Your Wednesday Briefing - The New York Times

Biden warns Putin of threats against Ukraine Yesterday, in a tense two-hour video conference, President Biden warned Russian leader Vla...


Yesterday, in a tense two-hour video conference, President Biden warned Russian leader Vladimir Putin that an invasion of Ukraine would lead to heavy economic sanctions for Russia and get NATO to reposition its troops in Europe. It could also end Russia’s hopes of completing the Nord Stream II gas pipeline to Europe, he said.

It is too early to say whether the long-awaited conversation will alleviate the immediate crisis in Ukraine, where around 70,000 Russian troops have gathered, with more equipment and personnel arriving every day. Unsurprisingly, both sides described their leaders as resolute. Here are five takeaways from the call.

Potential sanctions for Russia include blocking Russian companies’ access to global capital markets and financial sanctions targeting the Russian elite. The most extreme measure would be to cut Russia off from the global financial settlement system known as SWIFT.

The United States has announced plans to spend $ 400 million to deliver vaccines globally and help “overcome barriers to vaccine access”. The proposed spending is a milestone for poor and rich countries alike, experts said: the longer the virus circulates around the world, the more dangerous its variants can become.

Three-quarters of the money will go to administering vaccines in remote areas and helping countries with vaccine policies and supply chain logistics, officials said. The rest will be used to target outbreaks and help countries manufacture vaccines locally. The new funds are in addition to the $ 1.3 billion already committed.

The new program comes amid criticism that Covax, the UN-backed multibillion-dollar alliance, has failed to meet its goal of acquiring doses for poor countries after months of missteps and failures. disappointments.

here is the latest updates and pandemic cards.

In other virus developments:


Ethiopian forces recaptured two strategic towns – Dessie and Kombolcha – from rebel fighters this week, the government said. last in a winning streak it signaled that the government was regaining a foothold on the battlefield after months of major defeats in a 14-month civil war. The fighting has claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than two million people.

The towns lie on a crucial highway that connects the landlocked nation to the ports of neighboring Djibouti to the east, where the majority of Ethiopia’s exports and imports are processed. The towns are also on an artery that connects to the highway going south to the capital.

The recent claims of victory on the battlefield represent a setback for the government. Just a month ago, Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, declared a state of emergency, and then he himself went to the front lines to help repel the Tigrayan rebels advancing on the capital. , Addis Ababa.

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

Intervention: As the conflict continues, at least 9.4 million people are in need of food assistance in northern Ethiopia. Urgent calls for a ceasefire and efforts by the UN and African and Western countries to engage in political dialogue have yet to yield results.

Masked men, a metal bar, a teammate arrested: the assault of a high-level footballer in France hit the headlines. But new details, including marital infidelity and threatening phone calls, cast doubt on the original story.

We have put together 21 events that happened for the first time this year, some surprising trends, others serious events. Here is an exerpt, or see the full list.

1. The World Trade Organization was headed by an African woman.

2. A purely digital work of art auctioned for millions.

3. A human brain was wirelessly connected to a computer via a transmitter.

4. Mexico elected its first transgender lawmakers.

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

6. El Salvador became the first country to make Bitcoin a national currency.

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

8. National Geographic cartographers have recognized the Southern Ocean as the fifth largest ocean in the world.

9. SpaceX has launched the first fully civilian crew into space.

10. Sales of zero emission vehicles have overtaken diesel sales in Europe.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. – Natasha

PS Time magazine named “Sway”, Times Opinion podcast by Kara Swisher, one of 10 best podcasts.

The last episode of “The Daily”Is to continue the shootings in schools.

You can reach Natasha and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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