Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times

Classified war documents detailing U.S. and NATO plans for strengthening the Ukrainian military before a planned offensive against Russia were posted this week on Twitter and on Telegram, a platform with more than half a billion users that is widely available in Russia, senior Biden administration officials said. The Pentagon is investigating the leak.

Military analysts said the documents appear to have been modified in certain parts from their original format, overstating U.S. estimates of Ukrainian war dead and understating estimates of Russian troops killed. Biden officials were working to get the figures deleted but had not, as of last night, succeeded. It was unclear how the documents ended up on social media.

The modifications could point to an effort at disinformation by Moscow, the analysts said. But the disclosures in the original documents — which appear as photographs of charts of anticipated weapons deliveries, troop and battalion strengths, and other plans — represent a significant breach of U.S. intelligence in the effort to aid Ukraine.

Details: The documents, which are five weeks old, do not provide specific battle plans about Ukraine’s offensive, which U.S. officials say is probably coming in the next month or so. But they mention, for instance, how fast Ukrainian troops are using the HIMARS munitions supplied by the U.S., information that the Pentagon has not disclosed publicly.

In other news from the war:

Hundreds of thousands of protesters in France marched and went on strike for the 11th time in three months, even after Macron’s pension overhaul, which raised the legal age of retirement to 64 from 62, became law.

Though large, the number of protesters — about 570,000, according to French authorities, and about 2 million, according to unions — was lower than in previous rounds of protests, a sign that the movement was losing some steam, at least for now. The number of strikers in key sectors like transportation and education has also slowly declined.

The protests came a day after a cordial but fruitless meeting — the first since January — between Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and the heads of the main labor unions. The union representatives left after less than an hour and complained that they were not being heard.

Next steps: Unions are also planning a new day of protests on the eve of a key ruling on the pension law by the body that reviews legislation to ensure that it conforms to the Constitution. That ruling is expected next week.

Lebanon yesterday rained rocket strikes on Israel, apparently in response to an Israeli police raid early on a mosque at a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem. Early Friday, Israeli fighter jets then struck parts of southern Lebanon and Gaza amid fears of a wider conflagration across multiple fronts. The flare-up in hostilities came as Jews celebrated Passover, and Muslims were midway through Ramadan.

The Israeli military attributed the rocket fire from Lebanon to branches of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, two militias based in Gaza with a presence in Lebanon. But instead of retaliating against the Lebanon-based branches, Israeli warplanes instead struck Gaza shortly after midnight. Armed groups in Gaza then fired more rockets into Israeli airspace, before Israel later struck southern Lebanon.

Military experts said the barrage from Lebanon was the heaviest in northern Israel since 2006, when Israel and Hezbollah, the armed group and political movement that dominates southern Lebanon, last fought a full-scale war. The Israeli military said it believed that the militias had acted with the knowledge of Hezbollah.

Consequences: The events prompted municipal councils in Israel to open public bomb shelters, in expectation of further rocket fire from either Gaza or Lebanon. No injuries were reported in Gaza during the first hour of the Israeli airstrikes.

Sulaiman Addonia is a British-Eritrean-Ethiopian writer. His mother, even as she has long been one of his literary influences, cannot read or write and has never read any of his work beyond the snippets shared by relatives in translation.

“I want to explain to her why intimacy is central to my work, why my sole purpose as a writer is to surrender to my imagination and go wherever it takes me,” he writes in this essay. “But I don’t have the right vocabulary to say all this in the languages we speak to each other.”

The Premier League’s weirdest hire makes sense: Chelsea have decided to appoint a manager they formerly fired to manage their team on a temporary basis. Here’s why it could work out.

How F1 could change its sprint race format for Baku: By adding another qualifying session, F1 hopes to make its sprint races less risky for drivers — and more fun for fans.

From The Times: Many of the world’s best golfers teed off at Augusta National Golf Club. Among this year’s most interesting questions: How will Tiger Woods play? Will Rory McIlroy finally complete a career Grand Slam? Or will we get a repeat winner?

Twenty-eight years ago, Klaus Teuber created The Settlers of Catan, an enduringly popular board game that has spawned college intramural teams and international tournaments, been name-checked on “South Park” and “Parks and Recreation,” inspired a novel and sold some 40 million copies worldwide.

The 1995 game — in which players build settlements in a new land by collecting brick, lumber, wool, ore and grain — has attracted millions of fans with its mix of strategy, luck and persuasion. Many revisited their fond memories of Catan this week when Teuber’s death was announced, playing games of mourning or of celebration for his life and work.

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