Fdd's overnight brief

May 30, 2024

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Israel said it has secured control of Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, achieving a key goal of the Rafah offensive as it seeks to eliminate Hamas without crossing red lines set by President Biden. – Wall Street Journal

Four weapons experts said the Israeli military used a U.S.-made precision bomb in a strike that killed at least 45 people in southern Gaza on Sunday, after reviewing visual evidence provided to The Washington Post. – Washington Post

“All Eyes on Rafah,” reads the image. The words are spelled out in rows of white tents, a backdrop of mountains in the distance. More than 40 million Instagram users have shared this graphic to their stories using a user-generated template in recent days, according to Instagram. – Washington Post

Israel’s national security adviser said Wednesday that he expected military operations in Gaza to continue through at least the end of the year, appearing to dismiss the idea that the war could come to an end after the military offensive against Hamas in Rafah. – New York Times

Ghada Redwan, a 48-year-old pharmacist in Houston, has been trying to get her parents out of Gaza for months. Their bags, packed and ready to go, have been sitting by their door in Rafah, the city where Israel is now conducting a military offensive. – New York Times

Israel’s offensive in the southern city of Rafah has strained medical and humanitarian services to the breaking point, aid workers say, with only one hospital still functioning and several aid operations forced to decamp to other parts of the Gaza Strip. – New York Times

An Israeli cabinet minister accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition of “failing miserably” amid the Gaza war on Wednesday, prompting a rebuke from Netanyahu’s Likud party as political divisions deepen. – Reuters

Israel must do more to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza and should “remove all barriers to the flow of aid at scale through all crossings and routes” into the enclave, the United States told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. – Reuters

European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi met on Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, amid requests by the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor for arrest warrants against them over alleged war crimes. – Reuters

A bill to designate UNRWA a terrorist organization, proposed by Israel Beytenu MK Yulia Malinovsky, passed a preliminary reading with a 42-6 majority in the Knesset on Wednesday. The same bill will abolish immunities and privileges for UNRWA employees. – Jerusalem Post

Israel launched air attacks on Syria’s central region as well as the coastal city of Baniyas, killing a child and injuring ten civilians, Syrian state media said on Wednesday citing a military source. – Jerusalem Post

The Israel Land Authority has informed UNRWA that it must vacate its Jerusalem premises in the Ma’alot Dafna neighborhood within 30 days, following the approval of a demand from Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf to evict the UN agency for Palestinian refugees from any state land it is currently occupying. – Times of Israel

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa and leading officials from several Middle Eastern countries in Madrid on Wednesday after Spain, Ireland, and Norway recognized a Palestinian state. – Times of Israel

Israel is examining the M61 Vulcan cannon to counter drones, according to the Israel Defense Forces, with local media reporting the weapon would go atop armored personnel carriers deployed along the northern border. – Defense News

David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey write: If the U.S. and other civilized countries follow the logic of these criticisms of Israel, the consequences will be dire. Most immediately, U.S. condemnations will embolden the Jewish state’s enemies—most of which are also hostile to the U.S.—and could impede Israel’s ability to defeat Hamas. In the future, the administration’s standards of conduct could impair the ability of all law-abiding nations to defend themselves. – Wall Street Journal

Arsen Ostrovsky writes: However, it is Hamas, an internationally designated terrorist group, that continues to willfully violate every imaginable international law, including embedding combatants in civilian areas. It is therefore Hamas that bears ultimate responsibility for every innocent life lost, Palestinian and Israeli. The West’s failure to make this distinction only emboldens Hamas and perpetuates the violence. – The Hill

Suzie Navot writes: This time, in English, Barak is issuing a clear call to his fellow judges on the ICJ. “The law” does not allow for Israel to be put on trial for genocide – it’s as simple as that. Justice Barak’s dissenting opinion would seem to offer an important lesson for the future. Professional, focused, and well-founded legal criticism—as opposed to the very different means that are currently being widely discussed and pursued—is likely the best way to deal with the International Court of Justice. – Jerusalem Post


