President Biden’s trip will be a show of U.S. solidarity with Israel, aimed at Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.Credit…Kent Nishimura for The New York Times
Biden will visit Israel
President Biden will go to Israel tomorrow, according to Antony Blinken, the U.S. secretary of state. Israel has declared a “complete siege” of Gaza and has threatened a ground invasion in response to the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas, the group that controls Gaza.
The trip will be a remarkable gamble, a demonstration of U.S. solidarity with Israel aimed at Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based, Iran-backed militant group fighting Israel, at a time of increasing anxiety about a regional war. The trip will also tie Biden, and the U.S., to the bloodshed in Gaza, where two million people are trapped and critical supplies are dwindling.
Israel has retaliated forcefully to the Hamas assault, the deadliest attack on Israel in its history, in which more than 1,400 people were killed and nearly 200 hostages taken. Hundreds of Israeli airstrikes have pounded Gaza, and Israel says it has killed at least six senior Hamas leaders so far.
Toll: The Palestinian Ministry of Health said more than 2,808 people in Gaza had been killed and 10,850 wounded. More than 400,000 people have left northern Gaza, heading south to U.N. shelters that are under deep strain.
What else to know:
Hamas released a video of a 21-year-old woman it abducted during its massacre at a music festival. It is the first video from Hamas showing any of its hostages.
The Biden administration warned Iran against escalation through back-channel messages with intermediaries in Qatar, Oman and China, and it sent a pair of aircraft carriers to the region.
Despite information to the contrary from U.S. officials, the Rafah border crossing with Egypt has stayed shut, as diplomatic efforts foundered.
Amid mounting concerns that the conflict could spread, Israel’s military said it would evacuate people living within two kilometers of the border with Lebanon.
Unwinding Poland’s ‘illiberal democracy’
With 99 percent of the votes counted, Poland is on the cusp of what many see as the most significant change of power since voters rejected communism in 1989. The national governing party, Law and Justice, fell short of the majority it needed, giving an opening for the opposition to form a coalition government.
But can the opposition do so? And if it does succeed, can it wield power in a system where public broadcasting, the constitutional court, the judiciary, the central bank, the national prosecutor’s office and other branches of state have been packed with Law and Justice loyalists who, in many cases, cannot be easily dislodged?
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Law and Justice’s chairman, has made clear that he will not give up without a fight. He told supporters: “Regardless of what it will be like in the end, what the final distribution of votes will be — we will win!”
Quotable: “This is the really important question: How to unwind an illiberal democracy?” said Wojciech Przybylski, the head of Res Publica Foundation, a Warsaw research group.
2 killed in Brussels shooting
Two Swedish nationals were shot dead in central Brussels by a single armed man in what Alexander de Croo, the Belgian prime minister, said was an act of terrorism. The suspect remained at large hours after the attack, the Belgian police said.
The victims were wearing Sweden soccer shirts, local media reported, and may have been preparing to attend a match between Sweden and Belgium at a stadium in northern Brussels. The game was suspended after the shooting.
THE LATEST NEWS
Around the World
More than a week after an earthquake devastated communities in northwestern Afghanistan, hundreds of people are still missing.
Thousands of families who were separated at the southern U.S. border have reached a settlement with the federal government that enables the migrants to apply for asylum.
Satellite photos appear to show cargo ships shuttling between Russia and North Korea, evidence of an illicit arms trade to bolster Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine.
Javier Milei is leading the polls in Argentina’s presidential election, but he is dogged by his past comments attacking Pope Francis.
Other Big Stories
A judge imposed a limited gag order on Donald Trump, restricting him from making statements attacking witnesses, prosecutors or court staff.
After relying on a borrow-to-build model for decades, Beijing must make difficult choices about the country’s housing market and economic future.
Janet Yellen, the U.S. treasury secretary, told European economic leaders that the U.S. would not back away from aiding Ukraine despite some Republican resistance.
Fears of lab leaks in the U.S. are stalling virus research that could thwart the next pandemic.
Cleaner, more ecologically responsible land-based salmon farms in the U.S. are rising as an alternative to open net-pens in the ocean.
A Morning Read
A team of scientists is proposing a new explanation for some cases of long Covid, based on their findings that serotonin levels were lower in people with the complex condition.
The researchers suggest that serotonin reduction is triggered by remnants of the virus lingering in the gut. Depleted serotonin could especially explain memory problems and some neurological and cognitive symptoms of long Covid, they say.
A fresh start: The camp for de-selected soccer players.
The soccer player who needed two hearts: One to save his career, the other to save his life.
Gregg Berhalter’s second cycle: The U.S. men’s soccer team shows it has to evolve.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Harvard’s team of #MentalHealth influencers
America’s young people are experiencing a mental health crisis. For this vulnerable population, social media serves as a primary source of information. And so, in an experiment, social scientists at Harvard tried to inject evidence-based content into their feeds — via an army assembled of mental health influencers with followers on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.
“They understand what their audience needs,” one scientist said. “They’ve done a huge amount of storytelling that has allowed stigma to fall away. They have been a huge part of convincing people to talk about different mental health concerns. They are a perfect translation partner.”
Use leftover rice to create a stir-fry dish that takes less than 30 minutes.
Pack your overnight bag with all your essentials.
Unmoor how you think about your health from the scales.
Pair these novels with their settings, in our quiz.
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. Sign up to receive our new Israel-Hamas War Briefing to get the latest news and analysis about the conflict.
You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].