Monday Briefing: Hostage Talks to Continue in Qatar

An Israeli delegation is expected to arrive in Qatar as soon as today for talks on a new deal for a temporary cease-fire with Hamas and the release of some hostages held in Gaza, according to an Israeli official.

The negotiations follow talks held in Paris on Friday between an Israeli delegation and mediators from the U.S., Qatar and Egypt. In those discussions, Israel’s delegation agreed to a basic outline for a deal that would involve a six-week truce and the exchange of about 40 hostages for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, officials said.

Israel’s war cabinet approved the broad terms on Saturday night, an Israeli official said. The goal was to reach a deal before the start of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, which is expected to begin around March 10.

Hamas representatives did not attend the Paris meeting, and it was not immediately clear how acceptable the outline was to the group. One main sticking point has been Hamas’s insistence on a complete cessation of hostilities as a condition for any hostage deal, as well as the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners.

Ten years after the conflict with Russian-backed separatists broke out and two years into Moscow’s full-scale invasion, Ukrainians remain determined. Nearly 90 percent still believe in Ukraine’s ultimate victory as long as Western aid continues, according to a recent poll.

More than 60 percent of respondents considered themselves happy, despite a similar share saying they had lost at least one relative or friend. But there are signs of growing pessimism: In December, 19 percent of respondents said they were ready to make concessions to Russia to bring an end to the war, an increase from 10 percent in May.

Women and children have been raped or gang raped. Recruitment of child soldiers is common. Both sides have committed indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Foreign powers, including the United Arab Emirates and Iran, have stepped in to back one side or the other, sending sophisticated weapons to the battlefield that have increased the risks to civilians.

Background: The fight started in April 2023 as a power struggle between the leaders of the military, which dominated Sudan for decades, and the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary force that comes mainly from Darfur.

In what is believed to be a first in Latin America, a professional women’s softball league has started in Mexico. It’s another gain for women in a region where men often have more opportunities, particularly in sports.

Lives lived: Zong Qinghou, a self-made beverage entrepreneur who was once the richest person in China, died at 79.

For the Ugandan opposition politician Bobi Wine and his wife, an Oscar-nominated film feels like a “bulletproof vest.”

That’s what Barbie Kyagulanyi, Wine’s wife, said about the film “Bobi Wine: The People’s President,” one of the nominees for best documentary feature this year.

Wine is a leading opponent of President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986. The film examines the 2021 presidential election in Uganda. Wine, who is also a popular singer in the country, has been arrested multiple times and has been held under house arrest.

The film shows Kyagulanyi’s determination to free her husband, as well as tender moments between the couple. “The more the world knows about our plight, the safer we become,” Wine said in an interview by email. “An Oscar win would mean life secured.”

The Oscar ceremony will be held on March 10 in Los Angeles.