Thanks for spending time with the weekend crew once again. We’re tracking developments in Gaza, examining the cost of being Ukraine’s ally, and looking into the what and why of OpenAI’s Friday executive bloodletting.
A flare falls on Gaza, seen from southern Israel. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
The latest: The air strikes came as Israel again warned civilians to relocate. Such a move could compel hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled south from the Israeli assault on Gaza City to move again, along with residents of Khan Younis. Higher civilian and military casualties are expected. Palestinians in the occupied West Bank report Israeli beatings and mistreatment, and Hezbollah and Israel traded strikes at the Lebanese border.
The volunteer’s tale:Jamal Warraqi was among the first emergency responders to reach Be’eri after Hamas gunmen rampaged and murdered their way through the kibbutz. The member of a non-governmental rescue and recovery service, which comprises mostly ultra-religious Jews, describes himself as a “proud Arabic Muslim Israeli guy.” He recounted the horror of the day, and said the things he saw linger. “I think Israel learned today how to die together. Now it’s time to learn how to live together.”
Money and politics: The EU’s decision to start talking about bringing Ukraine into the union is “at risk,” in part because of Hungary’s objections, and there is no agreement on giving Kyiv another $54 billion in aid. As leaders of the 27 EU countries prepare to meet next month in Brussels, an unnamed official said, they’re realizing just how expensive a prospect this is.
Numbers: A Ukrainian civic group estimates that more than 30,000 of its country’s troops have died since Russia’s invasion began. Yale University research shows more than 2,400 children from Ukraine were taken to facilities across Belarus in the same period. More than 19,000 have been taken from Russian-occupied areas, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said several months ago. And in Russia, prices are soaring while wages are standing still.
Sacked and attacked: Suella Braverman launched a blistering broadside at UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who axed the home minister after she published a newspaper article accusing British police of double standards at pro-Palestinian protests. She accused him of failing to stop illegal immigration and breaking promises to her on other issues, and of avoiding tough decisions to minimize personal political risk. Sunak shuffled his cabinet, bringing former PM David Cameron back to the fold as foreign minister.
You can’t do that: Shortly after Braverman’s removal, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful. Sunak said he was working on a new treaty with Kigali and would “do what was necessary” to stop any court from blocking deportation flights, but few think he has a chance to make it happen.
Three wins: The Chinese president appeared to have achieved his aims, including U.S. policy concessions in exchange for promises of cooperation, an easing of bilateral tensions that will allow more focus on economic growth, and a chance to woo foreign investors who increasingly shun China. The leaders agreed to open a presidential hotline, resume military communications and work to curb fentanyl production, while Taiwan remains status quo. And Biden got the chance to call Xi a dictator.
And the cherry on top: Business leaders couldn’t get enough of Xi, and at a dinner they attended during the APEC summit in San Francisco, they gave him a “cringeworthy” standing ovation, as Breakingviews columnist Lauren Silva Laughlin puts it. Her takeaway: “Biden’s loyalties point in only one direction; the same isn’t true for the CEOs who drive his economy.”
Before I forget…
Sam Altman is out as OpenAI’s CEO after the board found he was “not consistently candid in his communications.” (Any ideas what that means?) Greg Brockman, OpenAI president and co-founder, also quit. The departures blindsided many employees. It came as a surprise to Altman and Brockman as well, who learned the board’s decision within minutes of the announcement, Brockman said.
X will sue a media watchdog and those who attacked the social-media platform, Elon Musk said, after major U.S. companies paused their advertisements on the site. Media Matters for America said it found that corporate advertisements by IBM, Apple, Oracle and Comcast were being placed alongside antisemitic content.
George Santos faces a fresh effort to expel him from the U.S. Congress after fellow lawmakers released a report that suggested federal prosecutors should bring additional criminal charges against him. Santos said he would not seek re-election, nor would he resign.
Donald Trump wasted little time attacking a New York judge’s top clerk after an appeals court paused a gag order barring the former president from speaking publicly about court staff during his civil-fraud trial. Trump also lost his bid for a mistrial.
Finland is erecting barriers at four crossings on its border with Russia to stem an increase in migrant arrivals that Helsinki says Moscow orchestrated in retaliation for its stronger defense cooperation with the U.S.
Feriți-vă de câine/Vorsicht vor dem Hund: Moldovan President Maia Sandu’s dog bit the hand of visiting Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen. He later gave the excitable rescue pet a toy. “Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a big dog lover and can understand his excitement,” Van der Bellen later wrote on Instagram.
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