Good morning. We’re covering the fallout from Russian atrocities in Bucha, the end of Carrie Lam’s tenure as Hong Kong’s leader and Pakistan’s political crisis.
The remnants of civilian cars on the road out of Bucha.Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times
Rising calls to punish Russia
President Biden called the indiscriminate civilian deaths in Bucha a “war crime” and said the U.S. would impose additional sanctions on Russia. Some European leaders also demanded tougher sanctions, including a total ban on Russian fuel imports. Here are the latest updates.
Moscow has denied that its soldiers had anything to do with the atrocities, which have come to light as Russian forces retreat from Kyiv. The Kremlin accused the West of fabricating evidence of the killings, and Russian officials said anyone attributing them to their country’s actions could face prosecution.
But a review of satellite images and videos by The Times shows that many of the civilians were killed more than three weeks ago, when Russia’s military controlled the town. There were bodies in the streets as early as March 11, well before before Russia says it “withdrew completely” from the town.
Bucha: A mass grave filled up in the small town north of Kyiv after the morgue, forced to operate without electricity, became intolerable. “They shot everyone they saw,” a woman said.
Response: Germany, France and Lithuania are expelling Russian diplomats. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. said that America and its allies would seek to suspend Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council.
China: TheCommunist Party is mounting an ideological campaign to build popular support for Russia.
State of the war:
Russia continued to bombard the key southern cities of Mykolaiv and Mariupol.
A desperately needed Red Cross convoy was again unable to reach Mariupol. The city’s mayor said at least 130,000 people remain trapped.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary won re-election, and President Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia appeared to have won re-election. Both populist strongmen are friendly to Moscow.
Europe wants 50 billion cubic meters of additional natural gas, but supplies are tight and that demand could cause other regions to suffer.
Carrie Lam’s tenure will end
On Monday, Carrie Lam announced that she would not seek a second term as the leader of Hong Kong. Lam, 64, cited family reasons, but critics said the final straw was her failure to guide the city through a Covid outbreak that killed more than 8,000 people in two months.
Under Lam’s watch, citywide protests deepened political divisions. A national security law silenced a once-vibrant civil society. And restrictive pandemic policies threatened Hong Kong’s status as Asia’s world city.
With each crisis, Lam tried to serve the will of Beijing, which controls the territory. Critics say she oversaw a systemic backslide of personal liberties, further isolating Hong Kong’s from an international community leery of China’s growing authoritarian grip.
Data: At one point, the city’s coronavirus fatality rate was among the highest in the world, in large part because many older people were unvaccinated.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
China deployed 2,000 military medics and 10,000 medical workers to address an outbreak in Shanghai.
Australia has begun offering vulnerable groups a second booster.
Despite an outbreak, Taiwan relaxed its quarantine measures.
U.S. senators may cut as much as $5 billion in funding for the global vaccination effort.
No ruling on no-confidence
Pakistan’s Supreme Court adjourned Monday after a hearing on whether lawmakers can hold a no-confidence vote regarding Prime Minister Imran Khan.
On Sunday, Khan dissolved Parliament and called for new elections after he and his allies blocked the vote that was widely expected to remove him from office.
The justices are expected to issue a verdict in the coming days. There are three possible outcomes:
The court could order the vote of no confidence, jeopardizing Khan’s hold on power.
The court could rule that Khan’s move was unconstitutional but opt not to restore the dissolved Parliament or allow the vote to move forward.
The court could decline to interfere, effectively upholding Khan’s actions and paving the way for early elections.
Details: Many constitutional experts believe the court will rule against Khan. But the verdict is far from certain.
Maneuvering: On Monday, Khan appeared to push ahead with his plans to hold early elections: He took steps to establish an interim government and called for a protest in the capital, Islamabad.
THE LATEST NEWS
Widespread protests continued to rock Sri Lanka, posing a serious threat to the dynastic rule of the Rajapaksa family.
Investigators are struggling to understand the China Eastern crash: The plane was just seven years old, the pilots were experienced and the skies were clear.
The Taliban are trying to rebuild the same roads they spent years blowing up, including a critical stretch of an avalanche-prone mountain pass in Afghanistan.
A major U.N. climate report said that nations must move much faster to avoid a perilous future, but acknowledged some progress. Here are five takeaways.
An economist who promised to shake up Costa Rica’s political system appears to have won its presidential election.
As France prepares to vote for its next president, the right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen is surging in polls.
What Else Is Happening
Elon Musk is now Twitter’s largest shareholder.
The U.S. will clear hundreds of thousands of “low-priority” asylum and deportation cases to reduce its immigration court backlog of 1.7 million.
Scientists may have found an octopus that they can use as a model organism, like fruit flies or lab mice, in scientific research.
A Morning Read
Many Brazilian companies are seeking out Black and Indigenous workers to diversify their ranks and reverse the country’s deep inequality. After activists sued LinkedIn for removing job ads that sought candidates of color, the company changed its global policy.
Russia-Ukraine War: Key Developments
Evidence of war atrocities. Videos and photos emerging from Bucha, a town near Kyiv, appeared to show civilian bodies scattered on the streets after Russia withdrew its troops from the area. The images have elicited widespread outrage.
Calls for more sanctions. The growing evidence of the apparent brutality against Ukrainian civilians has prompted some European Union leaders to demand a total ban on Russian gas imports. But E.U. nations were sharply divided over taking such a drastic step.
On the ground. Thwarted in their quest to swiftly seize Kyiv, retreating Russian forces have narrowed their targets, pummeling Ukraine’s southern coastline, including the key cities of Mykolaiv and Mariupol, while leaving the door open to peace talks.
ARTS AND IDEAS
A Grammy’s recap
The 64th annual music awards shone with glitz and youthful glam.
Jon Batiste, the New Orleans jazz scion and late-night bandleader, won album of the year. Silk Sonic — the retro soul-funk project of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak — took home awards for both best record and best song. And Olivia Rodrigo won best pop vocal album and best new artist. Check out the full list of winners.
The awards also included geopolitical maneuvering: President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine delivered an impassioned plea for help in a recorded video.
Fashion flourished, too: “If there was a theme to the night, it was an exuberant anything-goes attitude that was not a bad reminder of why red carpets are fun in the first place,” our chief fashion critic writes.
For more: Here’s a red carpet slide show and the best and worst moments.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
Make a double batch of the glaze on this hot mustard and honey glazed chicken to use on pork chops or grilled shrimp.
What to Read
Here are 12 new books to be published this month, including the English translation of “Rouge Street: Three Novellas,” a series of stories that unfold in northeast China, and “I Was the President’s Mistress!!” a novel in interviews set in a fictional Philippines.
What to Watch
March Madness is concluding. On Sunday, South Carolina’s women’s team won the national championship over UConn. The men’s final is Monday night (9:20 a.m. Hong Kong time today), between North Carolina and Kansas.
Now Time to Play
Play today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Pull a fast one on (four letters).
Here’s today’s Wordle and today’s Spelling Bee.
You can find all our puzzles here.
That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Amelia
P.S. Our China team is changing: Keith Bradsher will become our Beijing bureau chief, to be joined there by Vivian Wang. Alexandra Stevenson will move to China as our new Shanghai bureau chief and Daisuke Wakabayashi will relocate to Seoul.
The latest episode of “The Daily” is about Donald Trump and the 2020 election.
You can reach Amelia and the team at [email protected].