Overnight, 350 missiles and drones were launched at Israel in Iran's attack. The IDF says 99 percent intercepted. Iran has warned Israel and U.S. against retaliation - Haaretz

President Joe Biden made clear the US will not participate in any offensive operations against Iran, according to a senior administration official. But he said Washington's commitment to Israel’s security against Iranian threats remains "ironclad." US forces intercepted more than 70 drones and at least three ballistic missiles, according to US officials. The US assessment is that Iran’s attacks had been largely unsuccessful - CNN

Ukrainian refugees fleeing the horrors of war to find sanctuary in British homes were sent to live with suspected gangsters under the government’s flagship Homes for Ukraine scheme, The Independent can reveal. People with suspected links to serious or organised crime were among those approved as hosts under the scheme, which was set up in 2022 to encourage warm-hearted homeowners to lend a spare room to those fleeing Vladimir Putin’s invasion. In the worst cases, Ukrainian families and individuals “just disappeared”, according to one council worker, while others were forced to work for their hosts or were charged rent. In one stark example, a couple with a young child were sent to live with a convicted paedophile. Labour MP Alex Davies-Jones, the shadow safeguarding minister, said the shock findings, uncovered by this publication, raise serious concerns about the safeguarding and the screening of hosts, as she called for a “full and proper investigation”. Eleanor Lyons, the independent anti-slavery commissioner, described the reports as concerning. She added: “We know traffickers often target vulnerable people, so we must do all we can to support displaced Ukrainians and prevent them from becoming vulnerable to exploitation.” - The Independent

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The Biden Administration’s Chicken Kiev Complex
Other Topics of Interest

The Biden Administration’s Chicken Kiev Complex

The Cold War instilled in many American politicians a craven stance toward Moscow’s belligerence. Experience shows that fear couched by pragmatism is a losing approach.

More than 24 million people in southern Africa face hunger, malnutrition and water scarcity due to drought and floods, an aid group has warned, as experts say the situation risks spiraling into an “unimaginable humanitarian situation.” The warning from Oxfam came as Zimbabwe joined other southern African nations in declaring its drought a national disaster, following earlier declarations by Zambia and Malawi. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said more than 2.7 million people in the country will go hungry this year and more than $2 billion in aid is required for the country’s national response, Reuters reported. - CNN

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LetterOne, the London firm set up by a group of Russian billionaires who have since been hit by western sanctions, has agreed to buy a Mayfair building for more than £100mn, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is acquiring 20 Grafton Street, a 17,000 square foot building comprising office and retail space, the people said, in one of the largest deals it has struck since Russia’s full-blown invasion of Ukraine in 2022.  The property was previously owned by German national Wilhelm von Finck, Land Registry records show. Finck’s family office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The acquisition is the latest indication that LetterOne is moving on from a difficult period in which its founders, including Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, were hit with sanctions from the UK and EU in the early weeks of the war in Ukraine. The sanctions meant the businessmen had to relinquish control of the group they set up to invest their fortunes, and prompted the firm to introduce a new governance structure headed by City grandee Mervyn Davies. This week an EU court quashed Fridman and Aven’s inclusion on the bloc’s sanctions list after concluding not enough evidence had been provided that the businessmen were involved in efforts to undermine Ukraine, although any lifting of the sanctions will require a decision by member states. The UK has also imposed sanctions on Fridman and Aven, as well as their LetterOne partners German Khan and Alexei Kuzmichev. - FT

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) promised on Sunday to create jobs, boost infrastructure and expand welfare programmes if it wins a third term, seeking to address key voter concerns ahead of next week's elections. The general election, which begins on April 19, will be held in seven stages until June 1. Votes are due to be counted on June 4 and results expected the same day. Modi, 73, is widely tipped to win a record-equalling third term on the back of his 10-year record, which includes strong economic growth, infrastructure projects, welfare handouts and aggressive Hindu nationalism. Surveys, however, suggest unemployment, inflation and rural distress remain issues of concern in the world's most populous country despite its strong economy, and addressing these will be Modi's biggest challenge - Reuters

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