Students all over Minnesota said they walked out to speak up for racial injustice.
- Associated Press
Israel on Thursday said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory, as the two bitter enemies plunged closer to all-out war. Egyptian mediators rushed to Israel for cease-fire efforts but showed no signs of progress. The stepped-up fighting came as communal violence in Israel erupted for a fourth night, with Jewish and Arab mobs clashing in the flashpoint town of Lod.
- The Independent
Elise Stefanik has been elected as the new chair of the House Republican conference in a secret ballot of party members. Ms Stefanik is now the party’s number three in the House of Representatives, replacing Liz Cheney of Wyoming who was removed from the post earlier this week for her lack of fealty to Donald Trump. There were several other write-in candidates including Ohio’s Jim Jordan, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, and Cathy McMorris of Washington.
- The Independent
‘Bizarre, shameful, and untrue’: Letter from retired generals questioning Joe Biden’s health under fire
More than 100 retired military officers questioned President Biden’s health in a letter that Ms Clinton called ‘bizarre, shameful, and untrue’
- The Independent
Congresswoman from New York reacted sharply to ‘intimidation’ from Republican
- The New York Times
BRUSSELS — American and Egyptian mediators are heading to Israel to begin de-escalation talks, but the antagonists face critical political decisions before they will agree to begin discussions on ending the violence. Both Israel and Hamas first have to find ways to spin a narrative of victory for their publics, analysts say, but the task will be easier for Hamas than for Israel. Israel’s caretaker prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has to calculate the impact of the fighting on his own political fortunes, made more complicated by the internal unrest between Jews and Israeli Arabs in numerous cities inside Israel. The crucial decision for Israel is whether “victory” requires sending ground troops into Gaza, which would extend the conflict and significantly increase the number of dead and wounded on both sides. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times For the Palestinians, the indefinite postponement of elections last month by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, created a vacuum that Hamas is more than willing to fill. Hamas argues that it is the only Palestinian faction that, with its large stockpile of improved missiles, is defending the holy places of Jerusalem, turning Abbas into a spectator. President Joe Biden has spoken to Netanyahu and repeated the usual formula about Israel’s right to self-defense, and he has dispatched an experienced diplomat, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hady Amr, to urge de-escalation on both sides. But the United States does not talk to Hamas, regarding it as a terrorist organization, and Abbas has no real control over Gaza or Hamas. So in all likelihood, Amr will be talking to Egyptian security officials, given that Egypt has been the usual interlocutor in concluding rounds of warfare between Israel and Hamas. That includes the last two big blowups, in 2008 and 2014, when the fighting lasted more than 50 days. On Thursday, Egypt dispatched security officials to Tel Aviv, Israel, and to Gaza to begin discussions, according to the state-controlled newspaper Al-Ahram and the broadcaster Al-Arabiya. Officially, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, which does not deal with Hamas, had no comment. On Tuesday, Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, told a meeting of the Arab League that Egypt had reached out to Israel and other “concerned countries” to try to calm the violence but that Israel had not been responsive. Abdel Monem Said Aly, a long-standing analyst of Egyptian and regional relations in Cairo, said that “Egypt will do its best” in the interests of regional stability. But he warned that Netanyahu’s decision about whether to use ground troops would determine how long this round of violence lasted. “The issue is much more complicated than previously,” he said, citing internal Israeli and Palestinian politics and Egypt’s efforts “to steer the whole region to a different more stabilized future.” Egypt has leverage over Hamas because of its land border with Gaza, which Cairo can shut or relax at will. “And, of course, Egypt will talk to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, those with money, about rebuilding in Gaza,” Said Aly said. “But the problem in Israel is not about talking to Mr. Netanyahu — that’s easy — but the winds inside Israel itself and the big competition between different brands of conservatism.” On the Palestinian side, he said, “There is a similar vacuum of political legitimacy, and Hamas will score by raising up Palestinian public opinion and increasing guilt in Islamic countries about the Palestinians and getting more legitimacy for future elections.” Said Aly fears the events will increase Islamic radicalism both in Gaza and in Israel, among its young Arab population. “Of course, Egypt will talk to everyone,” he said. “We will talk of the problems of the whole region, and we won’t exclude the Palestinian issue. But how much anyone can help now is not clear.” Hamas also has reason to mistrust Egypt and its leader, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, according to Michele Dunne, a former American official and director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment. El-Sissi sees Hamas as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains powerful in Egypt, and in 2014 he did little to discourage Israel from invading Gaza in hopes of destroying Hamas. The violence can take a long time to subside, said Mark Heller of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. “At some point Israel reminds itself that there is no way it can bring about a decisive outcome at a