Fdd's overnight brief

November 15, 2023

FDD Research & Analysis

In The News


Israeli forces carried out a targeted operation against Hamas “in a specified area” of Gaza’s largest hospital, hours after the White House backed Israeli assertions that Palestinian militants are running military operations from the enclave’s hospitals. – Wall Street Journal

In a cluster of single-story buildings the size of small classrooms, commanders from the Givati Brigade, the main Israeli infantry force in Gaza, watch a bank of screens showing the real-time location of all Israeli and Palestinian forces inside Gaza—information they use to move around troops and weapons and surveillance aircraft like pieces on a chessboard. – Wall Street Journal

Huddled in classrooms and crouching under tarps slung up in the courtyard, Palestinians seeking refuge from the fighting raging in Gaza have crowded into a United Nations-run school here near the Egyptian border. – Wall Street Journal

House lawmakers appeared shaken Tuesday morning after being shown highly graphic footage of the Palestinian militant group Hamas’s deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel. – Washington Post

Thousands of demonstrators descended on the National Mall in Washington on Tuesday to express solidarity with Israel in its ongoing war with Gaza, condemn antisemitism in the United States and globally, and demand the release of hostages taken by Hamas in its Oct. 7 attack on Israel. – Washington Post

President Biden sent a message Tuesday to families of hostages abducted from Israel on Oct. 7: “Hang in there. We’re coming.” The Israeli military has said that 239 people who were taken from Israel during the Hamas-led Oct. 7 terrorist attack remain hostages, and American officials say Israel counts nine Americans among them. Hamas has said that other groups are holding some of the hostages, but it is not clear how many. – New York Times

On Tuesday, Mr. Alon joined members of the families of about 50 hostages and supporters  — a total of about 100 people — who plan to march for five days from Tel Aviv, on the Mediterranean coast, to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem, setting up camp each night along the way. – New York Times

A Canadian Israeli peace activist who was thought to have been abducted and taken to Gaza on Oct. 7 was confirmed to have been killed in the initial attack that day, according to her son. – New York Times

The United States has intelligence that shows that Hamas has been using hospitals in Gaza, including Al-Shifa, as command centers and ammunitions depots, a spokesman for the National Security Council said on Tuesday. – New York Times

The Pentagon has quietly ramped up military aid to Israel, delivering on requests that include more laser-guided missiles for its Apache gunship fleet, as well as 155mm shells, night-vision devices, bunker-buster munitions and new army vehicles, according to an internal Defense Department list. – Bloomberg

Editorial: Hamas can end the hospital crisis any time it wants. It could let Israel get patients to safety or stand down at the hospital. It refuses to do so, counting on the West to bail it out by forcing Israel to stand down instead. Many are eager to apply that pressure. As law, this is groundless. As morality, it is backward. As a strategy to win the war, it plays into Hamas’s hands. – Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Israel has made the case that it is fighting this war not just for itself, but for the democracies of the West, as part of the battle against Iran’s influence across the globe. The most productive move the leaders of the free world can take right now is to provide Israel with all the time it needs to finish the job and eradicate Hamas, now and forever. – Jerusalem Post

Yehoshua Pfeffer writes: These awakenings are critical, and we should take them to heart. But there is another one, with its own message and potential. In terms of Israel’s future as a great society, it may be the most significant of all. Given the massive growth rate of the Haredi population—some 4% annually—the successful integration of this religiously intense and sociologically distinct group will have effects that might yet confer a blessing, wholly unforeseen, for generations. Once war is over and stability restored, Israel should bear this prospect in mind. – Wall Street Journal

King Abdullah II writes: It is up to responsible leaders to deliver results, starting now. That work will not be easy, but it is imperative. There is no victory in the carnage that has been unfolding. No one will prevail unless the Palestinians are given their rights and their state. Only this will be a true victory for peace, for Palestinians and for Israelis alike. And that, more than anything, would be a victory for our common humanity. – Washington Post

