Your Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times


The Israeli military carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, in response to incendiary balloons sent into southern Israel from Gaza by the militant group Hamas. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The day of rising tensions began after the Israeli government authorized a far-right Jewish march through Palestinian areas of Jerusalem on Tuesday evening, over objections from Arab and left-wing coalition parties, and despite threats. of Hamas to retaliate.

Gaza has barely begun to recover from the fighting last month, which killed at least 250 Palestinians and 13 people in Israel and damaged more than 16,000 homes, according to the UN. For 11 days, Gaza militants fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israel.

Details: Incendiary balloons tend to be less destructive than rockets, although they sometimes burn large swathes of farmland and land near homes. New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had previously said those throwing the balloons were “terrorists” who should be killed.

President Biden will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva today. The summit comes days after Biden notably called Putin a “worthy adversary,” in what some analysts have interpreted as a show of critical respect.

Russian officials see a new opportunity to improve US-Russian relations in Biden’s emphasis on predictability and stability. While the meeting is unlikely to radically reframe relations, Putin’s supporters and critics in Russia are hopeful that it will at least stop their downward spiral.

“Putin’s goal is to move to a conflictual relationship respectful of the disrespectful one we have today,” said Vladimir Frolov, Russian foreign affairs columnist. “This appears to be in line with Biden’s goals for a ‘predictable and stable relationship’.”

Quote: “He’s a different man,” Putin said of Biden. “I very much expect – there are pros and cons – that there will not be such impulsive movements from the current president, that we can observe certain rules of interaction and be able to put ourselves agree on things and find points of contact. ”

Related: Russia has been a space power for decades. But now the future of the country’s agenda rests with China, a nascent partnership that mirrors today’s geopolitics.

Across the Asia-Pacific region, countries that have dominated the world to contain the coronavirus are now languishing in the race to put it behind them.

As the United States and some other Western countries fill planes with vaccinated passengers, countries praised for their early handling of the pandemic are stuck in cycles of restrictions and isolation, with their borders often firmly closed.

Tolerance for limited lives is shrinking and a main factor contributing to the uncertainty: a lack of vaccines, with campaigns barely underway in many countries. “It’s like we’re waiting in glue or mud,” said a vaccine expert in Melbourne, Australia.

Details: The boost is rooted in decisions made months ago. In spring 2020.

In numbers : Less than 25% of people in India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have received at least one dose of a vaccine, compared to 53% of Americans and over 60% of Britons.

Here are the latest pandemic updates and maps.

In other developments:

Even before the pandemic, Amazon lost about 3% of its hourly associates every week, with revenue of around 150% per year. But over the past year, as orders skyrocketed, the company depleted its workforce as it relied on a strained and failing system that hired, monitored, and fired without too much human touch.

A Times review of how the pandemic unfolded at Amazon’s JFK8 center in New York City found that the crisis exposed the power and peril of Amazon’s employment system. Here are five takeaways from the survey.

Late last year, a decades-long conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted in six weeks of intense fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, ultimately interrupted by a peace deal brokered by Russia. As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Nagorno-Karabakh this week, Melina Delkic, who writes our Asia briefing, met our correspondent Andrew Kramer, who covered the conflict.

When we stopped monitoring the region closely, there was a fragile peace. Most of the Armenian-controlled territories of Nagorno-Karabakh have been returned to Azerbaijan. Where is he now?

Above all, the regulations have held up. There have been a few limited skirmishes at the border. Several people have died in shootings along the de facto line of control established by the colony around what remains of Nagorno-Karabakh.

What is the significance of Erdogan’s visit?

The colony promised a land link as far as Azerbaijan and theoretically by boat on the Caspian Sea as far as Central Asia. All these Turkish-speaking countries would be connected by this transport from Turkey more directly. The idea of ​​a Pan-Turkic sphere of influence was born in the immediate post-Soviet period. Turkey’s influence and its clear role in helping the Azeri victory may prepare them for a revival of this idea of ​​a Panturque area.

Are there other long-term geopolitical outcomes?

When the Soviet Union broke up, it created 15 new countries. There were also enclaves that became de facto independent states that were not recognized by the outside world, including Nagorno-Karabakh. It was the only so-called frozen conflict zone that was not controlled by Russia. This settlement brought Russia in.

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