benefiting from a far more extensive crowdfunding campaign that is delivering millions of dollars’ worth of donations in items like drones, night vision scopes, rifles and consumer technology.

Most of the groups collecting donations for Russian soldiers appear to be operating independently of the Russian government. They mostly rely on volunteers’ personal contacts in individual units and at military hospitals who pass along lists of what they most urgently need.

segment in April about such volunteers explained, “but a mother’s heart has a will of its own.”

Outside state media, however, supporters of the war are pointing to private donations as a key to victory. Pro-Russian military bloggers, some of them embedded with Russian troops, are urging their followers to donate money to buy night vision equipment and basic drones.

“Our guys are dying because they lack this equipment,” one blogger wrote, while “the entire West is supplying the Ukrainian side.”

The needed equipment, largely imported, can be bought at Russian sporting goods stores or ordered online. Starshe Eddy, a popular military blogger, wrote that consumer drones made by the giant Chinese company DJI “have become so firmly entrenched in combat operations that it’s become hard to imagine the war without them.”

says the item “makes seeing — and ranging — deer out to 600 yards a reality.”

wrote, adding a winking emoji and a heart emoji.

Ms. Abiyeva says she started crowdsourcing aid after her husband, a captain, was deployed to Ukraine and she felt “powerless” to affect the course of events. She visited the hospital attached to her husband’s local military base and got the contact information for surgeons deployed to the war. Ever since, they have sent requests to her directly and passed her contacts along to colleagues.

When one surgeon at a field hospital asked for arterial embolectomy catheters, for treating clogs in arteries, Ms. Abiyeva found another volunteer in St. Petersburg to make the 700-mile trip to deliver 10 of them immediately. Ms. Abiyeva said that when she met the surgeon on her own trip to the region a week later, he told her that six of the catheters had already been used.

“It’s possible that we saved six lives,” she said.

The Russian military’s apparently urgent need for essential medical equipment and basic, foreign-made consumer devices has led some Russians to wonder how the Kremlin has been spending its enormous military budget, more than 3 percent of the country’s total economic output. On the VKontakte page of Zhanna Slobozhan, a coordinator of donations in the border city of Belgorod, a woman wrote that talk of raising money for drones and gun sights “makes me think that the army is totally being abandoned to the mercy of fate.”

“Let’s make sure that at least we won’t abandon our guys,” Ms. Slobozhan wrote back. She did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Putin visited a military hospital on Wednesday for the first time since the war began. He later told officials that while the doctors he met had assured him that “they have all they need,” the government should “promptly, quickly and effectively respond to any needs” in military medicine.

documentary about soldiers’ mothers released last weekend by the Russian journalist Katerina Gordeyeva, seen some three million times on YouTube, one woman describes her son using a wire to reattach soles to his boots.

An association of retired Russian officers published an open letter on May 19 noting that the public was raising funds for equipment the military sorely lacked “even though the government has plenty of money.” The letter excoriated Mr. Putin’s war effort as halfhearted, urging him to declare a state of war, with the aim of capturing all of Ukraine.

But on the ground, the concerns are more prosaic. With the approach of summer, Lyme disease-bearing ticks are out, and volunteers in Belgorod have been making homemade insect repellent, putting it into spray bottles and delivering it to the front.

A group of women collecting donations in the area learned that some of the Russian-backed separatist forces were so badly equipped that they were using shopping bags to carry their belongings. In their Telegram account with about 1,000 followers, the group put out an urgent call for backpacks, along with shoes, Q-tips, socks, headlamps, lighters, hats, sugar and batteries.

“This is so they understand that they are not alone,” said one of the coordinators of the Belgorod group, Vera Kusenko, 26, who works at a beauty salon as an eyelash extension specialist. “We hope this ends soon.”

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Eid Under the Taliban Shows a Changed Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — Thousands of Afghans had piled into buses and set out down the country’s once perilous highways bound for relatives they had not seen in years. Afghanistan’s only national park was filled with tourists who had only dreamed of traveling to its intensely blue lakes and jagged mountains when fighting raged across the country.