Britain, France and Germany have circulated a draft resolution against Iran ahead of the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s board meeting next week and appear determined to push it despite opposition from their U.S. ally, three diplomats said on Wednesday. – Reuters

The United States will boycott a United Nations tribute on Thursday to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed earlier this month in a helicopter crash, a U.S. official said. – Reuters

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday that Tehran’s sea-launched ballistic missile Ghadr has been made available to Yemen’s Houthis. – Reuters

Iran opened a five-day registration period Thursday for hopefuls wanting to run in the June 28 presidential election to replace the late Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed in a helicopter crash earlier this month with seven others. – Associated Press

Iranian border guards opened fire at a vehicle carrying a group of Pakistanis, killing four people and wounding two others in a remote area in the southwest, Pakistani officials said Thursday. – Associated Press

“Do not oppress and do not be oppressed” were the words from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dramatic letter to American university students, praising their “defense of the Palestinian people.” Released on Thursday, the letter came amid a wave of pro-Palestinian encampments across US campuses, which had led to heightened tensions and safety concerns for Jewish students. – Jerusalem Post

Alex Vatanka writes: Another option might be someone like Ali Shamkhani, the former national security boss who has reportedly just been given a new role to negotiate Iran’s nuclear file with the West and a man who might be acceptable to a broader spectrum of the regime. A dozen or so more names are also cited as potential candidates. Whoever registers to run will find out by June 11 if he passed the screening process of the Guardian Council. Only then will the Iranian people learn what sort of political theater and course of action Khamenei has in mind for them over the coming weeks. – Middle East Institute

Russia & Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken signaled on Wednesday that the U.S. is weighing the idea of allowing Kyiv to strike Russian territory with American-provided weapons in light of the evolving battlefield situation in Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

Russia launched plans to sharply raise taxes on high earners and companies to fill state coffers and fund what it sees as a long war in Ukraine. A government commission on Wednesday approved a Finance Ministry plan to introduce a new progressive income tax as well as raise corporate tax rates. – Wall Street Journal

Ukraine’s air defence systems destroyed seven Russia-launched missiles and 32 drones overnight, its air force commander said on Thursday. – Reuters

Russian forces launched a series of missiles early on Thursday on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, injuring at least four people and damaging infrastructure, local officials said. – Reuters

China could arrange a peace conference in which Russia and Ukraine would participate, the RIA news agency cited Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Thursday. – Reuters

The European Union’s executive arm is examining the feasibility of a proposal by one of its member states to sanction Russia’s Ingosstrakh Insurance Co., as part of efforts to choke revenue generating streams that Moscow needs to finance its war against Ukraine. – Bloomberg

Marc Champion writes: So let’s be clear that by helping Ukraine, NATO is defending the UN’s most fundamental protection against nations having their borders altered by force. This is a principle the vast majority of leaders in Africa, the Middle East and beyond also prize, precisely because their own colonially drawn boundaries are so open to potential dispute. It is the revisionist powers coalescing around Russia’s expansion effort in Ukraine that are breaking this taboo to further their own territorial ambitions – whether in the Levant, the former Soviet space, the Korean Peninsula or the South China Sea. This needs to be called out again, and again. – Bloomberg

Jane Harman writes: Like Israel, some countries still worry that letting Ukraine use U.S.-supplied weapons to attack targets inside Russia risks escalation. But the real risk goes in the other direction. Not letting Ukraine win this conflict will likely entangle the U.S. and NATO in a ground and air war in Europe. As Zelensky himself said: “There are no risks of escalation. Escalation has already occurred: Russia’s escalation against Ukraine.” – The Hill

Laszlo Bruszt and Erik Jones write: Nevertheless, a quick enlargement to create security and a slower pace of adjustment to ensure broad-based pro-democracy coalitions are in place must go together. Strategies of deterrence on their own might be useless if they are not combined with strong domestic alliances in the new member states supporting EU political and economic institutions. The alternative is to lose the peace and waste years of effort in Ukraine and elsewhere that, in the end, will merely give Moscow time to prepare for the next round of war. – Foreign Affairs

