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


Wikileaks founder Julian Assange pleaded guilty today to a single felony charge for publishing U.S. military secrets. He was sentenced to time served, meaning he has left court as a free man and is traveling to his native Australia. Following the sentencing, the U.S. Department of Justice released a statement saying that Assange is “prohibited from returning to the United States without permission.” The Guardian reports. Readers may also be interested in Jameel Jaffer’s analysis for Just Security on “The Assange Plea and Press Freedom.”

Violent protests escalated in Kenya yesterday, killing at least 13 protesters and setting alight a section of parliament. President William Ruto has deployed the military to quell the protests, which come in response to new tax proposals. Several groups have accused Kenyan security forces of overreacting by using live ammunition, and there are unverified social media reports of officers shooting dead dozens of people overnight. Basillioh Rukanga and Ido Vock report for BBC News; CNN reports. 

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich appeared in Russian court today as his espionage trial gets underway. The trial is being held behind closed doors and it is unknown how long the trial will last. U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said yesterday, “They have made false claims about [Gershkovich’s] behavior, about his actions, about associations with the United States Government that simply aren’t true,” adding, “I certainly don’t expect a free and fair trial.” Ann M. Simmons reports for the Wall Street Journal.

NATO today appointed outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as its next secretary-general. Rutte’s appointment was sealed by NATO ambassadors during a meeting at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels. President Biden and his counterparts will formally welcome him to their table at a summit in Washington next month. AP News reports. 

Two human rights groups have made a submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing Peru’s President Dina Boluarte and members of her government of crimes against humanity. The allegations are in connection to the deaths of 49 people during the country’s weeks-long protest movement in 2022 and 2023. Claudia Rebeza reports for CNN.

Foreign law enforcement officers from eight nations began arriving in Haiti yesterday. The deployment will aim to wrest control of Port-au-Prince from dozens of armed groups that have attacked police stations, released prisoners, and killed with impunity. Frances Robles and Abdi Latif Dahir report for the New York Times.

Trash-filled balloons launched by North Korea to South Korea prompted the temporary closure of Seoul’s airport. An airport spokesperson said balloons launched near the runways, with several spotted in and around the airport boundaries. The Guardian reports. 


The ICC has issued arrest warrants for Russia’s former defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, and the chief of general staff, Valery Gerasimov. The ICC judges said there were grounds to believe the two men — who are suspected of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity — bore individual responsibility for attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine between October 2022 and March 2023. Laura Gozzi reports for BBC News.

The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled that Russia and its proxy security forces in Crimea committed several human rights violations during its decade-long occupation of the Ukrainian territory. In the case brought by Ukraine’s government, the court found evidence of the unlawful persecution and detention of those who criticized Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, as well as of the systemic repression of ethnic and religious minorities in the peninsula. Lynsey Chutel reports for the New York Times.

Russia and Ukraine conducted another prisoner swap yesterday, each returning 90 prisoners. The United Arab Emirates said it played a key role in the exchange, saying that its success was due to it leveraging “its distinct ties and partnership with both sides.” Reuters reports. 

U.S. and Russian defense chiefs spoke yesterday in a rare conversation, amid rising tensions after Moscow blamed Washington for a deadly Ukraine attack in Crimea over the weekend. The Guardian reports.  

The Kremlin has restricted access on Russian territory to 81 media outlets that conduct business in the E.U. including POLITICO, France’s AFP, and Spain’s EFE, in retaliation against the E.U.’s ban on some Russia-linked media outlets. The “counter-restrictions” are imposed on “a number of media outlets … that systematically disseminate false information about the progress of the special military operation,” the Russian foreign affairs ministry said, referencing Russia’s war in Ukraine. Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana reports for POLITICO.

The Biden administration is moving toward lifting a de facto ban on U.S. military contractors deploying to Ukraine, four U.S officials said. If approved, the move would allow the Pentagon to provide contracts to U.S. companies for work inside Ukraine. Natasha Bertrand and Oren Liebermann report for CNN.


A U.N.-backed report released yesterday says almost half a million Palestinians across Gaza are still facing “catastrophic levels” of hunger and that a “high risk of famine persists as long as conflict continues, and humanitarian access is restricted.” An influx of aid in the spring averted earlier famine warnings, the report said, but the aid operation has all but collapsed since Israel launched its campaign in Rafah. Louisa Loveluck, Jennifer Hassan, Sarah Dadouch and Karen DeYoung report for the Washington Post.

A strike in the northern Gaza Strip yesterday killed a sister of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and her family. Hamas confirmed the death of Zaher Haniyeh in a statement. The Israeli military said it was aware of the reports but could not “currently confirm” that it had struck the Haniyeh family home. Separately, Israel struck two schools in Gaza City and a refugee camp in the strip, killing 23 others collectively, medics said. Hiba Yazbek reports for the New York Times; Nidal Al-Mughrabi reports for Reuters.

Senior U.N. officials have told Israel they will suspend aid operations across Gaza unless urgent steps are taken to increase protection for humanitarian workers from Israeli strikes and curb growing lawlessness hampering aid efforts, two U.N. officials said. The Israeli military has declined to comment at the time of writing. AP News reports. 


Israel and the United States agreed to reconvene a joint meeting on Iran in July that was canceled by the White House last week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Biden administration of withholding weapons from Israel, according to Israeli and U.S. officials. Iran has denied allegations of wanting to develop nuclear weapons. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.


The United States yesterday imposed sanctions on nearly 50 entities and people it said were part of an Iranian operation to direct funds toward terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and the Houthis. “The United States is taking action against a vast shadow banking system used by Iran’s military to launder billions of dollars of oil proceeds and other illicit revenue,” the U.S. deputy secretary of the Treasury said in a statement. Ephrat Livni reports for the New York Times.

Suspected attacks by Yemen’s Houthi fighters early today targeted a ship in the Gulf of Aden, while a separate attack claimed by Iraqi militants allied with the rebels targeted the southern Israeli port city of Eilat, authorities said. Jon Gambrell reports for AP News.


The New York judge overseeing former President Trump’s hush money trial yesterday lifted part of his gag order in the case, allowing him to comment on witnesses and the jury, but keeping in place the other restrictions. The amended order, which will remain in place until his July 11 sentencing, means Trump is still barred from speaking publicly about lawyers, court staff, and any of their family members. A spokesperson for Trump’s presidential campaign called the gag order’s remaining aspects “unconstitutional.” Erin Doherty reports for Axios; Erica Orden reports for POLITICO