Fdd's overnight brief

April 8, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Signs of a civil conflict between Hamas and its Palestinian rivals are beginning to build, raising far-reaching questions about what a postwar government in Gaza might look like—and how long it might last. – Wall Street Journal

Talks for a cease-fire in Gaza and for the release of hostages held by Hamas resumed Sunday, as Israel allowed a significant increase in humanitarian aid into the enclave and international pressure built to reduce the civilian toll of the fighting. – Wall Street Journal

The Biden administration is pressing Israel to permit limited numbers of civilians displaced in the six-month-old Gaza war to return to the northern part of the enclave, a key remaining point of contention in cease-fire and hostage talks, U.S., Israeli and Egyptian officials said. – Wall Street Journal

The Israeli drone team that killed seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen after mistaking them for Hamas militants lacked the evidence to order the strikes and twice violated the military’s operating rules, an Israeli military investigation found. – Wall Street Journal

Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital is “an empty shell with human graves” and “completely non-functional,” the World Health Organization said Saturday, after a weeks-long siege by Israeli forces decimated what was left of the territory’s largest medical facility. – Washington Post

Facing pressure to get more aid into the Gaza Strip, Israel said this week it is working toward opening the Erez crossing, a major checkpoint between Israel and northern Gaza. – Washington Post

Six months after Oct. 7, Israelis are struggling to recover their bearings, their core, their belief that Jews are safe in Israel. In Israel’s south and north, more than 120,000 people have been evacuated, their neighborhoods transformed into front lines. The homes sit empty, toys still scattered in front yards. – Washington Post

Israel said on Sunday — the six-month mark of the ruinous conflict in Gaza — that it was withdrawing all but one brigade from the south of the enclave, describing the move as an opportunity for troops to rest and retool for the next chapter of the war. – Washington Post

Even before war erupted between Israel and Hamas, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees was broke. Now, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency is on life support, after major donors suspended funding in January in the wake of allegations that a dozen of the agency’s 13,000 employees in Gaza took part in the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7. – Washington Post

Israel’s military said on Saturday that it had recovered the body of a man who was taken hostage from one of the communities hardest hit during the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack, almost six months to the day after his abduction. – New York Times

In the fall of 2016, the Obama administration sealed a major military agreement with Israel that committed the United States to giving the country $38 billion in arms over 10 years. – New York Times

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel would not agree to a ceasefire after six months of war against Hamas in Gaza until the hostages being held in Gaza are released. – Reuters

The new Palestinian Authority (PA) government sworn into office this week by PA President Mahmoud Abbas – and warmly welcomed by the White House and the State Department – includes at least two ministers who hold extreme and racist views toward Israel and Jews, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an Israeli organization that draws attention to Palestinian extremism, has revealed. – Fox News

The terrorist Walid Daqqah, who kidnapped and murdered the soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984, passed away on Sunday after suffering from cancer for the past year. Daqqah died at the age of 64, less than a year before he was scheduled to be released in March 2025. – Jerusalem Post

Editorial: The public must join the families in calling for the hostages’ release and make the government understand it has no mandate to exercise the Hannibal Directive against 133 hostages in order to continue the war. Six months have passed since the country’s worst day, and Israel’s condition has only gotten worse. The hostages must be returned. The war in Gaza must end. And Netanyahu must go. It’s a matter of life and death. – Haaretz

Gil Troy writes: Israelis didn’t seek this war—but when attacked, they unleashed a patriotism, idealism, self-sacrifice and grit that today’s regressive progressives scorn. Israelis’ resilience, duty and love of life explain how this often polarized and besieged society remains such a happy place. Rather than demonize these heroes, protesters could learn from Israelis about the art of living—not only for their sake but for America’s too. – Wall Street Journal

Gershon Baskin writes: Meanwhile the leaders of Israel’s negotiating team are not present, and it is not clear if the team has been given a new mandate. And the hostages remain in Gaza. Israel failed to protect its citizens on Oct. 7. Every additional day that the hostages are in Gaza is a risk to their lives and a betrayal of the Israeli promise never to leave anyone behind. Many have already died. For their sake, and for Israel’s, no issue should be more urgent. – New York Times

