Wednesday Briefing: U.S.-Israel divisions grow

Plus, Beyoncé’s country album.
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Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition

March 27, 2024

Good morning. We’re covering a new low in relations between the U.S. and Israel, and a bridge collapse in the U.S.

Plus, Beyoncé’s country album.

President Biden, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials are seated in a circle in front of American and Israeli flags.
President Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in Tel Aviv in October. Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Domestic politics deepen U.S.-Israel divide

Relations between the U.S. and Israel appear to have sunk to a new low after the U.S. abstained from a U.N. vote that allowed a Gaza cease-fire resolution to pass — and domestic politics in both countries are adding to the division.

In the U.S., President Biden is facing outrage from supporters and global allies about the toll of civilian deaths in the war, and Israel’s seeming reluctance to allow enough aid into Gaza. At the same time, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his former ambassador to Israel have amplified policy proposals embraced by Israel’s far-right wing, which call for the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza and the annexation of the West Bank by Israel.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing sharp criticism from his far-right coalition partners over any indication that he is hesitating in the war against Hamas or in the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu and his far-right partners have made increasingly bellicose remarks against the Biden administration. In a recent interview, the national security minister accused Biden of tacitly supporting Israel’s enemies.

Even as the Biden-Netanyahu rift grows, Israel’s defense minister yesterday tried to shore up U.S. support during a second day of meetings with top Biden administration officials in Washington. The Israeli military yesterday pressed on with its bombardment of Gaza, saying its fighter jets had struck “over 60 targets.”

A short video shows the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore as it collapsed.
The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.  Streamtime Live, via YouTube

Six workers are missing after a U.S. bridge collapsed

A massive cargo ship leaving the Port of Baltimore in Maryland lost power and hit a major bridge yesterday, causing it to collapse and sending vehicles on the bridge falling into the river. Six construction workers who were on the bridge doing repairs are missing as divers and other emergency workers continued to search for them. Two workers have been rescued.

The ship issued a mayday call shortly before the collision, which occurred around 1:30 a.m., and gave officials enough time to stop traffic at both ends of the bridge. No injuries were reported on the ship, which was bound for Colombo, Sri Lanka, according to MarineTraffic, a maritime data platform. Here’s a detailed look at where the ship was at the time of the collision.

The governor of Maryland called the episode a terrible accident, adding that there was no credible evidence of a terrorist attack. An inspection of the cargo ship last year at a port in Chile reported that the vessel had a deficiency related to “propulsion and auxiliary machinery.”

Background: Baltimore is an important trade hub that ranks first in the U.S. by the volume of automobiles and light trucks it handles.

Men in uniform inspect a charred road.
The site of a suicide bomber attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, yesterday. Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A suicide bomber killed 5 Chinese workers in Pakistan

At least five Chinese workers were killed yesterday when a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle into their convoy in northern Pakistan, officials said. The driver of the vehicle was also killed. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The laborers were working on the Dasu dam, a hydropower project in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The assault comes amid a spate of terror attacks in Pakistan, as the country’s faltering ties to the Taliban affect regional security.

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MORE TOP NEWS

Donald Trump raises his hand to his face outside a courtroom in New York.
Donald Trump outside the courtroom in New York on Monday. Pool photo by Justin Lane

MORNING READ

A man in a baseball hat, sweatshirt and shorts holding a large net stands on a beach surrounded by seals on land and behind him in the water.
Looking for entangled seals near Walvis Bay, Namibia. Alan van Gysen, Now Now Media

Ocean Conservation Namibia, a nonprofit group, estimates it has rescued around 3,000 seals entangled in marine garbage since 2020. The videos of its rescues have become a sensation online, suggesting that the group has threaded a tricky needle: calling attention to the growing crisis of marine trash but with a feel-good ending for the affected animals.

Conversation Starters

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ARTS AND IDEAS

Beyoncé atop a white horse, holding an American flag in her left hand and the reins in her right. She is wearing a red, white and blue rancher’s outfit with a sash reading “Cowboy Carter” across her torso.
The “Cowboy Carter” album cover. 

Beyoncé is here for country music

Beyoncé’s new album, “Cowboy Carter,” which explores and tests the boundaries of country music, is an extension of her exploration of how Black creativity fuels all corners of popular music.

But Beyoncé is Black, and a woman, two groups that the contemporary country music industry has consistently marginalized and shortchanged. No amount of built-in celebrity appears likely to undo that, our critic Jon Caramanica writes. But whether or not the industry behind the music welcomes Beyoncé is irrelevant. She’s embracing the music as art and inspiration, not the industry, he wrote.

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RECOMMENDATIONS

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Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Bake: Rice Krispies treats can go a little overboard with sweetness. A few pretzels can fix that.

Read: Garrard Conley makes his fiction debut with a story about a queer affair between a reverend and a doctor in Puritan New England.

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Move: Here are a few ways to be less sedentary at work.

Dress: We surveyed men about where they buy suits off the rack.

Play Spelling Bee, the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku. Find all our games here.

That’s it for today. See you tomorrow. — Justin

P.S. The Athletic’s Adam Crafton was named Sportswriter of the Year at the SJA British Sports Journalism awards.

We welcome your feedback. Send us your suggestions at briefing@nytimes.com.

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What we keep in our cars

Monday, March 25, 2024

Vroom vroom ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏

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Also, searching for Iceland's northern lights. View in browser|nytimes.com Continue reading the main story Ad Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition March 26, 2024 Author Headshot By Justin Porter

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Plus, the hotel guest who wouldn't leave. View in browser|nytimes.com Continue reading the main story Ad Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition March 25, 2024 Author Headshot By Justin Porter Good

The best luggage for checking

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Let's learn the ABCs ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏

Rain jackets we love

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Stay dry (and stylish) ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏ ͏

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