Thursday Briefing

The damage yesterday after strikes in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip.Credit…Yousef Masoud for The New York Times

Israel forms unity government

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government and members of the centrist opposition formed a unity government to navigate the crisis, as Israel’s warplanes rained destruction on the Gaza Strip and both sides braced for an escalating war between Israel and Hamas.

In Gaza, Israel’s military forces are carrying out an intense campaign of airstrikes. Electricity to the region has now shut down, and hospitals, already overwhelmed, reported that they would soon be unable to function. Paramedics said they would need bulldozers, which they don’t have, to pull more people from the rubble of buildings.

Villages along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon have become ghost towns. The residents who remain await the possible opening of a new front with a sense of terror.

Toll: The Israeli government said 1,200 Israelis had been killed, 169 of them soldiers, and almost 3,000 others have been wounded. An estimated 150 people are believed to have been kidnapped. Israeli strikes on Gaza have killed at least 1,127 people and wounded more than 5,300, according to Gazan health officials.

Analysis: Mounting grievances fueled Hamas’s decision to attack, but the nature of that attack was shaped by a deep thirst for revenge built up over decades of conflict, Ben Hubbard writes.

For more:

  • It took most of a day for Israeli soldiers to arrive as people tried to hide from Hamas terrorists. Here’s what the evidence shows about the response to some of the deadliest attacks.

  • Intelligence that Hamas’s attack surprised Iranian leaders has fueled doubts in the U.S. that Tehran, a supporter of the Palestinian group, played a direct role in planning the assault.

  • Graphic imagery and footage of the attacks have flooded social media. Bogus claims are also circulating and risk obscuring real evidence of atrocities.

Ukrainian troops from the 95th Air Assault Brigade.Credit…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

On the battlefield with Ukraine’s elite troops

Ukrainian air assault brigades are constantly engaged in skirmishes with Russian forces on a front line that stretches hundreds of miles. Their motto — “always first” — is testament to the fact that they are often assigned the most challenging and deadly jobs.

While attention has shifted to the south, where Ukrainian forces have been battling since June to break through heavily fortified Russian lines, furious fighting also rages on the sprawling eastern front. In some places, Ukrainian forces are on the defensive. In others, they are on the offensive. And along much of the eastern front, they are simply fighting to hold the line against a daily barrage of shelling.

Zelensky visits NATO: The Ukrainian president made a surprise visit to the alliance’s headquarters to urge NATO to maintain its flow of weapons to his country for its war against Russia.

Police officers at the scene of the killings in Magnanville, France, in 2016.Credit…Thibault Camus/Associated Press

Man found guilty of complicity in French murders

A court in Paris convicted Mohamed Lamine Aberouz on charges of complicity in the 2016 murders of an off-duty police officer, Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, and his partner, Jessica Schneider, near Paris, part of a wave of deadly Islamist terrorist attacks that shocked France.

The court sentenced Aberouz to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 22 years. He had always denied playing any role in the killings.

Details: The pair were murdered at home in the small town of Magnanville on June 13, 2016, by Larossi Abballa, an Islamist extremist who cut Schneider’s throat and stabbed Salvaing before taking their 3-year-old son hostage for several hours.


Around the World

Credit…Harish Tyagi/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • The Indian authorities charged the novelist Arundhati Roy over comments she made 13 years ago about the restive Kashmir region.

  • After Afghanistan experienced its deadliest earthquakes in decades, people in one of the worst-hit districts, Zinda Jan, have been grappling with the scale of destruction.

  • In Ireland, a fleet of warships is named for the nation’s poets and playwrights. The ships’ mission is anything but whimsical.

  • More debris and presumed human remains have been recovered from the Titan submersible, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

  • Some in Jamaica are pushing to make Patois an official language on par with English.

Other Big Stories

Credit…NASA/Erika Blumenfeld & Joseph Aebersold
  • NASA unveiled the first pictures of space rock from its seven-year mission to sample an asteroid.

  • Republicans nominated Steve Scalise to be the next U.S. House speaker — but he may lack the 217 votes needed to win the post.

  • Salman Rushdie said that he would publish a memoir next April about the stabbing that left him seriously wounded.

  • Jada Pinkett Smith said that she and Will Smith separated in 2016 and live separately.

  • China released Cheng Lei, an Australian journalist who was held in Beijing for more than three years.

What Else is Happening

  • Natural gas prices jumped in Europe on worries about supplies stemming from the conflicts in Israel and Ukraine.

  • Researchers in the Netherlands have used A.I. to help surgeons make faster and more precise diagnoses of brain tumors.

  • To counteract the impact of its slumping economy, Chinese consumers are spending less and saving more.

A Morning Read

Credit…David Gray/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

One calls for Aboriginal Australians to be treated like any other Australian. The other stands against what she sees as their forced assimilation.

Two Indigenous Australian senators at opposite ends of the political spectrum have emerged as leaders in the campaign against constitutional recognition for Aboriginal people, at a time when the issue has convulsed the country.

Lives Lived

Dorothy Hoffner, the centenarian who was thrust into the limelight for her record-breaking skydive this month, died at 104.


Building for the future: How Liverpool recruits young players.

Thank you, Eden Hazard: The former Chelsea star, 32, is retiring.

A new pit stop record: More about the Qatar Grand Prix.


Credit…Ashley Landis/Associated Press

How big will the Taylor Swift film be?

The world’s biggest pop star, Taylor Swift, is about to become the world’s biggest movie star, at least for a weekend. The only question is whether turnout for her concert film will be enormous or truly colossal, breaking previous records set by Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson.

Swift broke Hollywood norms in getting her film to theaters, producing and financing the movie herself and bypassing a studio altogether. She will therefore keep about 57 percent of ticket revenue, with theater chains pocketing the rest.


Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times

Add peanuts to a herby sweet potato soup.

Read one of these new horror comic books.

Avoid hotel “junk fees,” an increasingly annoying part of the travel experience.

Keep other people safe from your cold or flu.

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. How well do you know sci-fi novels adapted for the screen? Take our quiz.

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

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