Plus North Korea’s underwater missile silos and trouble in the Metaverse.
- 1 Russia unleashes mass strikes on Ukrainian civilians
- 2 North Korea’s underwater silos
- 3 The State of the War
- 4 Meta’s metaverse is off to a rocky start
- 5 Asia
- 6 World News
- 7 What Else Is Happening
- 8 A Morning Read
- 9 Lives Lived
- 10 A unique path to the best-seller list
- 11 What to Cook
- 12 What to Read
- 13 What to Try
- 14 Now Time to Play
Russia unleashes mass strikes on Ukrainian civilians
President Vladimir Putin of Russia ordered the largest aerial assault since the early days of Moscow’s invasion, raining missiles down on at least 11 cities and killing at least 14 people.
Dozens of missile strikes — from Lviv in the west to Mykolaiv in the south and Kharkiv in the northeast — slammed into civilian areas during the morning commute. In Kyiv, residents took shelter in subway stations.
The Russian attacks appeared to target civilian infrastructure, and several cities suffered power and water outages. Experts said that the attacks seemed unlikely to have a significant effect on Ukraine’s military, but destroying Ukrainian infrastructure could be part of a longer-term strategy to sow panic.
The context: Putin said the attacks were retaliation for an explosion over the weekend that damaged the only bridge linking the occupied Crimean Peninsula to Russia. The strikes against Ukraine seemed designed to placate Russian hard liners, who have called for a much tougher approach to the war, and drew attention away from his unpopular draft and Ukraine’s recent victories on the battlefield.
The reaction: The attacks drew furious international condemnation. President Biden said the attacks served no military purpose and again demonstrated “the utter brutality of Mr. Putin’s illegal war on the Ukrainian people.” Moldovan officials said that three Russian missiles fired from the Black Sea violated their country’s airspace. India and China, key trading partners of Russia despite Western sanctions, called for immediate de-escalation.
North Korea’s underwater silos
North Korea broke its silence after a barrage of missile tests on Monday, claiming that it fired a nuclear-capable short-range ballistic missile from an underwater silo. The country has launched 12 missiles in the past two weeks, including one that flew over Japan.
North Korean media said one of the recent tests was a rehearsal for firing nuclear weapons at airports in South Korea, and that Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, personally oversaw some of the launches. The claims suggest that the country is devising ways to make its weapons harder to detect and intercept.
Background: North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile capabilities are Kim’s biggest achievement since taking power more than a decade ago. The country has vowed never to bargain away its nuclear weapons.
The State of the War
- A Large-Scale Strike: President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia unleashed a series of missile strikes that hit at least 10 cities across Ukraine, including Kyiv, in a broad aerial assault against civilians and critical infrastructure that drew international condemnation and calls for de-escalation.
- Crimean Bridge Explosion: Mr. Putin said that the strikes were retaliation for a blast that hit a key Russian bridge over the weekend. The bridge, which links the Crimean Peninsula to Russia, is a primary supply route for Russian troops fighting in the south of Ukraine.
- Mounting Criticism: While Russian hard-liners celebrated the missile strikes, Moscow’s faltering invasion of Ukraine has produced a recent barrage of criticism from supporters of the war, creating a new challenge for Mr. Putin.
- The Southern Front: The Russian retreat from areas in the north of Ukraine was unplanned and chaotic. But in the south, Russian soldiers are dug in more securely, and while there are signs of low morale, there are also indications of a determination to fight.
Analysis: North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are shrouded in secrecy, making it hard to assess its actual capabilities. Analysts said Kim was using stalled talks with Washington to test and improve his weapons.
Meta’s metaverse is off to a rocky start
The company previously known as Facebook has spent billions of dollars constructing the so-called metaverse, where people inhabit immersive digital environments.
But its first year has been bumpy: Meta’s flagship virtual-reality social network, Horizon Worlds, remains buggy and unpopular. Many employees have said they don’t understand the company’s metaverse strategy. And one executive said that the amount of money spent on unproven projects made him “sick to my stomach.”
Context: The stakes are high for the company, which is racing to transform itself to make up for declines in other parts of its business. Meta’s stock price has tumbled nearly 60 percent in the past year. The company also announced that it would freeze most hiring and warned employees that layoffs may be coming.
Inside the metaverse: My colleague Kashmir Hill spent more than 24 hours inside the immersive, three-dimensional universe of Horizon Worlds. It was surprisingly fun.
A new technology podcast: In the inaugural episode of “Hard Fork,” tech journalists Kevin Roose and Casey Newton debate whether Elon Musk’s newest offer to buy Twitter is for real this time.
THE LATEST NEWS
Thailand’s prime minister ordered law enforcement agencies to tighten gun ownership rules and to crack down on drug use after the mass killing last week at a day care center, Reuters reports.
Japan is easing its border control requirements for Covid, according to Reuters, but the country’s tourism industry still faces headwinds.
The Dutch, long masters at fending off water, are now working to retain it as climate change dries out Europe.
After resigning his post as Britain’s prime minister, Boris Johnson is poised to become a one-man private corporation as an author and speaker.
A looming solar tower in Israel generates enough power for tens of thousands of homes, but some compare it to the “eye of Sauron” from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.”
Young Britons fear they are lurching from crisis to crisis as they confront rising costs and a slowing economy.
What Else Is Happening
Researchers hope that vaccines could eventually protect people from certain forms of cancer.
Kanye West drew widespread criticism after making antisemitic remarks on Instagram and Twitter.
The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Ben Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chair, and two other economists for research on banks and “how society deals with financial crises.”
A Morning Read
India has cultivated jute, a coarse fiber used to make fabrics like burlap, for centuries. In recent decades, the industry has been threatened by synthetic substitutes. But growing global demand for sustainable textiles — especially for reusable shopping bags — is creating a jute resurgence.
Kevin Locke brought traditional Native American culture to audiences all over the world through flute songs, hoop dances and stories.
ARTS AND IDEAS
A unique path to the best-seller list
Colleen Hoover has sold 8.6 million print books — that’s more than James Patterson and John Grisham combined. And her success has upended the publishing industry’s most entrenched assumptions.
When she self-published her first young adult novel, “Slammed,” in January 2012, Hoover was making $9 an hour as a social worker and living in a single-wide trailer with her husband and their three sons.
Hoover didn’t have a publisher, an agent or any of the usual marketing machinery that goes into engineering a best seller. But seven months later, “Slammed” hit the New York Times best-seller list, and she was soon able to quit her job to write full time. The eclectic author has written romances, a steamy psychological thriller and harrowing novels about domestic violence, drug abuse and poverty.
Her success has happened largely on her own terms, driven by readers who act as her evangelists, driving sales through ecstatic online reviews and viral reaction videos.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
Harvest season’s here. This spice-filled bundt cake, made from grated apples and toasted nuts then soaked in whiskey syrup, defies the cliché of the Thanksgiving dessert.
What to Read
“Illuminations,” the comic book titan Alan Moore’s first short story collection, finds Moore working on a smaller scale than his maximalist novels but “still swinging for the firmament,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz writes in a review.
What to Try
A bidet is a better way to clean yourself, writes the TV writer and producer Muna Mire.
Now Time to Play
Play the Mini Crossword, and a clue: Baby’s neckwear (3 letters).
That’s all this morning. See you tomorrow. — Dan
Listen to the most recent episode of “The Daily,” about tactical nuclear weapons and whether Russia could use them.
You can reach Dan and the team at [email protected].