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Satellite photos taken after a series of explosions on Tuesday at a Russian air base in Crimea appear to show at least three blast craters and at least eight wrecked warplanes, indicating a serious blow to the Russian military contradicting the Kremlin’s account. Russian authorities had previously denied that any aircraft had been destroyed.

A senior Ukrainian official has said the blasts were an attack carried out with the help of partisans but was not more specific. Military analysts have said that Ukraine does not have missiles that can reach the base from territory it controls, well over 100 miles away, and that Ukrainian jets would have been unlikely to penetrate that far into Russian-controlled airspace.

Witnesses reported multiple explosions at the Saki base. Officials said at least one person was killed and more than a dozen wounded. Sergei Aksyonov, the Kremlin-installed leader of Crimea, said that at least 62 apartment buildings and 20 commercial structures had been damaged. He declared a state of emergency and raised the terrorism threat level on the peninsula.

Background: Russia has heavily militarized Crimea since seizing it from Ukraine in 2014 and has used the peninsula as a vital jumping-off point for military operations since the broader invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Even so, the attack on the air base suggests that Ukrainian forces are able to carry out guerrilla operations there.

In other news from the war:


Days after his home was searched by the F.B.I. in an unrelated investigation, Donald Trump invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination while being questioned under oath by the New York State attorney general, Letitia James. The former president responded to every question posed by her investigators by repeating the phrase “same answer.”

Trump’s refusal to respond substantively could determine the course of the three-year civil investigation into whether the former president fraudulently inflated the value of his assets to secure loans and other benefits. He has long dismissed the inquiry but was compelled to sit for questioning under oath after multiple judges ruled against him this spring.

His only detailed comment, people with knowledge of the proceeding said, was an all-out attack on the attorney general and her inquiry, which he called a continuation of “the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.” Reading from a prepared statement, he said that he was being targeted by lawyers, prosecutors and the news media.

Next steps: James is now left with a crucial decision: whether to sue Trump or seek a settlement that could extract a significant financial penalty. And while declining to answer questions might have offered the safest route for the former president, it could strengthen the attorney general’s hand in the weeks to come.


A $1.9 million regional aid package unveiled by the United Nations Development Program on the edge of the Colombian Amazon is one example of how one of the world’s largest sustainable development organizations teams up with polluters, even those that at times work against the interests of the communities the agency is supposed to help.

A Times investigation found that U.N. partnerships with oil companies have led to the agency’s acting in the interests of those firms. In the program in the Amazon, the U.N. agency paired with GeoPark, a multinational petroleum company that holds contracts to drill near and potentially on the ancestral land of Indigenous Colombians like the Siona people.

These partnerships are part of a strategy that treats oil companies not as environmental villains but as major employers that can bring electricity to far-flung areas and economic growth to poor and middle-income nations. The development agency has used oil money to provide clean water and job training to areas that might otherwise be neglected.

Response: The development agency said it supports a clean energy transition and does not encourage drilling. But Achim Steiner, the agency head, said that its mission was to bring people out of poverty and often entailed working in countries built on fossil fuels. “We have to start where economies are today,” he said. “I don’t see a contradiction, but there is a tension.”

The black Issey Miyake turtleneck favored by Steve Jobs was not by any means the Japanese designer’s most interesting garment. It may even have been his most banal. But the turtleneck embodied Miyake’s founding principles and served as the door through which even those not particularly interested in fashion could enter the Miyake universe.

Monuments have long commemorated the loss of life from calamitous events: wars, genocides, terrorist attacks.

But Covid-19 poses a unique challenge. Millions of people have died, but not in a singular event or in a single location. Now, as the death toll continues to rise, communities are building new monuments and expanding existing ones, trying to keep up with their mounting grief.

In Malaysia, photographs and biographies of victims are updated online. White ribbons flutter on a church fence in South Africa, and white flags dot the National Mall in Washington. In London, family members and friends have written the names of their dead on a wall alongside the River Thames, above.

“We really do need to remember, and we need to do it now,” said Erika Doss, a researcher at the University of Notre Dame. “Covid isn’t over. These are kind of odd memorials in that names are being added. They are kind of fluid. They are timeless.”

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha

P.S. The Times won a Pulitzer last year for its Covid coverage. The pandemic kept the medal from going on display at the Times Building — until now.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the F.B.I. search of Mar-a-Lago.

You can reach Natasha and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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EU officials slam Biden administration for ‘profiting’ off Ukraine war

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A collection of high-ranking European officials are fed up with the Biden administration for what they view as war profiteering during the conflict in Ukraine.

The comments come amid rising gas prices and mounting tension toward US legislation that offers tax credits to those who “Buy American.”

Meanwhile, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is pushing European economies toward recession while the US is benefitting, some officials claim.

