Your Monday Briefing: U.S. Destroys U.F.O.s

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In China, authorities said they might soon shoot down an unidentified flying object over waters near the northern city of Rizhao, The South China Morning Post reported.

Turkey vowed to pursue contractors linked to deadly building collapses after an earthquake killed more than 33,000 people there and in neighboring Syria last week.

The country’s justice minister told reporters on Sunday that 134 people had been detained on charges related to collapsed buildings. More than 24,000 buildings out of some 170,000 surveyed had been heavily damaged or had collapsed, its environment minister said.

Building experts are blaming inferior construction for at least some of the collapses, and Turkish engineers and architects are collecting samples of rubble from the quake zone that could be used as evidence.

Rescuers were still searching the rubble in Turkey on Sunday, and two people, including a 6-year-old boy, were pulled from ruins after having survived for about 150 hours.

Context: Turkey upgraded its building codes after an earthquake in 1999 killed more than 17,000 people, but experts said the codes were often ignored. One urban planner said that the problem was systemic and that targeting only contractors would not fix it.

Syria: Almost no aid has reached northern Syria because of the complex political situation that more than 12 years of civil war has created there. Some Syrians said the earthquake was worse than anything they had endured during the war.

Russian soldiers said that before they could join the unit they had to undergo an extensive background check that included polygraph tests. Russian spies have repeatedly tried to infiltrate the Legion, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence service said.

Still, the Legion has earned enough trust from Ukrainian commanders to take its place in the Ukrainian military, and several hundred Legion members are now concentrated near Bakhmut, a strategically significant city in eastern Ukraine.

Motivation: The soldiers have taken up arms because of moral outrage, a desire to defend their adopted homeland of Ukraine or a visceral dislike of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.

Quotable: “A real Russian man doesn’t engage in such an aggressive war, won’t rape children, kill women and elderly people,” said one fighter. “That’s why I don’t have remorse. I do my job, and I’ve killed a lot of them.”

What’s next: These maps show what the next phase of the war might look like.

More news of the war: The Wagner paramilitary group said it had captured a village near Bakhmut. Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagner’s billionaire leader, has become a prominent public figure, raising questions about his political ambitions.

“It’s so interesting to be in charge. Like, oh, my God, if we want to go through the drive-through, we can go,” a 21-year-old said. “You want to smoke a cigarette in my car? You can smoke a cigarette in my car.”

Lives Lived: Master Hsing Yun built a global network of Buddhist temples that helped popularize the faith in China, whose government had long been hostile to religion. He died at 95.

There’s very little that a government can do to reverse a shrinking population. Most initiatives that encourage families to have more children are expensive, and the results are often limited.

Experts say the most effective efforts address social welfare, employment policy and other underlying economic issues. When Sweden expanded its parental leave in the 1970s, for instance, its fertility rate rose, and it remains one of the highest among advanced economies. But it has trended downward over the past decade, like those of most developed countries.

Still, China could learn from Sweden’s example. Housing subsidies, extended parental leave and increased funding for education and pensions could ease the burdens on young families. That could slow the shrink and even stave off an economic downturn.

Related: A Yale professor suggested “mass suicide” for Japan’s older people to address the country’s rapidly aging society. He later said his comments had been taken out of context, but they’ve pushed the country’s hottest button.

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

P.S. The word depackagers,” used to define garbage-sorting robots, appeared for the first time in The Times yesterday, in an article about Phoenix’s preparations for the Super Bowl.

Start your week with this narrated long read about how women have been misled about menopause. And here’s Friday’s edition of “The Daily,” on how sports betting became mainstream in the U.S.

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