Your Wednesday Briefing

An undated photograph of the Titan submersible.Credit…OceanGate, via Alamy

A desperate search for a missing submersible

An international team of rescuers was racing against time to search thousands of square miles of the North Atlantic for a deep-diving submersible with five people on board and a dwindling supply of oxygen. A staggering list of logistical challenges has complicated the operation.

The submersible, called the Titan, was more than halfway into what should have been a two-and-a-half-hour dive to the ruins of the Titanic when it lost contact with a chartered research ship on Sunday. Leaders in the submersible craft industry had warned for years of possible “catastrophic” problems with the design of the craft, owned by the tourism company OceanGate.

Search aircraft from the U.S. and Canada have been scanning the surface, while sonar buoys have been pinging the depths in hopes of locating the lost submersible. As of 1 p.m. Eastern time (6 p.m. G.M.T.) yesterday, the craft probably had about 40 hours of breathable air left, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Passengers: The five people on board are Hamish Harding, a British businessman and explorer; Stockton Rush, the C.E.O. of OceanGate; Shahzada Dawood, a British-Pakistani businessman and explorer, and his 19-year-old son, Suleman; and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French maritime expert who has been on over 35 dives to the Titanic wreckage.

Analysis: “There are so many things that can go wrong,” my colleague William Broad, who has been down in a similar submersible, said. “Communications can go out, as is clearly the case with the Titan submersible. The scarier, worse things are the nonelectrical mechanical breakdowns, for instance when the propellers that move the submersible around stop working.” Or, he added, if the ballast won’t drop, you can’t get back to the surface.

An explosion over Kyiv during a drone attack early Tuesday.Credit…Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Russia targets Kyiv and Lviv

Russia unleashed dozens of attack drones across Ukraine before dawn yesterday, targeting the cities of Kyiv and Lviv. Moscow’s military also fired on rescue workers in the flood-stricken city of Kherson on Tuesday, Ukrainian officials said, killing one person and injuring eight others.

The drone attack on Kyiv, the capital, was the first in more than two weeks. Russian forces repeatedly targeted the city throughout May, but recently there had been a relative lull — with the notable exception of a missile barrage last week while African leaders visited to discuss a path to peace talks.

On the front lines, Russian forces are trying to seize more territory in eastern Ukraine even as they work to fend off Kyiv’s counteroffensive, according to Ukrainian officials and military experts. Moscow has launched “offensive actions” in both the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but all of the attacks have been repelled, Ukrainian officials said.

In other news:

  • Britain will today pledge more than $3 billion in financial aid to rebuild war-torn Ukraine.

  • Ukrainians who were held as prisoners of war by Russia said that beatings were common.

  • Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said that the country was a growing target for foreign espionage, particularly from China and Russia.

China’s premier, Li Qiang, left, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany.Credit…Sean Gallup/Getty Images

E.U. proposes new economic strategy

The European Commission unveiled a new trade doctrine aimed at curbing China’s ability to squeeze Europe’s economy, and at preventing European companies from exporting military technology that could give China an edge. The policy, still in its early stages, demonstrates how the E.U. is aligning itself with the U.S. in limiting China’s access to sensitive markets and industrial secrets.

The commission, the E.U.’s executive branch, said in the document that poor coordination among the member states and weak trade rules could allow adversaries to have an economic chokehold over E.U. economies or manufacturers, and that it needed to be addressed. “Our national security is deeply intertwined with our ability to be economically safe and resilient,” the paper said.

The document didn’t once mention China, or any specific countries, but rather made reference to “destinations of concern that operate civil-military fusion strategies.”

Europe-China relations: The Chinese premier, Li Qiang, is visiting Germany, where he met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and business leaders yesterday before heading to meetings in France.


From the U.S.

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
  • Aug. 14 is the earliest possible start date for Donald Trump’s classified documents case, though pretrial litigation is likely to cause a delay.

  • Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, will plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay his taxes on time. The deal will allow him to avoid prosecution on a separate gun charge if he remains drug-free.

  • A federal judge in Arkansas struck down a state law forbidding gender-affirming medical treatments for minors.

  • A jury in Brooklyn federal court found three men guilty of harassing a family in the New Jersey suburbs on behalf of the Chinese government.

Around the World

  • Andrew Tate, an internet personality and self-professed misogynist, was indicted in Romania on charges including human trafficking and forming an organized criminal group related to the abuse of women.

  • At least 41 inmates were killed yesterday in Támara, Honduras, after a riot broke out at the country’s only prison for women.

  • Palestinian gunmen killed four Israelis outside a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, Israel said. An Israeli civilian killed the gunmen.

  • The French police searched the headquarters of the Paris 2024 Olympics organizing committee as part of two corruption investigations over contracts.

  • The chairman and chief executive of the Chinese tech giant Alibaba, Daniel Zhang, will leave his post.

Science Times

Credit…Roc Olivé/Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont
  • Fossils suggest that the long necks of some prehistoric reptiles were tempting targets for predators.

  • A major study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that the cumulative force of head hits absorbed by football players in their careers was the best predictor of brain disease.

  • Himalayan glaciers are disappearing even more quickly than scientists thought.

  • Meet a 30-million-year-old primitive bear who may have looked like a raccoon and eaten like an otter.

A Morning Read

Credit…Joann Pai for The New York Times

There’s no better way to understand the essence of a place than to walk through it. The Times’s Travel desk has compiled seven great walks in seven great cities, including a winding tour of the markets of Marrakesh, Morocco, and a wander through Paris’s most beautiful gardens.


Quincy Promes: The Dutch soccer player has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for stabbing his cousin and faces drug trafficking charges, but he is still playing for a club in Russia.

The new Chinese Super League? The Saudi Pro League can learn lessons from other competitions that have gone on spending sprees in recent years.

From The Times: The U.S. is a favorite to win the Women’s World Cup. But this year’s team is among youngest and most inexperienced the country has ever taken to the tournament.


Today’s solstice

Depending on where you are reading this, today is either the longest or the shortest day in the calendar.

Around June 21 each year, the Northern Hemisphere dips toward the sun and bathes in direct sunlight for longer than on any other day of the year, causing the sun to rise early, climb high into the sky and set late into the evening. (The Southern Hemisphere, of course, does the opposite.)

The solstice occurs because Earth does not spin upright but instead leans 23.5 degrees on a tilted axis. Such a slouch, or obliquity, gives us our seasons. It has also long caused astronomers to wonder whether Earth’s tilt — arguably a sweet spot between more extreme obliquities — helped create the conditions necessary for life.

For more: All the things scientists have recently learned about the sun.


What to Cook

Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Hadas Smirnoff.

Serve up the most summery pasta.

Get Moving

Tai chi is a workout for the brain and the body.

Letter of Recommendation

For the hard of hearing, there is no better place to drink than a hotel bar.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Anderson who directed 2023’s “Asteroid City” (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. Jonah Markowitz wrote about his two-year experience taking pictures in a Brooklyn neighborhood known as “Little Bangladesh.”

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the drop in the U.S. inflation rate.

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

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