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Migrant Crisis, Glasgow, Veterans Day: Your Thursday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Thursday.

1. The standoff over migrants on the border between Belarus and Poland is becoming more dangerous.

Both countries issued threats as thousands of migrants remained stranded along a razor-wire fence in the freezing cold. Poland stood by its hard-line border policy, while Belarus’s autocratic leader, Aleksandr Lukashenko, said he could disrupt the flow of natural gas through his country to Europe.

Western leaders have accused Lukashenko of engineering a crisis by granting visas for migrants from the Middle East and escorting them to the border. Given the presence of troops on both sides, the possibility of military escalation also looms.

With many of the migrants exhausted, freezing and exposed to the elements, eight people have died so far, according to officials, but the real number could be much higher. The Polish news media reported that a 14-year-old boy had frozen to death on the Belarus side of the frontier.

2. Europe has had over half of the world’s Covid deaths so far this month, the W.H.O. said.

Coronavirus deaths in Europe rose 10 percent in the first week of November and made up over half of the 48,000 coronavirus deaths reported globally in that time, even as new cases and deaths dropped or remained stable in the rest of the world. The highest number of deaths was recorded in Russia, and the highest numbers of new infections were in Russia, Britain and Turkey.

3. As negotiations in Glasgow head into their final day, climate justice is taking center stage.

A major point of contention between rich and poor countries is whether there will be a pool of money to address historical harms. For decades, countries vulnerable to climate change and activist groups have demanded that rich polluter countries pay for irreparable damage. This year, there may be a breakthrough.

Scotland pledged 2 million pounds, about $2.8 million, to address what it called “structural inequalities.” The U.S., long cool to the idea, signed a statement agreeing to “increase resources” to the cause.

“Finance is key to this, not as an act of charity but as an act of reparation,” Nicola Sturgeon, the prime minister of Scotland, said.

4. Substitute teachers never got much respect. Now, they’re in high demand.

Schools in Seattle will be closed tomorrow because they don’t have enough teachers. Similar closures have happened in Michigan and Colorado. The shortage has become so acute that substitute teachers suddenly find themselves on the beneficial side of the demand-supply equation. In some cases, that has led to a rise in wages — and steady work.

But as the demand continues, some schools are lowering their standards for substitute teachers, leading to concerns by parents, educators and policymakers over the quality of instruction. Missouri and Oregon temporarily removed their college degree requirements for would-be hires.

5. China’s Communist Party elevated Xi Jinping as one of the nation’s greatest leaders, paving the way for an extension of his rule.

By approving a rewriting of the party’s 100-year history that placed Xi among the country’s giants, the party enshrined Xi’s political dominance. With no rival leader or heir apparent in view, Xi is expected to secure a third five-year term as the party’s general secretary at a party congress that is likely to be held in 2022. He is China’s most powerful leader in decades.

During a closed-door meeting, senior party leaders placed Xi alongside Mao Zedong, the founder of the country’s Communist rule, and Deng Xiaoping, the chief architect of its economic takeoff.

6. President Biden marked the first Veterans Day in two decades without the U.S. at war.

Biden, who ended the 20-year U.S. involvement in the conflict in Afghanistan this summer, called veterans the “solid steel spine” of the U.S. and the “soul of America” in a short, somber ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. He thanked them for their service and promised to keep pushing to expand services for veterans.

Separately, interest is growing in the use of psychedelic drugs as a way to help U.S. veterans with post-traumatic stress and depression. Veterans have become unlikely lobbyists in the push to legalize the drugs.

7. F.W. de Klerk, the former South African president who freed Nelson Mandela and ended the apartheid system he helped put in place, died at 85.

A prominent Afrikaner, he vehemently defended the separation of the races during his long climb up the political ladder. But once he took over as president in 1989, he stunned his deeply divided nation — and the wider world — by reconsidering South Africa’s racist ways.

When he announced the lifting of the 30-year ban on the African National Congress in 1990 and the release of Mandela, he set in motion a transformation so powerful that it quickly pushed him to the margins.

8. “The greatest time in my life was being a Gucci. That’s how art and life line up.”

To play Patrizia Reggiani, who plotted the murder of her Gucci-heir husband in 1995, Lady Gaga spoke in a vivid Italian accent for nine months and plunged so deeply into character that she would think and feel as Patrizia even when cameras weren’t rolling.

In a conversation that included the director of “House of Gucci,” Ridley Scott, Gaga talked about how she portrayed Patrizia, including her body language, by channeling three different animals.

And two decades ago, Daniel Radcliffe took on the role of an 11-year-old boy who discovers he’s a wizard. Radcliffe and the director, Chris Columbus, take us inside four key scenes of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

9. What do Gen Z and Alexander the Great have in common?

An elaborate hairstyle, made popular by young men on TikTok, has ancient roots. Today’s popular cut — soft, fluffy waves or curls that dust the tops of their eyebrows and eyelashes, brushed forward toward the face and voluminous at the top — holds the same cardinal rules that dictated men’s hairstyles during antiquity. We traced the trend back through history.

In other Styles dispatches, denim is having an identity crisis. Low slung, high waisted, skinny, cropped, baggy, flared — there’s no consensus on jeans these days. “The lack of trend is the trend,” one denim designer said.

10. And finally, the secret to a better green salad.

Green salads are a lot like broccoli or brussels sprouts: a mediocre experience can turn you off them. But a great version can be mind-altering. Our food columnist Eric Kim spoke to two chefs about how to make the simplest salads shine.

Here are a few of their tips: an essential step to finding the right dressing is to taste the leaves as you go; after washing and drying your greens, pop them in the refrigerator, covered with a tea towel, and keep them chilled until you’re ready to dress them; and don’t go overboard on the dressing. Try a classic ratio for vinaigrettes: one part vinegar (or citrus juice) to three parts oil. “A green salad’s power can come from its simplicity,” Kim writes.

Have a healthy evening.

Eve Edelheit compiled photos for this briefing.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

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