Your Monday Briefing

President Biden said that Ukraine would have to meet qualifications, “including democratization.”Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Ukraine must wait on NATO membership, Biden says

Ukraine is not ready for membership in NATO, President Biden said in an interview that aired yesterday on CNN. It would be “premature,” he said, to begin the process to allow the country to join the alliance in the middle of a war, because doing so would thrust all NATO members into military conflict with Russia.

Biden said that he did not think there was “unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now,” and that the process could occur only after a peace agreement with Russia was in place. There would be “other qualifications that need to be met, including democratization,” for Ukraine to be considered for membership, he added.

The president began a trip to Europe yesterday that will include a two-day NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where Russia’s war in Ukraine — and a decision last week by the U.S. to supply Kyiv with cluster munitions that are banned by most of its allies — will be a main focus.

Analysis: “The main task of this NATO summit is to show the alliance’s unity and solidarity in support of Ukraine,” Steven Erlanger, our chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe, said. “Russia believes, we think, that it can outwait Western support for Ukraine. And truly the main task of this summit is to say to President Vladimir Putin, ‘That’s not going to happen.’” Read more about the aims of the summit.

500 days of war: Ukraine’spresident, Volodymyr Zelensky, marked the milestone with a video of his visit to a Black Sea island that has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

Santiago Abascal, the leader of the Spanish hard-right party Vox.Credit…Samuel Aranda for The New York Times

Far-right parties gain ground in Europe

In Spain’s national elections later this month, polls suggest that the liberal prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, will be ousted as conservative parties take control. Vox, a hard-right party, may join more moderate conservatives in a coalition — making it the first right-wing party since Francisco Franco’s dictatorship to enter the national government in Spain.

The rise of Vox is part of an increasing trend of hard-right parties surging in popularity and, in some cases, gaining power by entering governments as junior partners in Europe. Their steady advances have added urgency to a now pressing debate among liberals over how to outflank a suddenly more influential right.

The parties have differences but generally fear the economic ramifications of globalization, and say that their countries will lose their national identities to migration, often from non-Christian or nonwhite-majority countries, but also to an empowered E.U. that they believe looks after only the elites.

Elsewhere: In Sweden, the government now depends on a party with neo-Nazi roots and has given it some sway in policymaking. In Finland, the right has ascended into the governing coalition. And in Italy, the far right has taken power on its own — even as Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has governed more moderately than many expected.

“We believe that the world is big enough for both of our countries to thrive,” Janet Yellen said.Credit…Mark R Cristino/EPA, via Shutterstock

Janet Yellen’s visit to China

After 10 hours of meetings over two days in Beijing, Janet Yellen, the U.S. treasury secretary, said that she believed the U.S. and China were on a steadier footing despite their “significant disagreements.” She added, “We believe that the world is big enough for both of our countries to thrive.”

Yellen came to China amid hopes that the U.S. could restart a relationship that has been deteriorating for years and that had gone off the rails recently over significant points of tension — including the war in Ukraine, a Chinese spy balloon that flew over U.S. territory and the two countries’ escalating exchange of restrictions on trade.

Yellen announced that the two sides would pursue more frequent communication at the highest levels, describing improved dialogue as a way to prevent mistrust from building and fraying a relationship that she called “one of the most consequential of our time.”

Next steps: A meaningful easing of the economic tension may not be likely. There were no announcements of breakthroughs or agreements to mend the persistent fissures between the two nations, and Yellen made clear that the Biden administration had serious concerns about many of China’s commercial practices.


Around the World

Credit…Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
  • In France, the similarity of recent violent riots to 2005 protests has raised questions about whether government efforts to improve conditions in its suburbs have failed.

  • The Dutch government collapsed on Friday after failing to reach an agreement on migration policy, a flashpoint in European politics.

  • The BBC suspended a male staff member after a report that an unnamed host had paid a teenager for “sexually explicit photographs.”

  • Mexico is taking tough steps to discourage migrants from massing along the border, including transporting them to places deep in the country’s interior.

  • Pope Francis announced that he would create 21 new cardinals in September, choosing clerics from across the world.

From Opinion

  • Yevgeny Prigozhin’s failed mutiny has exposed Russia’s dysfunctional dependence on the Wagner group and other private military companies, Colin Clarke writes.

  • As A.I. becomes more integral to health care, doctors — and patients — will face complicated questions about the practice of medicine, Dr. Daniela Lamas says.

  • We shouldn’t lose faith in organized religion, Tish Harrison Warren writes.

  • Tech bros appear to be especially susceptible to brain-rotting contrarianism, Paul Krugman writes.

  • David Mack makes the case for traveling without checked luggage.

A Morning Read

Credit…James Jackman for The New York Times

Residents of Miami get a sweet reward for sweating and suffering through sultry June and July: the succulent mangoes blushing from trees in yards, streets and strip malls.

Mangoes came to the area via workers from the Bahamas and Cuba who brought seeds in their pockets, said Timothy Watson, a professor who is working on a book about the history of mangoes in Florida. Mango culture, he said, is “one of the very few things that joins people together in this incredibly fractured metropolitan area.”


The soccer player who survived a horse accident: How Sergio Rico cheated death.

A 6-foot-7, ace-loving American: Christopher Eubanks was ranked No. 163 a year ago. Now he is making up for lost time. See more Wimbledon coverage.

From The Times: One day after announcing her plan to retire this year, the American soccer star Megan Rapinoe began her farewell tour as an unused substitute in her team’s send-off match.


Credit…The New York Times

Opening night

Beyoncé took the stage in Toronto on Saturday night for the first North American show of her Renaissance World Tour, centered on an album that romps through the history of dance music, with an emphasis on the contributions of Black and queer innovators.

Wearing a glimmering, chain-mail mini dress, Beyoncé opened the show with a nearly 30-minute stretch of ballads and deep cuts that harked back to her earlier days. Thus began a “two-and-a-half-hour set that was visually spectacular, vocally ambitious, and sometimes tonally confused,” the pop music critic Lindsay Zoladz writes in The Times.


What to Cook

Credit…Julia Gartland for The New York Times

Turn your caprese salad into antipasto.


How to sleep better at every age.

What to Listen to

A playlist of new tracks, chosen by Times critics.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Unfavorable (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. How well did you follow the news last week? Take our quiz.

Friday’s episode of “The Daily” is about student loans in the U.S.

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

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