Your Wednesday recap: New explosions rock Crimea

Good morning. We are talking about a massive explosion targeting a Russian target in Crimea and a political scandal in Australia.

And by repeatedly attacking territory Russia has held for more than a decade, Ukraine poses a new challenge to President Vladimir Putin’s standing at home. He told his people that Crimea was a “holy place” and a “holy place” for Russia.

Australia is being hit by a growing political scandal over the conduct of former prime minister Scott Morrison.

While leading the country during the pandemic, he secretly put himself in charge of five ministries. And he has kept his five new roles secret from the public and most of his colleagues in Congress. Some of the ministers who are sharing power with Morrison have never been told.

Anthony Albanese, the current prime minister, said yesterday: “I cannot understand the mindset that has created this. (Australia chose to kick Morrison out of office in May.) “It undermines our democracy,” he added, calling it a “deceitful government.”

In Australia, ministers can decide how government groups operate. Many Australians see Morrison’s moves as Trumpist, and critics say Morrison has damaged the country’s democracy.

Details: In 2020, Morrison has clearly realized that the country’s pandemic response will essentially put the health minister above the prime minister. So he appointed himself a second health minister – and then finance minister, to ensure that he too could have a say on emergency spending.

Reaction: Yesterday, amid growing calls for him to step down from his parliamentary seat, Morrison said his power play was the “right decision” for “very unusual times”.

Transaction: Before the election in May, Morrison used his new acting minister to sidestep the resources minister over a controversial gas project, killing it over fears it could hurt his chances. his party. He apologized yesterday.

In India, millions of families look to education to escape poverty. But public schools have long been known for their rundown buildings, mismanagement, poor teaching and even tainted lunches.

In New Delhi, however, schools are changing. The Aam Aadmi party, the city’s leader, has pledged billions of dollars more to overhaul the capital’s schools – more than double previous investments.

Many fixes are basic maintenance: Until recently, some schools either didn’t have clean drinking water or toilets, or they were infested with snakes. The school system has also partnered with leading experts and universities to design new curricula.

Students enrolled in private schools are transferring, and the city’s students are doing well. In recent years, they have scored better in core subjects than their peers across the country.

Politics: The Aam Aadmi Party came to power with the promise of improving basic services. Work on education has helped generate solid political victories for the party, which in March won control of a second state in India, Punjab.

Can quote: “You will walk into a school and you can smell the toilets from 50 meters away,” said one official, referring to a visit to the site in 2015.

In recent years, Salman Rushdie has wondered if the public has lost interest in free speech, a principle he laid down in his life when Iran sought to kill him for his 1988 novel. his, “The Verses of Satan”. As Rushdie told The Guardian last year, “The kind of people who stood up for me in the bad years might not do the same now.”

After Rushdie was stabbed on stage on Friday, the initial denunciation gave way to debate over free speech, Jennifer Schuessler wrote in The Times. Some Rushdie supporters lament the growing acceptance, across parts of the right and politics, that offensive speech is grounds for censorship.

Jennifer’s article also notes some surprising history – including a Times essay by Jimmy Carter denouncing Rushdie’s novel. – Tom Wright-Piersanti, a Morning editor

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