Wednesday Briefing

Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking at the U.N. on Tuesday.Credit…Dave Sanders for The New York Times

Zelensky warns of global risks of Russian aggression

Speaking at an annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, presented Russia’s invasion as a worldwide threat that would not stop at the borders of Ukraine. He added that Russia was weaponizing essentials like food and energy “not only against our country, but against all of yours, as well.”

President Biden also condemned Russia’s “naked aggression” and said the U.S. would continue to stand with the “brave people of Ukraine.” If the world appeases Russia, he asked, “can any member state in this body feel confident that they are protected? If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?”

Unity is a frequent theme for the General Assembly, when the leaders and representatives of nearly 200 nations gather. But the world has become increasingly polarized: Russia’s war against Ukraine is pitting Moscow against the U.S. and its allies, while tensions between China and the United States are rising.

More weapons: As Zelensky spoke in New York City, defense ministers and other top officials met in Ramstein, Germany, to discuss providing military aid to Ukraine. The U.S. defense secretary said that Abrams battle tanks will arrive soon, bringing a powerful weapon to help Ukraine advance in its slow-moving counteroffensive.

Also at the General Assembly:

  • The U.N. general secretary’s reluctance to call out major fossil fuel-producing countries by name shows the constraints of diplomacy on addressing climate change.

  • Kenya has offered to lead a security mission to Haiti, where gangs control parts of the capital.

Justin Trudeau rejected India’s denial of any involvement in the killing.Credit…Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

Tensions rise between Canada and India

Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, this week accused India of being involved in the killing of a Canadian citizen in June, causing an all-out diplomatic war, prompting vehement denials from India and leading to the expulsion of diplomats of both countries.

Yesterday, Trudeau firmly rejected the Indian government’s denial of any involvement in the assassination and pressed his allies to come together to challenge India. “We are not looking to provoke or escalate,” he said. “We are simply laying out the facts as we understand them, and we want to work with the government of India.”

Background: Years of diplomatic tension are behind the rapid plunge in relations. In New Delhi’s eyes, Western nations — most notably Canada — have stood by idly as extremist Sikh groups, including the one led by the slain Canadian citizen, have supported a secessionist cause that threatens the Indian state.

Apartments damaged by shelling in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh.Credit…Siranush Sargsyan/Associated Press

Azerbaijan begins military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh

Azerbaijan said it had launched a military operation in the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, killing 25 people and raising fears of an expanding conflict in a fragile region in which the interests of Russia, Turkey and Western countries are increasingly colliding.

Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry issued what appeared to be an ultimatum, declaring that only the “dissolution” of the unrecognized pro-Armenian government in the area would “achieve peace and stability.” The breakaway authorities asked Azerbaijan’s leaders in Baku, the capital, to cease hostilities and begin talks. Azerbaijan responded by calling on the breakaway government to give up arms and dissolve itself by raising a white flag.


Around the World

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
  • American and Saudi officials are discussing a mutual defense treaty to provide military support if either was attacked.

  • The Iraqi government said that Turkey had launched a drone attack that killed three members of an elite Iraqi Kurdish force.

  • Australia is bracing for a particularly dangerous fire season, with firefighters already battling dozens of blazes across the country.

  • A court in Russia declined to hear an appeal from the American journalist Evan Gershkovich against his pretrial detention on espionage charges.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Andy Rain/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • Britain passed a sweeping online safety law, introducing age-verification requirements for pornography sites and rules to reduce hate speech, harassment and other illicit material.

  • A former member of the Belarusian security services went on trial in Switzerland over his role in the disappearances of prominent opposition leaders nearly 25 years ago.

  • Keir Starmer, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, visited the French president Emmanuel Macron as part of a tour to enhance his international credentials.

  • YouTube suspended the comedian and actor Russell Brand from making money on its platform.

What Else Is Happening

  • Shakira, Karol G, Camilo and Bad Bunny are among the most nominated acts for the Latin Grammys, which will be held on Nov. 16.

  • A court ordered a Danish artist to give back about $70,000 after he sent a museum two blank canvases. (He argued that keeping the money was the art.)

  • Disney is planning a roughly $60 billion investment in parks and cruises over the next decade.

  • Every year, a city in Connecticut burns Benedict Arnold, America’s most infamous traitor, in effigy.

A Morning Read

Credit…Joshua Irwandi

The Punan people of the island of Borneo lived as nomads, surviving on bearded pigs, starchy plants and forest products. But they were misunderstood, mistreated and stripped of their ancestral lands by the Indonesian government.

By the 1990s, anthropologists believed that the group’s traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle had vanished. And so in 2018, when an anthropologist and a geneticist said they had learned of a surviving clan of about 30 families, many experts were skeptical.

Lives Lived

The British balladeer Roger Whittaker, who filled concert halls in Europe and America, selling as many as 60 million albums, has died at 87.


On tour with Union Berlin: From blood donations to the Bernabéu.

Champions League changes: Don’t mourn the group stage.

Singapore Grand Prix driver rankings: Perfection from Carlos Sainz and a statement from Liam Lawson.


Credit…Annelise Capossela

All quiet on set

Big Hollywood productions have long brought money and prestige to British film crews, and a record 6.3 billion pounds ($7.8 billion) was spent on film and high-end TV productions in Britain last year, according to the British Film Institute. Nearly 90 percent came from American studios or other foreign productions.

Now a downside has become apparent: When Hollywood goes on strike, the work also stops on the other side of the Atlantic. “We depend so much on U.S. studio-based productions for our work,” said Charlotte Sewell, a costume designer in London.


Credit…Kelly Marshall for The New York Times

Cook Thieboudienne, the national dish of Senegal, in a single pot.

Read “North Woods,” the story of a house and its occupants over three centuries.

Stop streaming music to enjoy it more.

End a puppet rebellion in the video game Lies of P.

Get rid of body acne.

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. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha

P.S. The word “” appeared for the first time in The Times yesterday.

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

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