Your Thursday Briefing

Vladimir Putin recast the war in Ukraine and made clear it could spread.Credit…Russian Presidential Press Service, via Associated Press

Putin warns of escalation in Ukraine

In a televised address yesterday, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, warned the West in unmistakable terms — “this is not a bluff” — that an attempt to weaken or defeat Russia could provoke nuclear cataclysm. He also announced a new “partial mobilization” campaign to call up roughly 300,000 reservists to the military.

Protesters across Russia took to the streets to show their disapproval of the policy. At least 1,252 people from 38 cities were detained, according to OVD-Info, a human rights watchdog that monitors police activity. Protest is effectively criminalized in Russia, where before this week almost 16,500 people had been detained for antiwar activity, the watchdog said.

Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, President Biden castigated Putin, accusing him of seeking to extinguish Ukraine and its people and of pushing the world back toward nuclear confrontation, and vowed to “stand in solidarity” with Ukraine. “A nuclear war cannot be won,” he said, “and must never be fought.”

More news from the war in Ukraine:

  • The influx of fresh Russian troops could take months to materialize. These maps look at whether Ukraine can keep gaining ground.

  • In a defiant address, Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, called for nations to give more support to his military and to punish Russia on the international stage.

Pages from a Justice Department court filing.Credit…Jon Elswick/Associated Press

Justice Dept. to resume using Mar-a-Lago documents

A federal appeals court freed the Justice Department to resume using documents marked as classified that were seized from Donald Trump’s residence in Florida, blocking for now a lower court’s order that had strictly limited the investigation into the former president’s handling of government materials.

The appeals court also agreed with the Justice Department that Trump’s lawyers — and an independent arbiter, known as a special master, recently appointed to review the seized materials — need not look at the classified documents carted away by the F.B.I. It was a repudiation of the decision by a Florida judge to broadly intervene in the investigation.

The appellate ruling will permit the special master to review most of the more than 11,000 files seized from Mar-a-Lago but will allow prosecutors unfettered access to the smaller batch of classified records.

Related: A lawsuit filed yesterday by the New York attorney general, Letitia James, asserts that Trump and his family business fraudulently overvalued his assets by billions of dollars in a sprawling scheme. She is seeking to bar the Trumps from ever running a business in New York State again.

A flooded road in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico.Credit…Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times

A drenched Puerto Rico begins its cleanup

Hurricane Fiona has thrust more than a million people into darkness, set off mudslides, flooded neighborhoods and paralyzed Puerto Rico. Residents now face an enormous cleanup job and a deepening sense that recovery from this storm, and others in the future, is largely up to them. The storm has evoked painful memories of the havoc that Hurricane Maria wrought in 2017.

Yesterday, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said he expected a “large part of the population” to have power and water restored by the end of the day, though the number of customers getting service back has increased only gradually. More than 70 percent of the island’s 1.5 million electrical customers still did not have their power back in the afternoon.

Deanne Criswell, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said she had already seen some significant damage — and residents who were taking matters into their own hands as neighbors helped neighbors. The White House has been asked to approve a major emergency declaration, allowing more federal aid to flow to the island.

First person: “I don’t know how to swim,” one resident said, citing her deep fear of the floods. “But I can’t show it. I need to be strong for my family and community. But the truth is, I do get afraid.”


Around the World

Credit…EPA, via Shutterstock
  • Protests are growing in Iran over the death in police custody of a 22-year-old woman who was arrested and accused of violating a head scarf law.

  • The French leftist politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon defended a lawmaker who admitted to slapping his wife, renewing debates over the left wing’s dedication to feminism.

  • A bus accident in China, in which 27 people died on the way to a quarantine site, has led to widespread online protests of the government’s Covid policies.

  • Hundreds of pilot whales have died after being stranded on a Tasmanian beach in Australia.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Lennart Preiss/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • The German government announced the nationalization of Uniper, the company responsible for providing more than a third of the country’s natural gas.

  • The U.S. Federal Reserve made its third straight significant rate increase yesterday: three-quarters of a point.

  • Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court, agreed to testify before a committee investigation the Jan. 6 riots.

A Morning Read

Credit…Gianni Cipriano for The New York Times

Giorgia Meloni, the nationalist politician who is the front-runner to become Italy’s next prime minister, sees “The Lord of the Rings” not just as a series of novels but as a sacred text.

“I think that Tolkien could say better than us what conservatives believe in,” she said. “I don’t consider ‘The Lord of the Rings’ fantasy.”


Not a single minute? Every Premier League club has at least one player who is yet to get on the pitch in the league this season. From Caglar Soyuncu to Kepa Arrizabalaga, we look at the top flight’s “zero-minute” players and ask: why?

Paul Pogba’s annus horribilis: The former Manchester United midfielder is having a year to forget. On the pitch, his World Cup is in doubt; off of it, he’s had to deal with a litany of alarming issues.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal … playing together?: The former is set to play the last match of his illustrious career, a doubles outing at the Rod Laver Cup in London, tomorrow. To the delight of tennis fans, Federer said yesterday he’d like to pair up with Nadal, one of his greatest rivals.


Credit…The Toby and Betty Bruce collection of Ernest Hemingway in the Penn State Special Collections Library

What Hemingway left in Sloppy Joe’s Bar

More than 80 years ago, after the collapse of his second marriage, Ernest Hemingway left a trove of his belongings in the storeroom of Sloppy Joe’s Bar, his favorite watering hole in Key West, Fla. He never returned to collect them.

Now those materials are available for the public to see in a new archive at Penn State University. They include his first known short story, about a fictional trip to Ireland; a three-page tale about F. Scott Fitzgerald as a scrappy boxer; and a short meditation on death and suicide, 35 years before he took his own life.

Each object in the trove tells a story. “There’s enough new material here to generate new biographical and interpretive insights for years to come,” said Carl Eby, the president of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation and Society,


What to Cook

Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Greg Lofts.

Make this spiced Hungarian honey cake for Rosh Hashana, or just because.

What to Watch

The time-loop rom-com “Meet Cute” takes another swing at the tried-and-true “Groundhog Day” premise.

What to Read

“Getting Lost,” a diary by the French writer Annie Ernaux, recounts an all-consuming Paris romance.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Plant, as seeds (three letters).

And here are today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha

P.S. The word “corntastic” — from a profile of Tariq, TikTok’s “Corn Kid” — appeared for the first time in The Times yesterday.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is on migrants in the U.S.

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

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