Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times


Relations between Israel and the U.S. appeared to have sunk to a new low after the U.S. allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a Gaza cease-fire resolution — and domestic political pressures in both nations are increasing the tension.

President Biden faces outrage from global allies and his political supporters about the civilian death toll in the war on Hamas and Israel’s restrictions on aid entering Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel faces sharp criticism from his far-right coalition partners, whom he needs to maintain his government, over any hesitation in the war against Hamas or in the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. One of those partners recently accused Biden of tacitly supporting Israel’s enemies, and at a campaign event yesterday Biden conceded that Gaza demonstrators “have a point.”

But despite the political signaling, officials said that U.S. policy on supporting Israel has not changed, and talks between Israel’s defense minister and the U.S. secretary of defense continued yesterday even after Netanyahu called off a delegation to Washington.

A massive container ship struck a bridge pillar while leaving the Port of Baltimore early in the morning on Tuesday, causing the bridge to plummet into the water below. The Coast Guard last night suspended search efforts for six construction workers who had been fixing potholes on the bridge and were presumed dead.

The ship lost power and issued a mayday call shortly before the collision, giving officials a brief window to keep cars off the 1.6-mile span. Two other workers were rescued from the water, and none of the 24 crew members on the ship were injured.

It is not known why the ship, a nearly 1,000-foot-long cargo vessel called the Dali that was bound for Sri Lanka, hit the bridge. But an inspection last year showed that the vessel had a deficiency related to “propulsion and auxiliary machinery.”

The deadly terrorist attack on a concert hall outside Moscow had barely subsided before Russia started a disinformation campaign suggesting that Ukraine and the West were somehow behind it, promoting a version of events that fits the Kremlin’s war narrative and downplays a serious security failure.

That campaign has ramped up even after the Islamic State claimed responsibility and President Vladimir Putin of Russia acknowledged that “radical Islamists” had carried out the attack, and despite the absence of any evidence directly linking the four suspects to Ukraine.

Once upon a time, the British monarchy exerted a unique, exalted hold over the imaginations of millions of Americans.

Lately, however, a succession of high-profile scandals in the royal family has collided with the rise of an internet culture obsessed with celebrity. The monthslong frenzy over the whereabouts of Catherine, Princess of Wales, reflects a shift in sentiment that makes the Windsors like any other celebrity family in the public eye.

Lives lived: Richard Serra was one of his era’s greatest sculptors, known for creations with the size and inscrutability of ancient temples. He died at 85.

Moving on: Why Germany and Adidas are ending their partnership.

“Wasting millions”: Top tennis coach criticizes the U.S.T.A. for cutting its player development program.

“Cowboy Carter,” Beyoncé’s eighth solo album, explores and tests the boundaries of country music. But the country music industry has greeted the wildly popular artist with shrugs, perhaps because Nashville has consistently marginalized both African Americans and women.

But the spurning is mutual, and Beyoncé has found a path beyond country’s confines. Similarly themed LPs from lesser stars might be less effective at making the point Beyoncé is making, which is that Black creativity fuels all corners of popular music, our critic Jon Caramanica writes.

That’s all for today. Thank you for spending part of your morning with us, and see you tomorrow. — Dan

P.S. The Athletic’s Adam Crafton was named Sportswriter of the Year at the SJA British Sports Journalism awards.

You can reach Dan and the team at

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