Strikes and rescues in Rafah
The Israeli military said it had launched a wave of attacks to divert attention and provide cover for a raid by special operations forces that successfully rescued two hostages in Rafah, in Southern Gaza. Gaza’s health ministry said dozens of Palestinians were killed in the crowded city, where more than a million displaced people have sought shelter.
The two men who were rescued — Fernando Simon Marman, 60, and Louis Har, 70 — are dual citizens of Israel and Argentina. They were in good condition and were undergoing tests at a hospital in Tel Aviv, Israeli authorities said. It was only the second known rescue of captives in Gaza since the war began.
Palestinians described a “night full of horror” as Israel bombed the city. The director of a hospital there said that it had received 100 injured people overnight, along with the bodies of 52 who were killed. The Gazan health ministry said that at least 67 people had been killed overall, a number that could not be independently verified.
The rescue came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled that Israeli ground forces would soon enter Rafah, despite criticism and concern from the U.S. and other allies. The prospect of street battles inside the city, which is bracketed by a closed Egyptian border, has created worldwide alarm over the risks to civilians.
An orphan’s story: Dareen al-Bayaa, 11, lost dozens of her family members in a single airstrike in Gaza. In a video, she speaks with The Times about her grief and her recovery.
A big week for Trump’s cases
Two New York judges could ruin Donald Trump’s week.
These two separate legal threats represent a turning point in Trump’s courtroom odyssey, and they could reshape his personal and presidential fortunes as he barrels toward the Republican nomination.
On Thursday, one judge may schedule the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president for as early as next month. That possibility raises the specter that Trump might end up behind bars, which would send the country’s already bitter politics into uncharted realms.
The next day, a second judge is expected to deliver a ruling in a civil fraud case that doesn’t threaten Trump’s freedom, but would drain his cash and undercut his family business. The judge is weighing a request to penalize Trump hundreds of millions of dollars and sever him from the company he ran for decades.
What else: Trump’s legal troubles don’t stop in New York. He faces 91 felony counts across four criminal cases. Also on the civil front, he must contend with the $83.3 million he owes from a recent defamation case.
China’s Tesla competitor
BYD, a Chinese electric vehicle company, passed Tesla in electric cars sold worldwide after its sales grew by a million cars in each of the past two years.
The company has a walled town in Shenzhen, where a monorail carries workers from 18-story apartment towers, and it is building the world’s largest car carrier ships. BYD has also begun setting up assembly lines across the world: Over 80 percent of its sales are in China, but exports to Europe are expanding.
“I think if there are not trade barriers established, they will pretty much demolish most other companies in the world,” Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, said in January.
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The Super Bowl
Peter Wang was killed in 2018 by a shooter at his school in Parkland, Fla. Wang’s parents have spent six years grieving in isolation: They immigrated from China, do not speak fluent English and feel isolated from the other victims’ parents advocacy and community.
“All I want is to be able to do something for Peter,” his father, Kong Feng Wang, told The Times. “But how can we? We don’t speak the language. We don’t know the culture.”
Lives lived: Kelvin Kiptum, a Kenyan runner who shattered the world marathon record in Chicago last year, died at 24 in a car crash.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Stadiums have been a cornerstone of China’s diplomatic reach into Africa since the 1970s. Their number has increased since the early 2000s, part of a Chinese strategy to build infrastructure in exchange for diplomatic clout or access to natural resources. The arenas are popular with African fans and are typically donated or financed through soft loans.
But the stadiums often lack the infrastructure to support them. Critics have questioned the value of the projects, noting they deliver dubious long-term economic benefits. Maintenance costs are significant, and some have fallen into disrepair. Countries often struggle to fill the seats.
“China doesn’t ask why you need a stadium,” a researcher said. “It just finances and builds it.”