad, a brash and witty leafy greens newsletter, and launched a crusade against ageism in hiring.
“Listen, I’m not the biggest salad fan in the world,” Nunn said, but now she’s posting the kind of food writing she’s been missing. “I don’t want to go to parties in Brooklyn and write about amplifying the flavor of everything,” she added. “I love it, but I can’t do this. I had to do something myself.
In other food news, an algorithm change has shaken food companies’ faith in Instagram.
ten. And finally, the return of the fixed telephone.
The kitchen staple and a bedside companion have been virtually replaced by its cordless cousin; in June 2021, just over 30% of Americans had one in their home.
But a wave of nostalgia, perhaps stoked by the pandemic, could slightly alter this trajectory. Etsy reports a 45% increase in searches for phones from the year 2000 and 90s and a 26% increase in searches for rotary phones in 2021 compared to 2020.
One of the motivations, said an official at a company selling older phones, is that it’s “a return to basics”. He added that with a landline phone you are “stuck within three feet of the base. You can have a real conversation without being distracted.
Spend a targeted evening!
Sean Culligan compiled photos for this briefing.