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Your Tuesday Briefing: The Battle for Mariupol

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Your Tuesday Briefing: The Battle for Mariupol

Good morning. We are covering the ongoing destruction of Mariupol, Ukraine, the search for Chinese plane crash survivors and the lifting of COVID restrictions in Hong Kong.

Ukraine rejected Russia’s demand that troops defending Mariupol surrender on Monday morning. Attempts to reach hundreds of thousands of people trapped there as Russian forces intensified attacks were fraught with danger.

“My city is dying a painful death,” wrote one survivor after her escape. “For twenty days I was dying with it. I was in hell.”

A powerful explosion also hit Kyiv on Monday and a huge shopping mall was turned into rubble. A Times reporter saw six bodies covered in plastic there as rescue workers battled the fire and pulled more victims from the rubble. Here are the live updates.

Reference: After nearly a month of fighting, the war has come to a standstill. Russia is turning to lethal and blunt methods, including targeting civilians, as it faces losses of troops and equipment that would limit its ability to mount offensives.

Resistance: The nearly two million people living in Kyiv are inspired by a new unity. In the ancient city of Lviv, simple rituals have taken on a new and sometimes surreal meaning.

Diplomacy: The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is rallying support for other countries’ conflict histories, calling for the civil rights movement for US lawmakers and the fall of the Berlin Wall for Germans. Our chief fashion critic also analyzed her most famous outfit: the olive green T-shirt.

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Other Updates:


A passenger plane carrying 132 people crashed on Monday afternoon in the Guangxi region of southern China. It was not clear whether any of the crew members and passengers survived.

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam announced on Monday that the city would lift restrictions on flights to nine countries on April 1 and cut quarantine times from 14 days to seven days for vaccinated residents returning from overseas.

Experts and government officials there said the worst of the Omicron-driven wave may be over, and residents are at higher risk of infection from community transmission than imported cases.

But even though its new measures are among the strictest in the world, Hong Kong’s approach appears to be a little different from mainland China, where Shanghai and Shenzhen remain in lockdown.

Background: For most of the pandemic, Hong Kong has isolated itself from the rest of the world, and required travelers to quarantine in a hotel for up to three weeks.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

Other Updates:

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More than half a century ago, there were only three dozen red-crowned cranes in all of Japan. There are now 1,900 for the work of conservators, but some scientists think they can survive without human food.

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The long-running Eurovision Song Contest pits countries against each other for pop supremacy. Acts such as ABBA (Sweden), Celine Dion (Switzerland) and Julio Iglesias (Spain) were all competitive at once.

Now, America wants to recreate some of the magic of Eurovision with the “American Song Contest” hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg. Here is a primer.

May I know a song? No, they have to be new, although the contestants don’t have to write their own stuff.

Who is competing? There are 56 entries in the contest. Jewel (who grew up in notoriously difficult conditions in Alaska), Michael Bolton (Connecticut) and Cisco (Maryland) are among the well-known names.

Eurovision is some crazy performances, Will this be the version? “One person’s cliché is another person’s truth,” said one executive producer. “Some of them are self-aware, some of them are not.” — Sanam Yaar, Morning Writer

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Pad Thai is the national dish of Thailand, and it is easy to cook at home. Abroad, this Thai restaurant is part of the canon.

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The founder of Mejadi Tours thinks that travel can be a force for peace.

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Charlotte Gainsbourg made her directorial debut in “Jane by Charlotte”, an elusive portrait of her mother, French-English star Jane Birkin.

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