Thursday Briefing: The Biden-Xi Meeting

President Biden and President Xi Jinping in California yesterday.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Biden meets with Xi

President Biden and President Xi Jinping of China shook hands at the entrance of a grand estate set in the hills of California yesterday as they began their first meeting in a year.

“To host you in the United States is a great honor and a pleasure,” Biden told the Chinese leader.

“Planet Earth is big enough” for both superpowers, Xi said. He told Biden that their countries were very different but that they should be “fully capable of rising above differences.”

“I firmly believe in the promising future of the bilateral relationship,” he said.

The two nations have spiraled into their worst relationship in four decades, and Biden’s primary goal was simple: Find a way to keep an increasingly bitter competition with China from tipping into conflict.

No joint statement was expected after the meeting. U.S. officials said each government would provide its own account of the discussions. Here is the latest.

On the table: A U.S. official said the leaders were expected to reach the outline of an agreement that would commit Beijing to regulating components of fentanyl, the drug that has driven the opioid epidemic in the U.S. They were also expected to announce a forum to discuss how to keep A.I. programs away from nuclear command and control, and would probably discuss resuming military-to-military communications, which China cut off after Nancy Pelosi, then the House speaker, visited Taiwan last year.

Biden also planned to raise the wars in Ukraine and Gaza and the upcoming election in Taiwan.

Progress on climate: On the eve of the meeting, the U.S. and China agreed to jointly tackle global warming by ramping up wind, solar and other renewable energy with the goal of displacing fossil fuels. The climate agreement could emerge as a bright spot in the talks.

A doctor treats a patient on the floor at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.Credit…Samar Abu Elouf for The New York Times

Israeli forces said they found weapons in Al-Shifa

The Israeli military was solidifying its hold on the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital yesterday, after storming the complex.

Al-Shifa Hospital has become central to Israel’s effort to wrest control of Gaza from Hamas. Its capture by Israel was a significant step that could shape the pace and extent of its war with Hamas.

Israeli officers said they had found rifles, ammunition, body armor and other military equipment in a radiology building. The assertions could not be independently verified. Hamas, which has repeatedly denied using the hospital for military operations, issued a statement calling the Israeli claims “a fabricated story that no one would believe.”

Here’s the latest.

Inside Al-Shifa: Mahmoud, a witness who said he was on the fourth floor of a surgical building, described an atmosphere of confusion, tension and fear. Israeli soldiers questioned people and conducted searches, with explosions and gunfire still rattling windows and nerves.

Medicine under siege: Our photographer captured in a single image what it’s like to try to save a life amid chaos and deprivation.

Politics and the pool: The teenagers in the Greater Jerusalem swim club had made a point of not focusing on their differences. That changed with the war.

Emergency workers treated a person with heat stroke symptoms in Lisbon in August.Credit…Violeta Santos Moura/Reuters

Health risks from climate change are getting worse

An exhaustive new international report found that heat-related deaths of people older than 65 have increased by 85 percent since the 1990s.

People in this age group, along with babies, are especially vulnerable to dangers such as heat stroke, according to the report, which was published in the medical journal The Lancet. With the rise in global temperatures, older people and infants now are exposed to twice the number of heat-wave days annually as they were from 1986 to 2005. Read the rest of the findings.


Around the World

A boat carrying migrants entering U.K. waters in August.Credit…Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
  • In a blow to the British government, the British Supreme Court ruled that a policy to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful.

  • French judges have issued an international arrest warrant for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria for the deadly use of chemical weapons.

  • An unusually long lull in Russian nighttime bombardments of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is allowing residents to rediscover the joys of a good night’s sleep.

  • Donald Trump’s lawyers called for a mistrial in the New York fraud case against him, arguing that the judge and his law clerk were politically biased against Trump.

  • FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, cheered a plan to take the World Cup to Saudi Arabia. Many in soccer are concerned about his motivations.

Other Big Stories

  • Presidential candidates in Argentina are using A.I. images and videos in their campaigns.

  • Thefts of catalytic converters have spiked in the U.S. Those who benefit often look the other way.

A Morning Read

How do you get orcas to leave your boat alone?Credit…Renaud de Stephanis

Orcas have been disrupting the journeys of boats along the coastlines of the Iberian Peninsula, even sinking a handful of them. As researchers watch, mystified by the behavior, boat crews are trying anything they can think of to steer clear of them.

Some even tried blasting heavy metal. The orcas disabled the boat anyway. (In case you’re curious, here’s the “Metal for Orcas” playlist.)


An elder care facility in Tokyo.Credit…Behrouz Mehri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Long-term care around the world

Wealthy countries worldwide are struggling to afford care for rapidly aging populations. Middle-class and affluent people bear a substantial portion of the costs.

In Japan, long-term care insurance is mandatory for citizens age 40 and over. Half the funding comes from tax revenues and half from premiums. Older adults contribute 10 percent to 30 percent of the cost of services, income depending, and insurance picks up the rest.

Singapore recently instituted a system of mandatory long-term care insurance for those born in 1980 or later. The government subsidizes 20 percent to 30 percent of premiums for those who earn around $2,000 a month or less. Government subsidies for nursing homes and other institutional care can range from 10 percent to 75 percent.

Here’s how five countries pay for long-term care.


Credit…Evan Sung for The New York Times

Bake: If you’re a fan of a classic lemon tart, you’ll love this cranberry version.

Watch: The final season of “The Crown” starting on Netflix today.

Listen: Arcade, a new radio stream, digs into classical and video game music.

Rest: Here’s how to salvage your day after a bad night’s sleep.

Play Spelling Bee, the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku. Find all our games here.

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

P.S. The New York Times Communities Fund helps U.S. and global nonprofit organizations supporting people facing hardship. Read about it here.

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