And Zulhijjah Mirzadah, a mother of five, packed a small picnic of dried fruit, gathered her family in a minibus and wove for two hours through the congested streets of the capital, Kabul, to a bustling amusement park.

From the entrance, she could hear the low whoosh of a roller coaster and the chorus of joyous screams from Afghans inside celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. But she could not go further. Women, she was told at the gate, were barred by the Taliban from entering the park on Eid.

“We’re facing economic problems, things are expensive, we can’t find work, our daughters can’t go to school — but we hoped to have a picnic in the park today,” said Ms. Mirzadah, 25.

country’s economic collapse since the Taliban toppled the Western-backed government, the freedom of travel and luxury of celebratory outings remained out of reach.

City Park, the amusement park in Kabul, and the city’s zoo, had less than half of the number of visitors that typically come each Eid, according to park managers. The low turnout was a reflection of both the country’s economic downturn and the Taliban’s edict barring women from visiting on Eid — the latest in a growing roster of restrictions on women in public spaces.

In a modest house tucked into one of Kabul’s many hillsides, Zhilla, 18, gathered with relatives at her aunt’s house on the second day of Eid. Her young cousins and siblings chased each other in the small courtyard. Inside, Zhilla marveled over her new cousin, just six days old, sleeping peacefully in her mother’s lap.

“The baby knows we’ve been through a lot, she needs to behave for us,” Zhilla joked.

The previous year, she and her relatives had gathered by the city’s Qargha reservoir for a picnic by the river, as boys and girls rode bicycles along its banks and took boats out on the water — a memory that feels like a lifetime ago, she said.

“This Eid is the same as any other day — we cannot go out, we cannot be free,” she said.

Najim Rahim contributed reporting from Houston.

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Live Updates: Russian Troops Enter Kyiv as Moscow Pushes to Topple Ukraine’s Government

KHARKIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s military on Friday was waging a fierce battle to push Russian forces back from Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, a day after a vicious fight that littered the highway leading into the city with burned-out Russian troop carriers and at least one body.

The troop carriers had been halted at the entrance to the city, in the shadow of huge blue and yellow letters spelling KHARKIV. Nearby, the body of a Russian soldier, dressed in a drab green uniform, lay on the side of the road, dusted in a light coating of snow that fell overnight.

Soldiers sent to hold the position had few details of the fight that took place, saying only that it happened Thursday morning, shortly after Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, gave the order to attack.

“Putin wants us to throw down our weapons,” said a Ukrainian soldier named Andrei, positioned in trench hastily dug into the black mud on the side of the road. “I think we could operate more slyly, gather up our forces and launch a counterattack.”

Off in the distance but close enough to feel, artillery shells boomed. Russian forces, which on Thursday pushed over the border from their staging area near Belgorod, about 40 miles from Kharkiv, have gathered in strength north of the city. It was not clear where or whether they would advance.

Credit…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Most of the fighting appeared to be taking place a few miles outside the city limits, near a village called Tsyrkuny. The number of military and civilian casualties resulting from the fight were unclear, but on Friday the local police said a 14-year-old boy had been killed in a village near Kharkiv when a shell hit near his home. But strikes occasionally hit close enough to the city to elicit shrieks of terror from pedestrians, sending them fleeing into metro stations for cover.

Inside an underground station in central Kharkiv, terrified residents have been holed up for two days with their babies, pets and the few belongings — blankets, yoga mats and spare clothing — they could grab in short dashes to home and back, during breaks in the shelling. The city has parked trains in the station and allowed people to sleep in them.

Lidiya Burlina and her son, Mark, work in Kharkiv and were cut off from their home village, a two-hour train ride away, when the Russians moved in. They’ve been living in the metro station ever since. The stores in town are working only in the morning, Ms. Burlina said, and there is very little bread, which has dramatically increased in price in the two days since the war started. They cannot reach anyone in their village because the local power station was blown up.

“They’re sitting there in the cold, they can’t buy anything, and there’s no heat,” Ms. Burlina said. “And we’re here in the metro.”

Victoria Ustinova, 60, was sheltering in the metro with her daughter, two grandchildren and a fuzzy Chihuahua named Beauty, who was wearing a sweater. The family could have taken shelter in the basement of their apartment building, but from there the booms of artillery and tank fire were still audible.

