The New York Times 2024-02-09 16:14:47

Middle East Crisis: Netanyahu Orders Military to Make Plans to Evacuate Civilians in Rafah

With Israel signaling an offensive into Rafah, Netanyahu said it would require removing civilians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has ordered the Israeli military to come up with a plan for civilians sheltering in the southern city of Rafah to evacuate, his office said on Friday, clearing the way for an expected offensive into the crowded city.

“Any forceful action in Rafah would require the evacuation of the civilian population from combat zones,” the prime minister’s office said, without saying what area those zones would cover.

In recent weeks, roughly 1.4 million Palestinians have squeezed into Rafah — one of the last areas of the Gaza Strip in which Israeli ground troops have yet to deploy in force. Many have been displaced multiple times since the beginning of the war, and finding food, water and medicine has become a daily struggle.

But it is not clear where those people could go.

The Biden administration warned on Thursday that it would not at this point support Israeli plans for a military operation in Rafah, and both a White House spokesman and the U.N. secretary general warned of catastrophe should Israel attack.

“Given the circumstances and the conditions there that we see right now, we think a military operation at this time would be a disaster for those people,” a White House spokesman, John Kirby, told reporters.

In a statement, the Israeli prime minister’s office said that it could not realize Israel’s aim of eliminating Hamas’s rule in Gaza while leaving intact what it said were battalions of the group’s fighters in Rafah.

The military’s “combined plan” would have to both “evacuate the civilian population and topple the brigades,” it added.

Israeli leaders have made clear in recent days that they intend to extend the invasion of Gaza into Rafah, on the border with Egypt. On Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu said the Israeli security establishment was preparing to operate in the densely crowded area.

“Our soldiers are now in Khan Younis, Hamas’s main stronghold.” his office later wrote on social media. “They’ll soon go into Rafah, Hamas’s last bastion.”

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, based in the occupied West Bank, demanded that Israel’s allies put pressure on its government not to send troops into Rafah.

“The obligation to pressure Israel to refrain from committing this attack, with its potential for wide-scale massacres of civilians, falls squarely on the shoulders of countries that still believe in Israel’s right to self-defense,” the ministry said in a statement.

Rawan Sheikh Ahmad contributed reporting.

Israeli forces raid Al-Amal Hospital in southern Gaza, an aid group says.

Israeli forces raided a hospital complex in southern Gaza on Friday and were searching inside the main building, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said, after weeks of intense ground fighting nearby that has left patients and staff trapped inside.

The group, which runs the hospital, Al-Amal, has in recent weeks described it as being under “complete siege” with tanks positioned around it and near-daily Israeli attacks. It said this week that more than 200 patients, staff members and rescue workers were inside the hospital.

An Israeli military spokesman said he could not comment on the location of Israeli forces. But Israel has said its intelligence indicates that Hamas, the armed group that carried out the deadly Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel, is operating from inside and around the hospital in the city of Khan Younis, though it has not offered evidence publicly to support the claim.

The United Nations has described dire conditions and intensifying urban fighting in Khan Younis, where the Israeli military says it is trying to kill or capture Hamas leaders it believes are hiding in and beneath the city in an extensive network of tunnels.

Nebal Farsakh, a spokeswoman for the Red Crescent agency, said Friday that the group was having difficulty communicating with its staff at the hospital, and that its teams had stopped responding after reporting via wireless radio that Israeli forces were inside. She said that normal communication with their staff has been cut off for about a month.

Last week, the agency said that Israeli forces had stormed the courtyard of the hospital and opened fire, hitting five vehicles, including ambulances, and that two of its staff members had been shot and killed by Israeli forces near the entrance on the day before. It has since issued regular reports of firing on the building.

The United Nations has said that heavy fighting around the hospital has jeopardized the safety of medical workers and patients.

The Red Crescent said Thursday that the lives of 80 patients were in danger because of a lack of oxygen supplies and an inability to perform surgeries. One patient had died because of a lack of oxygen, the statement added.

Aaron Boxerman contributed reporting.

Maps: Tracking the Attacks in Israel and GazaSee where Israel has bulldozed vast areas of Gaza, as its invasion continues to advance south.

Biden sharpens criticism of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza.

President Biden sharply escalated his criticism of Israel’s approach to the war against Hamas on Thursday, calling military operations in Gaza “over the top” and saying that the suffering of innocent people has “got to stop.”

Mr. Biden, who has strongly supported Israel’s right to retaliate for the Oct. 7 terrorist attack by Hamas that killed an estimated 1,200 people, exhibited growing impatience with the scale and duration of Israel’s response during a nighttime meeting with reporters at the White House.

“I’m of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza, in the Gaza Strip, has been over the top,” Mr. Biden said in response to questions at the end of the rowdy session, meant to address a special counsel report on his handling of classified documents. “I’ve been pushing really hard, really hard, to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza,” he added. “There are a lot of innocent people who are starving. There are a lot of innocent people who are in trouble and dying. And it’s got to stop.”

But even as he offered a sharp assessment of the latest events in the Middle East, he made the kind of mistake that his staff had hoped he would avoid, given questions about his age and memory, by confusing the presidents of Egypt and Mexico.

“I think that, as you know, initially the president of Mexico, Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in,” he said, referring to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the president of Egypt, not Mexico. “I talked to him. I convinced him to open the gate. I talked to Bibi to open the gate on the Israeli side.”

Mr. Biden’s comments revealed his increasing frustration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, known by his nickname Bibi, making public what has been clear in private for weeks. Mr. Biden has pressed the Israeli leader to take greater care to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, where more than 27,000 people have been killed, according to health authorities in the strip run by Hamas, and to consider creation of a Palestinian state once the war is over.

Mr. Biden has come under enormous pressure from the progressive wing of his own party to rein in Mr. Netanyahu, with protesters now regularly disrupting the president’s events and calling him names like “Genocide Joe.” At the same time, Mr. Netanyahu, under fire for not preventing the Oct. 7 attack, has sought to hold onto his right-wing coalition by standing up against Mr. Biden’s entreaties for a so-called two-state solution.

Mr. Netanyahu in recent days seemed to rebuff Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s efforts to broker a deal through intermediaries with Hamas to secure the release of more than 100 hostages still held by Hamas in exchange for a lengthy pause in the fighting. Hamas had made “ludicrous demands” that if met would “only invite another massacre,” Mr. Netanyahu said on Wednesday shortly after meeting with Mr. Blinken.

