Your Friday Briefing

In its campaign to hit Ukraine’s civilians by cutting off electricity and running water, Russia subjected the country to a wave of devastating missile attacks this week, shutting down all of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants for the first time. Engineers and emergency crews worked desperately yesterday to restore services amid darkness, snow and freezing rain.

Across the country, people dealt with hardship. Surgeons donned headlamps to work in the dark, and miners were pulled from deep underground with hand winches. Residents of high-rises where elevators had stopped working carried buckets and bottles of water upstairs, and shops and restaurants used generators or candles to keep business going.

Millions were left without power last night as persistent missile strikes took an increasing toll. At least 10 people died on Wednesday, Ukrainian authorities said. After each strike, repairs have become more challenging, blackouts have lasted longer, and the danger to the public has increased.

strikes: Since an explosion on October 8 at the Kerch Strait Bridge, which links the occupied Crimean peninsula with Russia, the Russian military has fired around 600 missiles at critical infrastructure in Ukraine.

Related: The parent company of major Russian tech company Yandex wants to cut ties with the country to protect its new businesses from the fallout of the war, a potential setback for Russia’s efforts to develop local substitutes for Western goods and services cut by the war. sanctions.

As China’s tough covid rules extend into their third year, there are growing signs of discontent across the country. The rare displays of defiance are a test of Xi Jinping’s leadership and underscore the urgent political question of how he can lead China out of the covid era.

In central China, thousands of factory workers clashed with riot police officers over a dispute over late pay and poor Covid isolation protocols. Protesters in Guangzhou poured out of locked buildings to confront health workers and loot food supplies. And online, many Chinese have been outraged after the death of a 4-month-old girl whose father said access to medical treatment for her had been delayed due to Covid restrictions.

The signs of frustration and despair with the lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing that have disrupted everyday life are becoming more visible. The anger, combined with nationwide covid outbreaks that have pushed cases to record highs, portends a dark winter ahead.

Context: Earlier this month, officials said they would tighten Covid restrictions to limit the impact the disruptions have had on the economy and government resources. The latest surge in cases has cast doubt on that promise, with many officials turning to familiar heavy-handed measures to try to stem the spread of the virus.

By the numbers: On Wednesday, the country reported 31,444 cases, surpassing a record set in April, Reuters reported. Cases have increased by 314 percent from the average of two weeks ago.

As recently as the summer, US officials still held out hope of reviving the Iran nuclear deal. Those days now seem a long way off: Last week, Iran told international inspectors that it plans to start producing near-bomb-grade nuclear fuel deep inside a mountain. It also intends to dramatically expand its production of nuclear fuel.

These announcements came after weeks of violence, in which Iranian forces shot or locked up anti-government protesters and provided drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine. Some intelligence agencies suspect that it may also be in talks to produce missiles for Russia’s depleted arsenal.

A new era of direct confrontation with Iran has openly broken out. President Biden’s hope of re-entering the nuclear deal has all but died. National security meetings are now focused on how to undermine Iran’s nuclear plans, support protesters and disrupt the country’s arms supply chain to Russia, officials said.

Quotable: “There is no diplomacy at this time regarding the Iran deal,” John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said last month. “We’re at a dead end right now, and we’re not focused on that.”

Legends tell of an echoless chamber in an old Minneapolis recording studio that drives visitors crazy. Could Caity Weaver, writer for The New York Times Magazine, survive in the quietest place on earth, and maybe even set a record for longest time within her walls?

“The rustle of my paper while taking notes was extremely loud,” he writes. “But always, every time my movements ceased, the silence of the chamber returned quickly, like the tide erasing a footprint in the sand.”

What happened to the Germans in the World Cup? Germany dominated the first half, but lost out in the second against Japan, and the veteran players rushed to point out their flaws.

The many layers of the US vs. England: Connections between the USMNT and England runs deepmaking Friday’s game between the two teams a testing ground for the Americans.

Cristiano Ronaldo claims another record: The Portugal captain became the first man to score in five World Cups after converting a penalty in dramatic victory on your side against Ghana.

After being on the brink of extinction, the ancient language is experiencing a renaissance on the Isle of Man, thanks in part to a primary school of 53 students and some passionate parents, reports Megan Specia from the island.

“He was on the brink, but we have brought him back to life,” said Julie Matthews, headmistress of the school, Bunscoill Ghaelgagh. The efforts of her students have led UNESCO to recategorize Manx as a “revitalized” language, from “extinct”. All over the island, people are trying to infuse it into their daily lives, with many adults taking Manx classes and Manx bands playing in pubs.

For centuries, Manx, part of the Celtic family of languages, like Irish and Scottish Gaelic, was the way people on the island communicated. But by the 19th century, the English language had overtaken him, and many on the Isle of Man, a self-governing British crown dependency, raised their children to speak only English.

“Manx survival into the 21st century is a testament to the island’s sense of itself as a place apart, with its own identity and political autonomy,” Megan writes.