Also, Senator Joe Manchin says he will not seek re-election. Here’s the latest at the end of Thursday.
Israel has agreed to put in place regular daily four-hour pauses in its relentless assault on Hamas in northern Gaza to allow civilians to flee, according to the White House.
The agreement is the culmination of days of pressure from President Biden as the casualty toll in Gaza mounts. A senior administration official told Congress that the number of deaths in the territory might be “even higher than are being cited,” and the W.H.O. said that disease was surging. Videos of the fighting offer glimpses of brutal urban battles.
The combat pauses, which will include at least three hours of advance notice, expand on what Israel has been doing in recent days. Its forces have allowed people to evacuate northern Gaza for several hours at a time along a single corridor leading south.
Senior American officials expressed concern this week that Israel has only a limited amount of time to carry out its operations before concerns over the spiraling civilian death toll constrain its goal of eradicating Hamas. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he was worried that each civilian killed in Gaza could generate future members of Hamas.
On college campuses, students and officials are debating what speech is out of bounds.
Senator Joe Manchin says he will not seek re-election
The centrist West Virginia Democrat announced today that he would not seek re-election next year, dealing a blow to his party’s chances of holding a Senate majority. He had been considered the only Democrat with a chance of winning the seat in what has become a deeply red state.
Instead, Manchin said he would continue exploring whether there was an appetite for a third-party presidential bid. That prospect has alarmed many Democrats who fear such a run could doom President Biden’s chances of keeping the White House.
In related news, Jill Stein announced a bid for president with the Green Party, and Nikki Haley stood out in last night’s Republican presidential debate.
The Hollywood strike is coming to an end
The $134 billion American movie and television business is swinging back into motion after a tentative deal was reached yesterday between entertainment companies and the union representing tens of thousands of actors.
Productions that were shut down midstream will be the first to start back up, including “Gladiator 2,” “Deadpool 3” and “Mortal Kombat 2.” With the industry hustling to make up for months of lost work, juggling production schedules and the availability of actors and crew members will be complicated.
The U.S. opened its first air capture plant
In an open-air warehouse in California’s Central Valley, a facility that vacuums greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and seals them permanently in concrete opened today. It is the country’s first commercial plant to use direct air capture technology, which is considered an expensive but potentially effective way to fight climate change.
More top news
Health: At least two million children have lost Medicaid coverage this year, even though many were eligible.
International: Luis Manuel Díaz, the kidnapped father of Liverpool star Luis Díaz, was released by a Colombian guerrilla group.
Religion: The Vatican said that transgender people can be baptized and become godparents.
Economy: Why are oil prices falling when war is raging in the Middle East?
U.S.: Wisconsin denied an Amber Alert request after a 5-year-old boy went missing. He was found dead the next day.
Media: The pioneering feminist website Jezebel will shut down.
Labor: MGM Resorts agreed to a deal with two unions shortly before a strike was scheduled to begin.
Safety: Don’t decorate your steering wheel, traffic safety officials warned, as it could cause injuries in a crash.
Entertainment: More than 200 of Prince’s fashion items, including his signature ruffled shirt, are going on the auction block.
TIME TO UNWIND
A bumpy new chapter in the Marvel universe
“The Marvels” will become the 33rd entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when the film arrives in theaters tomorrow, starring Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. If you’re a veteran of the genre then you know what’s coming: a feel-good action spectacle that reminds us that heroes are just like us. Similar to its precursors, the movie will also most likely dominate the box office.
But unlike Larson’s first film as Carol Danvers, this one is expected to fall short of Marvel Studios’s expectations. That could be because of so-called superhero fatigue, but it may also have to do with the movie’s unfavorable reviews: Our critic wrote that “it’s almost as if the suits at Marvel Studios know it doesn’t matter if their movies are any good.”
On the small screen, “The Curse,” Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie’s breathtaking, uncomfortable series, takes home-renovation TV into the heart of darkness this weekend.
Can a smart pin replace your smartphone?
There’s a decent chance that you are reading this newsletter on an Apple device. The company’s iPhones helped make screens ubiquitous and, for many people, addictive. Now two former employees are trying to liberate the world from its smartphones.
Their solution: an A.I.-powered pin that uses a voice assistant and lasers to tackle just about any task that your phone can do. To tech insiders, it’s an ambitious but promising bet. To outsiders, it’s a sci-fi fantasy.
My colleague’s first impression: It’s equal parts magical and awkward.
Dinner table topics
Unsealed at last: A bundle of 18th-century love letters, addressed to French sailors but never delivered, offer a treasure trove of details about romance and daily life.
Trial style: During testimony this month, the Trump family seems to have coordinated their looks — for the court and for the cameras.
Sticker shock: How can the absurd costs of luxury items be justified? My colleagues explain.
Space traffic: Elon Musk’s satellites. Stuffed animals. Tomatoes. You will not believe what’s circling the planet these days.
WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND
Cook: Brighten your night with this vegetable tortilla soup.
Watch: Here are the best movies and TV shows coming to Netflix this month.
Read: Two new books examine the rise and fall of San Francisco.
Recover: Muscle soreness is normal after working out. Here’s how to manage it.
Travel: Here’s a 36-hour plan for visiting Washington, D.C.
Sip: The people at Wirecutter tested 32 thermoses. These are their favorites.
Hunt: Three friends wanted to buy a Brooklyn house. Which would you choose with a $3.5 million budget?
Play: Here are today’s Spelling Bee, Wordle and Mini Crossword. Find all our games here.
ONE LAST THING
Dr. Ruth wants to cure loneliness
Last year, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who at 95 is America’s most famous sex counselor, decided she wanted a new job. The isolation of the pandemic had been difficult, but it also gave her time to read a childhood diary describing her friendless escape from the Holocaust.
Westheimer’s new goal, she determined, would be using those experiences to try to solve the country’s growing loneliness problem. And after many months of lobbying, Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York named her the state’s Loneliness Ambassador.
Have a hopeful weekend.
Thanks for reading. James Gregg was our photo editor today. We’ll be off tomorrow for the holiday. I’ll be back on Monday. — Matthew
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