Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times

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Boris Johnson pulled out of the race to succeed Liz Truss as Britain’s prime minister on Sunday evening, ending a quixotic bid to reclaim the job he lost three months ago amid a cascade of scandals.

Johnson’s withdrawal ends a feverish three days in which he once again dominated the political conversation. But his campaign never really gained momentum, underscoring how much has changed since he won a landslide general election victory in 2019.

Johnson said he believed he had a path to victory, even though the BBC estimated that he had lined up the public support of only 57 Conservative lawmakers, well short of the threshold of 100 required to be on the ballot. In a statement, he said he had “sadly come to the conclusion” that returning to 10 Downing Street “would simply not be the right thing to do.”

Process: The Conservatives’ 357 members of Parliament and, perhaps, about 170,000 dues-paying members will choose their next leader, who will then become the prime minister, with plans to have a result this week. Candidates have until 2 p.m. today to gather nominations.

Rishi Sunak, Britain’s former finance minister, is now the front-runner for prime minister after formally declaring yesterday that he was running. Sunak’s earlier warnings against Truss’s economic policies have proven percipient — and may ease his pathway to victory this time around. Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the House of Commons, is the only other person who has so far declared their candidacy.

Sunak’s rise in politics has been uncommonly rapid. In early 2020, he became Boris Johnson’s chancellor of the Exchequer, despite only having held a seat in Parliament since 2015. Sunak then became the nation’s most popular politician after spending hundreds of billions of pounds on emergency pandemic measures to support workers and businesses.

But his political star started to fall earlier this year, amid policy U-turns on spending and criticism related to his extreme wealth. Sunak worked at the investment bank Goldman Sachs and two hedge funds before becoming a member of Parliament and is married to Akshata Murthy, the daughter of one of India’s richest men.

Policy choices: A recession looms as Britain faces longstanding issues, including low productivity growth as well as trade and labor market disruptions created by Brexit. Financial markets will expect strict discipline on public finances, even as some corners of the unruly Conservative Party call for tax cuts.

As winter approaches, Russia and Ukraine are locked in heavy exchanges of fire across the front line in increasingly urgent attempts to make gains, big or small. Yet despite attacks from both sides, the battlefield positions have not appeared to move much in recent days.

More than a dozen people died in strikes over the weekend, according to Ukrainian officials. Russia also unleashed widespread attacks on power plants and heating stations in what Ukraine said were some of the heaviest strikes in weeks. The government estimates that 1.5 million households are without power.

After months of no contact, Lloyd Austin, the U.S. defense secretary, and Sergei Shoigu, his Russian counterpart, held their second discussion in three days, in a call intended to make clear the red lines that might provoke Russia to launch a nuclear attack in Ukraine. Shoigu held other discussions with military officials from Turkey, France and Britain.

In other news from the war:

Some younger workers embraced the idea of a personal brand as a way to carve out some power and security in their careers. But for the millions of people who monetize their online presence in some form, the downsides of this type of work are becoming more clear.

“There’s no clear delineation between my work life and my personal life,” one influencer, with around half a million followers, said. “Sometimes it can be exhausting.”

Erik Ten Hag is imposing his authority on Manchester United: His discipline over togetherness and insistence on following a tactical plan suggest a manager trying to grow his authority. And the Dutch boss has no regrets over excluding Cristiano Ronaldo.

60-minute soccer matches, kick-ins and stop-clock proposals: Fans are only getting on average 55 minutes of action per Premier League match. Solutions must be found.

U.S.W.N.T. to face Vietnam, Netherlands and a playoff winner at 2023 World Cup: The four-time world champions will have a rematch of their 2019 World Cup win in Group E against the Netherlands before facing tournament debutantes Vietnam.

If you were to place an order this week at a restaurant that exclusively served viral foods, here’s what you’d be eating: a “Liz Truss lettuce” salad tossed in a “special dressing” made by the actor and director Olivia Wilde; an omelet made with only egg yolks; and a Negroni Sbagliato to wash it all down.

Let’s break it down, starting with the salad. The Daily Star, a British newspaper, last week tracked whether Truss, Britain’s embattled prime minister, could survive longer than off-the-shelf produce. (She couldn’t.)

A former nanny for Wilde and her former husband, the actor Jason Sudeikis, said that a “special dressing” played a small role in a big fight between the pair. It may, or possibly may not, have been the mustard-and-red-wine-vinegar dressing outlined in Nora Ephron’s autobiographical novel “Heartburn.”

And the egg yolk omelet was, apparently, the order of choice for James Corden’s wife, the television producer Julia Carey, at the New York restaurant Balthazar. It, too, played a role in a big fight, one that the owner says has led to Corden being banned from the restaurant.

At least the Negroni Sbagliato, for all its bitter notes, has a sweeter origin story. It’s the favorite drink of Emma D’Arcy, who plays Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in “House of the Dragon” — described, languorously, to co-star Olivia Cooke, who plays Queen Alicent Hightower, in a viral clip. Order up!

Pair these corn pakoras with a ridiculously flavorful mango-tamarind chutney. (And don’t miss our other Diwali recipes.)

“Aftersun,” Charlotte Wells’s debut feature film, is astonishing and devastating.

In “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” Matthew Perry gets serious about sobriety, mortality, colostomy bags and pickleball.

Taylor Swift’s new album, “Midnights,” comments on life as a deeply observed figure.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Word before fair or Fans (four letters).

And here are today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing, and a happy Diwali to those who are celebrating. See you tomorrow. — Natasha

P.S. The Concorde made its last commercial flight 19 years ago today.

Start your week with this narrated long read about Yiyun Li, a novelist loved for her powerful distillations of grief. And here’s Friday’s edition of “The Daily,” on Liz Truss’s downfall.

You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].


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