President Biden’s national security adviser urged Israel today to end its large-scale ground and air campaign in the Gaza Strip and transition to a more targeted phase in its war against Hamas, American officials said.
Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, did not specify a timetable during his meetings with top Israeli officials. But four American officials said that Biden wanted Israel to switch to more precise tactics in around three weeks or soon thereafter.
The new phase that the Americans envision would involve the use of smaller groups of elite Israeli forces that would move in and out of population centers in Gaza, carrying out more precise missions to find and kill Hamas leaders, rescue hostages and destroy tunnels. But it’s not clear when, or if, Israel would agree to move to lower-intensity fighting. In response to the American advice, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel released a statement saying that “Israel will continue the war until we complete all of its goals.”
The Biden administration has said in recent weeks that it wants to take steps to reduce civilian casualties in Gaza. Life there has been very grim for Palestinians, our Middle East correspondent Raja Abdulrahim told us.
“Some people have told me that they would rather just have a nuclear bomb come and take them all out because the situation has gotten so desperate, and they don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel,” Raja said. “They also feel like the entire world has abandoned them.”
The E.U. agreed to discuss membership with Ukraine
European Union leaders agreed today to officially open negotiations for Ukraine to join the bloc, an important breakthrough for the country as it tries to bolster support from its allies.
The move comes at a crucial time for Ukraine. The country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, just finished a bruising visit to the U.S., where he was unable to secure an agreement for desperately needed aid that is threatened by political divisions in Congress.
Trump’s trial dates are in limbo
The Supreme Court is now entangled in the federal criminal case accusing Donald Trump of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, and it could have serious implications for the trial’s timing.
On Monday, the special counsel leading the prosecution, Jack Smith, asked the justices to fast-track an appeal of Trump’s claims of immunity. Then, last night, the court announced that it would review an obstruction charge in a case that is separate but that sits at the heart of the election case against Trump.
The justices’ decisions on both questions could help determine whether the trial is able to move forward before next year’s presidential election. For more, read my colleagues Alan Feuer and Maggie Haberman in their Trump on Trial newsletter.
Children risk their lives building America’s roofs
Federal law bars anyone under 18 from roofing because it’s so dangerous. But across the U.S., migrant children do this work anyway. Some wake before dawn to be driven to distant job sites and work through heat waves on black-tar rooftops that scorch their hands.
My colleagues spoke with more than 100 child roofers in nearly two dozen states. Read our full story, which found that U.S. enforcement of child labor laws was almost nonexistent in the roofing industry.
A younger, sweeter Willy Wonka
When “Wonka” arrives in theaters tomorrow, Timothée Chalamet will take center stage as a significantly less weird chocolate mogul than the character’s prior screen incarnations. The film is a bright and light take on the first business ventures of a young Willy Wonka — without a hint of the misanthropy that bursts through Roald Dahl’s 1964 best seller, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” on which it’s based.
Our critic Manohla Dargis wrote that the film was overly busy, “and at two hours it overstays its welcome.” However, she wrote, “it embraces niceness with unforced sincerity as it invites you to let your imagination run loose.”
A poison hints at a potential for life near Saturn
A team of scientists announced today that it had identified hydrogen cyanide emanating from an icy moon of Saturn. Hydrogen cyanide is a colorless, odorless gas that is deadly to many Earth creatures. But it could have played a key role in chemical reactions that created the ingredients that set the stage for the advent of life.
The finding added to the belief among some scientists that the small moon, known as Enceladus, is among the most promising places to look for life elsewhere in the solar system.
Morning person? It might be the Neanderthal genes
For those of you who naturally wake up early or enjoy starting your day before the sun rises, you might have more in common with Neanderthals than you think.
They, too, were early risers. A study published today found that morning people may have inherited genes from their Neanderthal ancestors that affect their body clocks. Research suggests that when the Neanderthals moved to higher latitudes, their circadian clocks were forced to adapt to longer days in the summer and shorter in the winter.
Have a restful evening.
Thanks for reading. Sarah Hughes was our photo editor today. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Matthew
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