Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

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After 10 days of peace talks in South Africa, the Ethiopian government and forces in the country’s northern Tigray region have agreed to what they called “a permanent cessation of hostilities” in a brutal civil war that has lasted two years, displaced more than two million people and resulted in the death of as many as 500,000 people and widespread suffering.

The surprise deal came one day before the second anniversary of the start of the war. On Nov. 3, 2020, Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, announced what he called a “law and order” operation against Tigrayan political leaders who had defied his authority. The civil war recently intensified as Ethiopian troops, together with forces from Eritrea, claimed territory in Tigray.

The agreement signed yesterday outlines a plan to allow humanitarian access to Tigray, where electricity, banking and other vital services have been cut off for over 16 months. The deal also has provisions for reintegrating Tigray’s regional government into the central government.

Analysis: “This agreement to cede hostilities is an important step and brings a much-needed respite to those devastated by the two-year civil war,” said Abdi Latif Dahir, The Times’s East Africa correspondent. “But it is not the end point, and both parties will have to do a lot of work and overcome mistrust to ensure that permanent peace is achieved.”

The U.S. accused North Korea of covertly shipping a “significant number” of artillery shells to Russia to aid its war in Ukraine, a sign that Moscow is increasingly turning to pariah states for military supplies as the conflict grinds on. It wasn’t clear if the artillery munitions had reached Russia, John Kirby, the White House’s national security spokesman, said.

“We’re going to monitor to see whether shipments are received,” Kirby said. “Our information indicates that they’re trying to obscure the method of supply by funneling them through other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.” In September, North Korea said that it had never supplied weapons or ammunition to Russia and that it had no plans to do so.

The U.S. believes that the weapons will not change the course of the war and that Ukraine will continue to have the ability to defend itself if the North Korean munitions do reach Russia. The U.S. is also concerned that Iran may be shipping drones and surface-to-surface missiles to Russia as well.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s former and likely future prime minister, has taken an almost insurmountable lead in Israel’s election, even as officials delayed calling the election until all votes were counted. His once marginal far-right allies have already begun celebrating: The result places their extreme ideologies at the heart of Israel’s political system. Read five takeaways from the election.

An alliance of two religious ultranationalist parties, Jewish Power and Religious Zionism, will form the third-largest bloc in the next Israeli Parliament, giving the far right newfound power, influence and respectability. Netanyahu’s Party, Likud, once shunned Jewish Power’s ideological antecedent. Today, he will most likely welcome the party’s lawmakers into his government.

Both domestically and internationally, the integration of the far right into the Israeli government stands to strain relations and potentially cause crisis. In the occupied West Bank, the alliance wants to accelerate Jewish settlement and remove any semblance of Palestinian autonomy. And in Israel, the bloc wants to overhaul the justice system, give politicians greater control over judicial appointments and weaken checks and balances on lawmakers.

Details: The leader of Religious Zionism, Bezalel Smotrich, who has described himself as a “proud homophobe,” said Jewish property developers should not have to sell homes to Arabs, and he supported segregated maternity wards for Arab and Jewish women. Itamar Ben-Gvir, Jewish Power’s leader, seeks to grant legal immunity to Israeli soldiers who shoot Palestinians.

The Biden administration is considering proposals to relocate Native American communities threatened by global warming, a potential model for the rest of the country.

But how should the government decide which places to help first? “That is the toughest question,” said Bryan Newland, assistant secretary of Indian Affairs at the Interior Department.

Related: The words “climate change” do not appear in middle or elementary school education standards in many U.S. states. Some teachers are still finding ways to talk about it.

Stars align for Tiger and Rory: Steph Curry, Shohei Ohtani and Serena Williams are among the new investors in Tiger Woods’s and Rory McIlroy’s new technology and sports endeavor, TMRW Sports. So what’s the allure? More to come.

The N.W.S.L. title game got a prime time slot. The result was enormous: The Portland Thorns’ 2-0 win over the Kansas City Current in the championship game averaged a league-record 915,000 viewers on CBS. Next up? Likely, a big payday in rights negotiations.

The Premier League’s most improved player: How Miguel Almiron, a former M.L.S. player, has seen his career transformed by Eddie Howe at Newcastle United.

From The Times: Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Commanders, has hired bankers to explore selling the N.F.L. team amid mounting pressure from politicians and fellow team owners.

New portraits of three famous women — the tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams and the filmmaker Ava DuVernay — go on view at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington next week.

Each woman chose to collaborate with a rising Black artist: DuVernay with Kenturah Davis; Serena Williams with Toyin Ojih Odutola; and Venus Williams with Robert Pruitt.

Venus Williams and Pruitt immediately bonded over his huge comic book collection on display. He used a picture she had taken of herself to build out a double-figured portrait of her, above. “It was really interesting to work with another voice involved in the process,” he said, a first for him.

DuVernay described being startled, in a good way, when she saw the result of Davis’s work. “I’ve never seen anything like that of myself — that large, that personal,” she said. “There’s a spirit moving between the two countenances that feels revelatory.”

Ojih Odutola sought to reflect a sense of joy in her portrait of Serena Williams. “I thought about her being a mother, a sister, a daughter, and how funny she is,” she said. The artist presented her with a wide rapturous smile, almost becoming enveloped by vibrant green foliage encroaching from behind.


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