Your Wednesday Briefing

President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, third from left, shaking hands with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general.Credit…Violeta Santos Moura/Reuters

Turkey relents on Sweden and Finland

Turkey agreed to lift its veto on Sweden’s and Finland’s joining NATO, clearing a major diplomatic hurdle. Today, at a summit in Madrid, the alliance will formally invite the two countries to join. Here are live updates.

The Madrid meeting comes after the Group of 7 summit in Germany, which concluded yesterday with a fledgling and untested plan to seek price caps on Russian oil. Leaders also announced that they would spend billions more on food security, seeking to counter shortages caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin also traveled to meet with allies, heading to Tajikistan before a meeting with leaders of Central Asian countries in Turkmenistan today — a potential bulwark against his isolation from the West. It was his first trip abroad since the invasion, and a show of confidence.

Fighting: The death toll from a Russian missile strike on a crowded mall in central Ukraine rose to 18, the city’s mayor said. Russia unleashed a fresh round of strikes yesterday, killing at least eight more civilians. Communication breakdowns are still proving fatal for Ukrainian soldiers.

India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the G7 meeting. He is trying to position India as the voice of poorer nations, arguing that sanctions hurt developing countries the most.

What’s next: At the NATO summit, Western leaders are expected to announce more military funding for Ukraine and the deployment of more forces in Eastern Europe. Tomorrow in Moscow, Putin plans to meet with President Joko Widodo of Indonesia.

Cassidy Hutchinson testifying on Tuesday.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

‘They’re not here to hurt me’

Donald Trump demanded to join the mob as it approached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, even as the riot was underway, a former White House aide said yesterday in testimony before the House committee investigating the attack.

Trump knew the crowd he had amassed in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, was armed and could turn violent, but he wanted security protections lifted, said Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Mark Meadows, Trump’s final chief of staff.

Hutchinson paraphrased the former president’s objections to the presence of magnetometers to detect weapons: “‘You know, I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f-ing mags away.’”

Hutchinson also testified that Trump had tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limousine from a Secret Service agent when he was told that it was not safe to go to the Capitol. Here are live updates.

Details: Meadows and Rudy Giuliani sought pardons from Trump after the riot, Hutchinson testified.

Rage: Inside the White House, Trump threw dishes, splattering ketchup on the wall, after learning that his attorney general had publicly shot down his false allegations of a stolen election, Hutchinson said.

Analysis: “This is the smoking gun,” said one expert, who told The Times that Tuesday’s hearing had established a case for Trump’s criminal culpability on “seditious conspiracy charges.”

Rev. Francisco de Roux, left, the head of Colombia’s truth commission, with Gustavo Petro, the president-elect.Credit…Federico Rios for The New York Times

The aftermath of Colombia’s Civil War

Colombia’s national truth commission called on Tuesday for a sweeping transformation of the country’s armed forces that would refocus the military around respect for human rights and international law.

The recommendations are part of an expansive report that was the product of the 2016 peace deal between the FARC and the government. The work, which took nearly four years and involved more than 14,000 individual and group interviews, was designed to tell the most comprehensive narrative yet of Colombia’s long and brutal internal conflict, which lasted at least 58 years.

Other proposals included moving human rights violations and crimes committed by the police out of the military criminal justice system and into the civilian system, eliminating compulsory military service and evaluating the military budget with the goal of reducing its size.

The background. The Colombian conflict began as a war between the government and the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC. It eventually evolved into a complex battle involving the government, the FARC, paramilitary groups and the U.S. government. The conflict cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and billions of American dollars were spent helping the Colombians fight the insurgency and the drug trade that funded it.

Next steps. The report is not a judicial measure, and the commission will not issue sentences or penalties. Instead, the truth commission is meant to establish a common truth and “lay the foundations for the transformations necessary to make peace possible.”

Challenges. The rise of armed groups is threatening to tear Colombia apart again.


Around the World

Credit…Chandan Khanna/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • The death toll from a scorching-hot tractor-trailer found in the Texas sun rose to at least 51 on Tuesday.

  • China cut its required quarantine time in half for international arrivals, to seven days in a facility, followed by three days of home isolation.

  • The Indian authorities arrested Mohammed Zubair, a prominent Muslim journalist and a critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on charges of inciting religious disharmony.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Adam Berry/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • A German court convicted a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard of being an accessory to more than 3,500 murders.

  • At least 51 people died at a Colombian prison after a fire broke out during a riot.

  • Judges in Texas, Louisiana and Utah temporarily blocked laws that would ban abortion.

  • F.D.A. advisers recommended an updated booster shot that targets some forms of the Omicron variant.

What Else Is Happening

  • Armed robbers stole jewelry at TEFAF, a renowned Dutch art fair, in a daytime heist.

  • Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

  • A small NASA-financed spacecraft was launched to the moon from New Zealand yesterday.

A Morning Read

Credit…Photo by Ilana Panich-Linsman for The Washington Post via Getty Images

How do you teach kids about sex? Some sex-education books are about making babies or don’t mention same-sex couples. “Sex Is a Funny Word,” by the sex educator Cory Silverberg and the artist Fiona Smyth, instead bucks decades of conventional wisdom on how to teach kids about intimacy, defining sex as “something people can do to feel good in their bodies and also feel close to another person.”


Ethical questions over CRISPR

Cancer biologists use the gene-editing technology CRISPR to discover hidden vulnerabilities of tumor cells. Botanists use CRISPR to grow more nutritious tomatoes. Evolutionary biologists deploy the tool to study Neanderthal brains and how our ape ancestors lost their tails.

There is no doubt of its impact: CRISPR — one of the most celebrated inventions in modern biology — earned the 2020 Nobel Prize for chemistry. But the decade-old technology has also raised profound ethical questions about altering human DNA.

In 2018, the implications became real when a Chinese biophysicist edited a gene in human embryos to confer resistance to H.I.V. He was sentenced to prison for “illegal medical practices” the next year. The three embryos are now toddlers; little is known about their health.

Scientists don’t yet know of anyone else who has followed his example, but many believe it’s only a matter of time.

“Will it then become acceptable, or even routine, to repair disease-causing genes in an embryo in the lab?” Carl Zimmer writes. “What if parents wanted to insert traits that they found more desirable — like those related to height, eye color or intelligence?”


What to Cook

Credit…Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Victoria Granof.

Naz Deravian’s new recipe for lemon spaghetti with roasted artichokes is a quick recipe that calls for canned or frozen artichokes.

What to Read

John McWhorter, an Opinion writer, recommends three books about the Black experience.

What to Listen To

Here are 6 podcasts to make you feel good.


Try these foods that will help keep you hydrated.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Place to renew an I.D. (3 letters).

And here’s today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining us. — Jonathan and Amelia

P.S. Has the war in Ukraine changed your view of the world? Tell us about it. The Times is looking for examples, both big and small, from readers.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the new U.S. abortion map.

You can reach Jonathan, Amelia and the team at [email protected].

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