Thursday Briefing


During a pomp-filled ceremony at the White House, President Biden and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan said their countries would enhance their cooperation as part of international efforts to counter China’s aggression.

Biden said that the U.S. and Japan would create an expanded defense architecture with Australia, participate in three-way military exercises with Britain and explore ways for Japan to join a U.S.-led coalition with those two countries.

Economic and climate initiatives also figured prominently on the agenda. Biden also announced that a Japanese astronaut would go to the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program, which would be the first time a non-American had stepped on the lunar surface. (A later statement clarified that two Japanese astronauts could join the program.)

The day ended with an elaborate state dinner, an honor reserved for only the closest U.S. allies. It featured a performance by Paul Simon and a guest list that included Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Olympian figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

Subtext: The visit came amid hand-wringing in Washington and Tokyo about the possibility of a return to power by Donald Trump, whose unpredictable foreign policy as president kept many world leaders on edge. One goal of the summit, officials said, was to strengthen the relationship with Japan before the election.

Voters handed President Yoon Suk Yeol and his party a bruising defeat in parliamentary elections, giving the opposition one of its biggest electoral victories in recent decades. Now, Yoon is facing the possibility of becoming a lame duck for the remainder of his single five-year term.

It appeared that the opposition Democratic Party, along with a party allied to it, would win far more than half of the 300 seats in the National Assembly. The Democratic Party’s candidate for president, Lee Jae-myung, narrowly lost to Yoon in 2022. Yoon’s People Power Party and its satellite party were expected to win more than 100 seats, according to The Associated Press. Final official results are expected later today.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and all of Yoon’s senior advisers, except those in charge of security issues, have offered to resign, The A.P. reported. Yoon’s office did not immediately say whether the resignations had been accepted.

Missteps by Yoon and opposition control of Parliament have stalled his business-friendly domestic agenda, and his goals will remain imperiled by the lopsided election results. In contrast, Lee, who hopes to run for president again in 2027, is likely to get a big push from the election.

Israeli ground troops have largely pulled out of Gaza, but Israel still conducts airstrikes across the territory. The Israeli military confirmed the deaths, noting that the three sons were Hamas military operatives.

“The enemy is delusional if it thinks that by killing my children, we will change our positions,” said Haniyeh, who leads Hamas’s political bureau from exile and has been engaged cease-fire negotiations that have stalled, in a statement.

Wanted: Someone who can write a short piece of fiction about a green dancing octopus, set in Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX offices on Nov. 8, 2022.

That’s one essay question on a test for people applying to work as artificial-intelligence tutors — that is, contractors paid to train A.I. models. As A.I. technology has become more sophisticated, so have the jobs of those who must painstakingly teach the systems, meaning that yesterday’s photo tagger is today’s essay writer.

  • Taiwan: An earthquake rescue dog has won hearts for helping to find the body of a victim. (The dog was too friendly for drug-sniffing.)

  • Framing himself: A museum in Munich said it had fired a worker for hanging one of his own pieces in its collection.

  • Copyright: Italy and the German puzzle maker Ravensburger are fighting over who has the right to reproduce, and profit from, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man.”

Restoring their dominance: Humble Bayern Munich showed hunger and energy.

A slow and insidious demise: The fall of the House of Ajax.

Masters 2024 Big Board: How Tiger Woods, Scottie Scheffler and everyone else stack up.

Last November, Paris F.C. became home to an unlikely revolution by announcing that it was mostly doing away with ticket prices for the rest of the season. The experiment raised the question of whether fans ought to pay to see a game, or — in an era when soccer, like all sports, is a television business — whether observers in a stadium are part of the production.

The move amounted to a marketing strategy, since the tickets cost only about $6, and Paris F.C. has long trailed Paris St.-Germain as the City of Light’s favorite team. Months later, most metrics suggest the gambit has worked.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thank you for spending part of your morning with us, and see you tomorrow. — Dan

You can reach Dan and the team at

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