July 19, 2024

NATO allies are inching closer to sending military trainers into Ukraine. The move could draw the U.S. and Europe more directly into the war with Russia.

Ukrainian officials have asked their U.S. and NATO counterparts to help train 150,000 new recruits closer to the front line for faster deployment. So far the U.S. has been adamant that it will not put U.S. troops on the ground in Ukraine, and has urged NATO allies not to do so either.

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

For now, the general said, such a move would put NATO trainers at risk and would most likely mean deciding whether to use precious air defenses to protect the trainers — instead of critical Ukrainian infrastructure near the battlefield. Any attack on the trainers would force the U.S. to honor its NATO obligations, dragging it into the war.

At the front: Ukraine’s position has worsened as Russia has stepped up attacks, in particular 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 intensifies 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.

U.K.: Moscow expelled Britain’s defense attaché in Russia. Britain had thrown out his Russian counterpart last week.

Todd Blanche, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, sought to cast Michael Cohen as a fabricator who had lied under oath to exact revenge on his former boss. Trump’s defense team is trying to undermine the credibility of Cohen’s testimony, which underpins the 34 felony counts against Trump.

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

Blanche also tried to prove that Cohen was motivated by anger. He pressed Cohen on statements he had made about Trump’s indictment, 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.”

What’s next: Cohen, who has kept his composure on the stand so far, will return on Monday.

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

Fico’s condition has 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.

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

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

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

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

The runway looks — and the street style — included patchwork coats and patterned skirts. Chanting and traditional dance were part of the runway shows. Accessories were key to many looks: turquoise-embellished hats and belts, beaded necklaces and clam-shell earrings.

See photos of all the eye-catching looks.

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