Tuesday Briefing

Conditions have grown desperate in Gaza.Credit…Omar El-Qattaa/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Hamas and Israel prolong cease-fire

Israel and Hamas agreed to extend by two days a cease-fire that has brought a measure of calm to the Gaza Strip after seven weeks of intense warfare, the Qatari government said. The two sides struck a deal to exchange more hostages and prisoners and to allow more aid into the beleaguered area.

The lengthened respite in fighting raised hopes in Washington that the trajectory of the conflict could bend toward the release of additional captives as well as the delivery of more humanitarian aid for Gaza, where thousands of civilians have been killed and conditions are desperate. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli government.

Diaa Rashwan, the head of the State Information Service in Egypt, which is also mediating in the talks, said that the extension would include the release each day of 10 hostages in Gaza in exchange for 30 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, as well as the entry of more medicine, food and fuel supplies into Gaza and restrictions on Israeli flights over the territory.

By the numbers: Hamas yesterday released 11 Israelis, including 3-year-old twins and their mother, and Israel provided to Hamas a list of 33 Palestinian prisoners it planned to set free later Monday night, keeping to the three-to-one ratio the sides have observed so far.

In other news from the war:

  • Elon Musk traveled to Israel for a visit that appeared to be aimed at calming the outcry over his endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory on X.

  • Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, announced that she would quit the social platform X, formerly Twitter, calling it a “global sewer.”

  • A 48-year-old man was charged in the weekend shootings of three young men of Palestinian descent in Vermont.

  • During the pause in fighting, Palestinians seized on the chance to check on loved ones, get a night of uninterrupted sleep or take a dip in the sea.

A snowstorm blanketed Odesa, Ukraine, on Sunday night.Credit…Viacheslav Onyshchenko/SOPA Images, via Getty Images

A storm causes havoc in Ukraine

A wintry storm hit southern Ukraine, washing Russian coastal defenses away from beaches on the occupied Crimean Peninsula. The storm snarled supply routes for both countries’ armies and deepened the misery of tens of thousands of soldiers in trenches across the sprawling front line.

As temperatures plunged below freezing, hundreds of thousands of civilians were left without power in Russian-occupied territories, and tens of thousands more lost power across southern Ukraine. Civilians were stranded on roads, complicating the movement of humanitarian aid to communities that have been ravaged by fighting. Coastal communities reported widespread flooding.

In Russia: A new grass-roots movement led by women is protesting long deployments for soldiers in Ukraine.

President Biden leaving Nantucket, Mass., to return to Washington on Sunday.Credit…Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times

Biden will not attend COP28

President Biden will not attend the annual U.N. climate summit, where in the past he has asserted American leadership in the fight against global warming, even though this year has been most likely the hottest in recorded history. This year’s two-week conference will take place in Dubai.

Aides say he is consumed by other global crises, namely trying to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas in its war with Israel and working to persuade Congress to approve aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

At home: Biden’s climate and energy policies have in some cases have been the victim of their own success. The rate of production of solar panels, for instance, has created the prospect of a glutted market where supply may outpace demand.


Around the World

Credit…Ulet Ifansasti for The New York Times
  • In Indonesia, teams of rangers, many of them women, protect their village forest from the squatters who want to clear the trees for timber or to farm the fertile soil.

  • Six teenagers went on trial in Paris over accusations that they helped an Islamist extremist kill their teacher in 2020.

  • Facing an increase in reported crime, New Zealand’s new government has promised a focus on law and order.

  • Direct train service from Amsterdam to London on the Eurostar train will be suspended for six months next year.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Illustration by Cristiana Couceiro; Photographs by Getty Images
  • U.S. officials fear the Emirati A.I. giant G42 could siphon advanced American technology to Chinese companies.

  • Shein, the ultrafast-fashion retailer founded in China more than a decade ago, has filed confidentially for an initial public offering in the U.S.

  • A new cruise company announced it was canceling its round-the-world voyage — because it could not afford a ship.

  • Weight gain is one of the most common concerns among women going through menopause. Drugs like Ozempic could change that.

What Else Is Happening

  • Britain’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, canceled a meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece amid calls for the Parthenon marbles to be returned to Athens.

  • Google’s zero-tolerance policy for child abuse content can sometimes go awry and tar innocent individuals — including children who post naked pictures as a prank — as abusers.

  • An oratorio about Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany for Shanghai has opened in that city amid U.S.-China tensions and rifts over the Israel-Hamas war.

A Morning Read

Credit…Sesame Street

Cookie Monster, a blue and beloved character from the children’s show “Sesame Street,” is best known for his uncontrollable urge to chaotically and triumphantly chow down on chocolate chip cookies.

The cookies themselves are made at the home of one of the show’s “puppet wranglers,” with approximately two dozen prepared for each episode. Though they are (mostly) real food, you probably wouldn’t want to eat one.


The greatest Premier League goal ever? This stunning overhead kick had a special blend of power, distance and speed.

Conspiracies, suspicion and open revolt: The Premier League in 2023.

Formula 1’s brightest star: Max Verstappen’s Abu Dhabi sign-off exposes the challenge facing his rivals.


Credit…Adara Sanchez

Bugs on Mars

If humans are ever going to live on the red planet, they’re going to have to take insects with them. With that in mind, space research groups have for years conducted studies on how the space environment affects bugs, microbes and other living things, even using simulated Martian soil to learn about crop growth on that otherworldly world.

One project focused on black soldier flies makes a novel suggestion: The larvae could eat astronauts’ food waste and produce frass, or droppings, to fertilize inhospitable alien soil, which could then produce food plants. The larvae themselves could then be ground into a protein source, which astronauts — or animals they might bring along — could consume.


Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times

Cook: The best black cake, a West Indian delight, starts at home. (Here’s the recipe.)

Read: Paul Lynch’s “Prophet Song,” which depicts an Ireland descending into totalitarianism, won the Booker Prize.

Watch: “Doctor Who” is back. Here’s what to know.

Stroll: These 27 bucolic walks outside London are accessible by train.

Play the Spelling Bee. And here are today’s Mini Crossword and Wordle. You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Natasha

P.S. Can you find the food-themed book titles in this puzzle?

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

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