Iran’s deadly crackdown on youth protesters
Hundreds of minors in Iran have been beaten and detained for joining the protests calling for social freedom and political change that have convulsed the country for the past two months, and at least 50 have died in the crackdown, according to Iranian lawyers and rights activists. Iranian officials have said the average age of protesters is 15.
The targeting of young people comes amid a broader crackdown on protesters in which 14,000 people have been arrested, according to the U.N. Lawyers and rights activists estimate that 500 to 1,000 minors are in detention, with no clarity on how many are being held in adult prisons.
At juvenile detention facilities, children have been forced to undergo behavior therapy under the supervision of a cleric and a psychologist who tell the children they have committed sins and they must accept their wrongdoing, according to lawyers and rights activists. They have sometimes been prescribed psychiatric drugs after resisting behavioral treatment, lawyers said.
Analysis: “What makes these protests different is children are much more visibly present, displaying a bold determination to defy the establishment and ask for a better future for themselves,” said Diana Eltahawy, of Amnesty International. “And they are using all the tools of repression at their disposal to crack down on them.”
A meeting of two global superpowers
President Biden and Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, met in person for the first time as national leaders yesterday with a tone of mutual engagement that acknowledged that both their countries faced challenges from global conflict and economic headwinds. Despite growing tensions, both adopted a warmer approach, greeting each other like old companions.
In talks, the pair agreed that neither wanted competition between the two superpowers to erupt in conflict, and they promised more efforts to repair a fractious relationship. But none of that hid their deeply divergent views, on matters including the future of Taiwan, military rivalry, technology restrictions and China’s mass detentions of its citizens.
Both had traveled to Bali for the G20 summit, which opens today, at moments of political success: Biden with better-than-expected results for his party in the midterm elections; Xi after having secured a third term as Communist Party leader. Still, the national interests of both countries have been made vulnerable by the pandemic, climate change, the war in Ukraine and economic crisis.
Quotable: “We’re going to compete vigorously, but I’m not looking for conflict,” Biden said. “I’m looking to manage this competition responsibly.”
Pandemic: Hun Sen, the Cambodian prime minister, has cut short his trip to Bali after he tested positive for Covid-19. He had met with more than a dozen world leaders in the past three days, including Biden, Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, and Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India.
Plans: Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, intends to visit China for a follow-up meeting next year.
Accounts of torture in Kherson
As Kherson celebrates its fresh liberation after eight months of Russian occupation, disturbing accounts of torture and abuse at the hands of Russian soldiers are emerging, with people finally free to talk. Residents also reported disappearances and killings, consistent with war crime allegations documented in other Ukrainian cities.
One woman described Russian soldiers’ threatening her with violence, including electric shocks, before a plastic bag was thrown over her head and she was dragged to a car. In an underground prison, she was interrogated and beaten and heard screams emanating from other cells, she said.
Other residents described being hauled off to underground torture chambers, sometimes just for posting patriotic poems, or witnessing random outbursts of violence, like Russian soldiers smashing young men in the face and sending them to the hospital. Those suspected of belonging to a partisan underground group were at particular risk, residents said.
Details: Ukrainian officials have said that the Russians kidnapped more than 600 people, and many are still missing.
Soaring morale: Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, visited the reclaimed city. “This is the beginning of the end of the war,” he said to a crowd of hundreds of people, some wrapped in Ukrainian flags.
THE LATEST NEWS
Around the World
To compensate for changes in the speed of the Earth’s rotation, metrologists in 1972 began occasionally inserting an extra second — a leap second — to the end of an atomic day.
Now, the world’s time mavens are making a bold proposal: to abandon the leap second by 2035. Civilization would wholly embrace atomic time, and the difference between atomic time and Earth time would go unspecified until timekeepers come up with a better plan for reconciling the two.
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
Ronaldo’s endgame is obvious: The Manchester United star has claimed to feel “betrayed” and has made it clear that he sees Old Trafford as a five-star prison. He wants out.
N.F.L.’s Germany debut: Tom Brady called Sunday’s game in Munich one of the best football experiences he’d had. Renditions of “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Sweet Caroline” belted by nearly 70,000 fans put an exclamation mark on the experience.
From The Times: With the opening games of the World Cup just days away, officials in Qatar have demanded that beer tents in stadiums be moved to less visible locations.
Liberté, égalité, millinery: The Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games has unveiled the mascots, and they are hats.
ARTS AND IDEAS
The collapse of FTX
When David Yaffe-Bellany, a reporter for The Times, spoke in April with Ramnik Arora, then an executive at FTX, he was regaled with wild tales of how Sam Bankman-Fried, the cryptocurrency exchange’s founder, had failed to format his slide decks and had delivered presentations while playing video games. “When I spoke with Arora in April, this was all presented to me as: Our founder is a genius!” David said.
In the space of a few days, Bankman-Fried has gone from maverick industry leader to industry villain; has lost most of his fortune; and has watched his $32 billion company, once the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, plunge into bankruptcy and became the target of U.S. government investigations. (The company’s investors are also coming under scrutiny.)
The exchange collapsed last week after a run on deposits left it with an $8 billion shortfall. The damage has rippled across the industry, destabilizing other crypto companies and sowing widespread distrust of the technology.
Major questions still remain, such as whether FTX improperly used billions of dollars of customers’ funds to prop up Alameda Research, a trading firm that Bankman-Fried also founded.
In an interview with David on Sunday, Bankman-Fried sounded surprisingly calm. “You would’ve thought that I’d be getting no sleep right now, and instead I’m getting some,” the FTX founder said. “It could be worse.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha
P.S. “Drop everything”: How Times reporters cover public figures who die unexpectedly.
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