Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times

At least six people died in a bomb attack on a bustling pedestrian thoroughfare in central Istanbul yesterday. By Sunday evening, Turkish officials had put the number of people wounded at 81, with two in critical condition.

The authorities offered few details in the hours afterward other than to say that it could have been a terrorist attack. The explosion occurred in front of a clothing store on Istiklal Avenue, a short walk from Taksim Square. A person suspected of leaving the bomb has been arrested by the police, according to a post on the Interior Ministry’s English-language Twitter account.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, vowed to punish those behind the blast, without accusing any specific group. “Efforts to make Turkey and the Turkish nation surrender by terror will not reach their aim today, as they did not in the past,” he said.

Context: The area where the blast occurred is crowded day and night with Turks and tourists. But it was even busier than usual because one of Turkey’s premier soccer teams was scheduled to play nearby in the evening, drawing fans to the neighborhood. The area rebounded this summer as the weak Turkish lira drew tourists to the country.

The Ukrainian city of Kherson, recently reclaimed from Russia, was for months the focus of an ambitious Russian campaign to assimilate the citizenry and stamp out Ukrainian identity — a goal Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, had once harbored for all of Ukraine.

That campaign encompassed the banning of national songs and of speaking Ukrainian; the adoption of Russian curriculums in schools; and messaging to young students that they were Russians, not Ukrainians. But early in the city’s liberation, it appears that those Russian efforts were largely futile, at least among those who did not flee as Ukrainian forces approached.

Throughout Ukraine, the war has been notable as a time of accelerated cultural separation of Ukrainian from Russian — the exact opposite of what Putin had sought to achieve. For example, towns across the country are renaming their many Pushkin Streets, which honored the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

First person: “When our soldiers drove in, their machine guns were pointed up, into the air,” one Ukrainian resident of Kherson said. “When the Russians drove in, their guns were pointed at the people. That explains everything. And they said they were our liberators.”

Humanitarian needs: The city of Kherson is still without heat, water, electricity or cellphone service, as Russian artillery digs in just miles away.

In other news from the war:

  • Since Russia’s humiliating withdrawal from Kherson, pro-war activists in Russia have harshly criticized the military, Putin and Russia’s very system of government.

  • Both sides are expected to pause operations as winter approaches. Heavy snows and freezing temperatures could make it difficult for the Russian Army to regroup.

President Biden and Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, will meet face to face today in Indonesia — their first meeting since Biden took office. The meeting, which comes after both warned of deepening military, economic and diplomatic rivalry, will show whether they can halt a downward spiral that has brought U.S.-China relations to their lowest point in many decades.

World leaders are gathering in Bali, a southern Indonesian island, for the G20 summit, which begins tomorrow and lasts two days. The forum comprises 19 countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Italy, as well as the E.U. Vladimir Putin will not attend the summit; Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, will attend in his place.

Biden met with Southeast Asian leaders this weekend at a summit in Cambodia. Normally, post-midterm international trips allow U.S. presidents to escape bad news for their party at home. But since it became clear that a Republican rout had not materialized, this trip has begun to look more like a victory lap.

While sales of electric vehicles are still skewed toward affluent buyers, more people are shifting away from gas guzzlers to save money on fuel and repairs. Growth in electric vehicle sales could have been even stronger if automakers had been able to make more electric cars; production has been limited amid shortages of computer chips, batteries and other parts.

Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris for 18 years after he was stuck in limbo as a refugee and whose life inspired the film “The Terminal,” died in the airport on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo ‘betrayed?’: Heading into the World Cup break after weeks in a stalemate around his status, the superstar claimed he is being forced out of Manchester United not only by Manager Erik ten Hag, but by “two or three” others around the club.

Inside Egyptian soccer’s most toxic dispute: Abdallah El-Said has seen the last four years of his career derailed by a $2 million legal fight. How did it come to this?

World Cup injury timeline: Several top players have already been ruled out, while many others are sweating over their fitness. Here are the players already out of the running.

There is such an abundance of good stuff coming in the next few weeks, both in theaters and in your home cinema (a.k.a. your living room), that you might want to sketch out a viewing plan or at least make a list.

On the big screen, make time for Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical new movie, “The Fabelmans,” co-written with the playwright Tony Kushner. If you’re a Marvel fan, you might have already rushed to see “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” the “Black Panther” sequel.

Then, coming imminently: “Bones and All,” Luca Guadagnino’s new film, starring Timothée Chalamet as a cannibal; “The Menu,” a class satire starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes and Nicholas Hoult; and “She Said,” the film adaptation of the book by the Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey about their reporting on Harvey Weinstein.

Those picks will be followed around the end of the month by “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” Rian Johnson’s sequel to “Knives Out,” and “White Noise,” Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel by the same name.

As for TV, Season 5 of “The Crown” is already out. The final season of “Dead to Me” is forthcoming on Netflix. “Tulsa King,” which stars Sylvester Stallone as a New York mobster who relocates to Tulsa, Okla., after 25 years in prison, is on Paramount+. And the most recent season of “The Great British Baking Show” — which has perhaps not been one for the ages — limps to a close tomorrow.

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