In the four months since the Hamas attack, Mr. Biden has sought to walk a careful line, emphasizing his unstinting support for Israel and shared outrage over the killings of innocent Israelis while increasingly counseling restraint on Mr. Netanyahu. At one point, he complained about “indiscriminate” bombing by Israel, but broadly speaking he has moderated his views in public, leaving it at times to other members of his administration to speak more critically.

The president did not intend to address the situation on Thursday night and was leaving the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House after his statement on the special counsel report when a reporter’s question prompted him to return to the lectern.

He cited his efforts to get more humanitarian aid into Gaza, where much of the population has been displaced and desperate for basic goods.

“I’m pushing very hard now to deal with this hostage cease-fire,” he said. “I’ve been working tirelessly in this deal,” he added, because it could “lead to a sustained pause in the fighting and the actions taking place in the Gaza Strip. Because I think if we can get the delay for that — the initial delay, I think that we would be able to extend that so that we can increase the prospect that this fighting in Gaza changes.”

He also said he believed that Hamas may have mounted its attack on Oct. 7 to disrupt American efforts to establish normal diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, a project many believe would have transformed the region but could have undercut the urgency of the Palestinian cause.

“I have no proof what I’m about to say,” Mr. Biden said, “but it’s not unreasonable to suspect that Hamas understood what was about to take place and wanted to break it up before it happened.”

Victoria Kim contributed reporting from Seoul.

U.S. intelligence officials tell Congress that Israel is not close to eliminating Hamas.

U.S. intelligence officials told members of Congress this week that Israel had degraded Hamas’s fighting capabilities but was not close to eliminating the group, the principal war aim of the Israeli government, American officials said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, speaking after a meeting with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, emphasized again on Wednesday that his goal was to destroy Hamas.

Those war aims are divisive in Israel, where parts of the Israeli public have criticized the government’s decision to prioritize the complete defeat of Hamas over securing the release of hostages.

Last month, retired Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, a former military chief of staff and a member of the war cabinet, criticized the Netanyahu government’s prosecution of the war, saying the government should negotiate a cease-fire to free hostages and rebuking Mr. Netanyahu’s call for “total victory.”

American officials have also raised doubts about whether the destruction or elimination of Hamas is a realistic objective, given it operates like a guerrilla force, hidden in a network of tunnels that are difficult to penetrate. Weakening the combat strength of the group may be a far more achievable goal, U.S. officials have said.

The United States is also pushing for Israel and Hamas to agree to a series of temporary cease-fires and an exchange of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

The closed-door intelligence briefing to members of Congress did not include a discussion of how many Hamas fighters may have been killed, nor did it contain refined estimates of civilian casualties. Gaza health officials estimate that more than 27,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war, most of them noncombatants who have died in airstrikes.

American intelligence officials have refrained from offering specific estimates of how many Hamas fighters have been killed, arguing that such estimates are neither accurate nor meaningful.

Mr. Netanyahu said last month that Israel had destroyed two-thirds of Hamas’s fighting regiments. American officials say privately that their estimates are lower, and perhaps only a third of Hamas fighters have been killed. Before the war, estimates of Hamas’s fighting strength ranged from 20,000 to 25,000.

But American officials also emphasize that the United States has learned in war after war that counting the number of enemies killed in an insurgency or counterterrorism operation is a fool’s game. Operations that kill militants often radicalize others, swelling the ranks of enemy organizations. And U.S. officials say death counts of fighters do not give an indication of whether a government has addressed the core issues driving the war.

‘There is no place for the people to run to,’ a man sheltering in Rafah says.

Israeli forces bombarded the southern Gaza border city of Rafah with airstrikes, killing multiple civilians, Palestinian media reported on Thursday, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said the military was preparing to advance on the area, which is crowded with people who have fled other parts of the Strip.

The strikes heightened fears among the more than a million Palestinians crowded into Rafah, which lies along a closed Egyptian border, as Israel’s army has repeatedly warned that it plans to push further south in its ground invasion in Gaza in what it says is an attempt to defeat Hamas.

“I am hearing people saying Israel is planning to storm Rafah,” said Fathi Abu Snema, a 45-year-old father of five who has been sheltering in a United Nations-run school there for nearly four months. He worried that a military advance would bring “total destruction.”

“There is no place for the people to run to. Everyone from all other parts of Gaza ended up in Rafah. I don’t know where to go if they come here,” he added, referring to Israeli forces.

The Israeli military declined to answer questions about the strikes on Thursday, and they did not appear to signal the start of a major new ground offensive in Rafah.

Palestinian news media reported that two homes in Rafah were hit in deadly strikes overnight into Thursday. Gaza’s health ministry said that more than 100 people had been killed over the previous 24 hours. More than 27,000 people have been killed in Gaza during the four-month war, according to the ministry.

Many of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been displaced multiple times in search of safety. In Rafah, many are sheltering in ramshackle tents that offer little protection from rain and cold. Airstrikes have continued to pound all parts of the Gaza Strip.

Mr. Netanyahu said late Wednesday that his government had directed the military to prepare to advance into Rafah and two nearby camps, which he called “Hamas’s last remaining strongholds.” Hamas led the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that Israeli authorities say killed some 1,200 people.

Aid groups and the United Nations have repeatedly warned that an advance on Rafah would be devastating to civilians. Describing “destruction and death” in Gaza unparalleled during his tenure, the U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, told the General Assembly on Wednesday that he was “especially alarmed” by the reports that Israel had set Rafah as a military target.

A military offensive there “would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences,” he said.

The Norwegian Refugee Council, an aid agency, warned that a full-scale Israeli military assault on Rafah and the surrounding area would lead to more civilian deaths and risk halting the trickle of humanitarian aid that is coming into the Gaza Strip from Egypt.

“An expansion of hostilities could turn Rafah into a zone of bloodshed and destruction that people won’t be able to escape,” Angelita Caredda, the aid group’s Middle East and North Africa regional director, said. “Conditions in Rafah are already dire.”

Early Thursday, a local Gazan journalist posted video on social media of two young brothers from Rafah who had been brought to a hospital after a bombardment. They appeared to have light injuries and were covered in dust.

In the video, which The New York Times could not immediately verify, one brother says: “I woke up and found that there was fire in the house. I told Mama, ‘Pick me up, I’m hurt,’ and she said, ‘I can’t pick you up.’”

The other boy says: “Smoke was filling the entire home. No one could see anyone else, no one could breathe.”

Abu Bakr Bashir contributed reporting.

The U.S. and U.N. warn Israel that a military advance in Rafah could be disastrous.

