Your Tuesday Briefing - The New York Times

US troops could be deployed in Eastern Europe The Pentagon announced yesterday that it had put 8,500 American soldiers on “high alert”...


The Pentagon announced yesterday that it had put 8,500 American soldiers on “high alert” for a possible deployment in Eastern Europe, as NATO and the United States prepared for a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. “It’s very clear that the Russians have no intention of defusing at this time,” Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said.

Most of the 8,500 troops would participate in a NATO response force that could soon be activated, Kirby said. The remaining personnel would be part of a specific U.S. response to the worsening crisis, Defense Department officials said, most likely to provide reassurance to U.S. allies in Eastern Europe who fear plans to Russia for Ukraine does not extend to the Baltic States and other NATO countries. -called eastern flank.

The Biden administration continues to insist that the United States has no intention of going to war with Russia over this. Since Ukraine is not in NATO, the alliance is not bound by its treaty to come to the defense of Ukraine. But the buildup of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border and NATO’s response nonetheless raised the specter of a war that could escalate and spread.

NATO: Some member countries are putting their forces on hold and sending additional ships and fighter jets to Eastern Europe to reassure allies in the region, as Britain joined the United States in ordering families of diplomats to leave the Ukraine, citing “the growing threat from Russia”.

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus offers “a plausible hope of stabilization and normalization” in the coming months, thanks to natural immunity through infections as well as vaccinations, Dr Hans Kluge, the top WHO official in Europe, said in a statement released yesterday.

Dr Kluge warned, however, that it was too early for nations to let their guard down, with so many unvaccinated people around the world. “The pandemic is far from over, but I hope we can end the emergency phase in 2022 and deal with other health threats that require our urgent attention,” wrote the Dr Kluge, adding: “It’s far too early to relax.”

As nurses and doctors around the world grapple with cases of Omicron, evolutionary biologists are engaged in their own struggle: understand how the variant appeared. Earlier variants differed from the original Wuhan version of the coronavirus by a dozen or two mutations. Omicron has 53 to 13, which are rarely, if ever, found in other coronaviruses.

Global trends: The United States has reported a steady decline in cases over the past week, reaching a daily average of around 690,000 new cases on Sunday. Cases in Western Europe appear to be leveling off, while Eastern Europe is still facing surges.

here is latest updates and pandemic cards.

In other developments:


The military took power yesterday in Burkina Faso, overthrowing Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, the country’s democratically elected president, after mutinous soldiers stormed his home. It is the latest in a series of military coups in sub-Saharan African countries struggling to repel a growing wave of Islamist violence.

Kaboré had ruled since 2015 Burkina Faso, a poor and landlocked country of 21 million inhabitants in West Africa. 1.4 million people and caused 2,000 deaths last year alone.

The coup was announced on state television by a fresh-faced officer who said the military had suspended the constitution and dissolved the government, and was closing Burkina Faso’s borders until further notice. order. He introduced Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, a senior commander, as the country’s new leader.

Kabore: The spokesperson gave no indication of the president’s whereabouts, saying only that he was captured “without bloodshed” alongside other civilian leaders and was being held “in a safe place”. But there were signs the ousted president did not leave easily.

A long-time source of local pride and affection, Welsh mountain ponies have seen many of their traditional roles disappear. A new initiative aims to ensure their sustainability.

Disney’s “Encanto” soundtrack has reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Albums chart for the second time. If you don’t live with young children, this may be surprising. If you do, you might wonder, “Only twice?

“Encanto” is an animated film about a Colombian family with magical powers, with an original soundtrack by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The songs are classic Disney fare, fused with Latin American musical styles and Miranda’s Broadway and hip-hop sensibilities.

Leading is the single “We are not talking about Bruno” which recently reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart – even higher than “Let It Go” from “Frozen” reached. TikTok helped, with people singing or performing moments from the song for millions of viewers.

“I could watch TikToks all day,” Jared Bush, one of the film’s directors, told The Times. “Everyone finds a different entry point, whether it’s a specific moment or a character dynamic. There’s something for everyone and, honestly, it’s just delicious.

The last episode of “The Dailyis about Paralympian Marieke Vervoort, who underwent euthanasia in Belgium.

Tom Wright-Piersanti wrote Arts and Ideas Today. You can reach Natasha and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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