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Your Monday Briefing

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Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza agreed to a cease-fire late last night, which appeared to hold as of this morning. The move is expected to end a three-day conflict that has killed dozens of Palestinians, destroyed buildings and resulted in the deaths of two key leaders of Islamic Jihad, Gaza’s second-largest militia.

The fighting began on Friday afternoon when Israel launched airstrikes to foil what it said was an imminent attack from Gaza. The fighting revealed simmering tensions between Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian militia that was badly damaged by the fighting, and Hamas, the militia that runs Gaza and which opted to remain on the sidelines of the conflict.

Israel declined to reveal further details about the cease-fire agreement. However, Islamic Jihad said that it had received assurances from intermediary Egyptian officials that Egypt would lobby for the release of two of the group’s leading members, Bassem Saadi and Khalil Awawdeh, who are detained in Israeli jails.

Strategy: Israel has offered small economic concessions to ordinary Gazans — notably 14,000 work permits to help improve the Palestinian economy. The approach has helped convince Hamas to stay out of this particular conflict and likely shortened its duration.

International context: Morocco and the U.A.E. — two of the three Arab countries that formalized ties with Israel in 2020 — expressed concern about the violence but avoided criticism of Israel. Only the third country, Bahrain, directly condemned Israel’s strikes.


Rockets landed on the grounds of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, posing the latest threat to Europe’s largest nuclear facility. Russia and Ukraine blamed one another for the attack, and fighting in the southern region has prompted fears of a major accident.

Russian forces have controlled the plant since March, using it as a base to launch artillery barrages at the Ukrainian-controlled town of Nikopol across the Dnipro River for the past month. Saturday’s assault included a volley of rockets that Ukrainian officials said damaged 47 apartment buildings and houses.

The fighting, along with Russia’s occupation of parts of the plant and the stress borne by plant workers, prompted Rafael Grossi, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, to warn last week that “every principle of nuclear safety has been violated.” Concern about safety at Zaporizhzhia has mounted since a fire broke out as Russian forces took control.

Context: Since invading Ukraine in February, Russia has made it a priority to seize and target critical Ukrainian infrastructure like power plants, ports, transportation and agricultural storage and production facilities.

More from the war in Ukraine:


The U.S. Senate yesterday passed legislation that would make the most significant federal investment in history to counter climate change. Paid for by tax increases, the measure would inject more than $370 billion into climate and energy programs, allowing the U.S. to slash its greenhouse gas emissions about 40 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the decade.

The final tally was 51 to 50, along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote. The bill will provide billions of dollars in rebates for Americans who buy energy-efficient and electric appliances as well as tax credits for companies that build new sources of emissions-free electricity, such as wind turbines and solar panels.

For Democrats, passage of the measure capped a remarkably successful six-week stretch that included final approval of a $280 billion industrial policy bill to bolster American competitiveness with China and the largest expansion of veterans’ benefits in decades. Republicans have condemned the climate legislation as federal overreach and reckless overspending.

Background: Initially pitched as “Build Back Better,” a multitrillion-dollar, cradle-to-grave social safety net plan on the order of the Great Society legislation of the 1960s, Democrats scaled back the bill in recent months and rebranded it as the Inflation Reduction Act. Its passage is a major victory for President Biden and his party.

The London public housing project Trellick Tower, built in 1972, has gone from eyesore to Brutalist icon. Its apartments, located near expensive Notting Hill, are snapped up as soon as they are listed.

Now, residents fear that Trellick’s success has made the tower vulnerable. Given the dire shortage of affordable housing in London and the valuable real estate occupied by Trellick, it is likely that developers will attempt to build on the site in the future — despite the best efforts of its inhabitants.

Queer Britain, a new museum near London’s King’s Cross station, is Britain’s first L.G.B.T.Q. museum. It joins an array of international institutions whose directors are carefully considering how to frame queer history — and sometimes coming to different conclusions, Alex Marshall reports for The Times.

Queer Britain’s inaugural exhibition seeks to represent the diversity of queer experience, with items on display including banners from this year’s Trans+ Pride parade, a rainbow hijab and the door to Oscar Wilde’s prison cell. “So much of the history of L.G.B.T.Q.+ people has been about erasure,” said Joseph Galliano-Doig, the museum’s director. “For us this is saying: We are here, and our stories deserve to be told.”