The Biden administration said on Thursday that it would not at this point support Israeli plans for a military operation in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where more than half of the enclave’s total population has sought shelter, and both a White House spokesman and the U.N. secretary general warned of catastrophe should Israel attack.

“Given the circumstances and the conditions there that we see right now, we think a military operation at this time would be a disaster for those people,” a White House spokesman, John Kirby, told reporters.

Up to 1.8 million of Gaza’s 2.2 million people have fled their homes since Israel’s bombardment and invasion began, and more than a million have sought refuge in Rafah, which lies on the border with Egypt and is a major crossing point for aid trucks. U.N. officials have warned that the city is crammed full of people, squalid and short of critical supplies.

An Israeli offensive into Rafah would create a “gigantic tragedy,” the U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, said at a news conference, adding that the war’s combatants had violated international laws of conflict over the last four months.

“Half of Gaza’s population is now crammed into Rafah,” Mr. Guterres said. “They have nowhere to go. They have no homes — and they have no hope. They are living in overcrowded makeshift shelters, in unsanitary conditions without running water, electricity and adequate food supplies.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said on Wednesday that Israeli troops had been directed to prepare for deployment in Rafah, calling it one of “Hamas’s last remaining strongholds,” and Palestinian media reported on Thursday that Israeli forces bombarded Rafah with airstrikes.

But Mr. Kirby said that U.S. officials had seen “no plans that would convince us that they are about to or imminently going to conduct any kind of major operations in Rafah.”

With so many Palestinians sheltering in Rafah, he said, “the Israeli military has a special obligation as they conduct operations, there or anywhere else, to make sure that they’re factoring in protection for innocent civilian life.”

He added, however, that “we’ll let the Israelis speak to their military operations.”

A State Department spokesman, Vedant Patel, made similar remarks on Thursday, saying that U.S. officials continued to hold “very tough and frank conversations” with Israeli officials about the toll in Gaza. The territory’s health officials say deaths have surpassed 27,000 and that many more people have been injured, including large numbers of women and children.

“We believe that the civilian death toll in Gaza has been far too high,” Mr. Patel said. He added that U.S. officials have pushed for steps that could be taken to limit the deaths, and that it was “a moral and strategic imperative to minimize the impact on civilians.”

Israel has said that its forces seek to limit harm to civilians, and that it has been allowing humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, while also asserting that large amounts of the aid are being captured by Hamas. For months, international pressure has grown for Israel to scale back its military campaign and allow far more supplies into the territory.

Top U.N. officials have repeatedly called for a permanent humanitarian cease-fire on the ground that aid delivery at the scale needed is nearly impossible as the war rages. Tensions between the U.N. and Israel increased further after Israel accused 12 employees of the main U.N. aid agency for Palestinians, known as UNRWA, of taking part in the Hamas-led attacks on Oct. 7, which Israeli officials say killed about 1,200 people.

Mr. Guterres said he decided to immediately fire most of the accused staff members — two others were already dead — because “those allegations were credible” and “the accusations were really dangerous.”

But he also said that Israel had repeatedly denied access to the U.N.’s humanitarian operations in Gaza, particularly in the territory’s north. Only 10 out of 61 planned aid convoys were allowed to reach the north in January, he said, adding that aid workers faced multiple dangers, including live fire.

Mr. Guterres said that Israel had shot at one of its aid convoys with naval artillery fire this week. “We are witnessing violations of international humanitarian law and those violations must stop, not only by Israel,” said Mr. Guterres.

Israeli Settlers Left Gaza in 2005. They Now See a Chance to Return.

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A group of Israelis hoping to live in Gaza at the war’s end has already published maps imagining Jewish-majority towns dotting the territory. Far-right Israeli lawmakers have drafted plans to make such settlements legal. And Israel’s national security minister has called for Arab residents to leave Gaza so that Jews can populate the coastal strip.

After four months of war and a death toll that Gazan officials say exceeds 27,000 killed, international pressure is mounting on Israel to withdraw from Gaza. But a small group of Israelis is pushing for the opposite: They want Israel to retain control of the territory, from which Hamas launched the deadliest attack in Israeli history, and re-establish the Jewish settlements that were dismantled in Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza.

“The minute the war is over, we’ll build our homes there,” said Yair Cohen, 23, a reserve soldier, who said his family was evicted from Gaza in 2005. “The question isn’t whether we will return when the fighting is over, but if there will be a Gaza.”

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Pakistan Is Stunned as Early Election Results Look Like a Real Race

Pakistani voters on Friday were anxiously awaiting the final results of a national election that has stunned many in the country by denying Pakistan’s powerful military a widely expected landslide victory for its preferred party.

That party, led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, remained the front-runner as preliminary totals trickled in a day after the voting. But the prolonged uncertainty made clear that the military, long the guiding hand in Pakistani politics, had failed in its heavy-handed effort to gut a rival party affiliated with another former prime minister, Imran Khan.

In Punjab, the country’s most populous province, which accounts for more than half of the seats in Parliament, many candidates in Mr. Sharif’s party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, or P.M.L.N., were neck and neck with those in the party of Mr. Khan, a popular figure who has been jailed for months.

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The Friar Who Became the Vatican’s Go-To Guy on A.I.

Before dawn, Paolo Benanti climbed to the bell tower of his 16th-century monastery, admired the sunrise over the ruins of the Roman forum and reflected on a world in flux.

“It was a wonderful meditation on what is going on inside,” he said, stepping onto the street in his friar robe. “And outside too.”

There is a lot is going on for Father Benanti, who, as both the Vatican’s and the Italian government’s go-to artificial intelligence ethicist, spends his days thinking about the Holy Ghost and the ghosts in the machines.

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Prince Harry Gets Damages in Hacking Case and Calls Out Piers Morgan

Prince Harry has settled his privacy claims against a British tabloid publisher, his lawyer told a London court on Friday, two months after a judge found the publisher guilty of “widespread and habitual” hacking of the prince’s cellphone.

The settlement with Mirror Group Newspapers — which his lawyer said would amount to at least 400,000 pounds, or $504,000 — brings to an end one battle in Harry’s long-running war against the press over its intrusive coverage of his private life.

It was as much a financial victory as a symbolic one, which could help defray the legal costs that Harry has run up in years of litigation against the tabloids. In addition to paying for the costs of the case, the Mirror Group would pay additional “significant” damages, the prince’s lawyer, David Sherborne, said.

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Ukraine Has a New Military Commander but the Problems Haven’t Changed

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Russian forces are razing the already battered city of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine to the ground and sending waves of assault units to overwhelm outgunned Ukrainian troops. After months of brutal fighting, the Russian military is threatening to cut off a vital supply line to the city, which could render further defense impossible.

As Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky assumes his role as Ukraine’s top military commander — after a broad shake-up of army leadership on Thursday — he could soon be confronted again with the grim calculus that has been a feature of the two-year war: When does the cost of defending ground outweigh any benefit gained by inflicting pain on the enemy?

It is a bloody equation that General Syrsky has had to try to work out many times as the commander of ground forces in eastern Ukraine, and it is one that critics — including American military officials — contend he has not always gotten right, particularly in the battle for Bakhmut.

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Demolition of Muslim Properties Sets Off Deadly Violence in India

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The demolition of a mosque and a Muslim seminary has led to deadly clashes and an internet shutdown in northern India. The flare-up, in the hill state of Uttarakhand, is the latest bout of sectarian tensions as Muslim sites have become a broader target of the Hindu right wing after the opening of a major temple last month.

The toll of the violence was unclear. An official in Haldwani, the town where the clash took place, said in an interview that two people had been killed and dozens injured, including police officers. Reports in the Indian news media, citing top police officials, said four people had been killed, but this could not be confirmed because the police did not respond to requests for comment. Images from the area revealed vehicles destroyed by fire and debris littering the streets.

Thursday’s unrest began when officials and the police arrived to raze the structures, which the authorities said had been illegally built on public land, and encountered an angry crowd. Witnesses said that the police fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who threw stones at a police station and set vehicles on fire. The police have denied using live ammunition.

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Welcome to Japan, Taylor Swift Fans. Please Remain Seated as You Cheer.

Taylor mania has landed in Tokyo. But the enthusiasm of some of the Swifties arriving with her has clashed with local sensibilities.

Thousands of visitors from across Asia and beyond have flooded into Japan’s capital as Taylor Swift performs at the Tokyo Dome for four nights this week. The problem, as some domestic concertgoers see it, is that these foreign fans don’t share the rather restrained Japanese approach to taking in a show.

In a post on the platform X, a Japanese holder of a V.I.P. ticket wrote that even paying 130,000 yen — about $870 — and being seated in the third row didn’t guarantee a clear view, given that so many foreign fans had stood up and rushed forward.

“It’s too sad,” the post said. “It’s crazy that, if you follow the rules, you won’t be able to watch it.”

While Japanese are praised abroad for their pristine behavior at soccer matches and other sporting events, their exacting standards at home can make them hostile to visitors. Another post on X, accompanied by a short video of audience members hoisting up their cellphones to capture the scene onstage, complained that “there were many foreigners who couldn’t respect manners.”

The grumbling is in some ways a microcosm of Japan’s mixed reception to the international tourists who have helped restore the country’s economy, the world’s third largest, after the pandemic. More than 25 million people visited Japan last year, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization, nearly 80 percent of the number who visited in 2019.

As visitor numbers rebounded last year, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida fretted that “there are concerns that in some areas and at certain times of the day, excessive crowding and poor etiquette may impact the lives of local residents and reduce traveler satisfaction.”

Etiquette was on the mind of Chiharu Nakayoshi, 31, an occupational therapist, when she attended Ms. Swift’s concert on Wednesday. She said her enjoyment of the performance had been undermined by the behavior of non-Japanese concertgoers who left their assigned seats and blocked her view in the V.I.P. section.

“I bought the most expensive ticket, because I thought it would be a rare opportunity to see Taylor at her most glorious,” Ms. Nakayoshi wrote in a direct message on X. “But when the day came, it turned out to be lawless.”

Other Japanese fans pointed out on social media that domestic spectators, too, could behave badly, citing an outdoor summer music festival in Osaka where fans groped the breasts of a singer onstage.

One post characterized “discrimination against foreigners” coming to Tokyo to see Ms. Swift as “really disgusting.”

For many of the international visitors, a large number from China, Southeast Asia or the United States, the concerts were a bonding experience.

Thousands of Chinese Swifties joined WeChat message groups to swap tips on scoring tickets, form car pools to travel outside Tokyo and offer shopping suggestions, said Yuqing Mai, 23, a university administrator in Canada who stopped in Tokyo to see the first concert on Wednesday on her way to see family in China for the Lunar New Year.

Ms. Mai said she knew of at least eight WeChat groups with 500 members each that were dedicated to Swifties traveling to Japan. She said many fans had expressed interest in traveling to other parts of Japan while in the country for the concerts.

“A lot of fans are either arriving in Japan early or staying for a few days longer afterwards,” she wrote in an email.

With such concertgoers booking hotels and side trips to Kyoto or other destinations, Ms. Swift’s four-night Tokyo gigs could prove lucrative for the domestic tourism industry.

Mariel Milner, 32, a communications strategy director at an advertising agency in New York, and Lindsay Milner Katz, 31, a sales director at a New York media company, said they had not initially planned this year to visit their sister, Dianne Milner, 34, who works in Tokyo as a lawyer for Hewlett-Packard.

But when Dianne managed to secure lottery slots to buy three V.I.P. tickets to one of the Tokyo dates for about $350 apiece — with the favorable exchange rate, much cheaper than such seats might have cost in the United States — the sisters decided to book flights to Japan.

“We said, ‘What’s a flight? And we can stay with our sister,’” Mariel Milner said on a call from a hotel room in Kyoto, where the women had traveled with their husbands for a 24-hour visit before returning to Tokyo for the final concert on Saturday. “So we rationalized it, because it’s once in a lifetime.”

Similarly, Monika Gami, who moved last summer to Tokyo from New Jersey with her family, had two of her husband’s cousins in town to see Ms. Swift. But “I am not sure I would consider it visiting us,” Ms. Gami said. “Their trip here was planned before we even got here.”

The excitement of having Ms. Swift in Tokyo prompted reports of what the star herself was doing with her time in Japan.

Kiyoshi Kawasaki, who owns Turret Coffee in the Tsukiji neighborhood of Tokyo, said that Ms. Swift had visited his shop on Monday, but that he had not been sure of who it was until he saw photos of Ms. Swift in an Instagram post by the Japanese edition of Vogue.

Mr. Kawasaki said he could have sworn that Ms. Swift had stood in line for coffee with Selena Gomez, a fellow pop star; Brittany Mahomes, whose husband, Patrick Mahomes, is a Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and teammate of Ms. Swift’s boyfriend, Travis Kelce; and one more woman.

Representatives for Ms. Gomez said that she was not in Tokyo. And a spokesman for the Chiefs, who will face the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl this weekend, did not reply to an email asking whether Ms. Mahomes was in Japan.