“When everything started it was a total shock, when you don’t know where to run and what to expect from ‘the comrade,’” Ms. Ustinova said, referring to Mr. Putin. “Now we’ve already settled down. We’ve have accepted it and are trying to continue living. It was worse during World War II.”

For her 13-year-old grandson, Danil, the main worry now is the potential for World War III.

“If things will become totally inflamed, then Europe will join in, and if they start launching nuclear weapons then that’s it,” he said.

Up on the surface, most of the stores and restaurants were closed and few people walk the streets. One of the few exceptions was Tomi Piippo, a 26-year-old from the Finnish city of Iisalmi, who said he came to Kharkiv on holiday on Monday and now couldn’t get out.

“I don’t know how to leave. No planes,” he said.

While Russian officials have said their military was endeavoring to avoid civilian areas, the body of a Smerch rocket, which Ukrainian officials said was fired by Russian forces, was stuck vertically in the middle of the street outside the headquarters of the National Guard. A few kilometers away, the rocket’s tail section had buried itself in the asphalt across from an onion-domed Orthodox church.

A team of emergency services officers, dressed in flack jackets and helmets, was attempting to extract the tail from the pavement, but having difficulties. A member of the team said that the tail and the body were different stages of the rocket, likely jettisoned as the explosive ordnance hurtled toward its target near the front lines.

“This is 200 kilos of metal,” the emergency officer said, pointing to the rocket’s tale. “It could have fallen through a building or hit people.”

Even as the artillery barrages intensified, not everyone was ready to hide. Walking with intention toward the source of the artillery booms on the outskirts of Kharkiv was Roman Balakelyev, dressed in camouflage, a double-barreled shotgun slung over his shoulder.

“I live here, this is my home. I’m going to defend it,” said Mr. Balakelyev, who also pulled out a large knife he had strapped to his back as if to show it off. “I don’t think the Russians understand me like I understand them.”

A short while later, Mr. Balakelyev reached the edge of the city, where the Ukrainian troops were huddled around the abandoned Russian troop transports. They watched as he passed. No one moved to stop him. One soldier uttered: “Intent on victory.”

Mr. Balakelyev, his gaze fixed and his shotgun ready, headed down the road in the direction of the booms and a tall billboard that read: “Protect the future: UKRAINE-NATO-EUROPE.”

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The New Weddings in India’s South: ‘Expect Some Magic’

A small group of friends and family gathered under a yellow canopy by a small pool, but the main audience was really the cameras: This was content for the wedding highlight video.

Dr. Pfizer danced her way to the poolside to a band of live drummers that led the way. She danced more and posed as the Steadicams rushed forward for a special-effect shot, and then stepped back to pan out. There were plenty of close-ups of her hands decorated in henna, which had taken six hours to paint.

When she took her seat under the canopy for friends and family to rub turmeric on her face, she wore aviators and danced in her seat as the D.J. cranked up another hit song from across the pool — this one drawing on London and Big Ben, to praise beauty.

You are like our own Queen Victoria

You are the clock, the Big Ben

When you dance,

The entire London dances with you.

As the guests took their seats in the hall for the evening ceremony, the dance troupe changed costumes repeatedly — a Sufi entrance with the groom, a Punjabi bhangra number that included a cameo by the bride, a mash-up of the latest hits where the dancers displayed their hip-hop moves. Another group, all women, performed a traditional Keralan Muslim dance, oppana, a hip-hop dance in jeans and T-shirts, and a flamenco-inspired routine.

In between, the tall wedding singer, wearing a turtleneck and chic glasses with transparent rims, entertained the crowd. He announced the bride’s first entrance.

The heads turned to the back, where Dr. Pfizer, surrounded by the female troupe of dancers, beamed with excitement in a dazzling ocean-green dress paired with stunning jewelry. Mobile phones came out for pictures. Music blared as the dancers shimmied and snapped their fingers, parting the aisle for the bride.

But before the bride had climbed the stage to take her seat, someone realized that the main camera that films the “wedding highlight” for YouTube and Instagram wasn’t set up yet.