In Berlin, the Schwules Museum takes an explicitly political stance, seeking both to recognize queer history as part of collective, mainstream history and, as one board member put it, “to challenge problematic discourses which are dominant within the queer community.” The museum is currently hosting an exhibition about Tuntenhaus, a renowned gay activist squat in Berlin.

As they continue growing, how these museums decide to present L.G.B.T.Q. history will remain an urgent question. “From the earliest days, history was a tool in the construction of queer identity,” said Huw Lemmey, the co-host of the “Bad Gays” podcast. “Museums aren’t independent reporters on the past, they’re part of an ongoing process of identity formation, so the stakes are very high.”

Read more about the aims of queer museums.

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The F.D.A. Now Says It Plainly: Morning-After Pills Are Not Abortion Pills

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The F.D.A. said it made the change now because it had completed a review of a 2018 application to alter the label that was submitted by Foundation Consumer Healthcare, a company that in 2017 bought the Plan B brand from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Agency officials said the pandemic delayed the review process and that the timing was not motivated by political considerations.

A spokeswoman for the company, Dani Hirsch, said in an interview that for its 2018 application, the company had not conducted any new studies but had submitted “what was already out there.”

In a statement, the company’s marketing director, Tara Evans, said “the misconception that Plan B works by interfering with implantation can present barriers to broader emergency contraception access. The Plan B labeling correction will help protect continued over-the-counter emergency contraception access and reduce confusion about how Plan B works and further clarify that Plan B does not affect implantation.”

Plan B One-Step and its generic versions — including brands like Take Action, My Way and Option 2 — contain levonorgestrel, one of a class of hormones called progestins that are also found at lower doses in birth control pills and intrauterine devices. The pills are most effective in preventing pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, although they can sometimes work if taken within five days.

Another type of morning-after pill, marketed as Ella and containing a compound called ulipristal acetate, is only available by prescription and is not affected by the F.D.A.’s label change. There has been less research on this type of pill, but studies suggest that it is highly unlikely to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. In 2009, after months of scrutiny, Ella was approved for sale in overwhelmingly Catholic Italy, where laws would have barred it if it had been considered to induce abortions.

According to data published in 2021 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-quarter of women of reproductive age who have sex with men answered yes to the question: “Have you ever used emergency contraception, also known as ‘Plan B,’ ‘Preven,’ ‘Ella,’ ‘Next Choice,’ or ‘Morning after’ pills?” The agency did not break down the data by the type of pills taken.

As far back as the 1999 approval process, the maker of Plan B — Barr Pharmaceuticals, later acquired by Teva — asked the F.D.A. not to list an implantation effect on the label, The Times reported in 2012.

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Who are Caroline Ellison’s parents? Fraudster’s mom and dad are MIT economists

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This apple fell far from the tree.

Caroline Ellison — who pleaded guilty to fraud charges related to her role in the FTX cryptocurrency scandal, which led to the extradition of Sam Bankman-Fried this week — is the daughter of high-profile economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to his curriculum vitae, Ellison’s father, Glenn Ellison, was educated at Harvard, Cambridge and MIT before becoming the Gregory K. Palm (1970) Professor of Economics at the latter. 

In addition to coaching youth softball and his daughters’ middle school math teams, he writes “Hard Math,” a series of textbooks and workbooks about teaching arithmetic to younger students.

Glenn Ellison is also an Elected Fellow of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory and American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Caroline Ellison’s parents, Glenn and Sara Ellison, outside their Newton, Mass., home in early December.
Robert Miller

Ellison’s mother, Sara Ellison, is also an accomplished academic. Armed with an undergraduate degree from Purdue University and a mathematical statistics diploma from Cambridge University, her profile shows she completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993. 

Sara Ellison is currently a senior lecturer in the department alongside her husband.

“We were definitely exposed to a lot of economics [growing up],” Ellison, 28, once told Forbes.