Elisabeth Braw writes: That’s why the decree Putin has just signed is so significant. The document allows Russian courts to take compensation for those whose assets were “unjustifiably” seized in the US. It can then order compensation to be transferred in the form of US assets or property in Russia. In other words, if the US seizes frozen assets belonging to a Russian company, Russian authorities can recoup those assets by seizures from a US outfit in Russia. – Center for European Policy Analysis


Lebanon has reversed a move to authorise the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged war crimes on its soil, prompting a prominent rights group to deplore what it called the loss of an “historic opportunity” for justice. – Reuters

With Lebanon struggling to cope with an economic meltdown that has crushed livelihoods and most public services, its chronically underfunded security forces and typically divided politicians now agree on one thing: Syrians must be sent home. – Reuters

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday warned that the Hezbollah terror group, with its incessant attacks on Israel, was pulling Lebanon into a “harsh reality” that would take its toll on the country’s residents. – Times of Israel

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech via video on Tuesday at the end of the Islamic three-day mourning period for his mother, who passed away after a serious illness in a Beirut hospital on Saturday. – Times of Israel

Arabian Peninsula

Iran said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia expelled six members of a crew from its state television broadcaster after they had been detained for nearly a week in the kingdom ahead of the Hajj. Saudi Arabia said the men had been working in violation of the visas they received. – Associated Press

Another U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone went down in Yemen, images purported to show Wednesday, as Yemen’s Houthi rebels continued attacks on shipping around the Red Sea over the Israel-Hamas war. – Associated Press

Billions of dollars of gold is smuggled out of Africa every year, with the vast majority exported to the United Arab Emirates for processing, according to a report by SwissAid. – Bloomberg

Mohammed Mahmoud writes: A future for the Kingdom of Bahrain that is more climate-resilient involves a framework of actions that is not necessarily wholly directed by the government and its various administrative arms. The reality is the government also requires engagement from Bahrain’s citizens and residents, as clearly demonstrated by some of the climate adaptive programs that have been primarily initiated by enterprising and forward-looking Bahrainis. There are multiple opportunities to enhance the kingdom’s climate resilience while simultaneously tackling some of its ongoing socioeconomic challenges. And with climate change accelerating its impacts on Bahrain, there is no better time to embark on those opportunities than now. – Middle East Institute

Middle East & North Africa

China wants to work with Arab nations to resolve hot spot issues in ways conducive to upholding fairness, justice and achieving long-term peace and stability, President Xi Jinping said in a speech on Thursday that also highlighted the Gaza crisis. –  Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is the latest addition to the guest list at a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy next month, the Rome government said on Wednesday, as it seeks to broaden the gathering beyond the usual seven industrial democracies. – Reuters

Rebecca Redlich writes: Accordingly, Washington should remind its partners that these CASCF summits show the limits of Chinese influence in the Middle East, not its strengths. Beijing’s latest actions in the region have included actively supporting Iran, hosting Hamas leaders, and protecting only its own vessels against Houthi maritime threats, even as other countries put their military forces at risk to jointly counter these attacks and protect regional waterways. These are not the actions of a global power committed to advancing the Arab world’s collective interests. – Washington Institute

Anna Borshchevskaya, Louis Dugit-Gros, Ben Fishman, Sabina Henneberg, and Grant Rumley write: Even as foreign policy minds remain focused on Ukraine and Gaza, because North African countries are strategically significant to U.S. defense and economic interests. Viewed through the lens of great power competition, China generally advances its economic interests by developing local infrastructure (e.g., ports), whereas the other main U.S. competitor—Russia—favors a security-based approach, supporting whatever actor it believes will help advance its goals (e.g., Gen. Khalifa Haftar in Libya). Such inroads threaten American interests and require responses that address the region both holistically and state-by-state. – Washington Institute

