Your Friday Briefing

An arrest in the U.S. leak case

Federal investigators in the U.S. arrested a 21-year-old man who they believe is linked to leaked classified intelligence documents that have upended relations with American allies and exposed weaknesses in the Ukrainian military.

Using a gaming profile and other records, The Times identified the man as Jack Teixeira, a member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Teixeira oversaw an online group, Thug Shaker Central, where the documents first appeared. The group consisted of about two dozen people, mostly young men and teenagers, who came together over a shared love of guns, racist memes and video games.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said yesterday that the F.B.I. had taken Teixeira into custody “without incident,” adding that Teixeira is accused of illegally sharing classified defense information. President Biden sought to downplay the leaks, saying he wasn’t concerned about the disclosures.

New revelations: The cache of documents has shed light on recent U.S. accusations that China was considering giving Russia military aid. In mid-February, the U.S. intercepted communications indicating that Russian intelligence officials had reported the approval of such aid by China’s top military body.

In news from the war in Ukraine:

In Ireland, President Biden thanked the Irish people for supporting Ukraine.

Infighting inside Russia’s government appears broader and deeper than previously understood.

The leak has illustrated the broad reach of U.S. spy agencies. Yet outrage has been limited.

A ruling on Macron’s pension overhaul looms

Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched in cities across France yesterday ahead of a crucial ruling today on President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to raise the legal age of retirement to 64, from 62. The ruling could pave the way for the measure’s final implementation, even if it does little to dispel persistent popular opposition.

The overhaul, which became law last month after Macron decided to push it through the lower house of Parliament without a vote, has led to 12 days of nationwide protests and strikes since January. The standoff, marked by sporadic violence between the police and protesters, continues.

All eyes are now on the Constitutional Council, which reviews legislation to ensure that it conforms to the French Constitution. The measures in Macron’s pension overhaul cannot be officially enacted until the nine-member council gives them the green light.

By the numbers: According to the French authorities, protests on Thursday attracted about 380,000 people, though labor unions said that the number was one million to 1.5 million. Both the authorities and the unions had estimated that turnout at demonstrations last week was higher.

Taiwan: Macron stood by his recent comments that Europe could not be a “vassal” of the U.S. on issues around Taiwan’s security.

A fight over abortion pills in the U.S.

The U.S. Justice Department said it was asking the Supreme Court to take emergency action to halt a ruling by a federal appeals panel that blocked a widely used and safe abortion pill, mifepristone, from being mailed to patients and rolled back other steps intended to simplify patients’ access to the pill.

In its order, the appeals court declined to uphold part of a ruling by a judge in Texas, who last week declared that the F.D.A.’s 23-year-old approval of the abortion drug mifepristone was not valid, in essence saying that the drug should be pulled from the market.

As access to abortion has become restricted in the U.S., the market for abortion pills sold outside the formal health care system has expanded significantly. Tens of thousands of patients have gone online in search of pills in the nine months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Related: Florida voted to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, ending an option for those seeking the procedure later in the Deep South.


Around the World

Arab countries are meeting with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria after years of isolating him for his role in Syria’s civil war.

North Korea fired a ballistic missile, its first such test in more than two weeks, South Korea said.

The police in Hong Kong detained two men who were accused of soaking police officers during a festival in which people douse one another with water.

Other Big Stories

A defamation case against Fox News that’s set to go to trial next week will address the limits of journalistic responsibility.

Senator Dianne Feinstein pushed back on calls for her resignation but asked to step away from the Judiciary Committee indefinitely while she recovered from shingles.

Donald Trump was questioned under oath yesterday in a lawsuit filed by Letitia James, the New York State attorney general, against Trump and three of his children, accusing them of fraudulently overvaluing assets to lenders and insurers.

The Week in Culture

Mary Quant, a British designer who was known as the mother of the miniskirt and who epitomized the style of the Swinging Sixties, has died at 93.

“Harry Potter” is becoming a decade-long TV series. J.K. Rowling is expected to be an executive producer of the show.

Movies by Wes Anderson, Hirokazu Kore-eda and others will vie for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

This year’s Met Gala will pay homage to Karl Lagerfeld.

Students at Cornell University called for trigger warnings on sensitive content. University administrators pushed back.

A Morning Read

After five decades of anti-nuclear agitation, Germany’s three remaining reactors will be shut down by tomorrow, ending nuclear power generation in Europe’s largest economy.

But it comes as the continent grapples with questions over whether it can secure enough energy to drive its economies and keep homes warm — while also reaching ambitious climate targets.


The superstar-in-waiting being watched by 40 to 50 clubs: Gift Orban scored a hat trick in 205 seconds, and now Europe’s elites are watching.

Cost of Champions League failure for Liverpool: Analyzing where a disastrous season leaves the team ahead of the summer transfer window.

Chelsea’s worst scoring run since 1993: The team has now gone 374 minutes without a goal. It’s an area it must address.


Ottolenghi’s favorite flavors

Yotam Ottolenghi’s top 10 flavors, in no particular order: sumac, feta, olive oil, pine nuts, cinnamon, pomegranate molasses, fresh mint, spinach, parsley, lemon juice.

Those familiar flavors feel like old friends, he writes: “We all have our equivalent staples: those ingredients — those friends — whom we can bring together instinctively, without too much overthinking, where the end result always somehow tastes reassuringly familiar.” (They all feature in his new recipe for aromatic cheese and spinach phyllo rolls.)

These days, you can find all of these ingredients at most major British supermarkets. But that wasn’t always the case. Over two decades, the Israeli-born chef and food writer has roundly transformed the way Britons eat and cook, as this recent article in The Financial Times (paywall) explores.

The next step to world domination is across the Channel. Bolstered by the French enthusiasm for foreign cuisine, Ottolenghi plans to expand his restaurant business to Paris, he told the British newspaper. “They have a long tradition of loving Asian, North African and Middle Eastern food,” he said. “So yeah. I think they’re going to like the food.”


What to Cook

Celebrate springtime — and the weekend! — with lemon ricotta pancakes.

What to Watch

“Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman” is an enigmatic adaptation of a short story collection by Haruki Murakami.


Spend 36 hours in Las Vegas.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Gave the thumbs up, for short (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 Times released “Spelling Bee Buddy” to help you play our popular game.

“The Daily” is about the leaked documents.

You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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