Monday Briefing

An Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Sunday.Credit…Mahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Netanyahu warns of a long war

For two days, Israeli troops have fought to expel Palestinian militants from Israeli territory, battling in firefights between homes, ducking under rocket fire and striking Gazan cities from the sky. In what officials described as the worst attack on Israel in decades, militants on Saturday infiltrated more than 20 Israeli towns and army bases. Read our timeline.

As of last night, at least 700 Israelis and 413 Palestinians had been killed, and an Israeli defense official said at least 150 Israelis had been taken hostage. The U.N. humanitarian agency said almost 125,000 Palestinians were displaced in Gaza after Israeli airstrikes targeted houses and apartment complexes, in some cases before notifying residents.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, warned of hard days ahead. “We are embarking on a long and difficult war that was forced on us by a murderous Hamas attack,” he said, referring to the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. Israel’s military has begun its offensive phase, he added, “which will continue with neither limitations nor respite until the objectives are achieved.”

On the ground: Israeli tanks could be seen crossing farmland in parts of southern Israel, heading south toward Gaza, and the military ordered an evacuation of civilians from 24 villages near the Gaza border, a possible prelude to a ground assault.

From Opinion: Saturday will be remembered as one of the most devastating days in Israel’s history, writes Shimrit Meir.

For more:

  • Israelis are making desperate pleas for information about missing relatives who may be held as bargaining chips for Hamas. Here’s what to know.

  • The fighting could affect Israel’s ambitions to become a major exporter of natural gas.

  • Read how Hamas’s attack on Israel unfolded.

Searching for victims on Sunday in Herat Province in northwestern Afghanistan.Credit…Omid Haqjoo/Associated Press

Quakes strike Afghanistan

More than 800 people have died since two major earthquakes hit northwestern Afghanistan on Saturday. That toll is expected to rise, according to the local authorities, making the dual shocks one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the country in decades.

Aid workers who arrived yesterday in Herat Province found that in some cases, entire families had been killed. Hospitals and clinics — already on the brink of collapse because of shortfalls in funding — have been overwhelmed with hundreds of injured people.

Context: The earthquakes were the latest natural disaster to devastate Afghanistan, which has endured enormous floods, mudslides and other earthquakes in recent years.

The coffins of a husband and wife, Mykola and Tetiana Androsovych, were lowered into graves on Saturday at the cemetery in Hroza, Ukraine.Credit…David Guttenfelder for The New York Times

A Ukrainian village mourns

Officials said a Russian strike on the Ukrainian farming village of Hroza on Thursday killed 52 people — one in every six residents — hitting a cafe where a wake was being held, in one of the single deadliest missile strikes of the war. The daunting task of identifying and burying the dead has now begun.

Hroza, about 25 miles from the front lines, is a tiny hamlet of 330 people, and the losses have hit hard. “All my relatives are dead,” one person said.


Around the World

Credit…Gerardo Menoscal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • The six Colombian men accused of murdering an Ecuadorean presidential candidate were found dead in prison, the authorities said.

  • Puerto Rico is adding “USA” to the top of its driver’s licenses, after high-profile cases of citizens being told their identification wasn’t proof of American citizenship.

  • The governor of California vetoed a bill that would have made the state the first in the U.S. to ban discrimination based on caste.

  • As Australia prepares for a referendum this weekend, conspiracy theories have rippled out from the far right political fringe.

  • In Chicago, a Kenyan runner shattered the men’s marathon world record.

News From Europe

Credit…Piotr Polak/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • Demands from Poland that Germany pay reparations for Nazi damage in World War II have flared with new intensity ahead of a contentious election.

  • Britain’s Labour Party, triumphant after a big win in Scotland, is holding its annual conference in Liverpool.

  • German voters handed a victory to mainstream conservatives in a state election in Bavaria, while punishing the three parties running the country.

From Opinion

  • Adam Mastroianni asks: How do you make sense of a world where the scientific sands are always shifting and where so much remains unknown?

  • Music diplomacy programs can help normalize U.S.-China relations, just as Ping-Pong did in the 1970s, Carla Dirlikov Canales writes.

  • David French denounces a shift to viewing older people as obstacles instead of assets.

  • Why Maureen Dowd worries for Taylor Swift.

A Morning Read

Credit…Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

At 17, Farid El Haïry was charged with rape. He spent time in prison before being released with one painful condition — stay away from his home city of Hazebrouck, where his accuser, but also his friends and family, lived.

Almost a quarter-century later, his accuser changed her story.

Lives Lived

Michael Bonallack, who established himself as Britain’s greatest amateur golfer of the postwar era, has died at 88.


World Championship winner: The 10 defining moments of Max Verstappen’s 2023 F1 title.

World Cup 2026: A closer look at the 11 U.S. host cities.

Viktor Hovland: He may be golf’s next great star.


A spice blend that makes everything taste better

You find it in Japanese restaurants across the world: red-capped bottles of shichimi togarashi, the seven-spice blend that makes food spicy, savory, nutty and electric all at once.

This combination comes from an exciting interplay of dried red chile, orange peel, sesame seeds, sansho peppercorns, seaweed and often ginger. “Shichi” means seven, and “togarashi” refers to the Japanese red chile that grounds the mix. The other six ingredients might include poppy seeds or yuzu peel: It all depends on the brand and, when made at home, on the cook.

While you might instinctively reach to it for soba or pork chops, really, the only limit is your imagination: Try it sprinkled over chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, or gently awaken it in a warm pool of olive oil before tossing with noodles.


Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times

Make chicken cordon bleu. (It’s easier than you think.)

Stick with your investments, despite the ups and downs.

Read “Family Meal,” which follows the jagged reunion of two former best friends.

Choose a smartwatch that’s both stylish and useful.

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

Reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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