In response to the October 7th terror attack, Israel has launched airstrikes in Gaza and the West Bank – thousands have been killed. The strike at a mosque in the West Bank is a rare move for Israel. The Israeli military claims the strike was designed to thwart an “imminent terror attack.” Palestinians worry it means violence is spreading. The US and European governments are reportedly pushing Israel to hold off on its ground invasion of Gaza, in an effort to secure the release of an estimated 200 hostages still being held by Hamas. So far, two American hostages have been released: Judith Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter Natalie. As the war rages on, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is worsening, even as limited aid made its way through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Doctors are reportedly performing surgeries on the floor without enough anesthesia. Israel warned Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate again but many are struggling to find anywhere safe to go. All of the tensions threaten to pull in other players in the Middle East.
Who are we talking about?
All eyes are on Iran and its proxy militant groups in Lebanon and Syria. In Lebanon: the Iran-backed Hezbollah group has continued to exchange fire with Israeli forces in the north, leading Israel to evacuate tens of thousands of residents. In Syria, Israel reportedly fired missiles at the Damascus andAleppointernational airports — apparently taking them out of service. Meanwhile, Iran continues to threaten Israel directly, saying “anything is possible at any given moment.” Through all of it, the delicate peace between Israel and neighboring Arab states, like Egypt, continues to be tested.
The latest Israel-Hamas war is now in its third week, with the death toll in the thousands — and the tensions threaten to inflame rifts in the Middle East and beyond.
French and Canadian intelligence have determined that last week's deadly hospital attack was due to a misfired rocket from Palestinian militants — mirroring assessments from the US, Israel, and media outlets, like the Associated Press.
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is worsening, with hospitals running low on fuel, threatening those on incubators. Doctors say they have until tomorrow at the latest before the medical system collapses.
What’s giving ‘House of Mirrors’...
The House GOP. Yesterday,after nearly three weeks without a House Speaker,nine Republicans decided it was the right time to throw their hats into the ring. That includes Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), GOP Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson (R-LA), and Reps. Jack Bergman (R-MI) and Gary Palmer (R-AL). Watching Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) lose a floor vote three times and then a secret vote amongst House GOP members hasn’t been enough to deter these Republicans from what seems to be the most wanted job on the Hill. Emmer appears to be one of the most viable candidates, but some Republicans believe he faces an “uphill battle,” especially without the support of former President Trump’s allies. Meanwhile, ousted speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) might be getting the last laugh, as he calls the whole situation “embarrassing for the Republican Party” and the US.
Whose health has people’s attention…
Armita Geravand’s. Yesterday, Iranian state media reported the 16-year-old is considered to be brain dead nearly a month after an alleged encounter with police. Earlier this month, human rights groups said Iran’s morality police allegedly assaulted Geravand for not wearing a headscarf at a subway station in Tehran. The government said Geravand fainted after a drop in her blood pressure, which caused her to hit her head. However, this story comes a little over a year after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini triggered nationwide protests in Iran. There are concerns that the parallel in the two stories could lead to another round of protests in Iran.
Where people headed to the polls…
Argentina. Yesterday, the South American country’s presidential election ended with no winner — setting the stage for a runoff next month. Predictions for yesterday’s election had far-right economist Javier “El Loco” Milei — also compared to former President Trump — coming out on top. But it was Economy Minister Sergio Massa of Argentina's ruling Peronist party who took the lead. Still, neither candidate got 45% of the votes needed to win the election. Now, voters will have to decide who can best tackle Argentina’s triple-digit inflation, plunging currency, and rising poverty.
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