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Tuesday Briefing


Israel’s defense minister ordered a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip as Hamas, the militant group controlling the territory, threatened to execute a civilian hostage every time an airstrike hit Gazans “in their homes without warning.”

At least 150 Israelis have been abducted by Palestinian fighters since their brazen incursion into Israel from Gaza on Saturday, which incited days of border battles — including clashes in northern Israel, near Lebanon — and retaliatory strikes. Israel yesterday hit a mosque and a marketplace in Gaza, killing dozens. Here’s how the hostages were taken.

The continuing violence has raised fears of an extended, multi-front war and added to the stunned disbelief enveloping Israel. Israel has mobilized 300,000 reservists, schools remain closed in much of the country, airlines have curtailed flights to Tel Aviv’s main airport and volunteers are donating blood and food.

Toll: More than 900 Israelis and at least 687 Palestinians have been killed, and thousands of other people have been injured.

Russia’s government still calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation,” but new budget figures make clear that the economy is increasingly being restructured around war.

Nearly a third of Russia’s spending next year — roughly $109 billion — will be devoted to “national defense,” the government announced late last month. Six percent of the nation’s total output is being funneled toward Russia’s war machine, more than double what it was before the invasion.

Since Russia sent soldiers across the border in February 2022, its economy has had to adapt to dramatic changes with astonishing speed, as economic relations with the E.U. abruptly halted and the U.S. froze hundreds of billions of dollars in Russian assets and cut the country off from the global financial system.

Quotable: “Everything needed for the front,” Russia’s finance minister declared, echoing a Soviet slogan from World War II as he talked about the government’s latest spending plans.

Related: President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine likened Hamas’s attack on Israel to Russia’s invasion of his own country.

The British government began its appeal of a court’s June ruling that a policy to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful. The policy, which has been repeatedly challenged by rights groups since 2022, is now before the Supreme Court.

So far, no one has been sent to Rwanda under the plan. But the British government paid the Rwandan government at least £140 million — or more than $170 million — last year alone as part of the arrangement, according to the Home Office’s annual report. And asylum seekers in Britain are still receiving notices that they are to be deported.

Can betting save the world? Tech insiders believe we can fix much of what ails society with “prediction markets,” online platforms where users can wager on future events. These markets, they say, offer a better way to search for truth, potentially rewarding those who are good at forecasting by allowing them to make money.

Charles Feeney, an Irish American pioneer of duty-free shops who eventually gave away nearly all of his $8 billion fortune to charity, much of it anonymously, has died at 92.

Jeffrey, the dog: The Labrador who went viral at a soccer match.

Olivier Giroud: AC Milan’s match-winning goalkeeper.

Qatar Grand Prix takeaways: McLaren surges in a race at the limit.

Drake, at 36, is the most popular English-speaking rapper on the planet. And so while “For All the Dogs,” his eighth solo studio album, is full of caustic songs about heartbreak, they have added tension now that their auteur is a world-beating pop star.

Much of what Drake has been engaged in this summer suggests the malaise of boredom, musical or otherwise. He released a book of poetry; conducted an interview with Bobbi Althoff, a kind of method actress/comedian; and embarked on a recent takedown of the social media personality and onetime rapper Joe Budden.

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