Plus the British prime minister pushed to resign, China’s most powerful female politician to retire.
Russia declares martial law in occupied Ukraine
President Vladimir Putin of Russia declared martial law yesterday in four regions of Ukraine that Moscow recently annexed but that it does not fully control. This means that pro-Russian authorities can impose even tighter restrictions, as Moscow fights to hold off Ukraine’s military advances.
Martial law in the four annexed territories — Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia — would allow the authorities to impose curfews, seize property, forcibly resettle residents to another region, imprison undocumented immigrants, establish checkpoints and detain people for up to 30 days.
Putin also said he was handing more power to regional governors in areas of Russia, which would allow for significantly more restrictive measures to be introduced at home.
But as Putin declared his intentions to assert control over the regions, Russian occupation officials were moving as many as 60,000 civilians out of the city of Kherson, along with its civilian administration there. The evacuation was another sign that Russia’s hold on the city was slipping.
Middle East: Russia recently redeployed military hardware and troops from Syria, and the E.U. agreed to place sanctions on Iran for supplying Russia with drones.
Moscow: Across the Russian capital, there are noticeably fewer men at restaurants, stores and social gatherings. Many have been called up to fight in Ukraine; others have fled.
U.K. Parliament pressures Liz Truss
Despite being jeered by Parliament in only her third appearance for questioning as the British prime minister, Liz Truss rejected demands that she resign, declaring, “I am a fighter and not a quitter.”
Hours later, however, she was forced to fire one of her most senior cabinet ministers, the second major ouster in a six-week-old government that has tumbled into chaos.
Truss dismissed Suella Braverman, Britain’s home secretary, over a security breach involving a government document that Braverman had sent to a lawmaker through her personal email. In her letter of resignation, Braverman accused Truss’s government of breaking pledges to voters and, in particular, of failing to curb immigration.
Last Friday, Ms. Truss fired her chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, who was the architect of the sweeping tax cuts that rattled financial markets and sent the British pound into a tailspin.
Countdown: A British newspaper is tracking whether the embattled prime minister can outlast a head of lettuce purchased at a grocery store.
Inflation: Consumer prices in Britain rose 10.1 percent from a year earlier. Food prices were a main driver of that growth, having risen 14.5 percent last month from a year earlier, the largest annual rise in more than 40 years.
Women in China’s Communist Party
China’s most powerful female politician, Sun Chunlan, is set to retire. As the rare woman in the upper echelons of Chinese politics, she has become accustomed to the role, driving the Communist Party’s will and bearing the country’s criticism.
Sun has become the enforcer of the country’s strict pandemic restrictions. She is often known as China’s “zero-Covid” czar. Her arrival in a city has come to be seen as a bad omen.
The Communist Party congress is meeting this week; at its end China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, is expected to secure a groundbreaking third term. It is a typical scene of suits and ties — fewer than a third of the delegates are women, and only three women are seen as having the potential to join the Politburo.
Since 1949, just eight women have risen to the powerful 25-member Politburo, including Sun, who at 72 is expected to step down from the body this week. Three of the women were married to the Communist Party’s revolutionary founders.
Outcry in Britain: After a group of men emerged from the Chinese Consulate in Manchester, England, and beat a protester, activists and some British lawmakers are calling for a tough response.
THE LATEST NEWS
The intensifying rivalry between Washington and Beijing is causing jitters in South Korea, where security ties and economic priorities are not always aligned.
A suite of apps called Kakao went down this weekend in South Korea, halting messaging, payments, ride-hailing and other essential services. The havoc stirred a reckoning over the country’s dependency on Big Tech.
India has barred a Pulitzer Prize-winning Kashmiri photojournalist, Sanna Irshad Mattoo, from traveling to the U.S. to receive her award.
As inflation flares across Europe, the prices for a loaf of bread — up nearly 19 percent from a year ago — have never been higher.
After appearing at an event in Seoul without a head scarf, Elnaz Rekabi, an Iranian sport climber, was welcomed home warmly in Tehran. But her motivations for competing without covering her hair, and her fate, remain unclear.
An Algerian woman has been arrested following the killing of a 12-year-old girl in Paris. Her body was found in a plastic trunk. French President Emmanuel Macron’s immigration policies are now being criticized.
What Else Is Happening
Many in Florida remain in shelters weeks after Hurricane Ian hit.
As the number of immigrant students not eligible to work legally in the U.S. soars, a new campaign has urged the University of California system to employ undocumented students.
A $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox News is testing the vision of the company’s chief executive, Suzanne Scott.
A Morning Read
By studying bones from London cemeteries, scientists found that many Europeans carry genetic mutations that protected their ancestors from the bubonic plague when it struck Europe in the mid-1300s. But that evolutionary twist left a downside for their descendants: People who inherit the plague-resistant mutations run a higher risk of immune disorders such as Crohn’s disease.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Truth and fiction in ‘The Woman King’
“The Woman King,” a historical drama featuring Viola Davis and sweeping fight scenes, is set in Africa and centering African characters. It has also stoked conversation and controversy on the role of Africans in the slave trade.
The film centers on the Agojie, the female warriors of the kingdom of Dahomey, in what is now Benin. While the movie has been celebrated for spotlighting female fighters and African history, critics say it whitewashes the kingdom’s role in enslaving other tribes.
Hollywood has long taken liberties with history. But this version, Tafi Mhaka writes in Al Jazeera, could falsely “moderate the crimes committed by both Europeans and Africans during the transatlantic slave trade.” An unvarnished depiction would “respect the fact Africa has a rich, vibrant and imperfect history,” he adds.
The film’s revisionism of the Dahomey leader, King Ghezo — presented as something of an abolitionist — “erases the pain of the enslaved” during his reign, said Dominique Somda, an anthropologist who grew up in Benin and studies the legacies of slavery in Africa.
“‘The Woman King,’” however, is still worth watching for its superb and nuanced portrayal of the Agojie in combat and the palace; the film offers rare and powerful incarnations of Black African womanhood,” Somda said. — Lynsey Chutel
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
Soufflé is easier than you think — and, yes, it’s supposed to fall.
In-line skating is back, and it’s good for you.
What to Read
In “Blackwater Falls,” a Muslim detective investigates a murder in a marginalized Syrian community.
Now Time to Play
Play the Mini Crossword, and here’s a clue: Musk of Tesla Motors (4 letters).
That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Lauren
P.S. Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, will headline the annual DealBook summit on Nov. 30.
The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the Los Angeles City Council.
You can reach Lauren and the team at [email protected].
Today’s Arts & Ideas was written by Lynsey Chutel