Thursday Briefing: Waiting for a Cease-Fire in Gaza

Protesters rallied for the release of Palestinians from Israeli jails this month.Credit…Zain Jaafar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Gaza and Israel await a cease-fire and freed hostages

Israel and Hamas haven’t announced details of a deal for a four-day cease-fire in Gaza, including when it will start. It could begin today.

The deal, announced yesterday, includes a planned exchange of at least 150 Palestinian women and children jailed by Israel for at least 50 Israeli women and children taken hostage during Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7. We have live updates.

Israeli officials said they had yet to work out with Hamas who will be released. Israel published a shortlist of 300 Palestinians in Israeli jails who could be exchanged, but had yet to narrow it down to 150 names. The process and route by which the hostages would be transferred to Israel has also not been finalized.

The pause would allow for more deliveries of humanitarian aid to Gaza, through both the Egyptian and Israeli borders, but there has not yet been an agreement on the amount of supplies that would be allowed through.

The Israeli military said that it “continued to fight in the Gaza Strip,” and Hamas said in a statement that while it had agreed to a truce, “our hands will remain on the trigger.”

On the ground in Gaza, residents expressed hope about a pause, but felt that the agreement would not bring an end to the war. Israeli officials have said that the war will continue after the cease-fire.

What’s next: If it holds, this would be the longest halt in hostilities since the start of the war. But it could easily break down, like many other cease-fire deals in the long history of the conflict.

The return of San Altman capped a frenetic five days that upended OpenAI.Credit…Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sam Altman is back at OpenAI

After a campaign waged by his allies, employees and investors, Sam Altman was reinstated late on Tuesday as OpenAI’s chief executive, the company said, reversing his ouster by the board last week. Greg Brockman, the company’s president who had resigned in solidarity, will also return.

OpenAI’s board of directors will be overhauled, jettisoning several members who had opposed Altman. Adam D’Angelo, the chief executive of Quora, will be the only holdover. Other members of the revamped board will include Bret Taylor, an early Facebook officer and former co-chief executive of Salesforce, and Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury secretary. The company called this its “initial” board, indicating it could expand.

A guide to the A.I. whirlwind: Here’s a breakdown of what happened and what might happen next.

A television broadcast in Seoul yesterday showed Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, celebrating the satellite launch.Credit…Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA, via Shutterstock

South Korea scraps a no-fly zone near the North

South Korea suspended a no-fly zone on the border with North Korea yesterday, paving the way for it to resume surveillance flights there a day after the North successfully placed its first military spy satellite into orbit.

A fully functional military satellite capability would give North Korea real-time information about U.S. and South Korean military activities on the peninsula, experts said.

The no-fly zone was part of the agreement South Korea signed with North Korea in 2018 to ease ​military tensions​. South Korea’s conservative government ​had often threatened to scrap the deal, saying that it undermined its ability to monitor the North’s capabilities of a surprise attack and that the North repeatedly flouted the deal by conducting artillery drills near the border.


Around the World

Pieter Omtzigt, right, says he wants to overhaul the Dutch political system.Credit…Koen Van Weel/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • Voters in the Netherlands cast ballots in one of the most significant elections in years. No party is expected to win an outright majority.

  • Two people died and a U.S. Border Patrol officer was injured when a vehicle exploded at a U.S.-Canada border crossing near Niagara Falls.

  • The U.S. conducted airstrikes in Iraq, destroying two facilities used by Iranian proxies that had been targeting U.S. and coalition troops, U.S. military officials said.

  • Concerns are growing in Ukraine that Russia will soon resume large-scale attacks on the power grid as winter cold sets in.

  • A thaw in relations between the U.S. and China may help Boeing sell more planes to China and finally deliver aircraft ordered years ago.

  • With a general election at most 14 months away, the British government said that it will cut taxes for millions of workers starting early next year.

Other Big Stories

  • A new method for retrieving hearts from organ donors, which involves restarting blood circulation and limiting its flow to the brain, has ignited an ethical debate among doctors.

  • Jeff Zucker, the former CNN president, may soon take control of two prominent right-leaning British media outlets.

  • Fans of Major League Soccer will pay more to see Lionel Messi.

A Morning Read

A still from the cooking video game Venba.Credit…Visai Studios

Food in video games is often referred to as a “consumable,” a resource that confers health or another perk on the player. But a series of recent video games that ask players to cook and eat virtual food have given game designers a way to tell resonant personal stories.

Lives lived: Peter Tarnoff, a U.S. diplomat who helped arrange the escape of six U.S. Embassy officials from Iran, as depicted in the movie “Argo,” has died at 86.


Netflix gave Carl Erik Rinsch near-total budgetary and creative latitude.Credit…Santiago Cerini

The $55 million Netflix show you’ll never see

Near the height of the streaming boom in 2018, a half-dozen studios and video platforms wooed a little-known filmmaker named Carl Erik Rinsch. He had directed only one movie, “47 Ronin,” which was a commercial and critical dud.

But memories in Hollywood are short, and the demand for new content was intense. Rinsch’s pitch — a science-fiction series about artificial humans — became a hot property. Netflix swooped in at the last minute to buy the rights to the series, undercutting Amazon. It was a victory Netflix would soon regret.

The project has turned into a costly fiasco, a product of the era of extravagant spending that Hollywood studios now are scrambling to end. Netflix burned more than $55 million on Rinsch’s series and never received a single finished episode.


Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times

Cook: This brown-butter orzo with butternut squash is a little like risotto but without as much stirring.

Read: “The World in a Wineglass” is a broad survey of vintners with a focus on sustainability and organic methods.

Watch: The Japanese drama “Monster” traces a series of events from the perspectives of a single mother, her son and his fifth-grade teacher.

Heal: Neck pain is common. These exercises can help.

Play Spelling Bee, the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku. Find all our games here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Justin

P.S. Three food stylists at The Times shared how they make dishes look so good.

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