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Displaced Palestinians, who fled Rafah after the Israeli military began evacuating civilians from the eastern parts of the southern Gazan city, ahead of a threatened assault, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, travel on a vehicle, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip May 6, 2024.

REUTERS/Ramadan Abed

Hamas accepts cease-fire proposal, but Israel still strikes Rafah

On Tuesday, the Israeli military reported its tanks had rolled into Rafah and established control over the Gaza side of the border crossing with Egypt. The incursion was more restrained than the long-threatened ground invasion was expected to be, likely because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing pressure to agree to a cease-fire with Hamas, which is backed by the United States and Arab nations.

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Firefighters work at the site where a building collapsed following the earthquake, in Hualien, Taiwan, in this handout provided by Taiwan's National Fire Agency on April 3, 2024.

Taiwan National Fire Agency/Handout via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Taiwan earthquake, Ukrainian drone strikes, Sisi’s third term, Exodus from Haiti’s capital, Africa’s youngest elected leader

7.4: A 7.4-magnitude earthquake, followed by several mighty aftershocks, struck Taiwan on Wednesday. The quake killed nine people, injured at least 821, damaged buildings and infrastructure, and triggered mudslides. It was the largest to hit the country in 25 years and was also felt in parts of China.

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Jeong Bo-mi, 37, and her baby in Seoul, South Korea, April 7, 2016.


Hard Numbers: South Korea's baby money, Cobalt and reproductive issues in the DRC, Egypt gets bailed out, Calif. braces amid storms, New Japanese words hit dictionary

75,000: In South Korea, where the overall fertility rate is expected to plummet to 0.68 this year, significantly lower than the 2.1 deemed essential by the OECD for maintaining a relatively steady population, a construction firm is providing employees with a $75,000 reward for every child they have. This initiative is just one of numerous attention-grabbing incentives being introduced as policymakers and businesses contend with the nation's demographic challenges.

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Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin shaking hands with US president Jimmy Carter

Library of Congress

On the 45th anniversary of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, it is more critical and at risk than ever

45 years ago today, a handshake between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin laid the groundwork for nearly half a century of peace and cooperation between neighboring Israel and Egypt.

The Israeli-Egyptian relationship has survived two Palestinian uprisings and a series of wars between Israel and Hamas, despite Cairo’s early advocacy of the Palestinian cause. And now, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to send Israeli troops into Rafah, on the Egyptian border with Gaza, Egypt’s peace with Israel puts Cairo in a humanitarian quandary.

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A volcanic eruption takes place, near Grindavik, Iceland, March 16, 2024, in this handout picture obtained by Reuters.

Public Security Department of Icelandic Police/Handout via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Icelandic volcano erupts, India sets election date, EU aids Egyptian economy, South Sudan schools close amid extreme heat

40: Just 40 minutes after authorities received indications of an eruption late Saturday, lava shot from a huge fissure on the Reykjanes Peninsula near Grindavik and the famed Blue Lagoon. The fourth — and probably biggest — eruption to have hit here since December nearly took services by surprise. The town and resort were both evacuated shortly after the eruption.

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A Palestinian woman reacts to an Israeli airstrike amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 3, 2024.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Israel no-shows Gaza ceasefire talks

On Sunday, Israel boycotted talks in Cairo after Hamas rejected its demand for a list of hostages who still remain alive, though other parties carried on. Hope for a Gaza cease-fire is fading despite earlier US optimism that a deal was possible ahead of next week’s Ramadan deadline.

On Saturday, a US official told reporters that Israel had agreed to the framework of a deal and "the onus right now is on Hamas” to respond. But in addition to the rejected demand for a hostage list, the proposal does not meet Hamas’ main demand for a permanent end to the war, and a Palestinian official told Reuters the deal was ”not there yet” after Hamas officials arrived in Cairo.

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Displaced Palestinians take shelter in a tent camp in Rafah.

REUTERS/Bassam Masoud

Egypt braces for Israel’s ground invasion of Rafah

Acting on intelligence about Hamas and hostages, Israeli special forces raided the main hospital in southern Gaza on Thursday despite international calls for civilian protection. This coincides with Egypt’s concerns over Israel’s planned ground offensive of Rafah, where 1.4 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering. An operation there could lead to an influx of Palestinians fleeing over the border into Egypt – something Cairo is keen to avoid.
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US aid for Israel & Ukraine hangs in the balance
TITLE PLACEHOLDER | Ian Bremmer | World In :60

US aid for Israel & Ukraine hangs in the balance

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Will the House pass the Senate-approved aid package for Ukraine and Israel?

Well, certainly not if the Freedom Caucus and the Speaker of the House have anything to say about it. So, I mean, as of today, what the Senate has passed with a lot of Republicans on board looks dead in the House. But of course, the ability to jam the House and force them to accept something or there's no government funding, that is a game of chicken that we've seen before and the Senate may well continue to be ready to play. So it is not dead yet, but aid is looking challenging. And let's be clear, irrespective of what happens for 2024, it's going to be very hard to get any more aid for the Ukrainians going forward. And everybody is deeply aware of that reality.

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