Your Friday Briefing - The New York Times

A call between Biden and Putin During a 50-minute phone call, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, warned President Biden that new sanc...


During a 50-minute phone call, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, warned President Biden that new sanctions on Ukraine would lead to a “total break” between the superpowers, said a Russian official. It is not known whether Putin intends to invade Ukraine, although he has massed around 100,000 troops at his border.

Biden, according to a terse White House statement, “made it clear that the United States and its allies and partners will react decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine.” US officials declined to discuss the substance of the conversation, insisting that, unlike the Russians, they would not negotiate in public.

Intelligence officials from several Western countries in Ukraine said there had been no significant withdrawal of Russian troops or equipment from the border, and low-level cyber attacks – many of which apparently were intended to penetrate the border. Ukrainian infrastructure – continues.

And after: Delegations of the United States and Russia will meet on January 10, probably in Geneva.

On the ground: As the Ukrainian government advises on how to tape windows in the event of an attack, residents of Kiev, the country’s capital, seem largely nonchalant.

The deal in France was simple: get vaccinated and resume a normal life. But the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is straining the social contract that has helped boost vaccination rates. Now, in the midst of a new emergency over booster shots, the the promised normality turned out to be fleeting, and distrust of government is growing.

For Emmanuel Macron, the French president, the stakes are high. Macron bet on vaccines and a health pass that allowed people to eat and socialize indoors with relative safety. Even now, with a record number of new cases, the government has resisted pressure from scientists to impose significant restrictions. Instead, he shortened the time between a second shot and a recall from six months to three.

Approval for the government’s handling of the crisis peaked in August with the introduction of the health pass, but has waned over the past month, polls show. A push to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11 has raised new concerns, with more than two-thirds of parents opposed to vaccinating their children.

Quote: “I said to myself, great, everyone is going to be vaccinated and, in three months, everything will be fine, we will regain our freedom,” said a Frenchman who was vaccinated to go to the movies or visit friends. . He added: “I believed. But I no longer believe it.

here is the latest updates and pandemic cards.

In other developments:


A small French territory between Australia and Fiji is at the center of a key test of whether Western automakers can bypass China’s dominance over battery power and implement sustainable practices.

Tesla, through a partnership with a large nickel mine in New Caledonia, will source much of the key ore directly, a major step in what the company says is a larger effort to take control of its chain. ‘supply and ensure that its cars are manufactured in an environmentally responsible and socially responsible fashion.

If accomplished, Tesla could pave the way for setting global standards for the electric vehicle revolution, in another convention-defying initiative from company founder Elon Musk. If the effort fails, it will serve as a warning about how difficult it is to achieve true sustainability.

Bypass China: Most of the world’s nickel for electric vehicle batteries is processed in one place: China. Tesla intends to produce batteries in Texas and Germany, which would avoid over-reliance on China.

The passage: Some of Tesla’s cars run on batteries made with nickel processed by a Japanese company that sourced much of its nickel from places like the Philippines, Indonesia and Madagascar, where allegations of violations of the law environment and work are numerous.

Every year, many families in Latin America build or buy an “año viejo”: a human-sized doll wearing old clothes that is burnt on New Year’s Eve to symbolically get rid of the old year and bring back the new one.

The tradition comes from Ecuador, where indigenous people burned effigies of feudal chiefs during solstice celebrations. Political leaders remain regular subjects of the años viejos. (The icons of Steve Harvey, the TV host, briefly rose to popularity after he mistakenly crowned Miss Colombia the winner of the 2015 Miss Universe pageant.)

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