Turkey and Hungary block unity in NATO and EU
Europe’s efforts to stand up to Russia and Vladimir Putin, its president, are being slowed down by Viktor Orban and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the strongmen of Hungary and Turkey. As the war drags on, tensions rise. Peace talks appear to have come to nothing, and Western sanctions are contributing to economic hardship and high inflation in the country, as well as in Russia. Follow the latest war updates.
Erdogan yesterday blocked a procedural vote to push NATO forward with membership applications from Sweden and Finland. And Orban continues to block the EU embargo on Russian oil. Although outliers in their organizations, the pair use the need for consensus to see their political concerns taken into account.
But the delay may be temporary: Sauli Niinisto, Finland’s president, said yesterday that the Turks “have told us from many sources that Turkey will not block membership.” Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general, made a similar statement about Turkey’s intentions on Sunday.
The front: Doctors in eastern Ukraine are choosing to amputate limbs rather than try to repair them, in a desperate bid to save lives.
A painful global crisis is looming
The global economy is heading for potentially bleak times as rising costs, shortages of food and other basic commodities and war in Ukraine threaten to slow economic growth. Policymakers continue to grapple with the fallout from the pandemic, including clogged supply chains and lockdowns in China.
Finance ministers from the G7 countries will meet this week in Bonn, Germany, to find ways to avoid a slowdown while continuing to pressure Russia for its war in Ukraine. Economic challenges could threaten the West’s united front against Moscow, including its efforts to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.
Central banks are beginning to raise interest rates to help tame rapid inflation, moves that will temper economic growth by raising borrowing costs and could lead to higher unemployment. Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, last week signaled a possible interest rate hike in July, in what would be the ECB’s first such move in more than a decade.
US markets: Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday after falling profits at major retailers reignited fears of high inflation on Wall Street. The S&P 500 fell 4%, its biggest drop since June 2020 and its fourth decline of more than 3% in less than a month.
Watch out for the bear: An estimated 20 million people started trading on their own during the pandemic. As stocks fall, some are changing strategy, while others are exiting.
More data emerges on long Covid
Some 76% of Americans diagnosed with long Covid were not sick enough to be hospitalized for their initial infection, according to a new analysis of tens of thousands of private insurance claims. The results paint a sobering picture of the severe and long-lasting ongoing impact of Covid on people’s health and the American healthcare system.
Long Covid, a complex constellation of persistent or new post-infection symptoms that can last for months or longer, has become one of the most daunting legacies of the pandemic. The new study adds to growing evidence that people with mild or moderate initial infections can still experience debilitating symptoms later.
While two-thirds of patients had pre-existing conditions on their records, nearly one-third did not. More than three-quarters of patients in the study were infected in 2021, most in the last semester. On average, patients still had long Covid symptoms that qualified the diagnosis four and a half months after their infection.
By the numbers: Almost 35% of the patients were between 36 and 50 years old, almost a third were between 51 and 64 years old and 17% were between 23 and 35 years old. Children were also affected: nearly 4% of patients were 12 years old or younger. , while almost 7% were between 13 and 22 years old.
In other pandemic news:
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A spouse who commits matricide will almost certainly become a prime suspect, novelist Nancy Brophy wrote in a 2011 blog post titled “How to Murder Your Husband.” The woman, she says, must therefore “be organized, ruthless and very intelligent”.
Seven years later, on a sunny June morning, her husband, Daniel, was brutally murdered. At first, the police saw Brophy as a grieving wife who only seemed to want to help with their investigation. But over time, according to investigators, the evidence against her began to accumulate.
New circus, no animals
In 2017, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus ended their 146-year existence. The nostalgic circus has faced declining sales and growing public distaste for the exotic animal acts – lions, tigers and elephants – once synonymous with its show. The company announced yesterday that it will return in 2023, without animals, reports Sarah Maslin Nir.
The revamped show will emphasize narrative and human feats, much like Cirque du Soleil. In fact, Ringling has hired Cirque du Soleil veteran Giulio Scatola as director for the new production. Scatola said he was influenced by “America’s Got Talent,” where the contestants’ stories are as important as their art.
The company’s business model needed an update anyway: traveling across the country with a crew of 500 people and 100 animals in mile-long trains, as it did for more than a century, is expensive. The circus has since sold these trains, and performers will drive or fly from town to town and stay in hotels. The logistics are much simpler when it is no longer necessary to check in to Dumbo.
Go behind the scenes of the auditions for the show in Las Vegas.
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