Tom Rogan writes: The problem? There are no obvious options for governing Gaza in compatibility with these ambitions. Take the possibility of an Israeli governing authority. The first challenge is that any Israeli political control would have no moral or political legitimacy with Gazans. Even if the Israelis were to work with international partners to pump aid and economic support into Gaza, their presence would fuel the broader undercurrents of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, galvanizing a new generation of terrorists. It would also undermine U.S. national security interests in terms of maintaining close relations with allies such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia. […]Put simply, even if it’s far from ideal that Israel isn’t offering much in terms of its plans for post-war Gaza, it’s hardly surprising. – Washington Examiner

Elizabeth Stauffer writes: Palestinian sympathizers would like us to forget that Israelis withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and that Gazans elected Hamas the following year to govern the territory, leaving a terrorist group that is committed to Israel’s destruction to run the show. And, since that time, Hamas has used billions in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians to establish their terror network inside Gaza as a launching pad to wipe Israel off the map. But, in the end, this is also a propaganda war, and despite the reality on the ground, the Palestinian sympathizers appear to be winning. We must not let them. – Washington Examiner

Yaakov Katz and Khaled Abu Toameh write: While this is not perfect — not for Israel, not for the PA and not for the U.S. – this is a potential path forward for when this war ends. It can create more secure borders for Israel, a Gaza free of Hamas’s violent reign, a more prosperous environment in the West Bank, and a path toward a better future for Israelis and Palestinians. – The Hill

Phyllis Chesler writes: In order for Jews to be safe again within the international community, at least for another 50 years, it is crucial to prosecute Hamas. It is only right to put the truth on display, and to sway whatever hardened hearts can be swayed. – The Hill

Efraim Inbar writes: The date of the IDF’s withdrawal from Gaza should be used as a bargaining leverage for attaining Israel’s goals there. The US would like to see an orderly IDF withdrawal to be replaced by a political arrangement of its sponsorship. The US needs Israeli cooperation in its quixotic attempt to bring stability and prosperity to Gaza. Israel should not oppose American diplomatic efforts, even though we know that after the withdrawal, the IDF will have to continue “mowing the grass” in Gaza. – Jerusalem Post


Iran’s supreme leader delivered a clear message to the head of Hamas when they met in Tehran in early November, according to three senior officials: You gave us no warning of your Oct. 7 attack on Israel and we will not enter the war on your behalf. – Reuters

China, Iran and a multitude of Arab nations condemned an Israeli minister’s statement that a nuclear bomb on the Gaza Strip was an option in the Israel-Hamas war, calling it a threat to the world. – Associated Press

The United States on Tuesday said it imposed a third round of sanctions on a group of Hamas officials, members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad who work to transfer money from Iran to Gaza, and a Lebanese money exchange service that facilitates the transfers. – Associated Press

Eric R. Mandel writes: This war is a defining moment for American leadership in the world, as well as an existential one for Israel. America cannot keep kicking the can down the road with Iran; it is time to step up to the plate and call out Iran for what it has been since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, a source of evil in the world. President Biden, just as Ronald Reagan did when he labeled the Soviets an evil empire, it is time to do the same with Iran and change American policy accordingly. – Jerusalem Post

David Albright and Sarah Burkhard write: While Alabuga is expected to seek substitute components, reacting to sanctions and supply chain disruptions, a significant number of these components are not made in Russia, Iran, or China and will still require access to Western electronic goods. There are reasons to believe the technology underlying Nasir has aided other Russian weapons’ anti-jamming systems. For example, the miniaturized versions of the Kometa anti-jamming systems could have been one beneficiary. These Iranian capabilities diminish Ukraine’s ability to defend its airspace. – Institute for Science and International Security

Russia & Ukraine

Ukrainian marines slip across the Dnipro River at night in small groups to reinforce a growing contingent of troops engaged in a daring operation to reinvigorate Kyiv’s military efforts in the occupied south. – Wall Street Journal

