Your briefing on Tuesday – The New York Times

As Russia took control of much of the Donbass region, a small town has become a focal point where the leaders of Ukraine say that the fate of the country Donbass can be decided.

The town of Toshkivka was taken over by Russian forces over the weekend, a worrying development for Ukrainian forces defending a 30-mile stretch of land known as the Severodonetsk Pocket. The pocket is about three-quarters surrounded by Russian forces, leaving only a small gap where Ukrainian forces can transport supplies and troops to other areas of the Donbass population.

Ukraine’s battle to keep the Severodonetsk pocket focused on a strategy to draw Russian forces into close urban combat to reduce the impact of their enormous firepower. If Russia cuts off supply lines to Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, it could claim full control of the Luhansk region, which makes up about half of Donbass.

Elsewhere, Russia intensified its bombing of Kharkiv, Ukraine ‘s second largest city, weeks after Ukrainian fighters repulsed Russian forces. Ten neighborhoods or villages around the city have been attacked in the last 24 hours, a city official said.

The collapse comes after weeks of paralysis caused by the flight of two right-wing lawmakers and frequent riots by three others, making Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition no longer a majority in parliament. The aftermath is a political lifeline for Benjamin Netanyahu, a former prime minister who left office last June and whose Likud party is currently leading the poll.

The elections, which are expected to take place in the autumn, come at a tense time after the rise in Palestinian attacks on Israelis and the escalation of the shadow war between Israel and Iran.

The current coalition agreement calls for Jair Lapid, the foreign minister and centrist, a former television broadcaster, to take over as caretaker prime minister if right-wing deserts lead to early elections. If this agreement is met, Lapid will lead the government for at least a few months.

Connected: Israel has confirmed that this is the case part of a regional military partnership to combat threats from Iran – The latest example of Israel’s growing commitment to some Arab governments.


Usually a few weeks after the increase in Covid cases in the United States, the number of deaths will begin to rise. But with the last wave, this model seems to have changed.

Nearly three months after the over-infected set of new Omicron variants launched the spring resurgence of cases, people are still dying from Covid at speeds close to the lowest of the pandemic.

Why? Experts say this is because so many Americans have already been vaccinated or infected, or both, so the number of people whose immune systems are completely unprepared for the virus has dropped significantly.

Look forward: As the country’s resources to fight the virus dry up and many Americans are giving up booster vaccines, the separation of cases and deaths may not continue. Immunity will be reduced and a more evasive option may reduce the residual protection of people against severe disease.

Another angle: As global mortality from Covid has decreased, it may be tempting to conclude that the virus is becoming irreversibly milder. But the myxoma virus – fatal to millions of Australian rabbits – is a textbook example of a virus that does not become softer over time.

Last October, three African wild dogs went on an amazing journey through Africa. The three sisters – elite predators and among the most endangered mammals on Earth – brave lions, crocodiles, poachers, wild rivers and other dangers in a transnational effort of 1,300 miles to forge a new dynasty. Their journey was the longest and most painful odyssey ever recorded for their species.

Rosé has become synonymous with fun summer drinking. But as Eric Azimov, a wine critic for The Times, says, you can open a bottle long after Labor Day. “I am a firm believer in drinking roses all year round,” he told us. “Being funny doesn’t mean being low quality.”

If you think you don’t like a rose, explore different species, especially if you’ve only had very pale roses that are in vogue, or you’ve tried ones that look tasteless or too sweet. “You may find that you’ve actually missed something that’s been delicious all these years,” says Eric.

Go to a serious, independent wine shop and ask for help, he says. “What is imperative is to actually talk to people in the store who tend to be really interested in what they sell and who want to make people happy.” – Natasha Frost, author of briefings

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