Your Monday Briefing

Checking the damage after a fire in a village near Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank.Credit…Jaafar Ashtiyeh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Violence flares in Israel and the West Bank

Violence has gripped Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank since Thursday in a series of attacks that have left more than 20 people dead, beginning with an Israeli military raid in the West Bank in which 10 people were killed.

A Palestinian man was fatally shot yesterday outside an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, and Palestinian officials said that across the region, Israeli settlers carried out 144 attacks against Palestinians and their properties. On Friday, a Palestinian gunman killed seven people outside a synagogue in a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. On Saturday, an attacker shot and injured two Israelis near another Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.

The Israeli police said that they had arrested relatives and neighbors of the perpetrator of the Friday attack. On Sunday morning, the police emptied his family home and sealed it off. Israel regularly demolishes the family homes of accused attackers, a practice that rights groups and the U.N. say amounts to collective punishment.

Response: Israel’s far-right government announced a number of measures to punish Palestinian attackers and those who support them, it said. The government said it planned to expedite gun licenses for Israeli citizens, reinforce military and police units to carry out more arrests of Palestinians, and conduct operations aimed at seizing Palestinians’ weapons.

Occupation: Palestinians across the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza expressed widespread anger about their treatment by Israelis, particularly after the deadliest year for West Bank Palestinians in more than a decade and a half. That backlash could decide whether this is the start of a renewed wave of violence.

Ukrainian soldiers on their way to the front line in eastern Ukraine.Credit…Lynsey Addario for The New York Times

The fight to seize the Donbas region

Russian forces wrestled for control of villages in eastern Ukraine near the city of Bakhmut over the weekend, the latest flash point as Moscow tries to seize the whole of the eastern region of Donbas.

The status of the village of Blahodatne is in dispute. Ukraine said yesterday that its soldiers had repelled attacks on it and on several other settlements in the area. But a day earlier, the Wagner private military company, fighting on Moscow’s behalf, claimed that it had captured the village. Russia’s defense ministry has not confirmed the report.

Blahodatne lies between Soledar, a salt-mining town that Russian forces recently captured after weeks of intense fighting, and a road that runs north from the city of Bakhmut. The road serves as a crucial supply line for Ukrainian forces defending the city. Moscow aims to encircle Bakhmut, cut off its supply routes and then force the city’s defenders to withdraw.

Casualties of war: Many civilians have followed a directive from the government in Kyiv to leave Donetsk, which is in the Donbas region. Those who have stayed remain vulnerable to shelling and artillery attacks, with dozens killed in recent weeks.

Nadhim Zahawi had served as chairman of the Conservative Party since October.Credit…Justin Tallis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Nadhim Zahawi is ousted by Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak, the British prime minister, fired Nadhim Zahawi, the chairman of the Conservative Party, over his personal tax affairs. The ouster came yesterday after Sunak’s ethics adviser concluded that a failure by Zahawi to promptly disclose an inquiry into his taxes, which resulted in a settlement and penalty of an estimated 5 million pounds, was a “serious breach” of the ministerial code.

Zahawi is the second minister in three months to be forced out over accusations of wrongdoing. Gavin Williamson resigned in November as a minister without portfolio after accusations of bullying. Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, is under investigation for multiple charges of bullying.

The ouster of Zahawi, who served previously as chancellor of the Exchequer, is a stinging blow to Sunak. The prime minister rose to power by helping topple a scandal-scarred predecessor, Boris Johnson, but his government has been unable to shake off many of the same ethics problems.

Background: Zahawi came to national prominence in late 2020 after being named by Johnson to lead the deployment of coronavirus vaccines during the depths of the pandemic. He had also served as education minister and chancellor.


Around the World

Credit…Emmanuel Dunand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • The Netherlands and Japan agreed to join with the U.S. in barring some shipments of their chip technology to China.

  • The Czech Republic elected Petr Pavel, a retired senior NATO general and political novice, as president.

  • Floods in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, have killed at least four people after the area suffered its worst recorded downpour.

  • Authorities in Western Australia are searching for a dangerous radioactive capsule, which they believe fell off a truck. It’s smaller than a penny and could be anywhere along a vast desert highway.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Desiree Rios/The New York Times
  • A video showing the fatal police beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis has prompted horror and disgust across the U.S.

  • Two strong earthquakes in Texas late last year were part of a surge in seismic activity in the state related to oil and gas production.

  • Donald Trump held his first public events more than two months after formally opening his comeback bid for the White House.

  • A map showing buried treasure in a Dutch village by Nazi soldiers has captured imaginations the world over. But is the loot still there?

From Opinion

  • Catholicism is divided, writes Ross Douthat, and on both sides there is a sense that the current argument can be resolved only with four simple words: We win, they lose.

  • Layoffs by email show what employers really think of their workers, Elizabeth Spiers writes.

  • Robert Zaretsky asks: Are the French, as the stereotype goes, just lazy? Statistical tables offer one startling answer.

  • ChatGPT opens a Pandora’s box of existential fears, Maureen Dowd says.

A Morning Read

Credit…Lexey Swall for The New York Times

Private equity has come for the toddler gyms. The same playbook that notched high returns acquiring things like foreclosed homes and highway rest stops is now being tested by a family-oriented franchise.


The goal celebration that is transcending soccer: Marcus Rashford has a new goal celebration, but what is it about and why has it spread to other players?

Leeds agree to sign U.S. star: Leeds United reached a verbal agreement with Juventus over Weston McKennie, who will initially join Leeds on loan. The club will have the option to buy the midfielder permanently this summer.

The rare Premier League goal that could catch on: What if you could guarantee space and unwitting defenders on a short corner kick? A neat routine from Wolverhampton could become the new fad.

From The Times: After missing last year’s Australian Open when he was deported for not being vaccinated against Covid-19, the Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in straight sets to win his 22nd Grand Slam title. Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus won the women’s singles title.


Calling the French the French

It was a “style tip” from the The Associated Press Stylebook that appeared to strain taste and diplomacy: “We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing ‘the’ labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college educated.”

The French, who noticed they had been placed between the “mentally ill” and the “disabled,” had some things to say about it. In a post on Twitter, the French Embassy in the U.S. suggested that it had renamed itself “the Embassy of Frenchness.” (One journalist posited that the French could rebrand as “people experiencing a croque-monsieur.”)

“Certainly, no French diplomat has ever complained that being called an envoy of ‘the French’ was somehow dehumanizing,” our Paris bureau chief, Roger Cohen, writes. “In fact, the French rather like being stereotyped as the French, if that is the issue. They undergo Frenchness with considerable relish.”

One Times reader in Paris, in a comment on the article, had another suggestion: “Will somebody please interview “Emilie” (in Paris) and find out what she thinks. Then we’ll really know what to make of this.”


What to Cook

Credit…Chris Simpson for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Sophia Pappas.

Gin and sage add complexity to this chicken dish.

What to Listen to

On “Gloria,” Sam Smith puts aside ballads for more danceable tracks.

What to Watch

In “Poker Face,” Natasha Lyonne stars as a detective who always knows when people are lying.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Wine choice (three letters).

And here are today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. And a correction: Friday’s newsletter misspelled the surname of Joan Didion’s husband. He was John Gregory Dunne.

Thanks for joining me. — Natasha

P.S. Follow The Times’s TikTok account.

Start your week with this narrated long read about threats to the Amazon. Friday’s episode of “The Daily” is about protests in Iran.

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

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