Since before Russia invaded Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has been asking NATO for membership — an aspiration fixed in Ukraine’s Constitution since 2019. Today, at the alliance’s summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, all 31 NATO leaders agreed to offer an invitation. Yet Zelensky was left disappointed.
Without offering any timeline, NATO said it would allow Ukraine to join only “when allies agree and conditions are met.” The move would be a major blow to President Vladimir Putin — bringing the Western alliance to his doorstep — but it could be a very long time before Ukraine is allowed to join.
Zelensky called NATO’s lack of specifics “absurd,” but did soften his tone when he arrived at the summit.
The main reason for denying Ukraine membership is because of the ongoing war with Russia. “NATO’s collective defense promise, the famous Article V, would mean that every NATO member is obligated to fight for Ukraine,” my colleague Steven Erlanger said. “And nobody wants to do that.”
Elsewhere at the summit, Turkey’s sudden decision to support Sweden’s entry into NATO was seen by some as a sign that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could be scaling back his close ties with Russia.
Vermont sent helicopters and boats to rescue residents
The downtown streets of Vermont’s capital, Montpelier, were underwater today after days of slow-moving rainstorms drenched the Northeast. Rescuers in helicopters and boats headed for remote mountain towns to aid residents trapped in dangerous floodwaters. (Here is where the heaviest rain fell.)
“The devastation and flooding we’re experiencing across Vermont is historic and catastrophic,” the state’s governor, Phil Scott, said. But with rain anticipated to hit the area again this week, he added: “This is nowhere near over.”
The flooding revealed how the U.S. is unprepared for the extreme weather events brought on by climate change. The country lacks up-to-date maps showing flood risks and data on precipitation. Funding for climate resilience also falls far below the need.
Trump is seeking to delay his trial
Lawyers for Donald Trump asked the judge overseeing his trial on charges of illegally retaining classified documents for an indefinite postponement, until all “substantive motions” are resolved. The request was in response to a separate one by the special counsel for a trial date of Dec. 11.
Trump’s request presents an early test for Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by the former president. If granted, it could push the trial to the final stages of the 2024 campaign or potentially until after the election.
Iowa is set to sharply limit abortion access
After the Iowa Supreme Court decided last month to allow abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, state lawmakers returned to the Capitol today to advance a nearly identical set of restrictions. A new bill would outlaw nearly all abortions after six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. With large Republican majorities in both chambers, the legislation is very likely to pass, further eroding access to abortions in the Midwest, where the procedure is already limited.
Taylor Swift broke Ticketmaster on another continent
Tickets to six shows from Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour next year in France were released today on Ticketmaster. But the website was apparently not ready for the full force of her fandom. It quickly shut down the sale after customers were met with almost endless wait times (one shopper was told that there were 1,023,504 people in front of them).
The incident — a repeat of the problems that faced Swift’s North American presale in November — is both a sign of the pop star’s popularity as well as a failure by the most dominant company in ticketing to safeguard its platform. Last year, a source of the issues was an onslaught of bots built to buy tickets quickly and resell them at higher prices.
Losing hair? It may be stress.
Everybody loses some hair. The healthiest among us shed about 50 to 100 strands each day. But if you notice yourself losing more than that, it could be a sign of a condition called telogen effluvium, or excessive hair shedding. While it’s difficult to know exactly what causes it, stress is certainly one reason.
Luckily, though, the condition is usually temporary. Normal hair growth typically returns by a few months after a stressful event such as a pregnancy or a death in the family. One doctor we spoke to recommends taking a daily multivitamin containing vitamin D and vitamin B12, but staying away from over-the-counter hair loss supplements.
Cook: This oh-so-easy sesame salmon bowl feels fancy.
Watch: The latest episode of “Iconic America” on PBS tonight explores the symbolism behind the Statue of Liberty.
Here’s where you can trade a cat for a burial plot
If you listen to local radio in much of rural America, you may hear a host haggling with a caller over the price of a tractor. Or perhaps a caller trying to trade a few bales of hay for a wheelchair lift.
These “tradio” programs, where sellers sometimes share delightful stories about their items, offer a more personal touch to buying and selling than sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Many callers are also more comfortable swapping items with a voice and a name, rather than an anonymous face on the internet.
Have an enterprising evening.
Thanks for reading. Sarah Hughes was our photo editor today. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Matthew
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