Your Tuesday Briefing - The New York Times

European leaders reach agreement on Russian oil embargo The EU agreed yesterday to ban most Russian oil imports , the harshest economic...

The EU agreed yesterday to ban most Russian oil imports, the harshest economic sanction ever imposed for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and potentially Europe’s greatest sacrifice. The bloc had already cut Russian banks, frozen Russian assets and sent advanced weapons to Ukraine. Follow the latest war updates.

EU leaders approved an embargo on Russian oil delivered by tankers, the main method, effectively reducing imports by two-thirds, with commitments to reduce imports by pipeline. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, announced the deal in a late-night tweet, although many details have yet to be worked out.

Russia’s war in Ukraine is funded by sales of crude and refined oil and natural gas, which account for the bulk of the country’s export earnings, collected mainly by state-controlled energy companies. Analysts say Russia will continue to find buyers for its oil, but sales volumes and profits are expected to drop significantly once the embargo takes effect.

Impact: Europe is heavily dependent on Russian fuels. Officials warned that the financial cost to EU countries would be high. Other sources are expected to be more expensive and gas and oil shortages are a real possibility. The ban on oil deliveries on board tankers will have no effect on Hungary, a landlocked country.

War: The approval came as a multi-pronged Kremlin assault closed in on the easternmost Ukrainian-controlled city of Sievierodonetsk and the Ukrainian military launched a counteroffensive to retake the southern strategic city of Kherson.

In other wartime news:

  • While Ukraine asks a fast track to EU membership, moral questions collide with practical concerns. The bloc is seeking an alternative route to Ukraine and other countries on the periphery of Europe.

  • A 32-year-old French journalist, Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, was killed yesterday in eastern Ukraine. At least seven journalists were killed and at least nine were injured during the war.

  • Kalush Orchestra, the Ukrainian band that won Eurovision, auction off your trophy raise funds for the Ukrainian army.

The Canadian government yesterday introduced new legislation requiring that most owners of “military-style assault weapons” surrender their firearms to a government buyback program and prohibit the sale, purchase, import or transfer of handguns. Together, the legislation would strengthen the country’s already tight gun control.

The ban on the sale of handguns and the assault weapons bill are the latest steps Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken to restrict firearms since 22 people were killed in the rural Nova Scotia by a gunman in 2020. The legislation, which could apply to tens of thousands of firearms, is expected to pass.

The program echoes actions taken by New Zealand in 2019, after a lone gunman stormed two mosques, killing 51 people and injuring dozens more in Christchurch. After a mass shooting in Australia in 1996, the government collected over 650,000 semi-automatic rifles and many shotguns after they were banned under new legislation.

Quoteable: “As a government, as a society, we have a responsibility to act to prevent further tragedies,” Trudeau said. He added: “We only have to look south of the border to know that if we don’t act, firmly and quickly, it gets worse and worse and harder and harder to deal with.

Rodolfo Hernández is a Colombian businessman with a populist anti-corruption platform whose outsider status, inflammatory statements and one-issue approach to politics have drawn comparisons to Donald Trump. Sunday he second in the Colombian presidential electionbeating the establishment conservative candidate — and the predictions of the pollsters.

Hernández once called himself a follower of Adolf Hitler, suggested combining key ministries to save money, and said as president he planned to declare a state of emergency to combat the corruption, raising fears that he could shut down Congress or suspend mayors. But Colombia’s right-wing establishment began to line up behind it, taking many of their votes with it.

His challenger, Gustavo Petro, a former rebel turned senator trying to be the country’s first leftist president, now stands as the safe change and Hernández as the dangerous leap into the void. Hernández’s unlikely rise reflects both a rejection of the conservative elite that has long controlled the country’s politics – and of Petro.

Analysis: Fernando Posada, a political scientist, said the move was also the last-ditch effort by the establishment right to block Petro, whose plan to overhaul Colombia’s economy “jeopardizes many interests of the mainstream political class.”

Treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder with the psychedelic drug MDMA, along with therapy, “represents real hope for long-term healing,” health experts say.

‘It made me realize that there was a reason for my injury and my fears, and that I could change the outcome,’ said a veteran, above, whose PTSD was brought on by the events of the Vietnam War.

On Thursday evening, in front of a screaming and leaping crowd, Abba gave his first concert in over 40 years, all sorts. The band members on stage, the classic ’70s hairstyles and all, weren’t real. Instead, they were meticulous digital recreations of the group at its peak in 1979. The real Abba – whose members are all at least 72 years old – watched from the stands.

Abba Travel is a spectacular 90-minute show that will take place in London seven times a week until at least December, with the potential for an extension until April 2026. During the show, the digital avatars – known as Abbatars – perform a series of hits with the help of a 10-piece band and an array of lights, lasers and special effects.

The project is the result of eight years of secret work, protected by hundreds of non-disclosure agreements. This included five weeks of filming the real Abba in motion capture costume in Sweden; four double bodies; endless debates over the set list; and 140 animators. The final budget was 140 million pounds, or about $175 million.

When the pandemic hit, a project that “already looked ridiculous before Covid” became “doubly ridiculous”, said Svana Gisla, one of the show’s producers, as she had to ask backers to trust the idea that 3,000 people would want to dance next to each other. But they danced. “It was a once in a lifetime experience,” said one viewer, “even though we are coming back tomorrow and Saturday.”

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Your Tuesday Briefing - The New York Times
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