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Your Friday Briefing

A spike in shelling is heightening fears that Russia would possibly declare a pretext to invade Ukraine.

Citizens close to Ukraine’s entrance line scrambled into basements for protection as exchanges of artillery fireplace with the separatist forces reached their maximum intense degree in months. The Ukrainian navy mentioned shelling there broken a kindergarten and wounded 3 grownup civilians.

Most likely maximum worrisome, Russian-backed separatists claimed that they had come under fire from the Ukrainians — exactly this kind of incident Western officers have warned that Russia would possibly attempt to use to justify navy motion.

President Biden warned that the specter of an assault remained “very prime.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken instructed the U.N. that Russia’s flooring and air forces have been “getting ready to release an assault towards Ukraine within the coming days.”

The talks: Russia repeated its danger of unspecified “military-technical measures” until its safety calls for in Japanese Europe have been met. However the Kremlin sounded sure notes about international relations.

Ontario’s police pressure mobilized in and round Ottawa to end the trucker protests and started to make arrests.

The government issued a circulation of warnings in the course of the day, pronouncing {that a} crackdown was once “coming near near.” They mentioned demonstrators who didn’t transfer out of the way in which might be arrested or face an array of felony consequences.

Among those arrested ultimate evening was once Tamara Lich, 47, some of the protests’ primary organizers, consistent with Dagny Pawlak, a spokeswoman for the protest.

The police closed off exits resulting in town middle at the Trans-Canada Freeway, and downtown was once closed to outsiders. The choice of vehicles has dwindled, however masses of them nonetheless stay. Heavy snow and below-freezing temperatures are anticipated nowadays, which might complicate the motion of heavy vehicles.

“It’s prime time that those unlawful and threatening actions forestall, together with right here in Ottawa,” Top Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned the day before today.

Many protesters vowed to stay put. One mentioned the protest leaders’ directions have been to stay of their vehicles, lock the doorways and now not open them for any individual, together with the police.


The Omicron surge appears to be slowing in a lot of the arena, however the W.H.O. said it was keeping an eye on an Omicron subvariant.

New circumstances international dropped 19 p.c from Feb. 7 to Feb. 13 in comparison with the week earlier than. However, the company added, the drop in trying out charges world wide way world case numbers would possibly now not replicate the actual unfold of the virus.

The W.H.O. additionally cautioned that the subvariant of Omicron, BA.2, gave the look to be “continuously expanding” and was once now the dominant variant in China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Denmark was once the primary country to file that BA.2 had overtaken BA.1, the model of Omicron that first swept in the course of the global.

Reminder: Scientists have mentioned there is not any proof that BA.2 is extra deadly than BA.1, although BA.2 may just gradual Omicron’s decline. Vaccines seem to be simply as efficient towards BA.2 as they’re towards different kinds of Omicron.

Listed below are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different virus trends:

Different Large Tales

The Arabic-language remake of the film “Best Strangers,” launched on Netflix in January, options scenes about intercourse and sexuality. Many actors and influencers say it invitations fair conversations, however controversy exploded within the Arab global amongst critics who mentioned the film projects Western values on a more conservative society.

A side road kid in Lusaka, Zambia, reveals every other boy useless in a mountain of trash. Who was once he, and who killed him? That’s the mystery at the heart of “Walking the Bowl,” a brand new nonfiction e book by way of Chris Lockhart and Daniel Mulilo Chama.

Lockhart, an American anthropologist, and Chama, a Zambian outreach employee, partnered with a staff of former side road youngsters who helped them collect knowledge. The tale follows a 17-year-old hustler; a spindly 8-year-old who’s by myself within the town; a 16-year-old intercourse employee making plans her get away; and Lusabilo, an observant 11-year-old boy who scavenges thru trash. Their lives cord round one every other; every, it seems, has performed a key position within the boy’s demise.

“Day-to-day lifestyles, meticulously recorded, infrequently has the attributes of a singular,” Ellen Barry, a psychological well being reporter for The Instances, writes in a overview, “a blank arc of ascending motion, a handful of vibrant characters, an finishing that snaps close like a handbag. ‘Strolling the Bowl,’ remarkably, has all of the ones.”

What to Cook dinner

Including fried eggs, a smoky yogurt sauce and crunchy almonds turns this sweet potato dish into a delightful, meatless meal.

What to Learn

Get a glimpse into the lives of wealthy daughters during the last 5 centuries in “Heiresses,” by Laura Thompson.

What to Watch

A Banquet” asks audiences to imagine the overlaps between fact and myth, psychosis and evangelism.

Now Time to Play

Right here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Endpoint of an annual humpback whale migration from Alaska (4 letters).

Right here’s today’s Wordle. (In case you’re anxious about your stats streak, play within the browser you’ve been the use of.)

And this is the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.


That’s it for nowadays’s briefing. Thank you for becoming a member of me. — Melina

P.S. David Gelles, a Instances trade reporter, is becoming a member of the Local weather table to hide the intersection of industrial and local weather coverage.

The most recent episode of “The Daily” is concerning the U.S. reaction to the disaster in Ukraine.

You’ll be able to achieve the staff at briefing@nytimes.com.


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