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Digital Currency Group and Jamestown Partner to Bring One Times Square to the Decentraland Metaverse

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digital Currency Group (DCG), the most active investor in the blockchain and digital assets industry, and global real estate firm Jamestown today announced a joint partnership to recreate One Time Square in Decentraland, the leading decentralized virtual world.

DCG is one of the largest owners of digital real estate (“LAND”) in Decentraland. Jamestown is the owner of One Times Square, which is the site of the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Celebration.

Simon Koster, DCG’s Head of Real Estate, stated, “The metaverse is quickly evolving to bring together the most interesting and alluring parts of our favorite physical places around the world. From destinations, to gaming, education, retail and more, we can expect the metaverse to revolutionize our current online experience. This event highlights how virtual events can cohesively integrate with real ones in an effort to bring once-in-a-lifetime experiences to so many that would have never been able to participate otherwise.”

The future of real estate is the thoughtful integration of the virtual and physical worlds, optimized for user experience,” said Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown. “The metaverse is an important part of the evolution of real estate and the built environment. Whereas physical real estate is largely limited to people with geographic proximity, the metaverse can give people around the world meaningful access to places through immersive virtual experiences. Recreating One Times Square in the Decentraland metaverse is part of a larger digital asset strategy to evolve and enhance our physical real estate for Web 3.0 and open new pathways for our assets to exist in multiple metaverses in the future.”

The Decentraland community is ready for this perfect capstone to an incredible year,” said Fede Molina on behalf of the Decentraland Foundation. “We can’t wait to ring in 2022 with friends all over the world and show off how far our ecosystem has come. The partnership between Jamestown and DCG to develop One Times Square embodies the beauty of Decentraland: brands and builders bring their diverse assets and ideas to our virtual world, and, in so doing, enrich the experience for all.”

The Party

The virtual One Times Square (-106, -119) will launch in Decentraland on New Year’s Eve with the MetaFest 2022 global party featuring music and entertainment acts, rooftop VIP lounges, CryptoArt galleries, and immersive games. Live feeds of the real-world Times Square and virtual Zoom parties will stream on digital billboards, bringing global partygoers together in the metaverse to celebrate the New Year.

Official programming will begin at 11:00 p.m. EST and continue into the early hours of 2022.

CoinDesk, the leading crypto media and events company, will debut year-in-review video content in its auditorium (-103, -120) and broadcast interviews with people on its “Most Influential” list. Partygoers who visit the space can claim QR codes for discounted tickets to Consensus, the annual crypto festival, taking place in Austin in June 2022.

The Build

Leading metaverse development firms GrowYourBase and MetaVenture Studios were engaged to construct and operate the virtual One Times Square in Decentraland. It is the first high-rise build in Decentraland and includes the recreation of the physical asset’s digital signage and New Year’s Eve Ball.

In addition to the One Times Square building, the build area, which spans approximately 170 LAND parcels, includes five buildings, each with distinct exteriors and activated interiors.

The Metaverse

Decentraland is a decentralized metaverse; anyone can enter as an avatar and purchase LAND and other in-world goods with Decentraland’s native MANA currency. It launched publicly at the start of 2020 with events starting in 2021. Since its launch, Decentraland has attracted celebrities like DeadMau5, 3LAU, and Paris Hilton to headline its virtual festivals. In 2021, Decentraland saw a 15x increase in daily active users.

The History

MetaFest 2022 is the latest chapter in a long history of New Year’s Eve celebrations focused on Times Square. Revelers began celebrating New Year’s Eve in Times Square in 1904, and the New Year’s Eve Ball made its debut atop One Times Square in 1907. Over a century later, it is still the focal point of New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world.

Today, hundreds of thousands of people typically attend the real-life Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration each year, while more than 1 billion people worldwide view one of the many live broadcasts of the festivities. People also can experience New Year’s Eve in Times Square through VNYE, an immersive virtual experience launched by Jamestown in 2020. Through the VNYE app and vnye.com, which reached more than 3.7 million people in its inaugural year, people can explore Times Square, play games, and livestream New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square and around the world.

