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Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

Ukrainian forces have stepped up artillery strikes and ground assaults at several points along the front line. The military action, which began on Sunday, may signal that Kyiv’s long-awaited counteroffensive against Russia has begun, U.S. officials said. The Russian authorities reported yesterday that major Ukrainian attacks had started at five different locations in the eastern region of Donetsk.

Ukraine has said that it will make no formal announcement about the start of its counteroffensive. This past weekend, the Ukrainian military released a video renewing its plea for operational silence about the expected counteroffensive, with the slogan “Plans love silence.”

Military analysts and Western officials have long thought that a counteroffensive will focus on southern Ukraine and aim at severing the land routes that connect Russia and occupied Crimea. The operation is expected to involve thousands of Ukrainian troops — including many trained by NATO forces and equipped with advanced Western equipment.

Far-right iconography: Why do some Ukrainian soldiers wear symbols that were made notorious by Nazi Germany? And how does it relate to false claims by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, that Ukraine is a Nazi state?

In other news: President Biden hosted Mette Frederiksen, the Danish prime minister, at the White House to discuss security initiatives, including providing military support to Ukraine.

At least 42 people were dead, 85 others injured and thousands more displaced after a weekend of heavy rainfall and widespread flooding in Haiti, officials said. More than 13,000 homes were waterlogged, displacing people across the Caribbean nation, according to the country’s disaster response agency.

Videos circulating on social media depict dramatic scenes of flooded roadways that look like flowing rivers, with vehicles floating away.

The death toll was the highest in the port city of Léogâne — west of Port-au-Prince, the capital — where 19 people died, according to the authorities. As of yesterday afternoon, there were no deaths or injuries reported in Port-au-Prince, but about 4,500 homes there were affected by flooding, the authorities said.

Context: The flooding is the latest blow to a country that has become all too familiar with natural disasters, most notably a magnitude-7 earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 200,000 people and destroyed much of Port-au-Prince, leaving lasting effects on the nation’s economy and infrastructure.

Lawyers for Donald Trump met yesterday with Justice Department officials after requesting a meeting to discuss their concerns about the investigations into the former president’s handling of classified documents. As the end of the inquiry nears, Trump’s advisers are said to have concluded that there might not be much more time to stave off charges.

Shortly after their visit, Trump posted a message on his social media platform, Truth Social, suggesting that his legal team had at least discussed with him the possibility that he could be indicted. “How can DOJ possibly charge me, who did nothing wrong,” he wrote in all capital letters.

Prosecutors are expected to question a new witness in front of a federal grand jury sitting in Florida this week, people familiar with the matter said. At least one other witness has already appeared before the Florida grand jury, which is separate from the one that has been sitting for months in Washington.

Trump on tape: Federal prosecutors have a recording from 2021 in which Trump discusses a sensitive military document he claims to have kept after leaving the White House. The recording underscores the weight of the evidence in the case.

Each spring, in a stunning display, huge chunks of ice and snow from Greenland pass through Iceberg Alley, a stretch of water along the eastern coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, on a slow-motion journey southward to the North Atlantic Ocean.

The writer Sam Howe Verhovek went to see them off — along with about half a million Atlantic puffins and one of the greatest concentrations of migrating humpback whales found anywhere.

‘The emptiness makes it more painful’: Christian Atsu’s soccer club after Turkey’s devastating earthquakes.

What F1’s Spanish GP taught us about 2023: While Spain only strengthened Red Bull’s hold on the driver and constructor standings, there was more movement further down the grid.

A new golf prodigy has arrived: Rose Zhang, one of the greatest amateur players ever, became the first L.P.G.A. player to win in her debut since 1951.

From The Times: If everything goes right in the quarterfinals of the French Open for Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, the duel everyone has been waiting for will happen.

Prince Harry’s bitter feud with Britain’s tabloids is coming to a head this week. He will testify today in a phone-hacking case against the Mirror newspaper group — making him the first senior royal to testify in court since 1891, when the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, testified in the case of a man accused of cheating at a game of baccarat.

Harry and his wife, Meghan, are plaintiffs in no fewer than seven cases against the British tabloids and other media organizations for phone hacking and other violations of their privacy. Harry has also filed two claims against Britain’s Home Office related to the loss of his police protection during trips to his home country.

The litigation has been expensive and time-consuming. But the court appearances do give him a platform to press what he has cast as one of his life’s missions: Curbing the excesses of the tabloids, which he and Meghan have accused of upending people’s lives “for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue.”

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