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Why Viola Davis’ Best Supporting Actress Speech in ‘Fences’ Was So Powerful



Viola Davis’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress began with a thank you from the Academy and this observation: “You know, there’s one place where all the people with the most potential gather.”

Break. Some viewers may have felt a bout of nausea. What the fences Is the actress going to perform a sequel to Meryl Streep’s performance at the Golden Globes? The next line will be “this room” to stand up for the president-condemned entertainment industry, to preach truth and inclusion, to spark a new skirmish about whether Hollywood is too selfish?

No. The next line: “One place, and this is a cemetery.”

wow Davis’ speech quickly went viral and received wide acclaim for many reasons, the main one being just good writing. She started with a question and gave an answer that few would have guessed. She used the power of surprise, which was demonstrated in abundance elsewhere at the Oscars.

The speech also made it clear why Davis deserves an Oscar. She seemed to be heaving with excitement, almost out of breath, and yet her words were clear and her sentences deft. She gestured with the precision of her How to Get Away with Murder Annalize Keating’s character in a lecture on law, but she showed the coarseness of the feelings that Mrs. Miller experienced in double. But it wasn’t a game. And if it was, it was so good that it did not seem so. Which, as Leonardo DiCaprio said from a stage elsewhere in the night, is the definition of a great game.

The most remarkable thing is the content of the speech. As a rule, memorable confessions at the Oscars contain explicit political points, contain gaffes, or mark important milestones. But Davis attracted attention with a simple discussion of art, as well as specific, sincere greetings to colleagues and loved ones.

“People ask me all the time, ‘What stories do you want to tell, Viola?'” she said. “And I say: exhume these bodies, exhume these stories. Stories of people who dreamed big and never realized their dreams, people who fell in love and failed. I became an artist – and thank God I did – because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live.

The resonance with Davis’s work was clear: fences based on a play by August Wilson about a 1950s working-class black family whose members are not known but who simply struggle and argue against the backdrop of society and history. Wilson “exhumed and uplifted the common people,” Davis said; his story was “about people and words and life and forgiveness and grace”.

But it was impossible to miss the resonance with other themes of the night and the era. The Best Picture nomination was full of stories about the culturally invisible and disillusioned: Post-Crisis Texans who were denied opportunities in Hell or high waterlow-level NASA mathematicians, largely forgotten by history in Hidden Figuresorphans and disadvantaged families in India in a lion. In particular, the winner in the nomination “Best Film” Moonlight unfolded the story of a poor black gay man who simply survives, an ordinary life of those that are depicted so rarely that they seem unusual.

So there is politics here, albeit subtle. In the context of conversations about diversity and inclusion at the Oscars and in America in general, Davis’s praise of stories about ordinary people, unfulfilled dreams, necessarily has a political meaning: the depiction of a previously unrepresented struggle means that life is not white, natural, provided. and/or male matter.

This view was slightly reinforced when she thanked her sisters, remembering, “We were rich white women in the tea party games.“. They played white and rich, perhaps because of what society told them to fantasize about. Davis demonstrated the power of suggesting alternatives.

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What sparked the bitter fight for control of Sudan’s future?



CAIRO (AP) – Tensions have been brewing for weeks between Sudan’s two most powerful generals, who just 18 months ago jointly organized military coup to disrupt the country’s transition to democracy.

Over the weekend, these frictions between the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, General Abdel-Fattah Burhanand head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalobroke into unprecedented battle for control of a resource-rich nation of over 46 million people.

Both men, each with tens of thousands of troops stationed in the capital Khartoum alone, vowed not to negotiate or cease fire despite growing global diplomatic pressure. This is a fatal setback for a country at the crossroads of the Arab world and Africa, which four years ago, the rule of a long-term dictator was brought to an end, largely due to peaceful popular protests.

Look how Sudan a country with a long history of coup d’étatreached this point and what is at stake.

What happened before the fight?

There have been talks in recent months to return to the democratic transition that was halted by the October 2021 coup.

Under growing international and regional pressure, the armed forces and the RSF have signed preliminary deal in December with pro-democracy and civic groups. But the agreement, brokered by the international community, provided only broad outlines, leaving the most pressing political issues unresolved.

During the harrowing negotiations to reach a final agreement, tensions between Burhan and Dagalo escalated. The key dispute is how the RSF will be integrated into the military and who will have ultimate control over the fighters and weapons.

The Dagalo, whose RSF engaged in violent repression during tribal riots and pro-democracy protests, also tried to portray himself as a pro-democracy transition. in March, Hey, Burhan slammedstating that the military leaders are unwilling to give up power.

Analysts say Dagalo is trying to whitewash the reputation of his militias, which began as brutal militias involved in atrocities in the Darfur conflict.

How has the situation worsened?

On Wednesday, the RSF began deploying forces around the small town of Merowe, north of the capital. The city is of strategic importance, with its large airport, central location and electric dam downstream of the Nile River. The next day, the RSF also sent additional forces to the capital and other areas of the country without the consent of the army leadership.

