Monday Briefing

Smoke rising from a Sunday airstrike in Gaza as seen from Sderot, Israel.Credit…Avishag Shaar-Yashuv for The New York Times

Israel is ‘expanding’ ground operations in Gaza

The Israeli military yesterday signaled a heavier assault on Gaza and warned with increasing “urgency” that Palestinian civilians should move to the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The military’s chief spokesman said Israel was “gradually expanding the ground activity and the scope of our forces,” but it was still unclear how many soldiers had been sent into Gaza since Friday, when Israel began an intensified ground operation. Videos released by the military and geolocated by The Times indicated at least three places where troops had crossed into northern Gaza.

Phone and internet service in Gaza had been knocked out on Friday, but connectivity partially returned yesterday morning, according to the head of the main Palestinian telecommunications company.

The executive said he suspected that Israel had caused the service stoppage, and two American officials told The Times that the U.S. believed Israel was responsible for it. Officials in Israel declined to comment on the matter.


  • Al Quds Hospital in Gaza City said it had received a warning from Israel to evacuate before an airstrike hit it — and that the order was impossible to obey.

  • Israel has committed to allowing 100 trucks of aid per day into Gaza, a senior U.S. official said.

  • President Biden told Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that his country had a right to defend itself but had to make protecting civilians a priority.

A mobile air-defense unit near Kyiv, Ukraine, earlier this year.Credit…Nicole Tung for The New York Times

Ukraine pushes U.S. for makeshift weapons

With winter approaching, officials in Ukraine are desperate for more air defenses to protect power grids from Russian strikes, which could plunge the country into freezing darkness. They are so desperate, in fact, that they are willing to experiment with somewhat makeshift weapons that combine advanced, Western-caliber, surface-to-air missiles with refitted Soviet-era launchers that Ukrainian forces already have.

These so-called Franken weapons were the brainchild of Ukraine, but they are now being pursued by the Pentagon. Two variants have been tested on military bases in the U.S. and are set to be delivered to Ukraine this fall, officials said.

More news from the war:

  • Dozens of countries met in Malta to rally support for Ukraine and encourage countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia that have taken a neutral stance not to side with Russia.

  • In a rare show of public criticism in wartime, families of missing Ukrainian soldiers are pressing the government for information on their status.

  • We spent a year following the paths of a group of friends from Lviv, Ukraine, as they went to war. Read their story.

Some topics, like reaching out to L.G.B.T.Q.+ Catholics, were almost entirely expunged from the meeting’s final summary.Credit…Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

Catholics met but postponed discussion of major issues

A monthlong meeting at the Vatican convened by Pope Francis to determine the future of the Roman Catholic Church ended this weekend with a document that said it was “urgent” that women play a larger role. But discussion of major issues, such as ordaining women as deacons, was postponed, and the document failed to address outreach to L.G.B.T.Q.+ Catholics.

The meeting, called the Synod on Synodality, was characterized by liberals and conservatives alike as a potential culmination of Francis’ pontificate and the vehicle through which he might make changes. Instead, it echoed another characteristic of Francis’ tenure: the tabling of major issues as he sought to build deeper support through the global church.

Takeaway: Progressives who had high hopes that the meeting would create real momentum for change said the final document failed to move the institution.


Around the World

Credit…Iranian State Television, via Associated Press
  • Armita Geravand, a 16-year-old Iranian, has died, weeks after collapsing and falling into a coma. Many believe that officers on a subway car had confronted her for not covering her hair in public.

  • After months of war, Sudan is on the verge of “the worst education crisis in the world,” the U.N. said.

  • At least 32 people died in a vehicle pileup in Egypt.

Other Big Stories

Credit…U.S. Indo-Pacific Command
  • A Chinese jet flew within 10 feet of a U.S. bomber, with the pilot operating at “uncontrolled excessive speed,” the Pentagon said.

  • The parents of Luis Díaz, a Colombian star of Liverpool, the English soccer club, were both kidnapped on Saturday. His mother was rescued hours later, but his father remains missing.

  • Many voters in Poland say they yearn for a more united nation. But after a brutal election season, divisions remain stark.

What Else Is Happening

  • China wants to cool tensions in Gaza, but antisemitism and anti-Israeli sentiment have surged across its internet and state media, undermining its efforts to convey impartiality.

  • A year ago, Adidas broke ties with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, as he made offensive public comments. But a Times investigation found that Adidas had tolerated his misconduct behind the scenes for nearly a decade.

A Morning Read

Credit…Andrea Mantovani for The New York Times

France takes cheese very seriously, and strict rules in the country govern how the highest-quality cheeses are made. But those rules are running up against climate change, leading to discussions about which traditions and rules are essential and which can be changed.

Lives lived: Matthew Perry, who portrayed Chandler Bing in the acclaimed sitcom “Friends,” died at 54. Our critic wrote an appraisal of his work.


Real Madrid 2, Barcelona 1: Jude Bellingham is the big Clásico hero.

Munich madness: A remarkable game in Bavaria as Bayern scores eight.

Ballon d’Or 2023: The alternative men’s winner to Lionel Messi.


Credit…Hannah Reyes Morales for The New York Times

As the world grays, Africa blooms with youth

As richer countries reckon with their aging populations, African nations are experiencing what some experts call a “youthquake.” The median age on the continent is 19, a full 20 years younger than in China and the U.S. By the 2040s, two out of every five children globally will be born in Africa.

“Experts say this approaching tide of humanity will push Africa to the fore of the most pressing concerns of our age, like climate change, the energy transition and migration,” Declan Walsh, who covers Africa for The Times, reports. In a new Times series, Old World, Young Africa, reporters followed young people searching for jobs. They traveled with migrant workers, spoke to people who’d returned from studying in China and interviewed young people who challenged aging leaders.

“The world is changing,” Edward Paice, the author of “Youthquake: Why African Demography Should Matter to the World,” told Walsh. “And we need to start reimagining Africa’s place in it.”

Lynsey Chutel, Briefings writer based in Johannesburg


Credit…Armando Rafael for The New York Times

Make black bean chili with mushrooms, or try one of these other chili recipes.

Watch one of these eight movies featuring Black action heroes.

Read thesetwo books for a mental vacation.

Test your candy I.Q. with a sweet quiz.

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

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

P.S. Erik Piepenburg covers horror movies, but the scariest part of his job is the films that fail to frighten him.

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

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