Turkey changes course on Sweden
The night before a critical summit, in a sudden reversal, Turkey agreed to accept Sweden’s application for membership of NATO. The shift came just hours after Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the E.U. should first advance his country’s bid to join the bloc before he would clear the path for Sweden.
NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said that Erdogan would take the country’s bid to his Parliament for ratification as soon as possible. In return, Sweden and Turkey would work bilaterally against terrorism, Sweden would help reinvigorate Turkey’s application to enter the E.U., and NATO would establish a new “special coordinator for counterterrorism,” he said.
The decision followed intense pressure, particularly from President Biden, who called Erdogan on Sunday. A statement by Biden afterward was widely interpreted as an indication that the U.S. would sell Turkey the fighter jets it had demanded. Analysts said the Turkish leader had likely decided that his political brinkmanship would not reap further gains.
Summit: Leaders of member nations will meet today in Lithuania, as they prepare for what could be a long war to repel Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, of which NATO is a critical supplier of arms and training.
Finland and Sweden: The countries have long histories of military nonalignment. Their membership in NATO essentially turns the Baltic Sea into a NATO-dominated waterway, enhancing the alliance’s ability to protect its most vulnerable members: the Baltic nations.
Revelations about a Putin-Prigozhin meeting
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, held a three-hour meeting with Yevgeny Prigozhin and top commanders of his Wagner private military company on June 29, just days after they had launched a mutiny that put the nation on the brink of a civil conflict, the Kremlin disclosed yesterday.
Putin had denounced the leaders of the rebellion as traitors, so the startling revelation that he played host to them less than a week later suggests that, for all his bluster, he saw a continued use for the mercenary group and its boss. The meeting is the first known contact between the two men since the uprising.
It remains unclear why a warlord with his own private army — who attempted to depose the Russian military leadership by force — has been allowed to remain in the country, apparently unhindered, allegedly even returning to his hometown, St. Petersburg, to pick up his confiscated guns.
Details: At the meeting, Putin gave his assessment of the company’s efforts on the battlefield in Ukraine, as well as its actions in the mutiny, while the Wagner fighters pledged their loyalty to the Russian leader, according to a Kremlin spokesman.
In the Arctic Circle: The fighting in Ukraine has disrupted a region in northern Norway that had thrived on cross-border trade and cooperation with Russia.
A ‘new normal’ of climate disasters
Flooding in New York; extreme heat in Arizona; a deluge in Vermont; a tornado in Delaware. This week, all of these events — and others like them across the U.S. — are happening at once, as climate change fuels extreme weather, prompting Governor Kathy Hochul of New York, a Democrat, to call it “our new normal.”
“It’s not just a figment of your imagination, and it’s not because everybody now has a smartphone,” said Jeff Berardelli, a meteorologist in Tampa Bay, Fla. “We’ve seen an increase in extreme weather. This without a doubt is happening.”
A powerful El Niño developing in the Pacific Ocean is poised to unleash additional heat into the atmosphere, fueling yet more severe weather around the globe this year. But as climate disasters become more commonplace, they may be losing their shock value. A 2019 study concluded that people would learn to accept extreme weather as normal in as little as two years.
What’s next: With emissions still rising globally, scientists are warning that there is only a short amount of time to drastically change course before the effects become truly catastrophic.
Related: Heavy rains and flooding struck large swaths of northern India, killing at least 23 people.
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President Biden was 77 when he began his long-awaited dream job; King Charles III was 73. Both men prefer to ditch executive palaces for their respective retreats. And they share a passion for the environment — a topic that came up in a meeting between the king and the president at Windsor Castle yesterday.
As older men at the pinnacle of their careers, they are also united by their challenges — a public increasingly dubious of their institutions, and skepticism over whether they are the right people to lead them.
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The text below contains the names of 12 books published during Queen Victoria’s reign. Can you find them all? Check your answers here.
Agnes Grey handed her aide the glossy issue of Vanity Fair she’d been reading in the car and wished she’d had time to finish the article on crime and punishment in the crypto world. She’d get back to it after the final security check at the Tower of London before the prime minister and the Japanese leader arrived.
She passed the woman in white from the press office, who was chatting with the wives and daughters of the officials along on the trip. Glancing over at Tower Wharf, she recognized Iola Leroy from Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection scrutinizing three men in a boat floating along the Thames.
There were great expectations for this new defense agreement, so things had to go smoothly. If only the time machine she’d jokingly asked the professor at Cambridge to invent was a reality so she could skip over these nerve-racking days.