tolerable cost to itself,” he said, “and Hamas realizes that the costs and risks to its own political viability and control over Gaza become too much.” At that point, Heller said, Hamas agrees to “what they say is always a temporary cease-fire, not a peace, and usually gets some sort of payoff, I suspect this time from the Qataris.” Egypt is usually the interlocutor “and the fig leaf” for negotiations between Hamas and Israel, which both sides deny but that are going on almost continuously over many smaller issues, he said. Egypt is mindful that it needs to patch fences with Biden after the departure of former President Donald Trump, said Daniel Levy, president of the U.S./Middle East Project. “I think Cairo wants to demonstrate its importance to Biden,” he said, noting the beginning of reconciliation talks with Qatar and Turkey. Qatar, a rich emirate, bankrolls both Hamas and the Arab news operation Al-Jazeera, and Turkey has been a strident supporter of Hamas. That had put them at odds with Egypt. But with the election of Biden, Egypt has gingerly followed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in trying to calm relations with Qatar and Turkey. Muslim countries have criticized Israel’s actions, but in largely perfunctory fashion so far, given that many of their leaders distrust Islamist radicalism. Many Arab countries have sidelined the Palestinian issue and are looking past Abbas to see, and try to manipulate, who will succeed him as head of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization. But for now, with so much Israeli attention on the internal strife between young Jewish and Arab citizens, Levy said, many things are up in the air, and the struggle over Gaza can seem less important. It may also divert the Israeli security forces, making a ground incursion less likely. “This strife is an extremely disorienting and worrisome development and a matter of far greater concern, frankly, than Hamas,” said Heller. “The army can take care of Hamas, but we need something to take care of Israeli society, and right now we don’t have that.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
Mr Trudeau said the watchdog report had confirmed what he had 'said from the beginning'.
- The Independent
Liz Cheney warns Donald Trump ‘going to unravel the democracy to come back into power’
Scottish police ordered the release on Thursday of two Indian men who had been detained by British immigration officials, after hundreds of protesters in Glasgow blocked the path of a van carrying the detainees. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who wants to wrest immigration powers from the United Kingdom government, welcomed the police force's actions and blamed the British government for what she called a "dangerous situation". Video footage showed the two men emerging from the back of a van belonging to Britain's interior ministry, which sets immigration rules for the whole United Kingdom.
- The Independent
The House Speaker says the ethics committee should review the incident
- The Independent
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raises alarm over security in Congress after Marjorie Taylor Greene accosts her
Democrat’s supporters say she ‘should get a restraining order against MTG’ following accosting in Congress
- Business Insider
Pelosi says Marjorie Taylor Greene targeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with 'abuse' and 'verbal assault' in the Capitol
Pelosi said Greene's behavior "is a cause for trauma and fear" among Democrats following the January 6 Capitol riot.
Tom Brady said he needs to beat the Giants, and is hoping to get that chance in a championship game in Tampa Bay.
- The Daily Beast
Focus FeaturesWriter/director Timur Bekmambetov’s breakthrough Russian fantasy epics Night Watch and Day Watch were so heavily indebted to Hollywood productions that it made sense when he subsequently gravitated to America for Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Yet having made his name with conventional blockbuster productions, Bekmambetov has in the past few years carved out a more unique path for himself, producing works—including Unfriended and its sequel Unfriended: Dark Web, as well as the John Cho-led Searching—that play out entirely on a computer screen. Known as Screen Life, it’s a format that seeks to tell stories about our 21st-century device-filtered reality by translating our digital experiences to the movies.The latest in Bekmambetov’s ongoing venture is Profile, a new inspired-by-real-events thriller which he directed for the big screen, where it’ll premiere on May 14. Nonetheless, it’s hard to imagine a film better suited for at-home viewing—especially on a desktop, tablet or smartphone—than this, since its entire tale takes place on the laptop of Amy Whittaker (Valene Kane), a British journalist working on an exposé about the growing trend of Western women traveling to Syria to join up with ISIS. Sparked by a recent incident in which a young, blonde English teen went from playing guitar in YouTube videos to journeying to the Middle East to marry a jihadist, Amy seeks to find out both what compels women to choose such a future and, more importantly, the logistical process that ISIS recruiters employ to ferry their converts from Europe to Syria.Is ‘Benny Loves You’ the Next Great Killer-Doll Horror Film?Amy has sold this story as a freelancer to her editor Vick (Christine Adams), and her reporting entails perpetrating an online ruse in which she poses as a young radical eager to take up ISIS’ cause. Profile’s first few minutes depict her concocting a new digital persona for this scheme, which involves creating a pseudonym and a fake Facebook account (replete with a profile image of Snow White in a hijab), and then sharing a post by notorious ISIS fighter Abu Bilel Al-Britani (Shazad Latif), who made headlines when he left London for the murderous company of the Islamic State. Amplifying Bilel’s content is all it takes to attract his attention; he