Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition

Your Thursday Briefing: Bombs Kill a Teenager in Jerusalem

Plus: Blackouts in Ukraine, Japan’s soccer triumph and an A.I. Thanksgiving menu.

ImageAryeh Schupak, a 15-year-old yeshiva student, was killed in the bombings.
Credit...Mahmoud Illean/Associated Press

Two blasts in Jerusalem yesterday killed a 15-year-old and wounded at least 18 other people. They were the first bomb attacks on Israeli civilians since 2016.

The bombs, which detonated at bus stops during the morning rush hour, prompted calls by far-right leaders for the swift formation of a new government that would be tougher on terrorism. Benjamin Netanyahu, who is likely to become the prime minister again, is trying to form Israel’s most right-wing government ever.

The blasts were just the latest episode in the deadliest wave of violence to sweep Israel and the occupied West Bank since 2015.

Overnight, a Palestinian teenager died during a West Bank firefight between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants. This week, the body of an abducted Israeli teenager was being held. He was taken by Palestinian gunmen from a West Bank intensive care unit; his family insisted that he was alive at the time of the kidnapping and later died. And last week, a Palestinian killed three Israelis at a settlement.

Comparison: The bombs were smaller and less sophisticated than those used in attacks that killed hundreds of Israelis during a Palestinian uprising two decades ago. But experts said they departed from recent “lone wolf” episodes.

Context: This wave of violence began when Arab assailants killed 19 people in five attacks this spring. The Israeli Army then intensified its raids on West Bank militants, which have left more than 100 Palestinians dead and prompted another surge of Palestinian militancy.

West Bank: Rising violence by settlers against Palestinians, coupled with Israeli efforts to evict more than 1,000 Palestinians from their homes, has also compounded Palestinian anger.

Credit...Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

Much of Ukraine is without electricity after a new wave of Russian strikes targeted critical infrastructure. At least 10 people were killed, including a newborn who died after a Russian rocket hit a maternity ward in the south.

The barrage of Russian missiles appeared to be one of the most damaging attacks in weeks, and left Kyiv and other cities without power. Power was also cut in Moldova, whose Soviet-era electricity system is entwined with Ukraine’s system. Three Ukrainian nuclear power plants were forced to shut down, the authorities said.

What’s next: Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, said the grid was suffering “colossal” damage. He announced a national drive to prepare thousands of makeshift centers to provide basic services in the event of prolonged blackouts, called “Points of Invincibility.”

Credit...Money Sharma/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A decade ago, the capitals of Asia’s two largest countries had some of the dirtiest skies in the world.

Beijing pressed ahead with a $100 billion effort to clean its air after China’s government declared war against pollution. Now, the city has 100 more days of clear skies each year.

But New Delhi still faces acrid, toxic air, as pollution from millions of vehicles and open fires used for heating and cooking fill the skies. This fall, the haze prompted officials to halt truck traffic, close schools and push for remote work.

Context: India — a huge, messy democracy — has lacked both political resolve and public pressure, and is less wealthy than China. Indian politicians use the crisis to attack each other instead of trying to find solutions.

Voters: Air pollution has been known to kill more Indians than any other risk factor. But voters ranked air quality as their 17th most urgent concern in a 2019 survey, well behind jobs, health care and infrastructure.

  • There was another mass shooting: A Walmart manager killed six people at a store in Virginia yesterday. The gunman was also found dead.

  • In updates from the mass shooting in Colorado, lawyers for the person accused of killing five people at an L.G.B.T.Q. club said their client identifies as nonbinary.

  • Officials said they anticipated a reduced Covid threat in the coming winter months, but urged people to get updated booster shots.

Credit...Petr Josek/Associated Press
  • Iran is using ambulances to infiltrate demonstrations and detain protesters.

  • Rescue workers in Indonesia are still searching for survivors of the earthquake on Monday. The death toll rose to 271.

  • A farm sanctuary is investigating the inner lives of cows, pigs and chickens — but only if the animals volunteer to be studied.

  • Diagnoses of anxiety disorders are rising among children. Some young patients are trying exposure therapy, which makes them face the situations that cause them distress.

  • Comets, which normally fly in from the far reaches of space, appear to be misplaced in the asteroid belt. Why?

Credit...Rishi Chandna

Our colleagues on the Opinion desk publish short documentaries. I loved this 20-minute video on the way laundrymen in Mumbai, India, use posters, more commonly deployed by political candidates, to advertise their businesses.

The film, by Rishi Chandna, is a wry exploration of the ways religion, politics and science intersect in a ubiquitous poster culture. “No matter how much of a big shot you are, or how much clout you wield, without a poster, you don’t exist,” one man said.

Lives lived: Hebe de Bonafini became a human rights campaigner when her two sons were arrested and disappeared under Argentina’s military dictatorship. She died at 93.

“Show me a Thanksgiving menu made for me,” Priya Krishna told the A.I.Credit...Timothy O'Connell for The New York Times

Artificial intelligence can create art, play “Jeopardy!” and make scientific breakthroughs. But how good is it in the kitchen? Priya Krishna, a Times food reporter, gave an A.I. system the ultimate challenge: a Thanksgiving menu.

Priya used a neural network called GPT-3. She fed it information about her family background, her favorite ingredients and flavors that she likes.

It was … interesting. GPT-3 produced recipes both plausible and intriguing: pumpkin spice chaat, naan stuffing and roasted turkey with a soy-ginger glaze. But the turkey was dry and flavorless (the recipe called for one garlic clove, no butter or oil). And the naan stuffing, Priya writes, “tasted like a chana masala and a fruitcake that had gotten into a bar fight.”

“This technology is not a replacement for people, at least so far,” Priya writes. “It can nudge cooks in one direction or another. But it is still humanity — with its intuition, storytelling and warmth — that drives a good recipe.”

For more: In a video, Priya cooks the recipes and asks Times cooking columnists to judge.

Credit...Melina Hammer for The New York Times

Celebrating Thanksgiving? Here are recipes for turkey, gravy, stuffing, green beans and a pumpkin pie, all of which you can make the day you plan to eat them.

Browse our annual list of 100 notable books.

In “Leonor Will Never Die,” a comatose genre director in the Philippines becomes trapped in one of her own screenplays.

Is it safe to whiten your teeth? And which methods work?

As tech workers get laid off, they’re saluting in solidarity.

Play the Mini Crossword, and a clue: In good spirits (five letters).

Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Amelia

P.S. The Athletic plans to double its coverage of women’s sports through a partnership with Google.

The Daily” is about cooking the perfect turkey. And “Still Processing” discusses Beyoncé’s latest album.

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