Your Friday Evening Briefing

(Want to get this newsletter in your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.) Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday. 1. Sanctions hit President Vladimir Putin’s former wife and his rumored girlfriend. Britain added Putin’s former wife, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, and the woman long considered to be his mistress, Alina Kabaeva, to its sanctions list as the West deepened its efforts to combat Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A former K.G.B. operative, Putin has kept his personal life shrouded in secrecy, but the sanctions are lifting that veil. On the battlefields,…

Your Thursday Briefing: A Journalist Killed in the West Bank

Good morning. We’re covering the killing of an Al Jazeera journalist, China’s uncertain wheat harvest and rising religious violence in India. Journalist killed in the West Bank Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was fatally shot in the head while reporting in the West Bank city of Jenin. Al Jazeera, citing Palestinian authorities, said Israeli forces shot her during a raid. The news network said it held the government and military accountable. Israel’s military said that it was not clear who shot her, and that it…

Your Monday Briefing: Russia’s Pre-Holiday Push

Good morning. We’re covering Russia’s nationalist holiday, Hong Kong’s new leader and a Taliban decree targeting women. Lee, the top architect of the crackdown on Hong Kong’s antigovernment protests in 2019, plans to push through laws on treason, secession, sedition and subversion, and to root out critics in the civil service. He inherits a city that has been tamed and cowed: Sweeping national security laws imposed two years ago have quashed dissent, gutted the free press and put critics behind bars or sent them into exile. He will also face…

Taiwan and U.S. Consider Weapons Suited to Defend Against China

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is quietly pressing the Taiwanese government to order American-made weapons that would help its small military repel a seaborne invasion by China rather than weapons designed for conventional set-piece warfare, current and former U.S. and Taiwanese officials say. The U.S. campaign to shape Taiwan’s defenses has grown in urgency since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine ordered in late February by President Vladimir V. Putin. The war has convinced Washington and Taipei that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan in the coming years is now a…

Your Thursday Briefing: A Ban on Russian Oil?

Good morning. We’re covering the E.U.’s plan to ban Russian oil, growing U.S. frustration with the politicized Supreme Court and a separatist movement in Pakistan. The E.U. may ban Russian oil With no end to the Ukraine conflict in sight, the European Union took a major step on Wednesday toward weakening Moscow’s ability to finance the war, proposing a total embargo on Russian oil. If approved this week as expected, it would be the bloc’s biggest and costliest step yet toward supporting Ukraine and ending its own dependence on Russian…

Your Friday Briefing: China’s Stimulus Plan

Good morning. We’re covering China’s economic stimulus plan, President Biden’s push for war funds and extreme heat in India and Pakistan. China’s Covid stimulus plan As China’s lockdowns continue and new infections continue to spread in Beijing, the central government has laid out a wide-ranging economic stimulus plan to staunch expected losses. The government will subsidize businesses, pausing unemployment insurance payments if companies avoid mass layoffs, as well as electricity and internet charges. Young people graduating from college will be subsidized if they start their own businesses, since few jobs…

Your Thursday Briefing: Russia Cuts Gas Supplies

Good morning. A gas crisis looms over Europe, anger grows in Shanghai and Singapore executes an intellectually disabled man. Russia cuts gas supplies to Europe In its toughest response yet to European sanctions, Russia halted natural gas shipments to Bulgaria and Poland. The E.U.’s top official denounced the move as “blackmail,” but European officials said they were prepared to weather the near-term impact: Poland’s gas storage facilities are 75 percent full, and it has been working for years to avoid being held to ransom by Moscow over energy. Germany also…

Your Wednesday Briefing: Beijing’s Mass Testing Plan

Good morning. We’re covering Beijing’s scramble to quash the Omicron variant, Germany’s pivot to supplying Ukraine with heavy weaponry and a brownface controversy roiling Hong Kong. Mass testing in Beijing Faced with a growing number of coronavirus infections across Beijing, city officials are trying to test most of the Chinese capital’s 22 million residents in the hope of avoiding the pain of imposing a citywide lockdown like in Shanghai. Beijing is ordering mass testing across the city more quickly than in Shanghai, where officials started testing on a similar scale…

U.S. Report Describes a Global Retreat on Human Rights

u s report describes a global retreat on human rights

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Tuesday that governments around the world, including in Russia and China, grew more repressive last year, as the State Department released its annual report on global human rights. The department’s 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices echoes President Biden’s warnings that authoritarianism is on the rise worldwide. Its introduction cites “continued democratic backsliding on several continents, and creeping authoritarianism that threatens both human rights and democracy — most notably, at present, with Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.” The report…

Your Wednesday Briefing: Putin’s defiance

your wednesday briefing putins defiance

Good morning. We’re covering Vladimir Putin’s defiant remarks, Sri Lanka’s default and China’s economic pivot. Putin’s defiance President Vladimir Putin of Russia said that peace talks with Ukraine had reached a “dead end.” He also said there was “no doubt” that Russia would achieve its goals in a campaign that has left cities in ruins, forced millions to flee their homes and raised disturbing accounts of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers. Here are the latest updates. “What we are doing is helping people and saving people, on the one hand,…

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