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


An Israeli airstrike targeted a commander of Hezbollah’s Radwan unit in southern Lebanon yesterday, the latest sign that Israel is shifting toward a strategy of surgical strikes inside Lebanon. The Israeli army said the commander had been involved in rocket launches toward northern Israel earlier yesterday and that the targeted strike was in response to those attacks. The commander was injured but survived the attack, according to a senior Lebanese security official. Euan Ward reports for the New York Times.


The U.S. Central Command forces yesterday conducted seven “self-defense” strikes against four Houthi unmanned surface vessels and seven mobile anti-ship cruise missiles that were prepared to be launched against ships in the Red Sea, the U.S. military said. Kanishka Singh reports for Reuters.


Israel bombed targets in Rafah today, hours after Biden administration officials warned Israel against expanding its Gaza ground offensive into the southern city. Airstrikes hit two residential buildings in Rafah, while two other sites were bombed, killing twenty-two people, according to AP journalists who saw bodies arriving at hospitals. Najib Jobain, Wafaa Shurafa, and Bassem Mroue report for AP News.

As a Hamas delegation arrived in Egypt yesterday for further talks on ending the war in Gaza, Israeli officials indicated their government was still open to negotiation, despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strong public rejection of Hamas’s counter-proposal this week. “There is agreement among members of the governing coalition, and particularly among individual members of the government, that we do have to get the hostages back and to make a deal. But not at any price. Stopping the war, they won’t agree to,” Miki Zohar, an Israeli government minister, said yesterday. Patrick Kingsley and Adam Rasgon report for the New York Times.

At least 27,949 people have died in Gaza since Israel began its military campaign, the Hamas-run health ministry said today. A further 67,459 people have been injured, with just over100 people killed in the past 24 hours. Mithil Aggarwal reports for NBC News.


U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said yesterday that “The IDF are reportedly destroying all buildings within the Gaza Strip that are within a kilometer of the Israel-Gaza fence, clearing the area with the objective of creating a ‘buffer zone’,” warning that “destructions carried out to create a ‘buffer zone’ for general security purposes do not appear consistent with the narrow ‘military operations’ exception set out in international humanitarian law.” 


President Biden said yesterday that Israel’s operation to go after Hamas had been “over the top,” one of his sharpest rebukes yet of Israel’s military conduct in Gaza. “I’m of the view…that the conduct of the response in Gaza – in the Gaza Strip – has been over the top,” Biden told reporters at the White House. Kevin Liptak reports for CNN.

The Biden administration said yesterday it would not at this point support Israeli plans for a military operation in Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s total population has sought shelter. “Given the circumstances and the conditions there that we see right now, we think a military operation at this time would be a disaster for those people,” White House spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. “With so many Palestinians sheltering in Rafah,” Kirby said, “the Israeli military has a special obligation as they conduct operations, there or anywhere else, to make sure that they’re factoring in protection for innocent civilian life.” Farnaz Fassihi and Alan Yuhas report for the New York Times.

“The civilian death toll in Gaza has been far too high” and “there continue to be steps, we believe, that can be taken that are a moral and strategic imperative to minimize the impact on civilians,” State Department Principal Deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said yesterday. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken left the Middle East yesterday with public divisions between the United States and Israel at perhaps their worst level since the start of the war in Gaza. Netanyahu’s public dismissal of a Hamas ceasefire plan that the U.S. says has merit, at least as a starting point for further negotiation, highlighted the divide. Matthew Lee reports for AP News.

U.S. intelligence officials told Congress members this week in a closed-door briefing that Israel had degraded Hamas’s fighting capabilities but was not close to eliminating the group. Julian E. Barnes and Edward Wong report for the New York Times.

The Minneapolis City Council overrode a mayoral veto yesterday and approved a resolution calling for a ceasefire and an end to U.S. military funding to Israel. AP News reports. 


