Thursday Briefing

The devastated Libyan city of Derna.Credit…Jamal Alkomaty/Associated Press

Thousands missing in Libya

More than 10,000 people were missing, the Libyan authorities said, after devastating flooding hit the northeastern part of the country. The death toll, which has already surpassed 5,000, could reach up to 20,000 in the coming days, based on the number of districts that were wiped out, the mayor of Derna, Abdulmenam Al-Ghaithi, told the local news media.

Desperately needed aid was trickling into the eastern half of the country by yesterday. But the coastal city of Derna, much of which was destroyed by torrents of water from two dams that collapsed, was accessible only from an unpaved road.

Here’s what else we know about the disaster. These photos offer an on-the-ground look at what the area has endured.

The site of a missile strike in Kyiv late last month.Credit…Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times

Russia expands its missile production

Russia has managed to overcome sanctions and export controls imposed by the West to expand missile production beyond the country’s prewar levels, according to U.S., European and Ukrainian officials, leaving Ukraine especially vulnerable to intensified attacks.

The U.S. has made curbing Russia’s military supply a key part of its strategy to support Kyiv. U.S. sanctions had forced Moscow to dramatically slow its production of missiles and other weaponry — but at the end of last year, Moscow’s military industrial manufacturing began to pick up speed again, U.S. officials said.

Russia’s re-energized military production is especially worrisome because Moscow has used artillery to pound Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines, and its missiles to attack cities, the electric grid and other critical infrastructure. Officials fear that increased missile stocks could mean an especially dark and cold winter for Ukrainian citizens.

A Moscow-Pyongyang summit: Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, met with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, in eastern Russia, as the two isolated leaders embraced each other in their moments of need.

Ukrainian strikes: A Ukrainian attack targeting the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea damaged two ships and triggered a large blaze at a sprawling naval shipyard, officials said.

Attempting to repair a motorcycle amid the rubble in N’Ouirigane, Morocco.Credit…Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Economic aftershocks in Morocco

Towns and villages in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains were building a thriving tourist industry that had just begun to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. A recent 6.8-magnitude earthquake, which killed more than 2,900 people and destroyed entire towns and villages, may have jeopardized that economic lifeline.

Hard questions for travelers: With so many popular destinations devastated by disasters this year — Turkey, Greece, Hawaii and Morocco — tourists have to ask themselves if their presence is a burden or a benefit.


Around the World

Credit…Matt Rourke/Associated Press
  • Danelo Cavalcante, a convicted murderer who escaped from a prison in Pennsylvania two weeks ago, was captured after being surrounded by police and subdued by a police dog.

  • A recent surge in coups is particularly surprising because coups, particularly successful ones, had been relatively rare since the end of the Cold War.

  • An Israeli TV station transformed from a niche outlet into a major force by attracting right-wing fans.

  • One person has died and at least a dozen people became ill with botulism after eating at a popular organic wine bar in Bordeaux, France.

  • A reality TV singing competition in Poland is under fire after two contestants used blackface to imitate Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Qilai Shen for The New York Times
  • The E.U. will begin an investigation into Chinese subsidies of electric vehicles, an inquiry that could lead to trade restrictions.

  • Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders met with members of Congress to discuss regulating A.I.

  • Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said he would not seek re-election. He suggested that President Biden and Donald Trump should also make way for “a new generation of leaders.”

What Else Is Happening

  • Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the U.S., is hiring two reporters: one to cover Taylor Swift and the other to cover Beyoncé.

  • It’s “unhappy hour” at some British bars: The country’s largest pub company has adopted dynamic pricing, in which the price of a pint rises with increased demand.

A Morning Read

Credit…Lauren Jackson/The New York Times

In an era of Instagram tourism, while visitors crowd Santorini, the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum, some millennials have been seeking out less curated travel experiences — like a self-guided trip to Mongolia.

“Especially now after Covid, people want to feel a sense of freedom again,” one tourism operator said. “And they’re looking for it in the vast emptiness of Mongolia.”


Kevin Mac Allister: A famous brother, a new soccer club and a name from a classic film.

Securing a Formula 1 future: Has Logan Sargeant missed his best chance?

Call in The Avengers: What Team USA must do to rule Olympic basketball.


Credit…Sophie Park for The New York Times, Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

Christie and The Boss

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor, loves Bruce Springsteen. He has been to more than 150 of his concerts, knows the words to every song and treasures his ticket stubs. But that love (and near-obsessive fandom) for his fellow New Jerseyan is unrequited: Christie’s Republican politics have led to an often frosty relationship with the liberal star.

That chill may be thawing, Christie said in a recent interview. But even if the two men are friendlier now, there are limits. Don’t, for example, expect Springsteen to sing at any inauguration for Christie. “He’s still a Democrat,” Christie said.


Credit…Quentin Bacon

Serve chicken with roasted grapes for Rosh Hashana, or just because.

Read Michael Cunningham’s first novel in a decade.

Treat a sore tummy with turmeric.

Banish the dust with this cleaning playlist.

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. Meet the new editorial directors of The Athletic.

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

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