Your Wednesday Briefing: The U.S. Beats Iran

Christian Pulisic scores the only U.S. goal.Credit…Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Victory for the U.S.

The U.S. beat Iran, 1-0. In so doing, the team avoided elimination and moved through to the next round in second place for Group B. England coasted past Wales, 3-0, and moves forward. Iran and Wales were eliminated.

The U.S. scored its goal in the first half and kept the momentum up through the end. Christian Pulisic scored the only goal, but then crashed into Iran’s goalkeeper and left the game with an abdominal injury. At 24, Pulisic is the young team’s brightest star.

Iran’s loss may also mean that less attention will be paid to the fans who have used the World Cup to shine a spotlight on anti-government protests in the country. Fans have worn shirts bearing the word “Freedom” and the name of Mahsa Amini, whose death in custody set off protests across Iran. They booed the national anthem and waved flags with a protest slogan — “Woman, life, freedom” — only to be escorted out.

What’s next: The U.S. will face the Netherlands on Saturday, and England will play Senegal on Sunday. Here are photos of fans.

Other updates:

  • Senegal beat Ecuador, 2-1.

  • The Netherlands won Group A after its 2-0 victory over Qatar, whose team has the worst record ever of a host country.

  • Here are the group standings.

Police have detained some protestors and used more muscular tactics to break up recent demonstrations.Credit…Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China cracks down on protests

Communist Party officials are using decades-old tactics, along with some new ones, to quash China’s most widespread protests in decades.

Public security personnel and vehicles have blanketed potential protest sites. Police officers are searching some residents’ phones for prohibited apps. Officials are going to the homes of would-be protesters to warn them against illegal activities and are taking some away for questioning. And censors are scrubbing social media.

Xi Jinping is staying silent, intent on projecting business as usual. Yesterday, the People’s Daily featured his talks with the visiting Mongolian president and a front-page celebration of Xi’s decade in power, but did not mention the protests, China’s most widespread since the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement of 1989.

Analysis: Xi appears to be wagering that he can sap the protests’ momentum while the security services move in. After the swell of public dissent over tight Covid controls this weekend, recent public gatherings have been smaller.

The State of the War

  • A Pivotal Point: The Ukrainian army is on the offensive, and the Russians are in a defensive crouch. But with about one-fifth of its territory still occupied by Moscow’s forces, Ukraine has a long way to go, and the onset of winter will bring new difficulties.
  • A Bloody Vortex : Even as they have celebrated successes elsewhere, Ukrainian forces in the small eastern city of Bakhmut have endured relentless Russian attacks. And the struggle to hold it is only intensifying.
  • Russian Missile Barrage: A wave of Russian missile strikes on Ukraine’s essential services has caused blackouts in hospital operating rooms and cut off power and running water in cities.
  • Dnipro River: A volunteer Ukrainian special forces team has been conducting secret raids under the cover of darkness, traveling across the strategic waterway that has become the dividing line of the southern front.

Vaccines: China’s case numbers are high, but only 40 percent of those 80 or older have had booster shots. Officials said they would go door to door with vaccines and press those who are reluctant to give a reason.

Voices: Protesters are reacting to months of economic hardship, which has also upended global forecasts. Some young people said they had reached a “tipping point.”

NATO countries are scrambling to supply Ukraine while also replenishing their own depleted arsenals. Credit…Andreea Alexandru/Associated Press

U.S. pledges Ukraine support

The U.S. is giving Ukraine $53 million for equipment to repair its battered electricity grid after weeks of Russian aerial strikes. And NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, reaffirmed its longstanding commitment that Ukraine would one day join the alliance.

Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state, made the aid pledge yesterday on the sidelines of a two-day conclave of NATO foreign ministers. The aid is in addition to the $55 million in energy sector support that the U.S. has already promised Ukraine.

A senior official said the U.S. hopes the aid will also spur more donations from other nations, as a harsh winter looms. The Americans are aiming to assemble a working group to help Ukraine protect and repair its infrastructure as Russian strikes deprive millions of residents of power and water.

Allies: NATO countries have so far provided some $40 billion in weaponry to Ukraine, about the size of France’s annual defense budget. Over the weekend, the E.U. announced that it was preparing to deliver 200 transformers and 40 heavy generators.

Economy: The war has become the greatest economic challenge of President Biden’s tenure.

