The largest military air exercises in Europe since the end of the Cold War began yesterday, as more than 250 aircraft took to the air in a pointed demonstration to Russia of how NATO would respond if the alliance was attacked.
Twenty-five nations participated in the exercises in Germany. All but two are members of NATO: Sweden, which is seeking admission, also took part, and Japan was an observer. The war games have been planned since 2018, but they took on added urgency after the invasion of Ukraine, which alarmed NATO members that lie in the shadow of Russia.
After 30 years of shrinking military budgets, air power had become a vulnerability for NATO. That has begun to change since the start of the Russian invasion, with leaders in Kyiv billing their country as Europe’s first line of defense against Moscow.
Strategy: Since the invasion of Ukraine, NATO has shifted from “deterrence by retaliation” — relying on the promise to come to the defense of any member — to “deterrence by denial,” which seeks to prevent an occupation. That means more troops and equipment permanently based on the Russian border.
On the ground: “A lot of what today was, was to show Russia that it’s ready,” said Lara Jakes, who reported from an air base in Wunstorf, Germany. “This was a war game that was supposed to look exactly like the response should a NATO state be attacked.”
Related: In Russia, recent Ukrainian attacks have killed more than a dozen civilians and displaced thousands. But they have not fundamentally changed the political landscape for Vladimir Putin.
Silvio Berlusconi is dead at 86
Silvio Berlusconi, the real estate and media mogul who became Italy’s most polarizing and prosecuted prime minister over a quarter-century of political and cultural influence, died yesterday in a hospital in Milan. He was 86.
To economists, Berlusconi was the man who helped drive the Italian economy into the ground. To political scientists, he represented a bold new experiment in television’s impact on voters. And to tabloid reporters, he was a consistent source of scandal, gaffes and escapades. His death brings to an end one of the longest, most consequential and colorful eras in Italian politics.
Berlusconi revolutionized not only Italian politics, but also its sports, daily life, image of itself and popular culture — all through his privately owned television channels — leaving an imprint, or a bruise, on almost everything he touched.
Reactions: “Thank you President, thank you Silvio.” Read tributes from both his allies and his enemies.
Highs and lows: Look back on Berlusconi’s career.
Trump’s options for fighting charges
Ahead of his scheduled court appearance today, Donald Trump and his advisers have scrambled to assemble a legal team after he was charged last week with mishandling classified documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them.
To fight the charges, his lawyers may assert that the former president had a right to take the documents from the White House and that he had previously declassified them. They could also accuse the prosecutors of misconduct, try to show that he was a victim of selective prosecution, or seek to have potentially damning evidence excluded from the trial.
Those claims could be difficult to sustain in court. Experts said that it was difficult in general to have a federal indictment dismissed before going to trial.
THE LATEST NEWS
Around the World
More than 40 civilians were killed when a militia attacked a camp for displaced people in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Clashes in Senegal between the police and supporters of an opposition leader have left at least 16 dead.
In a Montana trial, 16 young people are arguing that the state’s embrace of fossil fuels is robbing residents of a healthy future.
China’s coast guard, the largest in the world, has set off an arms race in countries that fear Chinese encroachment.
Other Big Stories
JPMorgan Chase reached a tentative $290 million settlement with victims of Jeffrey Epstein over claims that the bank ignored warnings about him.
The publisher of the Guardian and Observer newspapers in Britain apologized to several women for its handling of sexual harassment complaints.
The U.S. will rejoin UNESCO, the U.N.’s cultural organization, after withdrawing in 2017.
The Federal Trade Commission sued Microsoft to block the company’s $69 billion purchase of the video game powerhouse Activision Blizzard.
What Else Is Happening
George Soros gave control of his $25 billion foundation to his son Alex.
Polls show that the Scottish public is still roughly split on the issue of independence.
A fossil frenzy in Australia has drawn in dinosaur-minded tourists, reinvigorating a region of western Queensland.
A Morning Read
In the world of Greco-Roman statuary, headless torsos and torso-less heads are ubiquitous — and seldom reconnected. Many heads were lost because of the wear and tear of time, while other explanations include looting and regime change.
Some experts said they did not spend much time searching for matches, given the odds against finding one. So there is often rejoicing when a head and a torso find their way back to each other. “Sometimes things fit perfectly,” one curator said. “Boom, it all lines up.”
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
Saudi Arabia is disrupting soccer: The story of how and why the Gulf state is aiming to buy the world’s biggest names — and the problems it’s hiding.
Which team had the best season ever? A look at how Manchester City’s year ranks in comparison with teams in other sports through the years.
Denver finally wins a crown: The Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat to claim the club’s first N.B.A. championship.
From The Times: Kylian Mbappé will not renew his contract with Paris St.-Germain when it expires next June.
ARTS AND IDEAS
What noise does to your body
Sirens, barking dogs, soaring jets: A growing body of research suggests that chronic noise is an unrecognized health threat.
Unpleasant noises are relayed to the stress detection center in your brain, and they can set off a cascade of reactions that, over time, can lead to inflammation, hypertension and plaque buildup in arteries — increasing the risk of heart problems and strokes.
But how loud is too loud? Regular exposure to even a few decibels of noise above moderate levels — for example, from loud traffic, a noisy train or an aircraft passing overhead — can prompt harmful reactions.
Check your surroundings: Here’s how to find out if you’re exposed to too much noise.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
Cool down with these savory chilled noodles.
What to Watch
“Scarlet” is a historical drama set in the wake of World War I.
What to Read
Five children’s books on counting to one — and beyond.
Now Time to Play
Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Border (four letters).
And here are today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.
You can find all our puzzles here.
That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha
P.S. The New Yorker interviewed A.G. Sulzberger, The Times’s publisher.
“The Daily” is on the evidence against Donald Trump.