Chinese leader Xi Jinping told Russian President Vladimir Putin that their countries should “strengthen strategic coordination” and “safeguard the national sovereignty, security and development interests of their respective countries,” according to a readout of a bilateral call held yesterday from China’s foreign ministry. Xi said both countries should “resolutely oppose external interference in their internal affairs,” in an apparent reference to mutual suspicions about the activities of Western governments. A Kremlin readout added that Putin and Xi “specifically stressed that close Russia-China interaction is an important stabilizing factor in world affairs.” Simone McCarthy reports for CNN.

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro oversaw a broad conspiracy to hold onto power irrespective of the 2022 election results, including personally editing a proposed order to arrest a Supreme Court justice, according to accusations made public yesterday by the Brazilian federal police. The allegations were contained in a 134-page court order that authorized a sweeping federal police operation targeting Bolsonaro and about two dozen of his political allies. Jack Nicas reports for the New York Times.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev secured a fifth consecutive term in power with more than 92% of the vote, according to election authorities. The main rival parties boycotted the election, with one opposition leader calling it an “imitation of democracy.” International observers say he had no meaningful challenger. The vote was planned for 2025, but a snap election was called after Azerbaijan’s government seized control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region last October. Ian Casey reports for BBC News.

At least four people have died in violence in a northern Indian state after authorities demolished a mosque, alleging it was constructed illegally. Violence broke out during what police called an “anti-encroachment drive” to clear illegal constructions, including the mosque and an adjacent madrassa. BBC News reports.

Denmark should accelerate its military investments after new intelligence indicates that Russia is rearming faster than expected and could attack a NATO country within three to five years, the Danish defense minister said today. Reuters reports.

Up to 700,000 children in Sudan are likely to suffer severe malnutrition this year and tens of thousands could die, UNICEF warned today. “UNICEF won’t be able to treat more than 300,000 of those without improved access and without additional support,” a spokesperson said. Reuters reports.


Tucker Carlson interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday in Putin’s first one-on-one interview with a Western journalist since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. In the interview, Putin hinted about releasing detained Wall Street Journalist Evan Gershkovich in a possible prisoner swap. He used much of the interview to monologue on revisionist historical accounts of post-World War I Russia and suggested the West fears Beijing more than Moscow, saying “The West is afraid of a strong China more than it fears a strong Russia.” Rebecca Falconer reports for Axios.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy removed his top general yesterday as part of a sweeping overhaul of his military command, the most significant restructuring of Ukrainian leadership since Russia’s invasion. The dismissal followed weeks of speculation about the fate of commander Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, whose relationship with Zelenskyy deteriorated as Ukraine failed to make a breakthrough in its counteroffensive last year. “Starting today, a new management team will take over the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said. Andrew E. Kramer and Marc Santora report for the New York Times

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will lend support for President Biden’s effort to secure more funding for Ukraine during a White House meeting today that is also expected to touch on the conflict in the Middle East. White House spokesperson John Kirby said yesterday the two leaders would “reaffirm their strong support for Ukraine and finding a way to continue to help Ukraine.” Jeff Mason and Andreas Rinke report for Reuters.


President Biden fired back against assertions made by Special Counsel Robert Hur over his memory and handling of classified documents, saying, in remarks last night at the White House, “I’m well meaning, and I’m an elderly man, and I know what the hell I’m doing.” Hur’s report concluded that no criminal charges are warranted in the case, but wrote at length that “Mr. Biden’s memory was significantly limited.” Hur’s report stated, “At trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Erin Doherty reports for Axios.

The Senate advanced a $95 billion aid package 67-32 for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan just one day after Republicans blocked a bipartisan border security and foreign aid bill. The new bill removes border measures from the $188 billion bipartisan package that Senate Republicans voted down Wednesday. Madeline Halpert reports for BBC News.


A federal judge formally ordered former President Trump to pay $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll, following the jury’s verdict from his defamation trial last month. Kara Scannell reports for CNN.