Monday Briefing

Israeli soldiers cleaning the barrel of a tank yesterday outside Be’eri, Israel.Credit…Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Israel increases evacuations as fears grow of a widening conflict

Israeli authorities said yesterday they were expanding a state-funded plan to evacuate residents from 14 additional villages near the border with Lebanon, as conflict intensified in the area. Escalating clashes on the border, along with strikes in Syria and in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, have intensified fears of a widening regional conflict.

Israel’s military said that attacks from Hezbollah, the militia backed by Iran that controls southern Lebanon, had resulted in civilian and military casualties. In Syria, the state-run news agency said the airports in Damascus and Aleppo were closed after a strike by Israel that killed one civilian worker in Damascus. The report could not be independently verified.

Violence has also been surging across the West Bank, where Israel carried out an airstrike against what it described as an underground “terror compound” beneath a mosque in the city of Jenin. The claim had not been independently verified. Two people were killed, according to Palestinian health officials.

Israel has continued to pound Gaza with punishing airstrikes after the cross-border attacks by Hamas militants on Oct. 7, and Israeli forces have massed along the border with the territory ahead of an expected ground invasion. The Biden administration has advised Israel to delay a ground invasion, hoping to buy time for hostage negotiations and to allow more humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians, according to U.S. officials.

Aid for Gaza: An aid convoy of 14 trucks carrying food, water and medicine crossed into the Gaza Strip from Egypt yesterday evening, after an earlier shipment of 20 trucks made the same trip on Saturday. International aid officials continued to warn that far more shipments were needed.


  • The U.S. military said it would send more missile defense systems to the Middle East in response to “escalations” from Iran and its allies, who have threatened a broader war in the region.

  • Canada and France said that Israel was unlikely to be behind the deadly blast at a hospital in Gaza last week.

  • Israel continued to ramp up its calls for Gazans in the north to evacuate, but many people there said that doing so was not an option because of the cost.

Testimonies in the report painted a damning picture of life under Russian occupation.Credit…Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

New evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine

A U.N. commission found new evidence that Russian forces committed war crimes in Ukraine, including deliberate killings, rape and the removal of Ukrainian children, according to a new report. Victim testimonies also asserted the widespread use of torture in several Russian detention facilities.

The report focused on the southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, where Russian forces seized territory last year at the start of their invasion. It also documented three cases of mistreatment of Ukrainians who had been accused of collaborating with Russia.

Other news from the war:

  • A missile strike on a postal depot on near Kharkiv killed six workers, the Ukrainian authorities said.

  • Ukrainian forces have stepped up assaults near the southern city of Kherson, leading analysts to speculate that Kyiv may be seeking to open a new front in the war.

Tanker trucks delivering water to drought-affected areas of southern Spain.Credit…Rachel Chaundler for The New York Times

Spain’s drought is drying up drinkable water

Spain has been blighted by a long-running drought, caused by record-high temperatures, heat waves and almost three years of reduced rainfall. Throughout the country, reservoirs have been depleted. In the worst-affected areas, they are at less than 20 percent of their capacity.

Few places in Europe have been as badly hit as a string of 23 villages north of the city of Córdoba. They have needed deliveries of fresh water since April, when the reservoir that supplies the area completely dried. The daily struggle for drinkable water there has become a glimpse of what may lie ahead for parts of the continent where drought and extreme heat have become increasingly common.

Not just water. The price of olive oil has more than doubled in some places because of the drought in Spain and bad weather in other major olive growers like Italy, Greece and Portugal.


Around the World

Credit…Sarah Pabst for The New York Times
  • After leading in the polls for months, Javier Milei, a far-right libertarian economist, tumbled to second place in Argentina’s election yesterday, sending him to a runoff next month.

  • Australia said that China was poised to lift its punishing wine tariffs, a potential thaw in the relationship between the countries.

  • Migrants were caught crossing the U.S. southern border more times in the past year than in any other year since at least 1960.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Qilai Shen for The New York Times
  • Foxconn is said to be under tax audit in China, part of a regulatory push as local governments seek revenue.

  • Over the last two decades, medical facilities and staff have more frequently become casualties of war, in violation of international law.

  • Major Hollywood studios and the union representing striking actors will return to the negotiating table on Tuesday, less than two weeks after talks were suspended.

What Else is Happening

  • Five women accusing the Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard of sexual assault testified that he lured them to a “sordid” hidden bedroom in his office.

  • The Dutch king has previously apologized for his family’s role in slavery, but some South Africans are seeking a direct apology and reparations from the Netherlands.

  • A $96 million Hindu temple, believed to be the largest in the Western Hemisphere, opened in New Jersey amid accusations of forced labor.

A Morning Read

Credit…Mamadi Doumbouya for The New York Times

Hadley Vlahos, a hospice nurse, TikTok star and best-selling author, wants people to let go of their fighting words about death. The Times spoke to her about the tragic, graceful and, at times, apparently supernatural experiences she’s had with her hospice patients.


Imposing, effortless and unflappable: Who are the Premier League’s true Rolls-Royces?

Jonny Evans interview: A Manchester United man returns.

Track breakdown: The ups and downs of Austin’s Grand Prix circuit.


Credit…Dimitar Dilkoff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Is Paris the new center of the E.U. art trade?

Since Britain’s vote in 2016 to leave the E.U., there has been talk about the heft of the European art trade shifting from London to Paris.

A growing list of international dealers have opened galleries in the French capital, and museums and spaces like the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the Bourse de Commerce and the Fondation Cartier have featured major retrospectives that have been a draw for international visitors.

Britain’s art market still turns over more than twice as much as France, according to some estimates, but some experts and dealers say the needle has already begun to tip toward Paris. “The quality of the work is better, things are presented more thoughtfully,” said an art adviser in Paris. “And collectors like spending more time here.”


Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Make this creamy and adaptablebaked potato soup.

Read “Hunting the Falcon,” which takes a fresh look at an infamous Tudor marriage.

Stream one of these five movies from around the world.

Decompress with Ali Stroker’s 10 tips for sleep-deprived working moms.

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. — Jonathan

P.S. We explored the spirited history of the word “ghost” in The Times.

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

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