TOP STORIES Your Friday briefing: European leaders travel to Ukraine

Your Friday briefing: European leaders travel to Ukraine

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We cover the vows of European leaders to support the Ukrainian war effort and presidential candidate Trump in Colombia.

The leaders of France, Italy, Germany and Romania met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday in Kyiv, where they expressed support for Ukraine’s transformation into an EU candidate and said they would continue to support Ukraine’s war effort despite suggestions to the contrary. .

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who have been criticized in recent days for allegedly trying to force Zelensky to start peace talks with Russia, stressed that their support was sincere: your side in the long run to protect your sovereignty, your territorial integrity and your freedom,” Macron said. “This is our goal, we have no other, and we will achieve it.”

According to Macron, all four leaders expressed support for Ukraine’s candidacy for the EU. Scholz added that “Ukraine belongs to the European family.”

The European leaders also visited Irpin, a Kyiv suburb where investigators are investigating reports of Russian atrocities during the war. Russia dismissed their trip as empty symbolism. Dmitry Medvedev, the former president of Russia, derisively called the leaders “European connoisseurs of frogs, liverwurst and macaroni.”

Indecision: Ukrainian officials fear pressure to negotiate a cessation of war with Russia over the 2014 and 2015 Minsk agreements, in which Ukrainians offered concessions in exchange for a Russian ceasefire that was never implemented.

Trapped: With all the bridges connecting the Ukrainian twin cities of Lysichansk and Severodonetsk destroyed and fighting still raging, thousands of civilians are trapped in one of the deadliest battles of the war.


Schoolchildren around the world have long been taught that Hong Kong was a British colony. But students in Hong Kong will soon be taught another lesson: it is not.

A new narrative promoted by Beijing that rejects how the British saw their relationship with the city will be openly taught to Hong Kong high school students with at least four new textbooks to be released in the fall.

The textbook material is still under review by principals, teachers, academics and Hong Kong Bureau of Education staff, but appears to be intended for classroom use. This week, local news sites published draft excerpts, and The Times reviewed proof copies of teachers.

Textbook excerpts reinforce the Chinese Communist Party’s position on Hong Kong. “British aggression violated the principles of international law, so its occupation of the Hong Kong area should not have been recognized as legal,” read a teacher’s print of one of the textbooks.

Quote: This narrative, as one pro-democracy activist said, “is a shorthand for ‘Hong Kong has always been part of China, so Hong Kongers could never claim the right to self-determination’.”

Wider Effort: This material is part of a broader campaign by China’s top leader Xi Jinping to overhaul Hong Kong’s schools, “protect young minds” and nurture loyal, patriotic citizens.


Rodolfo Hernandez, a 77-year-old businessman and former mayor, has become Colombia’s most damaging presidential candidate in decades, electrifying voters – and a huge TikTok fan base – with his “drain the swamp” Trump-style message.

He is one of two remaining candidates in Sunday’s presidential election, the third-highest candidate in Latin America, where the winner takes power at a turning point in the country’s history.

Hernandez positioned himself as a model of democracy, a successful businessman who keeps promises and cares about the poor. But a Times reporter traveled to Bucaramanga, the city on the edge of the mountains where he built his empire and once served as mayor, and found a different picture: an anti-corruption candidate who had been charged with corruption, an austerity advocate. a hunger strike by city employees and a construction magnate who once promised to build 20,000 houses for the poor, but never came to fruition.

Enemy: Hernandez runs into Gustavo Petro, a former rebel and longtime senator who hopes to become Colombia’s first leftist president. Their electoral gains — roughly even in the polls — reflect the anti-establishment fervor gripping Latin America as long-standing poverty and inequality deepened during the pandemic.

Diablo is one of the most successful video game franchises from one of the biggest developers in the world, Blizzard Entertainment. But the latest installment in the series, Diablo Immortal, received extremely negative reviews from critics, who called the game’s payment model extortionate.

Diablo Immortal is free to download on computers and mobile devices, but features a store where players can purchase items to upgrade their avatar’s outfit with real money. These improvements are not guaranteed; players are essentially paying for a virtual lottery ticket. By some estimatesit can cost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars to completely upgrade a character.

Belgium and the Netherlands won’t get “Diablo Immortal” as a result of the anti-gambling regulations that forbid such games. And further Metacritic, a review aggregator, users gave the PC version of the game a score of 0.2 out of 10, one of the lowest scores of any Blizzard game. — Herman Lopez

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