David French writes: The moral urgency of destroying Hamas remains, but it is a profound mistake to think that defeating it in battle is at odds with the legal and moral obligation of a large-scale humanitarian effort to feed and protect the civilians of Gaza. In fact, the two goals are inextricably linked. Fail at either one, and Israel may ultimately face its most consequential defeat. – New York Times

Steven Burg writes: By turning antagonistic toward Israel, which is painfully serving as terrorism’s test case, the world is incubating the viral contagion of indiscriminate violence against its own cities and streets. Supporting Israel’s rightful campaign of self-defense is a policy investment in wider regional security and human sanctity. The choice is binary: Enable Israel to finish the job against Hamas and help uproot terror’s weed – or eventually reap the whirlwind at home. – Jerusalem Post

Benjamin Kerstein writes: Certainly, Israel should attempt to supply its own military needs as much as possible. It should seek to diversify its alliances. And it should prepare for the day when the U.S. will not be a hegemonic power, not because it is inevitable but because one should prepare for all possible scenarios. For the moment, however, fantasies about being “a people that dwells alone” get us nowhere. We are stuck with our friends, for better or for worse. And perhaps we should be grateful. At least they are not our enemies. – Algemeiner 


For years, Iran has been the outsider. Predominantly Persian-speaking in a region where most people speak Arabic, overwhelmingly Shiite where most are Sunni, it has been crippled by Western sanctions meant to make it a pariah. – New York Times

Iran vowed on Friday to avenge Israel’s killing of senior commanders and other officers of its elite Quds Force, at a public funeral held for the dead men, elevating fears of open war but leaving unsaid how it would retaliate or when.- New York Times

A senior Iranian official said on Sunday that none of Israel’s embassies were safe anymore, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. – Reuters

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian left Oman to visit Syria’s capital Damascus a week after Iran’s consulate there was targeted in a suspected Israeli attack, state media reported on Monday. – Reuters

Israel is ready to handle any scenario that may arise with Iran, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Sunday, after Tehran threatened to retaliate for the killing of Iranian generals on April 1. – Reuters

Four Iranian environmental activists jailed on security charges are set to be released after more than six years in prison, their lawyer said. – Bloomberg

Yesterday, a sharp crash in the value of the Iranian Rial was reported, with some sources reporting that one USD would now be worth over 660,000 Iranian Rials in some unofficial markets. – Jerusalem Post

Eran Fard writes: In conclusion, the path forward requires a delicate balance between deterrence and diplomacy, leveraging the full spectrum of economic, political, and, if necessary, military tools at the disposal of the international community. The objective should not be merely to contain Tehran’s ambitions but to foster a conducive environment for change within Iran, one that prioritizes the welfare of its populace over the regime’s expansionist agendas. – Jerusalem Post

Suzanne Maloney writes: In a sense, Iran now has the default advantage over the United States because it does not actually have to achieve anything material in the near term. Chaos itself will constitute a victory. By contrast, the bar for U.S. success is high. Like it or not, however, the United States remains an indispensable player in the region despite its dubious record over the past several decades. Standing by its allies—and safeguarding access to oil that remains vital to the world economy—with a delicate balance of support and restraint requires commitment. – Foreign Affairs

Sam Raus writes: Ultimately, deterring the Iranian nuclear program depends on a strong defense of Israel. Due to the imminent threat posed by a nuclear Iran to our allies in Jerusalem, an effective approach depends on our firm support of the Israeli government’s defensive actions. Congress should start by passing the current aid package to Israel and then pivot to Tehran. – The National Interest

Russia & Ukraine

As Russia steps up airstrikes and once again advances on the battlefield in Ukraine more than two years into its bloody invasion, there is no end to the fighting in sight. And President Volodymyr Zelensky’s options for what to do next — much less how to win the war — range from bad to worse. – Washington Post 