After President Biden made international news for agreeing in a 2021 televised interview that Vladimir Putin was “a killer,” a German news service asked journalist Hubert Seipel for his expert take. Seipel, who happened to have just published a book about Russia, agreed to share his opinion. What was not disclosed at the time — either to his readers or the fellow journalists who turned to Seipel as a Putin pundit — is that one of Russia’s wealthiest oligarchs had directed hundreds of thousands of dollars to underwrite Seipel’s book, according to secret corporate documents obtained by an international consortium of news organizations, including The Washington Post. – Washington Post

Ukrainian law enforcement officials on Tuesday jailed Oleksandr Dubinsky, a member of parliament who four years ago helped Rudy Giuliani in his failed attempts to dig up dirt on Joe Biden on behalf of then-President Donald Trump. – Washington Post

After Western nations announced bans on Russian oil last year in response to the invasion of Ukraine, a Greek refinery that serves the U.S. military moved quickly to adapt. Within months, it told investors it had stopped accepting the forbidden oil and had found other sources instead. But there was a reason Russian petroleum, on paper at least, could so easily be removed from the supply chain. – Washington Post

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday cleared the way to hold Russia’s presidential election in occupied Ukrainian territory in March — part of a highly managed process to keep him in office until at least 2030, even as Russia’s war has forced Ukraine to delay its own national elections because the country is living under martial law with millions of citizens displaced. – Washington Post

Anna Politkovskaya was one of Russia’s most acclaimed journalists and a vocal critic of the Kremlin. Her murder in 2006 sent shock waves not just through Russia but around the world, highlighting the growing dangers of reporting critically about the Kremlin in the country. – New York Times

President Vladimir V. Putin has pardoned one of the convicted organizers of the murder of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya in return for his service in Ukraine, his lawyer said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of such reprieves for high-profile criminals in Russia. – New York Times

Russia is not exporting its Lancet drones due to high domestic demand, TASS agency quoted a top Russian arms export official as saying on Wednesday, as the weapon emerges as one of the biggest dangers Ukrainian forces face. – Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved changes to the law that governs presidential elections putting new restrictions on media coverage, local news agencies reported on Tuesday. – Associated Press

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is closing in on a decision to approve a capital increase to support Ukraine’s reconstruction just as Kyiv’s allies are struggling to ensure longer-term aid for the country. – Bloomberg


Three government ministers backed by ousted Iraqi parliament speaker Mohammed Halbousi will resign their positions in protest of a ruling by Iraq’s top court to terminate his tenure on Tuesday, a statement by Halbousi’s Taqaddom party said. – Reuters

Iraq’s oil minister said he is optimistic a deal to resume oil exports can be reached with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the coming days, but oil officials said more time is needed to resolve lingering issues with Baghdad and Erbil. – Reuters

Iraq’s top court ruled Tuesday that the speaker and a rival lawmaker should be ousted from Parliament, following a high-profile feud between the two men. – Associated Press

The US has granted Iraq another four-month waiver that will enable the country to continue paying Iran for electricity with money that’s deposited into restricted accounts that can only be used for humanitarian purposes, senior administration officials said on Tuesday. – Bloomberg

Iraq said Tuesday it is still working to find kidnapped Israeli-Russian academic Elizabeth Tsurkov, a day after a video of her was released as the first public proof of life since her abduction. – Agence France-Presse


Turkey’s new rules to regulate the crypto market are likely to focus on licensing and taxation, sector officials say, as the world’s fourth-biggest crypto-trading country seeks to get off an international financial crime watchdog’s “grey list”. – Reuters

Turkey’s parliament is set to hold a debate this week over Sweden’s bid to join the NATO military alliance, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to improve defense relations with US-led allies. – Bloomberg

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Tuesday that Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s accusation of fascism against Israel was “absurd,” days before the German leader is due to host the Turkish president for talks in Berlin. – Agence France-Presse

