We cover Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize the independence of Ukraine’s breakaway regions and the reopening of tourism in Australia.
Russia recognizes breakaway regions, tensions escalate
In a speech filled with historic grievances, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russia would recognition of the independence of Donetsk and Luhanskterritories in Ukraine controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. Western leaders fear The move could lead to one of the biggest conflicts in Europe since World War Two.
Putin’s decision followed a session of Russia’s Security Council, at which he accused the US and its allies of using Ukraine “as a tool of confrontation” with Russia. Ukrainian officials warn that the recognition could allow separatist leaders to request military help from Russia, possibly paving the way for a military offensive.
Also on Monday, Russian media broadcast claims of attacks by Ukrainian forces, accusations that Ukraine’s military leaders were forced to deny. American officials have repeatedly predicted that the Russian military will stage fake attacks on its forces as an excuse for war.
The escalation raises doubts about diplomatic solutions. President Biden agreed on Sunday “in principle” to a proposed summit with Putin, but White House officials say such a meeting in the coming days is at best “just an idea.” idea” and would not happen if Russia invaded. This is the latest information.
Arab rulers hoard millions of dollars in Swiss banks
A data leak from Credit Suisse has opened a hole in the private wealth of several powerful figures across the Middle East, raises new questions about self-management.
The leak revealed that current and former leaders in the region, which have long lacked transparency about their politicians’ financial holdings, hold sizable assets in banks. foreign. Experts say it shows the failure of many states to draw a line between rulers and state property.
The only sitting head of state in the leaked data is King Abdullah II of Jordan, a close US partner whose kingdom has received at least $22 billion in military and economic aid from the Americans. . According to the data, King Abdullah has six Swiss accounts, including one holding more than $224 million in 2015.
A few years earlier, before President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was toppled in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising, a group of businessmen close to him as well as his sons had made a fortune. giant. The Mubarak brothers have six accounts at Credit Suisse, including a joint account that grew to about $196 million in 2003.
What the leak shows: Credit Suisse ignored or ignored the red flags by opening an account and continuing to serve people with problematic backgrounds that will be obvious to anyone using their name through a search engine.
Australia celebrates its first tourist in two years
Lifeguards, a rowing queen and a DJ welcomed the first wave of foreign visitors into Australia since March 2020, when the country closed its borders to contain the coronavirus.
More than 50 international flights were scheduled to fly to Australia on Monday, officials celebrate as Australia reopens to the world. Despite the increase in Omicron . bonding Cases of death and deaths Over the past two months, Australia’s move to policies aimed at living with the virus coincides with that of a developing region in Asia.
“This is a party at Sydney airport; People are celebrating,” said Dan Tehan, Australia’s Tourism Minister.
However, it remains unclear how long it will take for the tourism industry to fully recover. The question remains whether visitors from China, Australia’s largest tourism market, will return. And the United States and New Zealand have advised against travel to Australia because of its recent Omicron outbreak.
In other pandemic developments:
Around the world
Hundreds of part-time workers across India risk their lives for a front-line job vital to nature conservation but often paying less than minimum: rangers. They battle poachers, crime gangs and fires – and in Kerala, home to the largest contiguous tiger population in the world, they are real. peacekeepers between humans and wildlife.
ARTS AND IDEAS
A piece of American culinary history
The Ebony test kitchen is singular, with its orange and green swirls and futuristic design. Built in the early 1970s, the kitchen cemented Ebony magazine’s place in American food culture.
A leading magazine for Black Americans since the 1940s, Ebony has helped change the public’s perception of Black food. Freda DeKnight, Ebony’s first culinary editor, travels the United States learning different culinary traditions from home chefs and sharing her findings in a monthly column. International recipes like rose petal pudding and mulligawny soup live alongside traditional dishes like Ebony’s chicken stew and dumplings. Readers can submit favorite home recipes to be checked by experts, and the magazine showcases the winning recipes.
“A lot of people have come to Ebony for recipes that are familiar or have become part of our culture,” said Charlotte Lyons, a former food editor at Ebony. “We’re going to bring all of that to life.” The restored kitchen is the centerpiece of a new exhibition in Harlem focus on the African American culinary experience.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook?
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/21/briefing/putin-recognizes-separatists-ukraine-australia-tourists.html Your Tuesday recap: Putin recognizes separatists in Ukraine