On Friday night, one Swiftie, Jazmine Sydney Tanay, 23, a loyal fan for 16 years who had flown in that morning from the Philippines, had her wish come true in more ways than one.

Before the concert, as she munched on a rice ball from a food stand inside the dome, she said she was hoping that Ms. Swift would tell the audience directly about her next album.

As the show opened, Ms. Swift did just that. Working the crowd, she said that the fans in Tokyo were the most stylish. Gazing out at the dome, she told them that she had said to herself the word “kawaii,” Japanese for cute.

As Ms. Swift launched into “Cruel Summer” from her 2019 album, “Lover,” the audience leaped to their feet, causing the stands to tremble. No word yet on whether the activity registered on any seismometers.

Muktita Suhartono contributed reporting.

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Russia Bars Antiwar Candidate in Election Putin Is All But Sure of Winning

Russian authorities on Thursday banned from the presidential race the only candidate who had openly contested President Vladimir V. Putin’s hold on power in Russia, and who made his opposition to the war in Ukraine central to his campaign.

The move by Russia’s Central Electoral Commission, the body that administers elections in Russia, was the latest predictable twist in a campaign that few doubt will result in Mr. Putin’s re-election in March.

Mr. Putin’s expected victory in the March 15-17 presidential election would secure him a fifth term in the Kremlin, cementing his rule as one of the longest and most consequential in Russian history.

The commission’s dismissal of the antiwar candidate, Boris B. Nadezhdin, demonstrated how the Kremlin has decided to remove all contenders who deviate from the party line. Mr. Nadezhdin, who has attracted thousands of supporters across Russia, has called the decision to invade Ukraine a “fatal mistake.”

More than 112 million people, including in occupied areas of Ukraine, have the right to vote in the election, and about 65 percent of them are expected to do so based on the turnout in previous elections.

Instead of an election, analysts say the upcoming vote will mainly be a referendum on Mr. Putin’s policies — most of all his decision to invade Ukraine two years ago.

“One should not treat it as a classic election under democratic standards,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center. “Still, this is a serious procedure that represents a stress to the system.”

Here is a guide on what to expect.

As in the previous election in 2018, Mr. Putin is running as a self-nominated candidate, without a party affiliation, and he has yet to publish an election platform.

He is unlikely to draw divisions between his work as president and his campaigning for re-election.

Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, said in late January that Mr. Putin’s daily routine would not be much different from his usual presidential schedule.

So far, Mr. Putin has participated in only one campaign event, meeting with his followers for a question-and-answer session in Moscow at the end of January.

Mr. Putin’s decision to run without a party affiliation highlights his positioning as someone above the political fray in Russia, said Aleksei Venediktov, the former editor of Ekho Moskvy, a popular radio station that was shut down by the government after the invasion of Ukraine.

“Putin has declared that he has a contract with the people, not with the elites,” Mr. Venediktov said.

In 2018, Mr. Putin secured nearly 77 percent of the vote, a tally he is widely expected to surpass this time given the Kremlin’s full control of the country’s political and media spheres.

The war in Ukraine has been a major backdrop to the presidential campaign so far. While Russians have overwhelmingly supported the war, a growing number tell pollsters that they would like the conflict to end in negotiations.

While Mr. Putin has showcased his support of Russian soldiers and their families, at least two other potential candidates have made antiwar messaging central to their presidential bids.

With Mr. Nadezhdin being barred from the ballot, two antiwar candidates have now been rejected by the Central Electoral Commission.

Yekaterina Duntsova, a TV journalist and a former municipal deputy who opposes the war, had her application rejected because of what she has said were trivial mistakes in her paperwork. Some dates were filled in a different format across the document, she has said.

Mr. Nadezhdin, a municipal deputy in a suburban town near Moscow, had been nominated by the Civic Platform party, which is not represented in the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament.

The election administrator said it had rejected his application to run because it found too many mistakes in the signatures he had submitted. Mr. Nadezhdin said he would appeal the decision.

Ever since Mr. Putin was first elected as Russian president more than two decades ago, the Kremlin has worked hard to tighten its control over the electoral process.

All major television networks and print and internet media outlets have gradually been put under the control of the government.

Most importantly, all serious rivals have been sidelined through intimidation and legal action. Aleksei A. Navalny, an opposition politician, is currently serving a 19-year sentence in a remote prison in the Russian Arctic on what his allies and legal observers say are trumped-up charges.

In an election where the result is seen as a foregone conclusion, the other candidates who are running are doing so for a variety of reasons other than winning.

Some are being encouraged by the Kremlin to do so to add a veneer of legitimacy to the race, analysts say; others want to use the campaign to increase their profiles or amplify their platforms — like ending the war in Ukraine.

Eleven potential candidates have had their applications accepted by the Central Electoral Commission to register for the presidential race. The commission can turn down applications for a variety of reasons, including if a candidate fails to secure enough signatures endorsing them. (Candidates from parties not in the Duma need to gather 100,000 signatures from across Russia, and independents 300,000.)

Apart from Mr. Putin, three other candidates have been nominated by political parties represented in the Duma and registered as candidates. They do not directly question Mr. Putin’s authority.

Leonid E. Slutsky was nominated by the Liberal Democratic Party, which, despite its official name, has traditionally represented a right-wing nationalist-leaning electorate.

Vladislav A. Davankov, a Russian lawmaker, has been nominated by the New People party, which is business-oriented and officially liberal, but Kremlin-friendly. So far, he hasn’t published his platform.

Nikolai M. Kharitonov has been registered for the Communist Party, traditionally the second-strongest political force in Russia. While the party sometimes criticizes the Kremlin’s social policies, like its reliance on liberal market policies, it has not openly campaigned against Mr. Putin in recent years. In January, Mr. Kharitonov revealed his campaign slogan: “We played the game of capitalism enough!”

A number of other little known activists, including an environmental blogger, an economist, and an obscure political spin doctor, had expressed their interest in running, but dropped out by the end of January.

Russians will have three days to cast their votes under a new system introduced in 2020 during the Covid pandemic, designed to make polling stations less congested than on a single day of voting. Critics assert that three-day voting makes it harder to make sure the process is fair and prevent fraud, such as ballot staffing, especially at night, when the ballots are removed from the public eye.

Monitoring of the election by outside and independent Russian groups will also be hampered by legislation that limits such activities — and by fear, as independent monitors are targeted by the authorities. The head of the leading nongovernmental elections monitoring watchdog was arrested in August.