Former president Donald Trump has privately said he could end Russia’s war in Ukraine by pressuring Ukraine to give up some territory, according to people familiar with the plan. Some foreign policy experts said Trump’s idea would reward Russian President Vladimir Putin and condone the violation of internationally recognized borders by force. – Washington Post

At the edge of a stream in this decimated village, Max Polyukhovich dug through the mud with his hands in search of an elusive grail. After a few moments, he pulled out a smooth gray hunk of metal, several feet long: an unused Russian artillery shell. – Wall Street Journal

A senior U.S. official said that the administration is preparing a new proposal to Moscow to secure the release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, Americans held in Russia. – Wall Street Journal

Viktor Savvinov had already been imprisoned several times for various crimes — including robbery, auto theft and assault — when he murdered a female drinking companion during a quarrel in 2020, stabbing her in the chest with four knives. – New York Times

Russian rockets slammed into residential buildings in Kharkiv before dawn on Saturday, Ukrainian officials said, killing at least seven people and injuring at least 11 more in the latest assault on Ukraine’s second-largest city. – New York Times

The Ukrainian energy system that was severely damaged by Russian missile attacks in recent weeks is now almost completely stabilised, and the energy ministry on Sunday said no major imports were expected. – Reuters

Russia launched more than two dozen attack drones on Ukraine, hitting critical infrastructure in the central Zhytomyr region and damaging logistics facilities in the south, officials said on Monday. – Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit China on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the war in Ukraine and the deepening partnership between Moscow and Beijing. – Reuters

The head of the U.N.’s atomic watchdog agency on Sunday condemned a Ukrainian drone strike on one of six nuclear reactors at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, saying such attacks “significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident.” – Associated Press

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy implored the U.S. to approve more military funding for his country on Sunday, warning that Ukraine would “lose the war” without it. – Fox News

Editorial: Ukraine’s strikes on Russia won’t decide the war’s outcome, but they are important as Ukraine’s dwindling ammo and air defenses limit other options. While Mr. Putin continues to escalate, the White House frets about the Russian response to any perceived escalation. The bigger geopolitical risk is what will happen if Ukraine falls to Russian aggression. If the U.S. won’t offer more arms, the least it can do is get out of Ukraine’s way. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Mr. Trump and his followers may argue that the security of Ukraine, or even of Europe, is not America’s business. But the consequence of allowing a Russian victory in Ukraine is a world in which authoritarian strongmen feel free to crush dissent or seize territory with impunity. That is a threat to the security of America, and the world. Congress is prepared to stand up to this aggression; it is Mr. Johnson’s duty to bring this effort to a vote. – New York Times

David Ignatius writes: “Our motto is, ‘The drones are fighting, not the people,’” says Tskhakaia. He thinks autonomous weapons will save precious lives, Ukraine’s scarcest resource. The country’s roughly 20,000 drone operators can work away from the front lines, often in protected underground bunkers, he notes. The long congressional delay in approving military assistance for Kyiv has had an unlikely upside. Countries starving for weapons, like Ukraine, learn to innovate and make their own. – Washington Post


The head of Lebanon’s armed group Hezbollah said on Friday that Israel’s strike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus this week marked a “turning point” since Oct. 7, when Palestinian group Hamas launched an attack on Israel that has led to escalating regional tensions. – Reuters

An Israeli strike on southern Lebanon early on Monday killed a field commander in the heavily-armed Lebanese group Hezbollah, as the United Nations warned that shelling was spreading and urged a halt to the violence. – Reuters

The Israeli military said on Sunday that it had completed another step in preparing for a possible war along its northern front, where it has been trading fire with the Lebanese militia Hezbollah for six months. – Reuters


Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides will discuss with the head of the European Commission on Sunday an unprecedented surge in arrivals of mainly Syrian refugees this week on the island and he will then visit Lebanon on Monday, officials said. – Reuters

