Russia controls a fifth of Ukraine
President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces had seized 20 percent of Ukraine’s territory as the war nears its 100th day. He said that Russia had expanded its control of Ukrainian territory from an area roughly the size of the Netherlands before the invasion to an area now greater than the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined.
Zelensky said that fighting raged down the front line, which stretched “more than 1,000 kilometers.” At the northern end, Russian forces are trying to encircle Kharkiv. Toward the south, Ukraine claimed that a counteroffensive had made gains near Mykolaiv. Here are live updates.
Western officials hope that weapons from the U.S. and Germany could help Ukrainians turn the tide of the war, especially in the east, where Moscow remains focused on capturing Sievierodonetsk, despite fierce resistance from Ukrainians. It is the last city in the Luhansk region that is not under Russian control.
Civilian toll: Zelensky accused Russia of forcibly deporting more than 200,000 Ukrainian children since the start of the war and said that about 14,000 Ukrainian civilians and service members have been killed since the war started.
Technology: U.S. and European innovation powers many of Russia’s weapons. The West has used export bans to cut off technology shipments, leaving Moscow struggling to replace and repair its arms.
70 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 70 years on the throne yesterday, the first of four days of festivities, collectively known as her Platinum Jubilee. Here are live updates.
Around midday yesterday, the queen stepped out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet a sea of well-wishers. Her three heirs — Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George — stood alongside her, as did other family members. She earned tributes from world leaders and ordinary people for one of history’s great acts of constancy.
But the 96-year-old monarch, who contracted the coronavirus in February, said she would skip a highlight of the celebration today — a thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral — after experiencing “discomfort.” Her fragile health has forced her to cancel multiple public appearances, including two recent major events on the royal calendar.
Photos: Here are images from the event and iconic photographs from seven decades of her reign.
Absentee: Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, did not attend. Neither did Prince Andrew, the queen’s disgraced second son; the palace said that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Analysis: The queen has become an irreplaceable figure in Britain, central to its self-identity.
Biden to travel to Saudi Arabia
President Biden will travel to Saudi Arabia this month in an effort to rebuild frayed relations — and lower U.S. gas prices.
The move is an about-face: As a candidate, Biden vowed to punish the oil-rich kingdom for the brutal assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and make the Saudis into “the pariah that they are.”
But the global situation has changed. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden needs to court other energy producers to isolate Moscow, replace its oil and stabilize world markets.
He has political considerations, too: Gas prices are also high in the U.S. and may not fall before the crucial midterms in November, despite assurances that OPEC Plus nations would modestly raise oil production by 50 percent more than planned for July and August.
Details: In Riyadh this month, Biden plans to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was deemed responsible for Khashoggi’s assassination, and several Arab leaders.
Analysis: Foreign policy experts said the visit represents the triumph of realpolitik over moral outrage. The U.S. has already been stepping up cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including over the two-month-old U.N.-brokered truce in Yemen, which was extended yesterday.
The Trump administration: A House committee is investigating whether Jared Kushner traded on his government position to land a $2 billion investment in his new private equity firm from a prominent Saudi Arabian wealth fund.
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Monkeypox isn’t new
The monkeypox outbreak in Europe and the U.S. has focused attention on a virus that, while endemic in parts of Africa, has been managed and largely contained on the continent for years.
Seven African countries — Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone — reported 1,392 cases so far this year, according to the W.H.O. Those cases were quickly controlled and attracted little attention.
“Africa has successfully contained past monkeypox outbreaks, and from what we know about the virus and modes of transmission, the rise in cases can be stopped,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, head of the W.H.O. in Africa.
Monkeypox was first discovered in Africa in 1970. It appears sporadically, mostly in rural areas, and has been largely confined to West and Central Africa. It grabbed wide public attention last month when 260 cases were reported in 21 countries outside Africa.
A new vaccine against the virus has been approved but is not yet widely used. Dr. Moeti emphasized the importance of making it available to everyone. “We must avoid having two different responses to monkeypox — one for Western countries which are only now experiencing significant transmission and another for Africa,” she said.
Public health officials also worry that recent attention on the virus could result in a backlash against gay people. A number of cases have been reported in the queer community, and the U.N. has raised concerns that some reporting could reinforce homophobia. — Lynsey Chutel, our newsletter writer based in Johannesburg.