In 29 Russian regions, including in annexed Crimea and Sevastopol, people will have the ability to vote electronically.

In Ukrainian regions that were annexed by Russia in 2022, people will be allowed to vote with their Ukrainian passports, the electoral commission has said. There will also be 276 polling stations in 143 countries abroad.

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Report Calls for Putin and Others to Be Investigated for Assault on Mariupol

President Vladimir V. Putin and other senior Russian officials should be investigated for war crimes after the destruction in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol killed thousands of civilians, Human Rights Watch and several other organizations said Thursday at the end of a two-year investigation.

The Russian assault on Mariupol from February 2022 to May 2022, was one of the deadliest episodes of the war, trapping civilians in basement shelters and drawing international condemnation.

Human Rights Watch, a New-York based human rights group, reconstructed the chain of command of Russian forces and listed 10 senior officials, including Mr. Putin; Sergei K. Shoigu, the defense minister; and Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, who most likely bore command responsibility for war crimes committed in Mariupol during that period. It identified at least 17 Russian or Russian-affiliated units that took part in the assault.

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A Blinken Visit Puts U.S.-Israeli Tensions on Full Display

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As Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken sat down with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel this week, American and Arab officials were expressing cautious optimism over the latest proposal from Hamas for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

But just hours after speaking to Mr. Blinken, Mr. Netanyahu appeared more intent on delivering a fiery message aimed at his domestic audience. Instead of appearing side by side at a news conference with the secretary of state after they met on Wednesday — as is customary on such trips — the Israeli leader pre-empted him. Meeting on his own with reporters, he denounced the very proposal the Americans saw as a potential opening to a negotiated solution.

“Surrender to the ludicrous demands of Hamas — which we’ve just heard — won’t lead to the liberation of the hostages, and it will only invite another massacre,” Mr. Netanyahu said. Shortly after that, Mr. Blinken delivered his own, much more measured, assessment of the Hamas offer at a news conference in Jerusalem, saying that while it had “clear nonstarters,” it also left space for an agreement to be reached.

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Bolsonaro and Allies Planned a Coup, Brazil Police Say

Former President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil oversaw a broad conspiracy to hold on to power regardless of the results of the 2022 election, including personally editing a proposed order to arrest a Supreme Court justice, according to accusations unveiled on Thursday by the Brazilian federal police.

Mr. Bolsonaro and dozens of top aides, ministers and military leaders worked together to undermine the Brazilian public’s faith in the election and set the stage for a potential coup, the federal police said.

Their efforts included spreading disinformation about voter fraud, drafting legal arguments for new elections, recruiting military personnel to support a coup, surveilling judges and encouraging and guiding protesters who eventually raided government buildings, police said.

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The Land of Ferrari and Lamborghini Has a New Speed Limit: 30 K.P.H.

When Bologna became the first major Italian city to impose a speed limit of 30 kilometers, or 20 miles, an hour, Luca Mazzoli, a local taxi driver, posted a sign in his cab warning passengers of the change.

He had to, he said grumpily the other day, “to explain why I am driving so slowly.”

Since the limit became enforceable in mid-January, it has taken longer for Mr. Mazzoli to get from Point A to Point B, he claimed, meaning that he has picked up fewer passengers and has found himself stuck in traffic more often.

Map locates the city of Bologna in north central Italy, as well as the city of Olbia, in Sardinia.

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Making Farming More Climate Friendly Is Hard. Just Ask Europe’s Politicians.

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The farmers’ protests in Europe are a harbinger of the next big political challenge in global climate action: How to grow food without further damaging Earth’s climate and biodiversity.

On Tuesday, after weeks of intense protests in several cities across the continent, came the most explicit sign of that difficulty. The European Union’s top official, Ursula von der Leyen, abandoned an ambitious bill to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and softened the European Commission’s next raft of recommendations on cutting agricultural pollution.

“We want to make sure that in this process, the farmers remain in the driving seat,” she said at the European Parliament. “Only if we achieve our climate and environmental goals together will farmers be able to continue to make a living.”

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Discontent and Defiance on the Road to Pakistan’s Election

Christina Goldbaum and

The reporters traveled along a famed highway in Pakistan’s most heated political battleground to understand how Pakistanis are feeling before a national election on Thursday.

The highway is the most politically charged slice of a politically turbulent country. It winds 180 miles from Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, through the fertile plains of Punjab Province to Lahore, the nation’s cultural and political heart.

For centuries, it was known only as a sliver of the Grand Trunk Road, Asia’s longest and oldest thoroughfare, linking traders in Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent. But in Pakistan, this stretch of the smog-drenched highway has become the stage for major rallies and protests led by nearly every famed civilian leader the country has had.

As Pakistan heads into national elections on Thursday, the road is buzzing. Politics dominates the chatter between its vendors and rickshaw drivers, their conversations seeped in a culture of conspiracy, cults of political personality and the problems of entrenched military control.

The map highlights the Grand Trunk Road from Islamabad to Lahore in Pakistan . The towns of Gujar Khan, Jhelum, Wazirabad and Gujranwala along the road are also located.

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Welcome to ‘Dalifornia,’ an Oasis for China’s Drifters and Dreamers

To find the dance circle in the bed-and-breakfast’s courtyard, drive north from the bedsheet factory converted into a crafts market, toward the vegan canteen urging diners to “walk barefoot in the soil and bathe in the sunshine.” If you see the unmanned craft beer bar where customers pay on the honor system, you’ve gone too far.

Welcome to the Chinese mountain city of Dali, also sometimes known as Dalifornia, an oasis for China’s disaffected, drifting or just plain curious.

The city’s nickname is a homage to California, and the easy-living, tree-hugging, sun-soaked stereotypes it evokes. It is also a nod to the influx of tech employees who have flocked there since the rise of remote work during the pandemic, to code amid the picturesque surroundings, nestled between snow-capped, 10,000-foot peaks in southwest China, on the shores of glistening Erhai Lake.

Map locates the city of Dali in southwest China, on the shores of Erhai Lake.

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For New Moms in Seoul, 3 Weeks of Pampering and Sleep at a Joriwon

Four mothers sat quietly in the nursing room around midnight, breastfeeding their newborn babies. As one mother nodded off, her eyelids heavy after giving birth less than two weeks earlier, a nurse came in and whisked her baby away. The exhausted new mom returned to her private room to sleep.

Sleep is just one of the luxuries provided by South Korea’s postpartum care centers.

The country may have the world’s lowest birthrate, but it is also home to perhaps some of its best postpartum care. At centers like St. Park, a small, boutique postpartum center, or joriwon, in Seoul, new moms are pampered for a few weeks after giving birth and treated to hotel-like accommodations.

