Friday Briefing: Israel Expands Pauses in Combat


Israel has agreed to put in place regular daily four-hour pauses in its relentless assault on Hamas in selected areas of northern Gaza to allow civilians to flee, a White House spokesman said.

The agreement is the culmination of days of pressure from President Biden as the casualty toll in Gaza mounts. A senior administration official told Congress that casualties in Gaza might be “even higher than are being cited,” and the W.H.O. said that disease was surging.

The agreement expands on what Israel has been doing in recent days. Its forces have allowed people to evacuate northern Gaza for several hours at a time along a single corridor south. The White House spokesman said that a second corridor would be opened and that the daily pauses would be institutionalized to include advance notice of at least three hours.

“I’ve asked for a pause longer than three days,” Biden said. But he has not joined the calls by some in his party and around the world for a full cease-fire, reasoning that Israel has a legitimate interest in destroying Hamas after its Oct. 7 terrorist attack killed more than 1,400 people.

He ruled out the prospect of a cease-fire again yesterday, saying: “None. No possibility.”


Russia’s armed forces are stepping up their efforts to recruit veterans of the Wagner paramilitary group, according to former fighters and military bloggers. The Kremlin, it seems, is trying to avoid another round of mobilization and to salvage some of the force’s fighting potential in the wake of its leader’s mutiny and death in a plane crash this past summer.

Former fighters said they had received calls and messages offering new military contracts, and some were specifically urged to join Rosgvardia, Russia’s militarized national guard, which has presented itself as a successor to Wagner.

Separately, Ukraine said that a Russian missile had struck a civilian ship at a Black Sea port, killing one and injuring four others.

The first commercial plant in the U.S. to use direct air capture, which involves vacuuming greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, opened yesterday in California. The plant pulls carbon dioxide from the air and seals it permanently in concrete. To earn revenue, the company is selling carbon removal credits to companies paying a premium to offset their own emissions.

Background: The idea of using technology to suck carbon dioxide from the sky has gone from science fiction to big business, with hundreds of start-ups emerging. Critics say that many artificial methods of removing carbon dioxide from the air are wildly expensive, and some fear they could distract from efforts to reduce emissions.

Related: Greenland’s glaciers are melting faster than they were just a few decades ago and becoming destabilized, according to two new studies.

Some time after Danny Taing’s 55,000 rare Kit Kats, valued at $250,000, began their journey to the U.S. from Japan, they disappeared. My colleague Amelia Nierenberg followed the trail of the valuable sweets and discovered that they were stolen, found and stolen again.

The $134 billion American movie and television business is swinging back into motion after a tentative deal was reached between entertainment companies and the union representing tens of thousands of actors this week.

Productions that were shut down midstream will be the first to start back up, including “Gladiator 2,” “Deadpool 3” and “Mortal Kombat 2.” With writers furiously working to finish episodes, television shows will soon follow.

But getting Hollywood back up and running won’t be easy. With the industry hustling to make up for months of lost work, juggling production schedules and the availability of actors and crew members will be complicated.

Cook this easy variation of fish jorim highlighting the aromatic flavor of soy sauce, garlic and ginger.


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