February 21, 2024

Nearly a month after Israel began its bombardment of Gaza, the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry said more than 10,000 people had been killed and more than 25,000 injured. The figures could not be independently verified, but a Pentagon spokesman said that “we know the numbers are in the thousands.”

Israel’s military said yesterday that its troops had cut off Gaza City, effectively splitting the Gaza Strip in half, which it said would make it harder for Hamas to control the enclave.

Israel, which has vowed to destroy Hamas for its Oct. 7 massacre in southern Israel, said it had struck about 450 targets overnight in Gaza, where phone and internet connectivity seemed to be gradually returning after a communications blackout.

International pressure: The U.N., along with many nations and aid groups, has urged Israel to commit to a cease-fire or “humanitarian pause” to help Gazan civilians, but Israeli officials have resisted those calls, including from President Biden. Read our analysis on the limits of Biden’s leverage, in Ukraine as well as Israel.

Antony Blinken: The U.S. secretary of state yesterday finished his tour of the Middle East in Ankara, the Turkish capital. He said efforts by the Biden administration to increase the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza and to prevent the conflict from expanding were making progress.

In Gaza: Doctors say they are performing surgeries without anesthesia amid severe shortages of medicine, water, food and fuel.


Donald Trump, a leading contender to win the U.S. presidential election a year from now, took the witness stand in his civil fraud trial in Manhattan. In chaotic testimony, the former president lashed out at his accusers and denied their claims, even while conceding involvement in some of the conduct at the heart of the case.

Trump attacked New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, as a “political hack,” derided the proceeding as “very unfair” and scolded the judge overseeing the case, Arthur Engoron, for having decided before the trial that he had committed fraud. “He called me a fraud, and he doesn’t know anything about me,” he said, pointing at the judge, who flashed a grin.

Trump is accused by James of inflating his net worth to defraud banks and insurers, and he acknowledged helping to assemble annual financial statements submitted to the banks. The judge, who will decide the outcome of the case, repeatedly admonished Trump for not directly responding to questions from James’s team.


Russia hit the Ukrainian city of Odesa with missiles and drones, injuring five people and damaging an art museum, the authorities said. In another setback, Ukraine provided a death toll for a Russian strike Friday on a Ukrainian medal ceremony, saying it had lost 19 soldiers in the attack.

This is Fiona. For at least two years, she languished alone at the bottom of a Scottish cliff, growing increasingly woolly and surviving on snacks of grass. It wasn’t exactly clear how she’d gotten there — she may have been separated from her mother before falling or wandering down the hill, ending up at the bottom without a path back up.

On Saturday, the animal, dubbed Britain’s loneliest sheep, was rescued and brought to live on a farm. But some animal rights activists are concerned about her new home.

Inside Borussia Dortmund’s Footbonaut: The passing machine that trains the next generation.

At an important crossroad: What next for Spanish football after Luis Rubiales?

The James Webb Space Telescope is a giant leap in the history of stargazing, giving us detailed portraits of distant galaxies and close neighbors alike. Some of its observations have challenged our understanding of the solar system’s timeline — including what we think we know about the Big Bang — changing our view of the universe forever.

The telescope also gives us a look back in time: In some cases, light has traveled through space for 40 million years before reaching Webb’s mirrors, which means we’re seeing it as it looked 40 million years ago.