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Tuesday Briefing: Dagestan Attack Revives Terrorism Fears in Russia

At least 20 people were killed on Sunday in a seemingly coordinated assault in the Dagestan region of southern Russia. It was the deadliest attack in the area in 14 years.

The Russian authorities have designated the attack as an act of terror, but it was not immediately clear who was responsible. The gunmen targeted a police station as well as synagogues and Orthodox churches. Fifteen of the victims were police officers. One was an Orthodox priest, who was killed in his church. It is not known whether the attackers were specifically targeting members of law enforcement.

Five attackers were eventually killed by security forces, officials said.

The attack was reminiscent of the intense violence that gripped the Northern Caucasus, a predominantly Muslim region, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. That bloodshed was caused by a combination of Islamic fundamentalism and organized crime. Suppressing it became one of the central bragging points for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, after he came to power in 1999.

That legacy is now being threatened by a resurgence of violence. In March, four gunmen killed 145 people at a concert hall near Moscow. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack.

Analysis: The assault on Sunday has put a spotlight on the mounting challenges that Russia faces as the war in Ukraine taxes its economy and security apparatus.

Recent remarks by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and defense minister, Yoav Gallant, suggest that the country may soon mount fewer operations in Gaza and shift its focus to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“The intense stage of the war with Hamas is about to end,” Netanyahu said Sunday, though he added that this did not mean the war was ending, and dismissed the idea of a cease-fire being close.

Gallant was in Washington yesterday talking to the C.I.A. director and other U.S. officials about Gaza and Hezbollah, as the U.S. works to head off a new Israeli military push in Lebanon.

In Gaza City: A senior official in charge of coordinating ambulance movements in Gaza was killed by an Israeli strike, the health ministry in the enclave said yesterday.

Courts: A lawsuit filed in New York accused senior officials at the U.N. aid agency for Palestinians of knowing that Hamas siphoned off $1 billion in aid money. The case faces high legal hurdles.

More than 1,300 people have died amid extreme heat while making the Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, this month.

It’s unclear if the number of deaths this year is higher than in previous years — Saudi Arabia doesn’t regularly share those statistics. Officials said that most of the dead had not been registered for the hajj. Pilgrims with permits are transported in air-conditioned buses and rest in air-conditioned tents, while those without are left with little protection from the heat.

The toll has exposed an underbelly of scam tour operators and smugglers who profit off Muslims desperate to make the journey.

A.I. is rapidly getting better at creating lifelike faces and realistic photographs, fooling many. But there are telltale signs that can help you discern real images from fake ones.

My colleague Edward Wong, who worked in China first as a correspondent and then as the Beijing bureau chief for The Times, knew that his father served in China’s army. But it wasn’t until he was researching his new book, “At the Edge of Empire: A Family’s Reckoning With China,” that Ed uncovered the full story.

Yook Kearn Wong, Ed’s father, was stationed in Xinjiang, a region in China’s northwest, in 1952. There he would take part in efforts that laid the groundwork for China to rule over that area. Later, after he survived famine, he knew he had to escape China. He reached the U.S. in 1967.

“I marvel,” Ed writes, “at the ways my family’s story has looped like a Möbius strip around multiple generations and around the history of China.”

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Nathan is an experienced journalist. He's covered a broad spectrum of topics, including politics, culture, and human interest stories, always aiming to engage and inform his audience. Nathan has a degree in Journalism and upholds the highest standards of integrity and accuracy in his work.

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