The U.S. will train more Ukrainian troops
The Pentagon plans to train 600 to 800 Ukrainian troops — one battalion — each month in advanced battlefield tactics at a base in Germany, starting next year. That’s a major increase: Right now, the U.S. trains about 300 people each month.
President Biden approved the broader training effort this week, according to two U.S. officials. The Pentagon has already trained 610 Ukrainians to operate an advanced rocket launcher. The troops have used the system to devastating effect, hitting targets far behind Russian lines.
Next year, the U.S. will train bigger groups of Ukrainians on various strategies, such as coordinating ground infantry troops with artillery support. The decision to step up training comes as the administration is poised to send a Patriot antimissile battery, America’s most advanced ground-based air defense system, in response to urgent demands from Kyiv.
Chinese companies hit by U.S. trade restrictions
The U.S. restricted 36 companies and organizations from accessing American technology that could be used for military purposes, in its latest effort to impede China’s development of advanced semiconductors.
In October, the U.S. announced sweeping limits on semiconductor exports to China, both from American companies and those in other countries that use U.S. technology.
U.S. officials say that China has increasingly blurred the lines between its military and civilian industries. In response, Chinese diplomats said that the U.S. “has been stretching the concept of national security” and “abusing export control measures.”
Details: Yangtze Memory Technology Corporation, which was said to be in talks with Apple to potentially supply components for the iPhone 14, is on the list.
Related: Years of Covid restrictions have left behind a collective trauma, Li Yuan writes. Some now want the government to apologize for its hard-line approach, a quixotic hope.
U.K. nurses strike for the first time
British nurses went on strike yesterday for the first time in the 74-year history of the National Health Service.
The walkout is one of a series of labor actions taking place across Britain this month as sky-high inflation, rising interest rates and a recession put pressure on workers. Rail employees, airport baggage handlers and ambulance workers are also scheduled to stage walkouts over the next several weeks. The nurses are planning a second 12-hour strike next Tuesday.
The labor actions come at a time when the health service is in crisis: There have been record delays for ambulance responses and a major backlog for medical procedures, among many other problems.
Demands: The nurses are calling for a 19 percent pay increase and better working conditions, which they say will make the profession more attractive and help address staffing shortages. The government has said the pay demands are “unaffordable.”
Quotable: “We were out supposedly clapping for our nurses and all of our N.H.S. workers during the pandemic, and here we are treating them like trash,” one supporter said.
THE LATEST NEWS
Falconry — one of Qatar’s oldest traditions — now involves modern training methods. Drones drag pigeons high into the sky, to teach the falcons to hunt.
The World Cup final
France will play Argentina at 6 p.m. local time on Sunday in Qatar. (That’s 8:30 p.m. in Delhi, midnight in Seoul and 2 a.m. on Monday in Sydney.)
Argentina will rally behind Lionel Messi, who has never won a World Cup. Now, he has a final, glorious chance at soccer immortality. At 35, Messi is arguably the finest player of all time.
France, though, has his heir apparent: Kylian Mbappé, 23, who is the tournament’s leading scorer. France won the last World Cup, in 2018, and is now the first country in over 20 years to qualify for consecutive finals.
What else: Croatia and Morocco will play on Saturday for third place.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
Make pancakes for breakfast this weekend.
What to Read
“Eccentric Lives,” a collection of cheeky obituaries from Britain’s Daily Telegraph, includes one about a viscount who shot at a hot-air balloon.
What to Watch
“The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari” recounts an eruption off the coast of New Zealand that left several groups of tourists struggling to survive.
Do you really need to stretch?
In just a weekend in Seoul, you can hike fortress walls, bike along the Han River and taste mung bean pancakes at a covered market.
Now Time to Play
Play the Mini Crossword, and a clue: Space between (three letters).
Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.