Your Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times

The U.S. will not pressure Ukraine into negotiating a cease-fire even as Russia grinds out steady gains on the ground in the country’s embattled east, Colin H. Kahl, a top Pentagon official, said yesterday. “We’re not going to tell the Ukrainians how to negotiate, what to negotiate and when to negotiate,” he added. “They’re going to set those terms for themselves.”

The comments came as Ukraine’s attempt to hold on to its territory in the eastern Donbas region reached a critical juncture. Some Western officials are now questioning Ukraine’s ability to hold off Russian forces, while western European nations fear a prolonged war that raises the risk of drawing NATO into the fighting. Follow the latest updates from the war.

NATO defense ministers will meet today and tomorrow in Brussels. Finland and Sweden’s applications for membership are stalled over objections from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, who argues that the would-be members sympathize with the Kurdish militants he sees as terrorists. “It is not possible for us to be in favor,” he said.

In other news from the conflict:

President Biden is weighing whether to roll back some of the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods during the Trump administration, in hopes of mitigating the most rapid price gains in 40 years, according to officials.

Business groups and some outside economists said it would be a significant step that the president could take to immediately cut costs for consumers. But some administration economists privately estimate the tariff reductions would reduce overall inflation by as little as a quarter of a percentage point, after it hit 8.6 percent in May.

The tariff discussion comes at a precarious time for the economy. Persistent inflation has shattered consumer confidence, driven the markets into bear territory — down 20 percent from January — and inflamed fears of a recession. Biden has said taming inflation rests mainly with the Federal Reserve, which is trying to cool demand by raising interest rates.

Context: The China tariffs are raising the price of goods for American consumers by essentially adding a tax on top of what they already pay for imported goods. In theory, removing the tariffs could reduce inflation if companies cut — or stopped raising — prices on those products.

Related: Cryptocurrency’s unregulated nature allowed a multitrillion-dollar industry to rise overnight. Now, those same structures have sent it crashing down.

A last-minute ruling from the European Court of Human Rights grounded a chartered aircraft that was scheduled to take migrants from Britain to Rwanda, in an unexpected setback to a new, hard-line policy from the British government that seeks to deport would-be asylum seekers 4,000 miles away.

The ruling came at the end of a day of uncertainty, as the small number of people awaiting deportation attempted legal challenges to resist removal from Britain. Although Britain is no longer part of the E.U., it is a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore accepts judgments from the court.

The plan has been roundly criticized by human rights advocates, civil servants and such high-ranking public figures as Prince Charles. It comes at a time when immigration into Britain from countries outside of the E.U. is rising. Critics have accused Boris Johnson, Britain’s struggling prime minister, of deliberately stoking the issue for political advantage.

Response: In a statement, the home secretary, Priti Patel, described the verdict as “very surprising.” She added: “We will not be deterred from doing the right thing and delivering our plans to control our nation’s borders. Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight, and preparation for the next flight begins now.”

“I’ll be 66 in July, and I’ve been acting for a paycheck since I was 20. Forty-six years and I now know what was evident when I was 20 years old is what Spencer Tracy said: ‘Learn the lines. Hit the marks. Tell the truth.’ That’s all you can do.”

Tom Hanks on his wild new Elvis movie, his faith in America and why his Oscar-winning movies might not have been made today.

Eric Kim is a Times Magazine columnist, cookbook author and son of South Korean immigrants. He has spent a lifetime watching his mother cook. “I’ve been Korean my whole life, and I’ve been cooking since I was 13, but only recently have I begun to feel like a Korean cook,” he writes.

In his day-to-day cooking, Eric draws on classic Korean ingredients: soybean paste, tongbaechu kimchi, grassy perilla leaves, seaweed in many different forms. His mother, Jean, is ever-present in his cooking. “The way I cook now, the way I move and breathe in my New York City kitchen, has echoes of her movements, her breaths.”

Asked to pick only 10 Korean dishes, these recipes would be Eric’s choice. “Some of these dishes are more than their ingredients, speaking not only to the history of a divided nation and a war, but also to a gorgeous history of empires,” he adds. “I’ve written the recipes in English, but know that their souls are in Korean.”

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