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London’s Highline Will Echo Its New York Inspiration, With Local Notes

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The derelict rail bridge stretches across a busy north London street, green foliage peeking out of the gaps between the beams overhead, where bright blue paint flakes from rusting steel.

Farther east, the railway’s grand Victorian-era arches span a small slice of park wedged between two streets, where tents belonging to homeless people, a discarded mattress and broken bottles are scattered about.

While the elevated train line and some of the areas it cuts through may look neglected now, if all goes according to plan, it will become the site of the Camden Highline, a planned public park that aims to turn this disused stretch of the city into a thriving green space.

Map locates the proposed Camden Highline in Camden Town in north central London. It also locates the town of King’s Cross, east of Camden Town.

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An Italian Town Full of the Elderly Wants to Feel Young Again

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As the traveling brass band ended San Giovanni Lipioni’s annual holiday concert with a rendition of Wham’s “Last Christmas,” the gray-haired villagers seated in the old church of the central Italian hill town gazed dotingly at the few young children clapping to the music.

“Today there is a little movement,” Cesarina Falasco, 73, said from the back pew. “It’s lovely. It’s different.”

San Giovanni Lipioni used to be known — if at all — for the discovery in its countryside of a third-century B.C. Samnite bronze head, a rare Waldensian Evangelical community and an ancient annual pageant with pagan roots that venerates a circular cane garlanded in wild cyclamen flowers. (“It represents the female genital organ,” said a tourism official, Mattia Rossi.)

Map locates the the town of San Giovanni Lipioni in the Abruzzo region of Italy, as well as the town of San Salvo, also in Abruzzo. It also locates the region of Molise, south of Abruzzo, and the cities of Bologna, and Ribordone in northern Italy.

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Cleaning Latrines by Hand: ‘How Could Any Human Do That?’

When he came to fully realize exactly what his parents and older brother did for a living, and what it likely meant for his own future, Bezwada Wilson says he was so angry he contemplated suicide.

His family members, and his broader community, were manual scavengers, tasked with cleaning by hand human excrement from dry latrines at a government-run gold mine in southern India.

While his parents had tried hard to hide from their youngest child the nature of their work as long as they could — telling Mr. Bezwada they were sweepers — as a student Mr. Bezwada knew his classmates viewed him with cruel condescension. He just didn’t know the reason.

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A Child of Another War Who Makes Music for Ukrainians

When the owner of an underground club in Kyiv reached out to Western musicians to play in Ukraine, long before the war, there were not so many takers.

But an American from Boston, Mirza Ramic, accepted the invitation, spawning a lasting friendship with the club’s owner, Taras Khimchak.

“I kept coming back,” Mr. Ramic, 40, said in an interview at the club, Mezzanine, where he was preparing for a performance during a recent tour of Ukraine.

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A Woman Who Shows Age Is No Barrier to Talk Show Stardom

Pushing a walker through a television studio in central Tokyo earlier this week, Tetsuko Kuroyanagi slowly climbed three steps onto a sound stage with the help of an assistant who settled her into a creamy beige Empire armchair.

A stylist removed the custom-made sturdy boots on her feet and slipped on a pair of high-heeled mules. A makeup artist brushed her cheeks and touched up her blazing red lipstick. A hairdresser tamed a few stray wisps from her trademark onion-shaped hairstyle as another assistant ran a lint roller over her embroidered black jacket. With that, Ms. Kuroyanagi, 90, was ready to record the 12,193rd episode of her show.

As one of Japan’s best-known entertainers for seven decades, Ms. Kuroyanagi has interviewed guests on her talk show, “Tetsuko’s Room,” since 1976, earning a Guinness World Record last fall for most episodes hosted by the same presenter. Generations of Japanese celebrities across film, television, music, theater and sports have visited Ms. Kuroyanagi’s couch, along with American stars like Meryl Streep and Lady Gaga; Prince Philip of England; and Mikhail Gorbachev, the former leader of the Soviet Union. Ms. Kuroyanagi said Gorbachev remains one of her all-time favorite guests.

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They Thought They Knew Death, but That Didn’t Prepare Them for Oct. 7

At 76, David Weissenstern has collected the remains of the dead for most of his adult life. But after the Oct. 7 attacks, in which Hamas-led fighters killed about 1,200 people along Israel’s border with Gaza, he can no longer stand the smell of grilled meat. The odor, he says, reminds him too much of burned human flesh.

His son Duby Weissenstern, 48, has lost track of time after working successive days and nights to recover those killed on Oct. 7. He now marks time in relation to that date.

And his son-in-law Israel Ganot, 32, now gags at the smell of food that has turned rotten. He was in the second wave of recovery workers who reached bodies that had been trapped under rubble for weeks.

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The Year in People: Our 12 Favorite Saturday Profiles of 2023

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A teenager jailed in Egypt, determined to bear witness to the abuses he suffered during years of detention. A proponent of peace in Colombia, shadowed by death threats. A father in India, fighting his own patriarchal impulses to give his two daughters a better life.

With reports from six continents and 34 countries, the Saturday Profile in 2023 revealed people making a difference, mostly under the radar. Every week, our correspondents often sought out not the famous nor the powerful, but the unheralded with stories worth hearing.

A Muslim cleric in Ukraine, now a medic on the front lines of the war. An anticorruption whistle-blower in Bangkok, with (he’d be the first to admit) a disreputable past. A scientist and hair salon owner in Paris, dedicated to styling curly hair.

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Playing Soccer in $1.50 Sandals That Even Gucci Wants to Copy

The wealthy pros of Ivory Coast’s national soccer team were resting in their luxury hotel last week, preparing for a match in Africa’s biggest tournament, when Yaya Camara sprinted onto a dusty lot and began fizzing one pass after another to his friends.

Over and over, he corralled the game’s underinflated ball and then sent it away again with his favorite soccer shoes: worn plastic sandals long derided as the sneaker of the poor, but which he and his friends wear as a badge of honor.

Shiny soccer cleats like his idols’? No thanks, said Mr. Camara, a lean 18-year-old midfielder, as he wiped sweat from his brow.

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Russian Skaters Stripped of Olympic Gold, Setting Up New Fight for Medals

International skating’s governing body on Tuesday sought to put an end to a two-year-old controversy by revising the disputed results of a marquee figure skating competition at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. But in stripping Russia of its victory in the team event, awarding the gold medal to the United States and denying Canada the bronze it had been expecting, the sport may have only set the stage for yet another protracted legal fight.

