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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the weekend. Here’s today’s news:


The Israeli military today said it was telling tens of thousands of Gazans sheltering in eastern Rafah to temporarily evacuate to what it called a “humanitarian zone,” a sign Israel is edging closer to invading the city. The military had begun dropping leaflets ordering people to evacuate by morning local time, and said it would also use text messages, phone calls, and broadcasts in Arabic to warn people in Rafah to leave. Vivek Shankar reports for the New York Times.

Ceasefire talks are again said to be stalled. The latest round of negotiations between Israel and Hamas hit an impasse yesterday as mediators struggled to bridge remaining gaps and a Hamas delegation left the talks in Cairo, according to two senior Hamas officials and two other officials familiar with the talks. An Israeli official also said the negotiations had stalled and described them as being in “crisis.” CIA director Bill Burns had traveled to Cairo on Friday to join the talks. Adam Rasgon reports for the New York Times.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself in a defiant speech. Speaking at a Holocaust memorial on Israel’s national Holocaust Remembrance Day, Netanyahu asserted Israel’s right to defend itself against its “genocidal enemies,” with or without international support. “If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone,” he said. Vivek Shankar reports for the New York Times.

Hamas yesterday claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on a key Gaza border crossing that killed three Israeli soldiers. The Kerem Shalom crossing, one of the main crossings used to deliver aid into Gaza, was now closed, Israel’s military said. The military claimed the rockets were launched from Rafah. Shira Rubin, Rachel Pannett, Annabelle Timsit, Lior Soroka, Adela Suliman and Susannah George report for the Washington Post; the Guardian reports.

The head of the World Food Programme said Gaza is experiencing “full-blown famine” in northern Gaza “and it’s moving its way south.” Cindy McCain, the widow of the late U.S. Senator John McCain, said she bases the assessment on the conditions her organization has seen on the ground. The U.N. said in March that famine was imminent, and USAID Administrator Samantha Power said last month that a famine determination would be credible in parts of Gaza. Kyla Guilfoil reports for NBC News.

Israel shut down the operations of Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite news network in the country yesterday, forcing it off the main cable channel and confiscating its equipment, in what appears to be the first case of Israel’s government closing a foreign news outlet’s operation. Israel’s parliament passed a law last month allowing the action. Press freedom and human rights organizations sharply criticized the move, and Al Jazeera called it “an effort to conceal its actions in the Gaza Strip” that “stands in contravention of international and humanitarian law.” Tia Goldenberg and Jon Gambrell report for the Associated Press.

Prisoner groups say a prominent Gazan surgeon died in Israeli detention. Adnan Al-Bursh, head of the orthopedics department at Al-Shifa hospital, died in an Israeli prison on April 19, according to a joint statement issued by two Palestinian prisoner associations Thursday. Al-Bursh was arrested by the Israeli military during a raid on Al-Awda Hospital on Dec. 19, and was subsequently transferred to Ofer Prison in the West Bank. Cate Brown reports for the Washington Post.


The United States appears to have placed a hold on a shipment of U.S.-manufactured ammunition that was bound for Israel, according to Israeli officials. It would be the first such hold since the outbreak of the Gaza war in October. The White House declined to comment, and the Departments of State and Defense didn’t immediately respond to questions. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.


The Biden administration won’t sign a bilateral defense accord with Saudi Arabia without a normalization agreement between the kingdom and Israel, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said. He dismissed recent reports that the United States might opt for a bilateral deal with the Saudis if Israel doesn’t make concessions to the Palestinians that the Saudis would require in exchange. “You can’t disentangle one piece from the others,” Sullivan said. Felicia Schwartz, Steff Chávez, and Andrew England report for the Financial Times.


Russia claimed control of a village it has been targeting in Ukraine’s east and wounded dozens of people, including a child, with drone attacks and airstrikes, as Ukrainians marked their third Christian Orthodox Easter since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. The locations of assaults included the regional capital Kharkiv. Susie Blann and Elise Morton report for the Associated Press.

