Upheavals in China’s military
Xi Jinping, China’s leader, set out to clean up the once-corrupt military a decade ago. But now his crown jewel — the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force, which manages conventional and nuclear missiles — is under a shadow.
Last week, Xi abruptly replaced top generals in the force. One, Gen. Li Yuchao, had been installed by Xi as the force’s top commander early last year. His deputy, Gen. Liu Guangbin, and the political commissar of the force, Gen. Xu Zhongbo, have also vanished from public view. The move came just days after Xi removed China’s foreign minister, Qin Gang, whom he had also elevated.
This unexplained shake-up suggests suspicions of graft or other misconduct: Most experts believe that Li and other senior officers may be accused of siphoning some of the enormous spending going into the fast-expanding force. A scandal could reinforce Xi’s conviction that officials can be kept from straying only with scrutiny and pressure.
Context: Xi created the department in 2015, and an expert said that “Xi talks about the P.L.A. Rocket Force as being central to future conflicts.” Virtually all members of China’s military elite owe their rise to Xi, which gives him a firm grip on power.
Related: The Philippines Coast Guard released a video that showed a Chinese Coast Guard vessel firing a water cannon at one of its ships in the South China Sea.
In 2016, an international tribunal backed the Philippines in its territorial claims over the contested waters. China has said it would not abide by the ruling.
South Korea’s embattled Jamboree
For the World Scout Jamboree, which draws scouts from across the globe every four years, woes continue. Yesterday, South Korea announced that all participants would leave the campsite early because Typhoon Khanun was nearing.
Already, at least 138 people at the event had been hospitalized from heat exhaustion. Three national scouting organizations left the campsite early. And a South Korean contingent withdrew, claiming that organizers had mishandled allegations of a sexual offense on the campgrounds.
“This event will go down in history as a very unlucky event,” the secretary general of the World Organization of the Scout Movement said.
Details: More than 43,000 teenagers from 158 countries flew to South Korea to attend the Jamboree. The typhoon is expected to make landfall on Thursday.
A look inside the counteroffensive
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.
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A government-sponsored flirtation
South Korea has the world’s lowest fertility rate — so some of its cities are hosting blind dating events for singles. They’ve been popular, but few yield couples.
In the city of Jinju, the events have produced 11 couples in 12 years. In Gumi, only 13 such couples have married since 2016. Officials in both cities do not know how many children the event-matched couples have had.
That’s because the events miss the point, young people say. It’s not that they don’t want to be married, but they point to the high costs of child care, unaffordable homes, slim job prospects and crushing work hours as obstacles. Women also fear workplace discrimination if they have children.
Related: You know about dating apps. How about “date-me docs”? These online profiles read like the personal ads of yore and aim at a more meaningful connection than a swipe might allow.