Tuesday Briefing

Premature babies who were evacuated to a hospital in southern Gaza. Credit…Associated Press

The nightmare of giving birth in Gaza

The streets were empty. The ambulance couldn’t come for more than half an hour, and the hospital’s maternity ward no longer functioned. The only sounds were the noises of planes and shelling.

For Wajiha al-Abyad, who had fled her home weeks earlier, giving birth in Gaza last month was “something like a horror film,” she said.

Women, children and newborns in Gaza are disproportionately bearing the burden of the war, both as casualties and in reduced access to health care services. The U.N. estimates that there are around 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza and that more than 160 babies are delivered every day.

The bombardment, huge levels of displacement, collapsing water and electricity supplies and limited access to food and medicine are severely disrupting maternal, newborn and child health care. None of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are functional enough to treat critical trauma cases or perform surgery, the W.H.O. said.

Related: At least 12 people were killed and dozens were wounded in an attack on the Indonesian Hospital, where thousands of displaced people were sheltering, according to hospital personnel and the Gazan health ministry.

In other news from the war:

  • The Houthi militia in Yemen released a video showing its forces hijacking a ship, the Galaxy Leader, in the Red Sea, a day after it said it had seized the vessel to show support for “the oppressed Palestinian people.

  • Hamas has provided no information about the fate of the nearly 240 people believed to be held hostage in Gaza, causing anguish to their loved ones.

  • In a conflict marked by complete incomprehension on both sides, the ability of Palestinians and Israelis to see each other as human has been lost, Roger Cohen writes in this analysis.

The OpenAI offices in San Francisco.Credit…Jason Henry for The New York Times

Threats loom of an OpenAI staff exodus

More than 700 of OpenAI’s 770 employees signed a letter saying they might leave the company for Microsoft if the ousted chief executive, Sam Altman, is not reinstalled. The upheaval leaves the future of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence start-up that is one of the fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley history, in doubt.

The members of OpenAI’s four-person board shocked the tech industry on Friday when it removed Altman, saying they could no longer trust him. One board member has since reversed course, demanding that he be reinstated. The decision by the board set off a frantic weekend of unexpected corporate jockeying that ended with Altman joining Microsoft to start a new A.I. project.

Analysis: Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The Times, described the personnel changes as “probably the most shocking tech story of the year, and maybe in several years,” and said the most obvious loser so far was OpenAI itself.

For more: The Times spoke to Altman just two days before he was ousted by his company’s board in a surprise coup. To him, the future seemed bright.

A Ukrainian soldier who was injured on the front line in Avdiivka.Credit…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Russian’s Ukrainian offensive continues

Ukraine is facing continual eastern assaults from Russian forces at a bloody cost for both sides, even as the lines on the map barely move.

Russian forces have been staging fierce assaults around Avdiivka for more than a month and have recently launched simultaneous offensives across eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have mostly thwarted Russia’s attacks, using drones and cluster munitions to inflict some of the heaviest Russian losses of the war. But experts said the balance on the battlefield could easily be tipped in either direction.

In other news:

  • Lloyd Austin, the U.S. defense secretary, visited Kyiv at a time when U.S. military aid and progress in the war against Russia have both stalled.

  • Russia added a singer who won the Eurovision song contest to its wanted list of cultural figures who have criticized its invasion of Ukraine.


Around the World

Credit…Mette Lampcov for The New York Times
  • A new feature is drawing tourists to Death Valley National Park this fall: a mirror-smooth body of water.

  • Nations are still very far from making the sweeping changes needed to keep global temperatures at safe levels, the U.N. said.

  • Hundreds of defendants were sentenced to prison in southern Italy in a case that prosecutors and experts said had dealt a crucial blow to the Mafia.

  • A bicorn hat belonging to Napoleon Bonaparte sold for 1.9 million euros at an auction in France.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Albert Gea/Reuters
  • Shakira reached a deal with Spanish prosecutors to settle a multimillion-dollar tax evasion case.

  • Donald Trump’s verbal attacks on his political opponents are alarming autocracy experts.

  • A federal appeals court signaled it would narrow the gag order placed on Trump in his 2020 election case.

What Else Is Happening

  • The police in London questioned Russell Brand about allegations that he had committed sexual offenses, but he was not charged, according to British news reports.

  • Stray Kids, the K-pop group that was formed on a South Korean reality TV show, has scored its fourth No. 1 hit in two years.

  • Rumors that Aardman Animations, the maker of stop-motion films, had lost its clay supplier worried fans. The studio has reassured them.

A Morning Read

Credit…Jeenah Moon/Reuters

In the past decade, dozens of people have been randomly attacked by mentally ill homeless people in New York City. The attackers were failed by a system that keeps making the same errors, insulated from scrutiny by state laws that protect patient privacy but hide failings from public view.


Golf’s rising stars: Meet the sport’s next generation of top players.

Las Vegas Grand Prix driver rankings: Charles Leclerc was the class of the field on the Strip Circuit.

Novak Djokovic’s ascension: Trackinghis journey from divisive lightning rod back to the top of the game.


Credit…Andrew Faulk for The New York Times

Gift wrapping without waste

Centuries ago, Japan elevated the practice of wrapping gifts with fabric, known as furoshiki, into an art form. After the gift is unveiled, the fabric can be reused for other gifts, for wrapping cushions or for display in a frame.

Speaking to The Times, Kensuke Kawamura and Ayano Hasui, both of the furoshiki manufacturer Yamada Sen-i, shared their tips for wrapping, reusing and gifting furoshiki.

“If you want to show your consideration, choose seasonal patterns or patterns that a person would like,” Kawamura said. “For example, if I want to give something to my father, maybe I choose a pine pattern because it has a meaning of long life.”


Credit…Lennart Weibull for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Victoria Granof.

Cook: Sweet and sour butternut squash makes a great autumnal side.

Abstain: The science behind the dreaded red wine headache.

Listen: Dua Lipa’s “Houdini” is among our critics’ picks of notable new songs.

Relax: Some people are pulling back — in socializing, spending, eating — to bolster their health ahead of the holidays.

Rest: Cold symptoms worsen at nighttime. Here’s what to do for a better sleep.

Travel: Concierges at luxury hotels describe the experiences they think make the best gifts.

Play the Spelling Bee. And here are today’s Mini Crossword and Wordle. You can find all our puzzles here.

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

P.S. This is how The Times reviews audiobooks.

You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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