Your Tuesday Briefing: A Long Sentence for a Putin Critic

A live feed in Moscow City Court of the verdict against Vladimir Kara-Murza.Credit…Kirill Kudryavtsev/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Long sentence for a Putin critic

Vladimir Kara-Murza, an activist and journalist, was convicted of treason and sentenced to 25 years in a penal colonyover his outspoken criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The unusually harsh sentence drew international condemnation, and supporters of Kara-Murza compared it to the repression of the Stalin era.

Many Russian political activists have been prosecuted since the start of the war, but Kara-Murza’s sentence is the longest handed down yet.Ivan Pavlov, an acclaimed Russian human rights lawyer, called it “unprecedented,” and said that even Russian murderers received shorter prison terms.

The verdict will likely send a chilling message to remaining antiwar activists in Russia as the Kremlin continues to clamp down on dissent.

Background: Kara-Murza, who contributes opinion columns to The Washington Post, became known as a vocal critic of what he called a Kremlin policy of assassinating political enemies and lobbied for the use of Western sanctions to punish Russian government officials.

Other news from the war: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed NATO to make itself a far more capable war-fighting alliance.

The General Command of the Sudanese Armed Forces headquarters in Khartoum was targeted.Credit…Maxar Technologies/EPA, via Shutterstock

Clashes roil Khartoum

Intense street battles and blasts were reported yesterday in the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, in a third day of fighting in which the forces of rival generals vied for control of the country.

The fighting has left many of the city’s five million residents hiding in their homes without electricity or water. Doctors and hospitals have also come under attack as they struggle to cope with mounting casualties.

On Monday members of one faction barged into a beleaguered hospital northeast of the city, ordering newborn babies to be evacuated as they took up positions inside. “The hospital turned into a battlefield,” one doctor said in a phone interview.

The U.N. envoy to Sudan said the civilian death toll had risen on Monday to at least 180, with more than 1,800 civilians and combatants injured; but with clashes reported across the nation the exact toll is unclear. The fighting has worsened a humanitarian crisis in a nation where one-third of its 45 million people were in need of food aid before the conflict began, according to the U.N.

Reaction: The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for an immediate cease-fire, as did the leaders of African countries and humanitarian aid organizations.

How we got here: The fighting is the culmination of a dispute between two power-hungry generals.

An economic crisis in Pakistan has sent price soaring.Credit…Saiyna Bashir for The New York Times

A muted Ramadan in Pakistan

The season of Ramadan is normally a time of daily fasting and nightly feasting, but soaring inflation in Pakistan has led millions of families to struggle to afford the food to break their fasts.

When Ramadan began last month, inflation was at 35.4 percent — the highest in nearly five decades — according to government figures. Severe floods last fall devastated much of the country’s agricultural belt, damaging farmland for what may be years to come. The war in Ukraine has further strained Pakistan’s food supply, officials said.

Since the holiday started, at least 22 people have been killed and dozens more have been injured in stampedes and long queues at food charities and government distribution sites across Pakistan.

Analysis: The cash-poor country is facing one of the most daunting economic challenges of its history. It needs financing from the International Monetary Fund to avoid default and slipping into a recession. But to meet the terms of a deal, officials must raise taxes and slash subsidies — moves that make basics like food, gasoline and utilities even more expensive for the country’s poorest.


Asia Pacific

BYD, China’s biggest maker of electric vehicles, has marked down some of its older models.Credit…Qilai Shen for The New York Times
  • Slumping vehicle sales have led more than 40 carmakers to discount cars in China.

  • A Chinese worker on a Pakistani dam project was arrested for blasphemy under laws that are rarely applied to foreigners.

  • The U.S., South Korea and Japan conducted joint naval missile defense exercises after North Korea said it tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile last week, The Associated Press reports.

Around the World

Divers recovered part of the tail of Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.Credit…Brazilian Navy, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • Airbus and Air France were acquitted of manslaughter charges for their role in the crash of a flight from Rio to Paris that killed 228 people in 2009.

  • American federal agents arrested two men in New York City on Monday for conspiring to act as agents of China in connection with a police outpost in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

  • Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the main candidate opposing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, has pledged to undo the longtime leader’s legacy if he wins next month.

Other Big Stories

  • A Times investigation found that the Biden Administration ignored or missed signs that thousands of migrant children were working punishing jobs.

  • Evans Chebet won the men’s Boston Marathon race for the second year in a row in 2 hours 5 minutes and 54 seconds. Hellen Obiri finished first in her debut in the women’s race with a speed of 2 hours 21 minutes and 38 seconds.

  • In photos: The remains of 17 Guatemalan men who were killed in a fire at a migration detention center in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, were flown back home for three days of national mourning.

A Morning Read

An image of the double star Albireo in the constellation Cygnus taken in 2019 was marred by Starlink satellites.Credit…Rafael Schmall/NOIRLab/National Science Foundation

Mega-constellations of satellites from companies like SpaceX are clogging the skies, making it harder for Earth-based telescopes to see celestial phenomena.

Some scientists want to add tiny gamma-ray detectors to the satellites, creating a new kind of telescope. But so far none of the companies that make the satellites have agreed to the plan.

Related: On Monday SpaceX delayed the launch of the Starship rocket for several days.


The enduring appeal of the world’s first novel

References to “Genji” in Japanese art are one measure of its resonance over time. Credit…Tosa Mitsuoki/Ishiyamadera Temple

“The Tale of Genji,” a 1,300-page tome written more than 1,000 years ago that is often described as the world’s first novel, follows the life of a son of the emperor of Japan. Genji has multiple affairs, and wives, and the story contains epic plot twists.

The book, which was written by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting in the emperor’s court, continuously centers female perspectives while ostensibly chronicling the escapades of a male hero.

“Genji” has maintained an unwavering grip on Japanese culture and has been subjected to countless translations, interpretations and adaptations across seemingly every possible art form: paintings, plays, dance, anime and even a rom-com.

The Times’s Tokyo bureau chief, who recently picked up the book, wrote that she expected to feel distance from the medieval text.

“Instead, I found common ground not only with my personal experience but with my reporting over six years as a correspondent in Japan,” she wrote. “The more I read, the more this ancient work made me think about how gender and power dynamics have echoed across the centuries in Japan.”


What to Cook

Credit…Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Sesame noodles with chicken and peanuts are a quick, spicy weeknight dish.

What to Watch

The anime master Makoto Shinkai crafts a thoroughly modern magical world in “Suzume.”

What to Read

In “Invisibility” a professor of physics and optical science reviews the history of and prospects for one of humanity’s longest-desired superpowers.

Now Time to Play

Play the Mini Crossword, and a clue: mountain lions (five letters).

Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Dan

P.S. The word “mascotization” appeared for the first time in The Times yesterday, in an article about New York’s possible ban of Native American mascots.

“The Daily” is on the backstory between China and Taiwan.

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