Your Thursday Briefing: $1 billion to Ukraine

Plus the Fed raised interest rates and a video of an assault in China went viral.
Author Headshot

By Amelia Nierenberg

Writer, Briefings

Good morning. We’re covering an increase in aid to Ukraine, a hike in U.S. interest rates and a viral video of an attack in China.

Residents lined up for humanitarian assistance in Irpin, Ukraine.Nicole Tung for The New York Times

U.S. pledges $1 billion to Ukraine

President Biden said the U.S. would send another $1 billion in equipment and arms to Ukraine. Several other NATO allies also pledged more military help, including ammunition, long-range artillery rocket systems and helicopters.

“The bravery, resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people continues to inspire the world,” Biden said in a statement. “And the United States, together with our allies and partners, will not waver in our commitment to the Ukrainian people as they fight for their freedom.”

The announcement came after increasingly urgent pleas for more heavy arms from President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders, who have emphasized that they need far-reaching weapons to counter some of Russia’s advantages in battle in the eastern Donbas region. Here are live updates.

Fighting: In the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, which teeters under a Russian barrage, civilians and fighters are sheltering underneath a chemical plant complex, a painful echo of the Mariupol siege.

Energy: The war could lead to breakthroughs in nuclear power and natural gas for countries like Romania. The E.U. is also looking to import more natural gas from Egypt and Israel. But despite sanctions, Moscow’s oil output rose in May, as Russia continues to find buyers.

China: President Xi Jinping offered to deepen cooperation with Russia during a phone call with President Vladimir Putin. Last week, China and Russia opened a bridge linking their countries, The Global Times reported.

“We’re not trying to induce a recession,” said Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair.Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock

The Fed hikes U.S. interest rates

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.75 percentage points, the biggest single increase since 1994. Afterward, stocks rose and the S&P 500 closed up 1.4 percent. Here are live updates.

Its aggressive move reflects the urgency of the fight against inflation, which is the fastest in four decades. Policymakers have suggested further rate increases as they fight to keep the U.S. from falling into a deep recession.

In a sign of how the Fed expects its policies to affect the economy, officials predicted that the unemployment rate would increase to 3.7 percent this year and to 4.1 percent by 2024. They also predicted that growth would slow notably as policymakers push borrowing costs sharply higher and choke off economic demand.

What’s next: The bank has projected that interest rates will hit 3.4 percent by the end of 2022, which would be the highest level since 2008.

China: President Biden is considering rolling back some tariffs on Chinese goods to slow the rise in prices, though the effect will probably be small.

Crypto: The total value of the cryptocurrency market has dropped by about 65 percent since autumn, and the crash is shaking the industry.

Attackers dragged women out of a restaurant after beating, kicking and hitting them with chairs.Video obtained by Reuters

China reels after a violent attack

At a barbecue restaurant in northern China, a man slapped a woman after she rebuffed him. Then, he and several other men beat her and other women at the table so brutally that two were hospitalized.

Graphic security camera footage of the attack on Friday in the city of Tangshan spread quickly on social media. Women shared their outrage and terror at the daily threat of sexual violence in China, where conversations about gender inequity are becoming increasingly common.

But the ensuing debate also showed the backlash to a growing feminist movement. Some played down the threat to women, suggesting that the incident highlighted general public safety concerns and the threat of gang violence. Weibo also deleted hundreds of accounts on its platform, accusing users of seeking to stoke enmity between genders.

Analysis: China’s government sees any independent activism as a potential challenge to its control. Feminist activists have been dismissed in court, sued or arrested, while state-owned news media has described the #MeToo movement as a foreign tool to weaken China.

Background: In January, people on social media similarly erupted in anger after a woman was found chained in a shack, but officials detained or censored some who pressed for more information. Last year, the tennis player Peng Shuai disappeared from view after accusing a former high-ranking leader of sexual coercion.



Asia Pacific
Alisha Hawthorne, a character in “Lightyear,” kisses her wife in one scene.Disney/Pixar, via Associated Press
  • Indonesia and Malaysia may follow the U.A.E. in restricting “Lightyear,” a new Disney film that features a same-sex kiss.
  • Pakistan’s government is urging its people to drink less tea, saying that tea imports are hurting the economy, CNN reports.
  • Penguins are washing up on New Zealand’s beaches, The Guardian reports. Officials think they are starving to death, as climate change warms waters and drives away their food source.
  • In the U.S., F.D.A. advisers recommended that the agency authorize the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children as young as 6 months.
  • Yesterday, Hong Kong reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections in a single day for the first time since mid-April, Reuters reported.
  • Ahead of the Hajj, Saudi Arabia lifted most of its restrictions even though cases are steadily rising.
World News
“It was a relief, a gift from God,” a passenger told The Times, speaking of the last-minute change in plans.Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
A Morning Read
Crew members trying to free a log raft from a shallow sand bank.Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times

The Congo River has become a logging highway. Men and women there lash timber together into rafts, floating downstream to lumber ports in an attempt to eke out a profit. But each tree once grew in the region’s crucial rainforest, and each raft represents its dismantling.

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The fix is in

Social media stars are teaching followers to “flip” their furniture — a trend that is perhaps no surprise after a period during the pandemic when many people downloaded TikTok to fend off the boredom of being stuck on the couch.

Flipping, in this sense, means finding a well-built but aging piece of furniture; refurbishing it, often by sanding, adding fresh paint or varnish and updating its hardware; and reselling it. Many of the people making videos also aim to help viewers improve the furniture already in their homes.

“So many people can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on furniture,” Christina Clericuzio, a flipper from Connecticut, told The Times. “So it’s fun to show people that they can have these things for less when they D.I.Y.” — Tom Wright-Piersanti, a Morning editor


What to Cook
Ryan Liebe for The New York Times

Try this easy riff on chicken caprese.


A one-piece bathing suit is complex and pricey to make, even on a 3-D knitting machine.

What to Read

Leïla Slimani — winner of the Goncourt Prize, France’s most prestigious literary prize — offers some suggestions for reading your way through Paris.

Now Time to Play

Play today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Very funny!” (two letters).

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

P.S. The Times newsroom toasted Dean Baquet on Tuesday, his last day as executive editor. Bon voyage, Dean!

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the bear market.

Tom Wright-Piersanti wrote today’s Arts and Ideas. You can reach Amelia and the team at


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