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Early Edition: July 11, 2024

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

RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS

NATO leaders jointly affirmed yesterday that “Ukraine’s future is in NATO” and its path to membership is “irreversible.” In a joint statement, the leaders did not provide a specific timeline for Ukraine to join the bloc, instead saying they would “be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance when the allies agree and conditions are met.” Jennifer Hansler reports for CNN.

In the joint statement signed yesterday by the 32 alliance leaders, NATO accused China of supplying Russia’s attacks on Ukraine. China rejected the accusation today, saying the declaration issued by NATO members was “filled with Cold War mentality and belligerent rhetoric.” David E. Sanger reports for the New York Times.

The first U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets committed to Ukraine are being transferred and are expected to see combat this summer, U.S. and European officials announced yesterday. The jets are en route from the Netherlands and Denmark, the countries’ leaders said in a joint statement with President Biden, noting that Belgium and Norway have committed to donate others. Alex Horton reports for the Washington Post.

Russia has been engaged in “bold” sabotage operations and “hybrid warfare” across NATO’s member states for over six months, targeting both Ukraine’s weapon supply lines and the decision-makers behind it, according to a senior NATO official. CNN reports. 

The U.K. government will spend at least £3bn (U.S. $3.8bn) in annual military support for Ukraine for “as long as is it takes” in its conflict with Russia, Prime Minister Keir Starmer said after his first official bilateral talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Pippa Crerar reports for The Guardian.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

The Israeli military has ordered all residents of Gaza City to evacuate south to the central Gaza Strip amid intensified operations in the north. Leaflets dropped by aircraft instruct “everyone in Gaza City” to leave what is described as a “dangerous combat zone” via designated safe routes. It is the second time since the war erupted that Israel has ordered the entire city to evacuate. Tom Bennett and Rushdi Abualouf report for BBC News.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR — U.S. RESPONSE

The United States will soon begin sending Israel the 500-pound bombs that the Biden administration had previously suspended, ending a two-month halt it had imposed in a bid to reduce civilian deaths in Gaza, U.S. officials said. The bombs “are in the process of being shipped” and are expected to arrive in Israel in the coming weeks, one official said, noting that heavier 2,000-pound bombs are still on hold. Nancy A. Youssef and Jared Malsin report for the Wall Street Journal

Israeli forces used U.S.-made munitions in a deadly strike on a school complex that was housing displaced people near Khan Younis, according to a CNN analysis. At least 27 people were killed and 53 injured in the strike, the Hamas-run health ministry said. Gianluca Mezzofiore, Avery Schmitz and Allegra Goodwin report for CNN.

The top White House official for Middle East affairs met in Israel yesterday with Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. In a statement, Netanyahu’s office said he and Brett McGurk discussed negotiations on a ceasefire and hostage release deal, with Netanyahu saying he was committed to the process “as long as Israel’s red lines are preserved.” The New York Times reports. 

DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS

 Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has introduced articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, arguing that “the unchecked corruption crisis on the Supreme Court has now spiraled into a Constitutional crisis threatening American democracy writ large.” Mark Osborne and Kiara Alfonseca report for ABC News.

The Republican-led House Oversight Committee subpoenaed three senior White House aides yesterday, demanding they sit for depositions regarding Biden’s health, according to letters obtained by Axios. Alex Thompson reports. 

A federal bankruptcy court judge said yesterday he is leaning toward dismissing Rudy Giuliani’s bankruptcy case. The move comes after two former Georgia election workers Giuliani defamed agreed it would be the best way for them to collect at least part of the $148 million judgment against him. Aaron Katersky reports for ABC News.

Closing statements have wrapped up in Sen. Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) corruption trial. Menendez’s defense team told jurors the corruption case against him is “rotten to the core.” Jury deliberations are expected to begin today following eight weeks of trial proceedings. Ry Rivard and Daniel Han report for POLITICO; Madeline Halpert reports for BBC News.

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS

French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday said he will wait for the country’s political parties to build a “Republican” majority at the National Assembly before he decides on a new prime minister. Meanwhile, far-right Marine Le Pen yesterday compared the left-wing New Popular Front alliance to rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. AP News reports; Giorgio Leali reports for POLITICO.

A new far-right group, Europe of Sovereign Nations, has been founded in the European Parliament, its newly elected leader said yesterday. The alliance, led by Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Poland’s Confederation, counts 25 MEPs among its ranks. Seb Starcevic and Eddy Wax report for POLITICO.

The head of the liberal Renew Europe group has called on the European Council to explore all means to stop Hungary’s ongoing presidency. Viktor Orbán, who took over the rotating presidency on July 1 for a six-month period, has fueled controversy for visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The Guardian reports.

The United States will start deploying long-range fire capabilities in Germany in 2026 in a bid to demonstrate its commitment to NATO and European defense, the United States and Germany said in a joint statement yesterday. Reuters reports. 

More than 40 activists were jailed for life by a United Arab Emirates court after being found guilty of terror offenses. State media reports that the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal convicted the 43 defendants of “creating a terrorist organization.” Human rights groups and U.N. experts denounced the mass trial. Thomas Mackintosh reports for BBC News.

An Iraqi court issued a death sentence against a widow of the self-styled Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, alleging that she was complicit in crimes committed against Yazidi women captured by the militant group, the country’s judiciary announced yesterday. Qassim Abdul-Zahra reports for AP News.

Pakistan is extending the stay of 1.45 million Afghan refugees who legally reside in the country with proper documentation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s office announced yesterday, following a visit by the U.N. refugee agency. Munir Ahmed reports for AP News.

South Korea will deploy laser weapons to shoot down North Korean drones this year, making it the world’s first country to operate such weapons in the military, the country announced today. Ju-min Park reports for Reuters.

A former Indonesian agriculture minister was sentenced today to 10 years after being found guilty of corruption-related extortion, abuse of power, and bribery involving private contracts. Tatan Syuflana and Niniek Karmini report for AP News.

ISRAEL-HEZBOLLAH TENSIONS 

The Israeli military said it struck Syrian military targets yesterday in a buffer zone established in a 1974 agreement between Syria and Israel. The military claimed Syrian forces had breached the agreement and were responsible for “all activities occurring within its territory.” The New York Times reports. 

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