Arabian Peninsula

Yemen’s Houthi leader said on Tuesday his forces would make further attacks on Israel and they could target Israeli ships in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. – Reuters

A migrant boat capsized off the coast of war-torn Yemen, leaving dozens of people, mostly from the Horn of Africa, missing, Yemeni officials said Monday. – Associated Press

A surface-to-surface missile, believed to have been launched from Yemen by Iran-backed Houthi rebels toward Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat, was intercepted over the Red Sea Tuesday, as the group’s leader claimed responsibility and vowed to continue attacks on Israel. – Agence France-Presse

Danielle Pletka writes: Qatar, the richest nation per capita in the world, plays host to al Qaeda, the Taliban and Hamas. The Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, lives there in luxury, and is reportedly worth about $4 billion. How much of that came from the U.S. taxpayer? Qatar is also the sole funder of al Jazeera, which reportedly worked with al Qaeda in Iraq, resulting in denunciation from the U.S. government, and is now reportedly helping Hamas to track Israeli troop movements in Gaza. Why is there a U.S. airbase in Qatar? Why is Qatar, one of the most significant terrorist havens in the world, not a designated state sponsor of terrorism? Why has Qatar’s financing of Hamas not raised these questions? Ultimately, Congress may be satisfied by the answers to these questions. At the very least, they must be asked. – American Enterprise Institute

Middle East & North Africa

Egypt discussed with India’s ambassador to Egypt the possibility of entering Indian financial markets, Egypt’s finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. – Reuters

The U.S. believes its latest air strikes on Sunday against Iran-linked militia in Syria killed up to seven people, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity to disclose the assessment. – Reuters

Libya turned away an oil tanker that was due to load a cargo from one of its ports, after the vessel previously performed a voyage to Israel. – Bloomberg

Wladimir van Wilgenburg writes: The main action the United States can take now is to establish a clear policy beyond the military mission against ISIS. This policy should focus on supporting good governance practices to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS and its ideology while enhancing stability in the region. However, such a move remains challenging as long as the United States does not offer future guarantees to the SDF regarding its future presence in Syria. As long the U.S. presence remains uncertain, other actors will exploit the situation and grievances of the local population. – Washington Institute

Korean Peninsula

At first glance, Yu Hyuk looks like a typical K-pop rapper. He sports baggy pants, a black beanie and Air Jordans. A silver chain dangles from his neck. But Yu represents a new wrinkle in South Korea’s music industry: The aspiring K-pop star is from North Korea. – Wall Street Journal

China and South Korea will establish a mechanism on practical economic cooperation, Chinese state media reported on Wednesday, following a meeting of economic planning officials from both countries. – Reuters

A Russian delegation led by natural resources minister Alexander Kozlov is visiting Pyongyang, North Korean state media said on Wednesday, as the politically isolated state announced new progress in its banned ballistic missile programme. – Reuters

The U.S. State Department has approved a potential sale of Standard Missile 6 Block I to South Korea for an estimated $650 million, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Senior defense officials from South Korea, the United States and other nations on Tuesday warned North Korea over its nuclear ambitions and threats, vowing an unspecified collective response to any war-like aggression by the North toward its rival. – Associated Press

North Korea tested new engines for intermediate-range ballistic missiles, its state media said, a move that could help Pyongyang deliver quick strikes on US bases in places such as Guam. – Bloomberg


The world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters, the United States and China, have agreed to restart formal climate change talks that had been on hold for more than a year, in a breakthrough that could inject momentum into international climate negotiations that begin later this month in Dubai. – Washington Post

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin won’t meet with Chinese officials during a military dialog in Indonesia because China has yet to replace its defense minister and isn’t sending anyone of the appropriate rank. – Bloomberg

Editorial: By withdrawing from TPP, Donald Trump gave up an opportunity to counter Beijing’s economic influence in the Indo-Pacific. Now Mr. Biden is letting President Xi Jinping expand China’s digital sphere of influence too. – Wall Street Journal

