Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

President Biden said yesterday that he believed negotiators were nearing an agreement that would halt Israel’s military operations in Gaza within a week, though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel had spoken earlier in the day about further military action.

Netanyahu said that the Israeli military had presented a plan to the war cabinet to evacuate civilians from “areas of fighting” in Gaza. He might have been speaking about Israel’s long-expected invasion of Rafah, a southern city where more than half of Gaza’s population is sheltering, many in makeshift tents and without adequate food, water or medicine.

Many countries and international aid groups have warned that an invasion of Rafah could lead to mass casualties in the enclave.

Israeli negotiators signaled that they might be open to releasing Palestinians jailed on terrorism charges in exchange for some Israeli hostages in the Gaza Strip, according to two officials with knowledge of the talks.

Hamas, which has called for Israel to withdraw from Gaza and abide by a long-term cease-fire, has not responded to the offer. But according to one of the officials, Israeli intelligence officers believe that Hamas’s leader in Gaza has become more amenable in recent weeks to a deal that would allow for only a temporary truce, with the hope that it would become permanent.

Related: The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority tendered the resignation of his cabinet yesterday after the U.S. and Arab states had made efforts to persuade the authority to overhaul itself so it could potentially lead Gaza after the war ends.

Hungary’s Parliament voted yesterday to accept Sweden as the 32nd member of NATO, sealing a major shift in the balance of power between the West and Russia precipitated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Viktor Orban, Hungary’s authoritarian prime minister, who has maintained cordial relations with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, had stalled for 19 months before putting Sweden’s NATO membership to a vote. Hungary’s long delay in accepting Sweden had exasperated the U.S. and other NATO members, raising questions about Hungary’s reliability as a member of an alliance committed to the principle of collective defense.

Analysis: Finland and Sweden decided to join NATO after Russia started the war in Ukraine, and now Putin finds himself faced with an enlarged and motivated alliance that is no longer dreaming of a permanent peace.

Strategic impact: Sweden and Finland will help bottle up Russia’s surface navy in the Baltic Sea and could provide enhanced monitoring of Russia’s military, including parts of its nuclear arsenal.

President Emmanuel Macron of France said yesterday that “nothing should be ruled out” when he was asked about the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine.

Speaking after a meeting of European leaders in Paris to bolster support for Ukraine, Macron stressed that there was no consensus on sending troops to help the embattled country. But he insisted that “anything is possible if it is useful to reach our goal,” which he said was to ensure that “Russia cannot win this war.”

Neither the U.S., nor other European leaders, immediately reacted to Macron’s comments. But his statements were a stark departure from the caution usually exercised by Western leaders, including Macron himself, to avoid escalating the conflict.

Being naked in a mixed-gender room full of strangers may not sound very relaxing.

But Austria and Germany abound with spas called thermen — resorts with pools, saunas, lakes, restaurants, bars and, typically, a section where nudity is required. Some neophytes found that the discomfort of being nude at the spas is fleeting, and has a worthwhile payoff.


Faith in youth: The Liverpool players who won a cup.

A tale of two legends: For years, Luka Modric played alongside Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid. On Sunday, they met as opponents.

Formula 1 reserve drivers: Days filled with sim time, data crunching and Candy Crush.

The body positivity movement has recently faltered in a cultural moment where thin is back in (though some argue it never really left), thanks in part to the rise of new drugs like Ozempic that are being used for weight loss.

Celebrities, models and influencers who once celebrated their curves are grappling with how to discuss their smaller bodies, while their followers feel as if they’ve abandoned the causes they used to champion: encouraging people to challenge weight stigma and to accept themselves as they are.

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

P.S. Carlotta Gall, a senior correspondent covering the war in Ukraine, described reporting from Ukraine’s front lines in the winter.

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

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