Imran Khan, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Fights for Survival

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan is fighting for his political survival after opposition political parties have moved for a no-confidence motion in Parliament and the country’s powerful military has withdrawn its support for his government. Mr. Khan, the former cricket-star-turned-politician, has announced plans to gather a million supporters in Islamabad, appealed to the Supreme Court to disqualify lawmakers who have defected from his party and denounced his critics as part of an American-influenced conspiracy. But as demands for his resignation mount, critics and analysts say he…

Navy Recovers Stealthy Jet From Deep in the South China Sea

The Navy has recovered a stealthy F-35 warplane that fell into the South China Sea after it crashed while trying to land on a Navy aircraft carrier, the service announced on Thursday. The Navy’s Japan-based Seventh Fleet said a remote-operated vehicle attached lines to the plane, which was then lifted 12,400 feet to the surface of the ocean and winched aboard the deck of a civilian vessel called the Picasso that the Navy contracted to assist in the operation. “This deliberate approach resulted in the correct capabilities conducting recovery operations…

Your Monday Briefing: Ukraine Agrees to Talks

Good morning. We’re covering diplomacy and posturing in Ukraine, research into the pandemic’s origins and another North Korean missile test. Ukraine agrees to Russian talks President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine agreed to talks with Russia “without preconditions” on the Belarusian border. Just before the announcement, President Vladimir Putin issued a new threat to the West, telling the Russian military to put its nuclear forces on alert. Western powers are uniting around Ukraine. The E.U. said it would close its airspace to Russian planes and finance the donation of weapons. Turkish…

Blinken Says U.S. Has a ‘Long-Term Future’ in the Pacific Islands

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NADI, Fiji — As the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Fiji in 36 years, Antony J. Blinken wanted to make clear that jetting here to meet with Pacific island leaders was just the start of an expanding American presence. “We see our long-term future in the Indo-Pacific,” Mr. Blinken said at a news conference on Saturday night, standing next to Fiji’s acting leader. “It’s as simple and basic as that.” Mr. Blinken said the United States would soon open an embassy in another Pacific nation, the Solomon Islands.…

What Happens When a Stealth Jet Ends Up on the Ocean Floor?

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WASHINGTON — On Jan. 24, one of the U.S. Navy’s most expensive warplanes crashed as it tried to land on an aircraft carrier and sank to the bottom of the South China Sea. The $94 million F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is now the subject of a salvage operation. In a statement issued on the day of the incident, the Navy said seven sailors had been injured when the jet suffered a “landing mishap” on the aircraft carrier, the Carl Vinson. It did not mention that the plane had ended up…

Your Monday Briefing: The Olympics Begin

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Good morning. We’re covering the start of the Winter Olympics, tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and Afghanistan’s crumbling health care system. The Winter Olympics begin China’s leader, Xi Jinping, opened the Beijing Games on Friday with a clear intent to celebrate his country’s increasingly assured global status. Xi stood defiantly with Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia, a calculated display of solidarity to show their partnership and project their growing impatience with Western censure. (President Biden and other democratic leaders critical of China’s human rights record stayed home.) China also…

Hawks Are Standing in the Way of a New Republican Party

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Many of today’s Republicans thus came of age at a time when hawkishness on behalf of liberal values was understood as conservative. Yet the values lying at the foundation of that worldview and shaping our institutions are antithetical to everything conservatives claim to cherish: a ruthless market ideology that puts short-term shareholder gains and the whims of big finance above the demands of the national community; a virulent cultural libertinism that dissolves bonds of family and tradition. What conservatives revile as “woke capital” is just this acidic combination of a…

U.S. Navy Fighter Jet Accident in South China Sea Injures 7

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An accident aboard an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea injured seven American sailors and led to the pilot ejecting from his F-35 fighter jet on Monday, the Navy said in a statement, calling it a “landing mishap.” The combat aircraft, a F-35C Lightning II, had been conducting routine flight operations before getting into difficulties on the deck of the carrier Carl Vinson, the statement said. The cause of the accident was unclear, but the Navy said it was being investigated. Though such incidents are unusual, it comes months…

Your Monday Briefing: Omicron Evades Many Vaccines

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Good morning. We’re covering the latest Omicron news, the Hong Kong elections and a Times investigation into civilian casualties from U.S. airstrikes. Omicron outstrips many vaccines A growing body of preliminary research suggests most Covid vaccines offer almost no defense against infection from the highly contagious Omicron variant. The only vaccines that appear to be effective against infections are those made by Pfizer and Moderna, reinforced by a booster, which are not widely available around the world. Other vaccines — including those from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and vaccines manufactured…

To Counter China, Austin Vows to Shore Up Alliances With Others in Region

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SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said on Saturday that the Biden administration would push both allies in the Pacific and U.S. businesses to step up efforts to counter the increasingly urgent threat of China, and that the Pentagon was prepared to help Ukraine better defend itself against Russia as tensions flare between the two countries. “America is a Pacific power,” Mr. Austin declared during a speech at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum, the first in-person meeting of defense officials and experts since the start…

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