Your Monday Briefing
A protest in Prague on Saturday against the Czech government and its response to the energy crisis.Credit…Martin Divisek/EPA, via Shutterstock
European leaders vow economic relief
European governments are racing to soften the blow of soaring costs and a deepening energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine. E.U. energy ministers have planned an emergency meeting this week, and three different countries announced relief measures yesterday. Europe is working to drastically reduce its purchases of Russian oil and gas.
Two days after Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, halted the flow of gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the German government pledged $65 billion in relief measures. Sweden will offer $23 billion to help energy companies until March. And France has begun its biggest conservation effort since the 1970s oil crisis.
As the economic cost of support for Ukraine grows, leaders fear political instability. Protests are already being planned in Germany by the far right and the country’s leading left-wing party, Die Linke. On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Prague to voice outrage over energy costs.
Change in supply: Germany’s gas storage is already nearly 85 percent full. As of Tuesday, the last full day when gas flowed through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Russian gas accounted for around 10 percent of Germany’s gas mix, down from 55 percent in February. Currently, Germany receives the bulk of its natural gas from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Chile rejects a new constitution
After three years of debate, Chileans yesterday rejected a new constitution that would have legalized abortion, mandated universal health care, required gender parity in government, given Indigenous groups greater autonomy, empowered labor unions, strengthened regulations on mining and granted rights to nature and animals.
It was an abrupt ending to a long and sometimes painful process that had promised a political revolution. In a vote in 2020, nearly four out of five Chileans said they wanted a new charter. But the transformational vision appeared too drastic an overhaul: With 72 percent of the ballots counted, 62 percent of Chileans rejected the document.
The new constitution would have enshrined over 100 rights into Chile’s national charter, more than any other in the world. Chile is left, for now, with the same system of laws that has its roots in the brutal dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990.
Setback: Chile’s leftist president, Gabriel Boric, has said that voters should elect a new constitutional convention to draft another proposal and begin all over again. He has faced plummeting approval ratings amid rising inflation and crime, and he was betting on the new constitution to enable him to carry out his leftist vision for the country.
Britain’s next leader on the global stage
The results of the Conservative Party leadership contest, which will in turn decide Britain’s next prime minister, will be announced today at 12:30 p.m. local time. Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, has piled up a commanding lead in the polls over her opponent, Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor of the Exchequer.
If Truss does emerge victorious, her record as foreign secretary may indicate bumpier relations ahead with both the U.S. and Europe, experts say. She has vowed to push through legislation that would upend post-Brexit trade arrangements in Northern Ireland, stoking fears of a trade war. The Biden administration is keeping close watch, anxious that the dispute could threaten the Good Friday Agreement.
Unlike Boris Johnson, the current prime minister, Truss shows little reverence for the “special relationship” between Britain and the U.S. “It’s special but not exclusive,” she said last year, noting that Britain had other important allies like Australia, India and European countries. She has presented herself as a hawk on Russia.
Analysis: “She’s going to keep playing to the peanut gallery of those who are deeply committed to Brexit,” said Leslie Vinjamuri, the director of the U.S. and Americas program at Chatham House, the British research institution. “She is completely aligned with a vision of Britain being global, strong, sovereign and, most of all, independent.”
THE LATEST NEWS
Around the World
The Canadian authorities were looking for two “armed and dangerous” suspects after at least 10 people were killed and 15 others injured in a stabbing spree in Saskatchewan yesterday.
Officials in Gaza announced the executions of five Palestinians, two of whom were accused of spying for Israel.
Russia’s most high-tech weapons use fairly low-tech components, undercutting Moscow’s narrative of a military rivaling that of any Western adversary, analysts say.
Other Big Stories
As the midterm elections near, U.S. Justice Department officials are debating how to handle criminal investigations into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and Donald Trump’s handling of sensitive documents.
Without evidence, Russia has accused the U.S. of operating clandestine biological research programs to wreak havoc around the globe.
The U.S. plans to sell more than $1.1 billion worth of arms to Taiwan that are designed to repel a seaborne invasion. Beijing threatened countermeasures.
What Else Is Happening
A picture generated by artificial intelligence incited controversy after winning an art prize at the Colorado State Fair.
Serena Williams has likely played her final match. After a thrilling run through the early rounds of the U.S. Open, she lost to Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia.
A Morning Read
New footage of the Titanic wreckage released last week by a commercial exploration company shows the doomed ship in vivid detail and highlighted that the world for wealthy tourists not only extends to space but also the deep sea. For the expedition this summer, guests paid $250,000 to take a submersible down to the wreckage.
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
How Manchester United got the better of Arsenal: Arsenal’s perfect start to the Premier League season was ended by Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United, as Antony and Marcus Rashford scored the goals in a 3-1 win at Old Trafford.
Why Chelsea is suddenly struggling to defend: Manager Thomas Tuchel is trying to return Chelsea to the elite defensive level that powered its Champions League triumph in 2021, but the Blues have conceded four set piece goals in six league matches this season. Tightening up the team’s set piece defense is an essential step on any path to glory.
The alternative Champions League players to watch this season: The Champions League is Europe’s biggest stage and home to the continent’s best players, with Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland all dreaming of lifting the trophy. Who are some other players we should be keeping an eye out for? We have a primer here.
ARTS AND IDEAS
A nonbinary Joan of Arc at Shakespeare’s Globe
“I, Joan,” a play based on the story of Joan of Arc, has been at the center of a media furor in Britain because of the playwright Charlie Josephine’s decision to depict the hero as nonbinary, Alex Marshall reports from London.
Before anyone had even seen it, the Globe’s show had touched a nerve in Britain. When The Daily Mail, a tabloid newspaper, reported details of the production in August, a barrage of complaints ensued. A columnist for The Daily Telegraph, a conservative newspaper, wrote that recasting Joan of Arc as nonbinary was “an insult.”
In the play, which runs at Shakespeare’s Globe through Oct. 22, Joan of Arc comes to terms with their gender identity while inspiring French soldiers to repel English forces from French soil. “I’m not a girl,” Joan says at one point. “I do not fit that word.”
Josephine, the playwright, was asked to write the play by the Globe last year. The decision to make Joan nonbinary came only after studying Joan’s life and realizing that Joan of Arc had been willing to die at the stake rather than stop wearing men’s clothing. This was “not a casual fashion statement,” Josephine said. “It was a deep need for them.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
Make tofu the main event in this one-pan meal.
What to Read
Barbie Latza Nadeau’s “The Godmother” introduces the Italian women who ran the mob and the generation poised to take over.
What to Wear
A Times climate reporter tested clothes designed for keeping cool on a warming planet.
Now Time to Play
Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Most widely eaten meat in the world (four letters).
And here are today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.
You can find all our puzzles here.
That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha
P.S. “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac was published on this day in 1957. Read our review.
The latest episode of “The Daily” is on Vancouver’s approach to its fentanyl crisis.
You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].