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Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, this week lobbied the African Union for support. He faced an uphill battle, speaking to leaders who have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Many African governments have been reluctant to denounce Russia, abstained in UN votes condemning the invasion of Ukraine, and characterized the war as having no direct effect on the continent. Zelensky focused on the economic ramifications of the conflict for Africa: high food prices caused by a war between two of the world’s largest grain producers, which has worsened food insecurity.

“Africa is in fact being held hostage,” Zelensky said.

The background: The drought in Somalia and growing food insecurity in the Sahel region have highlighted the consequences of rising food prices, particularly wheat. The cost of fuel is also rising, further crushing the burgeoning middle class and the continent’s urban poor.

The answer: Overall it was mixed. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the African Union, again called for dialogue to end the war, a stark contrast to the enthusiastic audience he gave Putin earlier this month. Senegalese President Macky Sall, speaking as the African Union’s rotating political chief, said this month that sanctions against Russia should end, calling Putin “a dear friend Vladimir”.

More news from the war in Ukraine:

  • Finland and Sweden, which applied to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine, expected quick admission to the alliance. Turkey had other ideas.

An earthquake hit a remote and mountainous part of Afghanistan yesterday, killing more than 1,000 people and injuring at least 1,600 others.

The quake, which had a magnitude of 5.9, struck about 28 miles southwest of the town of Khost. However, the worst damage occurred in the neighboring province of Paktika, located along the border with Pakistan and where some residents live in houses made of clay and straw. The earthquake was the deadliest to hit Afghanistan in more than two decades, and the death toll is expected to rise, a UN agency said.

Search and rescue efforts, led by the Afghan Defense Ministry, were hampered by wind and heavy rain, which prevented helicopters from landing safely. A UN representative for Afghanistan reported that nearly 2,000 homes had been destroyed. Afghan families are usually large and sometimes live together, the official said, so the earthquake likely displaced many people.

Eye-witness: Sarhadi Khosti, 26, who lives in Sperah district of Khost province, said he was woken by the earthquake after 1 a.m. and a number of houses – many of which were in earth or wood – had been destroyed. “At the moment we are still busy removing the dead or injured from under the rubble,” he said.

Pakistan: The quake was felt in several parts of Pakistan, but the country was spared the kind of damage seen in Afghanistan.

Government: The earthquake is just the latest challenge facing the nascent Taliban government.

Galvanized by the horror of two high-profile mass shootings in a month, 14 Republican senators joined Democrats on Tuesday to vote to advance what could be the most important decision to overhaul US gun laws in decades. years.

The 64-34 vote to pass the legislation suggested it had more than enough support to break down a Republican filibuster, a barrier that has repeatedly blocked more ambitious efforts to address gun violence. Lawmakers hope to pass the measure through the Senate by the end of the week, with the House expected to take it up and send it to President Biden’s office soon after.

The details: The legislation would expand background checks and, for the first time, include serious romantic partners in a law that prevents domestic abusers from buying guns. The measure would also dedicate millions of dollars to supporting mental health resources and strengthening school safety.

Debate: There’s a popular saying in the United States among gun rights advocates, recently adopted by Senator Ted Cruz after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: “What stops the bad guys with guns are the good armed. But a review of the data reveals how hard active shooting events are to stop once they have started.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee is India’s most famous designer and arguably the most influential bridal wear designer in the world. Throughout an era of oppressive minimalism, her garments remained refreshingly maximalist – a celebration of Indian decorative arts. He created the high-end sari and persuaded Indians to see luxury in their sartorial heritage, but can he persuade Americans too?

When it comes to cooking, we all have to start somewhere – and for some of us, that starts with slicing an onion or cracking an egg into a pan. Maybe you just graduated from college and are on your own for the first time, or maybe you’ve never really learned to cook. Either way, there is hope.

Times Food Editor Nikita Richardson compiled these 10 recipes for beginners who can hardly boil water. Arranged from easiest to hardest, they include a no-cook tuna mayo rice bowl on the easier end and oven-roasted chicken thighs with potatoes and lemons for those looking for more of a challenge.

With practice, repetition, and patience, you’ll not only develop a skill set you can apply to other culinary feats, but you’ll also have 10 delicious dishes under your belt that are worth cooking. repeat. Enjoy your lunch! — Natasha Frost, Briefings Editor

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about Biden’s approval rating.

You can reach Jonathan and the team at

Lynsey Chutel and Matthew Cullen contributed to this briefing.

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