Russian court convicts U.S. ambassador to World Cup

Russian court convicts U.S. ambassador to World Cup

A Russian court sentenced Brittney Griner, the W.N. A nine-year-old Russian prisoner, who has been in jail since February, has been in a penal colony on drug charges. The guilty verdict, which most experts consider preordained in a legal system in which defendants are rarely acquitted, leaves Griner s fate subject to diplomatic wrangling between Russia and the U.S. The countries are considering the possibility of a prisoner swap that would bring Griner home in exchange for one of the world's most notorious arms dealers. U.S. officials believe that Griner was wrongly held and wrongly detained as a political bargaining chip. President Biden, who called the sentence unacceptable, is faced with a difficult choice between trading the arms merchant Viktor Bout for Griner and another American, Paul Whelan, or sweetening the offer.

The military of China is currently conducting live-fire military tests in the waters surrounding Taiwan - a show of force intended to punish the island for hosting U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this week. Within 24 hours of Pelosi's departure, 11 Chinese missiles struck the seas north, south and east of Taiwan. The drills, some of which are being held in areas less than 10 miles from the Taiwanese coast, will have given Chinese forces valuable practice if they are ordered to attack the island. The exercises, which are set to last a full three days, are putting the region on edge, despite the fact that imminent conflict is unlikely. Tensions can escalate dangerously if something goes wrong. Five Chinese missiles had fallen into its exclusive economic zone, the first time any had landed in those waters, according to the Japanese government.

In China : On social media, many Chinese were disappointed by Beijing's limited response to Pelosi's visit, especially given the government's tough rhetoric. Some users compared the military to the Chinese men's soccer team, a laughingstock in the country because it only qualified for the World Cup once. Pelosi met with political leaders in South Korea on Thursday and remained largely silent on China's response, The Associated Press reported. The South Korean president, who is on a vacation, spoke with her over the phone rather than in person, which critics saw as an intentional snub, with South Korean relations with China in mind.

The move is seen as long overdue. A separate proposal by the Australian Greens that would have required a 75 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 was rejected. The leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt, argued that the government's lower target will lead to the demise of the Great Barrier Reef, which is expected to continue struggling under current warming trends. The 43 percent pledge will bring Australia closer to the reductions promised by Canada, South Korea and Japan, while still falling short of the commitments from the U.S. the E.U. The All Blacks lost four of their last five games, moving back to fourth in the world rankings, their lowest position ever. Their struggles have left New Zealand asking not only why its most iconic representatives have faltered, but also what it means when the world's greatest rugby team isn't actually the best. New Zealand has changed. While rugby still fascinates many, the number of men who play the game is dropping as interest in other sports grows. The study found that only 7 percent of young New Zealanders play regularly.

That was it for today's briefing. Matthew P.S. Matt Purdy was named Editor at Large, a new leadership position at The Times.