Zelensky’s DC speech
Volodymyr Zelensky, the leader of Ukraine, returns home after a high-profile visit to Washington. His speech to Congress was carefully calibrated to show him grateful for the support he had already received while kindly asking for more tanks and military aid.
Amid the darkness and chill of Russian missile strikes that knocked out power to millions, the surprise presidential trip boosted morale in Ukraine. Some Ukrainians said they were cheered to see members of Congress chanting the patriotic salute “Glory to the heroes!” during Zelensky’s appearance.
Separately, an eight-month visual investigation by The Times identified the Russians who killed dozens of civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha. A team of reporters spent months interviewing residents, collecting security camera footage and obtaining recordings. In New York, reporters analyzed the documents and pieced together the murders along a street.
A troubled festive period in Europe
Restaurants in London are so short of staff that they have had to reduce their opening hours, close certain days of the week and, in extreme cases, close their doors completely. While the city’s once-thriving food scene has also been hit by the pandemic and soaring energy prices, the labor shortage is almost entirely due to Brexit.
London restaurants recruited many waiters, chefs and bartenders from Italy, Spain and Greece. This talent pool has dried up since Britain ended the free movement of labor from the EU. According to a recent industry survey, 11% of jobs in the UK hospitality industry are vacant, compared to 4% for the economy as a whole.
More than a third of restaurants, pubs and hotels could face insolvency or even closure by early 2023, according to a recent survey. The Christmas holidays were shaping up to be an end-of-year redemption, but they now risk being ruined by the double whammy of the cost-of-living crisis and the railway strikes, which have led to the cancellation of party reservations.
Dim Christmas lights: Amid soaring gas prices and the war in Ukraine, party fairs across Europe, like Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmärik, are faced with a difficult question: “How do you balance magic and responsibility?”
Sam Bankman-Fried released on bail
Disgraced cryptocurrency executive Sam Bankman-Fried, who was arrested and charged with fraud this month, has been released on $250 million bail. He will be monitored under house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California.
The $250 million bail — a written promise to appear in court — will be secured by his parents’ interest in their home. Bankman-Fried also had to surrender his passport and undergo treatment for mental illness and drug addiction. Two other top executives at his companies pleaded guilty to fraud charges and were cooperating with prosecutors.
The criminal investigation into FTX, founded by Bankman-Fried, and its related entities has progressed with surprising speed. In less than two months, FTX has gone from a thriving stock exchange to a bankrupt entity whose executives face criminal charges for some of the most serious violations in the financial world. Prosecutors said Bankman-Fried’s crimes led to the implosion of his exchange and billions in customer losses.
Regulation: Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said the commission’s existing rules were adequate, but cautioned cryptocurrency issuers and exchanges about compliance.
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Around the world
Officials at the archaeological park of Pompeii, a city buried alive by a volcanic eruption in AD 79, feared that uncontrollable foliage could rebury the site. Pompeii is now being preserved with high-tech tools, including drones and AI software, but guardians have found an ancient solution appropriate for the overgrowth: hungry sheep.
“If they didn’t, we would have to,” said one of the site maintainers.
Ali Ahmed Aslam, the Glasgow restaurateur who is often credited with inventing chicken tikka masala, died aged 77 on Monday.
SPORTS NEWS FROM ATHLETIC
End of an era in Liverpool? Inside the changing hierarchy and what it all means for the football club, which is open to a sale.
Inside the biggest party Buenos Aires has ever thrown: Four million fans traveled to Buenos Aires to celebrate Lionel Messi and his friends, but there was a dark side to the euphoria.
Why Argentina aren’t No. 1 in the FIFA World Rankings: Argentina are below Brazil in the latest FIFA rankings despite being crowned world champions.
ARTS AND IDEAS
The hottest Oscar race of the year
All eyes are on the Best Actress race this year, writes our awards season columnist Kyle Buchanan, as women stole the show in so many of 2022’s most acclaimed films. Current favorites include Cate Blanchett , as a conniving bandleader in “Tár”, and Michelle Yeoh as the multiverse’s last hope in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”. Even a dark horse contestant like Mia Goth in “Pearl” might be worth a look.
But should acting awards be separated by gender? The question had been brewing for years, with zealous arguments for and against. As of last year, the Gotham Awards no longer split their awards by gender, with only one category for Outstanding Performance, and the MTV Movie & TV Awards stopped splitting acting awards by gender in 2017.
“If we separated the categories by eye color, hair color, or skin color, people would say, ‘That’s unacceptable,'” non-binary actress Asia Kate Dillon said in 2019. “That’s what I feel about gender categories. At this point, it feels unacceptable, unnecessary, and archaic.
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