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, has said Israeli air strikes have turned southern Lebanon into a “devastated agricultural area”. – Reuters

A coordinator in the Christian Lebanese Forces party was kidnapped in the Byblos District of northern Lebanon on Sunday, with officials expressing concerns the kidnapping could exacerbate already heavy tensions between various factions in Lebanon. – Jerusalem Post

Adnan Nasser writes: People at the bottom are really hurting. They need to believe again and be given renewed confidence. This is the keyword.” Demanding a state be accountable for its actions is a prerequisite for any governance model. A nation’s success does not simply appear out of thin air. It takes planning, commitment, and integrity. Change in Lebanon is no longer just desirable but necessary for the country’s survival. – The National Interest


U.S. forces destroyed a mobile surface-to air missile system in a Houthi-controlled territory of Yemen on April 6, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said on Sunday. – Reuters

Houthi forces in Yemen said on Sunday they had launched rockets and drones at British, U.S. and Israeli ships, the latest in a campaign of attacks on shipping in support of Palestinians in the Gaza war. – Reuters

The European Union’s naval mission in the southern Red Sea said on Saturday it had intercepted a Houthi missile to protect merchant ships. – Reuters

Saudi Arabia

These days, Princess Reema Bandar al-Saud, 48, the daughter of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, one of the most powerful diplomats in Washington when he was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States for more than two decades, occupies her father’s old job. – New York Times

Saudi Arabia has scaled back its medium-term ambitions for the desert development of Neom, the biggest project within Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans for diversifying the oil-dependent economy, according to people familiar with the matter. – Bloomberg

John Calabrese writes: These diplomatic initiatives signify Riyadh’s transition towards a peace-oriented role, marking a significant shift away from more than a decade of confrontational and interventionist policies. The Ukraine talks in Jeddah not only thrust Saudi Arabia into the global spotlight on a critical issue but also afforded MBS a chance to position himself as a world leader with “convening power” and influence reaching far beyond his region despite ongoing challenges in ending his country’s involvement in the Yemen conflict. – The National Interest

Middle East & North Africa

Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah submitted his cabinet’s resignation as expected to the Kuwaiti emir on Saturday, the state news agency reported. – Reuters

France’s intention to use the French Development Agency (AFD) to fund projects in the disputed Sahrawi regions is a “provocative” step, Algerian state media reported on Sunday, citing a statement from Western Sahara’s Information Ministry. – Reuters

Turkish authorities, who have denounced Israel for its war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, have arrested two people suspected of spying for Israeli intelligence, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on Friday. – Reuters

Iraq agreed on Sunday to send 10 million litres of fuel to the Gaza Strip in support of the Palestinian people, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said. – Reuters

Baghdad is repairing a pipeline that could allow it to send 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) to Turkey by the end of the month, an Iraqi deputy oil minister said on Monday, a step likely to rile oil foreign companies and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). – Reuters

Korean Peninsula

The elections are ostensibly about the 300 seats in Parliament, but when South Koreans go to the polls on Wednesday, they will also be signaling support for one of two leaders who are locked in what is known here as “gladiator politics.” – New York Times

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday said he wanted to cooperate with South Korea and the Philippines, allies shared with the U.S., and even engage with North Korea to promote regional security. – Reuters

South Korea has successfully launched its second military spy satellite into orbit, days after North Korea reaffirmed its plan to launch multiple reconnaissance satellites this year. – Associated Press

Russia’s use of North Korean missiles in its assault in Ukraine is giving Pyongyang a rare chance to test its weapons in combat and perhaps take away lessons that could improve their performance, a top US general said. – Bloomberg

Editorial: China is North Korea’s major trading partner, and although it voted for some U.N. Security Council sanctions, its banks have been complicit in violating them. Pressing China hard to restrain North Korea seems unlikely to succeed now, given all the other tensions between the United States and China. It is not yet certain how China will view Russia’s new coziness with Mr. Kim. But it is certain that Mr. Kim’s boisterous demonstration of his missiles will continue to unsettle U.S. allies Japan and South Korea. – Washington Post


