Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

Saudi Arabia and Russia, acting as leaders of the OPEC Plus energy cartel, agreed yesterday to a cut of two million barrels of oil a day in a bid to raise prices, countering efforts by the U.S. and Europe to choke off the enormous revenue Moscow reaps from the sale of crude. The cut represents about 2 percent of global oil production and is the first in more than two years.

By reducing output, OPEC Plus was also seeking to make a statement to energy markets about the group’s cohesion during the Ukraine war and its willingness to act quickly to defend prices, analysts said. The White House criticized the decision, describing it in a statement as “shortsighted,” given the state of the global economy.

The price of Brent crude, the international benchmark, which had slumped during the summer, rose more than 1.5 percent after the meeting, extending the gains recorded in recent days and bringing prices back to levels last seen in mid-September.

Analysis: The move by OPEC exposes the failure of President Biden’s fist-bump diplomacy over the summer with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia — and signals the limited influence the U.S. has over its Gulf allies.

The European Political Community, the 44-nation brainchild of Emmanuel Macron, the French president, will convene today for the first time, in Prague. It includes non-E.U. members such as Israel, Norway and Ukraine and excludes such global superpowers as the U.S. and Russia.

The establishment of the group is part of the French president’s long-held quest to forge a united Europe of independent strength. Macron believes that the war in Ukraine will continue well beyond the winter: With this prospect in mind, a collective strategy to confront the energy crisis is particularly persuasive. Whether that strategy will spur Europe away from fossil fuels is unclear.

Macron fears that Europe is at risk of becoming a bystander to history, as he puts it, by losing control of its fate in the 21st century. The war in Ukraine has sharpened these concerns; the U.S., which is essentially energy independent, and Europe, which is not, do not experience the war in the same way.

Playbook: The meeting today will open with a speech from Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, who is expected to press hard for accelerated membership to NATO and the E.U.

Brexit: Liz Truss, the British prime minister, will also attend the forum. Britain has even offered to host the next meeting, which Macron wants within six months.

Losing ground to Ukraine’s counteroffensive, Russian forces lashed out at targets far from the front line yesterday, striking the city of Bila Tserkva, about 50 miles south of Kyiv, with a flurry of what Ukrainian officials said were self-destructing, Iran-supplied drones.

The goal of the attack was unclear, but since September, when Ukrainian fighters began pushing Russian forces out of occupied territory in the northeast, Moscow has been targeting electrical power stations, electricity transmission lines and waterworks with long-range weaponry. The strikes on Bila Tserkva hit infrastructure, officials said.

In Russia, Vladimir Putin, the president, yesterday announced the signing of more than 400 pages of legislation purporting to formally annex four Ukrainian regions — Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia — even though the Russian military does not control the territory.

Daria Dugina assassination: U.S. intelligence agencies believe parts of the Ukrainian government authorized the attack near Moscow in August that killed the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist. American officials said that they were not aware of the operation ahead of time and later had admonished Ukrainian officials.

The hijabs that women in Iran are forced to wear have long been a sign of the government’s power, Amanda Taub writes in The Interpreter newsletter. Now, the women-led protests have made the veil a symbol of a clashing vision of the country’s future.

Will a standoff rob Spain of its best generation of female soccer players? A group of 15 players signed a letter saying they did not wish to be selected until the team’s coaching staff changed.

The 2030 World Cup bidders: The nation, or nations, staging the 2030 World Cup finals will be chosen at the FIFA Congress in 2024. Let’s take an early look at which countries are in the frame.

Think of a horn player zipping through a dizzying line over a swinging beat. The cymbals are practically smoking. That’s bebop. It’s the music Jean-Michel Basquiat painted to, the foundation of jazz theory that music students are taught when they learn to improvise, and a distinctly American genre forged in the fires of postwar Black urban life.

Jon Faddis, a trumpeter, suggests starting your bebop journey with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. “Parker spearheaded bebop; Gillespie, a consummate teacher, conveyed this complex musical style to others,” he writes. For the saxophonist and vocalist Camille Thurman, Parker is the “epitome” of the genre: “His improvisations were innovative, limitless, freeing, bold, boundary-pushing and unapologetically groundbreaking.”

Scat singing may not have been a bebop innovation, but it was a core part of the subgenre’s development, Natalie Weiner writes. These days, Betty Carter’s 1958 tics and riffs sound so familiar as to be standard. Yet the “nearly unfathomable number of notes” she crams into just a few minutes of “You’re Driving Me Crazy” were groundbreaking at a time when “girl singers” were looked to for mellow, background music stylings, Weiner adds.

For more: Preservation Hall is a white-owned and white-run New Orleans jazz institution with a self-described mission to “preserve, protect and perpetuate” one of the nation’s greatest Black cultural legacies. What does its owner, Ben Jaffe, owe the community?

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