Friday Briefing

Flags of participating countries outside the G20 summit in New Delhi.Credit…Rajat Gupta/EPA, via Shutterstock

Watching the G20 summit

The Group of 20 summit kicks off tomorrow in New Delhi, bringing together world leaders to coordinate policy for the global economy. President Biden is expected to attend, but China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and President Vladimir Putin of Russia will skip the event. Read more about the event.

Katie Rogers, a White House correspondent who is in New Delhi covering the summit, explained the context.

What are the biggest issues on the agenda?

Katie: The G20 is an economic-focused summit, and the host country’s efforts to showcase the promise and potential of a juggernaut Indian economy can’t be overlooked.

What does the absence of Xi and Putin mean for the gathering?

There will be little on the agenda that focuses, at least directly, on the war in Ukraine or providing economic aid. There are no hopes for any sort of binding joint statement, called a communiqué, among the leaders. Putin and Xi would need to sign on to such a document, and they did not do so last year. Xi attended last year, of course, but analysts say domestic economic pressure and tensions with India have contributed to his absence this time around.

What will come out of the summit?

One thing I will be looking at is President Biden’s efforts to strengthen his relationship with Modi, a leader he sees as politically stable and one he believes is interested in deepening strategic and economic ties. With Modi straddling the line between East and West, it remains to be seen how much of a partner he could be in forcefully countering China’s rise.

A damaged car in downtown Rostov-on-Don.Credit…EPA, via Shutterstock

Drone strikes on Russian city

Explosions rocked the area around one of Russia’s largest military hubs before dawn yesterday, and local officials later said that air defenses had shot down two drones. At least one blast was heard in the city of Rostov-on-Don, which is home to Russia’s southern military headquarters and is a command center for its forces in Ukraine.

Vasily Golubev, the regional governor of Rostov, said that after air defenses downed the drones, falling debris damaged cars and buildings, injuring one person. One drone fell in the city center, he said on social media, and another was shot down outside the city in the western part of the region.

Response: As a matter of official policy, the Ukrainian government does not comment on whether it has had a hand in strikes in Russia. But officials in Kyiv have become increasingly vocal in defending such strikes as warranted. In recent days, the airports around Moscow suspended flights nearly every morning because of drone activity.

Russian strikes: For the fourth time in five days, Russia attacked Izmail, a port city on the Danube River, yesterday, according to Oleg Kiper, the head of the region’s military administration. Two people were injured, the local prosecutor’s office said.

Flash floods in the village of Platanias, Greece.Credit…Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters

Extreme weather in Greece

At least six people have died in Greece after heavy rainfall compounded major flooding, leaving some villages almost completely underwater yesterday and prompting the government to deploy armed forces to help rescue residents from the worst-hit areas. The toll could rise amid reports of missing residents.

Fire service vehicles were unable to reach many of the worst-hit spots because the water was so deep, reaching six feet in some parts, a government spokesman said, and the coast guard was sending divers to help in the rescue efforts.


Around the World

Credit…Joao Silva/The New York Times
  • “There’s war everywhere”: Scores of South Sudanese fled north to escape violence. Now, fighting in Sudan is forcing them to return home.

  • Historians at the Vatican found documents naming thousands of Jews who received safe haven in Catholic institutions during the Nazi occupation.

  • A court in France upheld a decree barring children in public schools from wearing the abaya, a blow to critics of the ban who called it discriminatory.

  • Video emerged of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, asserting that European Jews were persecuted by Adolf Hitler for what he called their predatory lending practices.

  • Tripod, a three-legged bear, has become a local celebrity in Florida after he invaded a patio and stole hard seltzers.

Other Big Stories

Credit…via the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
  • New York and federal authorities handed back 12 looted antiquities valued at $9 million to Lebanon.

  • The U.S. seized nearly one million barrels of Iranian crude oil, saying that they were being smuggled to China in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran

  • Danny Masterson, an actor from “That ’70s Show,” received 30 years to life in prison for the rapes of two women decades ago.

  • Legal abortions in the U.S. most likely increased in the first six months of this year compared with 2020.

  • Hillary Clinton is teaching a class on foreign policy at Columbia University.

The Week in Culture

  • With actors and writers on strike, anticipate an unusual Oscar landscape. We made four predictions about what’s to come.

  • France has given a warm reception to Woody Allen, Louis C.K. and Johnny Depp despite accusations of misconduct or abuse against them.

  • Bruce Springsteen will postpone performances in the U.S. this month to be treated for symptoms of peptic ulcer disease.

  • After five years without a fashion show, the lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret introduced a feature-length film meant to be the final piece of the company’s reinvention.

A Morning Read

Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Michelle Brennen, above, spent years tracking down men and women who lost their parents in the same 1973 plane crash that killed her father.

In July, around 200 people, nearly all of them strangers, met at Logan Airport, not far from the runway where Delta Flight 723 had burst into flames. There, in the lobby of the airport Hilton, they embraced each other, squeezed each other’s hands and ran their fingers over a memorial plaque of Vermont granite that had been mounted in the airport’s chapel.


Leicester helicopter crash: Failures, pilot’s efforts — and litigation specialists hired.

Beyond the U.S. Open: Just outside the tennis tournament grounds, Queens locals play ecuavoley, an Ecuadorean volleyball-like sport that brings the community together.

Within the U.S. Open: A delay of more than 40 minutes during the semifinal match between Coco Gauff and Karolina Muchova appeared to be caused by environmental protesters.

Spanish soccer: Female players are going on strike, as a dispute over conduct by the head of the country’s soccer federation widened into a fight over pay.


Credit…Pablo Delcan

How Mattel made ‘Barbie’ a hit

Mattel’s C.E.O., Ynon Kreiz, wanted the feature film starring its marquee doll, Barbie, to be a cultural event and a truly good movie, but he said he didn’t care if the movie sold a single additional doll. The outcome has been far better than Kreiz could have ever imagined.

“Barbie” is the top-grossing Warner Bros. film of all time, raking in close to $1.4 billion. Mattel will earn 5 percent of the box office revenue, along with merchandise sales and a percentage of eventual profits that amounts to $100 million or more.


Credit…Craig Lee for The New York Times

Make Jamie Oliver’s eggplant Parmesan for a crowd.

Listen to songs that will make you love the bebop drummer Max Roach.

Wear silver for Virgo season, Beyoncé says.

Start your day with a five-minute morning yoga routine.

Play the Spelling Bee. And here are today’s Mini Crossword and Wordle. You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Have a fabulous weekend. — Natasha

P.S. The Times won three Online Journalism Awards for work including investigative reporting and social media.

You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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