About Digital Currency Group

Founded in 2015 by CEO Barry Silbert, DCG is the most active investor in the blockchain sector, with a mission to accelerate the development of a better financial system through the proliferation of digital assets and blockchain technology. Today, DCG sits at the epicenter of the industry, backing more than 200 blockchain-related companies in over 35 countries. DCG also invests directly in digital currencies and other digital assets. In addition to its investment portfolio, DCG is the parent company of Genesis (a global digital asset prime brokerage), Grayscale Investments (the world’s largest digital currency asset manager), CoinDesk (a leading financial media, data, and information company), Foundry (a leader in bitcoin mining and staking), Luno (a leading cryptocurrency platform with a large international footprint), and TradeBlock (an institutional trading platform).

About Jamestown

Jamestown is a global, design-focused real estate investment and management firm with a 38-year track record and mission to create places that inspire. Since its founding in 1983, Jamestown has executed transactions in excess of $35 billion. As of September 30, 2021, Jamestown has assets under management of $13.1 billion and a portfolio spanning key markets throughout the U.S., Latin America, and Europe. Jamestown employs more than 400 people worldwide with headquarters in Atlanta and Cologne, and offices in Amsterdam, Bogotá, Boston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. Current and previous projects include One Times Square and Chelsea Market in New York, Industry City in Brooklyn, Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, the Innovation and Design Building in Boston, and Groot Handelsgebouw in Rotterdam. For more information, visit www.jamestownlp.com.

One Times Square Decentraland Press Experience

We will be hosting a private, guided walk-through of the development for members of the press prior to the launch event. On New Year’s Eve, members of the press are invited to join our teams in the private gallery for a special viewing of the Ball Drop Celebration.

Please contact Media@jamestownlp.com or press@dcg.co to register your interest.

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Amazon Reaches Labor Deal, Giving Workers More Power to Organize

SEATTLE — Amazon, which faces mounting scrutiny over worker rights, agreed to let its warehouse employees more easily organize in the workplace as part of a nationwide settlement with the National Labor Relations Board this month.

Under the settlement, made final on Wednesday, Amazon said it would email past and current warehouse workers — likely more than one million people — with notifications of their rights and give them greater flexibility to organize in its buildings. The agreement also makes it easier and faster for the N.L.R.B., which investigates claims of unfair labor practices, to sue Amazon if it believes the company violated the terms.

Amazon has previously settled individual cases with the labor agency, but the new settlement’s national scope and its concessions to organizing go further than any previous agreement.

Because of Amazon’s sheer size — more than 750,000 people work in its operations in the United States alone — the agency said the settlement would reach one of the largest groups of workers in its history. The tech giant also agreed to terms that would let the N.L.R.B. bypass an administrative hearing process, a lengthy and cumbersome undertaking, if the agency found that the company had not abided by the settlement.

on a hiring frenzy in the pandemic and is the nation’s second-largest private employer after Walmart, has faced increased labor pressure as its work force has soared to nearly 1.5 million globally. The company has become a leading example of a rising tide of worker organizing as the pandemic reshapes what employees expect from their employers.

This year, Amazon has grappled with organizing efforts at warehouses in Alabama and New York, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters formally committed to support organizing at the company. Other companies, such as Starbucks, Kellogg and Deere & Company, have faced rising union activity as well.

Compounding the problem, Amazon is struggling to find enough employees to satiate its growth. The company was built on a model of high-turnover employment, which has now crashed into a phenomenon known as the Great Resignation, with workers in many industries quitting their jobs in search of a better deal for themselves.

it would spend $4 billion to deal with labor shortages this quarter alone.

“This settlement agreement provides a crucial commitment from Amazon to millions of its workers across the United States that it will not interfere with their right to act collectively to improve their workplace by forming a union or taking other collective action,” Jennifer Abruzzo, the N.L.R.B.’s new general counsel appointed by President Biden, said in a statement on Thursday.

Amazon declined to comment. The company has said it supports workers’ rights to organize but believes employees are better served without a union.