Deaths: Villagers near Kherson unearthed the bodies of six men, who appear to have been killed execution-style, evidence of possible Russian war crimes.


Asia Pacific

The Great Barrier Reef stretches along Australia’s northeast coast and counts some 2,500 individual reefs.Credit…Jumbo Aerial Photography/Commonwealth of Australia (GBRMPA), via Associated Press
  • A U.N.-backed mission said the Great Barrier Reef should be placed on a list of World Heritage sites in danger. Climate change is to blame.

  • China sent astronauts to its newly completed space station yesterday.

  • The U.K. government backed a nuclear plant, squeezing out a Chinese state-owned company and dealing a blow to the countries’ once-warm business relationship.

  • An Israeli filmmaker criticized “The Kashmir Files,” a nationalist Hindi-language film, at a festival in Goa. He faces a police complaint, and Israeli diplomats condemned his remarks.

  • Meet Lucy. She’s a dog who works at Melbourne’s family court, The Guardian reports, helping people during a stressful time.

U.S. News

President Biden had warned that the prospect of a strike had put the U.S. economy “at risk.”Credit…Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • Congress plans to pass legislation to avert a nationwide rail strike.

  • The Senate is on track to pass legislation to protect same-sex marriages. The House is expected to approve it before Democrats lose unified control of Congress.

  • Jewish supporters of Donald Trump have balked at his recent meetings with outspoken antisemites.

Other Big Stories

  • Scientists are getting closer to a universal flu vaccine.

  • Elon Musk said Apple threatened to pull Twitter from the App Store.

  • “The Phantom of the Opera” will delay its closing by eight weeks. Sales spiked after the Broadway musical announced an end to its 35-year tenure.

A Morning Read

The Musée de l’Homme, or Museum of Mankind, is a Paris landmark.Credit…Violette Franchi for The New York Times

A popular museum in Paris has 18,000 skulls, which are hidden in the basement. It has never publicly identified the remains, which could open the door to sensitive restitution claims.

Now, my colleague Constant Méheut obtained documents detailing their identities. Some were African tribal chiefs. Others were Cambodian rebels and Indigenous people from Oceania, a stark reminder of France’s colonial past.

“I discovered the existence of these skulls while reporting a previous story on the muddled return of 19th-century Algerian skulls,” Constant told me. “These remains, I realized, were only the tip of the iceberg.”


Credit…Loic Venance/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Where is Isabel dos Santos?

Angolan authorities have asked Interpol for help to track down Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president, who was once considered Africa’s richest woman. The effort to arrest her comes after years of investigations into the enormous fortune she amassed while her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, who died in July, held office.

The authorities have said they plan to charge her with economic crimes linked to her tenure as the head of the state-owned oil company. With a worth once estimated at $3.5 billion, dos Santos became the face of corruption in Angola after her father stepped down.

Angolan authorities say letters sent to her homes in the Netherlands, the U.K. and the United Arab Emirates have all gone unanswered.

“My address is known, my whereabouts are known,” dos Santos told The Times this month. She labeled the investigation “political persecution” and accused the Angolan courts of bias.

“I’m not a fugitive. I’m not hiding from anyone,” said dos Santos, who regularly posts on Instagram. Many of her assets across the world, including in Portugal and the Netherlands, have been frozen because of the corruption accusations hanging over her. Forbes has estimated that she is no longer a billionaire. — Lynsey Chutel, Briefings writer in Johannesburg


What to Cook

Credit…Bryan Gardner for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne

Balance the richness of glazed salmon with cool sliced cucumber.

What to Read

Our architecture critic, Michael Kimmelman, sketches a walker’s portrait of New York in “The Intimate City.”

What to Listen to

Anderson Cooper explores grief in “All There Is,” a new, deeply personal podcast about his family.

The Holidays

Deck your tree with … a Bitcoin ornament?


What if you can’t find a silver lining after a diagnosis?

Now Time to Play

Play the Mini Crossword, and a clue: Energies (five letters).

Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Amelia

P.S. The DealBook summit is today. It starts at 8 a.m. Eastern (4 p.m. in Sydney; 6:30 p.m. in Delhi or 9 p.m. in Hong Kong).

“The Daily” is on a campaign to influence the Supreme Court.

Lynsey Chutel wrote today’s Spotlight on Africa. You can always reach me, and our team, at [email protected].

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