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Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

In targeted retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks over the weekend, Israeli forces pounded sites in Rafah yesterday after ordering about 110,000 Gazans to evacuate the city. The action came after Hamas had offered to accept a temporary cease-fire proposal. Israeli officials plan to review the deal, which experts said has minor wording changes from the one recently presented by Israel and the U.S.

The developments have left White House officials scrambling to broker a deal, as Israel’s closest allies, including the U.S., urge it against staging a large ground operation in Rafah, saying that would take a heavy toll on civilians who are sheltering there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has rejected those calls, saying that the war cabinet had decided unanimously to “continue with its action in Rafah.” Analysts say invading Rafah would be a necessary step toward the total victory over Hamas that Netanyahu has pledged — however elusive that may prove — and would mollify his hard-line coalition partners. See the latest updates.

Education: Most of Gaza’s schools, including all of its universities, have severe damage that make them unusable, which could harm an entire generation, aid organizations said.

Russia said that it would hold military exercises with troops near Ukraine to practice for the possible use of battlefield nuclear weapons. The move increases tensions with the West, and it was Russia’s most explicit warning that it could use such weapons in Ukraine. NATO called the announcement “irresponsible.”

The Kremlin said it was a response to comments by European politicians that suggested more Western intervention, including a refusal by Emmanuel Macron, the French president, to rule out sending French troops to Ukraine. David Cameron, Britain’s top diplomat, recently said that Ukraine was free to use British weapons to strike inside Russia.

Details: These nuclear weapons, often referred to as “tactical,” are designed for battlefield use and have smaller warheads than those meant to target cities.

Speaking alongside Emmanuel Macron, the French president, Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, spoke out against criticism of his country for its close relationship with Russia during the war in Ukraine. “We oppose the crisis being used to cast responsibility on a third country, sully its image and incite a new cold war,” Xi said.

His remarks appeared to be aimed at the U.S., which believes that China is aiding Moscow’s war by providing satellite imagery and critical equipment. Macron and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, have pressured Xi to call on Moscow to bring the war to an end.

Trade: China’s manufacturing boom and flagging domestic demand also came up, and Von der Leyen took a firm line. “The world cannot absorb China’s surplus production,” she said.

Generations of immigrants to New York City have played soccer on Sundays at a park in Queens. Teams are loosely organized around national identity, and the community that has grown around the fields offers a sense of home.

“We are new in this city and it helps to share our experiences with others,” a 36-year-old from Venezuela said. “Sometimes people come just to talk.”

Lives lived: Laurent Cantet, a French director who made penetrating films such as “Entre les Murs” (“The Class”), died on April 25 in Paris. He was 63.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art played host last night to one of the starriest parties of the year: the annual Costume Institute Benefit or, as it’s better known, the Met Gala. The event has become famous for its audacious red carpet and highly exclusive guest list.

This year’s dress code — “Garden of Time,” which riffs on the spring exhibition, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” and references a 1962 short story by J.G. Ballard — was widely interpreted as vegetation, vintage or both. “It’s like the greatest fashion show on Earth,” Vanessa Friedman, our fashion critic, said.

On the red carpet, big trends from the night included “naked dressing.” On the sidelines, protesters gathered to protest the war in Gaza, creating an atmosphere far different from the one inside the event. Recap our live coverage.

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