Tuesday Briefing: U.N. adopts U.S.-backed cease-fire resolution

Also, the center held in Europe and Apple unveiled new A.I. features
Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition

June 11, 2024

Good morning. We’re covering a U.S. push for a breakthrough in Gaza cease-fire talks and the fallout from the European elections.

Plus, how affordable homes are built in Sweden.

Antony Blinken walking down steps from a plane. In Hebrew and English, the stairs note Ben Gurion international airport.
Antony Blinken arrived in Israel yesterday. Pool photo by Jack Guez

The U.N. adopted a 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.

Manfred Weber, left, claps while watching Ursula von der Leyen, wearing a microphone headset, raising her arms and smiling in front of a lectern.
Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, after the vote.  John Thys/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The center holds in Europe, despite the right’s wins

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.

Four iPhones with white screens on a wooden table.
Apple announced that iPhone users will soon be able to schedule messages. George Etheredge for The New York Times

Apple jumps into the A.I. fray

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.


a construction site. two men are walking in the foreground.
A Ukrainian construction site in Bucha to replace a building that had burned down during Russia’s occupation of the city. Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times
  • Ukraine: An official who had pointed up mismanagement of funds resigned. It was a blow to Kyiv’s efforts to assuage allies’ concerns about how aid is spent.


Animated images showing factory work on modular construction.
At the Lindbäcks factory in Sweden. Amir Hamja/The New York Times

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.



  • Caitlin Clark: The basketball star was not selected for the U.S. Olympic team.
  • Cricket: See photos from the India-Pakistan match in New York. “It was electric,” a father said. “We paid $2,500 per ticket and no regrets.”
  • Baseball: The Athletic interviewed more than 100 players and granted them anonymity to get their unfiltered takes on some of the biggest and most controversial issues in the sport.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, which is made possible through subscriber support. Subscribe to The New York Times.


A bookstore window shows posters and other decorations put up in preparations for the sale of Thomas Harris’s “Hannibal.”
Antonio Olmos/Guardian, via eyevine and Redux

25 years ago, ‘Hannibal’ was a new kind of blockbuster book

“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.


A cast-iron skillet holds charred roasted whole red peppers on a bed of garlicky white beans with greens and herbs. Two plates and two forks sit nearby.
Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Hadas Smirnoff.

Cook: In this one-dish recipe, charred peppers pair with garlicky beans and greens.

Watch: In “Tuesday,” a drama about grief and motherhood, Julia Louis-Dreyfus tries to parent her dying daughter.

Clean: You should probably change your sheets once a week.

Connect: Take our quiz on friendship style and then text (yes, text) a friend.

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

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

Email us at briefing@nytimes.com.

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