Your Monday Briefing: Russia’s Pre-Holiday Push

Good morning. We’re covering Russia’s nationalist holiday, Hong Kong’s new leader and a Taliban decree targeting women. Lee, the top architect of the crackdown on Hong Kong’s antigovernment protests in 2019, plans to push through laws on treason, secession, sedition and subversion, and to root out critics in the civil service. He inherits a city that has been tamed and cowed: Sweeping national security laws imposed two years ago have quashed dissent, gutted the free press and put critics behind bars or sent them into exile. He will also face…

Rising Violence by Separatists Adds to Pakistan’s Lethal Instability

Pakistan’s security agencies have cracked down on educated Baluch youth, forcibly “disappearing” suspected militants, sometimes for years, without trial, according to news reports, student advocates and human rights groups. “These days, law enforcement agencies consider every university student from Baluchistan a potential militant,” said Faisal Nawaz, a student from Panjgur, in Baluchistan, who is studying at the University of Karachi. Separatist attacks have been concentrated in the sparsely populated Makran region of Baluchistan, where residents depend on illegal cross-border trade with Iran in fuel and other commodities. In a desert…

What does political upheaval in Pakistan mean for the world?

Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, was ousted from office in a no-confidence vote in parliament in the early hours of Sunday after three years and seven months in power. A new government will be formed, most likely under opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif, after parliament reconvenes on Monday to vote for a new prime minister. The country of more than 220 million people lies between Afghanistan to the west, China to the north-east and India to the east, making it of vital strategic importance. Since coming to power in 2018, Khan’s…

Imran Khan, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Fights for Survival

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan is fighting for his political survival after opposition political parties have moved for a no-confidence motion in Parliament and the country’s powerful military has withdrawn its support for his government. Mr. Khan, the former cricket-star-turned-politician, has announced plans to gather a million supporters in Islamabad, appealed to the Supreme Court to disqualify lawmakers who have defected from his party and denounced his critics as part of an American-influenced conspiracy. But as demands for his resignation mount, critics and analysts say he…

Your Monday Briefing: Russian Forces Attack Evacuees

Good morning. We’re covering sustained shelling in Ukraine, China’s new economic plan and the fallout of a terrorist attack on a mosque in Pakistan. Russian attacks halt evacuations As Russian forces continued shelling Ukraine, at least three people — a mother and her children — were killed outside Kyiv as they tried to get to safety. For the second straight day, the authorities called off an evacuation from the besieged port city of Mariupol. Here’s the latest. Russian forces were struggling to advance on multiple fronts. The Ukrainian military said…

Your Monday Briefing: The Olympics Begin

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Good morning. We’re covering the start of the Winter Olympics, tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and Afghanistan’s crumbling health care system. The Winter Olympics begin China’s leader, Xi Jinping, opened the Beijing Games on Friday with a clear intent to celebrate his country’s increasingly assured global status. Xi stood defiantly with Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia, a calculated display of solidarity to show their partnership and project their growing impatience with Western censure. (President Biden and other democratic leaders critical of China’s human rights record stayed home.) China also…

Your Monday Briefing: A U.K. Accusation

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Good morning. We’re covering reports of Russia’s positioning in Ukraine, Beijing’s hard-line Olympic strategy and miserable conditions at a Chinese tire factory in Serbia. Britain accuses Russia of Ukraine plot The British government said that the Kremlin appeared to be developing plans to install a pro-Moscow leader in Ukraine. The highly unusual public statement, backed by U.S. officials, comes at a pivotal moment in high-stakes negotiations. Moscow has deployed more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders that could, according to American officials, attack anytime. According to the assessment, Russian planners…

The Biden doctrine: Ukraine gaffe sums up mixed year of foreign policy

Joe Biden marked his first anniversary in office with a gaffe over Ukraine that undid weeks of disciplined messaging and diplomatic preparation. The president’s suggestion that a “minor incursion” by Russia might split Nato over how to respond sent the White House into frantic damage limitation mode. Officials insisted Biden had been referring to cyber attacks and paramilitary activities and not Russian troops crossing the border. That failed to entirely calm nerves in Kyiv and other European capitals, especially as Biden also raised eyebrows by predicting that Vladimir Putin would…

Your Monday Briefing: Omicron Evades Many Vaccines

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Good morning. We’re covering the latest Omicron news, the Hong Kong elections and a Times investigation into civilian casualties from U.S. airstrikes. Omicron outstrips many vaccines A growing body of preliminary research suggests most Covid vaccines offer almost no defense against infection from the highly contagious Omicron variant. The only vaccines that appear to be effective against infections are those made by Pfizer and Moderna, reinforced by a booster, which are not widely available around the world. Other vaccines — including those from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and vaccines manufactured…

Your Friday Briefing

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Good morning. We’re covering booster shots in France, Peng Shuai’s piercing accusations in China and the Pakistani madrasa that has educated many Taliban leaders. A French rush for boosters Thousands rushed to book appointments for coronavirus booster shots on Thursday after the French government said that health passes would soon no longer be valid without them. Amid a surge in new cases and rising hospitalizations, the government made all adults eligible for booster shots starting this weekend. The health minister, Olivier Véran, said that over 400,000 vaccination appointments had been…