July 22, 2024

President Volodymyr Zelensky was welcomed at the White House yesterday as President Biden faces pushback from some Republican lawmakers in Congress who oppose providing further assistance to Ukraine.

Making his second wartime visit to Washington, Zelensky also met with lawmakers and warned that his country would fall to Russia if the U.S. cut the military and financial aid that has helped his forces withstand the Russian onslaught.

“If we don’t get the aid, we will lose the war,” Zelensky said in a meeting with at least 50 senators, as recounted by the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer.

Zelensky came to Washington to follow up on Biden’s request to Congress for a $24 billion package of military and humanitarian funding. His visit came at a critical time: Ukraine is struggling to break through Russian front lines in a counteroffensive before the start of winter brings fighting to a standstill.

Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said that Biden would announce a new aid package for Ukraine containing “significant air defense capabilities.” Earlier in the day, Russia launched a wave of missile attacks on energy plants and equipment.

A shift: During his first trip to Washington in December, Zelensky received a hero’s welcome. “The whole dynamic is a real departure from where things were the last time Zelensky came to Capitol Hill,” my colleague Karoun Demirjian said. “Then he was feted, he made a joint address in front of Congress and the public, and he was praised pretty roundly for how good a job he did of being able to make his case.”

This time, Zelensky spoke to lawmakers in a closed-door meeting. Republican lawmakers asked Zelensky to address their concerns and provide them with his vision of a plan for victory.

Fox News and News Corporation announced yesterday that Rupert Murdoch was retiring from their boards. His son Lachlan will become the sole executive in charge of the global media empire his father built from a small local newspaper concern in Australia 70 years ago.

The announcement marked the formal end to a career in which Murdoch, now 92, built the most influential media empire on the planet. With a brand of right-wing populism, his companies have amassed the power at times to make or break presidents and prime ministers. He built that empire across three continents, helping to shift norms and tastes in journalism, politics and popular culture throughout the English-speaking world.

Murdoch will become chairman emeritus of the two companies and continue to offer counsel, his son said in a statement.

What’s next: So far there is no indication that Lachlan Murdoch, 52, will change the overall course of Fox News. The political and media worlds will be watching closely to see if his father’s retirement changes that.

The Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara temple in Surrey, British Columbia, is a major cultural and political center of Canada’s large Sikh community.

When Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh separatist, became the temple’s leader in 2019, criticism of the Indian state went from a relative undercurrent to a major issue. My colleague Norimitsu Onishi traveled to Surrey to report on the evolution of the Sikh community in Canada, the largest outside India.

Tensions between Canada and India have soared since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of killing Nijjar on its soil. India’s foreign ministry said yesterday that it had suspended visa applications by Canadian nationals.

Bollywood films often depict grand Indian weddings filled with dance sequences. An online service, Join My Wedding, is capitalizing on the interest in lavish Indian weddings by allowing tourists to purchase tickets to attend. The experience is winning praise from some as a meaningful cultural exchange, but is criticized by others as fetishization.

Lives lived: Gita Mehta, whose books examined the impact of Western culture on modern India and vice versa, has died at 80.

My colleague Jessica Bennet followed three girls for a year: Anna, London and Addi, from three U.S. states. Jessica wanted to put a face to the alarming headlines about teenage girls and social media, and to understand what happens when it intersects with girls’ self-confidence, which has been shown to drop right around this age.

Fights escalate in group messages, feelings get hurt when photos reveal who wasn’t included in a social event and an offhand comment in a group chat about “feeling bipolar” draws disapproval.

“It’s not as easy as it used to be,” one girl said. “Cause you can’t escape social media unless you delete the apps.”

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