Monday, February 12, 2024

Hamas, the armed group that controls Gaza, released 17 more hostages, including a 4-year-old girl, and said it would seek to extend a temporary cease-fire with Israel. The current four-day pause is scheduled to end today. An additional 39 Palestinians in custody were freed on Sunday, according to Israel’s prison service.

The cease-fire was the longest break in fighting in Gaza since Oct. 7, when gunmen from Hamas and other militant groups launched a deadly attack on southern Israel.

Israel has said that it is prepared to grant another day’s pause for every 10 hostages Hamas releases beyond the 50 outlined in the agreement. The country said in that agreement that it would release 150 Palestinian women and children.

Promises: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel visited his country’s troops in the Gaza Strip. “We are continuing until the end — until victory,” he vowed, adding, “Nothing will stop us.”

The toll in Gaza: Even a conservative reading of the casualty figures shows that the pace of civilian deaths during Israel’s campaign has few precedents in this century, according to military analysts.

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The death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the onetime leader of the Wagner mercenary group, has rattled its once-cozy relations with the Central African Republic. The nation is now weighing offers from Russia and Western countries, including France and the U.S., to replace Wagner as its primary security guarantor.

The outcome of this struggle could be a bellwether for the group’s future on the continent, where the C.A.R. is perhaps the most deeply enmeshed among the handful of African nations partnering with Wagner.

It remains unclear whether Western countries can offer the same level of security as the mercenary group and whether hard-pressed Central African officials will dare face rebel groups and other security threats without Wagner’s familiar embrace or the promise of troops.


Disruptions to health systems during the Covid-19 pandemic have left more than 60 million children worldwide without a single dose of standard childhood vaccines, in turn resulting in large outbreaks of diseases that primarily kill children.

Many who missed their shots have now aged out of routine immunization programs. Protecting them will require a costly vaccination blitz.

By the numbers: By the midpoint of this year, 47 countries were reporting serious and deadly measles outbreaks, compared with 16 countries in June 2020. Twelve countries reported the polio virus was circulating. Nigeria is facing a major outbreak of diphtheria, with nearly 600 deaths so far.

“Bare bones as these refugee services were, they were almost luxurious compared with what today’s migrants are receiving.”

Joseph Berger, who was a reporter and editor at The Times for 30 years, gives a firsthand account of arriving to New York City as one of the 140,000 Jewish refugees who fled postwar Europe. For today’s migrants, he writes, it is even harder.

Inside Iron Maiden’s soccer team: The heavy metal band plays matches while on tour.

A beautiful European stadium: The politics behind the Pancho Arena, near Budapest.

The dichotomy of sports excellence: An addictive personality can facilitate greatness, but what are the consequences?

Soccer is punishing the wrong people: Owners can walk away when things go wrong, but supporters feel the impact.

Call it magical thinking or manifesting, but the belief that people can influence their reality through sheer will has existed for centuries. Now, there’s a new term for this idea: “delulu.”

Derived from the word delusional, delulu first gained popularity online as shorthand for unrelenting confidence. It has come to describe the process of making the seemingly impossible possible. And for young people who may otherwise feel as if everything — the cost of living, job insecurity, politics — is stacked against them, it has become a way to have some degree of control in their lives.

In the words of Bianca Bernardo, a 23-year-old content creator in Los Angeles: “May all your delulu come trululu, because being delulu is the solulu.”

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