Friday Briefing

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine with President Biden in the Oval Office on Thursday. Mr. Zelensky also met with lawmakers.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Zelensky tries to shore up support in Washington

In a meeting at the White House, President Biden told Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian leader, that the U.S. would be “staying with you” during the grinding war with Russia. At the same time, a growing faction of the Republican Party has threatened to hold up aid that Zelensky said could cost his country the war.

Biden said that next week the U.S. would begin shipping over Abrams tanks, which the Ukrainians had long sought and were part of an existing pledge. He also acknowledged that he had little choice but to have faith in a bipartisan breakthrough for continued support for Ukraine.

Polls have shown a growing weariness over the war among the American public, and dozens of Republicans say they are opposed to Biden’s latest request to Congress for $24 billion more for Ukraine. Congress has already approved $113 billion in aid for Ukraine, including around $70 billion for security, intelligence and other war-fighting costs.

Tensions: The Polish authorities said they would supply Ukraine “only” with already promised weapons amid a dispute between Kyiv and Warsaw over agricultural imports.

Analysis: As Armenia and Azerbaijan clash in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia, drained by the war in Ukraine, has seemed incapable of acting as an indispensable power in the region.

A memorial on Wednesday for Hardeep Singh Nijjar on the grounds of the temple where he was killed in Surrey, British Columbia.Credit…Jackie Dives for The New York Times

Separatism and a killing at a Sikh temple in Canada

A Sikh temple in Surrey, the city in British Columbia that is a major center of Canada’s Sikh diaspora, became a home for the separatist movement under the leadership of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. He was gunned down outside the temple in June, a killing that Canada has accused India of orchestrating.

Nijjar’s ascension to leadership in 2019 steered the temple in a far more strident and political direction, most likely rousing the suspicion of India, which labeled him a terrorist the following year. The temple’s changing politics reflects the evolution of Canada’s Sikhs and the political emergence of second-generation immigrants, experts said.

The latest: India suspended visa applications by Canadian citizens, a sharp escalation in the diplomatic conflict.

Rupert Murdoch, with his son Lachlan, who will become the sole executive in charge of the global media empire.Credit…David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Murdoch steps down

The media magnate Rupert Murdoch, 92, is retiring from the Fox News and News Corporation boards, the companies said. His son Lachlan will become the sole executive in charge of the global media empire that Murdoch built from a small local newspaper in Australia 70 years ago; Murdoch will become chairman emeritus of the two companies and continue to offer counsel.

With a brand of right-wing populism, Murdoch’s companies have at times held the power to make or break presidents and prime ministers. He built that empire across three continents, helping to shift norms and tastes in journalism, politics and popular culture throughout the English-speaking world.


Around the World

Credit…Mark Coote/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • Three years after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand won a resounding victory, the country’s political landscape is all but unrecognizable — especially for women.

  • The authorities in eastern Libya arrested protesters and activists who demanded accountability after the catastrophic floods this month.

  • India passed legislation to reserve one-third of seats for women in the lower house of Parliament and in state legislatures.

  • A TikTok star in Indonesia received a two-year prison sentence after a video of her eating pork rinds angered the nation’s ​​top Muslim clerics.

  • Health workers in developing countries are organizing to fight for fair compensation; 86 percent of community health workers in Africa are completely unpaid.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Go Nakamura for The New York Times
  • Last month was the planet’s warmest August on record, preceded by a record-breaking June and July.

  • How a deal to release five American prisoners held by Iran almost didn’t happen.

  • House Republican holdouts blocked a military spending bill for the second time this week, rebuking Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The Week in Culture

  • Russell Brand was accused by four women of sexual assault in an investigation by three British media outlets. Read a timeline of the scandals that have marked his two-decade career.

  • Efforts to ban books from public libraries in the U.S. have spiked. Most of the challenged books are by or about people of color or L.G.B.T.Q. people.

  • Kim Kardashian made her first appearance as a series regular on FX’s “American Horror Story: Delicate.”

  • Books by Paul Harding, Jonathan Escoffery and Chetna Maroo are among six titles nominated for the Booker Prize.

A Morning Read

Credit…Walt Disney Pictures/AJ Pics, via Alamy

How should artifacts from the wreck of the Titanic be handled? Should they be left to molder at the bottom of the sea, in honor of the more than 1,500 people who lost their lives, or put in museums? And is there a middle path?

James Cameron, known for his 1997 movie “Titanic,” describes himself as a centrist between preservationists and salvors. “We shouldn’t take anything from the bow and stern sections that would disfigure them,” he said. “They should stand as monuments to the tragedy.”


Rugby World Cup: French fans have packed stadiums, the Place de la Concorde and other venues to show their support in a land where soccer rules.

Champions League debrief: The things you may have missed from the first round of matches.

Premier League curiosities: Eight quirks from the 2023-24 soccer season so far.

Yuki Tsunoda: Japan’s Formula 1 rising star chasing points on home soil.


Credit…The New York Times

What it’s like to be 13

For a year, Jessica Bennett, a reporter for The Times, followed Anna, London and Addi, three 13-year-old American girls from three states.

“I wanted to put a face to the alarming headlines about teens and social media — in particular, girls,” Jessica writes of her story. “And to understand one tension: What happens when girls’ self-confidence, which has been shown to drop right around this age, intersects with the thing that seems to be obviously contributing to their struggle?”

Fights escalate in group messages, feelings get hurt when photos reveal who wasn’t included in a social event and an offhand comment in a group chat about “feeling bipolar” draws disapproval. “It’s not as easy as it used to be,” one girl said. “Cause you can’t escape social media unless you delete the apps.”


Credit…Julia Gartland for The New York Times.

Cook lemon cupcakes, for a hit of sunshine.

Spend 36 hours in Santiago, Chile.

Organize your kitchen cabinets.

Move past a workout plateau.

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. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha

P.S. “Firsts,” a new limited series of Times obituaries, will focus on people who broke through barriers.

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

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