immediately messages her and begins inquiring about her situation. What Amy tells him is a sob story—about her parents’ abandonment, her disgust with her Western peers, and her desire for something more fulfilling—that she’s culled from a video on YouTube, which is where she also learns makeup tips to appear younger, and how to properly wear a hijab.Profile details this with rapid-fire swiftness, as Amy switches between her web browser, iMessage, Skype, and hard-drive photos and videos like a master digital juggler. Notifications constantly intrude upon what she’s doing at a given moment, be it from her friend Kathy (Emma Cater), who wants advice about dresses for an upcoming party, or from her boyfriend Matt (Morgan Watkins), who’s trying to find a new apartment for them and their noisy dog Sparky. The film incessantly flip-flops between Amy’s numerous points of screen interest as she googles things and messages bosses while simultaneously carrying on Skype calls that she’s recording—either by herself, or with the aid of IT guru Lou (Amir Rahimzadeh), with whom she shares her desktop. It’s akin to a blitzkrieg of fast and furious digital action, forcing one’s eyes to dart around the frame in sync with Amy’s conduct.As Amy strikes up an increasingly close relationship with Bilel, Profile becomes a portrait of the internet as a vehicle for forming both authentic and phony identities. That process is, in one respect, extremely easy, since it only entails setting up new accounts on social media platforms and on your own computer. Amy’s ensuing ordeal, however, also underlines the difficulty of maintaining such a ruse in a world where everyone has access to the same tools, knows the same tricks, and is able to make inquiries that put cons in jeopardy. Bekmambetov generates tension from simple requests from Bilel to Amy (which require her to quickly create and/or manipulate her digital circumstances), as well as from unexpected calls and messages that threaten to destroy the fanciful fiction that Amy is creating in real time with Bilel as he promises her a happy life together in war-torn Syria.Despite his lovey-dovey talk and reassurances about the bliss and safety that await her, Bilel is clearly a cunning viper engaged in his own dangerous fraud, thus further marking Profile as a canny, multifaceted snapshot of digital deception. Moreover, the fact that Amy soon begins to lose sight of herself and fall under Bilel’s spell speaks to the seductive power of online lies and radicalization. Amy knows that Bilel’s every word is false and yet the further she commits to this role-playing scam, the more his pledges of love and matrimony begin to sound authentic—a twist that gets at the persuasiveness of even the most obvious internet bullshit.Bekmambetov executes his formal gimmick with a speed and urgency that maintains suspense, although at 106 minutes, it eventually grows a bit wearisome—one can only take so much of this claustrophobic structural gambit before starting to crave a camera pan or a view outside that isn’t spied via a QuickTime player. Thankfully, Kane and Latif’s lead performances alleviate some of that limited-perspective monotony, exhibiting a charisma—and sly deviousness—that captures the dangerous allure of believing everything you see on your screen. Despite Amy’s somewhat less-than-wholly plausible late behavior, the two develop a chemistry that proves crucial to the film’s success as an examination of complex modern online dynamics.Set less to Amy’s streaming-music playlist than to a soundtrack of clicks, beeps, rings and other familiar notification sounds, Profile boasts a fundamental understanding of How We Live Now but never succumbs to preachiness or corny handholding in conveying its core ideas. From Bilel’s fondness for posting cat GIFs and memes—which Amy recognizes as a deliberate recruitment tool—to Amy’s deciphering of a photo’s coded meaning, the film mines the new world internet order for a harrowing saga about the thin line between who we are and who we pretend to be when we log on, and the peril that such confusion can put us in even once we’ve logged off.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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- The Independent
Wild animal roaming Texas as man evading arrest found to have violated murder charge bond four other times
The President of the US tech giant told the BBC that the shortage could last another two years.
- Associated Press
A House hearing about what went wrong in the Jan. 6 Capitol siege frequently spiraled into partisan shouting matches on Wednesday, with lawmakers more often blaming each other than thoroughly questioning witnesses about the events of the day. Democrats and Republicans have so far been unable to agree on a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection, and officials involved in responding to the attack have pointed fingers at one another. The latest witnesses, including former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, were called by Democrats who are conducting their own set of investigations in the House.
- The Independent
Phone calls fraudulently say people bought high-value items and messages claim Apple AirPods raffle win
- Associated Press
White ball batsman Glenn Phillips and allrounder Daryl Mitchell have been included for the first time on New Zealand Cricket’s list of centrally contracted players. The list is compiled by New Zealand coach Gary Stead and selector Gavin Larsen, who rank players on performances in all three formats, with tests receiving a double weighting.
- USA TODAY Opinion
The Backstory: 7 veterans were murdered at a VA hospital. Our reporters found the hospital could have done more to stop the killer.
USA TODAY investigation into string of VA hospital deaths gives voice to families, helps propel improvements at Veterans Administration.
- Miami Herald
Improving jobless benefits data show Florida’s economic recovery appears back in full swing.