Wednesday Briefing: NATO Summit Begins

Wednesday Briefing NATO Summit Begins
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The 75th anniversary of NATO was intended to remind potential adversaries of its members that a larger group of Western allies would stand against aggression.

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Instead, the summit, which began yesterday in Washington, feels overshadowed by uncertainty. Will President Biden continue to vie for a second term, and what could happen if Donald Trump returns to the presidency?

Biden is hosting the three-day event while under intense scrutiny for signs that he can’t manage another four years. Democratic lawmakers met privately yesterday to discuss their concerns about Biden’s candidacy, but they appeared unwilling to push him aside.

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When he was in office, Trump threatened to pull the U.S. out of NATO, and once declared the alliance “obsolete.” This year, he said he would let the Russians do “whatever the hell they want” to any member country he saw as an insufficient contributor. The U.S.’s European allies have begun discussing what a second Trump term might mean for the alliance, and whether it could continue to support Ukraine in its war against Russia without support from the U.S.

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NATO’s new leader: Mark Rutte, who is set to take over as the alliance’s secretary general in October, is known as a pragmatist.

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Russia is unlikely to gain much territory in Ukraine in the coming months, signifying a major change in the dynamic of the war, U.S. officials said.

Through the spring and early summer, Russia has suffered thousands of casualties as its poorly trained troops struggled to break Ukrainian lines, which have been reinforced with Western munitions. Though Ukraine seems unlikely to reclaim all of the territory that Russia has already seized, Western efforts to strengthen Ukraine appear to be working.

As NATO leaders meet in Washington, they are expected to coordinate weapon deliveries to Ukraine, promise new funding and strengthen a pledge that Ukraine could eventually join the alliance.

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Concerns: Russia could make significant headway through a shift like instituting a draft, U.S. officials said. There are also worries about Ukraine’s ability to keep its infrastructure secure, and what the U.S. presidential election could mean for American support.


During a visit to Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India warmly embraced Vladimir Putin, and told Moscow’s Indian community that “Russia is India’s true friend,” according to Russian state media.

The visit was noted in Kyiv, which was reeling from Monday’s devastating attack on the largest pediatric hospital in Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, condemned Modi’s visit as “a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world’s largest democracy hug the world’s most bloody criminal in Moscow.”

Context: Western efforts to isolate Russia have been unsuccessful, and New Delhi’s relationship with Moscow has benefited both countries. Since the war began, India has become the No. 2 importer of Russian crude oil, despite sanctions.

Kasseem Dean, the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop producer known as Swizz Beatz, is one of the newest competitors in Saudi Arabia’s camel-racing scene. He’s spent millions on creating his team of camels, “Saudi Bronx,” and has won many trophies.

How can you convey and safeguard victims’ stories? Through the preservation of objects as singular as a print made by a concentration camp inmate using an old tire, or as ordinary as a hairbrush.

Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, has collected a staggering repository of Holocaust-related artifacts. Preserving this history has gained urgency as the Holocaust becomes ever more distant and antisemitism and extremism rise around the world, Yad Vashem officials said. A new center, inaugurated on Monday in Jerusalem, is intended to safeguard these artifacts and their stories for future generations.



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