Thursday Briefing

Diplomats at the Security Council were engaged in intense, behind-the-scenes negotiations on Wednesday over a resolution calling for a pause in fighting in Gaza.Credit…Justin Lane/EPA, via Shutterstock

Gaza peace talks hit road blocks

In Cairo and at the U.N., talks about a possible truce between Israel and Hamas over the war in the Gaza Strip are making slow progress, as negotiators struggled to come up with plans for pausing the fighting, freeing hostages and speeding up help for Gazans.

A full cease-fire, enacted without preconditions, would be unacceptable for Israel, since it would allow Hamas to remain in control of parts of Gaza. Israel vowed to topple the group after it launched the devastating Oct. 7 attack in which, the Israelis say, some 1,200 people were killed and about 240 abducted.

At the same time, pressure is growing on Israel to stop its deadly military campaign in Gaza, where about 20,000 people have been killed according to health authorities, and to allow more desperately needed aid into the devastated enclave.

Details: Aid inspections have become a particular sticking point. The U.A.E. and Egypt say the current system is too cumbersome and have called for a U.N. inspection system that would leave Israel with no role in searching cargo entering Gaza — something Israel has urged the U.S. to reject.

At the U.N.: A planned resolution would call for extended pauses in the war, allow more aid into Gaza by land, air and sea, and urge the immediate release of all the hostages being held by Hamas. Council members have been fielding multiple last-minute requests by the Biden administration, and the U.S. vetoed two previous cease-fire resolutions.

By a 4-3 vote, justices of the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the former president’s actions were sufficient to make him an oath-breaking insurrectionist.Credit…Stephen Speranza for The New York Times

A state ruling could reshape the 2024 election

The nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will play a critical role in shaping the 2024 election, as they are asked to weigh in on a slate of lawsuits related to Donald Trump, the former president and current Republican front-runner. Here’s what you need to know.

Those suits now include a novel and momentous legal question: whether Trump should be disqualified from state ballots for engaging in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, in violation of a Reconstruction-era constitutional amendment.

The issues the court is now confronting could drastically affect the timing of the proceedings against Trump, the scope of the charges he should face or his status as a candidate, with potentially profound effects on his chances of winning the election. And the justices could easily become ensnared in several of the questions simultaneously.

Analysis: “In this cycle, the Supreme Court is likely to play an even larger role than in Bush v. Gore,” said David Becker, the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research.


  • Trump’s rivals in the Republican presidential primary are bemoaning the ruling. So far, Trump’s legal troubles have only helped him raise money and increase his support.

  • President Biden said it was “self-evident” that Trump had “supported an insurrection,” but that the matter was up to the Supreme Court to decide whether he should be on the ballot.

Migrants running from dunes across a beach in northern France as they try to board smugglers’ boats bound for Britain in June.Credit…Sameer Al-Doumy/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A long-awaited E.U. migration deal

After years of negotiations, European countries struck a deal to overhaul their joint migration system, an agreement aimed at allaying mounting pressure from ascendant far-right political parties across the continent.

The plan, named the E.U. migration and asylum pact, aims to make it easier to deport failed asylum seekers and to limit the entry of migrants into the bloc. It also seeks to give governments a greater sense of control over their borders while bolstering the E.U.’s role in migration management — treating it as a European issue, not just a national one.

Quotable: “Migration is a European challenge that requires European solutions,” Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said in written comments.


Around the World

  • There is growing evidence that Beijing is weighing whether to test a new generation of nuclear arms that could increase the lethality of its missile force.

  • Poland’s main state television news channel abruptly shut down, as the former governing party attempted to prevent new management from taking over.

  • In Sudan, a paramilitary group seized control of a major city in a strategic agricultural area, opening a new and potentially deadlier phase in the eight-month civil war.

  • A string of mass killings in Mexico have drawn renewed attention to the government’s struggle to control the violence raging across the country.

Other Big Stories

  • As parts of Australia face a heat wave, residents of densely built Sydney suburbs experience even deadlier temperatures.

  • The U.S. said it had agreed to release a close ally of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela in exchange for 10 jailed Americans.

  • Voting in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential election got off to a rocky start, with widespread delays, disorder and scenes of violence.

  • France’s government is trying to smooth over the cracks in President Emmanuel Macron’s coalition after Parliament passed a contentious immigration bill.

What Else Is Happening

Credit…Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times
  • Once derided as symbols of a commodified work force, cubicles are making a comeback.

  • The U.S. Federal Trade Commission proposed sweeping new online privacy safeguards for children.

  • What’s next for Ozempic and similar weight-loss drugs? Scientists are exploring what other conditions they can treat, like addiction or liver disease.

A Morning Read

Credit…Stephanie Keith for The New York Times

A man was in jail for killing Karen Dannett’s father. But after examining more than 100 pages of documents, she felt riddled with doubt about the conviction. And so she reached out, writing: “I really need to hear your side of the story.”

When Detroy Livingston received her letter in jail, he experienced a surge of hope that he had not felt in years. Seven years later, he would walk free.


Steve Cooper departs: How the Nottingham Forest love story fell apart.

Endrick interview: Real Madrid’s next big Brazilian talent.

Shave and a haircut? The Yankees have a longstanding policy banning beards and long hair. Some think it could be costing the team players.


Credit…20th Century Fox

Rewatching ‘Home Alone’

In the 1990 holiday classic “Home Alone,” in which 8-year-old Kevin McCallister battles burglars through his spacious suburban home, a nagging question presents itself: Just how rich was this family?

Economists dug into data on housing costs and mortgage rates of the era and determined that the McCallisters would have been in the top 1 percent of Chicago-area households. Their home would have been affordable only to a household with an income of $305,000 in 1990 — or about $665,000 in today’s dollars.


Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times.

Cook: Jansson’s Temptation is classic Swedish comfort fare.

Wear: For an industry that is supposed to be about the future, it was an awfully retrograde year in fashion.

Gift: Wacky, inexpensive white elephant ideas.

Sleep: What eating late at night does to your health.

Plant: Whether you want cut flowers or a striking vertical display, annual vines flourish in no time — given the right support.

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. Take our quiz on the notable faces of 2023.

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

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