Thursday Briefing: U.S. restricts China investment

Also, bringing stolen treasures home.

President Biden in a blue suit and tie, standing in the White House behind a lectern with microphones and the presidential seal.
China is likely to see the move as part of a wider campaign to contain its rise.Kenny Holston/The New York Times

President Biden escalated his confrontation with China today by banning American investments in key Chinese tech industries that could enhance Beijing’s military and surveillance capabilities.

The proposed rules would apply to U.S. private equity and venture capital firms investing in quantum computing, artificial intelligence and advanced semiconductors. U.S. firms investing in a broader range of Chinese industries would also be required to report their activity.

The White House has recently sought to calm relations with China. At the same time, it has pushed to “de-risk” critical supply chains by developing suppliers outside China, and has ramped up its restrictions on selling technologies to China, like semiconductors for advanced computing.

In the past few years, investments between the U.S. and China have fallen sharply, but venture capital and private equity firms have continued to seek out lucrative opportunities for partnerships as a way to gain access to China’s vibrant tech industry.

A defensive missile system on top of the Russian Defense Ministry headquarters in Moscow.Alexander Nemenov/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Russia said yesterday it shot down two drones flying near Moscow, the latest in a series of attacks that have brought the war to the country’s capital city on a near-daily basis. Officials said they intercepted at least 12 drones that were aimed at Moscow in the last three weeks.

The attacks could not be independently verified, but Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that some were orchestrated by Kyiv. Not all of the drones appear to have been intercepted: Last week, a building in central Moscow housing government ministries was twice struck by drones in 48 hours.

Elsewhere in the war:

Imran Khan’s lawyers also sought to have him moved from a famously harsh prison.Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

The legal team for Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, is appealing his three-year prison sentence. His allies argue that the verdict — which found him guilty of hiding assets after illegally selling state gifts — was a politically motivated effort to sideline him.

The appeal kicks off a high-stakes and hotly contested legal fight that will determine Khan’s future as Pakistan heads into general elections later this year. Under Pakistani law, a convicted person is barred from running for public office for a maximum of five years starting from the conviction date.

Police officers near an apartment complex where two F.B.I. agents were killed in Sunrise, Fla., in 2021.Marta Lavandier/Associated Press
  • An investigation into a pedophile ring in the U.S. and Australia, which was triggered after the killing of two F.B.I. agents, has led to 98 arrests and 45 convictions.

  • Typhoon Khanun, a tropical cyclone that killed at least two people in Japan, is heading toward South Korea.

  • Wildfires fueled by Hurricane Dora raced across parts of Hawaii, killing six people and forcing some residents to take refuge in the Pacific Ocean.

Daniel Irungu/EPA, via Shutterstock
Adrienne Raquel for The New York Times

Top male rappers appear to be in crisis: overwhelmed, confused, struggling to embody so many contradictory ideals. As a result, the art is suffering, too. As their male counterparts turn depressive and paranoid, the women are glowing, my colleague Niela Orr writes.

They’re not new to this — women have been part of rap since the beginning — but, at the moment, emerging stars like Tiacorine, Glorilla and Maiya seem to be having all the fun. And success. Not only is their music popular and crafty, but it has vitality and comedy, too.

Read the full article.

Sylvie Njobati scored a victory last year in her campaign to bring looted objects home to Cameroon from Germany.Marc Sebastien Eils

The discussion about returning wrongfully acquired artifacts has focused on the steps taken by Western museums and governments. But away from the spotlight, in countries like Cameroon and Indonesia, officials and activists are laying groundwork to reclaim long-lost treasures.

The Lombok diamond is one of nearly 500 Indonesian treasures wrongfully acquired during Dutch colonial rule that are returning home next month. Tens of thousands of Indonesian objects remain in museums in Europe, primarily in the Netherlands. The Indonesian state will be the owner of all returning heritage items, and the National Museum in Jakarta will serve as their custodian.

Rather than putting reclaimed items in a museum, Nepal aims to return them to the communities from which they were stolen. Similar efforts are underway in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Johnny Miller for The New York Times

Cook this eggplant Parmesan, a perfectly calibrated version of a classic.

Read “Shark Heart: A Love Story” to learn what to do if your husband turns into a great white.

Dance like Taylor Swift, who commands the stage without flashy moves.

Wear expertly draped dresses and separates to make a refined statement this season.

Channel your inner child for a better workout.

Play the Spelling Bee. (If you’re stuck, the Bee Buddy can help.) And here’s the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Justin

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