Evidence from missile debris in Kharkiv and elsewhere in Ukraine appears to confirm suspicions that Russia is using North Korean weapons in its war against Ukraine, illustrating that the threat from North Korea extends beyond its nuclear arsenal to its ability to supply ongoing conflicts. In one instance, missile debris in Ukraine showed that “most of the electronic parts had been manufactured in the U.S. and Europe over the past few years.”  Jean Mackenzie reports for BBC News.


Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in France on Sunday as part of a European tour that also includes stops in Serbia and Hungary. Tensions between Beijing and many European capitals are high as China continues its “no limits” embrace of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. But Xi “wants to demonstrate China’s growing influence on the continent and pursue a pragmatic rapprochement.” Roger Cohen and Chris Buckley report for the New York Times.

The labeling of Japan as “xenophobic” by President Biden was “unfortunate” and “not based on an accurate” understanding of the country, Japan’s U.S. embassy said. Biden said during a campaign fundraising event last week that Japan, India, China, and Russia “don’t want immigrants.” The White House said he meant no offense and was simply highlighting U.S. immigration policies, but the remark has drawn criticism from some observers. Bernd Debusmann Jr. reports for BBC News.

The Biden administration has approved the second military aid package this year for Haiti’s fight to quell gang violence that has overwhelmed the country’s capital. The latest package, valued at $60 million, consists primarily of small arms, with some armored vehicles. The weapons and equipment will go to Haiti’s National Police and the countries slated to participate in a planned – but not yet implemented – multinational security mission in Haiti, including Kenya, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. Matt Berg and Lara Seligman report for POLITICO.

José Raúl Mulino won Panama’s presidential election with 35 percent of the vote, as the hand-picked candidate of former President Ricardo Martinelli, who was ineligible to run after being convicted of money laundering charges. An anti-corruption candidate fell 9 points behind for second place in the election, in which the candidate with the largest share of votes wins outright. Juan Zamorano and Megan Janetsky report for the Associated Press.

Three Indian nationals have been arrested and charged over the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada. The three suspects had been living in Edmonton, Alberta, where they were arrested. Court records show they have been charged with first-degree murder as well as conspiracy to commit murder. Police said that investigations were continuing, including into “connections to the government of India.” Jessica Murphy reports for BBC News. 

Chad’s presidential vote today is set to make it the first of Africa’s current junta-led states to move to democratic rule. The vote will end a three-year transition imposed after the death of long-serving leader Idriss Déby Itno while fighting rebels. While ten men are on the ballot, Déby’s son and successor Mahamat Déby is widely expected to win, raising doubts over the electoral process. BBC News reports; Eromo Elbejule reports for the Guardian.

Liberia’s president Joseph Boakai established the country’s first war crimes court, more than 20 years after the end of two civil wars which killed 250,000 people. Critics have opposed the court’s creation, saying it risks reopening old wounds, but Boakai said the court would “help ferret the causes and effects of the violence” and bring about “justice and healing.” Moses Kollie Garzeawu reports for BBC News.


L.A. police have cleared out a pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Southern California. Officers in riot gear moved into the site early yesterday, according to CBS News. No arrests have been reported at the time of writing. Vicky Wong reports for BBC News.

The U.S. government is providing a $400 million increase in funding for security in places of worship, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced on Sunday. The funding boost to the Nonprofit Security Grant Program comes amid concern over increasing threats to Jewish and Muslim communities. Nonprofit organizations, like synagogues and mosques, could apply to use the money to hire security personnel or install cameras. The Associated Press reports.

U.S. congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and his wife have been charged with accepting around $600,000 in bribes. The couple allegedly received money from an Azerbaijani government-owned oil company and a Mexican bank. Cuellar has denied the charges. If found guilty, the congressman and his wife could face decades in prison. Mike Wendling reports for BBC News.


Trump escalated his attacks on the justice system over the weekend, telling donors at a private event in Florida that President Biden is “running a Gestapo administration,” referring to the secret police during Nazi Germany. The White House yesterday denounced Trump’s remarks. Alex Isenstadt and Shia Kapos report for POLITICO.