Your Thursday Briefing: Finland and Sweden May Join NATO

We’re overlaying NATO’s potential growth and the presidential marketing campaign of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. within the Philippines.

Finland and Sweden are contemplating whether or not to use for NATO membership within the coming weeks and are extensively anticipated to hitch, underscoring how the invasion of Ukraine has backfired for President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Instead of crushing Ukrainian nationalism, he has enhanced it. Instead of dividing NATO and blocking its progress, he has united and maybe enlarged it.

The prime ministers of the 2 nonaligned Nordic nations held a press convention in Stockholm at present, with Finland’s chief saying a choice may very well be made “within weeks.”

Meanwhile, the presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia visited Ukraine on Wednesday in an indication of help, as investigators accelerated their efforts to gather proof of reported Russian atrocities exterior Kyiv. An preliminary report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe discovered “clear patterns” of violations of worldwide regulation by the Russian army.

The coronavirus pandemic, now in its third yr, has reached a monumental scale the world over. Countries have now logged 500 million confirmed instances of Covid-19, together with greater than 200 million on this yr alone.

Compared with two weeks in the past, instances are down 34 p.c to about 1 million per day, and deaths are down 24 p.c to about 3,700 per day.

But the true numbers are virtually actually a lot increased due to an absence of adequate testing in lots of nations, together with the United States. A W.H.O evaluation estimated that 65 p.c of Africans had been contaminated as of September 2021 — practically 100 occasions the variety of confirmed instances on the continent.

Heath consultants and regional authorities have voiced considerations that the shortage of enough testing may restrict the world’s preparedness. “If you don’t test,” stated one epidemiologist, “then you don’t know what variants you have.”

In different pandemic developments:

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has spent a lot of his life defending his household’s title in opposition to accusations of greed and corruption throughout his father’s brutal rule, from 1965 to 1986. Now he’s the clear front-runner in subsequent month’s presidential election.

Marcos, identified by his boyhood nickname “Bongbong,” is poised to rewrite the historical past books in additional methods than one. Targeting younger voters with no reminiscence of martial regulation or the killing of political prisoners throughout his father’s regime, Marcos has solid off criticisms as “fake news” and spurned presidential debates, as an alternative selecting to depend on social media to unfold his message.

“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,” stated Maria Ress, a Nobel Prize-winning journalist who’s an outspoken critic of Marcos. “If facts don’t win, we’ll have a whole new history.”

Storm deaths: Landslides attributable to Tropical Storm Megi, the primary such storm this yr, buried a distant group within the Philippines’ central Leyte Province, leaving at the least 48 folks lifeless.

The consulting agency McKinsey & Company works for most of the world’s largest corporations, in addition to for governments within the United States, Europe and Asia. A Times investigation discovered that engaged on either side of the fence was a part of McKinsey’s pitch. In the U.S., it allowed workers who labored for opioid makers and different pharmaceutical corporations to additionally seek the advice of for the F.D.A., elevating stark questions on conflicts of curiosity.

In “5 Minutes That Will Make You Love …,” The Times asks musicians, critics and consultants to suggest songs in a sure musical model. The newest version explores a lesser-known space: Renaissance music.

“We wanted to shine a light on music you’re most likely not going to hear at your local symphony,” Zachary Woolfe, The Times’s classical music critic, instructed us. “There’s an incredible variety in the compositions of the 15th and 16th centuries, but this selection focuses on some of the most beautiful choral writing ever made.”

The songs on the listing evoke the expertise of life centuries in the past. In a lot of them, celestial harmonies sound as if they’re echoing in a cathedral. Others are enjoyable and shocking: “Come, sirrah Jack, ho,” a jaunty ode to ingesting and smoking, is sort of a night time in a tavern, with singers vouching that the tobacco — which is “very, very good” — is “perfect Trinidado.”

Listen right here.

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