Your Friday Briefing

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In its campaign to mistreat Ukraine’s citizens by cutting off their power and running water, Russia subjected the country to a wave of devastating missile attacks this week, taking all of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants offline for the first time. Engineers and emergency services worked desperately yesterday to restore services through darkness, snow and sleet.

People all over the country faced the hardships. Surgeons wore headlamps to work in the dark and miners were pulled from the deep underground with hand winches. Residents of high-rises where elevators had stopped lugged buckets and bottles of water upstairs, and shops and restaurants used generators or candles to keep things going.

Millions of people were left without power last night as continued rocket attacks took a mounting toll. At least 10 people were killed on Wednesday, according to Ukrainian authorities. After each strike, repairs have become more challenging, blackouts have lasted longer, and danger to the public has increased.

Strikes: Since the October 8 explosion on the Kerch Strait bridge connecting the occupied Crimean peninsula to Russia, the Russian military has fired about 600 rockets at critical Ukrainian infrastructure.

Related: The parent company of major Russian tech company Yandex is looking to cut ties with the country to protect its new businesses from the fallout from the war, a possible setback to Russia’s efforts to develop domestic replacements for Western sanctions-locked goods and services. cut off.


As China’s harsh Covid rules stretch well into their third year, there are increasing signs of discontent across the country. The rare displays of defiance are a test of Xi Jinping’s leadership and underscore the pressing political question of how he can lead China out of the Covid era.

In central China, thousands of factory workers clashed with riot police officers over a dispute over Covid arrears and poor isolation protocols. Protesters in Guangzhou broke out of locked buildings to confront health workers and loot food supplies. And online, many Chinese were outraged after the death of a 4-month-old girl whose father said access to medical treatment had been delayed for her due to Covid restrictions.

Signs of frustration and desperation with the lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing that have turned everyday life upside down are becoming increasingly visible. The anger, combined with Covid outbreaks across the country that have driven cases to an all-time high, portends a dark winter ahead.

Context: Earlier this month, officials said they would adjust Covid restrictions to limit the impact of the disruptions on the economy and government resources. The latest spate of cases has cast doubt on that promise, with many officials resorting to known heavy-handed measures to stem the spread of the virus.

By the numbers: On Wednesday, the country reported 31,444 cases, surpassing an April record. Reuters reported that. The number of cases is up 314 percent from the average two weeks ago.


As late as the summer, US officials still harbored hopes of reviving the Iran nuclear deal. Those days now seem very far away: In the past week, Iran has told international inspectors that it intends to start making near-bombworthy nuclear fuel deep in a mountain. It also plans to dramatically expand its nuclear fuel production.

These announcements came after weeks of violence in which Iranian forces shot down or detained anti-government protesters and Russia provided drones for its war in Ukraine. Some intelligence officials suspect it is also in negotiations to produce missiles for Russia’s depleted arsenal.

A new era of direct confrontation with Iran has arrived. President Biden’s hopes of rejoining the nuclear deal are all but dashed. National security rallies now focus on undermining Iran’s nuclear plans, supporting protesters and interrupting the country’s arms supply chain to Russia, officials said.

Citable: “There is currently no diplomacy going on regarding the Iran deal,” John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, said last month. “We are now in an impasse and we are not focused on that.”

Legends tell of an anechoic chamber in an old Minneapolis recording studio that drives visitors mad. Could Caity Weaver, a writer for The New York Times Magazine, survive the quietest place in the world – and maybe even set a record for longest time spent within its walls?

“The rustle of my paper as I took notes was extremely loud,” she writes. “But always, when my movements stopped, the stillness of the room rushed back in, like the tide erasing a footprint in the sand.”

What happened to the Germans at the World Cup? Germany dominated the first half, but lost to Japan in the second half, and senior players were quick to catch up point out their shortcomings.

The many layers of US vs England: The connections between the USMNT and England have deep rootsmaking Friday’s game between the two sides a proving ground for the Americans.

Cristiano Ronaldo claims another record: The Portugal captain became the first man to score in five World Cups after converting a penalty kick his dramatic victory against Ghana.

After being on the brink of extinction, the ancient language is experiencing a revival on the Isle of Man, thanks in part to a primary school with 53 students and some passionate parents, Megan Specia reports from the island.

“It was a bit on point, but we brought it back to life,” says Julie Matthews, the school’s principal, Bunscoill Ghaelgagh. Its students’ efforts have prompted UNESCO to re-categorize Manx as a “revived” language, from “extinct”. All over the island, people are trying to integrate it into their daily lives, with many adults taking Manx classes and Manx-language bands performing in pubs.

For centuries, Manx – part of the Celtic language family, like Irish and Scottish Gaelic – was the way people on the island communicated. But by the 19th century, the English language had caught up, and many in the Isle of Man, a self-governing British crown dependency, were raising their children to speak only English.

“Manx’s survival in the 21st century is testament to the island’s sense of itself as a separate place, with its own identity — and political autonomy,” writes Megan.