Your Monday Briefing: Indonesia’s Stadium Tragedy

At least 125 people died when soccer fans rushed the field after a professional soccer match in Malang, Indonesia, on Saturday. Many were trampled.

The police fired tear gas into the tightly packed crowds, leading to a stampede. Survivors said that the gas was fired indiscriminately into the stands, forcing the overcapacity crowd to rush for the exits. Many are angry at the police response, which observers said had made the situation worse.

“If there wasn’t any tear gas shot into the stands, there would have not been any casualties,” one man said, adding that people had “panicked” and rushed to the field to save themselves. When he tries to sleep, he said, he still hears people screaming.

Reaction: Rights organizations condemned the use of tear gas, which is prohibited by FIFA, soccer’s global governing body. One policing expert said that using tear gas, which is designed to disperse crowds, in secure areas where people have nowhere to go is “incredibly, incredibly dangerous.”

Analysis: The combination of large crowds and aggressive policing can prove disastrous, writes Rory Smith, my colleague who covers soccer, in an analysis. When tragedies occur, he writes, “they tend to be the consequence not of fan violence but of failures of policing, security and crowd management.”

Background: Soccer violence has long been a problem for Indonesia, where violent rivalries between major teams are common. Worldwide, Saturday’s match was among the deadliest episodes in the history of the sport.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a former leftist president once imprisoned amid a corruption scandal, is seeking to oust Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right populist president who has questioned the election’s integrity and has long trailed in the polls. (It’s basically a two-man race, although nine other people are on the ballot.)

The next president will face an economic crisis, surging Amazon deforestation and lingering questions over the health of one of the world’s biggest democracies. An alarming question now hangs over the vote: Will Bolsonaro accept the results?

Context: Bolsonaro has been casting doubt on the security of Brazil’s electronic voting system for months. On the eve of the election, his party did so again. He has, in effect, said that the only way he would lose is if the election were stolen from him.

Climate: The future of the Amazon rainforest may be at stake. Deforestation of the world’s largest rainforest has hit 15-year highs under Bolsonaro, who has weakened environmental protections and wants the rainforest opened up to mining, ranching and agriculture.

Many are in sharecropping arrangements and already owed hundreds or thousands of dollars. Landlords offer farmers loans to buy seeds and fertilizer each planting season. In exchange, farmers cultivate their fields and earn a small cut of the harvest, a portion of which goes toward repaying the loan.

Now, their summer harvests are in ruins. Unless the water recedes, they will not be able to plant the wheat they harvest each spring. Even if they can, the land is certain to produce less after being damaged by the floodwaters.

Details: One 14-year-old recently waded through waist-deep water filled with snakes to pick cotton. “It was our only source of livelihood,” she said. In the hardest-hit regions, where the floods drowned villages, authorities warn that the waters may not fully recede for months.

Analysis: As extreme weather events become increasingly common, the cycle is worsening. Pakistan’s floods were especially cataclysmic because of a combination of heavy glacier melt and record monsoon rains, which scientists say were both intensified by climate change.

My colleague Vivian Wang, a Times correspondent in China, described the grinding reality of life under Covid. People schedule lunch breaks around completing mandatory tests and buy second freezers to stock up on groceries for future lockdowns.

“The disruptive becomes typical; the once-unimaginable, reality,” she writes.

Several Asian destinations are loosening their Covid restrictions on international travel. Our Travel desk looked at how four destinations were preparing for the return of tourism.

Kyoto, one of Japan’s most-visited cities, wants to bring back tourists but avoid Instagram-driven excesses. (“Kyoto isn’t a tourist city, it’s a city that values tourism,” the mayor said.) Koh Tao, a Thai island, is trying to balance tourism with an environmental focus. On the edge of Delhi, a contemporary art scene and a burgeoning cosmopolitan class are taking shape. And rural South Korea offers serene, unhurried nature.

The Travel desk also asked five photographers who live in Asia to share their favorite foods from India, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and South Korea. And they offer advice on budget travel, translation apps and some great new hotels.

Mini bibingkas — Filipino coconut cakes — are fluffy and perfect for sharing, Ligaya Mishan writes.

Read your way through Rome.

In “Bros,” a gay romantic comedy, a man who has sworn off relationships finds himself falling in love.

Read the Full Article Here nytimes

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