Korean Peninsula

Nearly a year later, the death of the 20-year-old marine has become an impeachment threat for South Korea’s leader, President Yoon Suk Yeol. And it has raised the prospect of political instability in the nation, a key United States ally in creating a bulwark against North Korea and China. – New York Times

South Korea and the United Arab Emirates signed a trade agreement at a summit on Wednesday to sharply cut import duties and forge closer business and investment ties. – Reuters

North Korea fired a salvo of at least 10 short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast, South Korea’s military said on Thursday, calling it a possible display for would-be buyers, including Russia. – Reuters

North Korea on Thursday fired a barrage of suspected ballistic missiles toward its eastern sea, according to South Korea’s military, days after its attempt to launch a military reconnaissance satellite ended in failure but still drew strong condemnation from its rivals. – Associated Press


A Hong Kong court convicted more than a dozen members of the city’s once-formidable pro-democracy political opposition on Thursday in the most sweeping case under a four-year old national security law imposed on the city by Beijing. – Wall Street Journal

Western sanctions and export controls were meant to subdue America’s enemies, leveraging the power of the dollar to strong-arm governments into submission without the bloodshed of military force. They have inadvertently birthed a global shadow economy tying together democracy’s chief foes, with Washington’s primary adversary, China, at the center. – Wall Street Journal

China has lifted suspensions on five Australian meat exporters, the Australian government said on Thursday, in a further sign of steadily warming ties between the two countries. – Wall Street Journal

China is trying to “nibble away” at Taiwan’s space and create a new normal with its military drills and other moves to exert pressure, which is a matter for global concern, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Lin Chia-lung said on Thursday. – Reuters

The United States on Wednesday accused China’s leadership of supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine and warned that Beijing could face further sanctions in response from the United States and other NATO countries. – Reuters

Egypt and China on Wednesday signed agreements deepening their cooperation during President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s visit to Beijing. – Associated Press

Karishma Vaswani writes: There were perhaps fewer expat faces, shopping malls were quieter, and many shops were boarded up, awaiting new tenants in the aftermath of harsh Covid-19 lockdowns. But for long-time residents, it is a completely transformed society, as one who has chosen to leave told me. For many, the fate of the Hong Kong 47 will likely be a reminder of what they’ve lost. You never know how much you will miss something until it’s gone. – Bloomberg

David Santoro and Brad Glosserman write: The US objective is simple: preventing China from becoming a regional hegemon and, most dramatically, deterring Chinese aggression and expansionism, notably Beijing’s subjugation of Taiwan, an increasingly realistic possibility that would have disastrous consequences for the regional and international orders and could forever eclipse US power and influence. This effort entails the use of all tools of national power commensurate to the threat, and thus to a much higher degree than today. – The National Interest

South Asia

The divide between the politically powerful north and an economically powerful south has become a potent fault line in India, putting the geographical split at the center of this year’s national election. – Wall Street Journal

A Pakistani court on Wednesday postponed a ruling on an appeal by former prime minister Imran Khan and his third wife against their conviction for unlawful marriage, their lawyer said. – Reuters

India’s Agnikul Cosmos launched its Agnibaan rocket for the first time on Thursday, powered by the only Indian rocket engine to use both gas and liquid fuel in the country’s second flight of a privately built rocket. – Reuters

S&P Global Ratings raised India’s sovereign rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’ while retaining the rating at ‘BBB-‘, saying on Wednesday the country’s robust economic expansion was having a constructive impact on its credit metrics. – Reuters


Myanmar’s ruling junta has lost control over vast tracts of territory, including access to much of its international borders, allowing ethnic armed groups to expand and consolidate regions under their control, two reports assessing the conflict said on Thursday. – Reuters

Malaysia’s government will allow all vessels conducting repairs on undersea cables to carry out work in its waters from June 1, after it had said earlier this year it would reinstate the permissions it had suspended in 2020. – Reuters

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will reassure Asian allies that Washington is committed to helping the region counter China, even as experts say the administration is focused on Israel’s war in Gaza and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters

