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Your Monday Night Briefing – The New York Times

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Good evening. Here is the last Monday at the end of the day.

2. As Russian President Vladimir Putin met its closest allies, Ukraine reached the Russian border near Kharkiv.

Three months after launching its invasion, Russia has failed to make major strategic gains in eastern Ukraine and may be forced to scale back its ambitions and focus on expanding its terrain in the Donbas region. Today, in a gilded room, Putin met his five closest allies in a planned summit; only Belarus came out in favor of war.

Last week, Russian forces suffered another major setback, forced to withdraw from the suburbs of the northeastern city of Kharkiv. Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, today greeted a small group of soldiers who reached the nearby Russian border – a strong symbolic moment.

In other war storiesSweden officially announced today that it would apply for NATO membership.

In more international newsPresident Biden has authorized the dispatch of hundreds of special operations forces to Somalia.

3. Covid is spreading rapidly in the United States right now, especially in the Northeast and Midwest.

An average of more than 90,000 new cases are being identified daily, a 60% increase from two weeks ago – almost certainly an undercount given the unknown home test results. More than 21,000 Covid patients were hospitalized last week, a 23% increase from two weeks ago.

As we near death one million, more and more researchers believe we will live with multiple surges each year as the variants learn to dodge our defenses. Some infected with the first variant of Omicron have had a second infection from newer versions and could have a third or fourth episode within a year.

4. Wildfire risk in the United States is widespread and growing rapidly.

For the first time, researchers have calculated the wildfire risk for each property in the 48 contiguous US states. Half of all addresses are at risk. In rural states like Wyoming and Montana, more than 90% do. And 700,000 U.S. properties have at least a 1% chance of being involved in a wildfire this year, the same degree of risk the government uses to determine the need for flood insurance. This risk is getting worse every year.

Florida has the most properties of this type, followed by Texas and California. But as a share of all properties, the risk of fire is highest in Utah, due to the rapid growth in home building.

5. McDonald’s puts its Russian business up for sale.

The business opened in Moscow in 1990 and has grown to 850 restaurants across the country, which will now be “debarked” and banned from using the McDonald’s brand. In a statement, McDonald’s said it would try to get its 62,000 Russian employees to find work with potential buyers.

In a memo, McDonald’s chief executive Chris Kempczinski said it was not possible to ignore the “humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.” And it is impossible to imagine that the Golden Arches represent the same hope and promise that led us to enter the Russian market 32 ​​years ago.

In other business newsJetBlue’s attempt to take over Spirit Airlines turned hostile as Spirit moved forward with its proposed merger with Frontier Airlines.

6. What makes workers happy?

In a tight job market, where many don’t want to return to the office, companies are trying enticements like Lizzo concerts. But many employees prefer flexibility and inflation-adjusted raises.

Workplaces are grappling with the meaning of happiness (and its cost). Top executives in the organization can pursue an $18,000 “happiness MBA.” Some companies organize “meme wars” or let employees choose their supervisors. There’s a business case to be made: companies on the 100 Best Workplaces list have higher shareholder returns than their peers.

In other workplace news, Starbucks said it would cover business expenses for employees who have to travel for abortions.

7. The Seri people of northern Mexico are determined to save themselves from climate change, corporations and other threats to their way of life.

In the “The World Through a Lens” series, we spotlighted the Seri indigenous group, who live in an area rich in biodiversity in the Sonoran Desert in northwestern Mexico. Temperatures can reach 108 degrees around 10 a.m., storms have intensified and mining companies have attempted to prospect at sacred sites. Changing lifestyles mean that rates of diabetes and drug abuse have increased.

About 1,000 people live in the beautiful area. Some of his wives are doing all they can to keep the community vibrant, even going as far as India for training in installing solar panels. If necessary, they patrol with weapons. “I like to defend my people and my land,” said a young woman. “If we don’t, no one else can.”

8. A Ukrainian-American cook saves Mariupol’s kitchen.

Olga Koutseridi, a graduate student advisor at the University of Texas at Austin, formed childhood food memories — garlic salami sandwiches, freshly fried chebureki — in the small Black Sea town whose name has become synonymous with the worst devastation that Russia has inflicted on Ukraine. .

As the invasion devastated her parents’ hometown, Koutseridi, who has side gigs as a baker, cook and historian of Ukrainian cuisine, collected recipes from family members on Telegram, Skype and WhatsApp.

She hopes to turn her growing archive into an open-source database and, eventually, a book. Try its chebureki, ryazhanka and borscht with fish.

9. Kendrick Lamar’s uneven new album is fueled by angst and self-doubt, says our reviewer Jon Caramanica.

“Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,” the rapper’s first album in five years and the follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning “DAMN,” finds Lamar increasingly aware of the burdens of his upbringing but unsure how to deal with them. overcome.

“Father Time,” about being raised with the idea that “men should never show feelings, being sensitive is never helped,” is moving; “Auntie Diaries,” about two people close to him who came out as transgender, is serious but awkward. Two songs reveal a kind of sympathy for R. Kelly, and one confesses his infidelity: a jab of unstable politics and an immolation of the ethical persona he’s cultivated for years.

10. And finally, how do you solve a problem like the decrease in the number of convents? ICT Tac.

In 2019, 87% of Christians living the cloistered life were 60 or older. To attract new members, some nuns have taken to social media, answering questions about traditional rituals, sharing routines, playing pranks or dancing (decently) to hip-hop.

Even Pope Francis has admitted that social media can be used to evangelize. Some sisters also want viewers to know more about who they are. “We’re not all grim old ladies reading the Bible,” said Sister Monica Clare, a former comedian and improv musician who, at 56, is the youngest in her New Jersey community, adding, “He there is joy and laughter, the full range of human emotions live.”

nytimes Gt

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