“The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the US because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons,” one senior EU official told POLITICO.

The European Union has turned to the US for gas to reduce reliance on Russian fuel — but the price the EU is paying is reportedly four times higher than what Americans are shelling out for the same product.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed the EU to look toward the US for gas.
AP

“The United States sells us its gas with a multiplier effect of four when it crosses the Atlantic,” Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, said on French TV on Wednesday. “Of course the Americans are our allies … but when something goes wrong it is necessary also between allies to say it.”

The Biden administration has adamantly denied price-hiking accusations and instead blamed the high costs on the Ukrainian conflict.

“The rise in gas prices in Europe is caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s energy war against Europe, period,” a spokesperson for Biden’s National Security Council told Politico.

Thierry Breton is the European Commissioner in Charge of Internal Market.
Thierry Breton ripped the US for up-charging gas by a multiple of four.
REUTERS

The dispute is compounded by Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, a massive tax, health care and climate package that offers tax credits to those who buy American-made electric vehicles, sparking concern among European car manufacturers.

“Nobody wants to get into a tit-for-tat or subsidy race. But what the US has done really isn’t consistent with the principles of free trade and fair competition,” Irish Trade Minister Leo Varadkar said during an emergency EU Commission meeting on Friday, according to Fortune.

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Colorado home where Chris Watts killed his family is sold

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The Colorado home where Chris Watts savagely murdered his pregnant wife and two children in 2018 has been sold, according to a report.

The five-bedroom, four-bath house in Frederick was sold for an unspecified price, The Sun reported.

It had been on the market since May when the listing said potential buyers had to submit a funding commitment of at least $600,000 from a bank.

A real estate agent posted a congratulatory note on social media to the new owners saying, “It took everything we had to get here!!! So happy for you guys and can’t wait to see the memories you make in your new home!!!” according to The Sun.

The agent then added “since it’s been asked. Yes, this was the Watts house. It is now the Miller home and they cannot wait to put love, family and laughter back into this house.”

Chris Watts was convicted of murdering Bella, Celeste and Shanann Watts in 2018.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP
Christopher Watts is escorted into the courtroom before his bond hearing at the Weld County Courthouse in Greeley, Colo.
Christopher Watts is escorted into the courtroom before his bond hearing at the Weld County Courthouse in Greeley, Colorado, on Aug. 16, 2018.
Joshua Polson/The Greeley Tribune via AP, Pool, file
Chris Watts
Chris Watts murdered his pregnant wife and two children.
Weld County Sheriffs Office/MEGA

Watts was convicted of the 2018 killings of his wife, Shanann, 34, and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3,

The murders were the subject of the Netflix documentary “American Murder: The Family Next Door.”

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Queen Elizabeth II worried Prince Harry was ‘over-in-love’ with Meghan Markle: biography

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Queen Elizabeth II thought grandson Prince Harry was “perhaps a little over-in-love” with his new bride Meghan Markle, according to an upcoming biography.

“This was as far as she came – to my knowledge at least – to ever uttering a word against the new Duchess of Sussex,” British broadcaster Gyles Brandreth wrote in “Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait.”

The late British monarch was “truly delighted” when her grandson said he was marrying Markle, according to the book which will be released in December.

“She liked Meghan and told lots of people so. And she did everything she could to make her future granddaughter-in-law feel welcome,” according to the biography, an excerpt of which was published in the Daily Mail.

The Queen wasn’t even put off by the Sussexes infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey.

“I can tell you, because I know this, that the Queen was always more concerned for Harry’s well-being than about ‘this television nonsense’, meaning both the Oprah Winfrey interview – which caused so much controversy – and the lucrative deal the Sussexes made with Netflix,” wrote Brandreth, a former MP who has long known the royal family.

The Queen had a form of myeloma, according to the biography.

The Queen reportedly did not care about the Sussex's Netflix deal.
The Queen was reportedly happy that Prince Harry was marrying Meghan.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 19: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission of #960087582 with alternate crop.) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wave from the Ascot Landau Carriage during their carriage procession on Castle Hill outside Windsor Castle in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle outside Windsor Castle on their wedding day on May 19, 2018.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018 in London, England. The Queen's Young Leaders Programme, now in its fourth and final year, celebrates the achievements of young people from across the Commonwealth working to improve the lives of people across a diverse range of issues including supporting people living with mental health problems, access to education, promoting gender equality, food scarcity and climate change. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018.

He wrote that the monarch was “was anxious that Harry should ‘find his feet’ in California and ‘find really useful things to do’. “

Brandreth also revealed in the book that he “had heard that the Queen had a form of myeloma — bone marrow cancer — which would explain her tiredness and weight loss and those ‘mobility issues’ we were often told about during the last year or so of her life.”

The Queen died in September at 96 with the official cause of death listed as old age.

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