Tuesday Briefing: U.N. Adopts U.S.-Backed Cease-Fire Resolution

With the U.S. seeking to put pressure on Hamas and Israel to agree to a cease-fire in Gaza, the U.N. Security Council voted to adopt a resolution, brought by the U.S., to call for an immediate truce. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel yesterday for talks.

Blinken met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. Earlier that day, he held talks in Cairo with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, whose government has helped mediate talks.

More than two weeks have passed since Israel put the deal to Hamas. But Israel’s government has not formally embraced it, and there has also been no official response from Hamas. Netanyahu, who faces pressure from far-right members of his government, has said that the assault should continue until Hamas’s military and governing capabilities are destroyed.

The U.N. vote: Fourteen of the 15 council members voted in favor, with Russia — which has veto power — abstaining. In passing the resolution, the council delivered a diplomatic victory to the U.S., which had vetoed three previous cease-fire resolutions.

What’s next: Blinken is also set to visit Qatar, another mediator between Israel and Hamas.

Israel’s hostage mission: Gazans described an intense bombardment during the raid that led to the rescue of four Israeli hostages and the deaths of scores of Palestinians. “The whole hospital became one giant emergency room,” a doctor in Gaza said.

Europe’s mainstream conservatives, the European People’s Party, performed strongly and finished first in the European Parliament elections, even adding a few seats, according to provisional results. Even though the right did well across the 27 E.U. countries, the center held.

It was a sign that the party’s strategy of integrating more right-leaning policies in order to stop voters from shifting to further-right rivals delivered. Here are the most important trends emerging from the elections.

The Greens: They were the biggest losers. They performed well in 2019 and emerged as an important progressive power in the Parliament, but they lost a quarter of their seats.

AfD: The far-right German party won a record showing, despite its two top candidates’ being prohibited from campaigning after a series of public scandals.

France: Analysts are still parsing President Emmanuel Macron’s move to call for snap elections after a bruising loss. The decision could be a way to prevent his opposition from organizing — and to present voters with a stark choice between him and the far right.

Apple made a push to enter the generative A.I. race with plans to bring the technology to more than a billion iPhone users around the world. It introduced new features and also emphasized how it planned to integrate the technology into its products with privacy in mind.

Yesterday, the company revealed that it would be using generative A.I. to power what it is calling Apple Intelligence. The system will prioritize messages and notifications, and offer writing tools that can proofread text and offer suggestions. It will also result in a major upgrade for Siri, which the company has let languish.

Apple struck a deal with OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, to support some of its A.I. capabilities.

The U.S. once looked to modular construction as an efficient way to build lots of housing quickly. The idea made little impact in the U.S., which is still barely building enough homes to maintain the status quo. But the idea radically influenced countries like Japan and Sweden, which are now leaders in industrialized home construction.

In this video, the Times contributor Francesca Mari breaks down the process of building a home in 30 minutes with a tour of the Lindbäcks factory.

“The Silence of the Lambs,” published in 1988, introduced millions of readers to the murderous psychiatrist and gourmand Hannibal Lecter. Three years later, the book became a movie. And fans were desperate for a sequel.

But Thomas Harris, the author, all but vanished into his slow and methodical writing. Finally, in 1999, he published “Hannibal.” The release kicked off a book-business frenzy: Fans cleared their calendars, retailers readied their shelves, and critics sharpened their knives.

It was also one of the first big publications of the hyperspeed, hyperopinionated internet era. The hype fanned the flames and helped immortalize the character.

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