To revive its economic fortunes, China is flooding the world with cheap goods, a multitrillion-dollar sequel to the China shock that hit global manufacturing more than two decades ago. – Wall Street Journal

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen confronted her Chinese counterpart about China’s surging exports of inexpensive electric vehicles and other green energy goods, saying that they were a threat to American jobs and urging Beijing to scale back its industrial strategy, the U.S. government has said. – New York Times

Vietnam National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday and proposed more cooperation between the South China Sea rivals on trade and development projects, the Vietnamese government and state media said. – Reuters

Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov arrived in China, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday, for what Moscow had said was talks on the war in Ukraine, bilateral ties and the situation in the Asia-Pacific region. – Reuters

U.S. military officials met their Chinese counterparts earlier this week for a series of meetings in Hawaii focused on how the two countries can operate safely, U.S. officials said on Friday. – Reuters

The U.S. has denounced Hong Kong’s new national security law as a tool to potentially silence dissent both at home and abroad, but so far the action from Washington has been notably muted, disappointing those fighting for the Chinese territory’s democracy and freedoms. – Associated Press

China’s military said Sunday that it had conducted air and sea patrols and that all activities that “disrupt the South China Sea” are under control, an apparent response to naval exercises by the U.S. and its allies. – Associated Press

Thomas J. Duesterberg writes: Stronger measures, such as cutting China off from loans from multilateral development banks, actively helping the Philippines and Japan counter China’s illegal appropriation of coral reefs and exclusive fishing zones, and stronger trade restrictions should also be considered. China poses the greatest threat to the health of the global commons. Until Beijing seriously commits to environmental stewardship, the West shouldn’t allow it to claim that it does. – Wall Street Journal

South Asia

Pakistan on Saturday denounced “provocative remarks” made by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in which he said India would enter Pakistan to kill anyone who escapes over its border after trying to carry out militant attacks. – Reuters

India has allowed limited exports of essential commodities, including sugar, wheat, rice, and onions, to the Maldives, the government said on Friday, even as ties between Male and New Delhi remained tense amid rising Chinese influence. – Reuters

China is slowing and Western governments increasingly see it as a rival rather than an economic partner. On its southwestern border, another rising economy is vying to take its place as the world’s next growth driver. – Bloomberg

Andy Mukherjee writes: An Indian like me who grew up in the north wants to believe that change might still be possible, knowing fully well that the election results on June 4 are going to make me look foolish. And that’s because the typical voter from my hometown would never get a chance to set foot inside a clinic in Kerala — and the 60 newborns out of 1,000 in UP who’ll die before they turn five will never vote. – Bloomberg


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his government wouldn’t rule out any measures in dealing with foreign-exchange rates, responding to a question about the yen’s recent weakness. – Wall Street Journal

When President Biden welcomes Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, to Washington this week for a visit highlighted by the pomp of a state dinner, there will be an inescapable subtext to all the ceremony: Both leaders are in a fight to keep their jobs. – New York Times

Thousands of innocent people killed. Tens of thousands more pro-democracy protesters locked up. The return of military rule has wreaked havoc in Myanmar in recent years. Now the junta is growing increasingly brutal as a rebel uprising has gained ground in the countryside. – New York Times

Defence forces of the U.S., Japan, Australia and the Philippines will conduct “maritime cooperative activity” on April 7 to support a free and open Indo-Pacific, the countries said on Saturday, amid China’s growing assertiveness in the waterway. – Reuters

A senior Australian opposition party lawmaker broached the sensitive subject of security cooperation with Taiwan during a meeting on Monday with President Tsai Ing-wen, saying both sides have a vested interest in maintaining regional stability. – Reuters

Philippines’ President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday called on China to talk to prevent more incidents like ramming vessels and the use of water cannons in the South China Sea. – Reuters

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will meet the Saudi crown prince during a two-day visit to Riyadh that starts on Saturday, the foreign ministry said. – Reuters

