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Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times


A day after announcing that Viktor Sokolov, a top Russian admiral, was among 34 officers killed in an audacious strike deep behind enemy lines, Ukrainian officials acknowledged yesterday that there might be some uncertainty. It came after Moscow released a video purporting to show the admiral attending a meeting earlier in the day.

“According to available sources, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet is among the dead,” the Ukrainian military’s statement said. “Many have not yet been identified due to the fragmentation of body parts.”

Given Moscow’s long history of refusing to acknowledge military setbacks, and the challenges of authenticating the video, Admiral Sokolov’s fate following the Ukrainian attack on the headquarters of Moscow’s fleet in Sevastopol, on the Crimean peninsula, remained unclear. Russian officials have not commented directly.

Details: In the clip, dated Sept. 26, an officer who appears to be Admiral Sokolov is seen on a video screen but does not speak. The video has been edited to show the fleet commander’s presence multiple times at the meeting, possibly to offer evidence that he was still alive.

At least 68 people were killed and 105 remained missing after an explosion at a fuel depot in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, the region’s government said. The blast occurred as ethnic Armenians rushing to leave the region waited to refuel their cars.

More than 28,000 people have fled Nagorno-Karabakh for Armenia in the past week as part of a mass exodus that began after a sudden military offensive brought the enclave back under Azerbaijan’s control. The shift in power has raised fears of ethnic cleansing in a region where decades of interethnic hatred have fueled wars, population shifts and atrocities.

Confusion: In an earlier statement, Armenia’s health minister, Anahit Avanesyan, said that the remains of 125 people had been transferred to forensic centers in Armenia. The human rights ombudsman of Nagorno-Karabakh, Gegham Stepanyan, later clarified that the 125 were war-related deaths.


The decision effectively decided that no trial was needed to determine that Trump had fraudulently secured favorable terms on loans and insurance deals.

Attorney General Letitia James has argued that Trump inflated the value of his properties by as much as $2.2 billion. She is seeking a penalty of about $250 million in a trial scheduled to begin as early as Monday. A lawyer for Trump indicated that he would appeal the decision.

In a city known for being gray and damp, London’s parks teem with life — whenever the weather cooperates.

“The first thing that people do is flock to the parks,” one picnicker said of blue sky days. “There’s definitely a park culture.”

For fall fanatics, the season doesn’t start until Starbucks begins selling its pumpkin spice latte, a sugary, cinnamon concoction that has defied global recessions, changing political headwinds and endless cycles of beverage and diet trends. (A medium has about 50 grams of sugar.)

Before Starbucks unveiled the drink, “pumpkin” simply did not exist as a consumer category at the scale familiar to Americans today. Now, pumpkin-flavored products this year accounted for $787 million in sales in the U.S., including pumpkin spice hummus and pumpkin spice deodorant — as well as a herd of generic copycats.

“A lot of people will say it’s a ‘basic’ white girl thing,” one fan said of the drink. She added: “People are throwing around ‘basic’ like it’s derogatory.”

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