Your Thursday Briefing

Ukrainian soliders loading artillery in the Donetsk region last month.Credit…Finbarr O’Reilly for The New York Times

U.S. promises $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine

Amid increasingly urgent calls from Ukraine, President Biden yesterday announced an additional $1 billion in weapons and aid for the war-torn country. Overall, the U.S. has now committed about $5.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded on Feb. 24. Germany, Slovakia, Canada, Poland and the Netherlands have also pledged more artillery. Follow the latest updates.

The promise of additional aid came as the U.S. and its allies sought to present a united front against the Kremlin. The war in Ukraine has radically altered the strategic calculus in Europe. Nearly four months in, some fissures are emerging over the end game of an increasingly intractable conflict as Europe grapples with the economic fallout from the war, including rising inflation and gas prices.

Though the U.S. has said it will not pressure Kyiv into negotiations, Emmanuel Macron, the French president, yesterday said that the conflict would eventually have to end with talks. “At some point, when we will have done our maximum to help Ukraine resist — when, I hope, it will have won and the firing has ceased — we will have to negotiate,” he said.

In other news from the war:

  • The leaders of Germany, France and Italy will visit Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, today, in what is intended to be a show of solidarity. They face a tense reception.

  • In the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, which teeters under a Russian barrage, civilians and fighters are sheltering underneath a chemical plant, a painful echo of the Mariupol siege.

  • The war could lead to breakthroughs in nuclear power and natural gas for countries like Romania. The E.U. is also looking to import more natural gas from Egypt and Israel. But despite sanctions, Moscow’s oil output rose in May, as Russia continues to find buyers.

  • Xi Jinping of China offered to deepen cooperation with Moscow in a call with Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader.

Jerome Powell, the Fed chair.Credit…Olivier Douliery/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Fed hikes interest rates

The Federal Reserve yesterday raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point in the largest increase since 1994, signaling that it is prepared to inflict economic pain to get inflation under control. The rate increase could be followed by a similarly sized move next month, officials said.

Increasing interest rates will make buying a home or expanding a business more expensive, restraining spending and slowing the broader economy. Officials expect growth to moderate in the coming months and years. Unemployment is forecast to rise about half a percentage point to 4.1 percent by late 2024 as Fed policy squeezes companies and workers.

Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, acknowledged that it was becoming increasingly difficult for the central bank to slow inflation without causing a recession as outside forces, including the war in Ukraine and factory shutdowns in China, threaten to curb the supply of goods and commodities like oil. “The environment has become more difficult, clearly, in the last four or five months,” he said.

By the numbers: The latest move set the Fed’s policy rate in a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, and more rate increases are to come. Officials expect interest rates to hit 3.4 percent by the end of 2022.

A sample to be tested for monkeypox at a lab in Madrid.Credit…Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

W.H.O. official warns about risks of monkeypox

Dr. Hans Kluge, the W.H.O.’s top official in Europe, yesterday called for urgent action by the authorities and civic groups to control fast-rising cases of monkeypox that he said posed a real risk to public health. More than 1,500 cases have been identified across 25 European countries, accounting for 85 percent of global cases, he said.

“The magnitude of this outbreak poses a real risk,” Dr. Kluge said. “The longer the virus circulates, the more it will extend its reach, and the stronger the disease’s foothold will get in nonendemic countries.” Monkeypox is a viral infection endemic in West Africa, but it has now spread to 39 countries, including 32 that have no previous experience with it.

Infections mostly result from close physical contact, but the virus can also spread through respiratory droplets in prolonged face-to-face contact. The current outbreak has mainly affected men who have sex with men, raising concerns about transmission over a summer of Pride events, music festivals and other mass gatherings. Dr. Kluge said the disease was not a reason to cancel events, but he highlighted the need for awareness.

Next steps: The W.H.O. will meet next week to determine if the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, a formal declaration that calls for a coordinated response from countries.


Other Big Stories

Credit…Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
  • The British government said it would stick with its hard-line plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, despite a first deportation flight being grounded after a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Nearly 100 million Americans were under extreme heat warnings yesterday, with temperatures topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit across much of the country.

  • A man has confessed that he helped to kill a British journalist and a Brazilian expert on Indigenous peoples who have been missing in the Amazon rainforest since June 5.

Around the World

Credit…Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times
  • The Congo River Basin has a big role in guarding the climate. But logging operations are devastating the rainforests that absorb the planet’s carbon dioxide.

  • Facing challenges to his leadership, Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, has attempted to shift focus by changing trade rules for Northern Ireland and flying migrants to Rwanda. Critics describe the policies as legally tenuous, cynical and ineffectual.

  • Israel convicted a Palestinian aid worker of funneling charity funds to Hamas. The man, Mohammad El Halabi, has been held in detention for six years.

What Else Is Happening

  • Ryanair will no longer require South African passport holders to pass a test written in Afrikaans to prove their nationality before boarding certain flights after the policy was widely criticized as discriminatory and nonsensical.

  • Microsoft officially retired Internet Explorer yesterday, triggering a burst of nostalgia. In the coming months, Windows users will be directed to the company’s Edge web browser.

  • More teenagers than ever are seeking to transition their gender, but the medical community that treats them is deeply divided about why — and what to do to help them.

  • Indonesia and Malaysia may follow the U.A.E. in restricting “Lightyear,” a new Disney film that features a kiss between two women.

A Morning Read

Credit…Finbarr O’Reilly for The New York Times

Sierra Leone is one of a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa that have not banned female genital cutting, a centuries-old ritual tied up in ideas of sexual purity, obedience and control. Now, young women are defying their mothers and grandmothers by refusing to undergo the procedure, known as “bondo.”

But refusing bondo comes at a great social cost. Women who do so are not permitted to marry; to represent their communities in religious or cultural events; to participate in celebrations or funerals; or to serve as chief or in Parliament.


Credit…Alfonso Duran for The New York Times

The fix is in

An explosion of social media stars are teaching followers to flip their furniture — a trend that is perhaps no surprise after a period in which so many people downloaded TikTok to fend off the boredom of being stuck on the couch.

“Flipping,” in this sense, means finding a well-built but aging piece of furniture, refurbishing it — often by sanding, adding fresh paint or varnish and updating its hardware — and reselling it. But many of the people making videos also aim to help viewers improve the furniture already in their homes.

“So many people can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on furniture,” Christina Clericuzio, a flipper from Connecticut, told The Times. “So it’s fun to show people that they can have these things for less when they D.I.Y.”


What to Cook

Credit…Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times. Food stylist: Hadas Smirnoff. Prop stylist: Rebecca Bartoshesky.

This stewed chicken dish is lively and interesting in one single pot.

What to Read

The author Leïla Slimani recommends books that reveal hidden facets of Paris.

Fashion Interlude

What makes bathing suits so expensive?

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Makes an effort (five letters).

And here’s today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. And a programming note: I’m working on The Morning, our sister newsletter, for the next week. You’ll be in my colleagues’ safe hands.

See you next Friday — Natasha

P.S. Try Chess Replay, a new puzzle from Times Games featuring commentary from the grandmaster Daniel Naroditsky.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the bear market.

Tom Wright-Piersanti wrote today’s Arts and Ideas. You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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