Ellison, 28, plead guilty to fraud this week.
Ellison, 28, pleaded guilty to fraud this week.
Twitter / @AlamedaResearch
Caroline Ellison's sister, Anna, now lives in the West Village.
Caroline Ellison’s sister, Anna, now lives in the West Village.
BRIGITTE STELZER

Glenn and Sara Ellison were photographed by The Post outside their home in Newton, an affluent Boston suburb, earlier this month. Armed with several bags, they told reporters they were too “busy” to comment on the FTX scandal.

The eldest of three sisters — including Anna, 25, who now lives in Manhattan’s West Village — Ellison distinguished herself as a precocious math whiz at a young age. 

When she was just 8 years old, she reportedly presented her father with a paper analyzing stuffed animal prices at Toys ‘R’ Us.

Sam Bankman-Fried leaving Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday.
Sam Bankman-Fried leaving Manhattan federal court on Thursday.
Matthew McDermott
Both Glenn and Sara Ellison are economists at MIT.
Both Glenn and Sara Ellison are economists at MIT.
Robert Miller

She went on to compete in the Math Prize for Girls while at Newton North High School before studying mathematics at Stanford University, where former professor Ruth Stackman described her to Forbes as “bright, focused, [and] very mathy.”

Ellison and Bankman-Fried, 30, crossed paths at the Wall Street trading firm Jane Street. Bankman-Fried’s parents are also both university lecturers, at Stanford in California. They became good friends and she joined Alameda Research, the hedge fund arm of the FTX crypto exchange, in 2018. She then became CEO in 2021. However, the company remained owned 90% by Bankman-Fried and 10% by another member of his circle.

In addition to documenting her supposed foray into polyamory on Tumblr, Ellison once boasted about drug use on social media.

Sara Ellison completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993.
Sara Ellison completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993.
Robert Miller

“Nothing like regular amphetamine use to make you appreciate how dumb a lot of normal, non-medicated human experience is,” she tweeted in 2021.

Ellison reportedly admitted to Alameda employees that FTX had used client funds to bail out the fledgeling hedge fund during a video call in November. She was eventually terminated as CEO by insolvency professional and current FTX CEO John J. Ray III after FTX and Alameda filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

She pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges on Monday, and has subsequently been released on $250,000 bail.

Ellison was spotted getting coffee in New York City on Dec. 4.
Ellison was spotted getting coffee in New York City on Dec. 4.
Twitter / @AutismCapital

Although she could be sent to jail for up to 110 years for her part in the FTX-Alameda scandal — which has been said by federal prosecutors to have lost between $1 billion and $2 billion of customers’ cash — she is thought to have struck a deal with the feds for a much lighter sentence in return for her cooperation.

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Iran condemns Zelensky’s remarks to Congress as ‘baseless.’

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Iran has condemned President Volodymyr Zelensky’s remarks to the U.S. Congress, warning the Ukrainian leader against further accusing Tehran of supplying weapons to Russia for use in the war.

Mr. Zelensky told Congress on Wednesday that Iranian-made drones “sent to Russia in hundreds” had been threatening Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, a view shared by American and European officials. In Iran, he said, Russia had found an “ally in its genocidal policy.”

A spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, Nasser Kanaani, called Mr. Zelensky’s comments “rude” and “baseless.”

“Mr. Zelensky had better know that Iran’s strategic patience over such unfounded accusations is not endless,” Mr. Kanaani said in a statement on Thursday.

Although Iran has officially denied supplying Russia with the weapons since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. officials have said that the first shipment was delivered in August.

Mr. Zelensky has said that drones used in Monday’s wave of predawn attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities were from a batch recently delivered to Russia by Iran. The strikes came after Biden administration officials said that Russia and Iran were strengthening their military ties into a “full-fledged defense partnership.”

The European Union last week condemned Iran’s military partnership with Russia as a gross violation of international law and announced new sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities over their roles in supplying the drones that Moscow has used to attack Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure. That followed a round of sanctions on Iranians over the drone deliveries in October.

Mr. Kanaani “once again emphasizes” that Iran has not supplied military equipment for use in Ukraine, the statement issued on Thursday added, and urged Mr. Zelensky to learn “the fate of some other political leaders” who were happy with U.S. support. It was not clear which other leaders the statement was referring to.

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