Also, Stephen Sondheim’s last musical opens in New York. Here’s the latest at the end of Monday.
Hamas released two women who were taken hostage by the Palestinian group during its Oct. 7 attack on Israel. The Red Cross confirmed their release, saying that it had helped to transfer the women out of Gaza this evening.
The Israeli prime minister’s office identified the women as Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, who were released three days after Hamas set free an Israeli-American mother and her daughter. More than 220 others are believed to be held captive in Gaza, a tally that has grown as the Israeli military has collected more information.
The Biden administration pushed Israel to delay a ground invasion of Gaza, arguing that more time was needed for hostage negotiations. U.S. officials are also hoping to buy time to allow more humanitarian aid to reach people in Gaza, where dozens of trucks carrying food, water and other supplies have arrived in recent days.
Israel’s military said it had struck over 300 targets in Gaza today, in one of the biggest barrages yet of its war. The Hamas-run Health Ministry said that hundreds of Palestinians died in the strikes. The Israeli military also said it had launched attacks in Lebanon targeting Hezbollah, which has increased its attacks aimed at northern Israel in recent days.
For more, my colleague Steven Erlanger explains how the war has smashed assumptions many leaders had about Israel and the Palestinians.
In search of a speaker, the G.O.P. is back to square one
House Republicans have been trying to elect a new speaker since the beginning of October. Two nominees have been selected, and they have both fallen short of the necessary support. Tonight, the Republicans will meet and try again: A series of aspiring speaker nominees will present their visions.
One problem: There are currently nine candidates — none of whom have the kind of commanding national profile normally required of the speaker. The front-runner is likely Representative Tom Emmer, who is currently the No. 3 Republican in the chamber, but some critics have accused him of being insufficiently supportive of Donald Trump.
Meet all of the candidates.
Thousands more autoworkers walked off the job
The United Automobile Workers union told 6,800 workers at a major Ram pickup truck plant in Michigan to walk off the job today. The move, targeting the largest Stellantis factory in the U.S., is the first major escalation of the U.A.W.’s strike in almost two weeks. It suggests that there are still big gaps between the Big Three automakers and the union.
Nonunion autoworkers, who are not technically on either side of the U.A.W. strike, are still playing a big role. The companies cite them as a competitive threat; the union hopes they will join forces.
Another major oil deal
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said today that it had agreed to acquire Hess, a medium-size rival, in a deal valued at $53 billion.
It’s the second energy megadeal in the U.S. this month after Exxon Mobil’s $60 billion purchase of the shale driller Pioneer Natural Resources. Smaller companies appear to be taking advantage of high oil prices to join forces with bigger players. The deals signal confidence in the future of fossil fuels even as policymakers promote cleaner energy sources.
More top news
Venezuela: María Corina Machado is poised to win a primary to choose an opposition candidate who will challenge President Nicolás Maduro in elections next year.
Education: Only a sliver of America’s poorest students scored 1300 on the SAT test, according to new data that highlighted the inequality at the heart of education.
NATO: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey sent the protocol approving Sweden’s bid to join the military alliance to the Turkish Parliament for ratification.
Climate: It may be too late to halt the melting of the West Antarctic ice shelves, a study found.
Abortion: In states like Illinois, hospitals are playing a larger role in abortion access as more patients travel to seek care.
Health: The net prices for obesity drugs like Ozempic are just a fraction of the list prices, a new study showed.
Safety: An off-duty pilot has been charged with more than 80 counts of attempted murder after he tried to disrupt the engines on an Alaska Airlines flight.
TIME TO UNWIND
The last Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim’s long-in-the-works Luis Buñuel musical, “Here We Are,” which he described as unfinished just days before his death in 2021, opened yesterday in New York City, giving audiences a chance to see the final show by the great musical dramatist.
“Here We Are” is inspired by two surrealist films, with a cast of can-you-top-this Broadway treasures. Our critic described it as a “worthy and loving farewell” to Sondheim.
Everyone seems to want one of these electric pink jerseys
Almost overnight, the pink-and-black jerseys of the M.L.S. team Inter Miami became the hottest piece of sports merchandise on the planet. They are almost impossible to acquire, and yet there they are — on the backs of American fans and British children, and hanging from market stalls in Buenos Aires and Bangkok.
The craze is all because Lionel Messi, one of soccer’s biggest global stars, decided to join Inter Miami this summer. His talent has transformed his new team, but his popularity has been a shock to Adidas, which has had to scramble to produce the material to make enough Messi jerseys.
In Chicago, fans are more intent on picking up a different must-have sports jersey.
Dinner table topics
Lost treasures: Mexico has mounted an ambitious series of investigations and restitution efforts to correct decades of theft and colonial plundering.
The party scene: Which of these celebrity looks do you like the best?
“Signgate”: Fake Trump signs were up in a wealthy town for less than a day. The fight over them lasted years.
Ask the experts: Do you really need to shower every day?
WHAT TO DO TONIGHT
Cook: This intensely flavorful black mushroom rice is often served on holidays in Haiti.
Dine: Here are the 25 best restaurants in Philadelphia.
Watch: Brie Larson plays the fictional host of a 1950s cooking show in “Lessons in Chemistry.”
Wear: Stilettos can be uncomfortable and impractical. But they do still have benefits.
Monitor: Cutting down on red meat could help people reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Prepare: These seven items can make any road trip less of a headache.
Compete: Take this week’s Flashback history quiz.
Play: Here are today’s Spelling Bee, Wordle and Mini Crossword. Find all our games here.
ONE LAST THING
Winning at UNO, with no mercy
UNO, the classic Mattel card game, is beloved by millions of people who play in order to enjoy time with their family and friends, and to teach their children about colors and numbers.
Many also play to crush their opponents, and we have a guide for those people. The most important tip is to understand the house rules. If you’re playing the most basic version, it can be beneficial to use your high-value number cards early and change the color often. But depending on the rules, it may also be worth holding on to a Draw 2 and saving a wild card until the end. Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to yell “UNO!”
Have an overpowering evening.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Matthew
We welcome your feedback. Write to us at email@example.com.