Monday Briefing

Credit…Ismail Zanoun/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

More people die at major Gaza hospital

Patients including babies at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza are dying because of a lack of power, medical staff said amid conflicting accounts from Israel and health authorities in Gaza over why a badly needed fuel delivery for the besieged and crumbling facility had been held up.

Hundreds of ill and wounded patients and displaced people have been trapped inside the hospital, the largest in the enclave. Intense close-quarters combat is taking place nearby between Israeli troops and Hamas fighters. In recent days, Israeli tanks and troops have drawn close to the facility, one of the few health centers still functioning in northern Gaza.

Many staff members have fled Al-Shifa. Without fuel to run generators, the hospital has been plunged into darkness, forcing remaining staff to tend to patients by the light of their cellphones, an official said. The hospital was out of oxygen and dialysis had stopped, he added.

Other facilities: The Palestinian Red Crescent said yesterday that Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City was “no longer operational,” as power outages and fuel shortages continued to wreak havoc on Gaza’s health facilities. The Gazan aid group said that more than 14,000 displaced people had been sheltering there. Four others were evacuated on Friday.

Here’s the latest, and what we know about the death toll.

In other news from the war:

  • President Biden’s national security adviser cautioned Israel against engaging in combat in hospitals in Gaza but said he agreed with Israel’s view that Hamas used such civilian facilities “as human shields” to house its fighters and to store its weapons.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said yesterday that only the Israeli Army could take military responsibility for Gaza after the war and that he did not see a future administrative role for the Western-backed Palestinian Authority — at least in its current form. The Biden administration said it did not support an Israeli “re-occupation” of Gaza.

  • Tens of thousands of people protested in cities across France yesterday to show their solidarity with the country’s Jews and to deplore antisemitic acts that have multiplied across the nation since Hamas’s attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

A pier overlooking the Black Sea in Odesa. Despite its lack of warships, Ukraine has managed to break the Russian blockade of the city.Credit…Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

How Ukraine is thwarting Russia’s Navy

Despite having no warships of its own, Ukraine has over the course of the war with Russia shifted the balance of power in the naval conflict, using unmanned maritime drones and long-range anti-ship missiles — along with critical surveillance provided by Western allies — to blunt the advantages of the vastly more powerful Russian Navy.

Still, Ukraine remains vastly outgunned on the Black Sea. It lacks the battlecruisers, destroyers, frigates and submarines that populate the Russian fleet. Russian planes still dominate the skies above the sea, and Russia still uses its fleet to launch long-range missiles at Ukrainian towns and cities, threatening armed forces and civilians alike.

Ukraine has nevertheless managed to negate some of those advantages. Over the last two months, it has launched stealthy nighttime operations by small units on jet skis and powerful missile strikes on military headquarters, a submarine and a shipbuilding plant in eastern Crimea, an attack that damaged a new missile-carrying Russian warship.

Analysis: “At this point, the Russian Black Sea Fleet is primarily what naval strategists term ‘a fleet in being’: It represents a potential threat that needs to be vigilantly guarded against, but one that remains in check for now,” Scott Savitz, a military expert, said. “Remarkably, Ukraine has achieved all this without a substantial fleet of its own.”

Portia Stafford, center, and her friends often look for work together. It is safer to travel in numbers, they said. Credit…Gulshan Khan for The New York Times

An infuriating, humiliating labor market

A high school diploma in South Africa was once a ticket to a decent job. But a shortage of employment and a booming youth population has left some looking for work for months or even years, and 61 percent of people ages 15 to 24 are unemployed, according to Statistics South Africa. Read an account of one woman’s desperate, yearlong hunt for a job.

About one million Africans enter the work force every month, but fewer than one in four find a formal job. So young people, even those with college degrees, do menial labor, accept payment in food, migrate to other countries on the continent looking for better opportunities and cross oceans in rickety boats to find work.

Elsewhere: Even relatively stable African countries are failing their young labor force: Ghana’s tech industry has not created abundant jobs, while in Botswana, one of the continent’s fastest-growing economies, college graduates languish.


Around the World

Credit…Jorge Guerrero/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards protested across the country against a deal made by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez with secessionists.

  • In Florida, a cottage industry has sprung up to tackle the invasive Burmese pythons that have decimated native birds, rabbits and deer.

  • An Icelandic town was evacuated after earthquakes signaled an increased possibility of a volcanic eruption.

  • Toxic bacteria turned a pond in Hawaii bubble-gum pink.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Max Whittaker for The New York Times
  • A U.S. Army ammunition plant maintains a robust commercial business. Its rounds have been used in mass shootings across the country.

  • A Toronto jury found Peter Nygard, the fallen fashion executive, guilty of four counts of sexual assault.

  • Post-pandemic work-from-home norms may have allowed mothers to stay in the work force while simultaneously making it harder to get ahead.

  • For many years, it was easy to have an iPhone repaired. Software changes have turned that process into a minefield.

From Opinion

  • Israel has a responsibility to value Palestinian lives, even if Hamas doesn’t, Nicholas Kristof says.

  • Joe Biden versus Donald Trump is the choice America must face — even if it isn’t the clash it wants, Carlos Lozada writes.

  • Why aren’t more people getting married? Ask women what dating is like, Anna Louie Sussman writes.

A Morning Read

Credit…Abigail Varney for The New York Times

Vegemite — that salty, bitter, savory toast topping beloved by Australians, and almost no one else — is 100 years old, prompting ridiculous merchandise and an abundance of questionable collaborations.

Ben Shewry, a celebrated chef in Melbourne, Australia, compares enjoying Vegemite to skateboarding. “You have to have done it as a child,” he said. “It’s too painful to learn it as an adult.”


Staying in employment: Why have no Premier League managers been sacked this season?

New Caledonia: The Pacific paradise that became a World Cup talent factory.

Indoors at the ATP Finals: Where Novak Djokovic’s dominance finds another level.


From “At the Drop of a Cat.”Credit…Violeta Lópiz

2023’s best children’s books

Every year, a panel of expert judges chooses the 10 best illustrated children’s books from a list of several hundred. Here are some of this year’s winners. (Read the full list.)

“At the Drop of a Cat,” by Élise Fontenaille and Violeta Lópiz. Originally published in French, this book recounts the story of Luis, who is unable to read or write, and his connection to his grandson, “the apple of his pie,” through the language of birds, the beauty of nature and skills like gardening, drawing and cooking.

“Mary’s Idea,” by Chris Raschka. In his tribute to the jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams, Raschka puts the reader in Williams’s place by showcasing only her hands on the bottom of the page, engaged with the energetic music she created over the years.

“The Young Teacher and the Great Serpent,” by Irene Vasco and Juan Palomino. In this story translated from Spanish and set deep in the Amazon rainforest, an enthusiastic teacher with a suitcase full of books becomes the student. The forest is depicted as not only the setting but also a character whose grandness commands respect.


Credit…Con Poulos for The New York Times

Turn tofu into larb.

Read as a conduit to finding romance.

Watch a breathtaking, uncomfortable seriesfrom Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie.

Give great gifts without breaking the bank.

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. Can you place eight notable events in chronological order in our weekly history quiz?

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

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