Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

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Skepticism is growing over one of Israel’s key objectives: to eliminate Hamas, the Islamist political and military organization that maintains control over the Gaza Strip. Increasingly, critics such as President Emmanuel Macron of France are questioning whether resolving to destroy such a deeply entrenched organization was ever realistic.

Since Hamas first emerged in 1987, the group has survived repeated attempts to eliminate its leadership. Experts say the organization’s very structure was designed to absorb such contingencies. In addition, Israel’s devastating tactics in the Gaza war threaten to radicalize a generation of new recruits. The Israeli military estimates that it has so far killed about 8,000 Hamas fighters out of a force of between 25,000 and 40,000.

The group’s top echelon is believed to be sheltering, along with most of Hamas’s fighters and its remaining Israeli hostages, in deep tunnels. Although the Israeli army has said that it demolished at least 1,500 shafts, experts consider the underground infrastructure largely intact.

Quotable: Giora Eiland, a former head of Israel’s National Security Council, said that Hamas was quickly replacing its top commanders. “From a professional point of view, I must give credit to their resilience,” he said. “I cannot see any signs of collapse of the military abilities of Hamas nor in their political strength to continue to lead Gaza.”

In other news from the war:


From the start of the invasion, the Russian authorities purposefully removed children from Ukraine. Some were wounded or orphaned in bombardments on Ukrainian towns and villages. Some were left homeless after parents were detained. And some have returned to tell their stories.

Ukraine says it has verified the names of more than 19,000 children who have been transferred to Russia or Russian-controlled territory. Over recent months, 387 children have been tracked down by relatives and brought back home, with the help of the charity Save Ukraine and SOS Children’s Villages Ukraine, among others.

Their accounts have helped officials and investigators build a picture of a Russian effort to remove children from Ukraine — often under the pretext of rescuing them from the war zone — to turn them against their homeland and into loyal Russian subjects.

Foreign diplomacy: Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Indian foreign minister, met with President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Moscow yesterday on a trip intended to reinforce economic and defense ties.


The New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement, opening a new front in the legal battle over the unauthorized use of published work to train artificial intelligence technologies. The newspaper is the first major U.S. media organization to sue the companies over copyright issues associated with its written works.

The lawsuit, which does not include an exact monetary demand, says the defendants should be held responsible for “billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages” related to the “unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works.” The suit also calls for the companies to destroy any training data and chatbot models that use copyrighted material from The Times.

Details: The lawsuit contends that millions of Times articles were used to train automated chatbots, which now compete with the news outlet. The complaint cites several examples in which a chatbot provided users with near-verbatim excerpts from Times articles that would otherwise require a paid subscription to view.

At a time when museums around the world are grappling with how to attract new audiences, the tiny Crab Museum, in Margate, England, uses humor to lure in visitors.

One example: A deeply silly diorama shows one crab holding a pint of beer and another clutching a cricket bat. (A sign explained that the species live in different parts of the world so “it would be misleading to depict them in a realistic natural setting.”)

Jacques Delors, a hard-driving French politician who became the chief architect of a more unified Europe, has died at 98.

Brand Paris Saint-Germain: How Michael Jordan helped make it cool.

Jose Mourinho: The future or a Roman relic?

A Basque-only ‘philosophy’: Why some are calling for change at Athletic Bilbao.

Transgender people have turned to video games, some with robust character creators, as places where they can safely explore their gender identities, given the array of tools to modify a character’s appearance and a virtual world that readily accepts those changes.

Nearly a decade before she came out as a transgender woman, Anna Anthropy, now a professor of game design, was wearing a dress in the world of Animal Crossing on the Nintendo GameCube. She left virtual bread crumbs for her family about information she was not prepared to share as a teenager.

“We were all playing in the same town, and I had chosen a female character,” she said. “It wasn’t something we talked about, but it was my way of seeing a version of my family where I was the right gender.”


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

You can reach Natasha and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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