Good morning. We’re covering President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to the U.N., a modification to Shanghai’s controversial family Covid policy and political tensions ahead of the French presidential election.
Zelensky addresses the U.N.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine delivered a fiery speech to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, a day after visiting Bucha, where images have surfaced of civilian bodies in the wake of Russia’s retreat.
Zelensky said that more than 300 people had been tortured and killed in the town north of Kyiv and that soldiers raped women in front of children. He lamented the organization’s inability to stop the bloodshed: “Where is the Security Council?” he asked. “It is obvious that the key institution of the world to protect peace cannot work effectively.” Follow live updates here.
His speech came as the E.U. moved to ban Russian coal imports and the bloc said it was working on soon banning Russian oil. But energy remains a tense issue: Germany, the E.U.’s largest economy, is heavily reliant on Russian energy and can’t simply pull the plug.
The war is moving east as Russia shifts its attention to regions led by separatist governments in Donetsk and Luhansk. Military analysts said supply issues and declining morale had stymied Russian progress and that the “next pivotal battle” would happen in the eastern city of Sloviansk.
Context: It was virtually certain that the Security Council would not agree on any measures against the Kremlin: Russia and its ally China have veto power.
State of the war:
As many as 200 people are missing and presumed dead in Borodyanka, a town northwest of Kyiv, after intense aerial bombing.
Residents of Nova Basan, about 60 miles east of Kyiv, described beatings and mock executions as part of a monthlong occupation.
The E.U. is putting forward a fifth package of sanctions against Moscow, which would cut off Russian vessels from E.U. ports and target two of President Vladimir Putin’s daughters.
The U.S. blocked Russia’s access to dollars for bond payments, heightening its risk of default and endangering its international currency reserves.
Shanghai modifies Covid policy
In a reversal, Shanghai officials will allow parents who test positive for the coronavirus to stay with their children who have also tested positive. Those families will be sent to centralized isolation facilities.
But parents who test negative will still be separated from their infected children, authorities said, citing China’s national virus-control guidelines.
The policy change follows days of widespread outcry and online fury: Photos and video began circulating of young children crying at a Shanghai hospital. Some photos showed multiple children sharing a crib in what appeared to be a hallway of the hospital. Many said that the response to the virus was worse than the virus itself.
Learn More About France’s Presidential Election
The run-up to the first round of the election has been dominated by issues such as security, immigration and national identity.
Officials called the response a clarification of their parental-accompaniment policy, but the hospital acknowledged the photos and video were real and did not deny that Covid-positive families were being separated.
Reaction: Many Weibo users were not appeased, sharing frustrations under a hashtag viewed more than 80 million times.
After two years, South Africa ended its national “state of disaster” over the virus.
U.S. senators dropped a proposal for $5 billion in global vaccine funding from a coronavirus aid package that is now focused on the domestic response.
Tensions precede French vote
The February death of a Jewish man, Jérémy Cohen, has become a political flashpoint days before French citizens head to the polls to cast their initial ballots for president on Sunday.
The death was initially reported as an accident — Cohen, 31, died after being hit by a tram. But this week new video surfaced, showing Cohen running across the tracks in a Paris suburb to escape a violent assault by a group of young men.
The video raised suspicions that an antisemitic assault had precipitated his death, which some see as a symbol of the problems facing France. Politicians on the far right have been the most vocal; Éric Zemmour, an anti-immigrant pundit whose campaign has recently flagged, brushed over the unknowns, using the incident to depict France as a crime-ridden country.
Background: In 2017, weeks before President Emmanuel Macron’s election, a man threw a 65-year-old Jewish woman named Sarah Halimi out of her window. The drawn-out case exacerbated longstanding concerns in the French Jewish community that authorities minimize or mishandle attacks against Jews.
What’s next: Macron is widely expected to make it past the first round of voting, but the latest polls show that his lead in a potential runoff against Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader, is dwindling and his promises to revitalize industrial areas have yet to materialize.
Context: Zemmour is Jewish, although his rise — propelled by attempts to rehabilitate France’s Vichy regime, which collaborated with the Nazis during World War II — has split France’s Jewish community.
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ARTS AND IDEAS
A right way to struggle?
Several common educational strategies lean into the idea that, in the classroom, challenge is something to embrace.
That may seem misguided when students are reeling from two years of pandemic learning and isolation from their peers. But many educators and scientists say that, as students now look to rebuild academic confidence, it is crucial for parents and teachers to step back when learning becomes difficult and be explicit that the challenge offers rewards.
Often, educators offer students strategies to reframe difficult tasks and get comfortable with a little discomfort. “The answer isn’t taking away challenge, it’s giving more tools to deal with challenge,” a Stanford psychology professor said.
Some educators talk about a “learning pit,” a visual metaphor conceived by a teacher in a former mining town in Northern England for an imaginary place where students go when the material becomes challenging. A student can say to the teacher, “I am in the pit with this” — an easier thing for a child to admit than “I don’t understand.” And a teacher can prepare students to “go into the pit,” as if on a spelunking adventure.
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This 35-minute recipe for sabut masoor dal makes for a comforting meal in about half the time that traditional dal requires.