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Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times

The EU officially nominated Ukraine as a candidate for membership yesterday, a step that until a few weeks ago seemed impossible. While it could take a decade or more for Ukraine to become a member, the EU decision sends a powerful message of solidarity to Kyiv and a rebuke to Moscow.

Candidate status signals that a nation can begin a long and arduous process of internal changes and negotiations with the EU, with a view to eventual membership. The country must align itself institutionally, democratically, economically and legally with EU laws and standards, a process that has taken some countries around 10 years. Others, like Turkey, have been candidates for much longer and have not yet joined.

Ukraine’s candidacy is sure to irritate Russia, which has described Kyiv’s aspirations to align itself with institutions such as NATO and the EU as Western attempts to interfere in its sphere of power. legitimate influence. This decision signals a belief on the part of EU states that Ukraine’s future lies in an embrace of the democratic West.

Moscow: Asked last week about the prospect of EU candidate status for Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, said: “We have no objections”. Since then, Russian officials and analysts have said he doesn’t really think so.

In other war news:

Villages in Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan were devastated by the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck early Wednesday – the country’s deadliest in two decades.

As the rescue efforts unfolded, vehicles loaded with supplies headed down rough, unpaved roads toward hillside villages dotted with destroyed homes. Rescue officials said yesterday they were now focusing on survivors, who had endured not only heavy rain but also unusual freezing temperatures that threatened to bring snow to some areas.

Afghan officials in the hardest hit areas estimated on Wednesday that at least 1,000 people had been killed and 1,600 or more injured. Yesterday the UN offered a slightly lower estimate – 770 people killed and 1,440 people injured – but warned its figures were likely to rise.

First person: Hawa, a 30-year-old mother of six, felt the walls crumble on top of her – then everything went dark. “I didn’t expect to survive,” she said from her hospital bed. His village, Dangal Regab, like many others in the region, was a picture of death and destruction.

As tensions between Europe and Russia over energy continue to mount following the invasion of Ukraine, European nations are rapidly pumping natural gas into storage chambers, hoping to moderate stratospheric prices, reduce Moscow’s political influence and avoid the possibility of shortages this winter. .

Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy giant, last week more than halved the amount of gas it delivers through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which serves Germany and other countries. Germany responded by triggering the second stage of its three-stage emergency gas plan. The German government has also called on consumers and businesses to save gas.

The reduction in supply from the German gas pipeline, which has also affected flows to countries such as France, Italy and the Netherlands, has dashed any remaining hopes European leaders have of being able to rely on Russian gas, perhaps be the most difficult fuel to replace. Analysts say Moscow will likely continue to use the gas for maximum leverage.

By the numbers: Since May, the EU has asked member states to fill their storage facilities to at least 80% capacity by November 1. Overall European storage levels are 55%. Gasoline prices are already about six times higher than they were a year ago.

The 0.5 selfie, taken with an ultra-wide-angle lens that can make subjects “distorted and crazy”, isn’t complicated. These snaps have become a mainstay of Gen Z documentation, popping up on Instagram, proliferating in group chats, becoming the talk of the holiday season, and often simply capturing the details of everyday life.

Louis Theroux, 52, is not an obvious hip-hop sensation. Yet a short rap by Theroux, a bookish British-American documentary filmmaker, is taking the internet by storm. If you’ve been on TikTok, you’ve probably heard the hook: “My money doesn’t shake, it bends.”

The song originated in 2000, on “Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends”, a BBC series in which he immersed himself in various subcultures. Reese & Bigalow, a rap duo in Jackson, Mississippi, helped shape the song. But that took off this year, when Theroux recited the rap even more deadpan on the popular web talk show “Chicken Shop Date.”

This clip inspired DJs and dancers alike, sparking legions of videos of the same languorous moves. Stars like Shakira, Snoop Dogg and Megan Thee Stallion all danced to the track. Theroux, not wanting to miss the moment, re-recorded it. “I sincerely hope that we can all make the phenomenon move. Or maybe a fold,” he said.

nytimes Eur

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