Friday Briefing: U.N. Prepares to Vote on Gaza Aid

Palestinians lined up for a meal in Rafah, in southern Gaza, amid food shortages, yesterday.Credit…Fatima Shbair/Associated Press

U.N. Security Council prepares to vote on Gaza aid

After a week of delays, the U.S. held high-level negotiations with Egypt yesterday to find a compromise on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would allow for scaled-up, safe delivery of aid to Gaza, an American official said.

Here’s the latest.

The U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the U.N., Robert Wood, told reporters earlier in the day that the U.S. was still in talks but was not yet ready to sign off on the resolution, which also called for pauses in fighting.

Egypt, which controls the Rafah border crossing into Gaza, wants the U.N. to take over the delivery of aid to the enclave. The U.S., under pressure from Israel, has said that Israel must be involved in checking aid deliveries and disputes that U.N. inspections will speed them up.

A vote, which the Council has delayed three times this week at the request of the U.S., could come later in the day.

In Israel, the military said it learned that its forces had come close to finding three hostages before they were mistakenly killed by Israeli troops last week. Footage from a combat dog’s Go-Pro camera captured the voices of the young hostages.

Grim milestone: The death toll in Gaza has reached roughly 20,000, according to officials there. It’s the heaviest loss on the Arab side in any war with Israel in 40 years.

Where are Hamas’s leaders? Israel’s stated goal in the war is to destroy Hamas. But Israel has yet to locate Hamas officials who are considered key planners of the Oct. 7 attack.

The authorities said they didn’t believe the gunman’s actions were connected to terrorism.Credit…Petr David Josek/Associated Press

A shooting in Prague left at least 15 dead

At least 15 people were killed in a shooting spree in the Czech Republic yesterday, including 14 people at Charles University in Prague, the authorities said. Twenty-four others were wounded.

The suspect, who had a gun license, was a 24-year-old student in world history at the university. He first shot his father in a town outside Prague and then continued his rampage at the school before killing himself, officials said. The chief of the national police said that the assailant was “inspired by a similar terrible event abroad,” but he didn’t specify where.

Context: Mass shootings are rare in the Central European country. In 2019, a gunman killed six people in a hospital in the city of Ostrava. That had been the deadliest shooting since 2015, when a gunman killed eight people at a restaurant southeast of Prague.

A Patriot missile launcher in Tokyo in 2022.Credit…Yoshikazu Tsuno/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Japan prepares to sell Patriot missiles to the U.S.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet is expected to meet today to discuss changes to restrictions on weapons exports, which would allow Japan to sell U.S.-designed Patriot missiles made in Japan back to the U.S.

The step represents a significant shift in Japan’s post World War II policies. It could also help Washington support Ukraine in its fight against Russia. Japan’s government is also discussing the possibility of sending artillery shells to the U.S. and policy changes that would allow it to export a fighter jet that it is developing with Britain and Italy.

Context: The change is another sign that Japan, a pacifist nation since the end of World War II, is taking on a larger global security role.


A Russian restaurant in Heihe, China.Credit…Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times
  • China’s trade with Russia this year has exceeded $200 billion as China cashes in on the war in Ukraine.

  • The U.S. and E.U. are thinking about confiscating more than $300 billion in Russian central bank assets stashed in Western countries. The funds could be used to help Ukraine.

  • Pope Francis’s shift on same-sex couples followed years of quiet talks with L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics, but conservative resistance also played a part.

  • Researchers say that U.S. troops’ brains may be injured by blasts from firing tank guns and other weapons, even if the Pentagon said they were safe.

  • President Emmanuel Macron of France condemned a “manhunt” against the actor Gérard Depardieu, who is being scrutinized over sexual assault claims.

Other Big Stories

  • Criminals in Mexico are killing with impunity. The violence has become the public’s top priority going into next year’s presidential election.

  • Harvard University said that it had found two additional instances of insufficient citation as it investigates plagiarism claims against its president.

  • Rudy Giuliani filed for bankruptcy, a day after a federal judge ordered him to start paying $148 million in damages to two election workers.

  • The authorities in Iceland told tourists to avoid the site of a recent volcanic eruption after a hiker had to be rescued by helicopter earlier in the week.

A Morning Read

Credit…iStock/Getty Image

Fall and winter have affectionately become known as “cuffing season” in recent years — a period in which couples stay cuffed together indoors throughout the cold months. But they can also be a time that puts pressures on newer relationships.


The McCallister family home is a real house in Winnetka, Ill.Credit…Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune va Getty Images

How rich were the McCallisters in ‘Home Alone’?

For years, fans of the 1990 holiday classic “Home Alone” have been debating the wealth of the McCallister family. For answers, The Times turned to economists and people involved with the film.

Perhaps the best clue to the family’s wealth is their spacious suburban home. The real-life home is in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the U.S. In 1990, the house would have been affordable only for residents in the top 1 percent of Chicago household incomes, and that would still be the case today.


Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times

Cook: This roasted squash with tomato-ginger chickpeas serves a crowd.

Game: These are the video games we loved this year.

Listen: Put on the best classical albums of 2023.

Plan: Travelers keep making the same mistakes. Let us help.

Play Spelling Bee, the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku. Find all our games here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Amelia will be here on Monday. — Jonathan

P.S. Our colleagues behind the India’s Daughters series wrote about reporting on women’s issues in a country where they often must fight to be heard.

We welcome your feedback. Send us your suggestions at [email protected].

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