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Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from Lebanon towards Israel over the Israeli Lebanese border, as seen from northern Israel, April 12, 2024.

REUTERS/Ayal Margolin

Iran strikes Israel. How will Netanyahu respond?

On Saturday, Iran launched roughly 300 drones and missiles at Israel in retaliation for Israel’s April 1 bombing of the Iranian consulate in Syria. Some 99% of Iranian projectiles were destroyed by a combination of Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, US firepower, and assistance from Britain, Germany, and reportedly Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Israel suffered minimal damage and no casualties.

The question now is what comes next, for the region, the Israel-Hamas war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the world’s great powers?

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Nigeriens gather in a street to protest against the U.S. military presence, in Niamey, Niger April 13, 2024.

REUTERS/Mahamadou Hamidou

Niger Pivots from the Eagle to the Bear

Hundreds demonstrated in Niger's capital, Niamey, on Saturday to demand the removal of US troops, much as they called for the exit of French forces last year. Niger’s military coup in July 2023 has brought changes to the central African nation, including a shift in military alliances. The nation is deepening its relationship with Moscow, as evidenced bythe arrival last week of Russian military trainers tasked with bolstering Niger’s air defenses.

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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., U.S. President Joe Biden and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are pictured ahead of their trilateral summit at the White House in Washington on April 11, 2024.

Kohei Choji / The Yomiuri Shimbun via Reuters Connect

Manila gets a big boost, but does it matter to Beijing?

Washington and Tokyo promised Manila they would help secure its seas and upgrade its infrastructure at their trilateral summit in Washington on Thursday — all big gestures, but what do they look like from Beijing?

Political winds have shifted against China in the Philippines since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. came to power in June 2022. His predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, allegedly sealed a secret deal with China that is now at the center of a dangerous conflict in the South China Sea.

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FILE PHOTO - A Philippine flag flutters from BRP Sierra Madre, a dilapidated Philippine Navy ship that has been aground since 1999 and became a Philippine military detachment on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea March 29, 2014.

REUTERS/Erik De Castro/File Photo

Can the US and Philippines get Beijing to back off?

On Monday, 3,500 US and Filipino troops began what could become their largest-ever annual training exercises on the Philippine island of Luzon. This came a day after major multilateral naval drills in the South China Sea and just ahead of a trilateral US-Philippines-Japan summit in Washington on Thursday.

The message to China? Take the US-Philippines alliance seriously.

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FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping waves as he walks with U.S. President Joe Biden at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, U.S., November 15, 2023.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

Biden and Xi catch up

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke for nearly two hours on Tuesday, in a wide-ranging conversation meant, as one senior official put it, to serve as a “check-in.” Both men agreed to periodic phone calls when they met last year in San Francisco in a bid to boost dialogue and stabilize relations.

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British and American flags she takes part in a 'Here's to Meghan!' celebration ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry, as they celebrate at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 15, 2018.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

The US, UK forge truce on AI

The US and UK have struck the world's first bilateral agreement on AI safety, agreeing to cooperate on testing and risk-assessing artificial intelligence.

Both countries will conduct their safety testing through new government bodies planned during last year's summit at Bletchley Park in the UK – which each country is calling the Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute. While the countries lag behind peers in the European Union on passing comprehensive legislation to govern the use of AI, they've introduced a series of lighter-touch measures to get the ball rolling

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FILE PHOTO: September 17, 2023, by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the chairman of the North Korean State Affairs Committee is shown , Kim Jong-un, and his delegation, after their arrival in Vladivostok, in the middle of a tour of the Russian Far East, after holding a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

KCNA/Pool / Latin America News Agency via Reuters Connect

East Asia’s rising tensions

Russia started supplying oil to North Korea this month in violation of UN sanctions on Pyongyang, according to a new report from a UK think tank and theFinancial Times. Satellite images have shown a number of North Korean tankers traveling to the Russian eastern port city of Vostochny in March.

In 2017, the UN Security Council voted, with Russian support, to sanction the DPRK following a series of nuclear weapons tests. Last August, North Korea began sending large quantities of munitions to Russia to support its invasion of Ukraine.

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Paige Fusco

Graphic Truth: Which country ❤️s TikTok most?

TikTok has taken the world by storm over the past few years, growing its global audience to a whopping 900 million users and counting. You can find a wide array of video content on the app, ranging from people cooking, dancing, and pontificating to breaking news and political drama. It can be quite addictive.

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