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Israel Forms a Unity Government as the War Intensifies

Israel Forms a Unity Government as the War Intensifies

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel formed an emergency government today, adding two opposition lawmakers โ€” both former army chiefs โ€” to his cabinet. The infusion of military expertise, analysts say, will give the government greater legitimacy to make major wartime decisions, including when and whether to send troops into Gaza.

The arrangement was made as Israeli warplanes struck Hamas targets in Gaza for a fifth day and more evidence emerged of the trail of terror inflicted by the Hamas incursion over the weekend: Bodies were in the streets, people were shot dead at a bus stop and bullet holes were found in residential walls.

Israel has said little about what appears to be a spectacular failure of its security and intelligence operations. A detailed analysis by my colleagues found that the slow response by Israeli forces gave Hamas terrorists many hours to infiltrate more than 20 towns. Israel said the death toll had reached 1,200, with about 150 people believed to be held hostage in Gaza.

Fears of a humanitarian disaster were also growing in Gaza, where officials say at least 1,100 Palestinians have been killed. The Israeli military has assembled tanks and soldiers along the Gaza border, and Egyptโ€™s president said that he would not allow Palestinians to seek refuge in his country, closing off the only evacuation route for civilians in Gaza.

In a closed-door party meeting today, House Republicans narrowly nominated Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana as their choice to be the next speaker. The decision, which comes a week after the dramatic ouster of their former leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy, must still be confirmed by a vote on the House floor. And itโ€™s not clear if Scalise can secure the votes necessary.

Scalise defeated a challenge by Representative Jim Jordan by a vote of 113 to 99 on a secret ballot. But with Democrats in opposition, he will need the support of nearly all House Republicans to secure the speakership. Already, several have said they will not support him.

Exxon Mobil announced today that it was acquiring Pioneer Natural Resources, a leading shale oil producer, for $59.5 billion, a major deal that could more than double its production. The combined company would hold nearly 1.5 million acres in the Permian Basin, giving it one of the largest undeveloped oil and gas inventories in the world.

Effectively, Exxon is betting that U.S. energy policy will not move against fossil fuels in a major way, even as the Biden administration has signaled that it will.

Researchers in the Netherlands published a study today that described the use of artificial intelligence to help surgeons make faster and more precise diagnoses of brain tumors. Their deep learning system, which was tested on frozen tumor samples, accurately diagnosed 45 of 50 cases within 40 minutes. Then, during 25 live brain surgeries, it delivered 18 correct diagnoses and refrained from offering a diagnosis on the rest.

For many decades, Birkenstock โ€” the 249-year-old German sandal brand โ€” has been synonymous with unfashionable stereotypes like hippies, eccentric aunts and science teachers who pair them with socks. But over time, as workplaces grew more casual and comfort became a priority, they emerged as winners of the โ€œugly shoeโ€ trend.

Claudia Goldin, a Harvard professor, won the Nobel Prize in economics this week for her work documenting the journey of American women. She has found that over the past half-century they have outpaced men in education, poured into the labor force and found meaning in their work.

Her research shows that women have gone from holding jobs to pursuing careers โ€” a shift she describes as โ€œamong the grandest advances in societyโ€ โ€” but also that women still lag behind men in pay, work force participation and top jobs. My colleague Claire Cain Miller looked at where Goldin sees progress, and where she sees gender gaps.

Whatโ€™s more entertaining: a world-title bout between gifted but little-known bantamweight fighters or a grudge match between arrogant social media stars? Viewers are increasingly opting for the latter.

As boxingโ€™s popularity has waned, many of the most popular fights feature social media influencers who are interesting because of their characters, not their quality. Purists may object, but a fight without a narrative, no matter how poetic its execution, is just a hollow technical exercise.

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