Your Friday briefing: China’s campaign against “zero-Covid” protesters
China’s bullying campaign
China has arrested, detained and interrogated people who joined protests against the government’s “Zero-Covid” restrictions last month. The Communist Party appears determined to warn anyone who may have been emboldened by the protests, which led to Beijing’s decision to drop the restrictions.
Four young women, who are friends, are among the first people known to have been arrested after taking part in protests in Beijing. “At the scene, we respected public order, we didn’t cause any conflict with the police,” Cao Zhixin, a 26-year-old editor, said in a video she recorded in case she went missing. “Then why do you still have to take us secretly?”
Relatives of the young women told my colleagues that the police questioned them about their use of Telegram, a messaging platform blocked in China. Authorities also inquired about their involvement in feminist activities, such as a book club where they read feminist books.
The primary motivation of the authorities is probably not to repress these particular women. Instead, precisely because they were not prominent organizers, their cases serve as a more general warning to those who might have taken inspiration from the protests.
A possible prison sentence: Police accused the women of “causing quarrels and causing trouble”, people familiar with the matter said – a vague crime that authorities often blame on their critics in order to silence them. He is liable to a prison term of up to five years.
Russian missiles hit Ukraine
At least 11 people have been killed in a wave of Russian missile strikes across Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials. The Russian attacks came a day after Germany and the United States pledged to send tanks to help Ukrainian forces in the war.
The announcement of tank shipments is a milestone in Western military support. But experts predict it may take a few months for the coveted German-made Leopard 2 tanks to arrive, just as ground offensives from both sides could be underway. Already, Ukraine is pushing for the next weapon on its wish list: fighter jets.
“More missiles over Ukraine”, a Ukrainian lawmaker posted on Twitter. “We need F16”, referring to the US-made F-16 fighter jet. US officials have said the F-16s are complicated planes that take months to learn how to use. But they used similar arguments about the Abrams tanks before President Biden’s decision to send them to Ukraine.
Understand the situation in China
The Chinese government has shelved its restrictive “zero Covid” policy, which had sparked mass protests that posed a rare challenge to the Communist Party leadership.
In the region: The war increased the influence of Central and Eastern European countries with a negative view of Russia. Vocal pressure from these countries was crucial in tank supply decisions this week, writes Steven Erlanger, our chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe, in an analysis.
A milestone for women’s cricket
Local investors in India bought five teams in a new women’s cricket league this week for a combined price of more than $570 million, one of the biggest one-day cash injections in women’s sports history.
The numbers were remarkable even in India, which sees jaw-dropping valuations for cricket teams. The country is the sport’s richest market and its main men’s competition – the Indian Premier League – generates annual broadcast revenues comparable to those of the NFL ($10 billion) and the English Premier League ($6.9 billion). of dollars).
The new Women’s Premier League is designed to be a sister version of the IPL. In a sign of its lucrative potential, an Indian media company paid $116 million for domestic television and digital rights over five years. That makes the WPL the second most valuable women’s sports league in the world, behind the WNBA, according to an analyst at a media research firm.
And after: The month-long competition will take place in March. Top female cricketers can expect wages to soar to new heights when teams stockpile their rosters next month.
THE LAST NEWS
A fallout shelter that Canada built during the Cold War for its senior officials opened as a museum in the late 1990s. Now, as Russia reminds the world of its atomic weapons, tourists flock to visit the disused bunker.
“That fear is still very real for people,” the museum’s executive director said. “It seems to have returned to the public psyche.”
Lives Lived: Eileen Yin-Fei Lo taught Americans how to cook traditional Chinese dishes. She died at age 85.
Women and the world of cinema
Last year, the top 20 box office receipts in the United States were led by men and very few female filmmakers were nominated for major awards. Still, my colleague Manohla Dargis is optimistic about women in movies for the first time.
What is striking in 2022, she writes, is the number of films titled and directed by women that have had a cultural and economic impact. Additionally, a shift in consciousness has brought feminist concerns into the mainstream.
Films directed by women are no longer a box office aberration. Women direct and act in more diverse types of films. They’re bringing the representational fight to the screen, from Oscar-winning “Everything Everywhere All at Once” to “The Woman King,” which opened at No. 1 in September.
“We are going through a sea change with women and movies,” writes Manohla. “It made my work as a critic more exciting.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
For a weekend project, make kouign-amann.
Where to go
With new museums and neighborhoods, Oslo is changing, but Norway’s capital still celebrates the outdoors.
What to watch
In “Nostalgia”, a man who left Naples as a teenager returns after 40 years and is confronted with his failed youth and past crimes.