Accusations over death of Russian blogger
The Russian authorities detained a suspect in the bombing that killed a popular pro-war blogger in the center of St. Petersburg and blamed Ukraine and Russian opposition activists for the attack, signaling that the Kremlin could use the explosion to escalate its harsh crackdown against what remains of antiwar activism in Russia.
The police claimed that the suspect, a 26-year-old Russian woman, Daria Trepova, had “opposition views” and had coordinated with Ukraine to deliver explosives hidden in a statuette to the blogger, known as Vladlen Tatarsky, 40, who was speaking at a pro-war gathering at a cafe in Russia’s second-largest city.
Russia’s Antiterrorism Committee also issued a statement claiming, without providing evidence, that the bombing had been planned by Ukrainian intelligence agencies, along with “agents” connected to the movement of Aleksei Navalny, the imprisoned Russian opposition leader.
Navalny: An exiled leader of the opposition leader’s movement, Ivan Zhdanov, described the allegations against his group as outrageous and a pretext to extend Navalny’s prison term even further.
In other news from the war:
A history-making arraignment
Donald Trump traveled to New York from Florida yesterday to face arraignment in a case that has brought the first indictment of a former American president. Today, he will surrender at the office of the Manhattan district attorney. He will then be arraigned in the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building, where his supporters plan a rally outside.
Mayor Eric Adams warned those supporters to keep the peace, saying that the dignity of the proceedings would not be disrupted. Barricades were deployed, and the Police Department sent a stand-ready order to its roughly 35,000 officers. Trump’s appearance has put the city on edge, stoking concern over the possibility of unrest as the former president is fingerprinted and photographed.
The indictment that set off the furor is linked to a payment made during the 2016 election to buy the silence of a porn star, Stormy Daniels. It is the result of one of several investigations into Trump’s conduct, including his reaction to the results of the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents.
Legal wrangling: Trump added a new lawyer to his defense team: Todd Blanche, a former federal prosecutor with wide experience in white-collar cases. Trump has denied wrongdoing and is expected to plead not guilty when he appears in court.
Russia helms the U.N. Security Council
For the first time since February 2022, when it launched an unprovoked war on Ukraine, Russia has taken over the monthlong presidency of the U.N. Security Council, a world panel created to maintain international peace and security. The position is rotated alphabetically among the Council’s 15 members, and it is simply Russia’s turn.
Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the U.N., rejected the growing outcry asserting that Russia has no business presiding over the Council. “We do not abuse the prerogatives of the presidency,” he said. “One thing is a national position. The second thing is the role of the presidency of the Security Council, which we cherish.”
Russia intends to take full advantage of the role, with its foreign minister planning to preside over two meetings of the council. Though the powers of the presidency are limited, the symbolism was beyond measure for many: Only last month, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, accusing him of war crimes in Ukraine.
Veto power: Russia is one of the five veto-holding permanent members of the Council. That power has complicated the body’s work when it comes to the war in Ukraine. The Council has been unable to issue unanimous statements or pass resolutions about the war because of Russia’s power to block any action against it.
THE LATEST NEWS
Around the World
At the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, Dr. Roland Griffiths has been a pioneer in investigating the ways in which psychedelics can help treat depression, addiction and, in patients with life-threatening cancer diagnoses, psychological distress.
Griffiths himself is now facing a diagnosis of Stage 4 metastatic colon cancer, which is likely to be terminal. Yet, he said, “In spite of that, life has been more beautiful, more wonderful than ever.”
Nigel Lawson, a Conservative politician and journalist who helped turn around Britain’s economy under Margaret Thatcher but who quit the government in a bitter dispute over monetary policy, died at 91.
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
The soccer giant in chaos months after a takeover: Chelsea has fired Graham Potter as manager. It’s a public admission from the club’s new owners that they have gotten things wrong.
Suits, cravats and turtlenecks: An old-school suit? A man-of-the-people tracksuit? Or a designer turtleneck? Does it matter what a coach wears on the sidelines?
From The Times: The owner of the U.F.C. plans to acquire W.W.E., creating a $21 billion live-combat juggernaut.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Revising classic novels
Authors’ estates have been altering the text of well-known books to remove dated language that some may consider offensive, raising questions about art and censorship. But for publishers, there’s another important factor: making sure these books still sell.
Agatha Christie continues to find new fans, and her estate had those readers in mind when it recently removed bigoted language from some of her novels. Christie’s estate learned long ago how lucrative such a change could be: In the 1980s, a slur was dropped from the title of one of her books in Britain, and it was renamed “And Then There Were None,” the U.S. title. It remains her best-selling book.