The revised finishes were announced by the skating body, the International Skating Union, one day after the teenage Russian star Kamila Valieva was banned for four years for doping. Disqualifying Valieva, a 15-year-old prodigy who had led Russia to an apparent victory, had the most immediate effect on the Olympic team standings: elevating the U.S. to gold and Japan to silver, while, surprisingly, dropping Russia just enough that it could still claim the bronze.

Within hours, Russia’s Olympic committee, already furious about Valieva’s ban, announced that it would appeal any outcome that denied it the team gold. Canadian officials quickly threatened to appeal the ruling as well. That left skating officials and the International Olympic Committee, which had chosen not to award medals in the team event until Valieva’s doping case was resolved, wondering how they could at last arrange a “dignified Olympic medal ceremony” for an ugly dispute that appeared nowhere near its end.

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FIFA Convictions Are Imperiled by Questions of U.S. Overreach

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Nearly a decade after police officers marched world soccer officials out of a luxury hotel in Zurich at dawn, revealing a corruption scandal that shook the world’s most popular sport, the case is at risk of falling apart.

The dramatic turnabout comes over questions of whether American prosecutors overreached by applying U.S. law to a group of people, many of them foreign nationals, who defrauded foreign organizations as they carried out bribery schemes across the world.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year limited a law that was key to the case. Then in September, a federal judge, citing that, threw out the convictions of two defendants linked to soccer corruption. Now, several former soccer officials, including some who paid millions of dollars in penalties and served time in prison, are arguing that the bribery schemes for which they were convicted are no longer considered a crime in the United States.

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Depardieu Sexual Assault Suit Dropped Over Statute of Limitations

A sexual assault lawsuit filed against Gérard Depardieu by a French actress has been dropped because it was past the statute of limitations, prosecutors in Paris said on Monday, but the French actor is still under investigation in a separate case.

In the lawsuit that was dropped, the actress Hélène Darras had accused Depardieu of groping her on the set of “Disco,” a comedy released in 2008. Her suit had been filed in September but was made public only last month, shortly before she appeared in a France 2 television documentary alongside three other women who also accused Depardieu of inappropriate comments or sexual misconduct.

The documentary, which showed Depardieu making crude sexual and sexist comments during a 2018 trip to North Korea, set off a fierce debate in France that prompted President Emmanuel Macron and dozens of actors, directors and other celebrities to defend Depardieu, splitting the French movie industry.

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An Olympic Dream Falters Amid Track’s Shifting Rules

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Maximila Imali, a top Kenyan sprinter, did not lose her eligibility to compete in the Paris Olympics because she cheated. She did not fail a doping test. She broke no rules.

Instead, she is set to miss this year’s Summer Games because she was born with a rare genetic variant that results in naturally elevated levels of testosterone. And last March, track and field’s global governing body ruled that Ms. Imali’s biology gave her an unfair advantage in all events against other women, effectively barring her from international competition.

As a result, Ms. Imali, 27, finds her Olympic dream in peril and her career and her livelihood in limbo.

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Bolsonaro y sus aliados planearon un golpe de Estado, según la policía de Brasil

Jair Bolsonaro, expresidente de Brasil, supervisó una amplia conspiración para aferrarse al poder al margen de los resultados de las elecciones de 2022, incluida editar personalmente una orden propuesta para arrestar a un juez del Supremo Tribunal Federal, según nuevas acusaciones de la policía federal brasileña reveladas el jueves.

Bolsonaro y decenas de altos asesores, ministros y líderes militares trabajaron juntos para socavar la confianza de los brasileños en las elecciones y preparar el escenario para un posible golpe, aseguró la policía federal.

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Lo que revelan los videos de soldados israelíes: burlas y destrucción

El Times  Una selección semanal de historias en español que no encontrarás en ningún otro sitio, con eñes y acentos.

Un soldado israelí levanta el pulgar ante la cámara mientras maneja una excavadora por una calle de Beit Lahia, en el norte de Gaza, empujando un auto maltrecho hacia un edificio medio derruido.

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Ecuador adopta el ‘noboísmo’ como respuesta a la violencia

Annie Correal y Federico Rios reportaron desde Guayaquil, Ecuador.

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Luego de que el mes pasado el presidente de Ecuador declarara la guerra a las bandas criminales, soldados con rifles de asalto han inundado las calles de Guayaquil, una ciudad de la costa Pacífico que ha estado en el epicentro de la espiral de violencia del país, un fenómeno que ya lleva algunos años.

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De los buses y los autos hacen bajar a los hombres, en busca de drogas, armas y tatuajes de pandillas. Patrullan las calles para hacer cumplir un toque de queda nocturno. La ciudad está ansiosa, sus hombres y jóvenes son posibles objetivos de soldados y oficiales de policía que tienen la orden de derribar a las poderosas bandas que se han aliado con los carteles internacionales para convertir a Ecuador en un centro del comercio mundial de drogas.

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Sebastián Piñera, expresidente de Chile, muere en un accidente de helicóptero

Sebastián Piñera, un expresidente de Chile que ayudó a fortalecer la joven democracia del país después de convertirse en su primer líder conservador tras la dictadura militar, murió en un accidente de helicóptero el martes, informó el gobierno. Tenía 74 años.

El Times  Una selección semanal de historias en español que no encontrarás en ningún otro sitio, con eñes y acentos.

El helicóptero, que transportaba a cuatro personas, se estrelló en el lago Ranco localizado en la región Los Ríos, en el sur de Chile, cerca de las 3:30 p. m. del martes, poco después de despegar, según informó el gobierno. Tres personas sobrevivieron y nadaron hasta la costa, y la Armada de Chile recuperó el cuerpo de Piñera. No está claro quién piloteaba la aeronave, pero Piñera era conocido por pilotear su propio helicóptero.

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El rey Carlos es diagnosticado con cáncer. Hay preocupación y pocos detalles

El Times  Una selección semanal de historias en español que no encontrarás en ningún otro sitio, con eñes y acentos.

El rey Carlos III ha sido diagnosticado con un tipo de cáncer y suspenderá sus compromisos públicos para someterse al tratamiento médico, lo que ensombrece un ajetreado reinado que comenzó hace menos de 18 meses tras la muerte de su madre, la reina Isabel II.

El anuncio, hecho por el Palacio de Buckingham el lunes por la noche, se produjo una semana después de que el monarca, de 75 años, fuera dado de alta de un hospital londinense, tras una intervención para tratar un agrandamiento de la próstata.

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