Your Wednesday Briefing


In a tense, two-hour video convention yesterday, President Biden warned Vladimir Putin, the Russian chief, that an invasion of Ukraine would result in heavy economic penalties for Russia and lead NATO to reposition its troops in Europe. It may additionally finish Russia’s hopes of finishing the Nord Stream II gasoline pipeline to Europe, he mentioned.

It is just too early to inform whether or not the much-anticipated dialog will alleviate the rapid disaster in Ukraine, the place roughly 70,000 Russian troops have massed, with extra tools and personnel arriving day by day. Not surprisingly, either side portrayed their leaders as resolute. Here are five takeaways from the call.

The potential penalties for Russia embrace blocking Russian firms’ entry to world capital markets and monetary penalties aimed on the Russian elite. The most excessive step could be to chop off Russia from the worldwide monetary settlement system referred to as SWIFT.

The U.S. introduced a plan to spend $400 million to deliver vaccines globally and help “overcome vaccine access barriers.” The proposed spending is a crucial step for poor and rich international locations, specialists mentioned: The longer the virus circulates internationally, the extra harmful its variants can change into.

Three-quarters of the cash will go towards administering vaccines in distant territories and serving to international locations with vaccine insurance policies and supply-chain logistics, officers mentioned. The relaxation shall be used to focus on surges in instances and assist international locations manufacture vaccines domestically. The new funds are along with $1.Three billion already dedicated.

The new program comes amid criticism that Covax, the U.N.-backed multibillion-dollar alliance, has not met its objective to accumulate doses for poor international locations after months of missteps and disappointments.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different virus developments:

  • Britain tightened journey restrictions on guests as hundreds more cases of the Omicron variant were found there.

  • A report in South Africa discovered that Omicron appears to boring the ability of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine but additionally hinted that individuals who had obtained booster pictures might be better protected.

  • The U.S. surgeon normal warned of a “devastating” psychological well being disaster, made worse by the pandemic, amongst younger folks.


Ethiopian forces recaptured two strategic cities — Dessie and Kombolcha — from insurgent fighters this week, the federal government mentioned, the latest in a string of victories that signaled that the federal government was regaining its footing on the battlefield after months of main defeats in a 14-month civil conflict. The combating has claimed hundreds of lives and has displaced upward of two million folks.

The cities are on an important freeway that connects the landlocked nation to the ports of neighboring Djibouti within the east, the place the vast majority of Ethiopia’s exports and imports are dealt with. The cities are additionally on an artery that connects to the freeway working south to the capital.

The current claims of battlefield victories quantity to a reversal of fortune for the federal government. Just a month in the past, Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian prime minister, declared a state of emergency, and he later went to the battlefront himself to assist stave off the Tigrayan rebels who have been advancing on the capital, Addis Ababa.

Quotable: “Nothing will stop us,” Abiy mentioned on Monday. “The enemy will be destroyed.”

Intervention: Because of the persevering with battle, at the least 9.Four million individuals are in want of meals help throughout northern Ethiopia. Urgent requires a cease-fire and efforts by the U.N. and African and Western international locations to start out political dialogue have but to yield any outcomes.

Masked males, a steel bar, an arrested teammate: The assault on a prime girls’s soccer participant in France made headlines. But new particulars, together with marital infidelity and menacing telephone calls, cast doubt on the original story.

We rounded up 21 issues that occurred for the primary time this 12 months, some stunning traits, others severe occasions. Here’s an excerpt, or see the full list.

1. The World Trade Organization was led by an African girl.

2. A purely digital paintings offered at public sale for hundreds of thousands.

3. A human mind was wirelessly linked to a pc by way of a transmitter machine.

4. Mexico elected its first transgender lawmakers.

5. The world’s first 3-D-printed college opened in Malawi.

6. El Salvador turned the primary nation to make Bitcoin a nationwide foreign money.

7. NASA’s Perseverance rover made oxygen on Mars.

8. National Geographic cartographers acknowledged the Southern Ocean because the world’s fifth ocean.

9. SpaceX launched the primary all-civilian crew into area.

10. Sales of zero-emission autos surpassed diesel gross sales in Europe.

That’s it for at present’s briefing. Thanks for becoming a member of me. — Natasha

P.S. Time journal named “Sway,” Kara Swisher’s Times Opinion podcast, considered one of this 12 months’s 10 best podcasts.

The newest episode of “The Daily” is about prosecuting college shootings.

You can attain Natasha and the staff at briefing@nytimes.com.



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