Josh Rogin writes: But discouragingly, Biden said on Tuesday that his objective with Xi is to “change the relationship for the better.” Xi’s objective is different; he wants to lull Washington into a false sense of security while speeding up China’s plans to dominate the region and change the global order to benefit Beijing’s interests. Talking with China is better than not talking. But Biden should realize that Xi is not his friend, and that the best way to avoid conflict with China is to show Xi he won’t fall into the same trap as his predecessors. – Washington Post

James Mann writes: But history is unlikely to repeat itself. The Clinton-Jiang summit was held at a time when the ties between the two countries were in flux, when Americans hoped that repression in China might somehow ease, and when the Chinese were determined to obtain U.S. help to build up their national power. There are no such illusions these days. Whatever warming might temporarily be on display between Biden and Xi in San Francisco, the two countries will continue to square off tensely against each other over the coming years. – Washington Post

Tom Rogan writes: Yes, the United States and China have major disagreements on certain topics. Yes, they have fundamentally divergent aspirations for the future of global political order. But it would be foolish to stumble into economic, political, and military conflicts where fragile balances might otherwise be found. – Washington Examiner

Miles Yu writes: Xi Jinping is coming to this week’s summit not to discuss specific issues, but to advance his global vision in accordance with the policies of the Chinese Communist Party. Washington should see China’s approach for what it is. Instead of allowing Xi to use yet another summit to promote the CCP’s agenda, the Biden administration should approach this week’s gathering with an understanding of how Xi aims to use it, and with realistic expectations about America’s ability to change China’s authoritarian regime. – The Hill

South Asia

Corbett’s case has become a test of Washington’s resolve to bring back its citizens from the most hostile corners of the world, even if it means engaging with governments it doesn’t recognize and keeping alive talks in the face of what U.S. officials consider unrealistic demands. A concern among analysts and officials is that the Taliban—eager to gain diplomatic recognition and a reduction in international sanctions—is collecting Western hostages as leverage to advance political goals. – Wall Street Journal

Dozens of members of the Myanmar security forces have surrendered or been captured, a rebel group said on Wednesday, as a coordinated offensive by insurgent groups battling the junta gathers pace in several parts of the country. – Reuters

The Israel-Gaza conflict is a “worrying manifestation” of geopolitical challenges for the U.S.-backed multinational economic corridor, India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Russia has signed a contract to supply Igla-S hand-held anti-aircraft missiles to India and allow production of the Igla there under licence, the Russian state news agency TASS quoted a top arms export official as saying on Tuesday. – Reuters


Foxconn Technology, one of Apple’s biggest suppliers, said it has contingency plans in case the company faces repercussions in China over its founder’s bid for the Taiwan presidency. – Wall Street Journal

A new Australian law will toughen restrictions on how industries and universities share defence technology with foreigners, while exempting AUKUS partners Britain and the United States from such controls, a draft of the measure shows. – Reuters

A Japanese Apache helicopter on Wednesday flew low over an uninhabited island in Okinawa in a simulated attack on invading forces, part of exercises under way in Japan to prepare its air, sea and land forces for a potential conflict in East Asia. – Reuters

Armenia’s leader said Tuesday he would not take part in next week’s summit of a Moscow-led security alliance, the latest in a series of moves suggesting a growing strain in relations with longtime ally Russia. – Associated Press

Southeast Asian defense ministers called Wednesday for the fighting in Gaza to cease immediately and for the world to collaborate on setting up humanitarian aid corridors in Gaza, but they struggled on how to address the prolonged civil strife in Myanmar. – Associated Press

Taiwan’s opposition parties have agreed to run a joint campaign in January’s election, raising the chances that a more China-friendly government takes power in Taipei. – Bloomberg

