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Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times

Hello. We cover a call to evacuate eastern Ukraine and speculation that Nancy Pelosi may travel to Taiwan.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, has urged civilians in the eastern region of Donbass to evacuate. The more people leave the Donetsk region now, he said, “the less the Russian army will have time to kill.”

This is the first time the Ukrainian government has issued such a broad evacuation order. By doing so before winter, Kyiv sought to give people time to move around – and avoid an unmanageable crisis later. The Russian bombardments have destroyed essential infrastructures necessary for the production of heat and electricity.

Zelensky’s comments followed the killing of Ukrainian prisoners of war in an explosion Thursday at a detention center in the Russian-occupied part of Donetsk. At least 50 prisoners were killed. Many of them had surrendered after the Russian siege of the Mariupol steelworks and were considered national heroes in Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for the blast, with Ukrainian authorities calling for an international investigation. Russia said yesterday it would allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit the site, but the organization said it had still not been granted access, adding that it was an obligation under international law.

The context: The Russians control about 60% of Donetsk, and Ukrainian officials have warned that Moscow will step up efforts to take the rest of the region, as it pushes ahead with plans to annex much of Ukraine.

Analysis: The Ukrainians have stabilized the eastern defensive lines and Moscow has failed to make any significant progress for weeks. But Russian strikes continue to kill civilians daily and hundreds of thousands of people still live in Donetsk.

Biden administration officials have said they expect his trip to include a stopover in Taiwan, which would be the highest-level visit by a U.S. official in 25 years. But Pelosi hasn’t said if she’ll go to the self-governing island.

Speculation about that possibility has rattled nerves in both Beijing and Washington. China, which considers Taiwan its territory, has issued increasingly vocal warnings in recent days that a visit by Pelosi would provoke a response, possibly military.

Administration officials have admitted they don’t know how willing China is to risk a confrontation.

Details: Pelosi had proposed a trip to Taiwan earlier this year. (It was postponed because she contracted the coronavirus.) She was due to arrive in Singapore today, and she said she would also travel to Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.

Background: The Biden administration is growing increasingly concerned that Chinese leader Xi Jinping could try to move against Taiwan within the next year and a half. In a two-hour phone call Thursday, Xi warned Biden against “playing with fire” in Taiwan, according to a Chinese government statement that did not explicitly mention Pelosi.

Military: Over the past year, Chinese military aircraft have increasingly probed Taiwan’s airspace. In June, Beijing upped the ante by declaring jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait. And on Saturday, The Chinese military said it would conduct live ammunition drills off Fujian province, about 80 miles from Taiwan.

A disabled Nigerian street vendor in Italy was beaten to death on Friday. Witnesses filmed the afternoon attack, which happened on a major shopping street and lasted less than four minutes. But no one intervened.

The murder of Alika Ogorchukwu shocked Italians. Videos have been shared thousands of times on social media and editorials from major newspapers lamented the “twilight of civilization”. The attack sparked a new debate about racism, but investigators said they did not believe the crime was racially motivated.

Politicians also denounced the crime. But concerns have emerged that the murder could be used as a starting point ahead of national elections in September; the right-wing coalition has already singled out immigration as a problem.

Offensive: Ogorchukwu unsuccessfully presented his wares to an Italian, Filippo Ferlazzo, and his girlfriend. Then Ogorchukwu walked away. Ferlazzo followed him and used Ogorchukwu’s crutch to beat him to death.

Region: The attack happened in Civitanova Marche, a seaside town on the Adriatic coast. In February 2018, a right-wing sympathizer shot and injured six African immigrants in the nearby town of Macerata. Two years earlier, a Nigerian man was killed in Fermo, which lies just to the south, after trying to defend his wife from racial slurs.

Jeff Bezos built a $500 million yacht in the Netherlands. To bring it to the sea, the city of Rotterdam would have to temporarily dismantle an unused bridge. Earlier this year, the city briefly gave the shipbuilding company its approval.

But after an uproar and threats of egg throwing, the company withdrew its request. Retirement was not just “a victory for the masses over a billionaire”, writes David Segal in The Times. “It was an opportunity to see Dutch and American values ​​in a fiery head-on collision.”

Saturday profile: A South Korean child psychiatrist, Dr. Oh Eun-young, is trying to de-stigmatize therapy by broadcasting her appointments on television. His mantra: “There are no problem children, only parenting problems.”

“Renaissance,” Beyoncé’s seventh solo album, has arrived.

It’s full of “generally upbeat songs,” write our pop music journalists. It embodies decades of dance music. And the album could own the rest of the summer.

“All 16 songs come from a place with a dance floor – nightclubs, strip clubs, ballrooms, basements, Tatooine,” Wesley Morris wrote in an album review. “Most of them are steeped in or driven entirely by black queer bravado.”

“And on almost everyone,” Wesley continues, “Beyoncé seems to be experiencing something personally new and glorious in private: utter ecstasy. It takes different forms: bliss, obviously; but sexy sternness, too. exercise of control is as entertaining on this album as exorcism of stress.

Ligaya Mishan wrote a beautiful essay about her marriage. Read it here, then try this bright, summery citrus-chili fish.

Our editors recommend a genre-bending Spanish murder mystery, a spy thriller set after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and seven other books.

Prague is emerging from the pandemic with fewer tourist gimmicks and more local flavors.

Here are today’s mini crossword puzzles and a hint: “Misbehave” (five letters).

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