Europe

Your Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times

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Over the New Year weekend, Russia sent around 80 explosive drones to Ukraine. The Ukrainian army shot everyone, officials said. But military experts question whether the successes are sustainable, with some estimating that it costs up to seven times more to shoot down a Russian drone with Ukrainian missiles than to launch one.

Ukraine is becoming increasingly adept at shooting down drones, but Russian attacks are relentless. Analysts estimate that since September, Russia has launched around 600 drones over Ukraine. The campaign, targeted at infrastructure and accompanied by numerous missile strikes, cut off electricity, heating and water throughout the country.

Since the start of the war, both sides have used drones for reconnaissance and attacks. This is the first time the devices have been deployed on such a large scale in a European war. Increasingly, military experts see Ukraine as a testing ground for advanced weapons and information systems that could prefigure war for generations to come.

News from Russia: Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, has abandoned the pretense that life goes on as normal despite the war, as evidenced by the Kremlin’s swift acknowledgment of the massive casualties inflicted by Ukraine last weekend.

China’s Foreign Ministry yesterday denounced the Covid testing requirements imposed by more than a dozen countries on travelers from China, calling the entry requirements unscientific and “excessive” and threatening to take counter-measures. measures. Health experts have said travel restrictions will not stop the spread of new variants.

Countries including Canada, the United States, France, Spain, Japan and Britain have raised concerns about a rise in infections in China, the risk of new variants that could emerge from its epidemic. and the government’s perceived reluctance to share coronavirus data. Restrictions include requiring travelers to provide a negative Covid test or undergo mandatory testing upon arrival.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said there were ulterior motives behind the restrictions. “We strongly oppose the practice of manipulating Covid prevention and control measures to achieve political goals and will take corresponding measures in accordance with the principle of reciprocity,” she said.

Details: China still requires inbound travelers to show a negative polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test result taken within 48 hours of departure.


Israel’s new ultra-nationalist National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir paid a brief and provocative visit to a Jerusalem holy site sacred to Jews and Muslims yesterday, defying threats of reprisals from the militant group Hamas and sparking a furious reaction from the Palestinian leadership and condemnations from the Arab world.

The site is revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, the site of two ancient temples, and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, containing the Al Aqsa Mosque and other important Islamic shrines. The Palestinians, and many other Muslims in the region, see these visits by Israeli politicians as part of an effort to change the site’s status and give Jewish worshipers more rights.

Ben-Gvir’s visit, which lasted less than 15 minutes and took place under heavy guard, was the first in years by such a high-level Israeli official and was uneventful. It was an early indicator of the hardline approach Israel’s new, right-wing and religiously conservative government has taken toward the Palestinians.

Quoteable: While at the site, Ben-Gvir referred to Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, saying, “The Israeli government will not surrender to a murderous organization, an infamous terrorist organization.” He continued, “The Temple Mount is the most important site in the world for the Jewish people. It is open to all.”

The pandemic has hurt children’s reading skills. Librarians are doing what it takes to connect young people with books – including dance routines and dinosaur outfits on TikTok.

At first, librarians struggled with how to look cool. Then came a change of mind. “Lean in grimace,” said one. Teenagers are overwhelmed, she added: “Put a smile on their face.”

Argentina teammates want Lionel Messi for the next World Cup: Midfielder Alexis Mac Allister and the rest of the national team still want Messi when Argentina defend the trophy in the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026.

Erling Haaland’s secret weapon? He is like an owl: The Manchester City striker has taken off. Much of its success lies in the quality of its analysis of the game.

Pelé’s time in the United States: The world’s greatest footballer arrived in New York in 1975 and left a lasting impression on everyone he met.

The Times’s Well newsletter asked readers for the best advice they’d received or given in 2022. Over 600 smart, witty responses poured in – 20 of which featured in the newsletter (plus bonus advice: “Never do fry naked bacon.”) Here are five of the best.

  • “During a depressive episode, never make a major decision or change your hairstyle. Wait until you feel better. Then decide. J. Alex Sanger, Chicago

  • “The best advice I received was to photograph my parents doing everyday things because that’s how I want to remember them.” Lori Gosselin, Seattle

  • “Never take criticism from someone you wouldn’t ask for advice.” Leonard Foonimin, Falcon Heights, Minn.

  • “I was in a vintage shop with my friend Max and saw a sequin top. I pointed out to him that I wouldn’t have anywhere to wear such a sparkly top in my current life but I would love the He simply replied, “Choose a different way of life. I’ve thought of those words every day since.” Monica Tanouye, London

  • “Don’t sweat the small stuff – and don’t stroke the sweaty stuff.” George Kahn, Potsdam, NY

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