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. writes: A group of nuclear-capable states today assesses the U.S. to be a declining power. Russia and Iran have placed their bets. These bets would be stronger if China did the same. That’s why all eyes are on Taiwan. There are two sides to our truth-handling shortfall. Recall Truman’s distaste for Oppenheimer’s mooning over Hiroshima when Truman had many more deaths on his conscience. Recall Lincoln’s delight in Grant’s uncompromising approach to war. Americans have been blessed to find humane men who nevertheless recognize what must be done and are willing to do it. Too often, though, we find them in time to fight wars that might have been deterred. – Wall Street Journal

Joseph Bosco writes: In the event of a seizure of one or more Taiwanese islands, or imposition of a partial or total blockade of Taiwan, Biden and his national security team can be expected to oppose any retaliatory strikes on the source of aggression: military bases and ports in China. If Washington again accepts full responsibility to avoid escalation, Beijing will be free to work its will. Taiwan and America’s credibility will pay the price. – The Hill


The European Union will miss its target of supplying Ukraine with 1 million artillery shells and missiles by next March, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Sanchez says he wants to normalize Catalonia’s position within Spain again. The risk though is that he revives the separatist movement, which has been moribund for years, and plunges the country into a constitutional crisis. – Bloomberg

Moldova may seek to enter the European Union before it resolves the issue of its Russian-controlled breakaway region, President Maia Sandu said. – Bloomberg

Poland is expected to access some suspended European Union financing by the end of the year, as opposition leader Donald Tusk prepares to take over the country’s premiership. – Bloomberg

Anthony Grant writes: France has so far faltered in its efforts to keep the peace in its former African colonies, and it has proven to be diplomatically deficient when it comes to halting Russian aggression on the Continent. Reports about the perceived diminishing returns of NATO or the EU are a distraction, but more could be on the way. There are already some voices on the French right that have called France’s membership in both blocs into question.Mr. Macron or the next French president — whoever he or she may be — could start thinking that belonging to Western organizations that are for Europe’s benefit but not of French conception are not worth it. If that happens, then it is not inconceivable that the ghost of Charles de Gaulle could reappear just long enough to bid NATO adieu. It could, ironically, prove to be the route to recovering its independence and, even, la gloire qu’était la France. – New York Sun

Anthony Grant writes: Last week the European Commission’s vice president, Valdis Dombrovskis, said that the EU was able to avoid a “Plan B scenario for the Ukraine facility” last year — but as this year winds down and with winter fast approaching, the pressure is now on for any kind of plan at all. – New York Sun


The United States will resume supplying food aid to millions of Ethiopians next month, a senior U.S. official told The Washington Post on Tuesday, following a five-month suspension after alleging that a widespread and coordinated campaign was stealing large amounts of food aid. – Washington Post

An activist with Zimbabwe’s main opposition party was found dead on the side of a road in the capital, Harare, the police said on Tuesday. A party spokesman said he had been abducted while campaigning in a local election over the weekend. – New York Times

Britain’s Supreme Court will rule on Wednesday whether the government’s contentious policy to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda is lawful, in a pivotal moment for the ruling Conservative Party during an already turbulent week. – New York Times

Gains for Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) across western and southern parts of the country have broken months of stalemate in their war with the army, bolstering the paramilitary force’s ambition and giving it a stronger hand at talks in Jeddah. – Reuters

Madagascar’s Andry Rajoelina is pushing ahead with a presidential election that could give him a second term, even as opposition protests roil the island nation and the majority of candidates have announced a boycott. – Associated Press

Mali’s military has seized control of the northern town of Kidal, marking the first time the army has held the Tuareg rebel stronghold in nearly a decade, state broadcaster ORTM reported Tuesday. – Associated Press

A Rwandan doctor who has been living in France for decades goes on trial Tuesday in Paris over his alleged role in the 1994 genocide in his home country. – Associated Press

Extremist-linked rebels have killed at least 44 villagers in separate attacks in Congo’s volatile east, local authorities and civil society leaders said Tuesday. – Associated Press

