Monday Briefing: Babies Evacuated From Al-Shifa

Premature babies taken from Al-Shifa Hospital yesterday to a hospital in Rafah.Credit…Mohammed Abed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Babies evacuated from Al-Shifa Hospital

Nearly four days after the Israeli military stormed the biggest hospital in the Gaza Strip, the World Health Organization described the complex as a “death zone” where several patients had died because medical services had been shut down.

There were 291 patients remaining at Al-Shifa Hospital, the U.N. agency said in a statement late Saturday after Israeli forces allowed a U.N. team to tour the facility for an hour. Israel has yet to provide conclusive proof of a subterranean military base at the hospital.

Yesterday, 31 premature babies in extremely critical condition were taken to Al-Helal Emirati Maternity Hospital in Rafah, in the enclave’s south, the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the W.H.O. said on social media. About 10,000 more people left for southern Gaza on Saturday using a route designated by the Israeli military, according to U.N. estimates.

Read the latest.

Hostages: Israel and Hamas are close to reaching a deal to pause fighting for multiple days so that hostages can be released, but Jon Finer, President Biden’s deputy national security adviser, warned yesterday that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

Airstrike: A strike this weekend on a school run by the U.N. that was being used for shelter by thousands of displaced people in northern Gaza killed at least 24 people, a U.N. official said.

Hijacking: Yemen’s Houthi militia hijacked a ship in the Red Sea, in what the Iran-backed group said was a demonstration of support for “the oppressed Palestinian people.” The Israeli military said the ship did not belong to Israel.

Sam Altman in March.Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Upheaval at one of A.I.’s biggest developers

Sam Altman, OpenAI’s chief executive, was ousted from his role at the A.I. start-up by its board on Friday. Greg Brockman, another co-founder and the company’s president, quit in protest later that night.

The vote to remove Altman showed how a philosophical movement devoted to the fear of A.I. had become an unavoidable part of tech culture. Two board members have ties to the Rationalist and Effective Altruist movements, groups that are deeply concerned that A.I. could one day destroy humanity, and some within OpenAI are said to have been worried that Altman wasn’t concerned enough about its risks.

The company’s board members didn’t offer a specific reason for Altman’s ouster, other than to say in a blog post that they did not believe he was communicating honestly with them. Read the full story about the fear and tension within the start-up, and listen to Hard Fork’s emergency podcast.

On Saturday, after an outcry from Altman’s supporters and OpenAI’s investors, anonymous sources told The Times that Altman and Brockman were in talks with board members about returning.

Public hygiene officials inspecting a lodging facility in Seoul this month.Credit…Pool photo by Yonhap

Bedbug anxiety has come to Asia

It’s a good time to be a professional bug killer in Asia.

Fears of major bedbug outbreaks have been palpable across the Asia-Pacific region for weeks, amplified by breathless news media coverage of an outbreak in France earlier this year and a smaller, more recent one in South Korea. In Hong Kong, reports of a bedbug sighting on an airport train led to several days of feverish news coverage.

So far, no major bedbug outbreaks have been reported in Asia this fall, but some residents and municipalities are already hiring pest-control companies or buying pest-control supplies with abandon.


Asia Pacific

A shopping mall in General Santos City, Philippines, on Saturday, after an earthquake.Credit…Shaira Ann Sandigan/Associated Press
  • An underwater, 6.7 magnitude earthquake shook the southern Philippines on Friday, killing at least seven people.

  • China wants to bulldoze old neighborhoods to revive its economy.

  • The comedian John Oliver ruffled feathers with an aggressive campaign for the little-known puteketeke in New Zealand’s Bird of the Century contest.

Around the World

A Himera military radio, which has signal-hopping technology that makes it difficult to jam.Credit…Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times
  • Ukraine and Russia are fighting an invisible war over radio waves.

  • Argentines headed to the polls to elect their president. A far-right libertarian, Javier Milei, and the center-left economy minister, Sergio Massa, are in a tight race.

  • Experts say Dubai’s reliance on desalination is damaging the Persian Gulf.

  • Sean Combs and the singer Cassie reached a settlement just one day after she filed a lawsuit accusing the hip-hop mogul of rape and abuse.

Other Big Stories

  • Sony, Apple and other major advertisers paused their spending on X, after Elon Musk endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

  • Moroccans are living in tents and in limbo while the country determines how to preserve cultural and architectural heritage while rebuilding from the September earthquake.

  • Colombia announced a plan to sterilize Pablo Escobar’s thriving “cocaine hippos.”

  • The Premier League soccer club Everton was docked a record 10 points for violating financial rules, putting it at risk of relegation.

A Morning Read

Nasreen, 20.Credit…Saumya Khandelwal for The New York Times

Nasreen, a talented young poet, wanted more freedom than her family would give her, and ran away to Delhi to escape an arranged marriage. Eventually, she found an escape route from oppressive patriarchy via a path she never expected: romance.

Read her story.

Lives lived: Lt. Viktor Belenko defected to the West from the Soviet Union in 1976 while flying a Russian fighter jet feared by the U.S. He died at 76.


Bessie Head in 1984.Credit…Peter Kevin Solness/Fairfax Media, via Getty Images

Preserving a writer’s legacy

Novels by Bessie Head are taught in classrooms around Africa, but she never achieved the fame of some of her male counterparts on the continent. Now, as more female African writers are gaining recognition, Head is being celebrated as a pioneer, and a tiny museum in her adopted hometown is trying to preserve her archive for future generations.

Head, an activist, journalist and author, was born in South Africa in 1937 and later sought asylum in Botswana from the apartheid regime. Her collection is housed at a community museum in Serowe, the town in central Botswana where Head lived until her death in 1986 at age 48.

The curators are seeking partners and funding to digitize the collection, which includes tapes of Head’s conversations with the American poet Nikki Giovanni.

Her novels, such as “When Rain Clouds Gather” and “Maru,” eschewed the big political narratives of the 1960s and ’70s in favor of stories about ordinary people grappling with moral questions. “She was a philosophical, spiritual writer, and much of her early work deals with questions of good and evil, and not in superficial ways,” said Mary Lederer, a member of the Bessie Head Heritage Trust. — Lynsey Chutel, Briefings writer based in Johannesburg


Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist:Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Christina Lane.

Cook: Cheesy Hasselback potato gratin is a glorious mash-up from the acclaimed food science writer J. Kenji López-Alt.

Rest: Consider a “holiday preset” if the season stresses you out.

Read: In 2013, Mick Herron’s thrillers were selling a few hundred copies. Now he’s a superstar.

Listen: André 3000 doesn’t rap on his new ambient album, but here are seven great guest verses from him.

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. Jan Hoffman, who covers addiction for The Times, explained how she earns the trust of sources for her stories.

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