Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times

The increased shelling is raising concerns that Russia could use the pretext to invade Ukraine.

Residents near the front lines of Ukraine run into the basements to provide cover as artillery exchanges with the separatists reached their fiercest point in months. The Ukrainian military said shelling there damaged a kindergarten and wounded three adult civilians.

Perhaps most worrisome are the Russian-backed separatists claim that they were shot from Ukraine — exactly the kind of incident that Western officials have warned that Russia could try to use to justify military action.

President Biden warned that the threat of an attack remained “very high”. Foreign Minister Antony Blinken told the UN that Russia’s ground and air forces were “preparing to launch an attack against Ukraine in the coming days”.

Talks: Russia repeated its threat of unspecified “military-technical measures” unless its security requirements in Eastern Europe are met. But the Kremlin has positive diplomatic notes.

Ontario police force mobilized in and around Ottawa put an end to the trucker’s protest and started making arrests.

Authorities issued a series of warnings for the day, saying a crackdown was “imminent.” They said protesters who do not move out of the way could be arrested or face a range of legal penalties.

Among those arrested Last night was Tamara Lich, 47, one of the main organizers of the protest, according to Dagny Pawlak, a spokesman for the protest.

Police have closed downtown exits on the Trans-Canada Highway, and the city center is closed to outsiders. The number of trucks has dwindled, but hundreds remain. Heavy snowfall and sub-freezing temperatures are expected today, which could further complicate the movement of heavy trucks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday: “It is time for these illegal and dangerous activities to stop, including in Ottawa.

Many people oppose swear to stay. One said protest leaders’ instructions were to stay in their vans, lock their doors and not open them to anyone, including police.

The increase in Omicron seems to be slowing down in most of the world, but WHO says it is monitoring a sub-variant Omicron.

New cases worldwide decreased by 19% from February 7 to February 13 compared with the previous week. However, the agency added, the drop in testing rates around the world means the global number of cases may not reflect the true spread of the virus.

WHO also warns that Omicron’s secondary variable, BA.2, seems to be “growing steadily” and is currently the dominant variant in China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Denmark was the first country to report that BA.2 had surpassed BA.1, the version of Omicron that swept the world for the first time.

Reminder: Scientists say there is no evidence that BA.2 is more deadly than BA.1, although BA.2 may slow Omicron degradation. The vaccine appears to be effective against BA.2 as well as against other forms of Omicron.

This is the latest updates and map of the pandemic.

In other developments of the virus:

Other great stories

The Arabic remake of the movie “Perfect Strangers,” which was released on Netflix in January, features sex and sexuality scenes. Many actors and influencers say it invites honest conversations, but controversy has erupted in the Arab world among critics who say the film projecting Western values ​​into a more conservative society.

A street child in Lusaka, Zambia, finds another boy dead in a mountain of trash. Who is he, and who killed him? That is the mystery at the heart of “Walking the Bowl,” a new nonfiction book by Chris Lockhart and Daniel Mulilo Chama.

Lockhart, an American anthropologist, and Chama, a Zambian outreach worker, teamed up with a group of former street youths who helped them gather information. The story is about a bustling 17-year-old boy; a frail eight-year-old alone in the city; a 16-year-old prostitute plans to run away; and Lusabilo, an observant 11-year-old boy who picks up trash. Their lives revolve around each other; It turns out that each of them played an important role in the boy’s death.

“Everyday life, meticulously documented, rarely has the characteristics of a novel,” wrote Ellen Barry, mental health reporter for The Times, in a review, “a clear arc. clarity of ascending action, some lively characters, a gripping ending that closes like a purse. “Walking the Bowl,” notably, has all of that. “

What to cook?

Add fried egg, smoky yogurt sauce and crispy almonds this sweet potato into a satisfying, meat-free meal.

What to read

Learn about the lives of the rich princes over the past 5 centuries in “The Heirs” by Laura Thompson.

What to see

A partyAsk the audience to consider the overlap between fact and fiction, psychosis and indoctrination.

Now it’s time to play

This is Small crossword todayand clues: Endpoint of the annual migration of humpback whales from Alaska (four letters).

This is Wordle today. (If you’re worried about your stats, play on the browser you’re using.)

And this is spelling bee.

You can find all our quizzes here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. – Melina

PS David GellesA Times business reporter, is joining the Climate panel to cover the intersection of business policy and climate.

The latest episode of “The Daily“It’s about the US response to the crisis in Ukraine.

You can contact the team at Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times

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