Monday, June 24

Monday Briefing – The New York Times

Linked media – Associated media

Negotiations between Israel and Hamas stalled again, meaning more uncertainty for the families of Israeli hostages and no quick reprieve for Palestinians in Gaza. Mediators struggled to bridge the remaining gaps, and a Hamas delegation left the talks, officials said.

The main dispute was over the duration of a cease-fire, with Hamas demanding a permanent one and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, expressing openness to only a temporary halt in fighting.

Hamas blamed the lack of progress on Netanyahu, who has vowed to stage a ground offensive in Rafah, where about a million Palestinians have been sheltering, with or without an agreement. Israel and the U.S. contend that Hamas has been holding up a deal. Netanyahu said yesterday that ending the war would allow Hamas to rebuild its military capabilities and threaten communities throughout Israel.

Xi Jinping, China’s leader, arrived in France yesterday on his first trip to Europe in five years. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, will host a state dinner for him tonight. The E.U. Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, will join their talks in Paris.

Xi will also visit Serbia and Hungary. The three European nations are all, to varying degrees, embracing China’s push for a new global order — a world freed of American dominance, where Europe’s bonds with the U.S. are looser, though not untethered. Xi’s visit is likely to be seen as a none-too-subtle effort to divide Western allies.

What’s next: Xi’s arrival in Serbia tomorrow coincides with the 25th anniversary of NATO’s mistaken bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. The Chinese government has continued to commemorate the strike, using it as an occasion to denounce what it sees as Western hypocrisy and bullying.


Two years into the war in Ukraine, families, lawyers and rights groups say that the Ukrainian military is simply overloaded with casualties and unable to account for thousands of the dead.

Some of the missing soldiers have been captured by Russian troops, but others may be dead and unidentified, lying in morgues as the government works through the backlog. Trench fighting often leaves bodies abandoned in great numbers in buffer areas, making it harder to get a clear picture of the war’s toll.

By the numbers: In February, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, put the number of soldiers killed at 31,000, and Kyiv has said that about half again as many are missing. (U.S. estimates are far higher, suggesting that by last August, 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers had died.)

Cheaply made, haphazardly assembled drones are key to the rebel fight in Myanmar against the military junta. Resistance forces are getting creative with instructions crowdsourced online, parts ordered from China and wires repurposed from drones used for agriculture — even as the electricity sputters off.

The drones have changed the course of the fight, helping the rebels capture outposts just by hovering and spooking soldiers into fleeing.

Lives lived: Bernard Hill, a British actor who incarnated stoic masculine leadership in “Titanic” and the “Lord of the Rings” franchise, died at age 79.

The Premier League: The race to decide this year’s English soccer champion has captivated fans. But it’s not just an English story. See photos here.

Formula 1’s greatest designer: The race to sign Adrian Newey in 2025.

In the 1960s, the American artist Frank Stella, who died on Saturday at age 87, helped spawn the Minimalist movement with his unremitting Black Paintings. But he was also its best-known defector: In the late 1970s, he pursued extravagant deep space and baroque curves as fanatically as he had once eschewed them.

Stella did not see art as a route to improving society or combating injustice. “If artists want to do something useful,” he said, “they can be social workers or politicians. Or they can join the U.S. Army. Art does not do what a social worker does. No abstract image is going to help anyone.” Read our obituary.

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