Amazon and the labor agency have been in growing contact, and at times conflict. More than 75 cases alleging unfair labor practices have been brought against Amazon since the start of the pandemic, according to the N.L.R.B.’s database. Ms. Abruzzo has also issued several memos directing the agency’s staff to enforce labor laws against employers more aggressively.

threw out the results of a failed, prominent union election at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama, saying the company had inappropriately interfered with the voting. The agency ordered another election. Amazon has not appealed the finding, though it can still do so.

Other employers, from beauty salons to retirement communities, have made nationwide settlements with the N.L.R.B. in the past when changing policies.

well established, said Matthew Bodie, a former lawyer for the N.L.R.B. who teaches labor law at Saint Louis University.

“The fact that you can hang around and chat — that is prime, protected concerted activity periods, and the board has always been very protective of that,” he said.

Mr. Miin, who is part of an organizing group called Amazonians United Chicagoland, and other workers in Chicago reached a settlement with Amazon in the spring over the 15-minute rule at a different delivery station where they had worked last year. Two corporate employees also settled privately with Amazon in an agreement that included a nationwide notification of worker rights, but the agency does not police it.

Mr. Goldstein said he was “impressed” that the N.L.R.B. had pressed Amazon to agree to terms that would let the agency bypass its administrative hearing process, which happens before a judge and in which parties prepare arguments and present evidence, if it found the company had broken the agreement’s terms.

“They can get a court order to make Amazon obey federal labor law,” he said.

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Private Foundations in The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank Announce More Than $5.2 Million in 2021 Grants

CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Eight private family foundations in The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, National Association, have announced grants of more than $5.2 million in 2021. Grants were awarded to organizations that focus on education, arts and culture, civic and community programs, health and human services, and community reinvestment activities that benefit low- to moderate-income earners, small businesses, affordable housing, financial literacy and workforce development efforts.

“We are honored to shepherd the philanthropic foundations of so many families,” said Heidi B. Jark, senior vice president and managing director of The Foundation Office. “We work hard to ensure that these organizations fulfill their mission of giving back to charitable causes.”

Episcopal Retirement Services, a nonprofit organization serving older adults through residential living communities and community outreach programs, received funds from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust to complete the renovation of The Manse. The Manse was formerly a hotel where African American travelers were welcomed during the era of segregation and was featured in The Green Book, which outlined safe places for African Americans to sleep, eat and visit in the mid-20th century. The Manse reopened in 2021 as a 60-unit senior apartment community, with support services to empower low-income older adults to live with dignity and help them age in place.

Laura Lamb, president and chief executive officer of ERS, explained how the money, which was used to complete the conversion of the former ballroom into the community’s event center, will directly impact residents. “What happens inside our buildings, with programs and services delivered by our committed and passionate staff, is truly life-changing. Community spaces like the event center are essential to encouraging residents to leave the solitude of their apartments so they may engage with others and find joy and purpose in their daily lives.” Jacob G. Schmidlapp was an early advocate for quality affordable housing for African Americans, which constitute a large portion of those The Manse serves.

Stepping Stones, which provides pathways toward independence for people with disabilities, received a grant from the Stillson Foundation. The money will go toward renovating two cabin lobbies at the agency’s campsite that provides summer overnight and weekend respite experiences for adults with disabilities. While at the site, campgoers participate in recreational activities such as fishing, archery and swimming. In a typical year, the respite programs serve approximately 360 individuals.

Chris Adams, Stepping Stones’ executive director, said that the renovations will help create spaces that improve the camp experience. “The cabin areas are the primary location for campers to socialize, partake in small-group activities, and build friendships. By creating a more comfortable and functional space, these improvements will elevate camp activities to next level of excellence,” he explained. “Collaborating with the Stillson Foundation will help us with our Continuous Camp Improvement Program that is designed to improve the overall camping experience for children and adults with disabilities. The Stillson Foundation’s support goes directly to improving lives and promoting inclusion for this community of campers.”

The eight foundations and trusts accept letters of inquiry from qualifying nonprofit organizations seeking grant support from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 each year. For guidelines on the inquiry process, visit https://www.cybergrants.com/pls/cybergrants/quiz.display_question?x_gm_id=6990&x_quiz_id=8160. The eight available funds are listed below with brief descriptions of their focus areas and the total amount distributed from them in 2021 to charitable organizations.

