Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

For more than a decade, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has as his signature project brought to heel the once extravagantly corrupt leadership of the People’s Liberation Army. But recent unexpected upheavals in the Chinese military suggest suspicions of graft or other misconduct in the sensitive arm of the military that manages conventional and nuclear missiles.

Last week, Xi abruptly replaced two top generals in the Rocket Force. A scandal involving the top brass of the armed forces would be a major setback for Xi, who has taken pride in turning the Communist Party and the Chinese military into unquestioning enforcers of his rule.

Signs of misconduct are likely to reinforce Xi’s conviction that China’s officials can be kept from straying only with intense scrutiny and pressure from above. Days earlier, he removed the foreign minister, Qin Gang, in another troublesome dismissal.

Analysis: “Obviously, something has gone wrong in the system, which is probably related to discipline and corruption,” Andrew Yang, an expert on the Chinese military, said. “It’s like a virus in the system that has come back. It’s a deep-rooted problem, and it has survived in the system.”

Niger’s military junta had a hard deadline: Restore democracy — and reinstate the ousted president — by Sunday, or face military action from a bloc of other West African nations. Yet, as of Monday, the president has not returned to power, and there was no sign of a military intervention by neighbors.

The ultimatum seems to have rallied many Nigeriens behind their new military leaders. On Sunday, tens of thousands of defiant junta supporters thronged the largest stadium in the capital, Niamey, chanting the name of the military official who claims to be in charge, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani.

The mutineers who were holding the president, Mohamed Bazoum, said they would resist any effort to remove them from power, leaving Niger’s future — and that of its people — hanging in the balance. On Sunday, the country closed its airspace, citing the potential threat of outside military intervention.

Response: Most analysts said that a conflict appeared unlikely, at least in the near term. But other West African military officials said that they did have a plan for an intervention, if needed. “Democracy must be restored, through diplomacy or force,” Gen. Christopher Gwabin Musa, the Nigerian chief of defense staff, said.

In order to understand Ukraine’s slow counteroffensive, The Times spent two weeks with Ukrainian marines trained and supplied by NATO. The troops said they were prepared for the long and grinding fight ahead. “It’s not a sprint,” one commander said. “It’s a marathon.”

Details: Casualties are heavy. Experienced commanders lead undertrained recruits. And some brigades are trying to fight with vehicles better suited to fighting a counterinsurgency in the deserts of the Middle East than the Russian Army in the lush forests of Ukraine.

As the U.S. grapples with a mental health crisis among youth, summer camps are looking more closely at the children in their care — whether by setting aside time and space for therapy via video or by creating staff positions focused full time on mental health.

Of the 2,200 students within one network of camps, around 20 percent take medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and 15 percent for anxiety and depression, staff said. Each day begins with a nurse outside the dining hall calling out, “Breakfast meds.”

Scouting Africa: The most undervalued market in world soccer.

Premier League jerseys: Ranking this season’s new soccer shirts.

Women’s World Cup: Australia beat Denmark, 2-0, and England advanced after it beat Nigeria on penalty kicks.

Taylor Swift’s first tour since 2018, which is now finishing its initial North American leg, has been both a business and a cultural juggernaut.

Swift’s catalog of generation-defining hits and canny marketing sense have helped her achieve a level of demand and media saturation not seen in decades — a dominance that the entertainment business had largely accepted as impossible in the fragmented 21st century. “The only thing I can compare it to is the phenomenon of Beatlemania,” said Billy Joel, the musician, who attended her show in Tampa, Fla., with his wife and young daughters.

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