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Monday Briefing: Biden Clashes With Netanyahu

WorldAsiaMonday Briefing: Biden Clashes With Netanyahu

The leaders of the U.S. and Israel are engaged in an increasingly public dispute over Gaza.

President Biden said on Saturday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “hurting Israel more than helping Israel,” and rebuked him over the rising civilian death toll even as he affirmed American support for Israel. “It’s contrary to what Israel stands for, and I think it’s a big mistake,” Biden said. “So I want to see a cease-fire.”

Yesterday, Netanyahu rejected Biden’s assessment as “wrong.” He told Politico that he was doing what an “overwhelming majority” of Israelis wanted.

Biden’s comments highlighted the delicate position the U.S. is in: It is arming Israel while providing humanitarian aid to Gaza. Yesterday, the U.S. military said that a ship had set sail to build a floating pier off Gaza’s coast to allow for aid; the project could take weeks to complete.

Details: The floating pier will allow for the delivery of as many as two million meals a day to Gaza, which has a population of about 2.3 million people. But a Pentagon spokesman acknowledged that neither airdrops of aid, nor the pier, would be as effective as sending aid by land — which Israel has blocked.

Haiti is facing an uprising the likes of which has not been seen in decades.

Armed gangs have taken control of the main airport and are demanding that Ariel Henry, the prime minister, resign. But even though he is stranded in Puerto Rico — and U.S. and Caribbean leaders have been trying to convince him that continuing in power is “untenable” — Henry has refused to step down, an adviser said.

On the ground: “It is a war zone,” a doctor in Port-au-Prince said. Many civilians are afraid to leave their homes for fear of getting hit by stray bullets. The food supply is threatened, and access to water and health care is severely limited. See photos of the crisis here.

Hong Kong officials, under pressure from Beijing, are scrambling to pass a strict, long-shelved national security law in the coming weeks. The full draft of the law, known as Article 23, was first made public on Friday and could impose life imprisonment for political crimes like treason.

John Lee, Hong Kong’s top leader, said it was necessary to close gaps in an existing national security law, imposed by Beijing in 2020, that was used to quash pro-democracy protests and jail opposition members. Critics say the law will stifle more freedoms, diminish Hong Kong’s authority and give officials more power to curb dissent.

In Beijing: Even as growth falters, President Xi Jinping is sticking to his belief that his vision of technological dominance can secure China’s rise.

China is now using the propaganda channels that it once deployed to promote its one-child policy to send the opposite message: Have more babies. These images show the government’s shift toward promoting a “pro-birth culture.”

The Australia Letter: New Zealand is likely to lose about 20 percent of its journalists and television news producers as stations close down and cut shows.

Akira Toriyama, one of Japan’s leading comics authors, helped bring anime to the rest of the world. He died this month at 68.

Toriyama was most famous for “Dragon Ball,” a manga and anime franchise that earned global success. The series, known for its comedic characters and martial arts battles, follows a young boy named Son Goku, who embarks on a journey to collect seven magical orbs that summon a wish-granting dragon.

“Goku is Toriyama’s greatest creation,” our critic Maya Phillips writes in an appraisal of his work. “He’s timeless and he’s unbeatable.”

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