A desperate search for a missing submersible
An international team of rescuers was racing against time to search thousands of square miles of the North Atlantic for a deep-diving submersible with five people on board and a dwindling supply of oxygen. A staggering list of logistical challenges has complicated the operation.
The submersible, called the Titan, was more than halfway into what should have been a two-and-a-half-hour dive to the ruins of the Titanic when it lost contact with a chartered research ship on Sunday. Leaders in the submersible craft industry had warned for years of possible “catastrophic” problems with the design of the craft, owned by the tourism company OceanGate.
Search aircraft from the U.S. and Canada have been scanning the surface, while sonar buoys have been pinging the depths in hopes of locating the lost submersible. As of 1 p.m. Eastern time (6 p.m. G.M.T.) yesterday, the craft probably had about 40 hours of breathable air left, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Passengers: The five people on board are Hamish Harding, a British businessman and explorer; Stockton Rush, the C.E.O. of OceanGate; Shahzada Dawood, a British-Pakistani businessman and explorer, and his 19-year-old son, Suleman; and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French maritime expert who has been on over 35 dives to the Titanic wreckage.
Analysis: “There are so many things that can go wrong,” my colleague William Broad, who has been down in a similar submersible, said. “Communications can go out, as is clearly the case with the Titan submersible. The scarier, worse things are the nonelectrical mechanical breakdowns, for instance when the propellers that move the submersible around stop working.” Or, he added, if the ballast won’t drop, you can’t get back to the surface.
Russia targets Kyiv and Lviv
Russia unleashed dozens of attack drones across Ukraine before dawn yesterday, targeting the cities of Kyiv and Lviv. Moscow’s military also fired on rescue workers in the flood-stricken city of Kherson on Tuesday, Ukrainian officials said, killing one person and injuring eight others.
The drone attack on Kyiv, the capital, was the first in more than two weeks. Russian forces repeatedly targeted the city throughout May, but recently there had been a relative lull — with the notable exception of a missile barrage last week while African leaders visited to discuss a path to peace talks.
On the front lines, Russian forces are trying to seize more territory in eastern Ukraine even as they work to fend off Kyiv’s counteroffensive, according to Ukrainian officials and military experts. Moscow has launched “offensive actions” in both the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but all of the attacks have been repelled, Ukrainian officials said.
In other news:
E.U. proposes new economic strategy
The European Commission unveiled a new trade doctrine aimed at curbing China’s ability to squeeze Europe’s economy, and at preventing European companies from exporting military technology that could give China an edge. The policy, still in its early stages, demonstrates how the E.U. is aligning itself with the U.S. in limiting China’s access to sensitive markets and industrial secrets.
The commission, the E.U.’s executive branch, said in the document that poor coordination among the member states and weak trade rules could allow adversaries to have an economic chokehold over E.U. economies or manufacturers, and that it needed to be addressed. “Our national security is deeply intertwined with our ability to be economically safe and resilient,” the paper said.
The document didn’t once mention China, or any specific countries, but rather made reference to “destinations of concern that operate civil-military fusion strategies.”
Europe-China relations: The Chinese premier, Li Qiang, is visiting Germany, where he met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and business leaders yesterday before heading to meetings in France.
THE LATEST NEWS
From the U.S.
There’s no better way to understand the essence of a place than to walk through it. The Times’s Travel desk has compiled seven great walks in seven great cities, including a winding tour of the markets of Marrakesh, Morocco, and a wander through Paris’s most beautiful gardens.
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
Quincy Promes: The Dutch soccer player has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for stabbing his cousin and faces drug trafficking charges, but he is still playing for a club in Russia.
The new Chinese Super League? The Saudi Pro League can learn lessons from other competitions that have gone on spending sprees in recent years.
From The Times: The U.S. is a favorite to win the Women’s World Cup. But this year’s team is among youngest and most inexperienced the country has ever taken to the tournament.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Depending on where you are reading this, today is either the longest or the shortest day in the calendar.
Around June 21 each year, the Northern Hemisphere dips toward the sun and bathes in direct sunlight for longer than on any other day of the year, causing the sun to rise early, climb high into the sky and set late into the evening. (The Southern Hemisphere, of course, does the opposite.)
The solstice occurs because Earth does not spin upright but instead leans 23.5 degrees on a tilted axis. Such a slouch, or obliquity, gives us our seasons. It has also long caused astronomers to wonder whether Earth’s tilt — arguably a sweet spot between more extreme obliquities — helped create the conditions necessary for life.