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Tuesday Briefing

Tuesday Briefing

In a momentous 8-to-7 ruling that could ignite a constitutional crisis, Israel’s Supreme Court struck down a law passed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government in July to limit the court’s own powers. The law would have barred judges from overruling decisions made by government ministers. Read the latest news.

The decision is likely to rekindle the grave domestic situation that began a year ago over the government’s judicial overhaul plan — which sparked mass protests that brought the country to a near standstill at times — even as Israel is at war in Gaza. The ruling heralds a potential showdown between the top judicial authority and the ruling coalition. Here’s what the justices wrote.

In a country that has one house of Parliament, no formal written constitution and a largely ceremonial president, many defenders of Israel’s liberal democracy view the Supreme Court as the only bulwark against government power.

Background: Netanyahu’s governing coalition, the most right-wing and religiously conservative in Israel’s history, has argued that the Supreme Court has overreached its authority and subverted the will of the voters and the function of the elected government.

In other news from the war:

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale hit western Japan around 4:10 p.m. yesterday. The quake triggered evacuation orders in several prefectures, trapped people under collapsed buildings and disrupted electricity for tens of thousands in Ishikawa Prefecture, the epicenter of the quake, officials and Japan’s public broadcaster said. See a map of the earthquake.

Officials issued tsunami warnings, then downgraded them to advisories, signaling a lower risk of dangerous waves hitting the western coastline. Still, the authorities urged people to remain cautious and to avoid going near the coast until the advisory was lifted.

In rare public comments, President Vladimir Putin of Russia vowed to continue missile strikes on Ukrainian cities, in retaliation for what he called a “terror” attack that killed at least 22 people in the Russian city of Belgorod on Saturday.

Russia’s armed forces have in recent days pummeled Ukrainian cities with some of the largest rocket strikes since the start of the invasion. The cycle of strikes and retaliation is raising fears of escalating civilian casualties in the conflict, which began in February 2022.

Quotable: “They want to scare us, to create a certain uncertainty inside the country,” Putin said. “From our side, we will build up the strikes.”

In Moscow: A prison wedding offered a glimpse into the lives of Russia’s political prisoners.

Research suggests that taking short revitalizing breaks can help you fortify yourself throughout the day. These breaks aren’t naps, but they offer similar benefits, by restoring attention, reducing fatigue, increasing vitality and improving well-being and mood.

Dr. Sue Varma, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the N.Y.U. Grossman School of Medicine, calls these “oasis moments” — five or so minutes in a calming spot, spent doing something you enjoy. It could be a quick walk or a coffee, or simply taking slow, deep breaths away from your work.

Afterward, notice how you feel: Are you a little more refreshed? If you enjoyed this exercise, consider scheduling a five-minute break every day this week, and in the weeks and months following, to keep the rewards coming. Try a guided daytime rest exercise here.

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