Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

Officially, the Russian army has suspended its efforts to seize Ukrainian territory. But in recent days it has stepped up its anarchic attacks on civilian areas, with strikes carried out by fighter jets, artillery and missiles. Ukrainian residents and soldiers were terrified, maimed and killed by the strikes.

Ukrainian officials said yesterday that in the past 24 hours Russian strikes have killed at least eight civilians. In eastern Donetsk province, at least 10 towns and villages have been hit and two people killed, bringing the civilian death toll in the province to nearly 600 since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Although its forces are severely depleted, Russia is far from over with its assault on Ukraine. Ukrainians and Western analysts believe that before long Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, will order a new offensive to conquer the remaining Ukrainian territory in Donetsk.

Quoteable: Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian leader, scoffed at the idea that Russia’s attacks had diminished. “Many spoke about the so-called ‘operational pause’ in the actions of the occupiers in Donbass and other parts of Ukraine,” he said. “Thirty-four airstrikes by Russian aircraft over the past day are a response to everyone who offered this ‘pause’.”

Go further: After every strike on a civilian target, Russia has denied or deflected responsibility. The Times looked at some of the deadliest strikes and Russia’s explanations for them.

The candidates vying to replace Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and British Prime Minister reflect the country’s rich diversity, with six having recent ancestors from outside Europe. Four of the 11 are women.

In terms of policy proposals, however, they are more evenly matched: nearly all promise to cut taxes, most favor legislation to reverse an EU trade deal in Northern Ireland, and many would continue to evict some migrants to Rwanda.

Under new rules passed yesterday, lawmakers will whittle down the list of candidates in successive rounds of voting, starting tomorrow, with the backing of 20 lawmakers needed to stand in this first contest, and ending next week with a shortlist of two. One candidate will emerge victorious from a ballot of Conservative members in early September.

The uniformly right-wing nature of the candidates’ proposals reflects the Conservative Party electorate. The party’s center of gravity has tilted to the right during its bitter Brexit battles. Johnson purged more centrist lawmakers, like former cabinet minister Rory Stewart.

Quoteable: “There’s just a weird disconnect from reality on each of them,” said Jonathan Portes, professor of economics and public policy at Kings College London. “They’re just in this fantasy land, talking about tax cuts.”

As Elon Musk tries to pull out of a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, he’s inexorably leaving the social media company worse off than it was when he said he was. would buy. It eroded trust in Twitter, undermined employee morale, scared off potential advertisers, highlighted the company’s financial difficulties and spread false information about its operation.

The precarious situation underscores why Twitter is poised to sue Musk as early as this week to force the deal through. The legal battle will likely be long and immense, involving months of expensive litigation and high-stakes negotiations by elite lawyers. Twitter could win, but if it loses, Musk could walk away paying a break fee.

In a letter to Musk’s attorneys on Sunday, Twitter’s attorneys said its decision to terminate the deal was “invalid and unlawful” and that Musk “knowingly, intentionally, willfully and materially breached” his agreement to purchase the company. ‘company. Twitter will continue to provide information to Mr. Musk and work to complete the transaction, the letter adds.

Rise and fall: Twitter’s stock plunged more than 11% to one of its lowest points since 2020 yesterday as investors anticipated the legal battle ahead. Since Twitter accepted Musk’s acquisition offer on April 25, its stock has lost more than a third of its value. as investors grew increasingly skeptical that the deal would go through on the agreed terms.

The Antico Setificio Fiorentino, or old Florentine silk mill, which uses looms from the 18th and 19th centuries, has been producing precious textiles since 1786. Enter through the large, worn wooden door of the workshop and step back in time to in more opulent times.

Call it a twist: More than 300 independent bookstores have opened across the United States in the past two years, a “welcome revival after an early pandemic crisis,” write Alexandra Alter and Elizabeth Harris in The Times. Many traders are people of color, making the book industry – which used to be predominantly white – more diverse.

The rapid growth of physical bookstores is particularly surprising at a time when physical stores face overwhelming competition from Amazon and other online retailers. Many bookstore owners are also facing new uncertainties related to a bleak outlook for the global economy.

“People are really looking for a community where they get real recommendations from real people,” said Nyshell Lawrence, a bookseller in Lansing, Michigan, who decided to open a bookstore after visiting a local store and finding a few women’s titles. black. “We don’t just rely on algorithms.”

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. -Natasha

PS Francis X. Clines, a Times reporter who covered New York politics, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the unrest in Northern Ireland, among many other topics, died on Sunday at 84.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about abortion laws.

You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].