The French prosecutor in New Caledonia said authorities have opened an investigation into unrest that has left seven people dead and significant destruction in the Pacific archipelago with decades of tensions between those seeking independence and those loyal to France. – Associated Press

A group working under the U.N. Human Rights Council has issued a wide-ranging report about rights in Japan, including discrimination against minorities and unhealthy working conditions. – Associated Press

Thailand is entering a new phase of political uncertainty that threatens to further damage the nation’s fragile financial markets. In coming weeks, Thai courts are set to decide the fate of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra and the main opposition party. – Bloomberg


Hungary’s top diplomat visited Belarus on Wednesday for talks on expanding ties despite the European Union’s sanctions against the country. – Associated Press

Police searched the offices and residence of an employee of the European Parliament on Wednesday as part of an investigation into whether EU lawmakers were bribed to promote Russian propaganda to undermine support for Ukraine, prosecutors said. – Associated Press

Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday that its forces would further fortify the border with Belarus and can use “all available means” to defend the NATO nation’s frontier, after a soldier was seriously wounded with a knife by a migrant. – Associated Press

The European Union is aiming to start negotiations as early as June 25 with Ukraine on becoming a member of the bloc to help boost Kyiv’s morale, but has yet to fully overcome objections from Hungary. – Bloomberg

Washington’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Jane Hartley says she’s been in communication with Labour leader — and likely next U.K. Prime Minister — Keir Starmer over Gaza, praising his consistency with U.S. messaging on the conflict. – Politico


The party that ended apartheid in South Africa 30 years ago risks losing its absolute majority for the first time in national elections—a rebuke for years of government corruption, a stagnant economy and one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. – Wall Street Journal

Sudan’s army on Wednesday rejected a call to return to peace talks with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces following a conversation between General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. – Reuters

The long queues of voters recalled South Africa’s 1994 ballot that ended white minority rule and ushered in democracy, but for many, gratitude to the ruling African National Congress (ANC) for their historic liberation is wearing thin. – Reuters

The Americas

His economic measures stalling at home, Argentina’s self-styled anarcho-capitalist president, Javier Milei, has taken to touring the world to hold often-raucous appearances before fans and investors, from Israel to Spain to the U.S. – Wall Street Journal

Sheinbaum’s commanding lead in polls ahead of Sunday’s election is rooted in her endorsement by Mexico’s popular nationalist leader, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who shepherded Sheinbaum’s career over the past two decades. She has given him years of unflinching loyalty in return. – Wall Street Journal

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva removed his ambassador to Israel from his post and sent him to serve as his special representative in Geneva amid a diplomatic spat between the two countries, the official gazette showed on Wednesday. – Reuters

Argentina’s government, facing domestic gas shortages and targeted service cuts, said on Wednesday that it had unblocked the unloading of a key Petrobras gas shipment, which it added should stabilize local supply. – Reuters

One of the most influential politicians in Venezuela once deemed images of his fellow citizens abandoning their home country the result of a professionally scripted, “Hollywood-type blockbuster.” – Associated Press

President Javier Milei will pitch investing in Argentina to Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. this week in California, building on an unprecedented wave of international recognition in a bid to fortify his political strength at home. – Bloomberg

United States

Republican former presidential contender Nikki Haley wrote “Finish Them!” on an Israeli artillery shell during a recent visit to Israel, amid an ongoing assault on Gaza that has left tens of thousands dead in the past eight months. – Reuters

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito rejected on Wednesday requests by Democratic lawmakers to recuse himself from two cases – one on Donald Trump’s bid for immunity from prosecution and the other on a charge involving the Capitol attack – after reports involving contentious flags flown outside his homes. – Reuters

Donald Trump is considering tapping billionaire Elon Musk as a policy adviser if the Republican presidential candidate reclaims the White House in November’s election, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the talks. – Reuters

