Monday Briefing: Israel Plans for a Daily Pause in Some Fighting


The Israeli military said yesterday that it would suspend daytime military operations near a border crossing in southern Gaza “until further notice.” The move is an effort to allow more humanitarian aid to enter the enclave, as aid groups make increasingly urgent warnings about the lack of food and other basic goods.

The announcement, made on the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, comes amid a flurry of negotiations, mediated by the U.S., Qatar and Egypt, to reach a cease-fire. One sticking point in those talks is a disagreement over the permanence of any cessation of hostilities.

Israel’s military stressed yesterday that the pause would be limited, that its offensive in Rafah would continue and that there would be “no cessation of fighting” in southern Gaza overall.

The government suggested that the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had learned of the pause only from news reports and signaled his disapproval. But analysts said it was likely that Netanyahu was aware of the plan and the messaging of its rollout, with each tailored to different audiences.

A sprawling network of Democratic officials, progressive activists, watchdog groups and ex-Republicans has been taking extraordinary steps to prepare for a potential second Trump presidency. They view his agenda as a threat to democracy, and are laying the groundwork to push back if he wins the election in November.

The early timing and scale of the planning are without precedent. Some are drafting potential lawsuits in case he carries out mass deportations, as he has vowed. The A.C.L.U. hired a new auditor to withstand any attempt to unleash the Internal Revenue Service against it. At least five Democratic-run states have even stockpiled abortion medication.

If Trump wins: He is openly planning broad changes to the government, many with authoritarian overtones, such as using the Justice Department to exact revenge on his adversaries and sending federal troops into Democratic-run cities. Here’s our overview of his agenda.

Iran and Sweden exchanged prisoners on Saturday, bringing relief to families but also raising concerns that the swap rewarded Iran for its hostage diplomacy. The country has systematically arrested foreign nationals on fabricated allegations in order to extract concessions from Western countries.

Iran released an E.U. diplomat and a dual Iranian-Swedish national. Sweden released the first Iranian official to be convicted of crimes against humanity. He had been sentenced to life in a Swedish court after being convicted of torture, war crimes and the 1988 mass execution of 5,000 dissidents. His conviction at the time was hailed by rights advocates as a landmark case of trans-border justice.

Reaction: Family members of victims and of others who remain in Iranian custody were outraged. Several of those still imprisoned, including Ahmadreza Djalali, a scientist on death row on murky charges of spying and aiding Israel, are Swedish citizens. He has denied the charges against him.

After two sisters in Venezuela served breakfast to an opposition leader, the government shut down their restaurant. They shared a video on the encounter online and have since emerged as unlikely political folk heroes as the country heads into its most competitive election in years, rebranding their products as “freedom empanadas.”

The Tony Awards — Broadway’s big night on television — will start in a few hours. Over half of the new musicals that opened this season had scores written by artists whose primary credentials are in the music business, like Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow and Britney Spears.

My colleague Michael Paulson writes that it’s part of a broader pattern: The wellspring of Broadway’s sound is shifting, with more musicals being written by artists who started in pop. Some top artists are excited by the cross-pollination; some theater fans are worried that pop songs don’t advance storytelling like musical theater tunes.

In some ways, this isn’t new: In the early 20th century, theater stars found success on the stage and the radio. There have also long been jukebox musicals. But it’s also a financial consideration. The theater industry has seen audiences shrink and costs rise since the pandemic-induced shutdowns, and familiarity sells tickets.

For more: We spoke with 43 of the nominees. Want a ballot? We’ve got you covered. And here’s who our chief critic thinks will and should win.



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