Fund and description

2021 grants

Charles Moerlein Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes.

$50,000

Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports initiatives that empower and assist women and girls in achieving self-sufficiency.

$1,380,000

Eleanora C.U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports charitable and educational purposes for the city of Cincinnati, with a focus on the arts.

$115,000

Helen G., Henry F., & Louise Tuechter Dornette Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports nature and the conservation of nature’s beauty, as well as organizations that are beneficial to children, with a preference to organizations that Miss Dornette identified during her lifetime.

$610,000

Patricia Kisker Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports organizations that benefit or serve children, and educational, musical or arts organizations, as well as organizations that Patricia Kisker supported during her lifetime.

$245,000

Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Supports charitable or educational purposes; for relief in sickness, suffering and distress; for the care of young children, the aged or the helpless or afflicted; for the promotion of education, and to improve living conditions.

$2,130,000

Ohio Valley Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Agent

Funds small equipment and capital improvement projects in the Ohio Valley.

$345,000

Stillson Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee

Helps children and provides assistance to those charities the Stillsons supported during their lifetime.

$390,000

Total

$5,265,000

The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, National Association, serves as trustee, co-trustee or agent for more than 300 private and corporate foundations that grant millions of dollars annually to worthy charities across the United States. The foundations support a variety of causes, from education to the arts and from basic-needs organizations like shelters and counseling centers to environmental projects and animal rescue.

To learn more about The Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, please visit 53.com/foundationoffice.

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Omicron Is Turning Europe’s Busy Season Silent

“You could feel Christmas was coming,” Amanda Whiteside, a manager at Gordon’s Wine Bar in London, said of the crowds and buzz. “And then it was gone.”

Throughout Britain and in other parts of Europe, new government restrictions combined with heightened anxiety over the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus have drastically reduced business at restaurants, pubs, event venues and stores, prompting urgent calls for additional government assistance.

In Britain, the government responded Tuesday, announcing 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) in aid for the hospitality industry, with one-time grants of £6,000 and rebates for employees’ sick leave.

The additional assistance was promised as a fresh wave of anxiety over the economy washes over the region. In France, government ministers announced Tuesday additional aid up to 12 million euros for travel agencies, events, caterers and indoor leisure companies that suffer big operating losses this month.

Spain, the government has scheduled an emergency meeting with regional leaders on Wednesday to discuss whether to adopt new restrictions. Italy’s government is meeting on Thursday.

“We are in a different phase now where lockdown will be potentially more costly,” said Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “Up until now, we’ve been used to lockdowns followed by support from the government. I think that will be the case as well, but support will be more conditional, less comprehensive than before.”

Britain recorded the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Europe over the last seven days, according to the World Health Organization.

On Monday, organizations representing more than 100,000 businesses around the country sent an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, demanding more tax relief and grants to tide them over.

new requirements that customers must show proof of vaccination or recent recovery. And in the Netherlands, where the government announced a lockdown over the weekend, calls to the nation’s business registry asking for help climbed past 400 on Monday — seven times the number logged the previous Monday.

known as Plan B, on Dec. 8 as a response to Omicron, cancellations have been rolling in and foot traffic has disappeared in some areas.

At Gordon’s Wine Bar, it was common to find every table in its cavelike cellar and on its outdoor patio full and a long line of customers waiting. Then Plan B was put in place.

The drop-off, said Ms. Whiteside, the administrative manager, “was very dramatic.”

Customers thinned out, and several staff members got Covid, she said. Gordon’s is now offering only outside service, and Ms. Whiteside estimates that sales are down 25 percent.

Half a mile away, in Soho, the Coach and Horses pub was similarly contending with fewer customers and sick staff. Last week, business was off by a third, while on Monday it fell “off the edge of a cliff,” said Alison Ross, the manager.

Kaasbar Utrecht, is shuttered, and $100,000 at the cafe. Plans to rebuild a nightclub he owns that was burned in a fire in January have been postponed. He has had to let go most of his 80-person staff and is now trying to make money selling mulled wine in the streets and cheese packages door to door.

