Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here.

A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news


The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said today it has hit approximately 150 sites in Gaza over the past 24 hours, with ground troops directing aircraft to strike “several terrorists” in the Maghazi area in central Gaza. The military added it uncovered more than 15 underground tunnel shafts in the area. Yuliya Talmazan reports for NBC News.

The U.N. special representative on sexual violence in conflict accepted Israel’s invitation to investigate allegations of sex crimes committed by Hamas on Oct. 7, a spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Adam Sella reports for the New York Times.

The political leader of Hamas, Ismael Haniyeh, said yesterday that Hamas will release Israeli hostages from Gaza only after all Palestinian prisoners are released from Israel. Kareem Khadder and Celine Alkhaldi report for CNN.

Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in central Gaza reported receiving dozens of casualties following heavy overnight airstrikes that killed 57 people, at least 10 of whom were children, the hospital said. The hospital said at least 70 people were wounded. Abeer Salman, Kareem Khadder and Tim Lister report for CNN.


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said yesterday that the charge of genocide against Israel at the International Court of Justice is “meritless,” but that the daily toll of war on civilians in Gaza, particularly on children, is “far too high.” Blinken, speaking at a news conference in Tel Aviv, added that Israel must do more to remove aid delivery barriers into Gaza, noting the U.N. says that 90% of Gazans are experiencing food insecurity. Blinken also reiterated that a Palestinian state is key to lasting peace and that Gazans must be allowed to return to their homes. BBC News reports.

President Biden’s top Middle East adviser Brett McGurk met with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdelrahman al-Thani in Doha yesterday and discussed regional tensions amid efforts to secure the release of hostages held in Gaza, according to a U.S. source and two other sources familiar with the visit. The visit was not announced by the White House, and the Qatari Embassy in Washington declined to comment on the trip. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting the West Bank today for a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, following talks with Israeli leaders yesterday. The visit is part of Blinken’s fourth trip to the region since the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas. Yuliya Talmazan reports for NBC News.


The Israeli military said it killed another senior Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah commander yesterday. The commander, identified as Ali Hussein Burji, led Hezbollah’s aerial unit in southern Lebanon and was responsible for a drone strike yesterday morning on Israel’s northern command in Safed, the Israeli military added. Hezbollah denied Israel’s claims about Burji’s role in the drone strike and called the allegations “baseless.” Euan Ward, Anushka Patil, and Matthew Mpoke Bigg report for the New York Times.

The U.N. Security Council will vote today on a resolution that would condemn and demand an immediate halt to attacks by Yemen’s Houthi group on merchant and commercial vessels in the Red Sea. The U.S. draft resolution says at least two dozen Houthi attacks are hampering global commerce and “undermine navigational rights and freedoms as well as regional peace and security.” The draft resolution also demands the immediate release of the first ship the Houthis attacked on Nov. 19, a Japanese-operated cargo vessel with links to an Israeli company. Edith M. Lederer reports for AP News.

The U.K. and U.S. Navy intercepted 21 Houthi missiles and drones launched from Yemen, in one of the largest Houthi attacks to take place in the Red Sea in recent months, U.S. Central Command said . The barrage was launched last night toward international shipping lanes in the Red Sea where “dozens” of merchant vessels were traveling. CENTCOM added that no ships were damaged from the attacks and no injuries were reported. Oren Liebermann reports for CNN.


U.S. and Chinese military officials resumed deputy-level talks that were frozen after former House Speaker Nancy Peloi visited Taiwan in 2022. The parties discussed scheduling future bilateral military officer meetings, including a potential meeting between Washington and Beijing’s Defense Secretaries. U.S. officials have said the meeting was key to keep the growing competition between both countries from escalating into direct conflict. During the talks, China said it will “never compromise” on the issue of Taiwan and urged the United States to “stop arming Taiwan” and take Beijing’s concerns “seriously.” Tara Copp reports for AP News.

The self-styled Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for a minivan explosion in the Afghan capital yesterday that killed at least three people. The group said the minivan belonged to employees of Afghanistan’s main prison in Kabul. A spokesperson for the police confirmed the attack, adding that the police had detained a suspect. AP News reports.