Liberian President George Weah faced a tight runoff election Tuesday as he seeks to defeat a repeat challenger and win a second term in the West African nation. – Associated Press

Nigeria’s government warned the country’s labor unions not to go ahead with a strike on Tuesday called in response to a police assault on one of their leaders. – Bloomberg

Latin America

Cuban and U.S. officials met Tuesday in Havana to discuss migration, the second such meeting this year as both countries grapple with how best to slow the record-breaking flow of Cubans north to the United States. – Reuters

Guyana on Tuesday urged judges at the United Nations’ highest court to call for a halt to parts of a Venezuelan referendum about a territorial dispute that Guyana representatives called an “existential threat” designed to pave the way for the annexation of a large part of the country. – Associated Press

Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva backed Argentina’s Sergio Massa ahead of Sunday’s presidential election, the latest leader taking a side in the heated contest that has highlighted Latin America’s deepening ideological divisions. – Bloomberg


Javier Milei, the other candidate in Sunday’s runoff election, has struck back by sharing what appear to be A.I. images depicting Mr. Massa as a Chinese communist leader and himself as a cuddly cartoon lion. They have been viewed more than 30 million times. Argentina’s election has quickly become a testing ground for A.I. in campaigns, with the two candidates and their supporters employing the technology to doctor existing images and videos and create others from scratch. – New York Times

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has struggled to stop a hyper-aggressive cybercrime gang that’s been tormenting corporate America over the last two years, according to nine cybersecurity responders, digital crime experts and victims. – Reuters

A Moscow court on Tuesday fined Google for failing to store personal data on its Russian users, the latest in a series of fines on the U.S. tech giant amid tensions between the Kremlin and the West over the fighting in Ukraine. – Associated Press

Seeking to strike the right balance between protecting children and protecting privacy rights, European Union lawmakers on Tuesday adopted a series of amendments to a draft law that is intended to keep sexually explicit photos and videos of minors from circulating online. – Associated Press

Britain’s cybersecurity agency said Tuesday that artificial intelligence poses a threat to the country’s next national election, and cyberattacks by hostile countries and their proxies are proliferating and getting harder to track. – Associated Press

A man with Russian and Moldovan citizenship pleaded guilty to illegally taking control of thousands of electronic devices worldwide to rent them to clients who wanted to hide their internet activity, U.S. prosecutors in Puerto Rico said Tuesday. – Associated Press

Australia’s cooperation with the United States and Britain to develop an Australian fleet of submarines powered by U.S. nuclear technology is a likely target of state-sponsored cyberespionage, the nation’s digital spy agency said on Wednesday. – Associated Press

YouTube announced that it will now require its users to disclose when created content related to artificial intelligence (AI) is used in one of their videos. – The Hill

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) called for social media reforms targeting user accountability Tuesday. – The Hill

Scammers are taking advantage of unsuspecting online users interested in artificial intelligence (AI) through advertising that steals small businesses’ social media passwords, Google alleges in a lawsuit filed Monday. – The Hill

X, the Elon Musk-owned platform formerly known as Twitter, did not remove 98 percent of a sample of posts spreading hate related to the conflict in Israel and Gaza, according to a study published Tuesday by the hate-speech watchdog group Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH). – The Hill


The Senate Rules Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to advance a resolution that would allow Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to confirm more than 350 military promotions being held up by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) in a single package. – The Hill

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) says he’s not ready to vote for a Democratic resolution to confirm more than 350 stalled military promotions at once to circumvent holds placed by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). – The Hill

Glenn H. Reynolds writes: In recent years our military has shown itself more interested in social issues than in its actual job, which is to deter, defeat and destroy America’s enemies. That’s not the fault of the troops — it’s the fault of the leaders. But who wants to sign up to be led by people who don’t want to do their jobs? Politicized militaries don’t win wars, and they don’t attract fighting soldiers. Changing that starts at the top, not with TV ads. – New York Post