Mr. Waseq said that because he opened his business after the pandemic began and did not have 2019 sales to use as a benchmark comparison, he was not eligible for government assistance.

Ron Sinnige, a spokesman for the national business registry, the Kamer van Koophandel, said the agency was flooded with calls this week asking about financial assistance, advice or liquidating their operations. Some were seeking guidance on how to qualify as an essential business — could a clothing store sell candy and soda, could a beauty salon offer postsurgical massages or list Botox injections as a medical procedure?

The questions were a sign of people’s creativity and despair, Mr. Sinnige said. “As opposed to previous lockdowns, people are really at the end of their financial flexibility and emotional flexibility,” he said.

France has canceled a menu of year-end celebrations and barred tourists from Britain, a blow to the ski industry.

On Tuesday, the Swedish government imposed some new restrictions that included allowing only seated customers to be served in restaurants and bars.

Ireland imposed an early curfew of 8 p.m. on restaurants and bars that began on Monday, while limiting attendance at events.

In Denmark, restaurants and bars must cut off serving alcohol after 10 p.m., and a slate of venues and event spaces including ​​theaters, museums, zoos, concert halls and Tivoli, Copenhagen’s landmark amusement park, have been closed.

Switzerland’s restrictions that bar unvaccinated people from going to restaurants, gyms and museums are expected to last until Jan. 24.

In Germany, the check-in process at stores, which requires stopping everyone at the door and asking to see vaccination certification and an ID, was deterring shoppers at what would normally be the busiest time of the year, the German Trade Association said.

Retailers surveyed by the group reported a 37 percent drop in sales from Christmas 2019.

“After months of lockdowns, the restrictions are once again bringing many retailers to the edge of their existence,” said Stefan Genth, head of the Trade Association.

A court in the northern state of Lower Saxony last week threw out the restrictions there, after the Woolworth department store chain challenged them on grounds that they were not fairly applied and that requiring shoppers to wear masks provided sufficient protection. The ruling on Thursday raised hopes that other states would follow its lead, giving a final boost to last-minute shoppers.

“Last weekend was better, but overall the shopping season has been more than depressing,” said Mark Alexander Krack, head of the Lower Saxony Trade Association.

Eshe Nelson contributed reporting.

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Robberies, Always an Issue for Retailers, Become More Brazen

The anonymity reflects yet another instance in which criminals stymied by rules in the physical world can operate freely on the internet — an issue that has surfaced in problems involving misinformation, questionable advertisements and merchandise glorifying crimes.

Pawnshops, for example, are regulated in almost every state, said Richard Rossman, a sergeant with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida who is also part of the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail.

“If you’re going to sell an item to a pawnshop, the seller has to pledge that property is his or hers, it is not stolen, and the pawnshop documents the item appropriately on a state-regulated form and we can hold the seller accountable and the pawnshop accountable,” Sergeant Rossman said. “There’s no mechanism in place right now that requires the collection of that data on the online marketplaces.”

The coalition has gotten support from industry groups and retailers, including pharmacy chains, Home Depot and Ulta Beauty, on bipartisan legislation known as the INFORM Consumers Act. The bill would require online marketplaces to authenticate the identity of “high-volume third-party sellers,” including their bank account information and tax identification, and allow consumers to see basic identification and contact information for those sellers. The rule would apply to vendors who made 200 or more discrete sales in a year amounting to $5,000 or more.

Etsy, OfferUp and eBay said they supported the legislation after opposing a draft that raised privacy and safety concerns for sellers, especially people selling small-scale items like a couch or people with craft businesses at home. Etsy noted that mass-produced items were not usually allowed on its marketplace, even if they were being sold legitimately. Meta, which owns Facebook Marketplace, and the RealReal, which sells high-end secondhand goods, declined to comment on the legislation.

Meta said that Facebook Marketplace users could report items they thought were stolen and that law enforcement could contact the company regarding suspicious items.

Amazon said in a statement that “we regularly request invoices, purchase orders or other proofs of sourcing when we have concerns about how a seller may have obtained particular products that they want to sell.” It added that it employed 10,000 people working to prevent fraud and abuse on its site, and supported the INFORM Consumers Act.

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