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Your Wednesday Briefing – The New York Occasions

We’re masking Gen. Mark Milley’s testimony and Japan’s unpredictable get together management race.

Gen. Mark Milley, essentially the most senior U.S. navy commander, defended his actions in the final months of the Trump administration and warned of the “very actual risk” that Al Qaeda and ISIS might rebuild in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

In testimony to lawmakers on Tuesday, Milley insisted that calls he made to his Chinese language counterpart final yr and a gathering wherein he informed U.S. generals to alert him if the president tried to launch a nuclear weapon have been all a part of his job because the nation’s most senior navy officer.

High navy officers acknowledged publicly for the primary time that they’d advised President Biden not to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. They mentioned the collapse of the Afghan military took commanders unexpectedly.

Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, mentioned {that a} reconstituted Al Qaeda or ISIS in Afghanistan “with aspirations to assault the USA is a very real possibility.” He added, “And people circumstances, to incorporate exercise in ungoverned areas, might current themselves within the subsequent 12 to 36 months.”

Drone strike: After a Occasions investigation discovered {that a} U.S. drone strike in Kabul on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians, senators acquired an opportunity to ask prime navy officers immediately what went wrong.


Polls present that the Japanese public favors Taro Kono, the cupboard minister who oversees Japan’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, to be the following prime minister. He’s forward of different candidates within the race to steer the governing Liberal Democratic Occasion — which, in impact, is the race to change into prime minister.

Occasion members will vote Wednesday to decide on a successor to Yoshihide Suga, the present prime minister and get together chief.

However within the again rooms, Kono, 58, doesn’t have almost as a lot assist. His fame as a nonconformist and his left-leaning views on social points put him out of step with the get together’s conservative elders, who maintain appreciable sway.

Particulars: Kono has courted public opinion, posting playful tweets and even personally responding to vaccine questions on-line. He opposes nuclear energy and helps same-sex marriage, positions that put him on the flawed aspect of many get together members.

Rivals: Sanae Takaichi, 60, a hard-line conservative, can be Japan’s first feminine prime minister. She has sturdy backing from the get together’s proper wing and from former prime minister Shinzo Abe. Many get together members assume Fumio Kishida, 64, a average with tepid assist within the polls, is the most secure alternative.

The pandemic: Japan is ending its state-of-emergency measures on Thursday because the variety of new every day coronavirus instances has dropped and the vaccine rollout has reached almost 60 p.c of the inhabitants.


Pfizer and BioNTech mentioned on Tuesday that they’d submitted information to U.S. regulators that the businesses mentioned confirmed that their coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11.

The businesses mentioned that they’d submit a proper request to permit a pediatric dose of their vaccine to be administered within the U.S. within the coming weeks. Related requests shall be filed with European regulators and in different international locations.

A couple of week in the past, Pfizer and BioNTech introduced favorable outcomes from their scientific trial with greater than 2,200 members in that age group.

Context: About 28 million youngsters ages 5 to 11 can be eligible for the vaccine within the U.S., way over the 17 million of ages 12 to fifteen who grew to become eligible for the vaccine in Could.

Listed below are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

Information From Asia

Stephanie Grisham, the previous Trump White Home press secretary, is releasing a tell-all e book that accuses former President Trump of abusing his workers, placating dictators like Vladimir Putin of Russia, and making sexual feedback a couple of younger aide. Her writer calls the e book “essentially the most frank and intimate portrait of the Trump White Home but.” Now we have some highlights from the manuscript.

At a current live performance within the Royal Albert Corridor in London, almost 6,000 attendees gathered wearing a mix of suits, ties and video game character cosplay. That they had come to see an orchestra and choir carry out music from Closing Fantasy VII, launched in 1997.

The music within the first installment of the Closing Fantasy sequence in 1987 was restricted to a handful of digital sounds. However expertise advanced, and by the late Nineties, the video games featured dwell orchestral recordings. Nobuo Uematsu, who composed scores for the primary 9 installments of Closing Fantasy, has drawn on influences as assorted as Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Celtic music and classical music.

The soundtracks to the Closing Fantasy sequence are enormously standard: Since 2007, there have been greater than 200 official concert events throughout 20 international locations. On the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics this summer season, some athletes marched to Closing Fantasy songs. On YouTube, followers submit covers, tutorials and their very own compositions.

“There are some melodies I composed nearly 30 years in the past I’ve nearly forgotten,” Junya Nakano, who labored with Uematsu on the rating for Closing Fantasy’s tenth installment, mentioned. “However followers are nonetheless taking part in them.”

What to Cook dinner

World By way of a Lens

In southern Mexico, the Zapotec folks have lengthy accepted — and celebrated — gender nonconformity. Our journey part has these portraits of the community.

Now Time to Play

Right here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Plump up, as a pillow (5 letters).

And right here is today’s Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.


That’s it for right this moment’s briefing. And a correction: Yesterday’s briefing incorrectly described the variety of girls working to be Japan’s subsequent prime minister. There are two, not 4.

See you subsequent time. — Melina

P.S. The Occasions introduced the Headway team, which can examine vital nationwide and worldwide challenges via the lens of progress.

The newest episode of “The Daily” features a dialog with an Afghan common.

Sanam Yar wrote the Arts and Concepts part. You’ll be able to attain Melina and the staff at briefing@nytimes.com.

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