Ecuador’s president has ordered that criminal gangs be “neutralized” after masked gunmen stormed a live television studio in Ecuador yesterday, forcing employees to the floor. The attacks follow the start of a 60-day state of emergency declared on Monday. The United States condemned the attacks and said it is “coordinating closely” with the Ecuadorian government and stands “ready to provide assistance.” Marita Moloney and Patrick Jackson report for BBC News.

Iraq wants a quick and orderly negotiated exit of U.S. military forces from its territory under a “process of understanding and dialogue,” Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said yesterday, describing their presence as destabilizing amid regional spillover from the war in Gaza. Longstanding calls by mostly Shi’ite muslim factions in Iraq, many close to Iran, for the U.S.-led coalition’s departure have gained traction after a series of U.S. strikes on Iran-linked militant groups that are also part of Iraq’s formal security forces. Timour Azhari reports for Reuters.

The man who stabbed South Korea’s opposition leader in the neck last week aimed to prevent the politician from winning the next presidential election, police said today. Dasl Yoon and Timothy W. Martin report for the Wall Street Journal.

Polish police arrested the former interior minister and the deputy interior minister inside the presidential palace in Warsaw, highlighting the political turmoil between the Law and Justice party (PiS) and the new pro-EU coalition. The men, who were elected PiS MPs in October, had refused to recognize a court decision last month sentencing them to two years’ jail for abuse of power after they led an anti-corruption office in 2007. They asserted President Andrez Duda, a PiS ally, had pardoned them for their crimes in 2015. Adam Easton reports for BBC News.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited a munition factory at an undisclosed location and emphasized the “strategic importance of the production of major weapons,” state media outlet KCNA said today. The images follow a joint statement released yesterday by Russia and North Korea, which said that “Russia’s use of DPRK ballistic missiles in Ukraine also provides valuable technical and military insights to the DPRK.” Meanwhile, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with his South Korean counterpart yesterday and “condemned in the strongest possible terms” the Moscow-Pyongyang arms transfers. The United States and its allies will raise the matter with the U.N. Security Council today, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby added. Hyunsu Yim reports for Reuters.

Chinese President Xi Jinping elevated diplomatic ties with a record number of 17 countries and territories last year, most of them from the developing world, as China seeks to rally the Global South to reshape the U.S.-led world order. Many of those countries are in areas of contestation with the United States and the West, according to Bloomberg analysis of statements issued by the foreign ministry. 

Congo’s constitutional court upheld the results of last month’s election that declared President Felix Tshisekedi the winner, rejecting a petition by an opposition candidate to annul the vote. Tshisekedi will be sworn in at the end of January. Jean-Yves Kamale reports for AP News.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an unannounced visit to Lithuania, a key ally of Kyiv. Zelenskyy and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda will discuss the war in Ukraine and Ukrainian “integration into the EU and NATO,” President Nauseda confirmed. Zelenskyy said he will then visit Latvia and Estonia, although no timeline was provided. Stephanie Halasz reports for CNN.


U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December and developed complications from a minimally invasive procedure, officials at Walter Reed National Military Center said yesterday. Austin remained in the hospital as of yesterday, having been admitted on Jan. 1. The announcement follows recent secrecy over Austin’s ill-health. “His prostate cancer was detected early, and his prognosis is excellent,” the officials said. Courtney Kube and Rebecca Shabad report for NBC News.

The discovery of a secret tunnel in a historic Brooklyn synagogue led to a brawl between Hasidic Jewish worshippers and police on Monday. The synagogue remains closed off by police barricades as building safety agents investigate whether the tunnel, dug without official permission, has caused structural damage to the revered Jewish property. Officials and locals said young men in the community recently built the passage in secret, and when the group’s leaders attempted to seal it off on Monday, they staged a protest that turned violent. Jake Offenhartz reports for AP News.


Former President Trump warned yesterday of unrest if the criminal charges against him cause him to lose the 2024 election. Trump spoke with reporters after an appeals court hearing in which his lawyers said he should be immune from prosecution for trying to overturn the 2020 election. “I think they feel this is the way they’re going to try and win, and that’s not the way it goes,” Trump said. “It’ll be bedlam in the country. It’s a very bad thing. It’s a very bad precedent. As we said, it’s the opening of a Pandora’s box.” Isaac Arnsdorf reports for the Washington Post.