Takeo Akiba writes: Our efforts should not be misinterpreted. Our goal is to strengthen deterrence and make room for genuine dialogues with countries and regions, including authoritarian regimes. Kishida’s visit to the United States this week will be a historic opportunity to underscore Japan’s commitment to improving the security environment and strengthening a free and open international order based on the rule of law. – Washington Post

Karishma Vaswani writes: China under Xi has drawn suspicion from both sides of the political spectrum in the US. That’s meant a harsher, more strident approach toward Beijing— and that has benefited Taiwan. Still, the island knows all too well how quickly things can change: A new president in the White House could reverse course dramatically. Taipei is used to braving it alone, but a little help from its friends never hurts. – Bloomberg

Olivia Enos writes: It should also revoke special privileges and immunities afforded to the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices, which serve as embassy-like bodies operating at the behest of the CCP. Finally, the U.S. should anticipate that additional individuals from Hong Kong will be in need of refugee relief and extend permanent safe haven in the form of Priority-2 refugee status. Hong Kongers need American and global support now more than ever. It’s time for Congress and the executive branch to stand on the side of freedom and act. – The Hill


The answer has been subjected to intense news media and judicial scrutiny in the years since. It has all pointed to the same conclusion: The village of Antaviliai was home to a secret C.I.A. detention and torture center, one of three so-called black sites that the agency set up in Eastern Europe after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. – New York Times

Voters in Slovakia on Saturday strengthened the grip of Russia-friendly political forces in Central Europe, handing victory in a presidential election to a candidate who opposes providing military and financial aid to Ukraine. – New York Times

The U.S., Britain and Australia are set to begin talks on bringing new members into their AUKUS security pact as Washington pushes for Japan to be involved as a deterrent against China, the Financial Times reported. – Reuters

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron will travel to the United States next week where he will urge politicians to approve a package of military aid for Ukraine. – Reuters

Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir announced her resignation on Friday and said that she will run for president, a ceremonial post that is mostly above the daily political fray. – Reuters

Nicaragua is set to ask the International Court of Justice on Monday to order Berlin to halt military arms exports to Israel and reverse its decision to stop funding U.N. Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA. – Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in remarks broadcast on Saturday that he hoped that he and Swiss President Viola Amherd would set a date within days for a world peace summit in Switzerland with 80 to 100 countries. – Reuters

Alexey Meshkov, Russia’s ambassador to France, said Emmanuel Macron’s recent hawkish commentary on Russia poses “a serious strategic problem.” – Bloomberg

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently threatened to station troops near the country’s border with Finland once again. That’s heavy saber-rattling, considering the border is more than 1,300 kilometers long. – Politico

Poland’s deputy foreign minister handed a diplomatic note on Friday to Israel’s ambassador protesting the killing of a Polish aid worker in an attack earlier this week on a convoy of aid workers in Gaza. – Associated Press

Norway’s center-left government is set to present the Storting (national parliament) with what Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre described as the most “ambitious and far reaching” Long-Term Defense Plan (LTDP) in the country’s history. – Defense News

With fears of slipping F-35 delivery schedules plaguing some European customers of the Lockheed Martin-made warplanes, defense officials in Poland and Italy said they don’t expect their fleets to be affected by the vendor’s technical problems in rolling out a key upgrade for the jets. – Defense News


The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which gained global notoriety in 2008 for printing one-hundred-trillion-dollar notes, said Friday it was launching a new national currency, promising, once again, to end years of monetary turbulence. – Wall Street Journal

The death toll from an attack in a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri province rose to 25 on Sunday, a local chief and civil society leader said, after a government spokesman and a U.N. document confirmed the attack on Saturday. – Reuters

Rwanda’s president on Sunday led commemorations to mark 30 years since the 1994 genocide that killed more than 1 million people and said the conditions that led to the slaughter would never be allowed to exist again in his country’s politics. – Reuters

