• Mon. Jun 5th, 2023


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Your Friday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday.

1. Russia warned the U.S. to stop sending weapons to Ukraine or risk “unpredictable consequences.”

Moscow has sent multiple warnings to the Biden administration this week, including a formal diplomatic protest. The diplomatic note was not signed by President Vladimir Putin or other senior Russian officials.

It was an indicator, one administration official said, that the weapons sent by the U.S. so far were having an effect. It also suggested that the Russians were concerned about the sophisticated weaponry that is part of a new $800 million U.S. package.

2. Twitter unveiled a plan to counter Elon Musk’s takeover bid.

It’s called a poison pill: a maneuver to protect companies from corporate raiders. It makes a company less attractive to a potential acquirer by lowering its value.

In this case, the strategy would flood the market with new shares if Musk, who currently owns more than 9 percent of Twitter, bought 15 percent or more — reducing his stake and making it significantly more difficult to buy up a sizable portion of the company.

The goal is to force anyone trying to acquire the company to negotiate directly with the board. Investors rarely try to break through a poison pill threshold, according to securities experts.

Twitter said the move would not stop it from holding talks of a sale with potential buyers, but it does mean that it can effectively fend off the richest man in the world, for now.

3. The first test that can detect the coronavirus in a breath sample has been authorized for emergency use.

4. A Brooklyn shooting victim recounts how a routine commute turned into unimaginable horror.

Houari Benkada was out the door by 8:05 a.m. on Tuesday morning, heading to the R train before transferring to an express N, as usual. But what unfolded next haunts him: He realized later from seeing photos of the gunman that, of all the passengers on the car, he had been sitting closest to the attacker.

The 27-year-old was shot in his right knee, fracturing it. “I was just so shocked,” he said. “The pain hit me after.” Now, he is practicing walking with crutches and trying to cope with the recovery.

Also in New York City, the South Asian community has been shaken by a string of hate crimes in a quiet Queens neighborhood. Three Sikh men have been attacked on the same block within a 10-day period.

5. Clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in Jerusalem left more than 150 injured.

The violence broke out at the Aqsa Mosque, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, in the early morning on the first day of a rare convergence of Ramadan, Easter and Passover.

The confrontation ended after a few hours, but it raised the risk of further escalation following a recent wave of Palestinian attacks against Israelis and deadly Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli police said they had arrested more than 400 Palestinians.

6. The only female head of government in Africa is setting a new course.

The death of Samia Suluhu Hassan’s predecessor last year catapulted her to a historic position as president of Tanzania.

Hassan has positioned herself as a unifying figure bent on bringing Tanzania in from the cold after years of isolationism under President John Magufuli, who rarely traveled abroad. Hassan was in Washington today and met with Vice President Kamala Harris, a fellow path-breaker.

Also in Washington, the Biden administration announced it would offer temporary protected status to an estimated 40,000 nationals of Cameroon who have been displaced by war.

Here are some tips to keep in mind — because taxes may be more complex than usual this year in light of special pandemic relief credits.

Also, think twice about that letter offering to buy your stock, a Your Money Adviser columnist writes. Known as a “mini-tender,” the bid is usually for a price below market value.

Need more advice? The inspiration for the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” is marketing himself as a cryptocurrency guru. Jordan Belfort charges entrepreneurs thousands of dollars for advice on the currency and is an investor in a handful of crypto start-ups.

8. Ballet — a jewel of Russian culture — is becoming a symbol of the country’s isolation.

Olga Smirnova, one of Russia’s most prominent ballerinas, left the Bolshoi and moved to Amsterdam to join the Dutch National Ballet. Smirnova was in Dubai recovering from a knee injury when the war in Ukraine escalated and she realized she could not return home.

Her departure was a blow to Russian pride. But she isn’t the only high-profile artist to leave: Ballet’s pre-eminent choreographer returned to New York, and a host of other dancers have left, too.

In music, the superstar soprano Anna Netrebko was scheduled to sing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in April, but the company parted ways with her over concerns for her past support of President Vladimir Putin. Netrebko will now appear at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.

9. When even Elijah has a seat at the table for Passover … but you don’t.

If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Many Jews have family and friends they spend the Passover Seders with every year. But for others, the hustle to find a Seder can be stressful.

One woman’s suggestion: “There should be a JSwipe for Passover Seders.”

For those celebrating Easter, here’s 16 brunch recipes that are easy like Sunday morning. For more complicated dishes, Genevieve Ko has solutions for dry ham and boiled eggs.

10. And finally, a celebration of poetry.

April is National Poetry Month, and that prompted our colleagues from the Books desk to ask a very basic question: What is poetry, anyway? There’s no simple answer, as our columnist Elisa Gabbert explains in an essay that probes and celebrates that very ambiguity. “The poem is a vessel,” she writes, “poetry is liquid.”

The Books team also explore some favorite works, like a collection by Nelly Sachs, best known as a Holocaust poet full of mystery and depth; new poems by Linda Gregerson that form a kind of grief counseling; a sonnet about love and war by the Ukrainian poet Yuri Burjak; and much more.

Have a lyrical weekend.

Eve Edelheit compiled photos for this briefing.

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