Wednesday briefing: Senate vote on Ukraine aid

The Senate is on track to pass a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. A final vote is expected in the next few hours, and President Biden is expected to sign it.

This bill will be a big boost for Ukraine. In Ukraine, the military is fighting Russia while its stockpile of munitions is dwindling. The plan had been stalled by Republican lawmakers for months, sparking a wave of concern in Kiev and across Europe that the United States would turn its back on Ukraine.

“What this aid means, in the simplest terms, is guns and bullets,” my colleague Mark Santora, who has been reporting from Ukraine since the war began, told us.

He also said this would have a “much-needed morale boost for both Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines and civilians living under the threat of almost nightly Russian drone and missile bombings.” He said it would be.

The breakthrough in Congress is also a boost for Mr. Biden, who has spent months pledging aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The bill would give him a boost at a time when his credibility and America’s leadership are being questioned on the world stage.

What’s next: The U.S.’s first major military aid to Ukraine in 16 months could come soon. “Most military analysts think it will take a month or two before we see a real change in the dynamics on the front lines,” Mark said.

High tech war: For the U.S. military, war has become a testing ground for new AI tools and other rapidly evolving technologies. While Russia appears to have regained momentum, questions remain whether high technology will be enough to turn the tide of the war.

Donald Trump sat bruised and bruised in court yesterday. The judge questioned the lawyer’s credibility and key witness, drawing curtains on a case that prosecutors said was a conspiracy to influence the 2016 election.

“To me, he seemed much angrier yesterday and today than he did all last week during jury selection,” said colleague Jonah Bromwich, reporting from the courtroom.

In a pivotal testimony, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker described a 2015 meeting between Trump and his fixer, Michael Cohen. He said the men asked what he and his magazine could do “to help the campaign.” The statement supports prosecutors’ contention that he was not only protecting Trump’s reputation but also helping his campaign.

The country moved closer to sending asylum seekers to Rwanda after Britain’s parliament passed a controversial bill on Monday.

The bill would override the Supreme Court’s ruling that made the plan illegal. The law makes Rwanda a “safe country” for refugees after a judge ruled otherwise. The government says the policy will act as a deterrent to people attempting to cross the English Channel, especially in vulnerable boats. At least five people died trying to cross the Channel yesterday.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the first flights to deport asylum seekers would not depart until June or July. Legal experts say the plan is deeply flawed and human rights groups have vowed to fight any attempt to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Community eateries in China cater to senior citizens and offer large plates of food for as little as $1 or $2. But in this tough economic climate, it’s gaining popularity among young professionals with money to spare.

The portions are often large enough to last over several meals, and customers can often be seen cleaning up the food after they’ve finished eating.

For a glimpse of where artificial intelligence is heading in election campaigns, look no further than India, the world’s largest democracy, where voters are voting until June 1st.

Some campaigns have introduced AI avatars of candidates. The AI-generated version of Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows him addressing voters directly by name. Modi’s workers are sending auto-generated video messages to voters in one of India’s dozens of languages.

As technology moves into the political arena, there are few guardrails to prevent its misuse. Some experts worry that voters will have a hard time distinguishing between real and synthetic messages.

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