The United Nations said Friday it has begun distributing food in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur province for the first time in months, following two successful cross-border operations, but the population still faces widespread starvation unless more help arrives. – Fox News

Alex de Waal and Mulugeta Gebrehiwot Berhe write: Fomenting instability in the Red Sea arena is in no one’s interest. The United States should be working with all its Middle Eastern allies—and with partners in Asia and Europe, as well as the African Union—on a formula for collective security on both shores of the Red Sea. Part of this formula must be an Ethiopian government that plays by the rules and is not offered powerful incentives to break them. – Foreign Affairs

The Americas

Ecuadorian police forced their way into Mexico’s embassy in Quito late Friday and pulled out a former vice president who had sought asylum there, sparking a diplomatic crisis in a region becoming increasingly polarized between left and right. – Washington Post

Guatemalan President Bernardo Arevalo on Sunday dismissed his minister of environment and natural resources, fewer than 100 days into his term, to “avoid any doubt” over the integrity of his government, a statement said. – Reuters

Venezuela’s government will allow six aides of opposition leader Maria Corina Machado who are currently at the Argentine embassy in Caracas to travel safely to Argentina, a government source said on Friday. – Reuters

Mexico will bring a formal complaint against Ecuador before the United Nations amid a spiral in relations after Ecuadoran police stormed the Mexican embassy there to arrest a top politician who had sought asylum. – Bloomberg

North America

About a mile north of the U.S.-Mexico border, a makeshift collection of multi-colored blankets and tarps blooms in the desert. The people waiting there are migrants from around the world, most of whom snuck through a gap where an 18-foot steel wall meets a rocky hill outside this desert town about an hour east of San Diego. – Wall Street Journal

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday said his government would spend nearly $2 billion to help fuel growth in the country’s domestic artificial-intelligence sector, the latest in a series of multibillion-dollar announcements the Canadian leader has vowed won’t stoke a fresh round of inflation. – Wall Street Journal

Mexican voters took measure of their presidential hopefuls on Sunday night at a feisty first debate, with the two leading candidates both pledging to make history as the Latin American nation’s first woman president. – Reuters

Mexico will require a visa application for Peruvian nationals seeking to enter Mexican territory, according to an announcement published in the official gazette on Friday, amid a recent surge of migrants from the South American country. – Reuters

Arturo McFields Yescas writes: In October of 2023 the regime was elected to be part of the UN Human Rights Council, despite the more than 1,000 political prisoners in the island. This is another example of the success of the false narrative of the regime, that portraits itself as a victim when in reality it is the victimizer. The world must know that the Cuban embargo is a lie, but the repression, extrajudicial killings, corruption and failed economic policies of the Cuban regime are all very real. – The Hill

United States

Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Sunday that it was “absolutely true” that some Republican members of Congress were repeating Russian propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine instigated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. – Washington Post

The Biden administration is scrambling to finalize essential components of its plan to install a floating pier off the Gaza coast for processing food deliveries and other desperately needed humanitarian aid, as famine looms and some U.S. officials doubt whether the military operation is even necessary. – Washington Post 

When President Biden welcomes Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, to Washington this week for a visit highlighted by the pomp of a state dinner, there will be an inescapable subtext to all the ceremony: Both leaders are in a fight to keep their jobs. – New York Times

Representative Nancy Pelosi, former House speaker and a key ally of Joe Biden, signed a letter on Friday from dozens of congressional Democrats to the president and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging a halt to weapons transfers to Israel. – Reuters

The US is warning allies that China has stepped up its support for Russia, including by providing geospatial intelligence, to help Moscow in its war against Ukraine. Amid signs of continued military integration between the two nations, China has provided Russia with satellite imagery for military purposes, as well as microelectronics and machine tools for tanks, according to people familiar with the matter. – Bloomberg