Editorial: Telling Americans the economy is better than they realize doesn’t make much impact in an era when many are still in shock about the rise in prices. Good news about employment and growth isn’t registering. Politicians who try to win support by citing those numbers — we’re looking at you, Mr. Biden — have to find a new language for a new post-inflation psychology, acknowledging the price shock while projecting confidence that it’s being overcome. – Washington Post

Andreas Kluth writes: If so, this shift has frightening implications for the world economy and world peace. Hegemonic Stability Theory, which posits that the world needs a custodian power to maintain order and prosperity, assumes that the global leader is not only mighty enough but also willing to deploy its might to preserve a liberal system. “It’s about benevolent or malevolent hegemony,” Posen of the Peterson Institute told me. “Not: Is the US capable? But: What does it intend to do?” – Bloomberg


Google will invest $2 billion in Malaysia to develop its first data centre and Google Cloud region in the country, the unit of Alphabet (GOOGL.O) said on Thursday, the latest in a wave of expansion by global tech firms into Southeast Asia. – Reuters

Gov. Gavin Newsom warned on Wednesday against stifling the burgeoning artificial intelligence sector, sending a signal to Democratic lawmakers who are advancing dozens of AI bills in the state Legislature. – Politico

A Chinese national was arrested Friday for his alleged role in administering and operating a residential proxy service that compromised millions of computers worldwide and was utilized in criminal operations that prosecutors linked to billions of dollars in losses. – Cyberscoop

An online influence campaign linked to Russia has shifted tactics to avoid being discovered as it continues to target upcoming elections in Europe, according to new research from Meta. – Cyberscoop

Chris Bryant writes: Governments are still in the early stages of thinking about AI’s role in education. I’m sure there will be benefits that augment human learning while some of the negative effects I’ve described can be mitigated. But we don’t need to reinvent the wheel: In an era of conspiracy theories and misinformation, it’s even more vital that we humans have a firm grasp of basic facts. – Bloomberg

Daniel Moss writes: Autor told Odd Lots. “The most important applications of technology are to enable capabilities that didn’t previously exist. And I think AI will do that as well.” There’s a lot of doom-saying around AI, so it’s refreshing to hear about a potential upside. One thing does seem likely: There’s a huge role for nurses and basic retail sans people even if that’s not met with universal enthusiasm. Singapore may well be the frontline. – Bloomberg

Catherine Bracy and Janet Haven write: The outcomes of technological advancement are not inevitable. They are shaped by people, companies, and yes, governments. But the window of opportunity to shape AI is closing quickly. If the Senate won’t put forward any real solutions to govern AI and protect people from algorithmic harms, state lawmakers will need to step up. – The Hill

Padraig Nolan writes: Legislative procedures in Brussels are long and drawn-out affairs. It might be another year or more before a decision is reached. Expect a compromise. Telecom operators, messaging services, and other online platforms probably will be compelled to collaborate with banks and other payment service providers to fight spoofing. Given that EU regulations often set a global standard, this new division of responsibility could become the next example of the much-ballyhooed Brussels effect. – Center for European Policy Analysis


Here, in the Pentagon’s first new major arms plant built since Russia invaded Ukraine, Turkish workers in orange hard hats are busy unpacking wood crates stenciled with the name Repkon, a defense company based in Istanbul, and assembling computer-controlled robots and lathes. – New York Times

Ursa Major, a startup rocket motor maker, has successfully test-fired its new Draper engine more than 50 times on the ground, the company said on Thursday, marking a significant advance in U.S. hypersonic and in-space propulsion technologies. – Reuters

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee has released a detailed plan calling for an additional $55 billion above the fiscal 2025 defense spending caps imposed under last year’s debt ceiling deal. – Defense News

David C. Gompert writes: Entrepreneurs require confidence that successful R&D will be rewarded with major contracts, sooner rather than later. America’s need to shift resources to strategic investment is urgent. It is time to recognize that increased reliance on allies and the use of the private sector can enable the U.S. to deny China a military-technological edge—without neglecting today’s needs. – Wall Street Journal