Friday briefing: NATO considers sending trainers to Ukraine

NATO allies are getting closer to sending military trainers to Ukraine. The move could drag the United States and Europe more directly into war with Russia.

Ukrainian officials have asked their American and NATO counterparts to help train 150,000 new recruits closer to the front lines for faster deployment. The United States has so far been adamant that it will not send American troops to Ukraine and has urged NATO allies not to do so either.

But yesterday, Gen. Charles Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the deployment of NATO trainers seemed inevitable. “We will eventually get there, over time,” he told reporters.

For now, the general said, such a move would put NATO trainers at risk and would likely mean deciding whether to use valuable air defenses to protect the trainers, rather than critical Ukrainian infrastructure near the battlefield. Any attack on the trainers would force the United States to fulfill its obligations to NATO, dragging them into the war.

In the front part: Ukraine’s position has worsened as Russia has stepped up attacks, particularly in the northeast. Yesterday, President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to the Kharkiv region and acknowledged that the situation there “remains extremely difficult.” “We are strengthening our units,” he added.

Russia: As he steps up his war effort, President Vladimir Putin called for stronger economic ties between Russia and China at a summit in Beijing with Xi Jinping, China’s leader.

UNITED KINGDOM: Moscow expelled the British defense attaché in Russia. Britain had expelled its Russian counterpart last week.

Todd Blanche, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, attempted to portray Michael Cohen as a fabricator who had lied under oath to get back at his former boss. Trump’s defense team is trying to undermine the credibility of Cohen’s testimony, which supports all 34 felony charges against Trump.

Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, was also questioned about phone calls he had previously described in his testimony, including one he said concerned the $130,000 payment he made to Stormy Daniels to suppress her account of a sexual date with the former president. Blanche expressed disbelief that Cohen could accurately remember phone calls from years ago. Cohen insisted that his testimony was accurate and that he could remember the conversations because he had been talking about them for the past six years.

Blanche also attempted to prove that Cohen was motivated by anger. She pressed Cohen on statements he had made regarding Trump’s impeachment, including a clip of him saying, “You better believe I want this man to go down and rot inside for what he did to me and my family.” .

Whats Next: Cohen, who has so far maintained his composure on the stand, will return Monday.

Authorities have charged a suspect in the attempted assassination of Prime Minister Robert Fico, who was shot several times Wednesday. The gunman was a “lone wolf,” radicalized after last month’s presidential election, authorities said. Slovak media described him as a 71-year-old amateur poet.

Fico’s condition stabilized after five hours of surgery, but the deputy prime minister warned that he was “not out of a life-threatening situation.” He said Fico faced a “difficult” recovery.

Policy: Slovakia is sharply divided between Fico’s supporters, who back his right-wing nationalist and anti-immigration policies, and his opponents who say he is destroying democracy. Critics have accused him of trying to return the country to its repressive communist past.

For decades, Israel has allowed Jewish ultranationalists to terrorize Palestinians in the occupied territories. An investigation by Times Magazine shows how a radical ideology in Israeli society moved from the margins to the heart of power.

In a video, writer Ronen Bergman explained how failure to stop crimes committed by Jewish settlers and ultranationalists threatens Israeli democracy. Here are conclusions from the research.

This month, Indigenous designers, models and artisans from across North America came to New Mexico for Native Fashion Week.

Runway looks (and street style) included patchwork coats and printed skirts. Traditional songs and dances were part of the parades. Accessories were key to many looks: turquoise-embellished hats and belts, beaded necklaces, and shell earrings.

See photos of all the eye-catching looks.

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