December 5, 2023

good morning. We cover the new Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine, Boris Johnson’s fight for his political survival, and the Twitter suit against India.

With Luhansk Province firmly in control, Russia has set its sights on the next target in eastern Ukraine. Russian forces intensified their bombardment on the outskirts of the city of Bakhmut, apparently as a prelude to an attack on the Donetsk region.

This tactic expelled the Ukrainian defenders from the last two cities standing at Luhansk, which together with Donetsk constituted the eastern Donbass region. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the capture of Donbass a critical goal.

Analysts said the city of Sloviansk was also likely to bear the brunt of the Russian war machine. But to capture the whole of Donetsk, Russian forces will likely need to capture Kramatorsk, the headquarters of Ukrainian military forces in the east.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been fighting for his political survival after two top ministers in his Conservative government unexpectedly resigned from their ministerial posts in what appeared to be a coordinated move against their leader.

Rishi Sunak, the Treasury secretary, and Sajid Javid, the health secretary, announced their decisions shortly after Johnson apologized for appointing a minister, Chris Pincher, who resigned last week over accusations of inappropriate behaviour.

The resignations pushed Johnson into the most dangerous position during his three-year tenure as prime minister. He survived a no-confidence vote last month, but government resignations may pressure him to resign.

What’s Next: Johnson’s fate may depend on whether other members of his government are on his side. There was doubt about the loyalty of the other ministers, whose statements and actions would be closely watched.

background: Pincher resigned his position as Whip’s deputy chief last week after admitting he was drunk at a private members’ club in London where, according to media reports, he groped two men. Downing Street has acknowledged that Johnson has been informed of the previous charges against Pincher.

Twitter said it has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government, defying the latest order to remove content and ban accounts within the country.

The company was given a deadline on Monday to ban dozens of accounts and posts from view within India, with the threat of criminal action against Twitter executives if they fail to comply.

Twitter has been asked to remove content related to civil liberties complaints, protests, and the government’s response to the pandemic. Last week, it was ordered to ban tweets from Freedom House, a US non-profit that cited India as an example of a country where press freedom was deteriorating.

background: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have worked for several years to immunize tech companies and strictly censor what is said online, and have used new IT laws to quell dissent.

A new law lowered the minimum age for political office in South Korea from 25 to 18, and a record number of candidates under the age of 40 competed in local elections this year. They faced uncertainties, cultural obstacles, and problems as old as politics itself.

live live: Zhang Sijie, the Chinese lawyer who defended politically controversial clients – Tiananmen-era defectors, purges of officials, and victims of police infections – died on June 24 in Beijing. He was 94 years old.

The Fields Medals, awarded to young mathematicians every four years, honor not only past achievements but also the promise of future breakthroughs. This year they went to four people.

Marina Vyazovska, From Ukraine, she is the second woman to win the medal. They are known for proofs of higher dimensional equivalencies for stacking equal-sized balls – a variation of Johannes Kepler’s conjecture involving the best way to stack artillery shells.

Jun huh He struggled with math in college and barely made it into a Ph.D. program. There, he stood out in the field of harmonics: the number of ways things can get mixed up. At first glance, it looks like playing with Tinker Toys.

James Maynard I’ve been guessing for years: for any pair of primes separated by 2, there will always be a larger pair. “It’s the tension between being simple and fairly basic, but vague and misunderstanding,” Maynard said of his interest in primes.

Hugo Dominelle Cobain He studies the mysteries of magnetic phase transitions. There are mathematical models of the phenomenon in one and two dimensions, but it works in the intractable third: “The ability to produce exact formulas is completely down,” Dominelle Cobain said.

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