Your Friday Summary – The New York Times

EU officially turns Ukraine a candidate for membership yesterday, a step that even a few weeks ago seemed impossible. While it may take a decade or more for Ukraine to truly become a member, the EU’s decision will send a strong message of solidarity to Kyiv and a rebuke to Moscow.

Candidate status signals that a country can initiate an expensive, time-consuming process of internal change and negotiation with the EU, with the eventual goal of accession. The country must align institutionally, democratically, economically and legally with EU laws and standards, a process that has taken around 10 years for some countries. Others, like Turkey, have been candidates for longer and have yet to join.

Ukraine’s candidacy is sure to upset Russia, which has described Kyiv’s desire to align with organizations like NATO and the EU as the West tries to interfere in their legitimate sphere of influence. This move signals the belief on the part of EU states that Ukraine’s future lies in the embrace of the democratic West.

Moscow: Asked last week about the prospect of EU candidate status for Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “We have no objection.” Since then, Russian officials and analysts have suggested that Mr didn’t really mean it.

In other news from the war:

The villages across Paktika province in the southeastern part of Afghanistan are devastated by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake happened early Wednesday – the country’s bloodiest in two decades.

As rescue efforts rolled in, trucks laden with supplies moved over rough, unpaved roads to hillside villages lined with dilapidated homes. Aid officials said yesterday they were focusing on survivors, who have endured not only heavy rain but also unseasonably cold temperatures that threaten to bring snow to some areas.

Afghan officials in the worst-affected areas on Wednesday estimated that at least 1,000 people were killed and 1,600 or more injured. Yesterday, the United Nations gave a slightly lower estimate – 770 people were killed and 1,440 injured – but warned that its figures were likely to rise.

First Person: Hawa, a 30-year-old mother of six, felt the walls coming down on her – then everything went dark. “I didn’t expect I would survive,” she said from her hospital bed. Her village, Dangal Regab, is, like many others in the region, a scene of death and devastation.

Like Tensions between Europe and Russia over energy continue to increase After the invasion of Ukraine, European nations are rapidly pumping natural gas into storage tanks, hoping to lower stratospheric prices, reduce Moscow’s political leverage, and eliminate the possibility of shortages in the summer. this winter.

Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy giant, last week more than halved the amount of gas it supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which serves Germany and other countries. Germany has responded by activating the second phase of its three-step emergency gas plan. The German government has also urged consumers and companies to save gas.

The cuts in supplies to the German pipeline, which also affected flows to countries including France, Italy and the Netherlands, dashed any remaining hope among European leaders that they could trust them. believe in Russian gas, perhaps the most difficult fuel to replace. Analysts say Moscow will likely continue to use gas for maximum leverage.

By the numbers: Since May, the EU has required member states to fill their storage facilities to at least 80% capacity by November 1. Europe’s overall storage level is 55%. Gas prices are already about six times what they were a year ago.

The 0.5 selfie shot, taken with the ultra-wide-angle lens, can make the subject look “distorted and crazy,” without spinning. These snaps have become the mainstay of Gen Z documentationpop up on Instagram, popular in group chats, become the talk of parties, and often simply capture the minutiae of everyday life.

Louis Theroux, 52, is hardly a definite hip-hop sensation. However, a short rap by Theroux, a British-American documentary filmmaker, is taking the internet by storm. If you are already on TikTok, you may have heard the hook: “My money doesn’t wobble, it folds.”

The song was released in 2000, on “Louis Theroux’s Weekends”, a BBC series in which he delves into different subcultures. Reese & Bigalow, a rap duo in Jackson, Miss., helped bring the song to fruition. But it took off this year, when Theroux briefly re-read the rap on the popular web talk show “Chicken Shop Date.”

That clip inspired DJs and dancers alike, prompting legions to take videos of the same languid moves. Stars like Shakira, Snoop Dogg and Megan Thee Stallion all danced to the song. Theroux, not wanting to miss the moment, recorded it. “I really hope we can all make some swings out of this phenomenon. Or maybe some folding,” he said.

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