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Friday Briefing – The New York Occasions

A Hamas chief mentioned yesterday that the group was finding out Israel’s newest cease-fire proposal with a “optimistic spirit,” elevating hopes of progress within the stalled efforts for a truce.

Ismail Haniyeh, the pinnacle of Hamas’s political wing, mentioned {that a} delegation would journey to Cairo to debate the cease-fire. The present deal would come with a weekslong truce and the discharge of hostages held by Hamas and of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. The proposal would additionally enable civilians to return to northern Gaza and would allow elevated supply of support to the territory.

The advanced cease-fire negotiations have dragged on for months. This week, Israel softened a few of its positions, saying that it could enable Palestinians to return north en masse and would decrease the variety of hostages accepted for the cease-fire to 33, from 40.

However Israel’s insistence on a floor invasion of Rafah, a metropolis the place round one million Palestinians are sheltering within the southern Gaza Strip, stays a serious sticking level. “If the enemy carries out the Rafah operation, negotiations will cease,” a Hamas spokesman mentioned.

The U.S. accused Russia of violating a world ban on chemical weapons through the use of them in opposition to Ukrainian troops.

The State Division mentioned in a press release that Russia had used chloropicrin, a “choking agent” broadly used throughout World Conflict I, in addition to tear gasoline. Each of them are prohibited throughout warfare underneath the Chemical Weapons Conference, an arms management treaty ratified by greater than 150 international locations, together with Russia.

Attacking with the chemical compounds was “not an remoted incident,” they usually had been in all probability used to drive Ukrainian forces out of fortified positions, the State Division mentioned.

The Ukrainian authorities have reported about 1,400 circumstances of suspected chemical weapons use by Russia because the full-scale invasion started in 2022. The officers mentioned that the speed has accelerated as Moscow has pressed forward with assaults alongside the entrance strains.

Safety forces clashed with protesters in Georgia’s capital after Parliament superior laws that has sparked weeks of demonstrations.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Tbilisi ever because the governing Georgian Dream occasion pushed the invoice by Parliament early final month. Georgia’s Ministry of Inner Affairs mentioned yesterday that safety forces had used water cannons and tear gasoline when the protesters turned “violent.”

The draft legislation would require nongovernmental teams and media retailers that obtain greater than 20 p.c of their funding from international sources to register with the federal government and to supply annual monetary statements or face hefty fines. The professional-Western opposition believes that the legislation may very well be used to crack down on dissent.

Lower than two years in the past, Brittney Griner was beginning her nine-year sentence in a penal colony in Russia, stitching uniforms for the Russian navy and subsisting on spoiled meals. She had by no means been farther from the game that made her well-known, hardly ever obtained to listen to from her spouse, Cherelle, and she or he had no concept when — or if — she can be coming house.

My colleague J Wortham spoke with Griner for The New York Occasions Journal. “I’ll always remember any of it,” mentioned Griner, whose memoir “Coming House,” can be revealed on Could 7.

Depth and focus: Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain within the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.

Vacationers flock to Stratford-upon-Avon, the English city well-known as the house of William Shakespeare, anticipating classical period-dress productions of his works. Stratford can also be house to the Royal Shakespeare Firm, which brings Shakespeare’s work to a up to date viewers with a various and forward-thinking repertoire.

Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey, the troupe’s new inventive administrators, are attempting to embrace the classical and the trendy, as they embark on their first season in cost.

That’s all for this week. Have an exquisite weekend, and goodbye for now. My colleague Natasha Frost will return on Monday. — Dan

P.S. Lynsey Chutel, who writes our Highlight on Africa collection, is transferring to our London newsroom. Congratulations, Lynsey!

You’ll be able to attain Dan and the staff at

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