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Tuesday Briefing


The Ukrainian military said that a missile strike in Crimea last week killed the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, along with more than 30 officers, and wounded more than 105 others. If confirmed, the attack would be among the most damaging blows suffered by the Russian Navy since the sinking of the fleet’s flagship last year.

Ukraine’s special operations forces did not name the naval leader, but the commander of the Black Sea Fleet is Adm. Viktor Sokolov, one of the most senior officers in Russia’s Navy.

The attack came during a meeting of Russian commanders, Ukraine’s military said, and badly damaged a headquarters of the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea. There was no immediate comment from Russia’s Defense Ministry. Separately, Russia struck the port of Odesa in Moscow’s first large attack there since Ukraine started testing a new route to ship grain out of the Black Sea.

Context: In recent weeks, Ukraine has sharply increased the pace of strikes in Crimea, a strategically vital peninsula illegally annexed by Moscow nearly a decade ago. “Any target inside Crimea is essentially fair game to demonstrate to the Russians they do not have security,” a military analyst said.

U.S. shutdown: Senators across the political aisle are debating whether to include new military assistance for the fight against Russia in any stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded past the end of the month.

More than 200 people were wounded in a gasoline warehouse explosion in Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, the human rights ombudsman for the region said. The cause of the explosion could not immediately be determined, and it was not clear if there were any fatalities.

Thousands of ethnic Armenians have been fleeing the breakaway region since the weekend to cross the border into Armenia, after a military offensive brought the enclave back under Azerbaijan’s control. The ethnic Armenian leadership has said it would remain in place until all those who wanted to leave the region were able to go.

On the ground: The human rights ombudsman, Gegham Stepanyan, said that the majority of the victims were in “severe or extremely severe” condition. A Russian peacekeeping contingent said that some of the wounded had been treated by its medics and that some of the most severely injured had been transferred to its hospital.

After screenwriters reached a tentative agreement with entertainment studios on a new labor deal Sunday night, one big obstacle stands in the way of the film and TV industry roaring back to life: the strike of tens of thousands of actors. The two sides have not spoken in more than two months, and no talks are scheduled.

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, have indicated a willingness to negotiate, but the studios made a strategic decision in early August to focus on reaching a détente with the writers first. Only a resolution with the actors will determine when tens of thousands of camera operators, makeup artists, prop makers, set dressers and others return to work.

The latest: The Writers Guild of America, which represents more than 11,000 screenwriters, could begin finalizing a deal on a new contract as soon as today.

Why would a parent throw cheese at a child — or crack an egg on a baby’s head? “Social media clout is one explanation,” Amanda Hess writes in this Critic’s Notebook, “but I don’t think it’s the only one.”

Arsenal 2, Tottenham 2: Analysis of the north London derby.

Farewell, Megan Rapinoe: Her legacy, explained by those who know her best.

In “What About Men?”, the latest book from the British feminist writer Caitlin Moran, she turns her eye to modern masculinity. Moran spoke to The Times Magazine in a wide-ranging interview that touched on the future for men, trans issues in Britain and Jordan B. Peterson’s tears.

“I wrote this book because young boys do keep saying, ‘We are anxious, we are depressed, we are lonely,’” she said. “All you can do is be right next to them and go: ‘I’m going to be with you through it. I actually can’t fix you. You are going to have to fix yourself.’”

For more: Read our review of Moran’s book.



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