Your Wednesday Summary – The New York Times

The US and its allies were quick to impose economic sanctions on Russia for what President Biden denounced as the start of an “invasion of Ukraine”. Western officials confirmed that Russian forces had crossed the Ukrainian border into two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainians near territories controlled by Kremlin-backed separatists have endured days of shelling and at least one death. Civilians took shelter in basements while Ukrainian troops ducked into trenches. For nearly a decade, violence has shaped the lives of people in the eastern region of Ukraine.

Sanctions so far include stopping the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and cutting off global financing to two Russian banks and some of the country’s elites. The moves do not fit the broader economic war that some have demanded, although Mr Biden warned that more sanctions would be imposed if Russian President Vladimir Putin did not withdraw forces from Ukraine. .

Diplomatic: Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, canceled plans to meet with Russia’s foreign minister on Thursday, saying it was “not reasonable” to hold talks while Russian forces were on the move.

Analysis: Putin has made a mark in Ukraine, our Paris office chief wrote. Does the West have the means to stop him?

Latest: Understand the conflict with our latest newsletter, Russia-Ukraine Crisis Brief. You can register here.

From his early days in power, French President Emmanuel Macron was nicknamed “Jupiter” by the French media for the king of the gods who ruled by throwing down lightning bolts. Now, with an election looming, he sought to dispel images of court alienation in a political culture that oscillates between attachment to the monarchy and a tendency toward suicide.

However, his presidency was a story of direct control over government, facilitated by his choice of two weak prime ministers. Macron has taken full advantage of presidential prerogatives to push economic reform through Congress, sometimes with little consultation. He has also avoided announcing his candidacy for a second term – although it is seen as a foregone conclusion.

In a recent two-hour television interview, in the gilded ballroom of the Élysée Palace, the president adopted a more conciliatory tone. “I’m a pretty emotional person, but I tend to hide it,” he said, lowering his eyes. “I believe I am a very human person,” he added.

‘Death to the king’: Macron has at times become the focus of particular anger from his political opponents – as well as members of the public, who sometimes erect makeshift guillotines at street protests.

Yesterday, Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said Hong Kong would require its more than seven million residents to undergo coronavirus testing by March, as the territory struggles to contain the outbreak. worst pandemic outbreak. Summer break for many students will also begin early, both to reduce overcrowding and to ensure their schools can be used as testing, isolation and vaccination facilities.

The announcement comes after Beijing pressured Hong Kong to use stricter measures to eradicate the virus. The move is a challenge to the territory, which lacks the movement and personnel tracking apps that Beijing uses to enforce its own restrictions. Lam had previously ruled out mass testing, saying that Hong Kong was not capable of handling that many samples in a short period of time.

The latest wave of infections, which has surpassed the total number of cases in the city two years earlier and flooded hospitals, has forced authorities to expand efforts and build new isolation facilities. A large-scale hospital is also being planned.

Detail: Hong Kong has at least 37,000 active coronavirus cases. The territory has recorded 145 deaths so far this year, compared with 213 in 2020 and 2021.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

About 99% of people living in the United States and Europe see only an approximate dimming of the stars in the night sky, nothing close to the solid luminosity that our ancestors witnessed before. people exploit electricity.

In search of the Milky Way, our writer Colleen Creamer travels to Utah, which has the highest density of designated Dark Sky locations in the world.

Pet owners in the US are spending a lot of thought and money on what their dogs, cats, hamsters, goldfish and other domesticated animals eat, Priya Krishna reports for The Times.

Some pets eat roughage. Others have gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, or vegetarian diets. There are pets that love to eat flavored treats like turmeric latte or made with CBD, pets that never skimp on probiotics or vitamin C supplements. Some owners prepare special menus. at home, while others shop an increasing number of products that fit these diets.

Jennifer Donald and her dog, Moses, both follow a gluten-free diet, enjoying cereal bowls of wild-caught salmon, sweet potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, coconut oil and rice. “It helped me get along better with him and helped me keep track of my own illness,” she said.

There are no clear or simple rules about how to keep a pet, and veterinarians have different opinions. Scientific research on animal health lags far behind human studies. Advice – and misinformation – is increasingly common online, making it difficult for owners to decide who to trust. But some experts fear that people are turning to outdated diets that could pose similar dangers to pets as well as people.

Read more about the wild world of pet health. Your Wednesday Summary – The New York Times

Fry Electronics Team

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