In a televised address from the White House this afternoon, President Biden described the gruesome attacks on Israelis by Hamas as terrorism, and defended Israel’s right to respond. He also pledged America’s support for Israel, promising to send ammunition and other assistance.
With anger in his voice, Biden said that babies were among those who had been killed by Hamas, and that women had been “assaulted and paraded as trophies.” He compared Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, with the Islamic State, and said that it did not stand for the rights of Palestinians. He announced that 14 U.S. citizens had been among the more than 1,000 people killed by Hamas, with others being held hostage.
My colleague Peter Baker, who has been covering the White House since the 1990s, said it was “one of the sharpest, even angriest condemnations of terrorism in Israel that I’ve ever heard from an American president.” He added, “Biden offered no equivocation and made no effort to urge restraints on Israel’s response.”
Israeli airstrikes reduced buildings to rubble in Gaza, the impoverished coastal enclave ruled by Hamas. The strikes continued even after the group, which is believed to have taken around 150 Israeli hostages, threatened to kill a captive each time Israel strikes Gaza without warning. At least 900 Palestinians have been killed, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.
Republicans vie to be the next speaker
A week after the ouster of Kevin McCarthy as speaker, the House Republican conference gathered this evening for a candidate forum at which contenders to succeed McCarthy are making their case.
Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan are the top contenders. (Here’s what to know about them.) But yesterday McCarthy even floated the possibility that he might be open to return.
A closed-door vote of Republicans is scheduled for tomorrow morning. If they can coalesce around a candidate, the House could have a new speaker by the afternoon. If not, the process could drag on.
Crypto executive said Bankman-Fried ‘directed’ crimes
Caroline Ellison, a close adviser and former girlfriend of the disgraced cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried, said in court today that she had conspired with him to steal billions of dollars from customers of his exchange, FTX.
Ellison, who pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy in December, is the government’s star witness in its case against Bankman-Fried. She said he told her to misuse around $14 billion of FTX customer deposits. “He directed me to commit these crimes,” Ellison said.
Researchers look to engineer a bird-flu-resistant chicken
Scientists have used the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR to create chickens that have some resistance to avian influenza. The researchers suggested in a new study describing the results that genetic engineering could potentially reduce the toll of bird flu, which poses grave dangers to both animals and humans.
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Our culture has come to a standstill
We are now almost a quarter of the way through what might be the least culturally innovative century in the past 500 years, my colleague Jason Farago writes.
Our culture remains capable of endless production — and excellence — but it’s far less capable of change. Hollywood studios have hedged their bets with intellectual property. Independent directors have stuck with techniques born in the 1960s. Furnish an apartment lately? Whether you’re shopping at Restoration Hardware or on Alibaba, you’re probably just buying replicas of European antiques.
But perhaps, Farago argues, it’s not a bad thing. Who knows what might flower if we accepted and even embraced the stasis, and at last took seriously the eternal digital present.
How your diet affects your skin
If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and noticed sallow skin or a new pimple, it’s natural to wonder if the food you eat is somehow responsible. Experts say it’s certainly possible.
The skin is an organ that requires certain nutrients, like vitamin C, from food. And studies have found that some foods, like those in the Mediterranean diet, may be beneficial. But when it comes to diagnosed skin conditions, evidence for dietary changes is limited.
The cutting edge of pet-pampering amenities
When building, renovating or decorating a home, architects and interior designers are asked to consider the particular needs of the occupants. And that doesn’t just mean humans.
A number of homeowners are now asking for built-in amenities specifically for their pets. Perhaps the most popular feature is a dog shower, often positioned near an entryway so muddy paws can easily be rinsed off. Another attractive option is a permanent food station, equipped with a pot filler and an aesthetic dining experience for the pet.
Have a generous evening.