Editorial: This pressure from his left explains Mr. Biden’s sharp turn against Israel’s elected coalition government, with his own implied threat of a weapons cutoff. Never mind that denying weapons to an ally in the middle of a war is the definition of betrayal. The growing Democratic animosity toward Israel may even endanger the party’s support in the House for the Ukraine-Israeli aid bill (see nearby.) GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene would be elated. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: It has been dispiriting to see how quickly some on the right have derided the conservative Mr. Johnson as a swamp sellout on Ukraine. It’s easier to shout from the cheap seats than to govern, which Mr. Johnson is obliged to do. The particulars of the bill will be forgotten within weeks. What America’s allies—and adversaries—will remember is whether the U.S. cuts and runs on its friends in a fight. – Wall Street Journal

Nathaniel Schochet writes: Despite all this, Myanmar’s history shows that rebel forces are not guaranteed to succeed in their campaign against the Tatmadaw. The United States must act now to capitalize on the momentum of the EAOs, taking immediate action to help shore up their efforts against the Junta. At the same time, the United States should develop a long-term post-conflict strategy for bringing political stability to Myanmar and create avenues for increased engagement. – The National Interest


Online data has long been a valuable commodity. For years, Meta and Google have used data to target their online advertising. Netflix and Spotify have used it to recommend more movies and music. Political candidates have turned to data to learn which groups of voters to train their sights on. – New York Times

In late 2021, OpenAI faced a supply problem. The artificial intelligence lab had exhausted every reservoir of reputable English-language text on the internet as it developed its latest A.I. system. It needed more data to train the next version of its technology — lots more. – New York Times

Israeli cybersecurity exit deals grew by 65% in 2023 to $7.1 billion, more than half of total tech sector exit deals, a report showed on Sunday that underscored the importance of cyber to Israel’s high-tech industry. – Reuters

A crusading Brazilian Supreme Court justice included Elon Musk as a target in an ongoing investigation over the dissemination of fake news and opened a separate investigation late Sunday into the executive for alleged obstruction. – Associated Press

Beijing-linked influence operations have begun to use generative artificial intelligence to amplify controversial domestic issues in places like the U.S. and Taiwan, according to new research. – Cyberscoop

Igor Rochlin writes: In conclusion, the downsizing of big tech companies and the subsequent migration of tech talent to traditional industries represent a watershed moment for global economic transformation. Rather than viewing this transition as a threat, it should be understood as an unprecedented opportunity for traditional sectors to embrace digitalization, drive innovation, and secure their position in the digital economy of the future. – Jerusalem Post


A former Air National Guardsman facing child pornography charges defected and joined the Russian army in its war against Ukraine, the Rhode Island attorney general’s office alleges. – Fox News

The Navy awarded propulsion company Ursa Major a contract to prototype and test a solid rocket-motor for the service’s Standard Missile program. – Defense News

In an effort to push back China’s influence and expand its presence in Oceania, the U.S. is renovating Lombrum Naval Base on the Island of Los Negros in Papua New Guinea. – USNI News

Six warships and four aircraft from Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States conducted a joint patrol in the South China Sea on Sunday following Chinese harassment of Philippine Navy resupply missions in the region. – USNI News

Alexander Grey writes: More importantly, the United States is at a critical juncture and should abandon the spaghetti-on-the-wall approach to finding bodies to fill vacancies. Instead, for the long-term sustainability of the underwater fleet, workforce development dollars should be spent on encouraging the children who will one day be building the next generation of submarines. Getting them invested early, and in large numbers, is the only way to do this. The U.S. Navy, and its industry partners, should get into classrooms and get children excited to build submarines. – War on the Rocks

Long War

Turkish authorities have detained 48 people suspected of having ties to Islamic State in connection with a shooting at an Istanbul church in January, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on X on Saturday. – Reuters

Iranian police on Saturday announced the arrest of a senior operative of Islamic State with two other members of the group accused of planning a suicide attack during next week’s celebrations marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. – Reuters

When Israel declared war against Hamas last October, it stood unified at home and enjoyed broad backing from around the world following an unprecedented attack by the Islamic militant group. – Associated Press