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


The U.N.’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) begins a public hearing today in a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of committing genocide against Palestnians in Gaza. The ICJ has the ability to deliver only an opinion on the genocide allegations, as the proceedings are not a criminal trial. South Africa will make submissions today, calling for “provisional measures” to be urgently issued by the ICJ, saying Israel’s actions “are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group.” Israel will present its case tomorrow in response to these allegations. Oliver Slow reports for BBC News.

The Palestine Red Crescent said an Israeli drone missile hit an ambulance in Gaza yesterday, killing four crew members and the two patients it was transporting. The ambulance was approaching the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the city of Deir al Balah, the group said, adding, “our colleagues were intentionally targeted while inside an ambulance clearly marked with the Red Crescent emblem.” Anushka Patil reports for the New York Times.

Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip “will not be returned alive” unless Israeli forces leave, a Hamas spokesperson said yesterday at a news conference in Lebanon. The statement highlights the predicament facing the Israeli government, which has repeatedly vowed to release hostages while pursuing the war and defeating Hamas. Hwaida Saad reports for the New York Times.

In a rebuke against right-wing ministers of his own coalition government, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday, “I want to make a few points absolutely clear: Israel has no intention of permanently occupying Gaza or displacing its civilian population.” Alexander Smith reports for NBC News


Senior Biden adviser Amos Hochstein will visit Beirut today to continue efforts to calm tensions along the Israeli-Lebanese border, the White House said. The trip follows Netanyahu and other senior officials telling Hochstein last week that there is only a short timeframe to find a diplomatic solution that will prevent a war between Israel and Hezbollah. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.

The number of antisemitic incidents in the United States increased by 360% following the Oct. 7 attacks, according to new data from the Anti-Defamation League. Preliminary data shows there was an average of nearly 34 antisemitic incidents reported each day. “The American Jewish community is facing a threat level that’s now unprecedented in modern history,” the CEO of the group said. Daniel Arkin reports for NBC News


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned yesterday that “there will be consequences” for the continued Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. “We’ve been clear with more than 20 other countries that if it continues, as it did yesterday, there will be consequences,” Blinken said in a press gaggle in Bahrain. The warning comes as the Iran-backed militant group shows no signs of deescalation and the potential for a regional flare-up grows. Jennifer Hansler reports for CNN.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution 11-0 calling on Yemen’s Houthi group to “cease its brazen” attacks in the Red Sea. Four Council members abstained, including Russia and China. U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield blamed Iran for aiding the Houthis, emphasizing the resolution demands the group stop violating international law. Richard Roth, Haley Britzky, Jennifer Hansler, and Kathleen Magramo report for CNN.


A state of emergency was declared in Papua New Guinea’s capital yesterday after at least fifteen people were killed in rioting. The unrest  follows wider tensions in the country  over rising costs and unemployment rates. While most of the violence was curbed by last night, Prime Minister James Marape acknowledged that tensions remained high. Frances Mao reports for BBC News.

A U.N. helicopter carrying nine passengers was captured in Somalia yesterday by the Al Shabab militant group after making an emergency landing due to technical difficulties in an area controlled by the group, three senior Somali officials said. Six of the passengers were captured, two escaped, and one was killed, according to the officials. Al Shabab has long promised to topple the U.N.-backed national government in Somalia and to instead establish an Islamic state. The helicopter, which belonged to the U.N. Support Office in Somalia, provides logistical assistance to the peacekeeping forces with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia.. Abdi Latif Dahir reports for the New York Times.

Chinese research vessels linked to the People’s Liberation Army are conducting sweeping surveys of the Indian Ocean undersea floor, collecting data that could be crucial in deploying submarines to the region in the event of a future war with Taiwan, a new analysis has found. While the surveys ostensibly appear civilian in nature, they are linked to Beijing’s military-civil fusion program, a national strategic plan aimed to progress China’s military using technology and research from civilian groups. Cate Cadell reports for the Washington Post.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump told top European officials while he was in office that the United States would “never come to help” Europe if it came under attack, according to a top E.U. official. Thierry Breton, a French commissioner responsible for the E.U. internal market, said Trump made the comments to European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020. According to Breton,  Trump also said,  “NATO is dead … we will quit NATO,” and, “by the way, you owe me $400 billion, because you didn’t pay, you Germans, what you had to pay for defense.” Andrew Gray and Charlotte Van Campenhout report for Reuters.

Swedish Civil Defense Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin told a defense conference “there could be war in Sweden,” prompting concern and accusations of alarmism. His message was backed up by military commander-in-chief General Micael Byden, who said all Swedes should mentally prepare for the possibility of war. Opposition politicians objected to the tone of the warnings. Paul Kirby reports for BBC News.

Britain said yesterday it would send warships to the Indian Ocean later this year and an aircraft carrier to the region in 2025 for joint training with Indian forces, as the two countries strengthen their security ties. Reuters reports.

Iranian authorities have arrested 35 people in relation to the Jan. 3 attacks on the city of Kerman, the Intelligence Ministry said today, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency. The ministry added it has identified one of the two suicide bombers as a Tajikistan national who entered Iran illegally on Dec. 19. Reuters reports.

The United States “oppose[s] any outside interference or influence” in Taiwan’s upcoming elections, a senior Biden administration official said yesterday, in what is viewed as a clear signal to China. Taiwan’s Jan 13. elections are taking place amidst escalating rhetoric between Taiwan and China, which views the island as its own territory despite the strong objections of the Taiwanese government. Trevor Hunnicutt and Michael Martina report for Reuters.

Sudan’s civil war threatens the lives of almost three million children, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today, as fighting spread to Jazeera state, the country’s breadbasket where half of the population of  5.9 million people are children. Mitil Aggarwal reports for NBC News.


NATO allies emphasized in a meeting with Ukraine that they will continue to provide Ukraine with major economic, military, and humanitarian aid. In a statement after the video conference, NATO confirmed that member states planned to provide “billions of euros of further capabilities” in 2024 to Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg added that “NATO strongly condemns Russian missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian civilians, including with weapons from North Korea and Iran.” Reuters reports.


House Republicans are moving closer to impeaching Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over migrant numbers at the U.S.-Mexico border. The House Committee said Mayorkas has failed to enforce U.S. laws at the border, amounting to a “dereliction of duty.” The impeachment hearing yesterday focused on how states have been impacted by his department’s actions. Chloe Kim reports for BBC News.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced yesterday that he is dropping out of the 2024 presidential campaign, as his main competitor for moderate votes in the New Hampshire primary, Nikki Haley, gains on Donald Trump. Christie added that while he is personally departing from running, he is “going to make sure” that he does not enable former President Trump “to ever be president of the United States again.” Emma Barnett, Garett Haake, and Brian Schwartz report for NBC News.

Montana fire chief Frank Dahlquist was arrested yesterday, accused of shooting chemical spray “directly into the face” of law enforcement officers during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. “It was a great day!! It got spicy but I love the taste of Freedom,” Dahlquist wrote in a text message after the attack, according to the FBI. Dahlquist faces numerous charges, including assault and obstruction of law enforcement. Ryan J. Reilly reports for NBC News.


Judge Arthur Engoron said yesterday he does not expect former President Trump to speak during closing arguments in the $370 million New York civil fraud trial against him. In email correspondence to attorneys for Trump and New York Attorney General Letitia James, Engoron said that Trump has not agreed to the conditions the judge set should the former president wish to give a statement. Meanwhile, Engoron has denied media organizations’ request to televise the closing arguments. Lauren del Valle, Kristen Holmes, Katelyn Polantz, Kaitlan Collins, and Kara Scannell report for CNN.