Your Wednesday Briefing


We’re protecting China’s strikes to maintain a lid on rising costs and a three-year international sting operation utilizing encrypted telephones.

As inflation worries circle the globe, Beijing is moving swiftly to protect its factories and workplaces from rising costs. Some of its anti-inflation instruments embrace subsidies for small companies to pay for commodities and limits on commodities buying and selling to rein in hypothesis.

The authorities is discouraging metal makers and coal producers from elevating costs and permitting its foreign money to rise to a price unseen in years. For now, wholesale costs are rising, and the measures may gradual the rise as an alternative of stopping it. Those rising costs can already be felt all through the world.

Prices are up within the U.S. and elsewhere for soybeans, napkins and different merchandise, prompting warnings {that a} wave of inflation might threaten the worldwide financial system. For now, Chinese producers, somewhat than shoppers, are feeling the worth will increase.

What’s forward: Many economists imagine value will increase will reasonable as soon as firms clear provide bottlenecks brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Global regulation enforcement officers have revealed a three-year operation through which they mentioned they’d intercepted over 20 million messages revealing felony actions, reminiscent of a plan to ship cocaine from Ecuador to Belgium in cans of tuna. At least 800 folks had been arrested in additional than a dozen international locations.

The F.B.I., working with Australian police, recruited an informant to promote cellphones to crime syndicates. The telephones had a hidden perform that despatched encrypted messages and images.

Over three years, greater than 12,000 gadgets had been bought to crime rings working in additional than 100 international locations. Users trusted the gadgets’ safety a lot that they usually laid out their plans not in code, however in plain language.

A giant fish: A breakthrough got here when one of many gadgets bought into the arms of Joseph Hakan Ayik, an Australian the police imagine has imported medicine from Turkey. Other folks ensnared included Italian organized crime members and Australian bike gangs. In Sweden, the police made 155 arrests and prevented the killing of 10 folks because of the operation, the authorities mentioned.

In different tech information: A global internet outage briefly took out websites together with The Times and the British authorities on Tuesday. The outage was linked to Fastly, a supplier of cloud computing providers, which mentioned that a repair was being made.


The nation’s pilots, particularly these working for Air India, the airline managed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities, are asking for better compensation for the families of airline crew members who died of Covid.

On Monday, the Federation of Indian Pilots filed a lawsuit within the Bombay High Court, looking for higher compensation, insurance coverage advantages and vaccination for all airline crew members.

The Air India pilots had their salaries lowered throughout the pandemic. Their union factors out that lots of them got here to India’s assist when folks and vaccines wanted to be transported. Many weren’t vaccinated themselves.

The toll: The federation mentioned in its petition that as of February, practically 2,000 Air India workers members had examined constructive for Covid-19. More than 500 of them required hospitalization. At least 17 died, in line with the Indian Pilots’ Guild.

Compensation: Union officers mentioned Air India was paying about 500,000 to 1 million rupees ($6,800 to $13,700) as compensation to the household of a pilot who died of Covid-19. That quantity, they are saying, is a fraction of what different airways pay, and infrequently barely sufficient to pay hospital payments.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

Our reporter protecting the French Open in Paris wrote about how strange the 9 p.m. curfew feels, when the City of Light slams shut as quick as a window. “We should be having the late matches and then a party,” one spectator lamented.

President Xi Jinping final week instructed Communist Party officials to improve their communications with the remainder of the world. Analysts mentioned he was acknowledging that more and more aggressive diplomacy had not labored.

“We must focus on setting the tone right, be open and confident but also modest and humble, and strive to create a credible, lovable and respectable image of China,” Xi mentioned.

But it’s not as amicable because it sounds: Xi didn’t sign any change within the insurance policies which have sparked the strain.

“There’s a long tradition of Chinese leaders dispensing guidance for the cadre and the people. Think of Mao Zedong’s sayings collected in the ‘Little Red Book,’” our Beijing bureau chief, Steven Lee Myers, instructed me.

“Xi Jinping is the first leader since then whose words have been elevated to such an exalted level in the Communist Party pantheon,” Steven mentioned.

Xi’s speeches have been collected in a number of volumes already and there’s even an app for social gathering officers to review his views. This assembly of the Politburo, the Communist Party’s high governing physique, was a “study session,” meant to go over communication of the nation’s insurance policies after more and more destructive views of China.

Xi’s plan? A push “to convince the world of the wisdom of the country’s policies that have contributed to those negative perceptions,” Steven instructed me — “not a sign that he intends to moderate them.”

What to Cook

Make roast fish with sumac for a tangy dinner.

What to Listen to

Music and mindfulness have grow to be linked throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Artists like Erykah Badu, Grimes and Arcade Fire are making contributions on new wellness apps.

What to Read

Lawrence Wright’s “The Plague Year” chronicles the pandemic within the U.S. Our reviewer known as it “a virtuoso feat.”

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Like many Zoom name members (5 letters).

And right here is today’s Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.


That’s it for right now’s briefing. See you subsequent time. — Melina

P.S. Our Tokyo bureau chief, Motoko Rich, spoke with the BBC World Service and NewstalkZB in New Zealand about constraints confronted by athletes forward of the Tokyo Olympics.

The newest episode of “The Daily” is about who’s hacking the U.S. financial system.

You can attain Melina and the workforce at briefing@nytimes.com.



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