Your Tuesday Briefing: A Devastating Quake

Rescuers searched for victims and survivors in Adana, Turkey.Credit…Can Erok/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

An earthquake kills over 3,000 in Turkey and Syria

Rescuers in Turkey and Syria were digging through rubble in search of survivors after a powerful earthquake collapsed thousands of buildings and killed more than 3,000 people.

It is another humanitarian disaster in an area already battered by war, a refugee crisis and deep economic troubles. Here are live updates, a detailed map of the damage and some pictures and video showing the aftermath.

An initial earthquake, with a magnitude 7.8, the strongest felt in Turkey since 1939, struck before dawn on Monday. Hours later, in the afternoon, a second tremor measuring 7.5, almost as powerful as the first shock, shook the area again, complicating rescue efforts and terrifying millions of people living in the quake zone.

The epicenter was near the city of Gaziantep in south-central Turkey, where more than 1,650 people were killed.

In Syria, a country devastated by civil war, the scenes of destruction felt all too familiar. One of the areas hard-hit was northwest Syria, which is under the control of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition and is home to some 4.2 million people, more than half of whom have been displaced by war.

Governments around the world responded to Turkey’s request for assistance, deploying rescue teams and offers of aid. Syria requested help from Israel, a longtime enemy. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized deliveries of aid to Syria as well as to Turkey.

Cultural loss: Gaziantep Castle, which was built as a watchtower in the Roman period, was heavily damaged.

Turkish politics: With an election looming, the earthquake is a major test for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose response to the 2021 wildfires was heavily criticized.

The U.S. shot down a Chinese balloon over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.Credit…Randall Hill/Reuters

Another Chinese balloon spotted

China said that another one of its balloons had floated over Latin America and the Caribbean, three days after it was detected by Colombia’s air defense. As with the balloon over the U.S., China said that it was for civilian purposes and that it had “deviated far from its planned course.”

The Colombian Air Force said that it had tracked the object and that it did not pose a threat to national security. But in the case of the balloon that bumbled its way across the U.S. and was shot down on Saturday, there were questions about China’s intent.

The errant balloon showed that control within the Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s government and his security apparatus may not be as orderly as what Beijing projects. Questions about Xi’s judgment and that of his military and intelligence services now cloud assessments about how China would handle another crisis in a far more dangerous setting, such as over Taiwan.

Quotable: “What has been particularly damaging for China, both internationally and domestically, are the questions this raises about competence and how they’re reinforcing doubts about Xi Jinping’s leadership,” said a former official who worked in the Clinton administration.

Context: There is nothing new about superpowers spying on one another. During the Cold War, tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union came to a head over a U-2 spy plane. But for pure gall, there was something different this time.


Asia Pacific

Many of the defendants have been in jail for nearly two years while awaiting trial.
  • Hong Kong’s largest national security trial began. Forty-seven pro-democracy leaders have been accused of a conspiracy to commit subversion, and most plead guilty.

  • Chinese exporters are setting up factories in Mexico to preserve their U.S. sales.

  • A 16-year-old girl in Australia died after she was attacked by a shark while swimming in a river.

  • As plans were being made to fly the remains of Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani general and ruler, back homefrom exile, historians began to grapple with his conflicted legacy.

Grammy Awards

Beyoncé surpassed the late Hungarian conductor Georg Solti, who held the record for most Grammy wins.Credit…Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
  • Beyoncé now holds the record for the most Grammy wins, but she was once again shut out of the biggest prizes.

  • Harry Styles won album of the year for “Harry’s House.” Lizzo won the record of the year for “About Damn Time.” Here’s a full list of winners.

  • The centerpiece of the night was an ode to hip-hop history.

  • Click through the red-carpet looks.

Around the World

  • Ukraine reported dozens of attacks across the eastern front as Russia’s assaults widened.

  • An Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank killed at least five Palestinians. The country’s right-wing government has stepped up home demolitions of Palestinians and has emboldened Israeli settlers.

  • The Premier League charged Manchester City, its reigning champion, with years of financial violations.

A Morning Read

The research from Mauna Kea provides a crucial record of greenhouse gas levels that contribute to climate change.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

For six decades, climate scientists measured greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere from a facility atop Mauna Loa, a volcano in Hawaii. That research was thrown into crisis when Mauna Loa erupted in November. The solution? Moving operations to Mauna Kea, the next volcano over.

Lives lived: Bob Born brought the marshmallow candies known as Peeps to American Easter baskets, starting a pop culture phenomenon. He died at 98.


McMillan Memorial Library and others in Nairobi are being restored.Credit…Patrick Meinhardt/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Breaking barriers with libraries

A Kenyan nonprofit is restoring Nairobi’s colonial-era public libraries, turning them into inclusive “palaces for the people” and leaving behind a segregated past.

Nairobi’s first library opened its doors in 1931 — to white patrons only. The city, a fast-growing capital of over four million people, still has very few bookstores or well-funded libraries. Urban planners argue that colonial systems continue to shape public infrastructure and unequal access across social class. Along with restoring the buildings, the nonprofit aims to include more books in African languages and incorporate services catering to those with disabilities.

Joyce Nyairo, a Kenyan academic, said the restored libraries could be “great equalizers.”

In Brazil: The newly elected president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, promised “more books in place of guns” as part of his once-unlikely political comeback. Can he deliver?


What to Cook

Credit…Chris Simpson for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Sophia Pappas.

These garlic shrimp are a taste of Hawaii.

What to Listen to

Tomorrow X Together, a K-pop quintet, scored its first number one album on the Billboard chart.


A little pre-workout caffeine can boost your athletic performance.

Now Time to Play

Play the Mini Crossword, and a clue: Pickle juice (five letters).

Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Amelia and Mariah

P.S. David Leonhardt is back writing The Morning newsletter after four months on book leave. He’s catching up on these big stories.

“The Daily” is about the Chinese balloon.

We’d like your feedback. You can email us at [email protected].

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