Friday Briefing

Gathering remains at a playground in the Ukrainian village of Hroza.Credit…David Guttenfelder for The New York Times

Russian strike kills 51 in a Ukrainian village

At least 51 people were killed yesterday when a rocket hit a group of people gathered for a wake in the village of Hroza in northeastern Ukraine, local officials said. The strike was one of the deadliest wartime attacks on civilians since Russia’s full-scale invasion began more than 19 months ago.

The tiny enclave had no obvious military or industrial targets nearby. “Almost half of the village was killed by a single strike,” Dmytro Chubenko, a local official, said. There was no immediate comment on the attack from the Kremlin. In the past, Moscow has denied purposely hitting civilian targets.

Photos and videos from the scene released by the Ukrainian authorities showed bodies on the ground and rescue workers clambering over piles of debris. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine warned that people could be trapped under the rubble.

In the U.S.: The drama in the House of Representatives over the last week has highlighted a sharp decline in G.O.P. support for aid to Ukraine. Republicans stripped billions in aid requested by President Biden, challenging the administration’s promise to support the Ukrainian military for the long haul.

Volodymyr Zelensky’s next term? The Ukrainian president’s five-year term ends in several months. Analysts consider the possibility of wartime balloting a long shot, and, under martial law, elections in Ukraine are suspended. Still, there is talk among Kyiv’s political class that he may still seek a vote.

American troops patrolling in northeastern Syria in July. Credit…Delil Souleiman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

American jet downs Turkish drone

A U.S. F-16 fighter jet shot down a Turkish military drone that entered a restricted zone in northeastern Syria within about 550 yards of U.S. ground forces, according to Pentagon officials. No American troops were harmed in the incident, U.S. officials said.

Multiple Turkish armed drones carried out airstrikes in a restricted U.S. zone early Thursday morning, U.S. officials said. At 11:30 a.m., one of the drones re-entered the area, and U.S. troops went into bunkers for protection. Ten minutes later, an American pilot flying an F-16 shot down the drone.

Context: The U.S., which has hundreds of troops in Syria, has worked for years with the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led militia in northeastern Syria, to fight Islamic State in Syria. But that partnership has angered Turkey, which views Syria’s Kurdish fighters as part of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Armita Geravand in a social media photo.

Suspicion falls on Iran’s government over coma

Security camera footage broadcast on Iran’s state television showed Armita Geravand, 16, entering a subway car in Tehran on Sunday with her short black hair uncovered. Minutes later, she was dragged out unconscious, and she has been in a coma ever since, guarded by security agents in a military hospital.

Exactly what happened to her isn’t clear, and the government hasn’t released footage from inside the train. But the circumstances have fueled outrage and accusations that agents enforcing Iran’s dress code must have harmed her.


Around the World

Credit…Valentine Chapuis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • France began a mass vaccination of 64 million ducks to protect the country’s flocks (and foie gras) from bird flu.

  • The Biden administration will waive more than 20 federal laws and regulations, including environmental ones, to build barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Top Biden administration officials met with Mexico’s president and other officials to discuss issues that have divided the two countries.

  • Anti-China sentiment, climate skepticism and nostalgia are fueling Republican hostility to electric cars. In China, those same cars are produced with significant government support.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Tatan Syuflana/Associated Press
  • Indonesia banned commerce on social media platforms last week, forcing TikTok to shutter its shopping feature in the country.

  • Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, said the company could land a spacecraft on Mars three to four years from now.

  • The Wall Street Journal’s new top editor is moving away from some of the organization’s traditions.

  • Forget lion snarls and gunshots. For the animals on South Africa’s savanna, the scariest sound is the human voice.

The Week in Culture

Credit…Simbarashe Cha for The New York Times
  • Off-duty style and head-to-toe orange: Read our diary from Paris Fashion Week.

  • “Saturday Night Live” will kick off its 49th season on Oct. 14.

  • Prosecutors have begun to map out the most detailed narrative yet of the chain of events they say led to the murder of Tupac Shakur.

  • The largest auction of a single owner’s art collection ever held by Sotheby’s in Asia raised less money than expected.

  • Did Shakespeare trod these boards?

A Morning Read

Credit…Alec Soth/Magnum, for The New York Times

In a film industry dominated by soundstages or computer-generated imagery, the master production designer Jack Fisk stands apart.

Since the 1970s, he has been one of Hollywood’s most sought-after collaborators — known for building his sets from scratch, with exacting historical detail, and for bringing the past to life through a composition of landscapes, buildings, paint and props. (One recent triumph: a replica of a 1920s boomtown for Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.”)


Coaching Manchester United: Erik ten Hag has his flaws, but there are many reasons anyone would struggle at the soccer club.

The soccer grind: The sport’s ever-expanding schedule is placing impossible burdens on fatigued and injured young players.

A club thriving off unconventional coaching: The Dutch soccer club AZ Alkmaar does things differently, like banning tactics until age 16 and having defenders hold tennis balls in their hands during practice.


Credit…Eirik Hagesaeter/Agence France-Presse

Literature that radiates serenity

The Norwegian novelist, poet and playwright Jon Fosse, whose work grapples with themes of aging, mortality, love and art, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable.” (Read our appraisal of his work.)

The writer of some 40 plays, as well as novels, poetry, essays, children’s books and works of translation, Fosse has long been revered for his spare, transcendent language and formal experimentation. But he has only recently found major acclaim in English-speaking countries, thanks mainly to his fiction, including “A New Name: Septology VI-VII.”

Go deeper: Our guide on where to start with his novels and plays.


Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Cook loaded baked frittata.

Spend 36 hours in Florence, Italy.

Challenge friends to our favorite board games for adults.

Read Banana Yoshimoto’s favorite authors.

Play the Spelling Bee. And here are today’s Mini Crossword and Wordle. You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Have a fabulous weekend. — Natasha

P.S. Here’s how our podcast “The Headlines” comes together.

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

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