The nightmare of childbirth in Gaza
The streets were empty. The ambulance could only arrive in half an hour and the hospital’s maternity ward was no longer working. The only sounds were those of planes and bombings.
For Wajiha al-Abyad, who had fled her home a few weeks earlier, giving birth in Gaza last month was “something like a horror movie,” she said.
In Gaza, women, children and newborns disproportionately bear the burden of war, both in terms of casualties and reduced access to health services. The UN estimates that there are around 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza and that more than 160 babies are born every day.
Bombings, mass population displacements, the collapse of water and electricity supplies and limited access to food and medicine are seriously disrupting maternal, neonatal and child health care. None of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are functional enough to treat critical trauma cases or perform surgeries, the WHO said.
Related: At least 12 people were killed and dozens injured in an attack on the Indonesian hospital, where thousands of displaced people were sheltering, according to hospital staff and Gaza’s health ministry.
Other war news:
Yemen’s Houthi militia released a video showing its forces hijacking a ship, the Galaxy Leader, in the Red Sea, a day after saying it seized the vessel to show support for the “oppressed Palestinian people.”
Hamas has not provided any information on the fate of the nearly 240 people believed to be held hostage in Gaza, causing anxiety among their loved ones.
In a conflict marked by complete incomprehension on both sides, the ability of Palestinians and Israelis to see each other as human beings has been lost, writes Roger Cohen in this analysis.
Threats threaten exodus of OpenAI staff
More than 700 of OpenAI’s 770 employees have signed a letter saying they could leave the company for Microsoft if ousted CEO Sam Altman is not reinstated. The upheaval casts doubt on the future of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence startup that is one of the fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley history.
Members of OpenAI’s four-person board of directors shocked the tech industry Friday by firing Altman, saying they could no longer trust him. A board member has since changed course, demanding reinstatement. The board’s decision set off a frenzied weekend of unexpected corporate maneuvering that ended with Altman arriving at Microsoft to launch a new AI project.
Analysis: Kevin Roose, a technology columnist at The Times, described the personnel changes as “probably the most shocking technology story of the year, and perhaps in several years”, and said the most obvious loser until present was OpenAI itself.
For more: The Times spoke with Altman just two days before he was ousted by his company’s board in a surprise coup. For him, the future seemed bright.
The Russian offensive in Ukraine continues
Ukraine faces continued eastward assaults by Russian forces, at bloody cost to both sides, even as the lines on the map barely move.
Russian forces have been carrying out heavy assaults around Avdiivka for more than a month and recently launched simultaneous offensives in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have mostly thwarted Russian attacks, using drones and cluster munitions to inflict some of the heaviest Russian casualties of the war. But experts say the scales on the battlefield could easily tip one way or the other.
In other news:
Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, visited Kiev at a time when US military aid and progress in the war against Russia have stalled.
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Waste-free gift wrapping
Centuries ago, Japan elevated the practice of wrapping gifts with fabric, known as furoshiki, to an art form. Once the gift is revealed, the fabric can be reused for other gifts, to wrap cushions or to display in a frame.
Speaking to The Times, Kensuke Kawamura and Ayano Hasui, both of furoshiki maker Yamada Sen-i, shared their tips for wrapping, reusing and gifting furoshiki.
“If you want to show your consideration, choose seasonal designs or designs that a person would like,” Kawamura said. “For example, if I want to give something to my father, maybe I choose a pine pattern because it has a sense of long life.”