Tuesday Briefing: Hollywood Writers Reach a Deal

Striking Hollywood writers and actors picketing in Los Angeles on Friday.Credit…Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

Striking Hollywood writers reach a deal

The leadership of the Writers Guild of America is expected to vote today on a contract deal reached with major studios that could end one of Hollywood’s longest labor disputes and move the industry closer to restarting.

After 146 days on strike, the guild got most of what it wanted, including increases in compensation for streaming content, concessions from studios on minimum staffing for television shows and guarantees that artificial intelligence technology will not encroach on writers’ credits and compensation.

If the contract deal reached Sunday night is approved by the guild’s leadership, the 11,000 writers who are members of the guild will then vote to ratify it. Late-night and daytime talk shows could return.

But much of Hollywood will remain at a standstill: Tens of thousands of actors remain on strike, and no talks were scheduled, though a deal with screenwriters could speed up those negotiations. In addition, more than 100,000 behind-the-scenes workers (directors, camera operators and many others) will continue to stand idle.

A moment for labor: The writers’ deal suggests that muscle-flexing by organized labor in the U.S. is getting results, the DealBook newsletter writes.

This satellite image released by Planet Labs PBC on Saturday shows Sevastopol after a missile attackCredit…Planet Labs PBC

Ukraine says it killed the head of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet

Ukraine’s military said yesterday that it had killed the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, along with 33 other officers, in a missile attack last week. If confirmed, the losses would be among the most damaging for the Russian Navy since the sinking of the fleet’s flagship last year.

There was no immediate comment from Moscow’s Defense Ministry, and Ukraine’s claims could not be independently verified. The commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Adm. Viktor Sokolov, is one of the most senior officers in Moscow’s navy.

Ukraine’s special operations forces said the missile strike on Friday had struck the fleet’s headquarters in the Crimean city of Sevastopol while officers were holding a meeting.

Other developments in the war

  • An initial batch of the U.S.-made Abrams tanks has been delivered ahead of schedule, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

  • Russia struck the port of Odesa in its first large attack there since Ukraine started testing a new route to ship grain out of the Black Sea.

Patients with dengue fever at a hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, earlier this month.Credit…Mahmud Hossain Opu/Associated Press

Bangladesh faces a deadly dengue fever outbreak

The outbreak of dengue fever is the most severe in the country’s history, the authorities said, with infections from the mosquito-borne virus spreading quickly from rural areas and straining the already overwhelmed hospital system in the capital, Dhaka.

Yesterday, the authorities said they had recorded 909 dengue-related deaths this year through Sunday, compared with 281 in all of 2022.


Around the World

  • President Biden hosted 18 Pacific Island leaders at the White House yesterday, in the latest illustration of a competition for influence between the U.S. and China.

  • An unspecified number of people were wounded yesterday in a fuel depot explosion in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, according to Armenian separatist authorities.

  • Senator Robert Menendez gave a defiant no to calls for his resignation in the face of federal bribery charges.

  • The U.S. Air Force said that it had received its first electric passenger aircraft for testing, capable of taking off and landing vertically.

  • Amazon said that it would invest up to $4 billion in the artificial intelligence start-up Anthropic as it seeks to keep pace with rivals Microsoft and Google.

  • In a first, two Indian Americans — Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy — are presidential contenders. Indian Americans have mixed feelings about the milestone.

  • Abortion-rights activists in the U.S. sayAmerican women are increasingly crossing the border to Mexico to seek abortions, more than a year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade.

Other Big Stories

  • Donald Trump’s lawyers have filed a lawsuit that could delay a civil trial for fraud in New York, which was scheduled to begin next week.

  • Giant new oil and gas wells in the U.S., which require astonishing volumes of water to fracture bedrock, are threatening the country’s fragile aquifers.

  • OpenAI sharpened its chatbot by hiring hundreds of people to teach the bot, much like an army of tutors guiding a student.

  • SeokJong Baek, a South Korean tenor, will make his debut at the Metropolitan Opera this week, just a couple of years after retraining his voice from baritone to tenor.

A Morning Read

Tourists and locals at Monastiraki square in Athens this month.Credit…Marco Arguello for The New York Times

Laden with debt it couldn’t pay back, Greece nearly broke the eurozone a decade ago. Today, it is one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies. Tourists are flocking to the country, and credit rating agencies have been upgrading their appraisal of its debt, opening the door for large foreign investors.


Credit…Kate Medley for The New York Times

The climate-defying crops in your future

Plant breeders in the U.S. are working on several new crops that could change how we eat in a fast-warming world.

Cherries usually need a month of cool weather to grow properly, but a new variety can handle the heat. Cauliflower is extremely vulnerable to direct sunlight, but new varieties essentially have built-in sunscreen — don’t worry, you can’t taste it.

Melons are usually a thirsty crop, but two new versions have been bred to handle droughts. Potatoes, which one researcher said are facing an “existential threat,” may soon be able to deal with extreme heat and flooding. There’s even a new, climate-friendly avocado.


Credit…Con Poulos for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd.

Cook this lemony white bean stew with turkey and greens.

Wear afleece to the office, yes or no? The Times chief fashion critic has an answer.

Walk. Just walk. No podcasts or music, just some time alone with your thoughts.

Read “Night Watch,” a mother-daughter story set in a mental institution around the time of the Civil War.

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

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