Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times | ET REALITY


Israel said its military was beginning to shift from a large-scale ground and air campaign in the Gaza Strip to a more selective phase, with fewer troops and airstrikes, in its war against Hamas. Israeli officials have privately told their U.S. counterparts that they expected the transition to be complete by the end of the month, U.S. officials said.

Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, is in Israel to pressure officials there to scale back their campaign in Gaza and prevent the war from spreading to the region. An Israeli strike last week killed senior Hamas leaders in Lebanon, and Hezbollah said yesterday that one of its commanders had also been killed in an attack in southern Lebanon.

U.S. officials said they expected the transition to rely more on surgical missions conducted by smaller groups of elite Israeli forces that would move in and out of population centers in the Gaza Strip to find and kill Hamas leaders, rescue hostages and destroy tunnels.

By the numbers: The number of Israeli troops in the northern part of Gaza is believed to have been reduced to less than half of the roughly 50,000 troops who had been present last month during the height of the campaign, according to US officials.

Analysis: “We can expect more targeted operations rather than broad maneuvers,” said Patrick Kingsley, The Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief. “Whether that alleviates civilian suffering remains to be seen. It is evident that the attacks continue and kill dozens every day.”

In other war news:

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne of France resigned yesterday ahead of a widely expected cabinet reshuffle by President Emmanuel Macron. She was appointed prime minister in May 2022 and is the second woman to hold that position.

In her resignation letter, Borne made it clear that it was Macron who decided to replace her and suggested that she would have preferred to stay. But her tenure has been marked by political and social unrest, and Macron appears increasingly determined to appoint a new face as he tries to inject new energy into his presidency.

Macron’s office said it had accepted her resignation and said she would continue to deal with “current affairs” until a new cabinet is named.

Background: Prime ministers play an important role in France. According to the Constitution, it is through his leadership that the government “determines and directs the policies of the nation.” They are directly responsible to Parliament and oversee much of the day-to-day running of the country.

Investigators are looking into what caused a part of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 plane to explode mid-flight on Friday, including how a critical component was installed and whether the airline properly handled pressurization warnings aboard the plane.

While no serious injuries were reported, the crash could have been catastrophic, especially if the plane, which had taken off 10 minutes earlier and made an emergency landing in Portland, had been at a higher altitude, experts said.

Related: Previously, the Alaska Airlines plane had been restricted from long flights over water.

Something strange was happening in Rodney Holbrook’s backyard shed. For months, someone (or something) apparently sorted through the 75-year-old retiree’s junk, carefully placing clothespins, mugs and even cable ties into a box.

Finally, Holbrook installed a night vision camera and captured the mysterious visitor: a little mouse, tidying up his little house.

Maddy Cusack: Why does your family want a new research about the death of the footballer.

‘The Kaiser’: Franz Beckenbauer, a leading football figure who led West Germany to the World Cup as a player and coach, has died aged 78.

It appeared to be a “textbook” silk dress from the 19th century. But a secret pocket revealed a cryptic note, written on two crumpled translucent sheets of paper, that read in part: “Bismark Omit leafage buck bank / Paul Ramify clayey fake event new event.”

Sara Rivers Cofield, who found the dress at an antique mall in Maine, was baffled. Was it a writing exercise? A list? A code? “I’m putting it here in case there are any decoding prodigies out there looking for a project,” she wrote on her blog in 2014.

The mystery has fascinated a community of online sleuths who for years speculated whether the dress’s owner was a spy, a romantic who sent coded love notes or a risk-taker involved in illegal gambling. This year, Wayne Chan, a data analyst at the University of Manitoba, finally solved the case.

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