WORLD

Your Thursday Briefing


India, which has 1.428 billion people, is on the cusp of surpassing China as the world’s most populous country. (It’s already surpassed mainland China, new U.N. estimates show; soon it will have more people than the mainland and Hong Kong combined.) That has led some to hope for an “Indian century” in the making, though challenges remain.

Unlike China, and most industrialized countries, India has a young and expanding work force. Nearly 80 percent of Indians are younger than 50. And the proportion of Indians in extreme poverty has plummeted; the country’s economy has grown much faster than the population for a generation.

But India faces major challenges. Most Indians remain poor by global standards. There are not enough jobs — the economy has never expanded fast enough to produce enough formal employment for everyone. India has one of the world’s lowest rates of formal employment for women. And although famines are a thing of the past, more than a third of all children are malnourished.

That brings the risk of instability, as does the country’s increasingly forceful Hindu nationalist government. Economic growth without an equivalent increase in jobs worsens inequality and raises the potential for unrest. And an economy cannot meet its potential when it draws on the contributions of so few women as India does.

By the numbers: India recently surpassed Britain to become the world’s fifth-largest economy. Among major economies, India’s is projected to be the fastest-growing this year.

Ripple effects: China’s shrinking work force is a threat to the global economy.


At least 78 people were killed late yesterday in a stampede in Sana, the Yemeni capital, an official of the Houthi rebels said. The tragedy was the deadliest in years that was not related to Yemen’s long conflict, and came ahead of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan later this week.

The event took place at a school in the Old City. Hundreds of poor people had gathered at a charity event giving out financial aid, according to the Houthi-run Interior Ministry. Distributing financial aid is a ritual during Ramadan, and people had gathered to receive about $10 each, witnesses said.

Two witnesses said armed Houthis had shot into the air in an attempt to control the crowd, apparently striking an electrical wire and causing it to explode. That set off a panic, and people began stampeding, they said.

Details: Video posted on social media showed dozens of bodies, some motionless, and people screaming as others tried to help. The rebels quickly sealed off a school where the event was being held and kept journalists from approaching.

The conflict: new round of talks has raised a glimmer of hope for resolution between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis, the Iran-backed fighters who control Yemen’s capital and the country’s northwest.

Background: The conflict is a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It has killed more than 150,000 people and created one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

A 24-hour truce between Sudan’s army and a paramilitary group held uneasily in parts of Khartoum, the capital, last night. Desperate residents looked for ways to escape the city after being trapped for five days by the fighting.

Nearly 300 people have been killed since Saturday, the W.H.O. said, and evacuations from Khartoum have proved intensely dangerous. People in the city’s outskirts, where there is less fighting, have already fled. Many are running out of water and supplies.

There are limited ways out. Some have fled the city on foot or in buses and cars, following roads along the Nile that lead north toward Egypt or Port Sudan, or to safer areas in the south. But the international airport, where fighting has destroyed at least 19 parked planes, is closed to all traffic.

“We’re paralyzed,” the head of Doctors Without Borders in Sudan said. “We cannot move.”

Evacuations: The U.S. has no plans for a government-coordinated evacuation, and it urged Americans to shelter in place. Germany reportedly sent three planes, only to call them back.

Context: In the days leading up to the conflict, the two now-warring generals came tantalizingly close to a deal brokered by U.N. mediators. But both sides were preparing for war.

A surge in attacks by Jewish settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has frightened Palestinians. Hundreds of Israeli soldiers are now deployed in the town of Huwara, where there was an increase in deadly violence earlier this year.

“If you see the security, you wouldn’t think this is a home — it feels like we’re living in a prison,” said a 38-year-old Palestinian woman, who installed nine security cameras around her house for fear of settlers. “Every time they attack us from a new angle, we put up new fortifications.”

Soccer manager is accused of racism: Christophe Galtier, the manager of Paris St.-Germain, has denied allegations of racism, and his reputation is on the line. Here’s what to know.

Fernando Alonso’s F1 resurgence: After years of being stuck in the midfield and away from Formula 1 altogether, one of the sport’s modern greats is back — and looking for his 33rd win.

Chelsea’s season is done: Chelsea’s 2022-23 campaign is effectively over after a loss to Real Madrid — so why not use the remaining six weeks to try to build some hope for the future?

In recent years, American music fans have gotten used to listening to pop from around the world. K-pop groups and Spanish-language acts like Bad Bunny have had hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and French-language singers have appeared at major U.S. festivals.

Danish pop may be next. Denmark has long been renowned for its gastronomy and its noirish television dramas. Tobias Rahim, a 6-foot-7 Kurdish Danish pop singer, is leading the charge to make the country’s music internationally famous.

Rahim had heard criticism that Danish was ugly, but he disagreed. “Any language converted into music can be super beautiful,” he said.

Listen: My colleague Alex Marshall compiled a playlist of Danish pop songs.

Limonada, a Brazilian lemonade, is creamy, frosty and tart.

Aisha Franz’s graphic novel “Work-Life Balance” is one of the top new books this week.



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