Gaza, China, Bulgaria: Your Monday Briefing

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Good morning,

We start today with a rising toll in Israel and Gaza, the pope’s message to Bulgarians and the case for binge-reading.

Israel deployed an armored brigade and an infantry brigade for a possible ground incursion, and another infantry brigade was put on standby.

Context: In the past year, Israel and Gaza have been locked in a cycle of clashes followed by de-escalations, with Egyptian-brokered talks repeatedly achieving a temporary cooling off along the border. A November truce, which called for Israel to ease its blockade of Gaza and for Palestinians to cease attacks, has never fully taken hold.

Timing: Security, always focal in Israel, is now more so. The country celebrates Memorial Day and Independence Day this week, and a stream of international singers are arriving to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv this month.

Next: Francis is expected to visit a refugee camp in Sofia, the capital, before heading to North Macedonia, the birthplace of Mother Teresa and another predominantly Orthodox nation with few Catholics.

Context: Bulgaria has the fastest-shrinking population in the world, according to the U.N., and is losing many of its youth and educated classes to opportunities abroad. Last year, the government declined to join a U.N. global pact on migration.

Snapshot: Enes Kanter, above, will be fasting for Ramadan, which started Sunday. Oh, and he’s in the middle of the N.B.A. playoffs. Kanter, a Swiss-born Turk, has fasted while playing competitive basketball for the past decade, but never during the postseason.

Scholars: Medieval studies is grappling with a fraught question: Does the field have a white supremacy problem? Some say yes, arguing that scholarship on the Middle Ages helped create the idea of white European superiority. Others say activists are trying to replace scholarship with denunciations of white male privilege.

London Marathon: Jessica Anderson, a nurse in London, sought to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest woman to run the marathon in a nurse’s uniform. She beat the record — but Guinness rejected it because she wore scrubs instead of a dress.

The case for binge-reading: Instead of reading books in five- or 10-minute snatches before bed, push on through chapter break after chapter break and read for hours, Ben Dolnick, a novelist, writes in the Opinion section. He argues it’s more satisfying than the creepy propulsion that draws you into a “White Collar” marathon.

What we’re reading: This in Practical Typography. There’s no end of analysis of the Democratic presidential candidates, but Matthew Butterick, a typographer, coder and lawyer, takes the choice of fonts on their campaign homepages as his starting point. Michael Wines, our national correspondent, calls it a “hugely entertaining review.”

Sahred From Source link World News

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