Your Wednesday Briefing

The burial ceremony for a Ukrainian solider killed in the Donetsk region.Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

‘They’re going to set those terms for themselves’

The U.S. will not pressure Ukraine into negotiating a cease-fire even as Russia grinds out steady gains on the ground in the country’s embattled east, Colin H. Kahl, a top Pentagon official, said yesterday. “We’re not going to tell the Ukrainians how to negotiate, what to negotiate and when to negotiate,” he added. “They’re going to set those terms for themselves.”

The comments came as Ukraine’s attempt to hold on to its territory in the eastern Donbas region reached a critical juncture. Some Western officials are now questioning Ukraine’s ability to hold off Russian forces, while western European nations fear a prolonged war that raises the risk of drawing NATO into the fighting. Follow the latest updates from the war.

NATO defense ministers will meet today and tomorrow in Brussels. Finland and Sweden’s applications for membership are stalled over objections from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, who argues that the would-be members sympathize with the Kurdish militants he sees as terrorists. “It is not possible for us to be in favor,” he said.

In other news from the conflict:

  • The eastern city of Sievierodonetsk is now cut off after the last bridge linking it with Ukrainian territory to the west was destroyed.

  • Ukraine claimed to have steadily regained territory in the south and said its forces were within 12 miles of the occupied city of Kherson.

  • A Russian court extended the pretrial detention of Brittney Griner, the W.N.B.A. basketball star, for another 18 days.

President Biden at the Port of Los Angeles.Credit…Samuel Corum for The New York Times

Biden’s options to rein in inflation dwindle

President Biden is weighing whether to roll back some of the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods during the Trump administration, in hopes of mitigating the most rapid price gains in 40 years, according to officials.

Business groups and some outside economists said it would be a significant step that the president could take to immediately cut costs for consumers. But some administration economists privately estimate the tariff reductions would reduce overall inflation by as little as a quarter of a percentage point, after it hit 8.6 percent in May.

The tariff discussion comes at a precarious time for the economy. Persistent inflation has shattered consumer confidence, driven the markets into bear territory — down 20 percent from January — and inflamed fears of a recession. Biden has said taming inflation rests mainly with the Federal Reserve, which is trying to cool demand by raising interest rates.

Context: The China tariffs are raising the price of goods for American consumers by essentially adding a tax on top of what they already pay for imported goods. In theory, removing the tariffs could reduce inflation if companies cut — or stopped raising — prices on those products.

Related: Cryptocurrency’s unregulated nature allowed a multitrillion-dollar industry to rise overnight. Now, those same structures have sent it crashing down.

Refugees were picked up in the English Channel in May 2021.Credit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Court halts migrant deportations to Rwanda

A last-minute ruling from the European Court of Human Rights grounded a chartered aircraft that was scheduled to take migrants from Britain to Rwanda, in an unexpected setback to a new, hard-line policy from the British government that seeks to deport would-be asylum seekers 4,000 miles away.

The ruling came at the end of a day of uncertainty, as the small number of people awaiting deportation attempted legal challenges to resist removal from Britain. Although Britain is no longer part of the E.U., it is a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore accepts judgments from the court.

The plan has been roundly criticized by human rights advocates, civil servants and such high-ranking public figures as Prince Charles. It comes at a time when immigration into Britain from countries outside of the E.U. is rising. Critics have accused Boris Johnson, Britain’s struggling prime minister, of deliberately stoking the issue for political advantage.

Response: In a statement, the home secretary, Priti Patel, described the verdict as “very surprising.” She added: “We will not be deterred from doing the right thing and delivering our plans to control our nation’s borders. Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight, and preparation for the next flight begins now.”


Other Big Stories

Credit…Edmar Barros/Associated Press
  • The police in Brazil have arrested a second suspect in their homicide investigation after Dom Phillips, a British journalist, and Bruno Araújo Pereira, a Brazilian expert on Indigenous people, went missing.

  • Survivors and loved ones of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire gathered in London to honor those lost, but a hunger for accountability permeated the ceremony.

  • The U.S. Open will allow Russian and Belarusian tennis players to compete.

  • Polls have closed in primaries across the U.S. See the latest results.

Around the World

Credit…Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
  • China, the last country trying to eliminate Covid, has made mass P.C.R. testing a permanent feature of daily life.

  • Climate change is making life even harder for residents of South Asia, as weather extremes increasingly become the norm, exacerbating poverty, food insecurity and health challenges.

  • A court in Zimbabwe convicted Jeffrey Moyo, a freelance reporter for The Times, on charges of breaching the country’s immigration laws, in another blow for the free press in the increasingly authoritarian country.

  • A dispute between Canada and Denmark over Hans Island, a kidney-shaped piece of rock in the Arctic, has been resolved after decades of whimsical sparring.

What Else Is Happening

  • The K-pop group BTS, arguably the world’s most popular band, is going on a break while its members explore solo careers.

  • Travelers in Europe are facing chaos amid a perfect storm of staff shortages, high demand and changing coronavirus policy.

  • The singer and pop star Lizzo apologized and changed a lyric on a new song days after its release, after it was criticized for using a word used to demean people with disabilities.

  • New York’s highest court ruled 5 to 2 that Happy, an Asian elephant at the Bronx Zoo, is not a person in a legal sense.

A Morning Read

Credit…Mamadi Doumbouya for The New York Times

“I’ll be 66 in July, and I’ve been acting for a paycheck since I was 20. Forty-six years and I now know what was evident when I was 20 years old is what Spencer Tracy said: ‘Learn the lines. Hit the marks. Tell the truth.’ That’s all you can do.”

Tom Hanks on his wild new Elvis movie, his faith in America and why his Oscar-winning movies might not have been made today.


Credit…Bobbi Lin for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Sue Li. Prop Stylist: Sophia Pappas.

The essentials of Korean cuisine

Eric Kim is a Times Magazine columnist, cookbook author and son of South Korean immigrants. He has spent a lifetime watching his mother cook. “I’ve been Korean my whole life, and I’ve been cooking since I was 13, but only recently have I begun to feel like a Korean cook,” he writes.

In his day-to-day cooking, Eric draws on classic Korean ingredients: soybean paste, tongbaechu kimchi, grassy perilla leaves, seaweed in many different forms. His mother, Jean, is ever-present in his cooking. “The way I cook now, the way I move and breathe in my New York City kitchen, has echoes of her movements, her breaths.”

Asked to pick only 10 Korean dishes, these recipes would be Eric’s choice. “Some of these dishes are more than their ingredients, speaking not only to the history of a divided nation and a war, but also to a gorgeous history of empires,” he adds. “I’ve written the recipes in English, but know that their souls are in Korean.”


What to Cook

Credit…Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times

This Russian honey cake is made of just two components — lightly spiced cake layers and glossy whipped-cream frosting.

Virtual Travel

Capturing the joyful spirit of a Montana general store.

What to Read

Two speculative novels — “The Men,” by Sandra Newman, and “When Women Were Dragons,” by Kelly Barnhill — imagine drastic rearrangements to existing gender relations.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Fake, as a signature (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. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha

P.S. The Times newsroom toasted Dean Baquet on his last day as executive editor. Bon voyage, Dean!

The latest episode of “The Daily” is on the U.S. gun safety deal.

You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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