Fighting broke out Saturday morning at a military base south of Khartoum, with each side accusing the other of instigating the violence. Since then, the military and the RSF have fought each other with heavy weaponry, including armored vehicles and truck-mounted machine guns, in densely populated areas of the capital and the adjacent town of Omdurman. The military launched airstrikes on RSF bases.

By Monday, dozens of people had been killed and hundreds wounded in the fighting.

Clashes have spread to other parts of the country, including the strategic coastal city of Port Sudan on the Red Sea and eastern areas along the borders with Ethiopia and Eritrea. Fighting was also reported in the war-ravaged area of ​​Darfur, where UN installations were attacked and looted. The UN says three World Food Program workers were killed in clashes on Saturday.

What are the prospects for a ceasefire and a return to dialogue?

The prospects for an immediate ceasefire seem bleak. Burkhan and Dagalo dug in, demanding that the others surrender. The intense nature of the fighting may also make it difficult for the two generals to return to negotiations.

On the other hand, both the military and the RSF have foreign patrons who unanimously call for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

The Muslim religious calendar may also play a role. Fighting broke out in the last week of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and at the end of that week, the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday marked the end of the month of fasting. The population is increasingly in need, many are forced to stay at home due to violence.

Smoke rises during ongoing clashes in Sudan’s capital April 16, 2023 between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Mahmoud Khjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Meanwhile, there was a flurry of diplomatic contacts. The UN Security Council is due to discuss Sudan on Monday.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said he had discussed developments in Sudan with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Saudi foreign minister said he spoke on the phone separately with Burhan and Dagalo and urged them to stop “all kinds of military escalation.”

The Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf are close allies of the armed forces as well as the RSF.

Cameron Hudson, a senior think-tank at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former U.S. diplomat, said the Biden administration must press its allies in the region to push for peace.

“Without such pressure, we might find conflict with the same model war in Tigray (in Ethiopia ),” He said.

Who are the foreign players and what resources are at stake?

During the years-long rule of dictator Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in 2019, Russia was the dominant power. At some point, Moscow reached an initial agreement to build a Sudanese naval base on the Red Sea coast.

After al-Bashir was overthrown, the United States and European countries began to compete with Russia for influence in Sudan, rich in natural resources, including gold, but mired in civil strife and military coups. In recent years A Russian mercenary unit of Wagner even invaded in the country.

Burhan and Dagalo also developed close ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Sudanese troops drawn from the armed forces and the RSF have fought alongside the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s protracted civil war.

Egypt, another regional power, also has close ties to the Sudanese military. The two armies are holding regular military exercises, most recently this month. Egyptian troops were at the Sudanese military base for exercises when clashes erupted on Saturday. They were caught by the RSF who said they would be returned to Egypt.

The military controls most of the country’s economy, but the RSF controls large gold mining areas, a key source of income for the powerful faction.

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G7 promises more renewable energy efforts but doesn’t set coal phase-out deadline – POLITICO



The richest group of seven countries have set higher targets for renewable energy production by 2030 amid the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war on Ukraine, but they have not set a deadline for phasing out coal-fired power plants.

At a meeting hosted by Japan, ministers from Japan, the US, Canada, Italy, France, Germany and the UK reaffirmed their commitment to achieving zero carbon emissions by mid-century and stated that they intend to collectively increase solar power capacity by 1 terawatt and offshore wind 150 gigawatts by the end of this decade.

“The G7 is helping to expand the use of renewable energy worldwide and reduce costs through strengthening capacity, including through the collective increase in offshore wind farms… and the collective increase in solar energy…,” said the Ministers of Energy and the Environment at the 36th page statement. communiqué issued after two days meeting.

“In the midst of an unprecedented energy crisis, it is important to simultaneously take action to combat climate change and ensure energy security,” Japanese Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said at a press conference. Reuters.

The ministerial statement also condemned Russia’s “illegal, unjustified and unprovoked” invasion of Ukraine and its “devastating” environmental impact. Ministers voted in support of green recovery and reconstruction in Ukraine.

They also published a five-point plan to ensure access to critical raw materials that will be critical to the transition to a green economy.

Before the meeting, Japan faced criticism from green groups for its desire to keep the door open for further investment in natural gas, a fossil fuel. The final agreed text states that such investments “may be suitable” for dealing with the crisis if they are in line with climate goals.

The ministerial meeting in the northern city of Sapporo takes place just over a month before the G7 leaders’ summit in Hiroshima.

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The Times Podcast: Can Dr. Simi cure the Mexican health system?



Dr. Simi’s plush toys, along with a life-size action figure, fill the shelves at the headquarters of Farmacias Similares, a pharmacy chain owned by Victor González Torres, a Mexican businessman better known by his pseudonym “Dr. Ben.” Simi is also the name of the iconic character representing the chain. (Luis Antonio Rojas / For The Times)

(Luis Antonio Rojas)

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